Jazz Age Wednesday — Pip & Artie, Aghast at a Ghost

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading
Author Neil Gaiman for Get Caught Reading

May is #GetCaughtReading Month!  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape himself, and I are together again to support this initiative that promotes the fun of reading for all ages.

Chris and I have collaborated on several short stories that include his character, a genius ape named Artie and my first flapper, Pip.  It all started with Time Travel Esc-Ape.  Then there was Pip in the Corn Maze, followed by the three-part Pip and Artie Meet Again.

I hope you Get Caught Reading our new story!  It is set during the time-line of my upcoming novel A Ghost in the Kitchen.  All right then, let’s get a wiggle on and head to the Jazz Age!

Pip and Artie — Aghast at a Ghost

Fearful man and woman circa 1926
Ghost Stories Magazine circa 1926

“Hello,” I answered the telephone.  “Andy, tha―”

“Paisley Idelle Peabody, where are your manners.  That’s no proper way to answer the telephone.  Give me that,” Granny Phanny demanded as she took the receiver away from me.

“TREmont 3332, Peabody residence,” my grandmother spoke into the receiver as I turned my head so she wouldn’t see me roll my eyes.  “Why yes Andy, you may.  One moment please.  Paisley, Andy is calling for you.”

Granny gave me a stern look and handed me the card she kept beside the telephone.  It was titled The Telephone Pledge

“I believe in the Golden Rule and will try to be as Courteous and Considerate over the Telephone as if Face to Face.”

It continued with such advise as telephone manners are as important for voice-to-voice courtesy, as face-to-face politeness.  Instructions to speak directly into the mouthpiece with lips a half inch away, and keep mustache out of opening were included.

I got caught reading it aloud to my pal Andy.  It wasn’t the reading that annoyed Granny, but my laughter.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer
Young Lucille Ball as Pip

“You’d best take that seriously or they might discontinue our service,” she warned.

“Oh Granny!  They wouldn’t really do that,” I defended as she walked away with her best bluenose attitude.

My grandmother had distracted me to the extent that I forgot to put the finishing touches on my glad rags before Andy came to pick me up in his old jalopy.  I had a special pendant with a beautiful labradorite crystal that I meant to show him.  I had recently told him the story behind that gem and he was keen to see it in person.

Andy and I weren’t gone long before we went back for the pendant.  However, during that short time a lot happened.  I only wish I could have seen it firsthand.

You see, my friend Aristotle, also known as Artie, dropped in at Granny’s cottage.  That wouldn’t have mattered if Artie was an ordinary guy.  Unfortunately for my grandmother’s state of mind, Artie was a time traveler.  Not only that, he was an ape!  He was very polite, and a genius to boot, but an ape nonetheless.  He was also the one who gave me the labradorite pendant. 

This is how Artie described what transpired.


Artie sketch thinking color steampunk
Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

When she went into town with Andy, Pip carelessly left the labradorite crystal pendant laying out on her dressing table, instead of in her jewelry box.  That wouldn’t have mattered with an ordinary necklace, but the pendant acted as a transponder which allowed Artie to find Pip when he went back in time.

As fate would have it, Granny found the labradorite crystal while tidying up.

She was strangely drawn to the pendant.  Phanny Irene Peabody picked up the crystal and held it, soaking in its gentle glowing warmth.

A loud “pots and pans” type of crash startled her.  The commotion was followed by a shouted string of words that sounded oddly foreign, but were obviously from someone who needed their mouth washed out with soap.

Granny, still gripping the pendant, hurried angrily towards her kitchen.

Meanwhile, as Granny ran toward the ruckus in her kitchen, Aristotle, the genius ape was summoned to his time machine by the labradorite crystal that Granny Phanny had unknowingly activated.

The pendant had sent a distress call.  So, he dropped what he was doing, hastily donned his time travelling gear and activated his portable time machine motorcycle.

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle
Artie’s portable time machine, image courtesy Chris Graham

Artie arrived in Savannah, Georgia of the Roaring Twenties.

Artie took off his helmet and gave a huge pointy fanged grin of satisfaction.  He was excited at the prospect of seeing his friend Pip again, but of course he was also worried because of the distress signal.

The labradorite crystal pendant locator had worked a treat, bringing him just outside the cottage where Pip lived with her grandmother.

The link between pendant and locator had brought him within 30 seconds of the time when the pendant had sent the alarm.

As Artie hurried over to the cottage, the kitchen door burst open and what at first glance appeared to be a rotund man in Renaissance garb rushed out, ducking and weaving in an attempt to avoid the pots and pans flying behind him.

Artie bounded over and brought down what he presumed was an intruder in Pip’s home.

Granny appeared at the kitchen door and clapped her hands, applauding Artie’s heroics.

“Why thank you so very much!  That strange looking man was in my kitchen.  Bring him over here, so I can give him a piece of my mind.”

Dangling the figure by the scruff of his neck, Artie obliged.

Granny was so engrossed in seeing who had spilled her kitchenware, she didn’t notice that Artie wasn’t a man, until she looked up to thank him again.

Artie was careful not to grin, it showed his fangs too much for many humans and frightened them, so he gave a broad, but closed-lip smile instead.

Granny sank down to the ground in a fit of the vapors.

As she recovered, responding to the cool compress on her forehead and the muttered entreaties from two male voices, Granny slowly opened her eyes – and wished she hadn’t.

The man in the clothes of a Renaissance Era chef winked at her flirtatiously.  Then with the sound of a fizzing pop, he disappeared into thin air! 

The huge leather clad ape was still there. 

Granny swooned again.

The end.

Heartfelt thanks to Chris Graham for being such a willing participant in these shenanigans.  Our Story Reading Ape is a marvelous storyteller.  If you want to get caught reading another treat, check out his mom’s book.

Chris Graham (for Agnes Mae Graham)

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

Don’t forget my mysterious new serial, Brother Love.  Chapter 4 will go live on Saturday. 

I’ll see you at the crossroads! 


Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Amazon UK

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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.

77 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesday — Pip & Artie, Aghast at a Ghost

  1. A good story, Teagan. I enjoy visiting the 20s with Pip, her grandmother, and her friends. The Ape is a delightful plus. I think I told you once my parents and brother lived through the 1920s. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rob. Granny Phanny is a real bearcat, but a ghost and a big leather clad chimp 😱… well she’s only human. 😀
      The ghost became a popular character when I did the serial that is tied to this story. Plus, I thought it was time Artie met Granny. Granny, however, may disagree!
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Granny wasn’t expecting that! Cute story and I liked the way Pip got caught reading. The telephone etiquette made me laugh. We don’t have much concern over that anymore. 🙂 Thanks Teagan and Chris.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! So true, Diana. That was the first time I’ve added Granny to one of Artie’s appearances.
      All the phone etiquette was real. It’s hard to believe, but answering with “Hello” was considered very rude. If they could hear us now, they’d all have the vapors! 😉 Thanks for visiting. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Robbie. Even Granny has her limits. 😉 Although she’s a real bearcat. That’s probably the only time I’ll be able to get away with letting her have the vapors. I’m sure that a moment later she was on her feet again and chasing both Artie and the ghost with her frying pan.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. It actually was a real thing from the phone company, John. Even I couldn’t make that up! LOL. Including the bit about the mustache! Can you imagine. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that? I couldn’t hear around your mustache.”
      Granny is such a bearcat. That’s probably the only time I’ll be able to get away with letting her have the vapors. 😉 So glad you enjoyed this. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This just may one of my favorites so far in the Artie and Pip adventures!! Granny Phanny is quite the character! The “Telephone Pledge” made me laugh out loud. A great story to get caught reading today!! Thank you, Teagan and Chris!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jan. I’m so happy you enjoyed this short story. It’s such a pleasure to work with Chris.
      That telephone pledge is a real thing. Apparently, in the earliest days, they actually did deny service to some people for behaving badly too. Although I’m sure it couldn’t have happened often. The part about the mustache really slayed me, so I had to include it. Thanks for visiting. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I love a pun, Ally. Can’t help myself. I sort of plopped this down in the middle of an existing story. I’m happy you enjoyed it. Pip and Granny are always glad to give a giggle. Plus it was great to work with Chris again.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You will never have any idea how much I needed this today, dearest Teagan, you are a lifesaver (no disrespect intended, but I have to go with Tangerine, remember when orange was a cool colour? But Raspberry is a close second and I’ve always said you’re the Berries! lol).
    But I digress, I’m off to share but please note I’ve once again pressed “Follow”…I am not and I repeat not, Unfollowing you or any other blogger purposefully, WordPress is doing it for me, without my knowledge or permission (massive sigh). I would follow your blog again and again. BTW, guess what I’m rereading, yup, I’m revisiting ‘Atonement, Tennessee’ again. 🙂
    Hope this week treats you kindly, dearest Teagan (pip pip hooray!).
    Mega I’m humming U2’s ‘I Will Follow’ right now hugs xoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Donna, you really make my day. Atonement, Tennessee again? I really need to write the third book, even if no one but you reads it. Heartfelt thanks.

      Don’t worry about the re-follow thing. It hasn’t showed me that. But I’m having to do the same thing, ever time I go to anyone’s blog — including my own. WordPress has screwed up royally this time. It seems like everybody everywhere is having one problem or another — or the whole bushel basket full.
      Oh, by the way, I think my comment at your place might be in the spam folder again. WP has also been sending me notifications on that sort of thing at the weirdest late times.
      Many thanks for taking time to visit today. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hah! What a fun story. Love Artie, even his teeth!! Didn’t expect that ending. Poor Granny Phanny ended up on her fanny……she had a hell of a day!!

    Teagan, you and Dan, and you and Chris, you sure know how to pick teammates!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s great to start the day with your wonderful energy, Ginger. I’m happy you liked this little ditty.
      I’m honored to have such fabulous people work with me. Chris is great. All I have to do is ask “What would Artie do if ___?” and out pours his part of the story.
      LOL, Granny Phanny is usually unflappable, and a real bearcat (feisty), so it’s fun when something throws her. My move has put a huge delay in me getting this book out there. But it’s coming.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love it when you and the Chirs get together. This was great little story. I hope you two get caught reading again.

    By the way, I remember when it mattered how we answered and spoke on the phone. Of course, that was before 3 out of 4 callers were trying to sell me a knee brace or beg for money.

    See you on Saturday at the crossroads.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dan. It’s always a joy to work with Chris.
      Ha! I know what you mean. I figure hanging up on those people is actually the most polite thing I can do, because if I started talking to them… 😉
      Horsefeathers… I still have a lot to do on Chapter 4 of our story. You are ahead of the game (envious sigh…) Huge thanks for visiting.
      You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you kindly, GP.
      Erm… actually I just choose my collaborators carefully! (And indeed they are the best!)
      LOL, I can be… shall we say opinionated? And you know what they say about redheads. 😉
      I think Chris must have been my first blog storytelling partner. He tries to hide his talent, but he’s a brilliant storyteller.
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

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