A Favorite Bedtime Story

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Hot Dog and Jack are sharing a bed and reading one of their favorite fairy tales of all time together before going to sleep.

“Once upon a time there was a princess called Averie. She was a ravishing beauty with golden hair and bright blue eyes. Averie was an orphan who lived in a large palace with her stepmother and her eight children; the palace belonged to her father who unexpectedly died in battle when Averie was only eight years old. Right after that, she was forced by her stepmother to grow up working at the kitchens of the palace as a cook because she was jealous of Averie’s beauty. Averie was naturally talented at cooking and soon began to earn appreciation around the kingdom for making the best food at royal feasts. However, tragedy struck Averie’s life once more when she turned twenty-one: she was married off by her stepmother against her will to a fellow from the kingdom.

One day, when Averie is in the midst of talks with her husband to have a bakery of her own, she learns from her neighbor that a Prince is in town looking for a wife. Averie manages to get a glimpse of the Prince’s white horse but misses the chance to see what he looks like because of the huge crowd that has gathered for his visit. Averie’s husband, meanwhile, lets her know that he will financially support her to open a shop of her own. Happy that her husband has agreed, Averie runs to prepare for yet another feast but while crossing the forest to get to the palace, she crashes into the Prince. The Prince falls in love upon first sight with Averie. He begins to follow her around after that, even though Averie lets him know that she is married and has three children of her own. The two begin a friendship…”

Jack suddenly starts snoring loudly. So Hot Dog closes the book and calls on Whale to help her and Jack into bed.


Wondrous Tales

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Whale and Hot Dog are at a new book shop launched in Croydon. They saw an advert for the shop on television a couple of days ago and Hot Dog really wanted to check out what the place is like in the flesh. It is a small shop which specializes in books on people: biographical reads, tales about ordinary people doing the most extraordinary of things and interviews of community leaders who make quietly make an impact with the work they do daily.

Whale had slept in the taxi cab throughout the journey to get to the shop because just the thought of having to take a look at books as boring as those made him fall asleep. But Hot Dog managed to perk him up later when they got to the shop, with the thought of biographies of his favorite stars and how they might find something really good to buy after all.

Hot Dog: Whale! Come here! I found a book on a chef that you might like!
Whale: Is it my favorite chef from television, because I really can’t afford to fall asleep standing this time; the nap I took inside the cab was uncomfortable enough.
Hot Dog: No, it isn’t! But listen…it’s a really nice tale. The chef cooks with paprika, beans, coconut milk and lentils alone, and he has actually whipped up more than 200 recipes with those ingredients alone.
Whale: Really? That is pretty interesting.
Hot Dog: Yeah! Did you find any interesting book yet to get for yourself today?
Whale: Yes! That I did! I found a biography of one of my favorite celebrities that I would really like to read.
Hot Dog: Who is it?
Whale: Errol Flynn. What about you?
Hot Dog: Oh! I found a book myself too! It is a biography on William Boeing and I want to get it.
Whale: That is really great! Anything else interesting that has caught your eye except for that book about the chef?
Hot Dog: There are a lot of those kinds of books around but nothing else in particular, no! I think we should just buy the two books and head back home already.
Whale: Oh! Hot Dog! Look…I found a book about an extraordinary woman who grew rich by knitting colorful handkerchiefs in a dark valley.

An Evening Of Healthy Food

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Whale is in the kitchen today cooking. Recently, his favorite cooking program on television made him yearn to cook something healthy in his household by investing a lot of time in it. His cooking plan for the evening involves making two pots of baked vegetables and two sandwiches (with dabs of mustard as fillings) for him and Hot Dog. His beloved pet is propped up in front of the television and catching an episode of Superwoof – a cartoon about a beagle that is a superhero, who saves innocent people (and animals) from mayhem and destruction caused by villains.

Whale: Dog…how many types of vegetables did you want again for tonight? I added eight.
Hot Dog: I was thinking three but eight is obviously better.
Whale: Alright! I am almost done puppy…I will be right there to catch Superwoof with you.
Hot Dog: Take your time…I am taping it again.

Whale hums to himself and pours steaming vegetables from a big pan and into two purple bowls and then tops it with sliced onions and chopped chilies; he also places the two sandwiches on a small brown plate and takes it to the living room to dig in.

Hot Dog (taking its bowl): It smells good! Which flavored dressing did you use today?
Whale: None. But there is enough of toppings for you. Eat before it gets cold.
Hot Dog: Yeah, going to! You just missed Superwoof rescuing some kittens from the tree this evening, by the way, and the episode was so entertaining and funny!
Whale: Was it? Oh! I will just catch it later! I am just happy I can share my recently discovered enthusiasm for healthy cooking with you! I am still on a diet, you know, and it makes me so mad whole day. But now that you are also eating a vegetarian meal with me, I feel even more happy!
Hot Dog: Oh! That is so great! I am also really happy because it looks as if healthy food will begin to taste good around the house for a change now that you can no longer think it is a great idea to outpour your rage with dieting right into the food!

Whale’s Fancy Lunch

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Whale is on a burger and iced lemonade mission today. He is at a drive-in restaurant and he’s just ordered twenty burgers and twenty iced lemonades for the office. His boss has some very important industry friends of hers over for lunch and has sent Whale out to make the food arrangements – there is a big book fair coming up in the winter to which Bart wants to ensure a lot of her publishing house’s books are sent, for people to purchase. It’s one of the biggest book fairs on the calendar for the book industry, so Bart needs to be absolutely certain that the meeting turns out to be a good one for everyone she’s asked to come to it.

Whale, meanwhile, is sat in his car thinking how hot this summer’s been. Also, how excited he feels to have his boss entrust him with something more than just editing one book after another, on one subject after another. Whale checks his watch from time to time and sighs heavily…three minutes and still no sight of brown bags, a little bit greased at the bottom.

Whale (thinks to himself): It’s 12 o’clock already. I wonder whats taking them so long…I expected fast food delivery to be super fast but this place doesn’t really do as it advertises. What’s it’s name again? I’m sure Hot Dog would have a better memory than me over places like these.

Whale pokes his head out of the window (of his car) and notices that there is a huge sign in red and purple saying The Veg Burger Station. He takes out his notepad from his backpack and scribbles down the name of the place – if the food turns out to be good then he and Hot Dog can come here more often.

Waiter: Here you go! Twenty green chilli and ‘station’s original veg-patty’ burgers and twenty small-sized iced lemonades. Sorry for the delay! It’s been a really long queue today! But hope to see you again!
Whale (gruffs): Thank you!

Whale drives off back to his office within twenty minutes. Inside, there’s a lot of chattering going on about the book fair, and several of the office workers have got a heated debate going on over which books may or may not make it this year.

Three knocks on the second boardroom’s door…

Bart (opens the door): Yes!
Whale: Boss! I have got refreshments!
Bart: Oh! Thank you! Please come on in!…also, please put the refreshments on the table. You can then go and get yourself to eat something from the cafeteria…it’s on me! Thanks a lot for the last-minute trouble!
Whale: Oh! Thank you boss!

Ten minutes later…

Whale is sat with a crunchy salad and a buterred-bun sandwich, with melted cheese fillings. The cafeteria is oddly empty today, with only a couple of workers spotted eating their way through lunch in silence, or noisly with coworkers.

Whale (sighs and thinks to himself): Boy, has today been different at work. Since, Hot Dog has been back from her grandmother’s I haven’t had a moment to spare to myself. Dog just always keeps bouncing around the house…I think I could use today’s quiet lunch with my thoughts.

But soon enough, everything doesn’t go as planned…

Margot: Hello Whale!
Whale (looks up from his lunch):…………………………..Margot! What are you doing here?
Margot: I was just on my way to a friend’s house – she recently got married and I really wanted to meet her and her new family. I haven’t actually seen her since her wedding. Uh, so I thought I coupld spare some time and drop by and meet you, as well, along the way. It’s been some time since we got the chance to talk.
Whale: Um…we had a fight Margot and we no longer just talk after that.
Margot: But Whale…you know it’s really just one of those ups and downs of a relationship.
Whale: Um…Margot! I really think you shouldn’t be here. If my boss…if um, Bart finds out you are here in the cafeteria she is going to get really mad. And I also don’t want to see you anymore. I really, really feel like I don’t want to. Did you not understand that from our fight?
Margot: But Whale…I really miss you!
Whale: Margot…please leave me alone! I’m scared for my life now. You don’t have to visit me ‘just because…’ anymore!…
Margot (shouts): Fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just stay with your boss!!! Just do anything you feel like to do!!!

Margot then stomps out of the cafeteria, leaving Whale looking frightened, and the whole cafeteria staring at him.

Whale (looking all around): What you all looking at? Never had a crazy ex-girlfriend disturb you at lunch? I have had plenty. And to think…the woman must appear, the moment I sat down with my melted cheese bun…

Kung Fu Panda 3

Po meets Li, and it is the return of Kai

Po, the mischievous panda has a ball!

Rating: 8/10

Kung Fu Panda 3 is a lesson in the special bond a father and his son has, as well as how to fight a demonic warrior out to destroy all that the panda, Po holds dear. Produced by DreamWorks Animation and starring household names such as Jack Black, JK Simmons, Kate Hudson and Dustin Hoffman, the animated film aims to be a crowd-pleaser with its musical backgrounds, breathtaking mountainous landscapes and engaging spirit world.

In the movie, the evil bull spirit, Kai, wields deadly blades as he battles the dumpling-loving Po, under the guidance of his minuscule mentor, Master Shifu. Along the way, Po meets a temptress, too – a seductive panda, who likes to dance with ribbons.

What I loved about the film was the panda-love adding emotional gravity to all of the butt-kicking: when Po learns of his biological father, Li, he goes to enormous lengths to discover his panda-self, while still having space in his heart for the noodle-hunting goose Mr Ping, Po’s adoptive father. Li takes Po to a hidden panda village, as he begins his training to fight Kai. He learns important ideas about life as he prepares to fight the return of Kai from the spirit kingdom. The film is worth watching for its dazzling storyline and background designs dabbling in vibrant colours, that sometimes even gets mysteriously attractive when it’s about the spirit kingdom.

Whale Has A New Neighbour

The Rice Effect

Jack and Hot Dog are spending Valentine’s Day together by watching Mary Poppins. It’s a beloved classic to Hot Dog. This is the first time Jack is watching it and he is absolutely hooked onto the children’s masterpiece. In the middle of it, Whale suddenly arrives with a friend, as they are watching the movie on television.

Whale: Baby, meet Moti Pasteur! He’s our new neighbour.

Hot Dog: Hello!!! You now live in the house, the right of us?

Moti Pasteur: Yes! I am very excited to be moving from New Delhi. So, exciting to have sailed here!

Jack: Woooooooahhhhhhhhh! How come?

Moti Pasteur: I am going to work here now, that’s how come!

Whale: How interesting, isn’t it Dog?…Where is your banana-leaf loving friend?

Moti Pasteur: You mean Moja Bleu?…I think he left for the local supermarket to get some rice for our dinner tonight, a couple of hours ago!…He is so slow, that one!

Whale Chases Ice Cream Sundae

Hot Dog wants to play with her rabbits. But she can’t because they are fast asleep after catching breakfast. They’re so lazy thinks Hot Dog as she slurps strawberry ice cream made by Jim and picks up the vintage phone that’s ringing, with a purpose.
Hot Dog: Hello! OMG Jack!
Jack: Yeah, did you just see the advert for Happy Meals on Cartoon Network?
Hot Dog: I did, yeah! Like, who wants Ben 10 that badly – it’s everywhere! They never put out good toys!
Jack: I know! It’s no Superman or Batman…AGAIN!
At that precise time, Whale pages Jim an important message.
Whale: I am pretty certain I just saw a cupcake cross the road.
Jim: (pages back) What?
Whale: The school in one of the neighborhood close to ours is having a school play on and a boy just crossed the road opposite the shop as a cupcake, as I’m still driving to the shop.
Jim: What show-offs!
Whale: Mmmmmm…I think I’m gonna chase him, his father was an Ice Cream Sundae!