Mini-Moribund Mini-Moribund

A Mini-Studio
a Mini-Peter Adventure transcribed by Nikki, 2007

November 3-30: Mini-Peter builds a studio!

     I guess it gets boring wearing the same thing every day of your life. Since Halloween, Mini-Peter has been enjoying the wardrobe change, wearing his costume and face paint and refusing to take it off.


     He says he'll go back to his Rockpalast clothes someday, but for now he's having too much fun in his Mini-Monkey gear. I can understand that.

     At least, I used to understand him.

     For a whole day this month, I couldn't understand a single word Mini-Peter was saying to me.

     "Aahwoo bahhmbap," he announced, dead serious.
     "Pardon me?"
     "Aah. Woo. Bahhm. Bap," he enunciated.
     "What does that mean?" I asked, baffled.
     "Heyyheyyooo," he explained. "Ennyweyee Doothay."
     "I don't know what you're saying, Mini-Peter. What are you talking about?"
     "Shakenumbada!" he exclaimed, exasperated.
     "That sounds familiar..." I furrowed my brow as I tried to remember where I had heard it... then it struck me - it was a bit of Gabrielese (Real Peter's term for his own style of wordless singing) from Kiss of Life! "Ah hah - it's Gabrielese! That's what this is all about, isn't it?"
     "Wamde Tanka!" he nodded proudly.
     "Ahh, no, that one actually means something. It's 'Big Eagle' in a Native American language but I'm not sure which one."
     "Oh. AhhhmamamaghhaaawoooOOOoo--"
     "Mini-Peter, I don't understand you."
     "Woooostaddaalala-mmmmba," he declared, crossing his arms.
     "Look. This Gabrielese business is fine for conveying emotion in music but for everyday conversation it just isn't practical."
     "Bah! Bah-dooomaaa!" He was clearly getting frustrated now.
     "I'm sorry. If you want me to understand you, you'll have to speak English. Or maybe French, I can understand a little of that if you go slowly--"
     "Laadddmmmm..." he grumbled.
     "I'm sorry," I said again, and he glared at me for a few seconds, arms still crossed, then dropped his hands to his sides and sighed, shook his head and walked away.

     Okay then, I thought, then I shrugged and moved on with my life.

     Later that day he brought me a quasi-organized stack of translation sheets.

Guide to Mini-Gabrielese

     I read down the list finding the things he had said to me earlier:

Aahwoo Bahhmbap  I'm building a studio.
Heyyheyyoo  I want to record an album.
Ennyweyee Doothay  I might need a few more instruments.
Shakenumbada  It's perfectly clear what I'm saying to you.
Wamde Tanka  Now you've got it
(or 'Big Eagle', apparently)
AhhhmamamaghhaaawoooOOOoo  Well, the language is still under construction
Woooostaddaalala-mmmmba  If you'd just make an effort, I'm sure you could understand
Bah  No
Bah-dooomaaa  No, you're wrong
Laadddmmmm...  this is futile...

     And so, using the translation sheets, I was able to carry on something resembling a conversation with Mini-Peter about how he would be building a studio in his hut and what sort of supplies he would need. He already had a keyboard, a guitar, a microphone and a computer, which was a good start, but he would need a bass, some drums, and a few more microphones. And possibly a lava lamp or two. I agreed to help him out however I could, so he got to work.

     And work, he did! I heard all sorts of strange noises coming from his hut. During a break he let me take a look inside, and it was an impressive setup. He'd adapted some of his Ham Radio equipment and added several new toys!

The Mini-Studio

     "This is exciting," I told him. "Have you been writing songs?"
     "A few. I'm still playing around, getting to know the software, learning the instruments. It takes time. The keyboards came easily but I'm having trouble with the guitars."
     "Real Peter isn't big on guitar-playing either. I don't think he even learned to play 'til he was 50 - the first time I know of that he's credited on guitar is on Up."
     "That must be why. I guess I'll just have to keep at it."
     "I'm sure you'll get better."

     After a while I started seeing Kitty practising the guitar and Lugnut fooling around on bass. Teddy was rumoured to be learning the drums. It was a whole band! Maybe they could tour my living room, I thought, and I wondered if they might even let me sit in for a song or two.

     By mid-month they were rehearsing together and sounding pretty good. Every once in a while they'd play one of Real Peter's songs to warm up, but mostly it was music I didn't recognize, and it was always evolving. Eventually, after much begging, they put on a mini-concert for me.

The Mini-Band

     Turns out Teddy's a lefty, just like me (and Phil Collins)! They played a rocking Shock the Monkey, a swirling White Shadow, a lovely Humdrum and a reeling No Self Control. And of course, they couldn't forget Me And My Teddy Bear.

Me And My Teddy Bear

     I gave them a standing ovation, but there was no encore. After all, it was time to get back to work. They had an album to record!

     By the end of the month I started getting impatient. I wanted to hear some of this stuff they were recording! I'd seen Mini-Peter dropping fruit off the top of the refrigerator and recording the sounds it made when it hit the floor, leaning the microphone out the window when the gardeners were mowing a lawn across the street and again when a car alarm was going off, and most intriguingly putting a plastic covered microphone into the fish tank (poor Feathers McGill was only slightly traumatized). He must have been getting some very interesting sounds and I wanted to hear how they were coming together!

     I caught him one evening after a long session in the studio.

Locking Up

     "So Mini-Peter," I approached him as he locked up, "How's the recording going?"
     "Fine, fine," he said.
     "Any idea when the album will be finished?"
     "Er... I'm still tinkering."
     "Well you must have some idea how much longer it will be."
     "You know the answer to that."
     "What, September?"
     "Very good."
     "Now hang on a minute. That's not fair. If you're 1/6 the size of Real Peter, then it should take you 1/6 the time to finish an album. Right? His first album took about two years, so yours should take four months. September is ten months away!"
     "No, I'm afraid you've got it backwards."
     "How do you mean?"
     "I have to make up for my size by taking a proportionately longer time to record."
     "Oh, come ON--"
     "Additionally, while I am 1/6 the height of Real Peter, I am actually only 1/216 his total volume."
     "Wait - his volume??"
     "Therefore," he carried on as if I hadn't spoken, "it must take me two hundred sixteen times as long to finish an album."
     "You really must be joking..."
     "I'm afraid not."
     "Great," I smirked. "So if the fastest Real Peter ever made an album was a year, the fastest you could ever make one is 216 years?!"
     "And as this is your first solo album, it will take 432 years."
     "Wamde Tanka!"
     "Four hundred thirty two years?!"
     "Give or take a September, but yes, that's near enough."
     I shook my head in disbelief. "Who gave you geometry lessons?"
     "I think you'll find the calculations are correct."
     "You'd better lock up your masters," I warned him, "because I smell a bootleg."
     "You wouldn't dare..."
     "Get yourself a big strong safe. That's all I'm saying."

     I should have kept my big mouth shut. The next day he came home with a mini-safe - it was fire-proof, water-proof, and, as I quickly discovered, completely, utterly and absolutely Nikki-proof.

the safe

     Of course, I do have 432 years to work on it... I could probably crack the combination in that amount of time, if only I could live that long. You never know - medical science *might* keep me alive until September of 2439, but somehow I doubt it. So much for a Mini-Peter album in my lifetime. The good news is that Real Peter's recording process is looking awfully reasonable now....