I was downtown, doing some minor errands, when I ran into Monica, one of my old buddies from high school. Monica had recently been named senior partner of the law firm for which she worked. We managed to keep in contact with each other, and I even introduced her to Claude once -- Make that ONE time!
I had no idea that Monica would later receive a phone call from Claude Frollo, much less arrange to get a young lady a job.
"Nisha!", said Monica with surprised delight. "Do I have wonderful news for you!" She offered to treat me to lunch, and since I had nothing special planned that afternoon, I said OK.
"Nisha, I want to thank you for introducing me to that nice gentleman. He called me last week and asked if I would do a favor for you guys."
"A favor?", I asked, not exactly knowing what Monica was talking about.
Monica then went on to explain how a young lady -- one of my former students -- needed a job in the worst way. This was Faye, a very sweet, bright young lady who I always said would go far.
Faye was still living at home. Even after graduating from business school, she had yet to find a job.
I told Claude all about her and her family: How her dad had been downsized months ago, and how her mom had to take on a full-time job to make ends meet. And I told him how Faye had frantically searched for employment. "After all", I told him, "she wants to be able to take care of her parents, just as they'd been taking care of her."
Monica then told me that when Faye came in for her interview, everyone was extremely impressed. "She's a real dynamo -- a real go-getter. We would've hired her even without your friend's imput. But since he is a city magistrate, and from Paris of all places, well..."
So...Claude calls Monica just to help out Faye...and I thought he was doing something dirty. I'm going to call him tonight...and thank him. He can be so sweet...sometimes he scares me being so thoughtful...It's just not keeping with his character. But...No Matter...
After my lunch with Monica, I decided to head out to Wal-Mart and pick up some yarn. I planned on crocheting another afghan; this one would be for Renée, who, according to Claude, had just landed a plum assignment: designing and assembling ballgowns for the ladies of a prominent French family.
Wow! Renée landing that cool job -- and she's only thirteen!
I drove out to the Northside Wal-Mart, hoping to buy my yarn, plus a few other items, then return home. I wanted to contact Claude as soon as possible, perhaps treat him to a nice evening at home with dinner and a movie. I'll make it nice and easy. Dinner? Call the Chinese take-out. Movie? Blockbuster's!
It didn't take long to choose the colors, throw the yarn into my cart, and pick up other items. I wheeled my cart to the video department. Hmm...wonder if I can buy an old movie...maybe some silly old sitcoms...save me a trip to Blockbuster...Now let's see...I Love Lucy, Beverly Hillbillies...He's seen those...How about...Andy Griffith...Yeah! Claude's never seen Andy, Barney, Goober...This should please him...
I was ready to head to the checkout, when it caught my eye. A larger-than-life poster of that film. Above the poster was a sign: NOW ON VIDEO! I moved closer, and examined this poster. Yep...thee they are!
In living color were the beloved characters from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. My eyes fell upon the likenesses of Quasi, Phoebus, Esmeralda and Clopin, and of course, Judge Claude Frollo.
Look at him...staring out as if to say, "Come here, darling"...got that little grin...Ooh...those eyes...those hands...those lips...his fine chiseled features...those clothes. And no one here knows that I know you personally, sugarbritches...I mean, REAL personally.
I continued to stare at his likeness, totally oblivious to the people around me. I almost didn't notice the middle-aged gentleman standing nearby. His strongly Hoosier accented voice caught my attention as he said, somewhat indignently, "That man ain't been nothin' but trouble! Ever since we saw that movie, my wife and daughter have talked of nothing else!"
I wheeled around and beheld this man. He appeared in his late fifties, his grey-blue eyes fiery, and his sparse white hair seemed to stand on end as he continued his tirade.
"What?", I asked apprehensively, not sure exactly why this man was so upset.
The man then said, "I'm sorry, but for the past few days, these women have been going on and on. Why, they're at the movies right now! Munchin' on their popcorn, and waitin' for That Man to appear on the screen!"
I glanced at Claude's likeness, then my eyes focused on the gentleman standing before me. It didn't take long for me to realize the identity of this man.
"Mr. Brown? Faye's father? Don't you rememeber? We met during the Homecoming Parade -- I was one of Faye's teachers."
Mr. Brown looked at me for a few seconds, then exclaimed, "Now I remember you! Yeah! That was some game wasn't it!" Now, I wasn't about to burst Bob Brown's bubble.
Uh...I wasn't at the game that year...I had *other* things to do...(See Back to the Frollo: Ch. 20)
I glanced again at Claude's picture, wondering if...
Oh No! Claude called Monica...Faye gets hired on the spot...No wonder...But what has he done NOW?
"Mr. Brown, maybe you should tell me, exactly, what Claude Frollo has done...I mean, to your wife and Faye."
Bob Brown went on to tell me how Faye and Belva Brown were so taken by Claude Frollo that "they go to the movies every weekend. They'd bought that CD and play it to death, especially that "Hellfire" song. I'm tellin' you, ma'am, all they do is talk about 'what Claude did' and 'what Claude said'. It's enough to drive a poor man to drink."
I tried to keep from laughing, but I managed to keep a straight face when I commented, "But Mr. Brown, this is a cartoon character. Are you saying your wife and daughter are smitten by a...'toon?"
Bob Brown replied, "It don't matter if he's a cartoon or a live actor. All I know is that my wife hasn't cooked in over a week. My daughter's bought all this Frollo stuff: posters, keyrings, coffee mugs. Why this is worst than Elvis, or the Beatles!"
I was silent for a few moments, then I said, "Mr. Brown, relax. This is just an innocent infatuation; I'm sure it will pass." Uh-huh...and so's an ice cube's chance in Hell.
Bob Brown sighed, then said, "Pass, my foot! Why my wife's done sent off to Frederick's of Hollywood for 'something sexy'. I mean, you should see her! Tight day-glow pants and skimpy tops. I took one look at her and said, 'Belva Jean Brown, what do you have on?!'"
Now I really wanted to laugh. He did it again...Got some poor middle-aged Mama all worked up...and Faye...Oops! I forgot to ask about Faye's job!
Mr. Brown then went on to say that Faye was settling in nicely. "She's doing just fine. She plans on looking for an apartment this summer. But that Frollo fellow...It's all she talks about. Why, she's even torn off the Alan Jackson posters in her room. All I see now is pictures of this Frollo fellow."
I walked Bob to the checkout while he continued to lament over the women in his life. They'd falled head-over-heels in love with Judge Claude Frollo.
Then he snapped his fingers and said, "I almost forgot what I came in here for."
"And what was that?", I asked.
Bob Brown sighed again when he wearily replied, "I gotta go get them a copy of that video. You know, the one with him! These women! I'm tellin' you! Now they'll be laying up in the bed watchin' this man 24-hours-a-day!"
Poor Bob! Well...I guess I'll have to call Claude...tell him what wonders he has wrought...
I soon returned home, ordered dinner from my favorite Chinese restaurant, then got out that fabulous silver pager. I coded a sweet yet torrid message...
Hey sugarbritches...I suppose someone's been mighty busy...on the telephone, no less...I heard what you did for Faye...Nice move, baby...but there were some...side-effects. Come on over tonight...I bought some of that Kung Pao Shrimp you like so well...hot and spicy...like I'm going to get...once you get here...Nisha
Claude Frollo doubled over in laughter when I related what had happened to the Browns.
"I wanted to do something nice for Faye. I had no idea her mother would...er...fall for me", he laughingly said.
"Claude, you really should've told me this! Poor Bob!"
I couldn't help but join in Claude's amusement. Look at him! Thinkin' he did his 'good deed'...I am grateful, but...Look at the fallout!
Claude and I shared a Chinese feast, followed by silly old sitcoms on my TV. We snuggled next to other on the couch, laughing at the antics of Opie, Barney, Andy, Aunt Bee, and the rest of the Mayberry gang.
"This is quite amusing. Did I hear you correctly? You watched this program, when you were a child?"
"That's right", came my response.
We said nothing about Claude's telephone adventures, but I wanted to show him my gratitude for helping out a young lady.
I kissed Claude dead on the mouth. It was a full, long, juicy kiss; I was thrilled by his passionate and fiery response.
"Oh Nisha...my love", Claude breathlessly said afterwards. "I hope you can forgive me...for not leveling with you."
I kissed him again. "Sugarbritches, what is there to forgive? You pulled a few strings, helped Faye land that job...then do your 'thang' with Faye and her mama."
Claude laughed, pulled me closer to him, and kissed me deeply. "You do realize I have two more things to do -- for Faye."
"And what is that, Claude Frollo?"
Claude smiled, nuzzled my neck, then said, "I believe there's the matter of a creditor. Those calls can be rather expensive; Faye should not have to go into debt."
He smiled even broader. "Then she will have to find a suitable place to live. Hmm...What is the rent on those lovely apartments Downtown? You know, that charming little neighborhood --- 'Lockerbie'?"
I just looked at Claude and said, "No. Please don't tell me you're planning on paying her rent! Those apartments go for..."
All I remember was lips crushing mine, and a tongue tenderly caressing the inside of my mouth.
Ooh...Sometimes he can be so...I really can't describe it...He sure has a way of 'changing the subject'...
When Claude released me, I then asked him, "What exactly did you say to Faye? I mean...Did you...umm...talk 'that way'?"
Claude Frollo broke down in uproarious laughter, then said to me, "Nisha! I believe you're jealous!"
"I am not jealous, Claude Frollo! After all, you do have EIGHTEEN other women!" I then realized, "Oh no! Please don't tell you're planning on adding Faye..."
Claude got to his feet, pulled me by the hand, then led me upstairs. He was no longer teasing, but completely honest with me.
"Darling, I would never hurt you. I love you too dearly. As for Mlle. Faye Brown..well...Let's say that a young, handsome, up-and-coming lawyer will have a chance encounter with our Faye come Monday morning."
Now I was too 'through'. My goodness...not only did he arrange for Faye to get that job...but...now Claude's playing matchmaker?
Claude sensed my absolute shock; he kissed me deeply as if to soothe my worries. Oh yes...that did it all right...Who needs Valium...I got Dr. Claude "I'm-gonna-make-you-feel-good" Frollo...He can fill my prescription anytime.
"And now, my lovely Danisha, I shall talk...Ooh!...'dirty' to you!" I grinned broadly, gave him the "let's-do-the-wild-thang" look, then let him chase me up the stairs.
Copyright©1998 by FrolloFreak