Claude and Fraud Do Something 2F

When Fraud got to their table, he saw that both Claude and Maud looked very happy. “Why are you happy?” asked Fraud.

“Because our spontaneous creation of the mind has been completed,” said Maud.

Seeing the look of confusion on Fraud’s face, Claude asked, “Remember what Maud called the spontaneous creation of the mind we tried to start last week, before we were stopped by Officer Bartleby?”

“Yes,” said Fraud. “She called it, ‘Claude and Fraud Do Something.'”

“Correct,” said Maud. “And as Logarithm explained last night, when you had your party last night, the two of you actually did something. And when that happened,” she said, raising her coffee mug, “our spontaneous creation of the mind was completed!”

“Really?” asked Fraud.

“Yes!” exclaimed Claude.

“OK,” said Fraud, sitting down at the table with Claude and Maud.

End (thankfully) of “Claude and Fraud Do Something”



Claude and Fraud Do Something 2E

Exactly 63 minutes later, Claude and Fraud walked through the front door of The Nervous Dog, the coffee shop where Maud had asked to meet them. Claude removed his woolen cap, which he had begun using today to replace the hood of his beige jacket that didn’t fit his head properly.

“Hello Claude. Hello Fraud,” said Maud, sitting at a table near the entrance.

“Hello Maud,” said Claude, as Fraud walked up to the coffee bar. A woman in a green apron was standing behind the bar, the same woman who had cleared the coffee cups from their table when Claude, Fraud, and Maud (who pronounced her name Maude at the time) had been there earlier that week. The woman in the green apron still did not look nervous, and she was definitely not a canine.

“Hello,” said Fraud to the woman in the green apron. “Are you still open?”

The woman shook her head. “I’ve never been open,” she said emphatically. “Open is washing dishes.” She pointed behind her, to a young man also wearing a green apron. The man was washing dishes in a sink, but looked up and turned at the sound of the woman’s voice. There was a large name tag on the man’s apron. Fraud read the name tag — it said OPEN. Fraud then turned to the woman, and read her name tag — it said LATE.

“Never mind,” said Fraud, turning from the coffee bar and walking back to the table where Claude and Maud were sitting.

Claude and Fraud Do Something 2D

“Why did you decide to change the pronounciation of your name to Maud?” asked Claude.

“Because,” said Maud, “pronouncing my name as Maude, when I spelled it as Maud, was too confusing to people.”

Claude said, “OK.” And then he asked, “What is the reason for your call, Maud?”

“I am going to perform another spontaneous creation of the mind,” replied Maud, “and want to know if you and Fraud would like to participate.”

“Of course!” said Claude, looking up from the telephone at Fraud, who was sitting in his green corduroy recliner but still not reading his newspaper. Fraud looked nonplussed, which was difficult for him to do since he did not know what that word meant. Claude walked over to Fraud, and handed him the telephone.

“Hello?” said Fraud, not knowing why he was speaking in an interrogative tone.

“Hello Fraud,” said Maud, speaking into the telephone at the other end of the connection. “Could you and Claude meet me at The Nervous Dog in an hour? I am going to conduct another spontaneous creation of the mind.” The Nervous Dog was the coffee shop where Claude, Fraud, and Maud (who pronounced her name Maude at the time) had met earlier that week.

“Will The Nervous Dog be open an hour from now?” asked Fraud.

“I’m at The Nervous Dog now,” said Maud, “and the sign on their door says they will be open for the next two hours.”

“OK,” said Fraud. “We’ll be there in an hour.” Then he pulled the telephone away from his ear, and pressed a button on its surface.

Claude and Fraud Do Something 2C

“Aha!” cried Claude. “So our success last night at finally being able to do something has inspired you to change the pattern of our lives? You’re now more willing to do something, instead of just sitting in your green corduroy recliner and reading your newspaper?”

Fraud shrugged. “I still don’t want to do anything. I just like thinking about what we could be done.”

skrrEEECH. The sound of the telephone acknowledging an inbound call prevented Claude from responding. skrrEEECH. Claude picked up the telephone, pressed a button on its surface, lifted it to his ear, and said, “Hello.”

“Hello Claude,” said the voice from the telephone. “This is Maud.”

“Maude?” asked Claude.

“No, Maud,” said Maud, who spelled her name Maud and used to pronounce it as Maude, but now pronounced it as Maud. “I’ve decided to pronounce my name exactly as it is spelled.”

Claude and Fraud Do Something 2B

The next evening, Claude entered the apartment he shared with Fraud. Claude was wearing his beige jacket, but he was not wearing the hood that didn’t fit his head properly.

“What happened to your hood?” asked Fraud, looking up at Claude from where he was sitting in his green corduroy recliner, his extended legs crossed and resting on the  matching ottoman.

“I removed it,” answered Claude, “because it did not fit my head properly. I am now wearing this wool stocking cap.”

Fraud nodded. “It seems to fit your head properly.”

“Yes, it does,” said Claude, removing the wool stocking cap, his hair reaching up as static electricity crackled above him. “Why aren’t you reading your newspaper?” asked Claude, pointing to a newspaper wrapped in plastic and lying next to Fraud’s green corduroy recliner.

“Because,” replied Fraud, “I’m trying to think of what we can do next.”

Claude and Fraud Do Something 2A

“Do you, also, think this is a good party?” Maude asked Logarithm.

Logarithm shook her head. “I actually don’t care whether this is a good party or not. I only raised my right hand because I realized that CLAUDE AND FRAUD were finally able to DO SOMETHING!”

“What?” said Claude.

“Cool,” said Fraud.

“Please explain,” said Maude.

“There was no DRAMA when this party started,” explained Logarithm. “It was BORING — people just SITTING and TALKING
about NOTHING IMPORTANT.  But when SHELLEY said she did NOT think it was a GOOD PARTY, we HAD . . .” Logarithm looked invitingly around the room.

Jeff’s roommate said “Suspense!”

Jeff, the sister of Jeff’s roommate, said “Controversy!”

The Other said “Tension!”

“Exactly!” exclaimed Logarithm. “And Maude’S BRILLIANT solution to the PROBLEM gave the proper ENDING to this little DRAMA!”

“But if I came up with the solution,” protested Maude, “what makes you say that Claude and Fraud have finally done something?”

“Because,” explained Logarithm, “if Claude and Fraud had not tried to PARTICIPATE in your spontaneous creation of the mind earlier this week, you would not have told The Other that you had met them. And if Claude and Fraud had not GONE with you to the coffee shop, you would not have told them they were going to host this party. And if Claude and Fraud did not LIVE in this apartment, there would have been no place for this party to HAPPEN!”

“You could have had the party somewhere else,” said Fraud.

“Be quiet!” hissed Claude.

“Ah, but the party would not have been the same if it were somewhere else,” explained Maude. “We may not have had the same people at this party if it were somewhere else. Which means we may not have had the drama that we experienced, tonight, in your apartment.”

“Face it,” said Logarithm, turning to Claude and Fraud with a smile. “Because of who you are and the choices you have made — tonight, you were finally able to DO SOMETHING!”

“Hooray!” everyone shouted at exactly the same time. Then they celebrated Claude and Fraud doing something by dancing again, and at the end of the night they all agreed that it was a good party, even though nobody could tell Shelley who would win the election.

Claude and Fraud Do Something 1Z

“Who do you think will win the election?” Claude asked The Other.

“I don’t know,” said The Other, so they all ate popcorn and drank beer and listened to music until the doorbell rang again. This time Fraud opened the door. “Hello Jeff,” said Fraud to Jeff, who was standing outside the door. He was with Jeff, his roommate, and Jeff, who worked with Jeff, and Jeff, her sister. And after they had come in more people arrived and before long there were so many people in the apartment that two people had to sit on the ottoman which matched Fraud’s green corduroy recliner.

An hour later, Jeff said “I think this is a good party.”

“I agree,” said The Other.

“What does everyone else think?” asked Maude. “Everyone who thinks this is a good party, raise your right hand. Everyone who does not think this is a good party, raise your left hand.”

Hands went up. Maude counted 12 right hands and 3 left hands.  “But wait,” he said, “there are only 14 people here. Why then do I count 15 hands?”

“Because Jeff voted twice!” said The Other, pointing to Jeff, who still had both hands in the air.

“Oh, all right,” said Jeff, blushing. He put his left hand down.

“Thank you, Jeff. That means only two people — Shelley and Logarithm — do not think this is a good party. Can I ask you two why you think this way?”

“Because,” said Shelley, “nobody is dancing. I don’t like parties if there isn’t any dancing.”

“Well then,” said Maude, “let’s dance!” They turned up the music and everyone danced. First they played a fast song and they all danced in the middle of the room, then they played another fast song and they formed a dance line and they danced as a group. Then they played a slow song and everyone chose a partner and they danced slow, then they played another fast song which was really long and they all danced in the middle of the room until everyone (even The Other) fell to the floor exhausted.

“Do you change your vote now?” Maude asked Shelley.

“Yes,” she said, throwing his right hand into the air.  And at exactly the same moment, Logarithm raised her right hand too.

Claude and Fraud Do Something 1Y

“Come in — the party’s just about to begin,” said Claude at precisely 7:54 that Friday evening, as he opened the door to the apartment he shared with Fraud. Outside the door were a middle-aged man with a receding hairline, and a teenaged girl with spiked hair.

“Hello, Shelly and Sherry,” said Maude, standing behind Claude. Maude remembered they had volunteered to participate in the spontaneous creation of the mind she had tried to organize the other evening in the parking lot of the bank, which was once again closed.

“Hello Maud,” said Shelly.

“No, it’s pronounced Maude,” replied Maude. “And is your name pronounced Shelly or Shelley?”

“Shelly,” said Shelly.

“It rhymes with Jelly, or Belly,” explained Sherry.

“Where’s Fraud?” asked Shelly, looking around the room. “I’d heard that he is usually sitting in his green corduroy chair with matching ottoman and reading his newspaper.” Shelly pointed to the green corduroy chair with matching ottoman. Fraud was not there. A newspaper lay on the ottoman.

“He’s in the bathroom,” said Claude.

“Hello, Shelly. Hello, Sherry,” said Fraud, coming out of the bathroom.

“Hello, Fraud,” said everyone in the room at exactly the same time. Claude then smiled broadly and said, “Let the party begin!”

They ate some chips and drank beer and talked about the election. “Who do you think will win?” asked Shelly.  “I don’t know,” said Fraud. She asked Sherry and Claude and Maude, but they didn’t know either. Then Claude made some popcorn and the doorbell rang and Fraud opened the door and The Other came in.

“Hello,” said everyone to The Other.

“Hello everyone,” said The Other.

Claude and Fraud Do Something 1X

“What makes you think we didn’t already have plans to do something Friday night?” asked Claude, sounding indignant as he stared back at Maude, who spelled her name Maud but pronounced it as Maude.

“What were you planning on doing?” asked Fraud.

“I don’t know,” replied Claude. “The reality is that I did not have plans to do anything Friday evening. And neither did Fraud.” Claude leaned forward, raised the index finger of his right hand above the center of the table where he, Fraud, and Maude were sitting, and continued speaking. “But here is the point. Whatever plan we came up with, for whatever it was that we would do, would be something that we did. This party at our apartment — that is something you have done.” He lowered his index finger, and pointed it towards Maude. “You — you have stolen our ability to do something!”

“But I haven’t done anything,” replied Maude. “I’ve just made a plan for Friday evening. Planning and doing are not the same thing. You can plan to do something, but since nothing ever works as planned, you can’t really say that anything has been done until your plan is completed. So it really doesn’t matter that I’ve made a plan for you and Fraud to do something Friday evening, because when Friday evening comes, that plan won’t matter any  more — you and Fraud will then have the opportunity to do something.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” replied Claude, shaking his head.

“But I do,” said Fraud, as he rose from his stool and sang:

Something is planned, but nothing is done
Until somebody works under the sun;
It’s like baking a cake, but only less fun
Like tying your shoes, or shooting a gun

Claude and Fraud Do Something 1W

“Hello,” said Maude to her phone. “Yes. No. OK, I’ll let Claude and Fraud know. Thank you. Goodbye.” Maude then lowered the phone from her air, and pressed its surface.

“What are you going to let us know?” asked Fraud.

Maude smiled. “You and Claude are hosting a party at your apartment. Friday, tomorrow night.”

Claude’s eyes widened in surprise. Since he did not have to ask when or where, he asked, “Why? How?”

“I sent a text message to a friend when Officer Bartleby stopped our spontaneous creation of the mind this evening,” explained Maude, who spelled her name Maud but pronounced it as Maude. “I mentioned that there were two men named Claude and Fraud with me, and then he sent a reply that he thought he knew you.”

She turned to Claude. “He asked me if one of you had a beige jacket with a hood that didn’t fit his head properly. I said yes, and he said that was Claude. Then I asked him if Fraud liked to read newspapers, and he said yes. Then he asked me what the two of you were doing, and I said they were actually looking for something to do now that our spontaneous creation of the mind was canceled. That was when he called me, which is when you heard me say Hello, and asked if I thought it was a good idea for you two to host a party at your apartment, which is when you heard me say Yes.”

“But then you said No,” observed Claude. “Why did you say that?”

“Because my friend asked if I the two of you were planning to do something Friday.”