Weekend Extra – Hullaba Lulu 9.1 – a Recap

Saturday, June 2 2018

Sphinx Tesla Tower
Image by Teagan Geneviene

Hello, everyone!  No, you’re not confused — this is not Wednesday.  However, my Saturday post this week looks a lot like Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Rob Goldstein and I have been having so much fun with the diesel-punk series, Hullaba Lulu, that it’s hard to believe the first chapter premiered March 21st.  So I thought I’d use my weekend post to write a chapter that’s sort of a review.

I’m using one item from the next set of “three things” that Rob sent to drive the story. So I’ll call this Chapter 9.1.  My quirky image above has some hints about what’s to come in the future.  That said…

… All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 9.1


Valentino Bots Green Metropolis 6
Valentino and Angel-bots in the train’s control room, by Rob Goldstein

The engine gave a steady pulse that seemed to underlie everything.  It reminded me of a heartbeat.  I focused my hearing, trying to listen only to that vague background sound as I walked down the corridor in Valentino’s train.  When I came to the door of the dimly lit control room someone grabbed my arm and pulled me inside.

“Shhh!” Pearl hissed.  “You’ve got to see this.”

My fair-haired friend motioned to the Ouiji board that was connected to the stationary angel-bot in the train’s navigation controls.

“Oh, I saw it do that the first time,” I told her.  “But there was a lot of messy ectoplasm then.  It’s still pretty keen.”

Rose and Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Still holding my arm, Pearl tiptoed closer to the board, watching the triangular planchette.  My grandfather and my other pal, Rose, stood near Valentino.  I noticed several of the angel-bots who performed various tasks and services on the train had gathered at the back of the room.  They leaned forward in what appeared to be anticipation, clicking softly to one another.

Moving steadily, the planchette pointed to the letters C, O, T.  Then it made a jiggling move before pointing to T again.  The quiet clicking of the angel-bots gradually increased in volume.  The triangular device then pointed to O and N, with a slight pause before returning to C again.

I saw Valentino’s lips curve to a little one-sided smile.  The angel-bots started to bounce up and down on their toes when the planchette finished spelling out the word Club.

“The Cotton Club?  Is that where we’re going?” Rose queried.

Bots and People Cotton Club-5-22--3
Angel-bots and passengers at the Cotton Club, by Rob Goldstein

It was obvious that the angel-bots were eager to go to the famous night club, but I wasn’t.  I hoped to visit some far off, exotic place.  This train adventure was probably the only chance I’d ever have to do go someplace like Paris, or Tokyo, or maybe Istanbul, or something.

“Back to New York already?” I asked in disappointment.

The mysterious man who simply named himself Valentino had made no promises.  He offered to take us away from the seedy characters who showed an unhealthy interest in Rose.

I first saw the group of men in a Ford and thought they were revenuers.  That was also the night we met Valentino.  Later I learned those men were actually Russian spies, who were trying to get that Tom Driberg to work for them again.  Yep, Tom the journalist was a spy.  Tom said the Russians meant to nab Rose, whom he called Margosha, as leverage.  He also claimed that Rose used to work with him as a spy.  I still wasn’t sure of that was true about Rose, but an uneasy feeling in my gut said it was so.

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls
Valentino, Lulu, Tom Driberg, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino’s train was not an ordinary machine.  It whisked us to Atlantic City so fast that it seemed impossible.  However, it turned out that place was not the amusement park we had visited many times.  It was a weird version of the Atlantic City we knew.  Anyhow, Tom Driberg and those Russian spies managed to tag along.  They tried to grab Rose, but she got away.

I glimpsed my unlamented mother, Lauren.  She abandoned Gramps and me when I was small.  I wrote-off my mother long before that day.  Everybody deserves the chance to be around decent people — even me.  However, seeing her was very upsetting to my grandfather.

The tilt-a-whirl in the park was doing crazy things.  Laruen jumped onto it and disappeared in its flashing lights.  Later, when the Russians cornered Tom Driberg, he also used the tilt-a-whirl to get away.  We didn’t know where either Lauren or Tom may have gone.  I was fine with that.

Valentino Tilt-a-Whril Tom_Travelin Sideways
Valentino as Tom escapes the spies via the tilt-a-whirl, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino kept Gramps from following Lauren (his daughter).  He said it was impossible for the tilt-a-whirl to go to the same place twice, so Gramps would not be able to catch up with her.

Meanwhile the entire amusement park became unstable.  Buildings started to collapse.  The great Ferris wheel broke free, demolishing everything in its path.  The huge wheel careened toward us.  We all escaped on the train, in the nick of time, leaving the Russian spies behind.  Who could say what happened to them, but no one seemed to think they would be able to follow us.


The train's automat, Lulu, Valentino, Pearl
Lulu, Valentino, and Pearl in the train’s automat. Art by Rob Goldstein

Dejectedly, I went to the automat.  I dipped a celery stalk from my bloody mary into a tiny bowl of horseradish before loudly crunching it.  Then I stirred a little more of the grated spicy root into my drink.  I loved the automat on Valentino’s train.  The cocktail was so delicious that I almost forgot why I went to the vending car in the first place.

Valentino told us to be sure and go to the automat to get money from a machine there.  We’d need it at the Cotton Club.  I was sure I had enough mazuma to pay my own way, but horsefeathers, if he wanted it to be his treat, I’d let him.

I did the Camel Walk over to the currency exchange machine, but dancing didn’t cheer me up like it usually did.

Opening the chrome and glass door of a compartment, I removed an envelope of cash.  When I examined it, I noticed the dollar bills were wrong.  Where the pyramid on the back should have had the Eye of Providence, it had an Eye of Horus instead. 

Automat Clara Bow and man mix
Clara Bo (inset), Paramount Automat 1931

Then I realized that just as Atlantic City had not been the same city I knew, New York City was likely to be sideways too.  That’s what Sipsing the Gypsy king fortuneteller-bot said at the amusement park when I asked him if we’d gone back in time ― sideways.

As I placed the packet of money into my beaded handbag, I heard the soft clockwork clicking of angel-bots behind me.  Wicky, Wacky, and Woo bounced on their toes in what could only be excitement.  I tried to say something nice to the angel-bots, but my heart wasn’t in it.

“Yes, Miss.  We love the Cotton Club.  Dynamite is going to sing.  He doesn’t know it, but we’ve made sure Hot Ginger will be there to hear him,” Wacky told me in a conspiratorial tone.

Bot in Spotlight Cotton Club-5-22--2
Angel-bot onstage, by Rob Goldstein

I had to smile at the housekeeping bot’s Bronx accent.  It seemed so out of place, but that’s what I liked about it.  It was wacky to fit his name.  I had named several of the angel-bots.  A quick impulse caused me to base their names on the song, Back in Nagasaki.  It turned out that they were ecstatic about getting names. 

The angel-bots opened the same compartment that I had just emptied.  As if by magic, it contained three more envelopes of currency.  I decided I really needed to learn more about Valentino’s train.  Then a disconcerting thought came to me.

“Do you notice anything… funny about this money?” I asked the trio of angel-bots.  “I mean on the pyramid?  It’s not counterfeit or anything is it?”

“No, Miss.  The automat gives us the correct currency for whatever place the train stops,” Woo assured me in her Chinese sounding accent.

It was intriguing that despite the fact that the angel-bots looked mostly alike, their voices were apparently unique.  I asked Woo about hers, and if she came from China.

“No, Miss.  I my voice comes from Shanghai.  But in that Shanghai Night Raid 1931 happened in 1921. 

Just then Boom-boom walked into the automat.  He was as excited as his fellow bots about going to the club.  Woo quickly told him my concerns about the funny looking money.

“Not to worry,” Boom-boom told me in that posh British voice.  “It’s not a trick from the Bolshies or any of those Russian spies who followed us to Atlantic City.  The automat never fails to provide the correct provisions,” he added with a half-bow.


The End

I had to give a nod to one of my favorite anime series, Night Raid 1931.  The artwork in it never fails to amaze me. 

Real World Notes

About the “bloody mary” 

Is there any wonder we often have trouble communicating?  The English language can be so subjective and confusing.  As a career technical editor and writer, I often tell people to choose a style and stick with it.  The Chicago Manual of Style has the clearest rule for cocktail and food names:  Don’t capitalize these terms unless the names literally refer to the city or person.  For example, Chicago says don’t capitalize “swiss cheese” unless you mean cheese that comes from Switzerland.  Also if you follow the Chicago rules, you wouldn’t capitalize “irish coffee” or the “french fries.”

San Francisco artist Rob Goldstein is taking a break from the illustrations for Hullaba Lulu.  He’s worked very hard, and is having some well deserved time away.  Rob has also made several videos for the “Lulu-verse” — and in doing so, he has created a soundtrack for the series, filled with Roaring Twenties songs.  You can see the entire collection of videos here.

If you haven’t gotten on the train, you can catch up by clicking the Hullaba Lulu category on the right side of the page. You’ll meet Lulu, her Gramps, friends Rose and Pearl, and some other characters as they begin a journey with an enigmatic man who only calls himself Valentino.  Listen for the trumpet’s call and the conductor’s announcement, All aboard!   That’s here each week for Jazz Age Wednesdays.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!


Here’s my shameless self-promotion…

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 

78 thoughts on “Weekend Extra – Hullaba Lulu 9.1 – a Recap

    1. I’m honored that you are catching up and on this train, Lavinia. I always like to do recaps. I realize how hard it is to keep up with a weekly serial. Even more so when it runs for quite a while. This one has gone on twice as long as I anticipated already.
      You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Teri. I remember when Lost came out. I saw a couple of episodes and just didn’t realize that it was a paranormal show. But I was working nights at the time and couldn’t watch regularly, so I never looked into it further. Of course, it became so famous that later I knew it was supposed to be something supernatural.
      Hugs for the new week. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Catherine Wolffe and commented:
    My friend, Teagan Geneviene is a master at creating fascinating worlds. I hope you’ll join me in her entertaining frolic through the Roaring Twenties done sideways. Here’s her latest post from Hullaba Lulu!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Woo-hoo! Catherine is on the train! Thanks for sharing from your supernatural castle (sorry — I just love your banner image), and for this pos-i-lutely terrific intro, my friend. You’re the cat’s pajamas! And the werewolf’s catnip (though I’m pretty sure they didn’t say that in the 20s…) 😉 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    If you have missed the odd one or two of Jazz Age Wednesday episodes and the adventures of Hullaba Lulu and her friends, then don’t worry. Teagan gives us a double whammy today with a catch up and a little more to think about as the friends are aboard the train to New York… or is it as something is dodgy about the currency (its still damp!) and for some reason the angel bots…Wicky, Wacky and Woo are very excited by the upcoming performance of Dynamite (the singer, not the boom, boom) Don’t let me confuse you further, head over and get it all straight for yourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can hardly believe this story started way back in March. It seems like only yesterday and yet so much has happened. The recap is wonderful and especially for those just joining in. I clicked on the video link (as you knew I would) and I love it. This could SO be a movie, Teagan! I love all the characters and can’t wait to see what adventures they all get into next.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Teagan, loved the review episode. It got me onboard. The story came alive with your creative storytelling. I could see the characters, of course, with Rob’s fantastic photos. Now that Ouija board is something else. I used to play that in high school with girlfriends. It was all about Am I going to the prom? Does (insert a name) like me? And automats in NYC in the late 50s. Remember them well, but not filled with money! Have a peaceful weekend! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m pleased as punch that you’re aboard this train, Christine. I’m having a great time “furnishing” that diesel-punk train. LOL. An automat that dispensed money would be wonderful, but right now I’d settle for one that gave me spaghetti. 😉 Your girlhood Ouija board questions sound like the ones Pearl asked Sipsing the fortuneteller. Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I need this automat in my life – I seem to have a knack for picking the wrong thing. Great episode, Teagan, I really get drawn into these little stories and go along for the ride, as it were. I love the image of Pearl and Rose, it fits the flapper time so well. I also really like the image in the dining car, it helped complete the illusion of being on that train. I hope you and Rob have a great weekend. thanks for starting mine off with a smile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, it’s me thanking you for being on this train. I’m glad you enjoyed this review episode. I’ve given that diesel-punk train so many things I’d like to have! Some angel-bots to help with chores, money just appearing… horsefeathers, I’d even like that Ouija board to plot my course for me!
      Rob has made so many beautiful images and videos — his break is well earned.
      Thanks for dropping by. I’ll be over at No Facilities to share a virtual beer soon.
      You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Robbie. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I realize it has to be hard for everyone to keep up after so many weeks, even if they’ve read every episode. When Rob needed a break, so I thought a rewind was in order. Have a satisfying Saturday. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that even following the series from the beginning, it’s great to get a catchup to bring everything together. Today’s episode reminded me of a TV programme where they discussed ancient inventions and I recently learned that the first vending machine was invented in ancient Greece (it was used at a temple to dispense holy water). Go figure! Thanks, Teagan. I hope Rob has a great break and look forward to the next episode.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Olga. That’s interesting. I was surprised to learn vending machines went as far back as the 20s, but I had no idea they went back to ancient Greece. Applesauce! That’s really interesting. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.
      I’m happy you enjoyed this review chapter. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such another wonderful episode Teagan, which had me smiling in many places.. Ectoplasm for one I am familiar with 😲😁 and loved the line when you said she did the camel walk 🙂 And I remember those beaded bags, my Gran gave me some, which I had kept them,
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Teagan.. I went over to Robs videos and they were amazing, And I bet you have been thrilled with the result.. 🙂
    Take care and I always find it amazing just what you manage to accomplish with your day job too..
    Love and Hugs my friend.. ❤ 😸

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Sue, thank you so much. Rob will be delighted that you visited his videos.
      I tried to bring back some little details from the past episodes, like Lulu’s beaded bag from Chapter 1, and her fondness for horseradish.
      I appreciate your visits, kindness, and encouragement. I believe I’m an abject failure in every other part of my life. Getting through the workweek isn’t success. So it means a lot to me that you’d say that. Love & hugs right back. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

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