Blast Radius? Any guesses?

I will say one thing for James Allen.  He sure likes to blow sh*t up…  And judging by the silhouettes, I’d say that BGwPT took more of it than Mark did…  in fact he may have shielded him somewhat…  Only this time there is an extra ‘O’ in B O O O M

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Empty Vessel you say?  Never an Empty Vessel when Mark is around.  His cup always runneth over even in the most dire of situations.  One might assume that they are both dead or stunned to the point where drowning is a given, but don’t lose faith, dear readers, people have been known to survive these kinds of things in the Trailverse…

How long is that pole, anyway?!?

Let’s just say for argument’s sake that the keel on the Swan is fixed and the overall draft is 8 – 10 feet… and that the water there is at least a few feet deeper so as not to damage said keel,   it makes “punting” out to the boat depend on having a pole at least 20 feet long… And Mark, wouldn’t it have been better to knock BGwPT out and leave him stranded with the Alligator?  Rather than have him along as a constant nuisance and threat??

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Plus I would imagine that BGwPT knows something Mark doesn’t…  that the ignition is rigged to blow the whole thing into oblivion…  this information asymmetry does neither of them any good, though, as Mark forces them both back onto the boat…  And Speaking of getting back on the boat, did someone think to leave the ladder down?  Otherwise, they will need Jedi powers to get back on board…

I still don’t understand this whole “hostage taking” thing…  how this makes anything any easier… if the goal is to get Justin and his “friends” (and their ilk) out of the way, he’s going about it in a very clumsy way…

They ditched me! Totally ditched me!!

BGwPT must be thinking…

Your boat??  Really, Mark??  OK, so it’s yours to use, but that’s about it.  And let’s hope it’s well insured without any exclusions for losses related to terrorist acts…   But it’s great how BGwPT just stands there, all bald-pated and slack-jawed, with all the fight taken out of him…

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But what about the dude Vince Wilkins who appeared briefly looking for boat motor parts, who was “punting” around in his backup boat??  How does he feature?  Does the Bull Shark swim upstream in the brackish waters and wreak havoc with those who are bent on doing bad??  Oh the suspense!!

So… if you have already paid for the land…

Wouldn’t your cousin’s interests be unaffected??  Unless he sold you the land on a Land Contract or something and there are still payments to be made??  OK, I know I over-think these things and there is only so much detail one could fit into the daily frames before it would become completely stalled and unreadable… Sort of like Star Wars Episode I, II and III (not IV, V and VI) where we were treated to a terribly boring story line about how Jedi Knights were dispatched to break an impasse over what?  Embargoes and Trade routes?  <<yawn>> and that set the tone for the entire movie…  complete with votes of no-confidence in the Galactic Senate  <<double yawn>> and Jedis protecting Politicians (OK, now that’s just stupid…)

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But I digress.

Certainly one thing that’s nice, though, is that Mitchum feels compelled to share everything about his motivations, which certainly helps move the story along…  “So don’t ‘Buddy’ me,” says Mitchum…  “I have a plan and I am going to execute on it!”

That would make Mitchum, what, 16 at the time??

Age can be so deceiving in the Trailverse.  Hard to make a positive determination…  but if Mitchum and Justin “started” Riverway (nee Petrox) Chemical “15 years ago” and he doesn’t look to be a day over 30… And once again it becomes very clear that Mitchum hasn’t completely thought this one through as far as what to do with all the people involved…

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But oh, Justin, turning on the Ol’ Droopy Dog / Sad Puppy Dog Eyes routine…  do you think that’s really going to work?  Clearly you are in league with a mercenary heart and there’s only one thing that’s going to move him- and that’s money.

Oh the Shame of it all…

BGwPT will NEVER be able to show his face at the bad guy union hall again!  Bested by a Nature Writer!!  Who is right handed and bats left!!  Right finger on the trigger, left arm akimbo, Mark you certainly cut quite the intimidating profile…

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Yes… Meanwhile, back on the SWAN…  BGwB, formerly a demolitions expert with the Navy SEALS, has rigged the explosives and handed the modern-day plunger to Mitchum…  And goodness, what a demanding sort you are, Mitch, calling out that BGwPT is putting you terribly behind schedule…

Are Cherry and Justin knocked out?  Tied up?  C’mon people, where’s the struggle?  You only got one Bitch-Slap in you??

Mark… Mark…

You are so confused, aren’t you??  “I’d better help him out?”  What?  Help him see the error of his ways, get him to turn away from his life of crime?  Pursue a life on the grid??  I guess Mr. Ponytail has high-tailed it out of the swamp and has left his gun behind.  Does Mark use the gun on the Gator?  Of course not, he grabs a big stick to “Scare the Gator Away…”  Forgive me, but I doubt highly whether that Gator is going to respond to that in the way Mark anticipates…  But nevertheless, with the magnum wedged smartly in the back of Mark’s waistband, he grabs the stick and takes a whack…  But what’s this?  More left-handed-ness…  With Mark’s right hand at the bottom of the stick, this is the posture that would be assumed by one hitting from the first base side…

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So with the Gator’s work done and now dispatched, Mark will go waive his gun in Mitchum’s face and save the day?  Seems like we are still at something of a stalemate here…  it’s a battle of wits between two guys who are unfamiliar with how evil really works (witness the cluster that is unfolding on the boat vs. the undying virtues of one Mark Trail)  But we all know how this is going to turn out… or do we?  Death has visited the Trailverse from time to time…

Gator Bait!

AAAHHH!  That is a mighty feeble reaction to being confronted by a 14 foot behemoth…  And surely Mark is snickering to himself as BGwPT falls into “his” trap.  But what about the time-honored cliché of “gun hits ground, gun discharges round??”  is there even any truth to that??  Apparently not, so thank you James Allen for not falling into that trap…

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But oh my, let’s all hope that the gator doesn’t disappoint in the next installment!  How awesome would it be to see the Baddie half ingested, legs already down the gator-gullet, with a horrified shriek emanating from his bad-guy maw??  Sort of like the scene from Jaws with Quint half eaten by the shark!!  Remember that they stole their bad-guy boat from him (or his estate) or somehow reconstructed it after the shark tore it apart…  Oh whatever…

Under the Moonlight, the Serious Moonlight…

OK, dating myself a bit by harkening back to a David Bowie Lyric… But c’mon “Buddy,” Let’s Dance

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We now see Mr. Pony Tail favors his left hand, a sinister trait that has been ascribed to all manner of deviant thought and behavior, only to be debunked later and attached to all manner of creative and divergent thinking… and let’s be clear:  Michelangelo and da Vinci were left-handed, as were three of the last four occupants of the White House; the only right-handed President since the end of the Cold War has been George W. Bush.  You be the judge…

Oh, this ought to be good…

Mark, you are so clever these days!  I am not used to the level of cleverness with which you have been imbued now that you are under new management.  The old Trail was full of broad, clumsy, blocky maneuvers, while the new Trail is full of cunning and pluck!  Only you would know the “front” from the “back” of the gator mound, and strategically snap the one stick that would reveal your position and lure your adversary into harm’s way…

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Interesting that BGwPT feels a level of familiarity to call out to Mark by Last Name… albeit with a question mark attached.  He knows he’s not in his element and may rue the day he signed up for this “job…”

One thing that Mark hasn’t lost, though, is his taste for high-water inseams that reveal his freakishly skinny ankles.