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Volume 6472


Part 11:
MB Pokes an Eye Out
(Search for Another Doctor)  1997
By R. Johnson
In 1997, Elizabeth and her son Malachi are STILL living with her parents, Malachi is in First Grade and having problems that will require a conference.  Goddess! Will our children NEVER move out!  I tried everything, even inviting my current gf over to meet my ex-gf who was staying with me for a week which resulted in the two women ‘enjoying’ each other and my daughter walking in one me and two naked women on the couch and she never noticed the lack of their clothing.  As soon as I sent her to Africa with the Peace Corps, I turned her bedroom into a storeroom so she would finally get the hint!   Take a hint!  Get a job, move out, let me have some fun before I am too old to do anything.  You too Elizabeth!  Even Maureen moved out.  But I digress!

While on the subway heading for a meeting with Malachi’s teacher and principal (a princiPLE is a philosophical point of view, a PrinciPAL is not your friend at all), Maureen arrives and sits next to her, wearing her Working Out and oblivious to the stares of the other passengers.  Being the NYC Subway, there are no police in sight, there probably being a sale at the local donut house.

Note that my last job with the Air Force before I retired  was to help fight the biggest fire on Mt Lemmon in history (it was arson) and while on sentry duty, turning away tourists “but Sergeant, I drove two hours so we could watch the firefighters put out the fire”  jerks!  I had some guy drive up, “I’m sorry sir, the road to the mountain is blocked to prevent people getting in the way of the firefighters!” was my usual speech as I turned them away.  A soldier in BDU with a Hum-Vee blocking the road is a good reason to turn around.  You never know what firepower he has or how short tempered we are from these idiots!

In this case, the guy didn’t want to go up the mountain, he was simply delivering a dozen boxes of donuts to me to pass out to the firefighters ON the mountain.  Some people are like that, it gives you faith in mankind like that pizza store that sent hundreds of free pizzas up the mountain for the people who had lost their homes!  Within a half hour, there were a dozen sheriff cars on that road, eating those donuts, none of which made it up the mountain.  Really!  I am not making this up!  I took a photo of them.

Regardless, Maureen was able, wearing her Working Outfit and carrying Old Betsy, to tell Elizabeth her story without any interference.  Of course, neither were mugged so perhaps carrying around a sword is not a bad idea.

Maureen implies that she has had some other adventures between the MUD and today and regales Elizabeth about her visit to Springfield, a very small and conservative main street town!

As an aside, I LOVE main street towns!  Maureen, a Jewish American Princess whose grandparents came from Poland, mentions having had a Christmas tree because it was so commercial which has nothing to do with my previous comment but is totally irrelevant to the story or this paper so ignore it.

Maureen meets Judith Barlow, the widow of Robert Barlow, the town’s leading banker and grandson of the town’s founder.  Mrs Barlow looks over Maureen, still wearing her Gold-Bra-and-G-String, then comments on her ankle bracelet.  Maureen accompanies Mrs Barlow who looks like Mary Worth from the newspaper comic to the hospital to visit people and along the way, Mrs Barlow informs Maureen on every person’s life and secrets and affairs and who was in a coma today until I could not help but believe that we were in a television soap opera.

Well, not every adventure has to deal with monsters and war and saving the world but we can hope that Mrs Barlow is a day-walking vampire to give Maureen something to do.  Wasn’t the head vampire in Steven King’s novel Salem’s Lot named Barlow?  Could she be his widow?  Could something exciting happen soon?  Stay tuned and find out after this commercial break!

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We now return to Search for Another Doctor in progress!  As we last saw, Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarianne Swordsperson had just bumped into  Dr Keith Beaumont in Springfield University Hospital….  Later Maureen meets her evil twin, Fluorine Birnbaum, now known as Floreen Burns.  The difference is that Maureen is now seventeen years old while her evil twin is thirty!

Is Maureen really seventeen because of her time-jumping forward or is she a few years older and still too young to legally drink, made immortal by her first whooshing to Mars.  Stay tuned for the answer to this and other questions on Search for Another Doctor!

We now return to reality where Elizabeth Spiegelman has just learned that the son, Malachi, has an IQ of 75 and so must be transferred to a special school until our heroine, Maureen Danielle Birnbaum interferes.  She slices the test results in half with old Betsy and….  Well read it yourself.

Unfortunately, this is the last recorded adventure Maureen has for her editor, George Effinger, dies shortly after and Elizabeth has not yet found another editor to publish Maureen’s heroic adventures.  Come back, Maureen, reveal all of your adventures and please, Elizabeth, find a new editor to publish them.

OUR MODIFIED TIMELINE NOW IS (drastically redone as a POV for clarity):
Note that Maureen is jumping through time and space so main entry is Calendar
with the indents describing Maureen’s adventures.
100,000 years ago-  Mars is dying as the atmosphere boils into space.  The reduced air pressure lowers the boiling point of water to hasten the death of the planet.  The Orovars have only begun to build the atmosphere plants, waterways and interbreed with the other races of Mars.  The Green Men are still trying to breed themselves into giants to compete with the ‘human’ races but at this time they are only 12-feet tall.  Martians are, at least, partially telepathic.
Prince Van is an Orovar Noble, traveling across the desert when he is attacked by Green Men who slaughter his entire retinue, including members of his family.

1941-  Lagash is a ‘human’ inhabited world near the center of the Galaxy.  It circles Alpha but has 5 other suns which keep the planet lit save every few thousand years, all stars line up and the far-side of the planet experiences darkness which causes panic in the inhabitants, a panic that causes them to burn everything to create light.
Lagash suffers its regular ‘darkening’ which destroys its civilization every 2039 years once 5 of the suns set and the invisible moon obscures Beta and Totality is reached because the terrified inhabitants burn everything to avoid the darkness.  It should be noted that although the Lagashians are able to claw their way back to civilization after each Totality, they do so with fewer and fewer resources as each rise uses up some of the non-renewable resources until eventually there will be no more coal or oil to fuel industrialization, resulting in Lagash able to reach only Renaissance level after a few more crashes.

1948(?)- Rod Marquad {sr} is born.  He will later attend Yale University.

1963-  Elizabeth Speigleman is born.

1964-  Maureen Danielle Birnbaum is born.

1966 (1976)- Maureen has a crush on Paul McCarthy of The Beatles.  As she is only 2 at that time, I suspect this was a typo for 1976.

1966, March-  Yale university is invaded by a monstrosity from the Cthuluian sphere.  (MB&LA)

1977or 78- Rod Marquad {jr} is born.  He will become an inventor and crime-fighter.

1979, August-  Maureen attends the Greenberg School as a Freshman and rooms with Elizabeth.

1980- Maureen and Elizabeth study Fencing for 6 weeks under Ms Duplante when Maureen was a Sophmore.  This is probably August as an elective when school starts.  Maureen drops the class 6 weeks later.

1981, 8 January- 16-year-old Maureen goes to Mad River Glen Ski Resort in Vermont (20-30 miles west of Montpiler) to ski, dies or passes out of an unknown cause, and transits to Ancient Mars. (ref: MB, Barbarian Swordsperson)  Her father and stepmother are vacationing at St Croix at this time.
Maureen’s father is a contract lawyer who is remarried to Pamela.  Maureen lives with her mother and raises golden retrievers.  Maureen also smokes and drinks.  (MBBS)

Maureen spends an hour learning to walk and run on Mars, then saves Prince Van from Green Men. She spends a couple of hours walking and talking to Prince Van, then, after an hour or two, she returns to Earth a week after she left when she discovers that the Martians have no concept of ‘marriage’ or shopping.  Note that Maureen never mentions eating or sleeping so the total time on Mars would be between her breakfast and lunch.

Maureen arrives naked on Mars until Prince Van hands her a little gold g-string and leather straps that cross her shoulders that he took from his sister’s body, plus her light sword that she names “Old Betsy” after the musket carried by Davy Crockett.    I am assuming from her walking about NYC and her hotel in this outfit that the leather straps cross at her back and drop to her belt to cover, partially, her breasts but offer no support.   Note that Maureen is 16, busty but overweight with broad hips and heavy thighs though her excess fat hides muscles that grow stronger with her adventures.  She will never be thin or athletic and will, occasionally, add and drop a few pounds.  She also has raven tresses which are unknown on Mars.

Note also that Maureen believes that everyone she meets speaks English.  This is because during her first ‘whooshing’ to Mars, she gained the ability to communicate telepathically.  Maureen is speaking English, the Martians are speaking Barsoomian but each understands  the other via Maureen’s advanced telepathy that operates only in the communications band.

1981, 15 January- Maureen returns to Earth, NYC.  She stays in room 1623 of a well-known hotel within walking distance of 8th Avenue and 435th Street.  She pays for the room bill by dropping her father’s name.  It is unknown what happened to her body in Vermont.
 Maureen contacts Elizabeth who visits and listens to Maureen’s story.

They go shopping for clothes and pay for it with a credit card owned by Elizabeth’s mother.  The bill is $400 in 1981 dollars which Maureen never repays.

Maureen intends to return to Mars on the 15th but the sky is overcast so she remains in the hotel bar, drinking, as a production assistant attempts to pick her up.

1981, 16 Jan- Maureen leaves Earth for Mars but misses and lands in future Pellucidar (1985) by mistake.  (ref: MB at the Earth’s Core)
The heat causes Maureen to remove her new Winter clothes.  Before she can don lighter apparel, she is captured and taken away by an ‘ape’ named Yag-Nash (probably a Sagoth), leaving her clothes behind and carrying only her Martian sword.  She is, again, naked.

1984, December-1985, January- Maureen becomes the High Priestess of a Sagoth tribe, leads hunting prayers which work but she is a virtual prisoner.  She is naked at this time.
The Sagoths give her a g-string and bra (owned by the former HPS) which are made of gold and gemstones.  Maureen mentions the lack of padding but this will become her standard costume as a Barbarian Heroine, though I imagine that she DID add padding to make the outfit more comfortable.

Maureen is not allowed to leave the cave or wash and ate only meat (raw inside and burned outside) and is taken form the cave only to make prayers for successful hunting for the Sagoths.

Maureen believes that she spent four years in Pellucidar but that is impossible for reasons explained earlier.  Maureen knew that she had left NYC in 1981 and in Elizabeth’s apartment she saw the calendar as 1985 so ‘assumed’ that she had been underground for the entire four years.  She actually spend about two weeks as a prisoner on the sagoths.

1981, Nov- Elizabeth gives Maureen’s Martian adventure, two months early, to George Effinger who publishes it the following January in 1982.

1985- Rod Marquad {jr} attends Nathaniel High School in New York.  He is an inventor and part-time super-hero.

1985, January 15- Rod Marquad {jr} is exploring the inside of the Earth in his Atomic Subterreine Vehicle when he is captured by the Sagoths.  Maureen refuses to sacrifice him so, when they are alone, Rod calls his vehicle, rescues Maureen and returns her to the surface.
Rod returns Maureen to the second level of the Penn Station Subway near 34th street in New York City where they separate.  Maureen is still wearing the gold-&-jewel encrusted g-string and bra the Sagoths gave her.

Maureen sells an emerald for spending money, then contacts Elizabeth who ignores her to spend a week in Mexico with a married dentist.  Maureen records her Pellucidar Adventure on a reel-to-reel tape in Elizabeth’s home which was published in February 1986, a year and a month after it occurred. Maureen believes that she was a prisoner for four years but was a prisoner for only a couple to three weeks max!

Note that Elizabeth is a year older than Maureen so must have just turned 18 to travel to Mexico alone.  Maureen is still 16+ plus her hours on Mars, plus a couple days in NYC, plus a couple weeks in Pellucidar but is less than 17.

1985, mid-January-  Maureen leaves Elizabeth’s NYC home for Mars but misses and has other, unrecorded, adventures.
Possibly one including La and the Bolgani of the Valley of the Palace of Diamonds from Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar.

Probably at least another adventure on another planet.  Amtor or Vah-Nah?

C2780-  Maureen arrives in Virginia, 800 years post WW-III and helps Milo fight the Horseclan’s Battle of Gettysburgh.  During a duel with the immortal, Milo, she learns that she also is immortal but has not yet accepted being ageless though this is mentioned by Elizabeth.  (ref: MBAoW)  Maureen spends a few days in the future before leaving for the (current) past.
Note that Maureen keeps missing 1981, arriving a few years later each time.  This confuses her which is why she thought that she had spent 4 years in Pellucidar when she actually spent only a couple weeks.

1986- Elizabeth marries Dr Josh Fein who takes over his uncle Mort’s practice.  They Honeymoon in Bermuda immediately after the reception.
Maureen returns to Earth, Bermuda to interrupt Elizabeth’s honeymoon.  Maureen is still ‘full-figured with a fat ass’ while Elizabeth is still flat-chested.   After telling her story, she leaves the room, passing Josh as she exits.  Maureen is dressed in her Horseclans outfit with spear, broadsword, long dagger and Old Betsy but carries her gold bra-and-g-string in a bag.  Maureen is still 16 but Elizabeth is 23 and recently married. Maureen tells Elizabeth about her Horseclans adventure and how she is immortal. (MBAoW)   Elizabeth mentions that she (Elizabeth) is 22 but Maureen still looks and acts 16, leading Maureen to believe that she is ageless as well as immortal.  The reality is that Maureen is still physically 16 because she is time-skipping forward.

1986- Maureen leaves Bermuda to whoosh to visits her family.  She leaves her spear, dagger and longsword and Horseclans outfit behind, but takes some cash and a credit card from her stepmother.

c802,701+- Maureen probably has at least two unrecorded adventures, one in the Far Future that is different from the Horseclans Adventure, probably helping free the Eloi from the Morlocks.   She fights in that war, is wounded and travels to the Moon 1991.
Maureen visits the Moon for her Lunar Adventure, arriving on a joint Lunar base in 21 August 1991.  One of the scientists at that base discovers the remains of a primitive Lunar civilization, possibly that of the Selenites from First Men in the Moon.  Maureen mistakes the ruins as trash and cleans it up.  (ref: MBs Lunar Adventure)

On the way back to Earth, she misses Earth and lands on Lagash near the center of the galaxy in 1941 and helps stave off the collapse of their civilization after Totality!   Note that Lagash is a bit denser than is Earth causing Maureen’s ‘heroinely poundage’ to increase by 15 pounds.  Maureen is wearing her ‘working outfit’ (renamed by Maureen from the cumbersome ‘gold g-string and bikini bra) when she arrives on Lagash. (ref: MB After Dark)   Maureen mentions that she had been worshipped as the reincarnation of Joan Crawford (or the like) in her past which implies another adventure, unless the Eloi made this connection.

1986- Maureen leaves Lagash (1941) and goes home to clean her clothes and herself.
She is still creeped out by Sorgol-154 of Lagash so trades her working outfit for her Horseclans clothing.  Remember that Maureen is only 16 and was grabbed by a middle-aged man who, quite forcefully, told her that she would bear his children after civilization had collapsed.  Maureen leaves Lagash for 1986 Earth.

When Elizabeth tries to push Maureen out of her apartment, Maureen vanishes, Elizabeth falls to the floor and Maureen appears above her with drawn sword.  Did Maureen whoosh a few feet or were her reflexes so well-honed that she side-stepped and drew within an instant?

1986 (couple months post Elizabeth’s honeymoon)-  Maureen visits Elizabeth and Josh to tell them about the Moon and Lagash.  She then leaves Queens for England.
It is curious how Maureen continues to miss Mars but can easily and unerringly find Elizabeth, even when Elizabeth is driving over a bridge.

1991-  Maureen lands at the Sherwood Forest Mall in North London for a shopping duel with Maid Marion which Maureen wins.  She is in London for some hours then whooshes back to Queens to visit Elizabeth.  (ref: MB Goes Shoppynge)  From the comments on the clothes Maureen chose, the shopping must have occurred in 1991 so Maureen whooshed through space only to find Elizabeth.

1991-  Maureen lands in Queens directly from London to find Elizabeth 5 months pregnant.  Maureen regales Elizabeth with her Shoppynge adventure, Elizabeth comments that she is dressed normally and lies about Maureen losing weight.  Maureen then then leaves Queens for Mars.
Maureen again misses Mars and arrives in a Fantasy World where she is seeking the Saint Graal assisted by two pilgrims.  Although the pilgrims refer to the Graal as the Cup-of-Christ, Maureen is adamant that the Graal is a symbol of the Womb of the Goddess and spends this adventure trying to educate the pilgrims about pagan woman’s mysteries and who they were co-opted by Christianity.  Remember that Maureen is Jewish and this Adventure is dedicated to Christians which explains Maureen’s insistence on rewriting the mythos.

Maureen overcomes a number of obstacles designed to affirm her moral character and purity (Maureen is still a virgin simply because she has been too busy to lose it, though Maureen is still a 16 year old JAP)  though the Saint Graal is long gone so the pilgrims divert her to finding the Saint Nappie, the berry bowl used at the last Supper.

After defeating Knights, serpents and giants, Maureen finds the Nappie and whooshes from the fantasy world into Elizabeth’s moving auto.  Maureen is wearing a white dress hiked up her ‘chubby thighs’ so came directly from the fantasy world.

1993, June-  Elizabeth is driving across the Bridge when Maureen arrives in the moving auto, wearing her white dress from the Saint Graal adventure which she describes to Elizabeth.
Maureen then asks to be dropped at the Penn Station so she can visit her recently remarried mother.  Maureen visits her mother still wearing the white dress from the Saint Graal adventure.

Maureen has a few more adventures because the next time Maureen sees her, she is wearing her Working Outfit and mentions that she must be suffering Alzheimer’s because she is getting lost in jungles more often than before and has difficulty remembering the names of the heroes and villains she meets.
Maureen travels to Yale University on 1 March 1966 to meet with Rod Marquad {Sr} and oppose a Chthuluian monstrosity.  (ref: MB and the Looming Awfulness)  Maureen notes that although this Rod looks exactly the same as the High School Rod from the Hollow Earth.  As the (1985) Hollow Earth Rod does not mention meeting Maureen before and the earlier (1966) Rod meets Maureen before the later Rod was even born, I believe that the Yale Rod is Rod Marquad Sr and the Hollow Earth Rod is his son, Rod Marquad Jr.

Maureen arrives in the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University wearing her Working Outfit, then, after accosting the security guards with Old Betsy, leaves and uses cash taken from her stepmother to buy normal clothes.  It appears that Maureen does not ‘borrow’ money from her mother, preferring to raid the purse of her stepmother.

Maureen meets Rod and together they defeat the Eldritch Horrors that infested Yale University.

By now Maureen is rapidly approaching 17 years of age but still looks and acts as a 16 year old High School girl.  It is possible that whooshing to Mars not only gave her telepathic communications skills, but also immortality and eternal youth, stopping her biological and mental clock at 16.

Maureen has another, unrecorded adventure between Looming Awfulness of 1966 and visiting Elizabeth in 1993.

1994, September-  Josh comes home to tell Elizabeth that he is in love with his receptionist and wants a divorce.  Elizabeth runs to her mother for comfort with Malachi Bret Fein, age 4, and is visited by Maureen wearing her Working Outfit instead of the clothes she purchased at Yale in 1966.  (ref: MB and the Looming Awfulness)
Maureen leaves Queens to find and marry Rod Marquad, though which Rod she is after isn’t certain as Maureen confuses Rod {Sr} with Rod {Jr}.

1996-7-  Elizabeth is divorced with a 7-yr old son seeking a minimum-wage job as an assembler when Maureen arrives in her Working Outfit at the interview site.  It appears that Josh had a better divorce attorney than did Elizabeth.
Maureen is wearing her Working Outfit but carrying a NASA spacesuit so must have just returned from another Lunar Adventure, possibly aiding the Selenites, but finds it uninteresting so she repeats her first Lunar Adventure to Elizabeth, forgetting that she has already told that adventure.  As Elizabeth do not mention any smell from a used suit, I can imagine that she suit was new.  (ref: MBs Lunar Adventure, 2nd version)

1996- Elizabeth, divorced and living with her parents, is sent by them to New Orleans to take a cheap ‘love boat’ cruise to get her away from home for a bit.  While on Duplante Street she meets Maureen who is now 17 and slightly lighter in weight.  (ref: MB on a Hot Tin Roof)
Just prior to meeting Elizabeth, Maureen visited Blanche and Stanley from the 1996 version of A Streetcar named Desire.  Maureen visited AU-New Orleans then our New Orleans. Then to the MUD

Elizabeth gets tired of listening to Maureen talk about Blanche and Stanley and leaves her on the street.

1996- Maureen then whooshes and ends up in MUDville where Glorian takes her on a Dungeon adventure.  Maureen wins the adventure, receives a Taxi that will take her to Mars but she stops in at Elizabeth’s Parent’s house to clean up and look presentable for Prince Van.
Maureen spends a half-hour taking a bath, 10 minutes washing her hair, another hour removing “every visible hair between her nostrils and the floor”.  Yes, even ‘those’ hairs.  More than an hour doing make-up on her eyes then her nails to the tune of more than three hours!

Maureen makes one mistake, when she diverts the taxi to Elizabeth to clean up, she uses up the taxi ride which abandons her, taking her bags of gemstones and gold she won in the MUD.

 After leaving the MUD, Maureen has a few other adventures.

1997-  Elizabeth is on the subway heading for a teacher-parent conference when Maureen arrives.  She tells Elizabeth how she has just returned from a soap opera Search for Another Doctor where she met her evil twin who, unlike 17-year-old appearing Maureen, Flourine is 30.
Maureen may be ageing normally and time-jumping forward, ALL of her adventures having occurred in less than two years subjective, or she may be older from unrecorded adventures and simply ageing more slowly as the last couple recorded adventures, Maureen Birnbaum in the MUD and Maureen Birnbaum Pokes and Eye Out reveals Maureen to looking 17 instead of her normal 16 years of age.

C2780- centuries post WW-III, America is reduced to a Renaissance level inhabited by Horseclans.  A major war ensues similar to the American Civil War with Milo, an immortal from the early 20th century, leading one side.

C802701+- Earth is decimated by nuclear war and humanity is divided into the peaceful Eloi and the subterranean Morlocks.  They are visited by George Wells, the time traveler from 1895 London.


Rick Johnson Feature Articles and Fiction in ERBzine


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