buzz was the first bozo in the bunkhouse to hear the broadcast that the boys were all getting new buddies.
nobody knew why. or seemed to much care.
booboo and bertram were sad that they were going to be broken up, but they did not show it because they knew the others would laugh at them.
buzz was a little bit sad. he had liked all the other bozos but none of them had liked him much or paid much attention to him.
so maybe when he had a whole new set of buddies he would find one who liked him a bit more.
that was the way he looked at it.
bunky, who was into astrology, said that they were being broken up because betelgeuse was moving into the seventh house of aries or something like that. nobody agreed or disagreed with him.
they all had other interests.
they were a diverse, branched-off bunch.
bunky was a devoted student of astrology.
billy was a serious student of the natural history of primates, especially gelada and olive baboons.
bert wrote epic poems about notorious bandits and conquerors of the universe.
bruce was a baseball fan.
boris could talk for hours - if anybody had wanted to listen - about the various religions of the world.
booboo did crossword puzzles and bertram studied chess and musical scores - though of course playing music was strictly forbidden on their level. booboo and bertram were the only two in the group who seriously dreamed of moving up to the next level, so this gave them something in common.
basher, brandon, and bo were all interested in the same subject - women. but as their approaches diverged sharply, the common interest did not create any particular bond between them.
basher studied the ancient history of women.
brandon studied their psychology, especially the most up to date findings.
brandon and basher accepted that their studies were academic and that they would never actually encounter any human females.
bo was not so circumspect. he studied the history of the recent colonizations and the biological revolutions. he also dropped enough hints to the others as to be flaunting the fact that he dreamed of some day belonging to the forbidden brotherhood which dreamed of breaching the male-female barrier.
but as they were all a good bunch of guys nobody snitched on him.
buzz was the dullest and dreamiest of the boys. mostly he wrote little cartoons in a notebook he carried around with him. but what he was really doing was studying the other boys as unobtrusively as possible and wondering what it would be like to be them.
that night they would eat their last meal together. it was wednesday, so they would have chef boyardee beefaroni, with boiled beets and brussels sprouts. with banana pudding for dessert.
bert, bruce, and buzz decided to go for a walk along the beach, before the sun went down.
a light breeze ruffled the waves.
they came to an abandoned basketball court. with one hoop, which sagged at a 135 degree angle.
after kicking around in the sand, bert uncovered a dirty, somewhat deflated old ball.
bert and bruce decided to play a little horse. buzz, who was not very athletic, sat and watched them for a while, and then dozed off.
when he woke up bert and bruce were gone, and it had gotten dark.
buzz felt there would be some banana pudding, at least, left over whenever he got back so he walked a little further down the beach.
he looked out over the water but he did not see any blue whales, or even any barracudas.
he came to a blanket stretched out neatly on the sand.
it was old and tattered and looked like nobody had sat on it for a thousand years.
it seemed strange that the wind had never blown it away.