What I actually did was drag Snitchy into the neighbors' rose bushes, and then hose off the porch. The next morning, I was hanging out in the kitchen, waiting eagerly to hear the hausfrau's screams of terror, when Glinda came stumping in.
"Geezus, Glinda. It's nine a.m. You can't really be looking for booze this early, can you? And good morning, by the way."
"Pack a bag. We're off to see the Wizard."
"The Wizard? What the hell for? I got stuff to do. I can't just take off on a moment's notice."
Glinda scowled. "You're either with me or against me. Make up your mind."
I packed even quicker than I had gotten rid of Snitch.
We didn't bother with any of that 'follow the yellow brick road' bullshit this time. We traveled in a big bubble that smelt faintly of rum and bananas, and arrived in the Emerald City before lunch. I begged off when we got there and went to go get my roots touched up and a couple of tubes of siren red lipstick. We agreed to meet up at the palace when I was done.
When I got back, Oz and Glinda were still yacking. Oz looked even more like a disreputable old hustler than he had the last time I saw him. As I walked in, I heard him whining, "But, Glinda, you know I'm not a real wizard!"
Glinda replied sourly, "You better pony up some balls fast, you old fraud. Or find something that can help in one of those big trunks of yours. Because there's a tornado coming our way, and this time we might all get smashed."
Oz's eyes flicked over to where I stood in the doorway. For just a moment, his eyes went unfocused. Was that a line of drool? Ew! Glinda looked at him and then at me, then socked him in the shoulder. He pulled himself up quick, emitting a small yelp of pain, and started rubbing the shoulder she had hit, looking sullen.
Glinda scowled. "You've known her since she was ten, for Christ's sake. I'm a marked woman, here. Stop thinking with your dick and figure out how to help us."
Us? "Uh, you guys? You look like you're still pretty busy. I think I'll just go and see if Naughty Nails is still open. Nobody gives a French tip like the Manicure Mob."
Glinda waved me absently away.
Last I heard was Oz saying, "Something out of my trunks, eh? Maybe. Just maybe. Hold that thought for a second. I've got to go take a wiz."
My first—well, actually, my only—thought was to call and beg Ozma to help me. She was only a year older than I was, and had been raised as a boy, so she understood what it was like to walk both sides of the street, so to speak. Last time I had seen her she was still a little confused by the whole thing, but who wouldn't be? Maybe I could hide out with her until I could find the silver lining in all this.
I tried her land line, but didn't get an answer, so all I could do was leave a message. She apparently hadn't resolved all those pesky gender identify issues yet. "Hello," she trilled. "You've reached the hotline for Transgender Anonymous. We've missed your call, because we're either out shopping for shoes or bowling, so please leave a message, and a guy or gal—or both—will get back to you soon. Ciao!"
I left a message and my cell number, then went out in search of raspberry chocolate cappuccino and company. Not necessarily in that order.
I was standing in front of a shop run by the Shoe and Boot Society, looking at a hot pair of Jimmy Choo-Choo wedgies—the wedges were fashioned into train engines, and made soft "I think I can" noises with every step—cool or what? My cell phone rang. Ozma, finally!
"Ozma, is that you? I'm am so glad you called. You won't believe what's going on in Munchkinland!"
"I've been hearing rumors, and it's Ozman, today, if you don't mind."
I should have known by the deep voice.
"Ozman, I got it. You've heard about it all the way over here in Emerald City?"
"Word travels. I head Glinda has totally flipped her lid, turned into a complete dictator. Are you okay?"
Briefly, I described what was happening.
"And she came to Oz, instead of me, huh? That tells you something right there, sweet cheeks. Not good. Not at all."
I can't tell you the relief I had in putting the burden on Ozman's broad shoulders. "So, you'll do something before anybody else gets killed? I think she's going into holocaust mode—I swear to God."
"I hadn't realized things were in such a crisis state. Let me get a few things together. I'll see you there, okay?"
"Yeah," I sighed.
"Chin up, Dorothy. I'll be there in no time."
Feeling better than I had in weeks, I went back to the hotel to wait for Glinda.