* * * * *
Have you ever heard the sexual expression, "Big tease?" Well, that's what this weird dream turned out to be. Because, believe it or not, just as I was about to climax between Celeste's humongous toes?
I woke up.
To this day, I don't know if I screamed that word in protest...or frustration. All I do know is that it took me a second to get reoriented. That's when I realized two things. First off? I was still in the bed of my motel room in Washington, D.C. And, secondly?
I had a full-scale boner that was on the verge of bursting like the Johnstown Dam.
"Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!" I chanted as I relieved myself in the bathroom (just in time): "If we get that funding, I can _NEVER_ tell Celeste about this dream. She won't believe a word of it! She'll think I'm just another horny college rube, trying to get her in the sack."
I finally emptied my bladder enough that I could risk washing my hands (with warm water) and splashing my face (with cold water!) before heading back to bed.
Personally, I thought I'd only gotten back to sleep for a moment, or two, when the phone on the nightstand began ringing. But, a quick (if somewhat bleary-eyed) glance at the clock radio showed me it was now 10:00 A.M. It was seven hours later!
So, reluctantly, I picked up the receiver.
"Get dressed," Professor Stewart got right to the point: "Breakfast is on me."
I sat bolt upright in bed.
"We got the funding?"
"Oh, yes! And I notified Nils Gunderson, straight away. Needless to say, he was ecstatic! Although, nowhere nearly so much as I was when he told me his own good news. He's talked a major pharmaceutical firm into backing us! An outfit called 'Interchem.' "
Two days later, we were back in Florida. We flew to Miami, where we transferred to a shuttle flight bound for Sarasota. When we reached Circus World, I personally handed Cookie Gunderson's diary back to Celeste Saucier. Yet, as she accepted it from me, she gave me the strangest look. And, when she noticed me noticing that, she actually blushed!
That made me wonder: could she have had the same dream I did?
"Nah!" I muttered to myself: "That's impossible."
In any event, the whole bunch of us spent the weeks between Veterans' Day and New Year's Eve getting everything ready for the big voyage, Supplies; qualified personnel; and, of course, most importantly of all? A ship!
The latter was loaned to us by the University of Hawaii. The R.V. Humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apua'a. And, on Groundhog Day, 1981, we jumbo jetted to Honolulu to meet her captain, Glendon Corbett. And, when I say 'we," I don't just mean myself, Professor Stewart, and Celeste. I'm also referring to Shawna Kozlowski.
Hey! If it wasn't for her help, the rest of us wouldn't be going on this adventure in the first place! Though, of course, I had no way of knowing, at the time, that this was only the first leg in what ultimately proved to be...
...the most incredible adventure of any of our lives