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Once Upon a FruitVine

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Once upon a time there lived a couple. They were a happy couple. A man of fair hair and blue eyes, and his wife, with hair black as pitch and skin dark as chocolate. They lived in a wonderful cottage in the Northern Hills of the Kingdom of Ra-Lee.

“Husband…my Horizon EyeSprite is having trouble connecting to the FruitVine. Would you be a dear and look into that for me?” asked the wife.

“It would be my pleasure, Wife,” said the man. The man inspected the Fruit Vine, searching for possible failures. Not seeing any, the man reached out to the Acme Fruit Company for assistance. The man took out his Horizon EyeSprite and said, “Please connect me to the Acme Fruit Company.” In a flash, the EyeSprite was gone, leaving a trail of green and yellow sparkles in the direction it left. An instant later it returned. The EyeSprite said in a deep voice: “Hello, you’ve reached the Acme Fruit Company. How may I help you?” The man explained that his FruitVine was not working properly, and that his wife had issues connecting her Horizon EyeSprite to the FruitVine.

“Hmm…Did you look at the FruitVine for any Gnomes that might be interfering?”

“Yes, I looked for Gnomes…but I did not find any,” said the man, and the EyeSprite disappeared in a flash of green and yellow sparkles, only to appear an instant later.

“Did you look for any cuts or nicks in the vine?”

“Yes, I looked for cuts and nicks…I did not fine any,” said the man.

“Okay, well let’s start at the beginning. Please go to the end of your FruitVine,” said the Acme Fruit Company representative. The man walked to the end of the FruitVine as instructed.

“Please walk to the other end of the FruitVine, looking for any cuts or nicks in the FruitVine,” said the Acme Fruit Company representative.

“But, I’ve already told you…I did that, and there are no cuts or nicks,” said the man.

“Sir, please…I’m trying to help you. Just follow the protocol,” said the Acme Fruit Company representative. The man did as instructed, and found no cuts or nicks.

“Okay, sir. Please go back to the other end of the FruitVine. When you get there, please walk to the other end of the FruitVine looking for any Gnomes.” The man rolled his eyes, but did as he was told.

“I see no Gnomes. What is next?” asked the man.

“Hmm…and you say your wife’s EyeSprite won’t connect?”

“Yes, that is correct.”’

“Could there be anything wrong with your wife’s EyeSprite?”

“No. Her EyeSprite connects to other FruitVines verily.”

“And does your EyeSprite connect to your FruitVine?”

“Occasionally, but I too, experience difficulty with connection,” said the man.

“Well, I’m out of answers. You’ll have to bring your FruitVine into the nearest Acme Fruit Company for review. You’ll want to speak with one of our Acme Wizards. They will be able to run some tests and resolve your issue.”

The man was distraught, but he packed up his FruitVine, loaded it into his cart, and rode into town. The Acme Fruit Company was located in the busiest part of the Crabtree Market. The man hated going to the Crabtree Market because parking was always a bitch, and the crowds seemed to wander around like they were enchanted, milling about here-and-there, not walking in straight lines, occasionally walking against the flow of people, or, worst of all, stopping in the middle of the flow for no good reason other than to look at their EyeSprites.

The man made it into the Acme Fruit Company and found an Acme Wizard.

“Hello, how may I help you today?” asked the friendly, pimply-faced wizard who had likely just reached puberty only two years prior.

“Hi. Yes. Um…my FruitVine doesn’t seem to be working,” said the man.

“Ah huh…and how do you know it isn’t working?” asked the wizard.

“What?” asked the man with a furrowed brow.

“How is it that you KNOW it isn’t working?” asked the wizard.

“I don’t understand what you are asking…it’s not working. It’s just…not working. Neither my, nor my wife’s, EyeSprite can connect to the FruitVine. I contacted the Acme Fruit Company by EyeSprite. The representative I spoke with walked me through a couple of tests, and they said it was broken. I was told to bring it in to the nearest Acme Fruit Company to have an Acme Wizard look at the FruitVine,” explained the man.

“So, this representative said it was broken?” asked the wizard.

“Well…no, they just told me I needed to bring it in for review,” said the man.

“Mmkay, well, lets see what’s going on,” said the wizard. The man set the FruitVine onto the wizards table. The wizard looked over the FruitVine and then asked, “Have you checked it for cuts or nicks?”

“Look, I’ve already checked for cuts, nicks, and Gnomes. The FruitVine doesn’t have anything like that…it’s fine. That’s not the problem. Can you check for something else? Anything else?” asked the man.

“Mmkay,” said the pimply-faced wizard condescendingly. “How are you using this FruitVine?”

“Well, this is my main vine. I connect another FruitVine just like it to this vine so that my wife and I have access to the InterMagic,” said the man.

“Mmkay…this will require some research. Wait here for a moment. Let me check through our Acme Fruit Magic Books to see what I can find.” With that, the young wizard disappeared in a poof of smoke.

“WAIT!” shouted the man, followed by “I’ve already looked through the A.F.M.B.’s and found nothing,” whispered the man to himself because the freakin’ wizard was gone. After several minutes, the wizard had not returned. The man slouched in his chair. Several more minutes went by, and the man drummed his fingers on the desk.  Then the man rested his head in his arms, on the desk. The man became drowsy from boredom. Then, suddenly, a poof of smoke appeared.

“Mmkay…I did some research. You said you connected two of these FruitVines together, right?” asked the wizard.

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Mmkay…you can’t do that. If you connect two FruitVine Extremes together, you get GNATS. Nasty little buggers those GNATS. You may even have double GNATS…which is even worse. You should have gotten a FruitVine Express, but you got a FruitVine Extreme. ”

“What? No, that can’t be right. I only bought the second FruitVine Extreme a few days ago, and it was an Acme Wizard who told me that I needed the same FruitVine. In fact, he said a FruitVine Express would NOT work.”

“Mmkay…well, I don’t know who told you that, but he’s wrong. You needed a FruitVine Express and NOT a FruitVine Extreme.”

“So, you’re saying that I have double GNATS?”

“Likely, yes.”

“Can you SEE the GNATS?”

“Oh, no. No, you can’t see GNATS. And, some GNATS are necessary anyway. I mean, no one really knows how many GNATS are needed or why. Vines, in general, are very confusing and temperamental,” said the Wizard. It was at this point that the man lost confidence in the wizard. What kind of a wizard needed to look up something basic in a Magic Book and then did not know how many GNATS were needed for a Vine? I mean…right?

“I really don’t think that’s the problem. Is there anything else you can test for?” asked the man.

“Mmkay…what I can do is keep your FruitVine overnight and see how it runs in our controlled environment. If I come across any Gnomes or Gremlins we’ll notify you, but honestly, you have double GNATS,” said the shit-head wizard.

“Okay, great. Yeah, keep my FruitVine overnight. I’ll come back tomorrow to check to see if your perfect environment finds anything wrong with it. I mean, surely your perfect environment is set up like a real-world environment, right?”

“Mmm…yeah, exactly. Okay, here’s your receipt. Keep that. You’ll need it to get your FruitVine back,” said the Wizard.

“Can I list my wife as an alternate person to pick up our FruitVine?”

“Yes, absolutely. Here, let me just write her name down here on the receipt and then she’s all set,” said the Wizard, writing the man’s wife’s name on the receipt. “Okay, that’s it. Have a nice day. We’ll EyeSprite you when it’s ready, mmkay?” and then the wizard poofed, and was gone. The man sat there for a moment wondering if he made the right decision. Then determined he did not, but that it was too late. He could not get out of the Crabtree Market soon enough.

“Husband? Did you fix the FruitVine?” asked the man’s wife.

“NO! No, I DID NOT fix the FruitVine. The damn thing is with the Acme ‘Wizards’ at the freakin’ Acme Fruit Company. I swear, they are friggin’ idiots! The wizard told me that I couldn’t connect two FruitVine Extremes together. He said it would cause ‘double GNATS’, whatever the heck that means,” said the man in a huff.

“What’s a ‘double GNAT’?” asked the wife.

“Fuck if I know…some bull crap they say when they don’t know what’s going on. Tomorrow, YOU pick up the FruitVine,” said the husband, and walked out of the living room.

The next day the wife went to the Acme Fruit Company to pick up the FruitVine.

“Hello, how can I help you?” asked an Acme Wizard.

“Yes, I’m here to pick up my FruitVine,” said the wife.

“Receipt,” said the wizard. The wife handed the receipt to the wizard.

“Identification,” said the wizard. The wife handed the wizard her license.

“Sorry, you’re not an authorized person. You have to be authorized to pick up the FruitVine. Only your husband can pick this up,” said the wizard.

“No, he listed me as an authorized person. He told me he did,” said the wife.

“Sorry. Nut’ah,” said the wizard. The wife sent a Horizon EyeSprite message to the husband. Moments later the EyeSprite returned.


“Oh wait. Never mind. I see your name right here. Lemme go get your FruitVine,” said the wizard and then poofed herself gone. A few moments later the wizard returned with the FruitVine.

“Yeah, it ran fine. No cuts. No nicks. No Gnomes. No issues.”

“Erm…okay. Thank you—I guess?” said the wife.

“No problem,” said the wizard and poofed gone again. The wife returned home with the FruitVine.

“Husband? I have returned from the Crabtree Market with our FruitVine. What shall we do?” asked the wife.

“I’m going to contact Victoria Place. She is in a relationship with an Acme Wizard. He may be able to help.” So, the husband used his Horizon EyeSprite and contacted the Wizard Joey.

“Yo, what up? This is Joey. How can I help?” asked the wizard. The man explained in great detail all of his FruitVine troubles, and the steps he took to resolve the issues.

“Uh-huh, yeah, I see what the problem is. See, most of the Acme Wizards don’t know squat about FruitVines. They know about EyeSprites, EyeBooks, and EyeFruits. FruitVines are a completely different beast. You gotta compare Ogres-to-Ogres and not Ogres-to-Orks. Very different,” said Wizard Joey.

“So…can you help?” asked the man.

“Totally.” Over the next several hours, the two men conspired to connect the FruitVine and fix the issues.

“There is such a thing as double GNATS…but you don’t have them. That wizard was full of crap. You can totally connect two FruitVine Extremes…you just gotta use a square knot technique in your settings to make it work. They probably didn’t tell you that because they don’t know. Also, you’ll need to build a small bridge for your Modern Cable to connect to InterMagic. The bridge will support your Modern Cable, making sure your InterMagic doesn’t drop.”

“Yes! All of this makes sense to me!” said the husband, even though it did not. After all the work was complete, the husband and wife were able to connect to InterMagic again. The wife was happy, and the husband was happy that the wife was happy.

“Wizard Joey, I shall buy you a meal, with mead for helping me today,” said the man.

“Cool. Cool. Cool. I gotta bounce,” said Wizard Joey.

The couple lived happily ever after…until the very next day when their beast of a dog scraped her soft-underbelly climbing the great wall, and that gave the couple great anxiety. Just one more thing to worry about.

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