Twain & Einstein: Bustin’ Loose

(Printed in Tales Designed to Thrizzle)


Albert Einstein opened his mouth. "I-" he began, but Mark Twain cut him off. "Quit complaining, Al! I rented this steamboat so we could take a vacation together, we're both too stressed out from our jobs as lawmaking groundskeepers. You can finish your tests when we get back!"

"I  just hope nothing goes giant-size," grouched Einstein, but Twain had a bite on his fishing line. "i just bought this fishing line!" he growled grimly around his cigar. "Whatever is biting it is getting a poke on the noggin." Quickly removing his jacket, he dived into the water and punching noises started coming out of it. Einstein took the opportunity to have a fantasy about an equation.

Twain climbed back out of the river. They were on the mighty Missisissippi and the paddlewheels made so much noise that they both had to shout. "That fish was a new breed of aggressive. I have to operate on the presumption that someone fed it drugs... it wasn't you, was it, Al?"

Einstein was horrified. "Of course not! I have only drugged fish in the pursuit of atomic immortality! But if some sinister figure has done this, then I hope it was not a fellow member of the Princeton Twelve, that shadowy organization that I have never mentioned I had been a part of." And he refused to say anything more.

Later they pulled into a riverside clam shack and had clam shakes. As they prepared to turn the keys in the steamboat's ignition Twain paused. "The driver of the boat ahead of us... he smelled like a criminal!" As his face hardened, the steamboat ahead suddenly shot off. "They saw my facial expression!" yelled Twain, and Einstein lost his balance as their boat lurched into high speed chase mode. "They're heading down the river!" pointed out the writer of such classics as "Tom Joad in Paris" and "The Prancing Pauper." "If we can go faster than them, we can possibly catch up. Paddle, wheels, paddle!"

"It's up to the boat now," observed Einstein, and he went to the lounge chairs to answer some fan mail. The first envelope he selected from the mailbag was decorated with smiley faces and hearts, as well as a carefully printed "LUV U." "This person or persons clearly like us a great deal," mused Einstein before opening it. Inside was a simple card: YOU STINK! "People are illogical creatures," chuckled Einstein as he prepared to write his reply. 

"Hey, genius! How about some rockin' chase music?" snapped Twain. "Very well," grumbled Einstein, and, abandoning the mail for the time being, he shuffled over to the guitar locker. Taking out his favorite Stratocaster, he proceeded to play a blistering set of "chase rock" that included "Who's Chasin' Who?""The Chase is the Game," and a dozen other hits. "Good thing I was wearing my silver lame pantsuit and platform shoes," he smiled to himself while rocking out. Twain concentrated on the chase, and it continued fine until the river turned a corner and they found the other steamboat, abandoned. 

"Look! They're getting into that submarine, over there!" shouted Einstein. "Who cares!" snarled Twain, who could really be quite moody and unpredictable sometimes. "Let it go- we got no jurisdiction!" He put on his sunglasses and started to play sax as Einstein examined the sub through binoculars. "It has those Deluffenschrafft fan vents that were popular for a while... a wily old physicist could probably swim in through one of those, take over by impersonating the captain, and drive them all to the nearest police station" he mused to himself as he prepared to do just that. Later, as he counted his reward money, Einstein laughed while Twain shook his head. "You wanted us to have a vacation... but I am catching the, how you say, scum who give drugs to fish, and getting paid well I am too in the bargain!" 

"Sometimes you talk English as good as me, other times you sound like you just got off the boat," pointed out an exasperated Twain.