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Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life – Part 19 – Is VGRF for Real?




“She’s insane,” I said to the world’s greatest detective as he stepped out of my carry on bag and onto my tray table.

“Poppycock!” Holmes said. “She is a Video Game Rack Fighter! You are a Bookshelf Battler! You two were meant to be!”

Holmes suspects Vicky's on the level, that she is, in fact, a Video Game Rack Fighter...

Holmes suspects Vicky’s on the level, that she is, in fact, a Video Game Rack Fighter…

“I KNOW I am a Bookshelf Battler, but I only have her word that she’s a Video Game Rack Fighter,” I replied. “Carrying around beloved video game characters Carmine and Giuseppe in her purse? Please.”

“Might I remind you that you are carrying two of the fiction world’s foremost investigators in your carry on bag?” Holmes asked.

Watson popped out of my bag and started in on me.

“Mr. Bookshelf,” Watson said. “Your magical bookshelf is truly an awe inspiring mystery. But it never once occurred to you that there may be other enchanted media storage spaces out there?”

“Never crossed my mind,” I said.

“There’s only one way to solve this,” Holmes said as he leaped across the divide between my table and Vicky’s, then climbed into her open purse.

I looked over at Vicky. She was fast asleep. Her mouth was wide open, a little drop of drool pouring out the side. She was a light snorer. It was adorable. I had it bad.

“What are you doing?!” I asked.

“I shall simply locate the Sterotypical Italian Contractors and if they are real then Ms. Stratenhaus is telling the truth!”

“You can’t just go through her purse!” I said.

“Don’t worry!” Holmes said. “I am a detective!”

Holmes rumbled around inside the bag, then huffed and puffed as he struggled to pull out a very small, stiff and silent Carmine, only to drop him on the table in a haphazard manner.

“Careful Holmes!” Watson said. “You’ll give him a concussion!”

“You there!” Holmes said as he poked the tiny Carmine in the shoulder. “Borderline racist stereotype of an Italian contractor! Wake up, sir! You are among friends and no harm shall come of you!”

Carmine just laid there silently with a blank look on his face and a big smile.  He wore his trademark overalls and ball cap.  His face was mostly obscured by a big bushy beard.

“Are you deaf, man?” Holmes asked. “Wake up, I say!”

Watson jumped over to Vicky’s table, produced a tiny rubber mallet from his pocket, and lightly tapped Carmine’s knee with it. The most beloved video game character of all time refused to budge.

“Curious,” Watson said. “Either he’s quite adept at playing dead or he has terrible reflexes.”

“Put him back before she wakes up!” I said.

Holmes and Watson heaved Carmine back into Vicky’s bag, then returned to my tray table.

...BQB, on the other hand, opines that Vicky is one cart short of a full deck.  If he's the only one with a magic media storage space, then Vicky must just be some kook who thinks her action figures are real...

…BQB, on the other hand, opines that Vicky is one card short of a full deck. If he’s the only one with a magic media storage space, then Vicky must just be some kook who thinks her action figures are real…

“See?” I asked. “She talks to toys. She’s nuts.”

“Inconclusive!” Holmes said.

“How is that inconclusive?” I asked. “You whipped out Carmine and he didn’t move at all.  He’s clearly just a toy.”

“We’ve all been examined by your Aunt hundreds of times,” Holmes said. “We remain perfectly still. You are the only human we’ve ever revealed our true natures to, and I’d imagine that Ms. Stratenhaus’ video game friends feel the same way towards her.”

“This is going to be a long flight,” I said.

“Precisely the reason why we should be watching Pootie Tang!

 Will BQB ever learn the meaning of life?  Is Vicky really a video game rack fighter or is she nutsy cuckoo?  

And will Holmes ever get to watch Pootie Tang?

Find out as BQB and the Meaning of Life continues…

Copyright (C) Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

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BQB and the Meaning of Life – Part 15 – BQB’s Real Name


BQB dies.  Lives.  He must search for the meaning of life.

Read Parts 1-5

BQB and his bookshelf characters talk.  Holmes and Watson want to help.

Read Parts 6-13

BQB flies Air Third World on a mission to visit the war torn nation of Pango Tango, where the Great Guru lives. BQB hopes to ask him about the meaning of life  On the plane, BQB meets a nerdy female video game enthusiast.

Read Part 14

“And so, in Monster Nightmare, if you chop up a thousand monsters with your chainsaw, you get a distinguished chainsaw valor award,” the pretty she-nerd explained.

“Naturally,”  I replied.  “I wouldn’t want to chop up all of those monsters for nothing.”

Vicky shows Ed her video game awards.

Vicky shows Ed her video game awards.

We talked for an hour.  Actually, she talked.  I listened.  Occasionally, I tossed out a witty comment, but she had the floor.

“Listen to me babble on and on about video games,” the woman said.  “I haven’t even bothered to ask you your name.”

She reached out her hand.  I shook it.


I stopped myself.  She was a stranger.  Best to use my given name, not my chosen name.  The magic bookshelf was a source of great power.  Knowledge of its existence was not to be shared with just anyone.

“Eduardo,”  I said.

“Nice to meet you, Eduardo,”  the woman replied.  “I’m Victoria.”

Victoria popped a piece of gum into her mouth and offered me a piece.  I took it and chewed it.  I wasn’t a big gum chewer but it had been so long since I’d been in the company of a beautiful woman that I was ready to do anything she asked me.

“Is that your full name?”  Victoria asked.

I laughed.

“No,”  I said.  “My full name is a bit of a tongue twister.”

“Let’s hear it,”  Victoria said.

“I’d rather not.”

“Come on,”  Victoria said.  “It can’t be that bad.”

“Eduardo Ricardo Papageorgio Von Finklestein.”

Victoria giggled.

“Yeah,”  I said.  “Book agents I queried laughed too.  ‘Good luck selling books with that moniker pasted on the cover!’ they said.”

“You’re a writer?”  Victoria asked.

“I was,”  I replied.  “I used to be.  I stopped.  I’d like to try it again.  It’s complicated.”

“Well, pleased to meet you Eduardo Ricardo Papageorgio Von Finkelstein,”  Victoria said.  “I’m Victoria Gloria Somersby  Stratenhaus.”

“Seriously?”  I asked.

“Seriously,”  she replied.  “But you can call me Vicky.”

“OK,”  I said.  “And you can call me Ed.”

“So tell me, Ed, why did you stop writing?”

“Um,” I said.  “I’d rather hear about this video game fixation of yours.”

“Oh,” Vicky said.  “Long story short, I used to design video games.”

I felt my heart skip a beat – in a good way.  I was in the company of a fellow artist.

“That’s amazing,”  I said.

“Yeah,”  Vicky replied.  “Have you ever heard of Sweet Destroyer?”

“Of course,”  I said.  “I used to have a mild addiction to it.”

“Most people do,”  Vicky said.  “I had an entry level job inputting the code that made the sweets shift around.  It didn’t pay much, but at least I was working in the field I loved.”

“Why’d you leave?”  I asked.

“The guy I was dating at the time dumped me,” Vicky said.  “Said he wanted a woman who was more grounded, down to earth, not living with her head in the clouds.”

“He wanted a girl who preferred a bland life over daydreams about video games?”  I asked.

“Yeah,”  Vicky said.  “How’d you know?”

“Just a wild guess,”  I said.

“So I gave up on video games and went to business school,”  Victoria said.

I broke out in a cold sweat.  Vicky’s story was hitting too close to home.

“Got an MBA,”  Vicky continued.  “I figured there was so much competition in the video game industry that I might as well try my hand at a more practical career.”

“How’d that work out?”  I asked.

“The best I could do was a job at Drying Paint Media,”  Vicky said.  “America’s Number One Producer of Drying Paint Videos.”

This episode of BQB and the Meaning of Life brought to you by Drying Paint Media

This episode of BQB and the Meaning of Life brought to you by Drying Paint Media

“Drying Paint Videos are in high demand?”  I asked.

“Sure,”  Vicky replied.  “People who buy paint want to know how its going to look on their walls when it dries.  Pretty boring work though.”

“At least you’re producing videos,” I said.  “That has to involve some creativity, right?”

“No,”  Vicky said.  “I don’t even get to do that.  I’m just the assistant to the assistant of the vice-president for corporate assistance.”

I felt like I was going to faint.

“Are you alright, Ed?”  Vicky asked.


“Your face just turned as white as a ghost,”  Vicky said.

“Yeah,”  I said.  “I’m….I’m not really a fan of air travel.”

“Me neither,”  Vicky said as she stood up.  “In fact, excuse me for a moment, I have to go powder my nose.”

I sat back in my seat.  I smiled.  I felt my heart burst.  

Finally, I met someone who could relate to what it was like to be me.

I was feeling euphoric.

And then that feeling came to a grinding halt when I heard two muffled British voices coming from inside my bag.

“Holmes, I don’t think this is a very good idea,”  one of the voices said.

“Watson, stop being such a ninny!”  the other voice replied.  “Simply grab a pair of headphones when Mr. Battler is not looking and then we can revel in the comedic genius that is Pootie-Tang!”

Wow.  A big reveal – Bookshelf Q. Battler’s real name.  A juicy piece of information that our hero’s enemies would love to get their hands on.  Thank God only 3.5 people read this damn thing.

Join us next time on BQB and the Meaning of Life!

Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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BQB and the Meaning of Life – Part 14 – Enter the She-Nerd


Bookshelf Q. Battler, owner of a magical bookshelf where small versions of literary characters pop out of the books on said shelf and run amuck, dies on the toilet while crapping lightning, a condition which, as we learn, is very common.

In fact, you should do your part to help find a cure.

Our hero croaks, finds himself in God’s Waiting Room, where he’s told by his spirit guide, William Shakespeare, to seek the meaning of life.


BQB is given a second chance at life.  Upon his return to BQB HQ, his book character charges are sorry for driving him crazy to the point where the aforementioned lightning incident occurred.  Holmes and Watson are particularly interested in helping.

A TV news story reveals that The Great Guru, a wise man who has consumed the knowledge of every book ever written, is cut off from the world in his sanctuary atop a mountain located in the middle of the war torn island of Pango-Tango.  Ironically, Pangonians and the Tangonians have been hacking each other to pieces and blowing each other up for twenty years as the result of a dispute over which side is the most peaceful.




The Captain’s authoritative voice came through the intercom.

“Thank you for flying Air Third World.  Our motto?  ‘If you wanna go there, who are we to talk you out of it?  We are cruising at an altitude of 35,000 feet above sea level and we invite you to watch our in-flight feature film, Pootie Tang.”

Pootie Tang?  I asked out loud.  “Seriously?”

“Seriously,”  the Captain responded, apparently expecting someone to question the airline’s choice of in-flight movie.

Pootie Tang at 35,000 feet

Pootie Tang at 35,000 feet

For once in my life, I lucked out.  The seat next to me was empty, so I kept my carry on bag on it.  I sprawled myself out and was about to take a nap, when the voice of a pleasant sounding woman sitting behind me caught my attention.

“So this is the award I got for wasting the most aliens on Space Killer,” the woman said.  “Oh!  And this is the award I got for killing the most terrorists on War Shooter!”

“Uh huh,” responded a male voice.

“This is the award I received for selling the most crack on Car Thief Mayhem,  the woman said.  “I’m not actually all that proud of that one.  Maybe I should delete it off my record.”

“OK then,”  the man said.

“Oh!”  the woman said.  “This is the special victory medal I got when I finished Interplanetary Roleplayer as a female and as a male Sgt. Sequoia!”

The man behind me reached up and tapped me on the shoulder.  I leaned over to look back at him.  He was a macho manly man, about my age, who looked like he might have been a frat boy in his youth.

“Dude,” the man said.  “Can you switch seats with me?  This chick is boring the hell outta’ me!”

I peaked up over the seat.  Next to the man sat a beautiful she-nerd.  Big blue eyes, bright red hair, green glasses, and in her hands, a tablet that displayed all of her video game victories.

I hated to give up the extra room, but damn she was cute.  I grabbed my bag and switched seats with the man.  The woman didn’t notice.

“They give you an award for every hundred thousand zombies you dismember on Shuffling Living: The Video Game Experience,”  the woman said.  “Not to brag, but I have ten of those bad boys.”

“That’s cool,”  I replied.

The woman looked up.

“Where did the other guy go?”

“We switched seats,”  I replied. 

“Oh,”  she said with a frown as she folded a cover over her tablet  “I guess sometimes I get carried away.”

“I don’t think so,”  I said.  “I’d like to hear more about your video game achievements.”

“Seriously?”  she asked, flashing me the brightest grin I’d ever seen.

“Seriously,”  I replied.

Is love in the air for Bookshelf Q. Battler?  Tune in tomorrow!  

P.S – in the next part, we’ll learn Bookshelf Q. Battler’s real name!  You don’t want to miss it!

Copyright (C) Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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