It was an early fall morning, the leaves tussling on the ground, the air crisp, chilled, the smell of warm apple cider permeated the rooms of the bandit cave as the RMS bandits sipped cider and sampled donuts before planning their next big event.
"It's been a long while since we've been out there" Justine said, "and I don't think that anyone would be looking for us now!"
"Yeah" Bridget chimed in, "there are tons of great things on that site ... newbies have no idea, and I have the perfect alibi, I'm still in Hawaii!" she winked for emphasis.
That's fantastic for you Bridget, I said with a smile, keeping my eye on the large frosted donut with strawberry filling. But what are we going to use as an alibi if they are out there waiting? If we get too greedy, we're bound to be caught!
"Don't be so sensitive!" Bridget said, holding her cup out, as to say more cider please. "And eat that donut Artie" Justine teased, "you've had your eye on the thing for the past 20 minutes! I'm tired of hearing about how fat you think you are!"
Justine, I'm dieting - you know I can't cheat, I said as I poured more warm cider into Bridget's ornately decorated, larger than life coffee mug: a soft pink 2-cup ceramic bowl, resembling a coffee cup, the initial 'B' printed on the side in black, with brightly fired diamonds outlining it's shape. Where did you get this? I asked.
"Oh, you remember that stuff that got taken from my house when I wasn't part of the first trip?" she said, wiping her hands on the toile and gingham napkins, "well, the insurance agency was very kind ..." she laughed.
"Damn! That really works!" Justine said. "Lets make a stop over in Florida to pick up that house I can't sell. You think the Insurance company could pay out for a total house theft?" We all laugh with Justine, as she throws the frosted donut in my direction.
"You caught it! You have to eat it!" she yelled.
I took a bite of the most delicious donut, sipped on the last of my warm cider, and laid out the map for Justine and Bridget to see. "Short trip Artie, just three places? Who is joining us this time?" Bridget wondered. Just a few people. We couldn't land a large vehicle, what with the damage Justine did the Kathy's big red bus. "One fender bender!" she spouted! "Hey, hey, hey - no time for arguing kids" Bridget teased, "lets get a move on ... I have to make my pedicure appointment by the pool. I'm in Hawaii, remember?"
We all have a simultaneous wink.
We pile into the Bandit Mobile and head toward our first mark on the map.
HarryHenderson's Manhattan Apartment. I absolutely must have those silver buffet lamps on the mantle! "Ooo, you know I've been looking for pillows ..." Justine says as she starts to shove the pillows from Harry's sofa under her shirt. "Hey Artie, does this make me look fat?" Bridget gives a deep belly laugh, and just then we hear the elevator chime. "uh-oh!" Justine says, shoving one last pillow under her shirt before the three of us slip out to the balcony.
"Now what!?" Bridget screams. "We're on the 49th floor!"
Just then, the patio door slides open, Justine grabs a pillow from under her shirt, preparing to strike at Harry hoping to knock him down long enough to be able to run out of the apartment. She rears back, steady stance, and "!BAM!" pillow's Jill right in the face!
"What are you doing here!?" Justine says.
"You told me to meet you here stupid!" Jill replies, taking the pillow from Justine and hitting her several times about the head and shoulders before finally Bridget breaks up the fight, and says: "have we met?"
"I'm Jill, Justine's sister. I read your blog everyday, and I just love Artie, although I rarely make it over to his blog ... you see, I'm just too busy dodging pillows thrown by my darling sister."
"Well, it's nice to meet you, finally! Oh, and just so you know, I'm not here ... I'm in Hawaii."
Jill looks at Bridget, confused. I'll explain later, I tell her ... oh, and you should definitely lock Justine up every once in a while, and check out my blog, I'm giving away a lamp you know!
"FREE!?" Jill asks. Yep, I reply.
Just then, Justine takes a pillow out of her shirt and wallops Jill over the head, "it's mine - so don't even think about it!"
We head back through the lovely apartment and out into the hallway. "Who else is meeting us?" Bridget asked. "Jill is the only person I told, honestly!" The elevator door opens, and it's none other than our dear Buffie. "Hey girls, oh ... and Artie, glad I caught you here, I was running late."
"Oh, and I told Buffie too." Justine says with a smile.
We all hop into the elevator, and jump into the double parked Bandit Mobile. "Hey, ya'll wanna stop for some coffee or somethin'?" Buffie says in her cute Texas accent. I whip into the Starbucks and Buffy runs inside after taking orders.
Back in the mobile, Starbucks in hand we head to kaikai's living room:
I grab the nesting tables, Bridget grabs the lamp, Jill and Justine lift the sofa, one on each end, and back it narrowly out the french doors. Just then, Buffie honks the horn of the Bandit Mobile: our warning. KaiKai must be near. Just then, we spot the Bandit Mobile pull into the ally way, we stow away our treasures and jump inside, narrowly averting KaiKai.
"I was for sure you guys were gonna get caught!" Buffie said. "I've never seen you move so fast Justine!"
"Well, I can run when I need to - woulda been faster if I hadn't had Jill clingin' onto my shirt slowing me down!" Justine shows off her torn sleeve to the group.
"I only grabbed your arm because you dropped the sofa and I couldn't do it alone, you lazy ..."
"ALRIGHT ALRIGHT, enough! Don't make me pull this car over!" Buffie yells, as I turn on the radio. Britney Spears, "Womanizer" has just started, and Justine says, "Ooo, this should be our theme song!"
"Why, it has nothing to do with bandits, or decorating, or stealing..." Jill says.
"But the beat is catchy, Katie and I love this song" Bridget says.
"Ya are a womanizer baba" Buffie sings along.
We all sing along to the lyrics, before making it to our last stop this trip: leela4493's RMS Inspired Master Bedroom.
Buffie gives the list of what she wants: nightstands and rug.
"But I wanted those nightstands!" Jill says.
"Tough luck crybaby ... maybe next time." Justine says pushing her out of the bandit mobile.
"You can have 'em Jill - I'll get another pair some other time" Buffie calls.
We rush inside, Bridget and I grab the lamps, while Jill lifts up the bed so that Justine can pull out the rug. Just then, "OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!" Justine is trapped under the bed, and Jill is laughing hysterically. Bridget and I set the lamps down gently, and try to lift the bed so that Justine can get out. "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" Justine yells.
Jill runs for the car, knowing that once Bridget and I manage to get the bed off of Justine there was no hope for her. Justine crawls out from under the bed, rug in tow, and chases after Jill.
"Grab the nightstands Artie, I'll get the lamps" Bridget says.
We run to the car, Justine and Jill walloping each other with pillows in the street. Get in the car, now! I yell.
"Yeah, come on now, we're about to get caught!" Bridget says. "Well, y'all are about to get caught - I'm in Hawaii!" We all wink, except for Jill who is still extremely confused.
On the ride back to the Bandit Cave, I explained to Jill why Bridget was in Hawaii, why Buffie had her cute Texas accent, and how we really didn't "steal" anything from these fine RMS'ers. Everything in the story is made up, all similarities to any persons or events that actually exist are purely coincidental, and of course, she may hit Justine among the head and neck - with pillows - in real life as much as she'd like.