The Lady of Lake Taneycomo came to me in a dream last night... "Hark!", she said, "Hark, hark... Hark!!", she said. "I'm listening, I'm listening" I replied. "Pardon me..." she said, "I was just clearing my throat. --- Lo, I have come to you to bring you a task... and a gift."
A task and a gift... I asked her what they might be. She replied, "I couldn't help but notice that you --- didn't --- practice yesterday! What's that all about?" I told her that I just got wrapped up in stuff prior to my wife and I leaving today for Springfield, IL for a few days. She wanted to know why we were going there, and I told her that Ann wanted to visit the Lincoln Presidential Library and some other Lincoln groupie stuff. "You are taking Axecalibur with you, are you not?..." "Of course, of course" I said. "GOOD!!" she thundered, causing my wife to turn over and say, "Murf, murf-murf... murf!" before she rolled over and went back to sleep.
"Lo!" she continued, "your task is to not miss another day of practicing! Let's face it... you've only got 33 days before the NMA reunion and you have a lot of years not playing to make up for." I promised to take Axecalibur with me and asked what the gift might be. She said that my gift was a guilt trip for missing a day's practice. "Not much of a gift..." I said, "I was hoping for, like, a magic case for my magic axe." "IT IS A GIFT!!!" she thundered, "Were you not born Roman Catholic?" I replied, "Is this like Jeopardy or some game where everything you say must be phrased as a question?"
"SILENCE!!" she thundered, "Silence, you fool!" this time causing Freeway (the surly cat) to meow and jump off the bed. "I command you to rise, take up your mat, go downstairs and practice!" I couldn't help saying, "It's freaking 2:30 am! It's bloody zero-dark-thirty! Even the neighbor's dyslexic chicken isn't up yet!"
"Alright," she said, "Will you not get up at 4:30??" I briefly considered asking another question about Jeopardy, but thought better of it. "Okay... Yes! I mean I will not get up at 2:30 and I won't not get up at 4:30... uh... I'm not quite clear on how I should phrase my answer, oh Lady of Lake Taneycomo." "Never mind," she replied, "It's all good." I asked her, "Don't you mean 'Is it not all good?'"... "DON'T BE A SMART-ASS!!" she thundered, then more kindly, "Is it not true that nobody likes a smart-ass?" I just nodded my head and gave her a big "thumbs up", figuring that this tack would be the most wise.
She gazed at me for a few moments and said, "Why aren't you asleep, yet?" This seemed like a lot easier question to answer, so I told her, "I am truly sorry, oh Lady of Lake Taneycomo. I will get right on it."
"See that you do", she said, and with that bade me farewell.