A note from Sir Bentley: Greetings fans! This week we're posting two parts of the story to sort of jump start it for you. After this we'll post one a week with the final part being posted the week of the "Big EVENT" (September 7 at the BROOD Ramble)
Part 2: The Meeting
Part 2: The Meeting
I remember it like it happened yesterday.
I had just finished a set at the piano in George’s Piano Bar and I was having a drink with some of my pals when Bentley came hurrying over.
“Hey Turbo” he whispered, “look over there at the bar. See that lady Basset talking to Bessie?”
“Uh huh,” I said.
“That’s Zuda. You know the one I was telling you about? We met her at the BROOD Ramble, remember? She’s really nice. I was talking to her on Facebook the other day and I really think you should ask her out.”
I sighed. Subtle is not something Bentley ever mastered. “I dunno Bent,” I said, “I think I might be the kind who is unlucky in love. Besides, I’m a little old for that kind of thing”
“What? Don’t be silly! There’s no such thing! Zuda’s no puppy either, she’s a mature lady dog and besides, she likes you.”
“How do you know that?” I asked curious in spite of myself.
“She as good as told me so the other night when I was talking to her on Facebook!” Bentley looked triumphant. “She likes you a lot, now go ask her out!”
“That’s not my style, to just walk slap up to a lady and say ‘let’s go out’! That’s kind of cave dog, I think,” I frowned.
“Well maybe it SHOULD be your style!” huffed Bentley, “okay then, just go over there and chat with her a little. Bessie will introduce you. Buy her a bacontini or something. It can’t hurt to introduce yourself and say ‘hi’ you know.”
I sighed again, but Bentley had a point. It couldn’t hurt to be friendly. Maybe we could at least be good pals like George
and Bessie. “Okay I’m going in,” I decided. “You stay here and try not to stare.” I started toward the bar and then turned back, “and don’t go announcing our engagement to the whole bar while we’re getting to know each other either!”
“Would I do that?” Bentley looked wounded.
“Yes,” I replied and turned toward the bar again.
“Hey Turb, where you going?” asked Gunner.
“Yeah Turb, what’s up?” said Jackieboy Tyler.
“Shhh!” said Bentley, “he’s going to ask Zuda out!”
Bentley put on his innocent face, but he winked at our friends.
“Zuda’s nice,” said Gunner, “and she has great ears!”
“And a nice waggy tail,” agreed Jackieboy.
“Good luck mate!” chimed in George, “and bring us another round when you’ve made your date.”
Shaking my head I started for the bar again. It WAS sort of flattering that they just took it for granted that Zuda would say “yes” if I asked her out. I hoped I could work up the nerve.
When I got to the bar Bessie said, “hi Turbo, what’ll it be?” She turned to Zuda, “have you met Turbo, Zuda? He’s Bimmer’s and Bentley’s brother you know.”
“We haven’t met,” said Zuda smiling at me and fluttering her eyelids ever so slightly, “but I’ve heard a lot about you from Bentley. And Bimmer thinks there’s no one like her big brother Turbo! I wish MY sisters were as admiring.”
“Hi Miss Zuda,” I said smiling back, “I’ve heard a lot about you from Bentley too. He and Bimmer really enjoyed meeting you at the Ramble.” I turned to Bessie, “Bessie may I have some bacon sliders please? And bring Miss Zuda whatever she’d like.” I turned back to Zuda, “you know, tickling those ivories is hungry work! Thirsty work too! Won’t you join me?”
“Thank you. I’d like that,” said Zuda.
“TWO orders of bacon sliders?” asked Bessie with a knowing grin.
“Please Bessie and a couple of bacontinis,” I added remembering Bentley’s suggestion. “How did you like the Ramble?” I asked Zuda while Bessie was preparing our order. “Bentley and Bimmer had a great time. Bentley’s a little sorry he missed out on the gold in the cookie toss but he had a great time campaigning.”
“I saw the cookie toss and Bentley was really good,” said Zuda. “It’s too bad he didn’t win, but it would have been hard for any Basset to catch that last cookie. It was sort of high.”
“Hmm, Bentley didn’t mention that,” I said, “he’s a pretty good sport. Were you in the cookie toss event?”
“No,” said Zuda looking down shyly, “I was in the kissing contest.”
“Really?” I said with interest as our food and drinks appeared, “and how did you do?”
“Oh,” Zuda blushed, “well, I took home the gold.” She gave me a half smile.
“Wow!” I said, “help yourself Miss Zuda, there’s plenty of food here.”
We ate for a few minutes and then Zuda said, “oh dear! I’ve eaten way too much and way too fast! Not ladylike at all Momma dog says!”
“Nonsense! I like to see a lady dog enjoy her meal,” I told her, “besides, if YOUR siblings are like mine, you HAVE to eat fast in self defense.” I glanced at the clock and sighed. “I have to get back on duty at the piano now” I didn’t want to leave, I was having a great time talking to Zuda! Then I had an inspiration, “I’ll play you a song, what’s your favorite?”
“I like Billy Joel,” said Zuda smiling again, “nobody ever played a song just for me before Turbo.”
“Well they SHOULD!” I said, “I’m going to fix that situation right now!” I marched over to the piano and sat down, wondering which song to play. I decided on one of mom’s favorites: “a bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rose instead…” by the time I reached the end of the song, “…meet you anytime you want in our Italian restaurant.” Zuda was sitting at the piano with her bacontini.
“Bravo!” she said, “I love that song.”
“It’s a favorite in our family,” I replied, “I’m glad you liked it.”
“Oh I did!” she agreed.
“Miss Zuda, do you like cars?”
“Yes, I like cars a lot,” she told me looking puzzled.
“Oh good! Would you like to go for a drive with me sometime…when you’re not busy I mean?”
“I would LOVE to go for a drive with you Turbo. How about tomorrow?” she blushed, “I mean…I’m not busy tomorrow…but if you’re busy, we can go another time…”
“Tomorrow’s great!” I said, “maybe around eleven? I want to make sure the car is nice and clean and shiny for you.
“Eleven is perfect. Shall I meet you here? It’s convenient for both of us and my sisters…” she shrugged helplessly.
“I know what you mean,” I told her reassuringly, “Bentley and Bimmer are great, but there are times…” I rolled my eyes.
“I’m looking forward to it Turbo,” said Zuda softly, “but now I better go home and start getting ready.” She gave me a wink as she slid off her stool by the piano and started out the door. I noticed that she really did have a nice waggy tail just like Jackieboy said. I turned back to the piano and started playing again.
In a few moments, Bentley was standing by the piano.
“I knew you’d like her!” he said.
“What are you talking about?’ I asked as I kept playing.
“You’re playing ‘Marry Me’. Kind of a giveaway, don’t you think?” grinned Bentley. “So when’s the wedding?”
“Bentley, there’s no wedding, but we do have a date. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m working here.”
“A DATE!!!” shouted Bentley, “hooray! Turbo and Zuda have a date!”
“Bentley!” I growled through my teeth, but it was too late.
“A DATE!” yelled several of our friends, “way to go Turbo!”
“A DATE!” cried Bessie, “AT LAST! Drinks on the house! Here’s to Turbo and Zuda’s first date and many more to come! Come on Turbo! Don’t be shy, step up to the bar and join the celebration!”
“Aww shucks!” I said, blushing, but really I was ecstatic. I was pretty sure Zuda was the nicest lady dog I ever met and I couldn’t WAIT to take her out for a drive the next day….
TO BE CONTINUED… (Will they have a good time on their first date? Will it be perfect and romantic? What kind of car does Turbo have? Will Zuda like it? Will Turbo like Zuda? Will Zuda like Turbo??)