"With Pickles so green and meat so brown! Lunch times fun with Slushy the Clown!"
"You know after a while," Phineas said, "that song can get really annoying."
Being a Saturday afternoon, Mr. Slushy Burger was a complete madhouse. The only open table that they could find was right under the Slushy the Clown statue, which spews out it's famous jingle every three minutes.
Ferb just merely nodded as he ate his burger. For some reason, the food seemed to have gone down in quality recently. Mr. Slushy Burger had never really gotten any better anyhow. Almost as if since they left, everything has been changing for the worse. Realizing what he was thinking about, Ferb quickly shrugged it off. It's simply a dry patty, not a motif or foreshadowment for later in life.
"I'm glad you're feeling better," Ferb said. "Sometimes, it just takes actually getting out there."
"As always," Phineas said, "you're right." He absentmindedly went to grad for some fry sauce, but in doing so, his elbow hit his E-flat above HI-C drink. The resulting spilling then created a stream of orange liquid that then ran from the top-sided cup to the edge of the table. The conclusion was the juice falling off the edge of the able and landing onto the lap of Phineas, soaking his pants.
"Egh!" Phineas said in frustration. "Let me go get some more napkins."
Ferb nodded as Phineas moved away to the counter with the sodas and condiments. Grabbing a handful of napkins, he walked towards the trashcan, furiously scrubbing his soaked pants, but to no avail. In doing so, he was not aware of where he was going and bumped into a tall man with sloppy brown hair and a lab coat.
"Oh. Uh. Sorry, mister," Phineas said as he tried to quickly scurry away, trying to hide his frustration and embarrassment and averting any eye contact.
"Hey, kid. It's okay," said the man. "I see you spilled some stuff on your pants there. Here." He held out his hand in front of Phineas, hindering him from moving forward any further. In the man's hand was an odd purple towel type thing.
"I call it my Spilled Milk-inator," the man continued. "It evaporates any liquid particles in mere moments by attracting any organic macromolecules separate of that of the clothing of the person. I originally made it when I had a personal vendetta of cows, but luckily that was a short phase. This little puppy actually came in really handy when I had to clean up the messes from my Juice-inator and my Chicken Soup-inator."
Phineas looked up at the man finally. His eyes seemed to be glimmering and he had a smile on his face that hinted that he was enjoying this one-sided conversation immensely, almost as if he had done it many times before.
"That is so cool!" Phineas said as he took the Spilled Chicken Juice-ifier, or whatever it was called. He rubbed it against the soaked portion of his shorts, and the juice was instantly absorbed into it, leaving them completely dry and clean.
"Thank you, Mister…"
"Doctor," the man replied. "Doctor Doofenshmirtz."
"Thank you, Dr. Doofenshmirtz," Phineas replied. "You know, if you use ethylene maleic anhydride copolymer instead of acrylic acid, it will be twice as absorbent."
"Really?" Doofenshmirtz replied. "I never thought of that. Thanks kid."
"Sure thing. I actually know- er- use to know, a lot about this stuff," Phineas said, slipping back into a solemn tone.
"You say 'use' like you have a traumatic backstory linked to your experience. And, believe me, I know a lot about traumatic backstories. Care to tell me about it?"
Phineas didn't really want to. What is he suppose to do, pour his feelings out to a stranger? But, given the expectant look he was receiving from the man, he could tell that he wouldn't be able to go anywhere unless he said something. So, eh, why not?
"Well," Phineas began. "Recently, our-"
What was he suppose to say? Pet platypus that was a secret agent? That's crazy. Even he didn't believe it yet.
"-brother died. He was a- umm- police officer. He died protecting us from a- uh- crime lord. We were relocated, and I just don't know what to do right now. I don't want anyone else to get hurt."
Throughout Phineas's story, Dr. Doofenshmirtz just listened. He he was done, he said, "Wow, kid. That's- that's rough. I'm sorry. If it makes you feel better, my life isn't going much better either. My partner was just murdered, I was presumed dead, and my daughter and ex-wife were put into witness protection, so I can't even see them anymore."
"Well, I guess we're both in the same spot here, aren't we?" Phineas replied.
"Say," Doofenshmirtz said, seeming like he was getting an idea. "I've been in a rut with my inventing too. Why don't we, say, get together sometime and work it out. It could be like a mentorship type thing!"
Phineas thought about it. On the one hand, he had just met this man. On the other hand, his family had kept urging him to get out there and move on from what happened. Phineas didn't know what to do, but something in the back of his mind told him to take the offer. Almost as if it was something else that was influencing his mind. But, of course, that couldn't really happen.
"Sure," Phineas said.
"Great!" Doofenshmirtz exclaimed. He then reached inside his lab coat and pulled out a white slip of paper. "Here is my card. Go ahead and call and we could set something up."
"Okay," Phineas said as he took the paper, still not really knowing what he was doing. He then said his goodbyes and went back to the table where his brother was still sitting.
"Who was that guy?" he asked.
"Oh," Phineas replied. "That was Doctor… uh… Doofen-something or rather. He offered me a mentorship. He said he was an inventor or something."
"Oh. Well, at least you're moving on," Ferb replied. He knew that this could be a good thing, but something in his gut told him that their troubles were just beginning. What was that, foreshadowing again? That can't be right. Everyone knows that kind of thing only happens in books.