The stage is dimly lit, and empty, and the audience awaits the
featured speaker. He walks onstage, carrying a meter-high three-legged
stool. He sets it down, center stage front, and as the spotlight
falls upon him, we notice the dark circles under his eyes. He has
aged twenty years or so since we recall him, but it is clearly Hikaru
Gosunkugi. His days of dabbling with voodoo long behind him, he
now holds forth weekly on this very stage, and his gravy-like voice
(well, it's brown and lumpy, anyway, as he would say) is carried
across Japan on NHK public radio.
The audience is silent as he begins his monologue:
"It's been a quiet week in the Nerima district of Tokyo, my
Kouchou no Fukushuu
(The Principal's Revenge)
a Ranma ½ fan fiction story
by Ukyou Kuonji
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong
to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. This story
is dedicated with great respect to the memory of Garrison Keillor,
whose work inspired it.
It's been a quiet week in the Nerima ward of Tokyo, my hometown.
The palm tree in the middle of the Kuno family compound finally
bore fruit this past week, just in time for Ranma Saotome's fortieth
birthday. I'm sure Principal Kuno would have found it most appropriate.
After all, it was he who planted that tree, right smack in the
middle of the Japanese garden. It looks ridiculously out of place
there, standing brazenly amidst freshly raked sand and a scattering
of stones, like a man in an aloha shirt amongst a group of salarymen.
And the huge root sticking out in front of it doesn't help; at the
very least, it makes raking the sand in proper Zen formations that
much more difficult for poor Sasuke.
But then, that was Kuno-kouchou, after all. Always making life
difficult for everyone else. That tree represents everything he
was… and is.
Did I say he'd planted that tree? I should correct myself. That
tree planted him, to be accurate. Most of you probably remember
that palm tree the principal had growing out of his head. It certainly
served to rivet a class's attention whenever he was speaking:
"You know, Kimiko, I'm sure that thing didn't reach to the
top of the chalkboard at the beginning of the semester…"
"Oh, you're imagining things, Akisa. It's always been that
After a couple of years, succeeding classes began to discover that
Akisa was quite right. Slowly at first, but faster and faster over
time, the tree on Kuno-kouchou's head was growing. After a while,
the debate shifted from whether it was growing to how. Most
of the kids assumed the tree was receiving its nourishment from
the principal's brain. It certainly would explain his (to put it
mildly) erratic behavior. Others insisted that no, if that was all
the tree lived off of, it would starve to death in short order.
Well, it was feeding off of him, that much was clear. Finally,
though, it had eaten away too much of whatever it was of Kunou-kouchou
for him to survive, and he pitched forward on his face one bright
summer day in the middle of the garden. By the time the medical
profession was summoned, the principal had been dead for days.
Kunou-kouchou's death came as a terrific surprise to all concerned
in Nerima. Not that it happened, or even how it happened (though
your average Neriman, if asked before the event, would have assumed
the man would meet his end at the hands of the students he so loved…
to torment), but rather where it happened. For all the zeal he put
into punishing tardiness and truancy, he was best known for his
own absentee record, spending most of his time in Hawaii, evidently
at school expense. Some folks would have preferred he pass away
over there — at least the palm tree would be relatively inconspicuous
in the middle of the Pacific, and he could be quickly forgotten.
Of course, it would have gone against his grain to be inconspicuous
anywhere, so perhaps it all made sense.
Actually, the tree that killed him also helped Nerima forget about
him. The medics not only proved too late to resuscitate the principal,
they were too late to even move him onto a stretcher. The tree had
already taken root in the soil of the Kunou garden, and Kunou-kouchou
could not be moved, pinned as his head was to the ground by a web
of roots. Within a year, the tree's root system had swallowed him
up entirely. Now, the only person who gives even the most passing
thought to him is Sasuke, as he has to constantly rake around that
ridiculous man-shaped root only half submerged in the sandy soil.
Ranma certainly doesn't give the old principal much thought, as
he's rather preoccupied with the fact that age is catching up with
him, too. Soun Tendo passed away at the age of nearly seventy without
a wrinkle and without a hair lost or graying. Ranma wishes he were
so lucky. Already his hair's gotten so thin that the only time he
can wear his trademark pigtail is in his girl form, which still
looks every inch the knockout she ever did… you must remember,
it was Spring of Drowned Young Girl that he fell into, after
all. Which means that now, both of his forms are challenges to his
Yes, that's right… his hair is thinning. Is that such a surprise?
After all, his father was spear-bald barely into his thirties, and
it was inevitable that heredity would catch up with him.
Oh, but there's the Dragon's Whisker, isn't there? Well, yes, but
some curses fade over time, and others gain strength. In this case,
the one gaining strength was the Saotome heredity (or would that
be 'lack-of-hair-edity'?), so there came a day when Ranma, noticing
his hair's condition, finally decided enough was enough. Curse or
no curse, he pulled the Whisker out of his pigtail… Actually,
it had gotten so old and brittle that when he tugged at it, it simply
snapped in half.
But nothing happened. His hair just sat there on his head, rather
than cascading out of it like a hirsute fountain. All that happened
was that a couple more hairs by his temples went white from the
shock. It was enough to send a man among men like Ranma to his knees.
Folks don't go in for irony much around here, or they would have
pointed out that if Ranma wasn't always trying to be so manly, this
wouldn't bother him so much. But he was, and it did, and that's
To be honest, though, the Dragon's Whisker hadn't lost its effectiveness.
It just found itself thwarted by Ranma's genes, and spent the rest
of the day moving elsewhere. By nightfall Ranma's chest looked as
if he'd fallen into the Qiongniichuan — Spring of Drowned Gorilla.
Well, at least it looked manly… sort of.
His son Akima thought his father's distress was pretty funny, and
it did look odd for Ranma to have that thin pigtail — well,
unbound, it was more of a ponytail — attached to a head that
was starting to resemble that of a Franciscan friar. But you don't
laugh at Ranma Saotome, not even if you're his son. Akima's old
man may indeed have been getting old, but he was still Ranma Saotome.
He whirled around and grabbed his son by the collar: "Laugh
all you wanna, kiddo," he hissed, pointing at the bare circle
on his head, "but you're looking at the future, y'know."
Now, I understand that male pattern baldness is passed down through
the mother's genes, and if that's true, Akima has nothing to worry
about. But Akima didn't know that. And late that night, he snuck
into the kitchen to make himself a midnight snack of ramen… and
The next morning, the Saotomes awoke to a scream coming from Akima's
room. The girls were the first ones to investigate. They charged
into his room to find him sitting bolt upright in bed, hollering
as if he'd woken up from a nightmare.
At which point the girls joined in the scream. Because while it
was supposed to have been Akima sitting in his bed, it sure didn't
look like him. What it did look like… was Cousin Itt. Akima was
covered in hair that poured straight down from the top of his head,
pooled around his buttocks where he was sitting on his bed, and
ran in rivulets off the bed onto the floor and beyond. Several locks
were lapping at the girls' feet by the time Ranma arrived.
All Ranma could do when he walked in was sigh, partly out of irritation
at Akima's foolishness, part out of envy that the Whisker worked
for his son but not for him. Fortunately, Akima had only eaten one
of the broken halves, so Ranma headed off to the bathroom, looking
for the other half to tie his son's hair up with.
"Akane… do we have a pair of shears?"
Faced as Ranma was with both physical and chronological reminders
of his own mortality, he was naturally in no mood to celebrate.
Not that it discouraged anyone else.
Is it ever a good idea to throw someone a surprise party? Especially
when they hit such a milestone like the Big Four-Oh? It's that concrete
reminder that you are, statistically, past the half-way mark. No
one wants to be reminded of stuff like that.
But surprise parties are generally an act of vengeance; it's a
giant game of 'pass-it-along'. In this case, Nabiki was getting
her own back. A year ago, she was more or less abducted from her
downtown office by a bunch of guys in sunglasses and white suits
— the whole yakuza look — and brought to some undisclosed
location (she thinks it had to have been in Nerima, otherwise there
wouldn't have been so many old friends there), where she was noisily
feted on her own fortieth birthday. Even her husband hadn't been
told about it: Tarou had shown up with a suitcase full of money
after he got a call informing him of where she was being "held".
Everyone was congratulating him on bringing the most appropriate
present for his wife of anyone there.
Before the event, there weren't a whole lot of people who both
knew when Nabiki's birthday was, and had the gall to pull off a
stunt like that. So Nabiki teamed up with Akane to nail Ranma…
and you know Akane's going to get it but good herself when she hits
forty later this year. (Meanwhile, Kasumi got off scot-free, partly
because at forty-three, she's untouchable for another seven years,
and partly because Nabiki still can't believe Kasumi has
mob connections. She doesn't, of course, but you don't have to be
yakuza to own a white suit…)
Ranma's celebration was held in more conventional and familiar
surroundings: the Tendo Dojo. The one catch was to try and get him
out of there. Martial arts being both vocation and avocation for
Ranma, it's quite rare that one doesn't see him there, aside from
eating, sleeping, and battling the occasional monster threatening
either Akane or the kids or Tokyo, in that order.
And that was just the excuse that was used…
"Good afternoon, Ranma-kun… have you seen Sis around?"
Ranma was caught in mid-leap by Nabiki, walking in casually. It's
not easy to walk casually into a room where a man is catapulting
over your head as you do so, but Nabiki can pull it off. She's seen
enough not to be fazed by anything.
Ranma landed on his feet barely a foot in front of his sister-in-law.
For all of his ailurophobia, Ranma behaves more like a cat than
anyone I know (barring Shampoo), even when not in neko-ken mode.
But I'm not going to tell him that. "Akane? Thought she was
in the family room with the kids. She's not in the… kitchen,
Nabiki sweatdropped and shook her head. "Uh-uh. Didn't see
her anywhere, and I looked around. I wouldn't ask if I hadn't done
"Well, let's go through the place together. I might be able
to find her."
Nabiki gestured toward the door. "Lead on, bro'…"
The girls had been reasonably well-coached (well, Nagisa had to
be bribed a bit) regarding their mother's absence. Akima didn't
need coaching: engrossed as he was in a martial arts show on television,
all he answered to his dad was "Huh?"
On their way upstairs, Nabiki fiddled a bit with her pager. Less
than a minute later, the phone in the master bedroom began ringing
"Yeah, yeah, I've got it… Saotome."
"Missing something, fem-boy?"
Ranma growled. Brother-in-law Tarou may be, but that didn't mean
he had to like him. He shot Nabiki a look, which she instantly recognized
as his patented 'why-the-hellja-marry-this-jerk-anyway' look, and
to which she simply shrugged.
"What do you know about this… Pantyhose?"
"Pantsuit, fem-boy. I know everything. Take a listen…"
and the next sound Ranma heard was the muffled 'Mmph! Mmph!' of
a woman with a gag in her mouth.
"Akane! What's he done to you? Where's he taken
The muffled sounds faded as Ranma cried out to his kidnapped wife,
to be replaced with a sneer. "That, as they say on the playgrounds,
is for me to know, and you to find out."
"Dammit, you won't get away with this, Tarou!"
"Oooh, I'm so scared. Old man karate's mad at me."
Nabiki watched as steam began to seep out of Ranma's ears. It wouldn't
do for her brother-in-law to have a heart attack before the festivities.
She tapped him on the shoulder. "Uh… Ranma-kun…?"
He spun around… "Nabiki! What about Nabiki?" he yelled
into the phone.
There was a brief pause on the other end of the line. Hah… Pantyhose
Tarou caught off guard. "…Nabiki…?"
"Yeah, Nabiki… your wife, remember? She's standing
right here next to me, squid. If she finds out you're kidnapping
her little sister, she's gonna sue you for divorce so fast… and
you're gonna wish you kept those pantyhose, Pantyhose, 'cause it'll
be all you'd have to cover yourself with once she gets through with
Another pause. Ranma was sure he had Tarou by the short hairs.
"Nabiki's standing… next to you?"
"Yup… and she's heard the whole thing." Ranma was sounding
as smug as Tarou usually did.
A third pause, and then, a low growl. "Put… the bitch…
So startled was Ranma that he promptly turned the phone over to
Nabiki without a second thought.
Nabiki blinked. And took the phone. "Tarou… what do you
think you're doing?"
She could hear the grin in her husband's voice. "Getting my
own back. These two really made asses out of us last year, so I'm
enjoying this." There was a feminine gasp, and; "There
you go. Sorry about that, but we had to make it sound convincing."
"Yeah, right…" Akane's voice.
Nabiki's expression didn't change. "What are you going to
do to her?"
"Heh. You should ask what I'm going to do to you once
this is over with…" And completely unconcerned with the fact
that his sister-in-law was sitting only a few feet away, Tarou began
to launch into a litany of marital acts that were, shall we say,
unique to the Tarous.
You see, Pantsuit Tarou, unlike Ranma, had learned to embrace his
curse rather than shun it. This applied to every aspect of his life,
including romance — if you could call it that. And once she
got over the initial shock, Nabiki learned to embrace it, too…
quite literally. After all, here was a guy who was not only rich,
but intelligent and arrogant as she was, and to top it all off,
hung like a bull! She even discovered she enjoyed tentacles now
But Pantsuit was going a bit far with this list — and in front
of her sister, no less! "Pantsuit, no… Don’t do this."
Ranma watched as her sister-in-law turned crimson with rage and
quavered in fear. Finally, he could take no more; he snatched the
phone from Nabiki's hands and without even bothering to bring the
receiver to his ear, screamed into the mouthpiece "I don't
care where you are, panty-boy, I am gonna hunt you down to the ends
of the earth, and I am gonna put you in a world of hurt!" SLAM.
He charged out of the room, down the stairs, and out the gates,
leaving Nabiki behind, still staring at the phone.
At which point, she broke down laughing. Kami, but Ranma sounds
so like a pro wrestler when he's like this. So cheesy. Maybe if
he didn't write his own lines…
And she headed for the Ono clinic to fetch her husband and sister.
She'd need help decorating the dojo, even though she knew Ranma
wouldn't return until he found them himself.
It was a good thing they were at the clinic, too. Pantsuit
had barely set the phone down before he got clocked by red-faced
Akane. "And I used to think Ranma was a pervert."
Many hands make light work, they say — although folks watching
Tarou working in his cursed form might disagree (including him)
— and with Kasumi in the kitchen and the others festooning
the dojo with black crepe, preparations were made swiftly.
And none too soon, as the hordes were about to storm the gates.
"Hello there, Yuka, Takeshi…"
"Hi there, Kasumi… place looks nice."
"Why, thank you."
"Oh hey, Tarou… Ranma was looking for you. He seemed pissed."
"I know. We had to get him out of the dojo somehow…"
"Nihao! Shampoo need hide for surprise Ranma?"
"Yeah, but stay human for this one, okay?"
"Of course. Bull-man know that Ranma look for…?"
"Ah… come on in, Hiroshi-kun."
"Thanks, Kasumi. Oh… hey, Tarou, Ra—"
Finally, everyone was in the dojo and in their places. Everyone,
that is, except the guest of honor.
"Well, honey… guess it's time to bring him in." Splash.
In his cursed form, all Tarou could do was let out a questioning
Nabiki smiled. "Oh, come on… you know he's expecting
you to face him like this. Besides, you're easier to find this way,
too." She put her finger to her lips as if trying to remember
something. "Oh, and Akane…"
"You'll need to be tied up." She gestured to several
of the other guests to get some ropes from the supply cabinet, which
several of the still-single guys were all too eager to do.
"Tied up? Again? Are you out of your mind?" A bluish
glow began to form around Akane.
"You're supposed to have been kidnapped, Akane… come on,
you know the drill." Nabiki's eyes glinted mischievously as
her sister's battle aura vanished. It was all part of the plan,
after all, and Akane had agreed to it right from the start. "And
admit it… you love it, Sis."
"I am noff yoof, Nafiffi."
"Nice gag, boys." It didn't take long, once Akane stopped
struggling, and Nabiki began to understand just how satisfying this
had been for her husband. She was already well on her way to getting
even for last year's humiliation.
Now, to get Ranma.
"Time to take off, sweetie." Nabiki slapped her monstrous
spouse on the flank, who lumbered over to Akane and slung her over
his massive shoulder. "Try not to let him kick your butt too
Pantsuit Tarou was doing a bovine impression of a growl as he left
the dojo. How dare that woman suggest Ranma could kick his butt!
But it was true. After all, while Tarou had made his fortune in
the Nikkei, Ranma had continued to practice the Art. They were not
evenly matched, and Tarou knew it. He would never admit it, even
to himself, but he knew it. And he had no intention of letting his
butt get kicked.
All he had to do was to find fem-boy, and lead him on a merry chase
back to the dojo.
Assuming he could find him, that was.
Nerima ward has been home to many a strange sight, many of which
centered around Ranma Saotome. But these days, sometimes the strangest
sight is Ranma himself. I'm sure most of you still picture him as
that muscled teenage cartoon character, a martial-arts superhero,
albeit with plenty of faults. But the thing is, cartoon characters
and superheroes never age. Oh, Ranma still has the muscles, and
he still bounds ten meters in the air as he travels from rooftop
to rooftop, but he's no teenager anymore. The rippling chest has
been augmented by a pot belly — nothing like his father's,
mind you, but you can't miss it — and what little hair he has
is getting quite gray. He's very self-conscious about it, and it's
why he keeps trying to act as much like he used to when he was still
in his prime. He succeeds at this better than most, but there's
something about that sight that even Nerima has trouble adjusting
to from time to time.
It was a sight Pantsuit Tarou wasn't prepared for, either. If Nerima
finds a sight strange, how much more so an occasional visitor (of
course, Pantsuit himself is one of those strange sights Nerima used
to be familiar with). Old Man Karate, indeed. He laughed so hard
that he was forced to land, lest he drop Akane.
Which brings us to another thing about Nerima, and what people
are used to: things break around there rather easily. It didn't
use to be because everything was cheaply made, either. Buildings
and walls and everything else used to be as sturdy here as anywhere
else. But after twenty-plus years of dealing with martial artists
that could wreck adamantine with a flick of the wrist, folks in
Nerima started to give up. Why waste time and expense making something
solid, when it'll soon get broken as surely as if it were made of
balsa wood? Cheap and quick, that's the Nerima construction philosophy
The reason I'm explaining this is because this posed a problem
for Pantsuit when he landed. You see, when he came down, he landed
on a roof.
Naturally, it gave way under his massive weight.
Naturally, it was the roof over the local sentou.
And naturally, he landed in hot water. In several senses of the
term. Bad enough he was no longer in his cursed form. Bad enough
Akane had landed on top of him, pinning him underwater for the moment.
Bad enough that Ranma had spotted him aloft and would be there any
second to pound him into dust.
But why in Kami's name did he have to land on the women's side?
And what with the transformation, he was every bit as naked as they
Having seen Pantyhose drop into the sentou, and realizing from
the screams exactly which side of the bathhouse he'd landed
on, Ranma kept his distance. All he could do was to stand by the
hole in the roof (looking away from it, of course) and holler, "Akane!
Are you down there? Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine!" By this time, Akane had been carried
to safety and untied by several of the bathers who weren't making
beef hash out of Tarou. "I'll meet you outside, and we can
head home, okay?"
"Right! I'll be by the door!" Heroics were not called
for under the circumstances, and at his age, Ranma had learned when
to simply wait for Akane to bail herself out. He knew the trouble
he could get into on the wrong side of a bathhouse; whatever he
could mete out to Pantyhose, the girls would give to him and then
some. Besides, Akane could take care of herself; she had made that
abundantly clear over the years.
"Oh, it was awful, Ranma! Having to be tied up like that…
and Pantyhose was saying the most horrible things! Those things
he was threatening to do…" Akane shuddered as she walking
alongside Ranma back to the dojo. It wasn't simply part of the act,
either — she had no taste for the exotic, um, amusements
that her sister ran to. She knew that Tarou wouldn't have done anything
to her, but the thought of him and Nabiki… Well, it sent chills
up and down her spine.
Ranma put his arm around her shoulder. "Well, what matters
is that you're safe. I figure those girls'll give him plenty of
the punishment he deserves." He chuckled softly. "Of course,
he may be into that sort of thing…"
It didn't earn him a malleting, but Akane did give him a sharp
shove in the ribs. "Don't make me even think about stuff
like that, Ranma!"
"All right, already! Sheesh…"
They were almost to the dojo when they saw him. Bruised and ragged,
draped only in a towel, which he'd presumably stolen from the sentou.
Heading for the dojo — and from all appearances, he'd get there
ahead of them.
"Pantyhose… what the hell's he doing, heading for our
house?" Ranma broke into a run, and Tarou, with a glance over
his shoulder, charged into the courtyard of the Tendo compound.
"How dare you? Dammit, Pantyhose, when I get my hands on you…"
Ranma's voice quickly dropped to a low murmur amid the cheering
and the noisemakers, but otherwise, he didn't miss a beat. "…I
am going to kill you."
This really wasn't a party for the children, but Akane had decided
against sending them off to Grandma Saotome's, or else her husband
might suspect something. After all these years, now Akane's giving
Ranma more credit than he deserved when it comes to being
observant. So they were there, too. Akima had to be pulled away
from the buffet table more than once, lest he leave the guests hungry.
And as Ranma was unwrapping his gifts, well…
"Daddy, they live on a farm… couldn't they have sent a real
horse?" Noriko's one of those girls who asks for a pony
with every birthday and Christmas, and she has the added insult
of having a father who receives horse-motif gifts on a regular basis,
thanks to his name. It's just another reminder of something she
Akane did her best to placate her younger daughter. "Honey,
you know that's because of Daddy's name. Besides, the Hibikis live
on a pig farm… you wouldn't want them to send us a live pig, now,
"Sure… I could wrestle it." Akima piped up. After meeting
Yoiko, and hearing about how her parents met, he had gotten it into
his head that that would be the way to win her affection. She certainly
seemed like she wanted to spend time with him here in Tokyo, showing
her around and what-have-you. It was the sort of thing that was
beginning to sound quite pleasant, indeed.
For the first time that evening, Ranma grinned at his boy's eagerness.
"Well, I'd bet Pops would think that would be good training,
but I don't think we could keep a pig here, son. Maybe we can visit
the Unryuu farm sometime."
"You mean it? Really?"
"Sure, why not? It's something I never got a chance to do."
Akane tapped her husband on the shoulder, "And a good thing
for you, too… didn't you have enough girls chasing you without
having Akari to deal with?" It was just about enough to cause
Ranma to color a bit.
Meanwhile, Noriko sensed that she was being ignored. "But
Mommm… Daddy gets all this stupid horse stuff, and I'm always
asking for one…"
"(Yes, you are…) Noriko, honey… remember, Daddy's name
means wild horse.' You wouldn't really want a wild horse,
now, would you?"
"I could tame it."
Akane heaved a deep sigh. "That's what I've been trying
to do for the past twenty years…"
Everyone at the affair had already presented Ranma with something,
be it something he might want or need, or the occasional gag gift
(Hiroshi, for one, had brought a bottle of Viagra from the local
pharmacy he ran, thus covering both gag and useful in one fell swoop),
when Daisuke stepped outside for a little fresh air — even
at this advanced age, guys still drink way too much sake, just to
show that they still can — and nearly tripped over an box that
had been left by the entrance. Forgetting his queasiness, he ran
inside with it.
"Oi, gang… found this outside. There's no card or anything.
Anybody not give Ranma their present?"
Stone silence, as everyone shook their heads. Then a rumble of
footsteps, as everyone crowded around Daisuke to take a look at
this mystery gift. All at once, Daisuke remembered he was in desperate
need of air. As soon as the box was in someone else's hands, he
dropped to his knees in an effort to crawl out from the crowd.
He almost made it to the patio.
Well, at least at that point everyone was more than willing to
give him as much space as he needed.
Aside from Daisuke, who was lying on the edge of the patio like
a seasick man in a hurricane, and Kasumi, who was busily cleaning
up the effects of his, erm, seasickness, everyone was staring at
the unidentified gift, and at Ranma as he picked it up and turned
it around several times in his hands. Nobody could figure out who
it had come from. Everybody that the Saotomes knew well was at the
"Hm… from the look of it, you'd think it might have come
from one of the Kunous?"
Which seemed a bit odd, as the Kunous never have any dealings with
the Saotomes, and needless to say neither of them were at the party.
Kodachi pretty much dropped her claim on Ranma-sama when Akane became
pregnant with Nagisa; it was clear to even her at that point that
Ranma-sama and Akane were… were… she couldn't even bear the
thought of him having sex with someone other than herself, but the
proof was incontrovertible. The only way Kodachi would ever be able
to have Ranma-sama would be as a mistress, and to lower herself
to such second-class status was the last thing she would consider
doing. Which was fine, as she was the last person Ranma would ever
consider for a mistress, assuming he ever would.
Tatewaki, for his part, had also been avoiding the Saotomes for
a number of years, even the pigtailed girl. Especially
the pigtailed girl, in fact. As the years went by, even he could
notice that his darling still appeared to be about fifteen or sixteen
years of age, and what with Kodachi's constant ravings about her
being a witch, he was beginning to consider the unthinkable possibility
that his sister might be right. He wasn't sure which part of the
proposition was scarier, but he wasn't taking any chances.
But while it didn't seem as though it could have been from either
of them, it was clear that there was this one last present from…
someone. "Might as well open it… it's too light to be a bomb,
Thus assured, everyone crowded around him to see what was in this
mystery box. The Hawaiian-motif kerchief was untied to reveal a
black lacquer box, inside of which was a coconut.
An almond-white coconut.
There wasn't a whisker of that brown hair on it. It was Kunou-kouchou's
gift to Ranma, a little reminder that, after all these years, Ranma
Saotome had finally gotten that buzz cut the principal tried and
failed to give him.
Spirit wards were immediately slapped onto the coconut's white
skin, and Ranma hurled the thing into low earth orbit. But some
of the partygoers could swear they heard the faint sound of the
principal's booming laughter, even as they watched it disappear
off into the horizon.
And that's the News from Nerima…
Where all the women are strong (and how!)…
All the men are… Well, they aren't always men, actually…
And all the craziness is above average.
Author's notes: Ara…
This story was taking shape so nicely, I thought I could have it
out about a week after the pilot NHC episode was released. Needless
to say, other stuff intervened. The story itself started to unfold
quite a bit (which is a good thing when you're trying to ramble,
but the writing takes longer), and then there was that weird Utena
bit (you're right, Zen… I really need to lay off the
I'm concerned, too, that I'm starting to lose the folksy monologue
style of Keillor's original work… anyone familiar with it and
willing to check this against it? And there's so many more ideas,
but never the time to commit them to paper (or disk… or… Well,
you know what I mean, sugar). Heh… sometimes I wish I could palm
them off on someone else. Of course, any comments, criticism, flames,
what-have-you can still be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, ja!