Captain's Log: 06/09/11 2105Z. After successfully transporting a Giant Panda to its new digs in the Granby Zoo, in the province of Quebec, Canada, the intrepid aircrew of the Sidepodcast Airways Osprey has a brief layover in Montreal-Dorval airport in preparation for the long haul from Montreal back home to Rockall, with refueling stops in St. John's Newfoundland and Reykjavik, Iceland. With the Flight Plans filed, the Osprey being refueled, and being loaded with supplies to keep the residents of Rockall going for a few more weeks, the aircrew have a few hours to rest and secure provisions for the long flight home. Their travels take them to Ile Notre-Dame, home of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where we pick their story already in progress...
First Officer Lou: "Yes, the marmot hole should be right around here"....
Animal: "Excusez-moi, mais ce qui sont vous fasiant?"
Capt: "Tiens! Mon Français est terrible. I am looking for the marmot that lives at the Casino Hairpin, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. I believe his name is Maurice."
Animal: "Sorry, there are no marmots here. Try Vancouver Island. There's a Maurice Marmot there that skies and snowboards."
Lou: "Then who are you?"
Chuck Wood the Groundhog: " I am a groundhog. My name is Charlie Wood. You can call me Chuck."
Capt: "So Chuck, I believe you actually live on the inside of the Casino Hairpin ?"
Chuck: "Oui. It has great views of the cars coming around the corner."
Lou: "You are not afraid of the F1 cars, then ?"
Chuck: "No, but jez, you think It would be easier to collect autographs from drivers than to invade the circuit while the race is running. Honestly, I am more afraid of the camera boom vehicles. They should be more careful where they plant their support legs. One of them squished the tail of mon cheri. She looks like ...not sure how to say it ... le quel est a appelé l'anglais 'un castor'."
Capt: "Ouch, what happened to her afterwards?"
Chuck: "She is currently being looked after in the Veterinary Clinic at the Biodome de Montreal they are trying to come up with a way to fix her flattened tail."
Lou: "What is the Biodome de Montreal ?"
Chuck: "Well it started life as the velodrome for the 76 Olympic Games but now it is used as an indoor zoo. Except for the Rain Forest and Antarctic sections, they concentrate on Quebec type biospheres. Mon Cheri hangs around with Lucille Loutre."
Capt: "Let me guess, since "Loutre" is French for Otter that means Lucille is a Francophone Otter. That should make Christine happy."
Lou: "So where's a good place to eat around here?"
Chuck: "I am not sure, since we groundhogs are so cute, we can get free handouts from the tourists at le Monde amusement park. (There are tons of Youtube videos backing this up) You might want to try Schwartz's Deli if you want their world-famous Smoked Montreal Meat sandwiches, but be warned, the queue is slower than a HRT!"
Capt: "Look out Crazy Driver!"*
Chuck: "M***e ! That driver was going to turn me into a Mary Gallagher!!!!!"
Lou: "Who is Mary Gallagher ?"
Chuck: "You mean was... Her Headless Ghost is supposed to stalk the streets of old Montreal every 7 years. Her next appearance is in 2012."
Lou: " EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK! A Ghost !!!!! Let's go see her! I want to take pictures of spirits! Now's my chance."
Capt: "Easy, there..... There's no such things as ghosts. Trust me, the only place I get to see spirits is in the cellar of my house...."
Chuck: "Really, the people who run the Ghost Tours would beg to differ..."
Capt: "That's just silly stuff. I have a good idea, let us check out the Planetarium so that you can brush up on your navigational skills.
Lou: "But why should I go to a Planetarium ? We have on-board GPS, Radar, Distance Measuring Equipment, LORAN and Radio Compasses..".
Capt: "And if the electronics short out at night? I think you should hit the books on your celestial navigation, rookie....We will talk it over at a Starbucks. For now let us say that shooting the stars is just such a lost art as writing up and understanding lap charts... ":P
Lou: "But what will we do for now?"
Capt: "Hmm, I am not sure - with the Habs out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I can not treat you to an (ice) Hockey game. Well, we could always run the Lachine Rapids....or you can learn how to scuba dive here... Want to join us Chuck ?"
Chuck: "Do I look like un castor to you? I can't swim ...."
Capt: " Yeah, if we are lucky, we should check it out. Say, since Chuck does live in the hairpin you just maybe the critter that Christine is after. After Joe's show, how about a free ride in an airplane to Rockall ?"
Chuck: "No thanks, I am afraid of heights."
Lou: "But I thought you where a Woodchuck, Chuck"
Chuck: "I would be if not for my fear of heights. the reason why I am a groundhog is that I hog the ground."
And with that we leave our fearless aircrew without a Montreal Mascot and Christine without a marmot. Lou wonders what the price will be of this failure. The Captain then reveals his cunning backup plan....
Lou: "Do you think Christine is going to be mad at us for not bringing back a marmot?"
Capt: "Do not worry, this isn't SPECTRE and Christine is not going to drop you into a shark tank for a single failure. Besides, we can always tell Christine that the Backstreet Boys are having a joint concert with The New Kids On The Block at Copps Coliseum on August 6th at what goes for my Hometown now..." That should make her happy.
To be continued in the comments?