Elm-Tree The Mighty Oak

Four fifty-eight and I was ready to go.   I had my purse in one hand, my coat hung over my shoulder.   Four fifty-nine, the seconds clicked away and seemed to slow as each second passed.   I hovered my mouse so I could log out the exact second it hit five pm because I had plans after work.

My friend Elm-Tree was coming to see me. I had not seen her in more than fifteen years,  I knew Elm-Tree back in the day when I was  first cutting my teeth in the customer service circuit   It seemed that it was a circuit of sorts, I compared it with the factory workers back in the twenties, the women worked factory jobs.  They would work until the work ran out and move to the next factory.

In the customer service trade there were different reasons for the migrations of employees.    Sometimes work ran out,  they laid off then either picked back up or dried out completely, sometimes company politics and the wage war companies battled against each other,  forced the migration of head set wearing, averages joes most of whom were female.   The top most reason for a forced migration was because someone came in the door at half past,  left out that door at quarter of , or never walked in the door at all way too many times or  a rep had just lost their mind and thoughts verbalized; it never mattered who started it.   Bottom line they walked the walk of shame.

The circuit of people running the customer service gauntlet was vast and wide.   But sometimes it seems real small because you always ran into someone who knew someone;  or a friend  worked there but before you or after you and sometimes you ran into old friends on a new job.   In those cases if they walked the walk of shame once, you wondered  how soon would they repeat it.

Meeting up with my friend Elm-Tree was good.   She worked a some places I had worked but we only worked together at one company.   She had worked with several of my current co-workers and one of them was Currie.

One second to five ‘BEEP’. I got a phone call.    I swear to all that is holy sometimes people plan this.   They know you close at a certain time and literally watch the clock to the exact second to make the phone ring just before closing.     The phone lines can be quiet all day; every single person that calls in gets responded to top speed and right at the end of the day they call; normally apologizing for calling so close to closing  or defending their thoughtless action by saying they called earlier; waited on hold 45 minutes then they needed to use the rest room.   While they are saying it you can hear them flushing their toilet or hear some noise you really did not want to hear.

These people never call with some easy issue, that late in the day.    It’s  always someone trying to get to a department that is closed for the day, those are pretty easy because you just repeat that their department has closed and apologize for 15 minutes, muting them and swearing.   Or someone that calls about something that happened two years ago they need straightening out at 4:59:59 on a Friday.   Or someone who’s next payment is due; sometime next fall,  needs to make one before he/she gets a late charge.

“Hurro,” I hear this voice.  “Hurro!” It sounds like hello but in a weird fake Asian accent.

“hello?”  I answer.

“I gotta bag pipe stuck in my rear!” then I hear this horrible awful like noise in my ear; it is loud.   I hear a crazy laugh.   “You need egg row.”  Then that squeaky bag pipe.   It was Annie.   She did it all the time she claimed to do it to save me from getting a call and give me a ‘spot’ of over time.    I never claimed the over time and it just slowed me down because she would occasionally  have someone else call and act like a customer.

I hung up on her and logged out, texting Elm-Tree who was waiting outside for me.   The first thing I noticed was Annie’s fire truck.   I was hoping that she would not try to follow me.   As soon as I go out the fire truck rolls up, Elme riding shot gun and Annie in the driver’s seat; with a set of bag pipes up her rear.

It was nearing St.Patrick’s Day and Annie liked getting in the Spirt of things early.   She blew the horn on the truck loud and long, then screamed into the microphone, “Slam over here, SLAM!”  I could see her she was right there in a fire truck dressed in her furry out fit;  a 5 foot 2 slightly over weight cat.     A cat dressed as a cat; driving a fire truck with the lights and sirens  going; it wasn’t like I couldn’t see her she was waving the gloved paws of her mascot outfit  around ;waving like some deranged clown.

How did Elm-Tree know Annie or vise versa?  I worked with Elm-Tree long before I had Annie and I had not seen Elm-Tree in all of this time.    “Hi,” Elm-Tree yelled over the sirens and the horn Annie was still blowing through the microphone.   She also had her Granda Pa Jones CD going full blast.   Plus every time she moved her bag pipes went off.

“I didn’t know you knew Annie.   I knew Annie back in the day when she used to be Tony. We met up earlier today when I had six hours to kill waiting for you to get out so I have been hanging out with Annie.   She said she had to come here to get her Slam after work then  we put two and two together and here we are.   THIS  IS GREAT!”   Elm-Tree explained excitedly.

“When Annie used to be Tony?” yelled over the music.   Tony was my daughter; now referred to forever an always as Great Aunt Jodie Slamma Jr. Great Great, had been a young girl.   Tony was her imaginary dog, a Dalmatian dog who my daughter claimed was the dog from this show from the 70’s called ‘Emergency.’   The dog on that show was a hound dog or something but not a Dalmatian.

Annie looked at me like I was an idiot.   “Yes when I was Tony,” Annie replied.   Even though she was dressed in a cat costume I could still her eye expressions.

I threw my hands in the air.   “What about Annie Swanka?” I asked.

“Annie who?” Annie asked again looking at me as if I were nuts.

“The poop factory Annie Swanka and the gold tickets and the crazy cat lady?
I asked remembering that whole painful time in my recent past.

“No clue what you are talking about.” Annie said. Even though it was her who told us this whole story about Annie Swanka and the poop factory and how she; Annie had come to be.

I let it drop and figured Annie made the whole thing up about being Tony.   She always had to horn in on my friends and my good times and now here she was horning in on an outing I had with a friend I had not seen in quite sometime.

“Remember when I wore those suction cups on my feet?” Annie said as if she read my doubtful mind.

“And you were walking around on the ceiling?” Elm-Tree continued, “And your slam called the security to come with their ladder and get you down?”

“My mother slapped Slam right in the face for that when she told her.   Remember that Slam?” Annie laughed her crazy laugh and reached over and slapped me in the face.

“So where are me going?” Annie asked.

“Well I wanted to take Elm-Tree to that one store.”  I suggested.

“We already went there,” Annie said.

I sighed so we just went home.    Annie blaring her siren and running every red light and going around cars that pulled over just for her.   The ten minute ride took three.  because Annie was driving a 150 all the way, her bag pipes still squeaking and Grandpa Jones blaring through the huge speakers Annie had put all around her truck singing about his good old mountain dew.

Elm-Tree the Mighty Oak as Annie called her, stayed for quite a while, talking about the past, drinking moose made and enjoying themselves.   Duh-Wayne and Spam showed up and quickly warmed up to Elm-Tree, when they found out that she was friends with Currie.

Of course, Duh-Wayne began talking about his brain child, his Nascart and the museum he and Annie were building dedicated to classic shopping carts and that was when Elm-Tree announced she loved shopping carts as a matter of fact she was a shopping cart expert.   She had an original shopping cart from America’s First Supermarket.   A bag lady in Long Island had one and Elm-Tree paid a pretty penny for it back in the day.

“It has King Kullen right on it.”

That was definitely the kind of cart Annie and Duh-Wayne needed for their museum.  Elm-Tree was the kind of friend a pair of Nascart owners needed for their newest project.    Elm-Tree the mighty oak became part of the circle.




Dick and Jean

“Slamma Aunt Loosewheels never wore shoes,” Annie Cara-Lyle began.

Spam and Duh-Wayne sat there drinking  sludge with their eager mcbeaver faces on;  even though they probably already lived through this episode of the  ‘Slamma Aunt Loosewheels story.”  According to Annie,  they were all close through high school and when Spam and Duh-Wayne were newlies.

Newlies  was apparently some 50’s word for newly  weds;  Annie Cara-Lyle said they sloshed it (another 50’s word meaning talked about it)  down at the Sludge Pot, where you could get sludge and  Moose Made too; if you were old enough.   I think she made  it up, the words I mean, and maybe the rest of it.

Annie Cara-Lyle told these stories all the time.  It never made sense to me that her stories seemed to span such a long period of time.   Annie had created Annie Cara-lyle the kitten in a test tube ‘in the past’ when my mother was a teenager.  We got Annie Cara-Lyle at 8 weeks.   But the stories she told spanned at least a decade, through my mothers teenage years and to when she was a young single mom and on the verge of meeting the man of her dreams.

Annie Cara-Lyle claimed that time went by faster in the past that was why people were skinny back then, time went by so fast they only had time for one meal.   Duh-Wayne said it had to do with that loose thing a ma bob a jig that was loose on that control panel of the time machine.     It was making time jump around and only slowing down to a normal pace at fun times like going to a fair and Christmas.   Annie decided to leave the thing a ma bob a jig alone.

“She had corny feets,” Annie Cara-Lyle continued, “and those hard things that Grandfather uses his electric egg on; to make them soft as a baby brillo pad, and she had large onions on either side of her foots.  She wore flip flops so her onions hung out.   Corns and onions; old vegetable feet, we called her.”

Every day there was some story going on about my mother and her sister Dorky.   It was like an old weird sit com.   Annie Cara-Lyle was getting to a high point in the story.

Slamma Aunt Loosewheels, car ran out of gas on her way home from the Sludge Pot one evening and she was forced to walk back to the sludge pot in her old flip flops.   Duh-Wayne and Spam who were driving right behind her suggested she go and ask that guy who had tripped over her while she was taking a nap on the floor; for help.    ”

That guy was Slap-ya Uncle Pan,” Annie Cara-Lyle said.   “That’s how they met.   Meanwhile, back at the bush, that’s another 50’s word, it means home.”  Annie-Cara-Lyle was waving her arms around while she explained.

“Wait a minute, that is not a 50’s expression,” I interrupted and explained,  “The house we lived in was located in an area that was referred to as a bush so my dad would say ‘let’s go back to the bush,’ and my parents were not even living there yet. So that proves your story false and your time machine fake.”

Annie Cara-Lyle was glaring at me and then I realized it was actually just full blown Annie.   “Puker’s bush?” she hissed.   “Is that where you meant?”

“Something like that,” I agreed, feeling Annie’s horrible anger coming off her like heat.

“We all KNOW Slap-ya Uncle Pan said, ‘back to the bush’ we hear all about it in episode 325 called, “Back to the bush, its a fifties thing” Annie kept glaring at me, then waved at me and said, “Get outta here with your fake and quit interrupting.”

Annie’s expression all changed and she was Annie Cara-Lyle, I kind of felt I was in that made for tv movie, ‘Sybil’.   “Meanwhile back at the bush,” she glared at me suddenly becoming Annie but just for a second or two almost daring me to say something.   I nearly did, but the story continued.

“Aunt Dorky reined herd on two young children, Dick and Jean.   She would run after them with her trusty thermometer commanding, ‘Come, Dick, come. here Jean, here.’  Dick always came, he liked it; the thermometer.   Jean always ran.

They were supposed to be watching Kukla, Fran and Ollie.   But they weren’t cause Jean said it was a re-run and Dick couldn’t see it because of those horn rimmed coke bottle lensed glasses he wore.  Aunt Dorky was looking for ‘old trusty’ to calm things down.

Jean had buried ‘old trusty’ in a hole where some men would be pouring a cement sidewalk the next day.   Dick was threatening to tell Aunt Dorky where it was so Jean grabbed her bow and arrow.

Back then, they didn’t have those fake arrows with the rubber tips had the real thing.   The absolute real thing purchased from a real live Native American.    They had them back then; Native Americans.”

“We still have them,” I sighed.

Annie Cara-Lyle gave me an Annie type glare.   Slowly she was becoming more and more like Annie.   It was a shame too because for the briefest time, she was just a sweet little bundle curled up purring in my lap.   She was doing less of that and more of standing on my head board staring at me until I opened my eyes and screaming, “Catch me Jebus,” and landing claws out smack in the middle of my face.   They started calling me scabby at work because I was covered with scabbed over claw marks.

Annie Cara-Lyle continued.   “Dick cried, ‘It’s over here Aunt Dorky.’ “Shut up Dick, you little chicken. ”  Jean hollered running full speed after him with her bow aimed.

Dick kept yelling cause he really loved old Trusty.   “You will do anything to have something in your mouth, Dick,” Jean yell.   “Suck this one.” Jean aimed the bow and shot the arrow right in Dick’s leg.

Aunt Dorky was coming along behind both of them at a slow jog puffing out, “Stop Dick Stop,” keeping her eye peeled for old Trusty.  “No Jean No,” was coming out of her mouth as the arrow pieced Dick’s upper thigh.

Dick fell to the ground and began sobbing, his tears washing away the dried tears on his glasses from the day before.   Jean ran up on the scene and slapped him upside the head and screamed, “Want me to give you something to cry about?” She yanked the arrow out of his leg and said, “I’ll get the alcohol.”

While Jean was in the bathroom getting first aid supplies, Dick stopped crying long enough to disclose the hiding place of old trusty and he was calming himself with it when Jean came.   She took one look at him and slapped old trusty right out of his face.   Old Trusty fell to the ground and broke in a zillion pieces.

Aunt Dorky had a funeral for him, after Dick stopped crying.   Jean poured a half a bottle of alcohol on his leg cleaning the wound every time he cried or even looked like he was going to cry, Jean slapped him a few times in the head and screamed, “I can give you something to cry about.” It lasted for hours.

“They were the best kids,” Annie Cara-Lyle said.

“Yup,” Duh-Wayne agreed.

“Yup,” said Spam.

“Yup,” screamed Annie and you knew it was Annie cause she got loud and laughed her crazy laugh.  “To Dick and Jean.”

They clinked Sludge cups then Duh-Wayne began to deal out the card.  Story time had ended.

















Shadow Chasing

Annie began a new thing.   Well she began a lot of new things everyday; like protesting, even things she didn’t believe in or had absolutely nothing to do with her.   For example, the time she protested with a bunch of wiener dogs who were demanding the owner of the hot dog factory they worked in provide free samples.   The dogs prevailed by the way, but the owner wound up going bankrupt.

There were other things, like her crocheting, the 24 mile scarf she didn’t know how to end, 17 odd pairs of elephant mittens because she lost some and an afaghan large enough to cover 19 California kings and it weighed 48 pounds.  I hated it when Annie washed it which was daily.   Our washer one time thumped itself to the next block.

These sort of things had been going on almost 16 years, the typical kind of Annie nonsense.   There were some differences though, because sometimes, this little small part of herself was Cara-Lyle, a kitten who Annie claimed to be from the past when my mother was young.  She belonged to my mother and her sister, Aunt Dorky.   Annie said she went back in the past created Cara-Lyle with a test tube using both her and Annie Jr. DNA.   My mother and my aunt raised Cara-Lyle until Annie needed to possess a body.   Which she did; when she died and came back and destroyed her decomposing body, trying to complete her bucket list.

Most of the time Annie, was Annie.   She’d be acting herself, laying around watching tv, eating some sort of gross food she made, something normally made of out the frozen road kill she had stuffed our freezer full of, or having some sort of adventure with Duh-Wayne.    Lately a great deal of their time was spent out on the race track frantically shoveling snow off of it.   They were terrified that it would be there and delay the opening of Duh-Wayne’s brain child; the worlds first Shopping Cart race track.   He called it Nascart.   Opening day was promptly on the first day all the snow melted.

She looked different in this new cat body, especially when she decided to dress up as a furry.   She had a mascot costume that looked exactly how she did before she died, except it was life sized. She loved wearing that because she claimed she could do things she was normally too small to do.   ‘Me and Duh-Wayne can do a do-si-do and Spam and I can wear hair nets and talk about pies.”

One thing she did do was stopped going to the poop factory every day, she was retired she claimed, although she had a brand new kitten body that was good for another 15 or 20 years.   Annie Jr. dressed in a shirt and tie went into the office daily, where he spun around on his chair all day and put his feet on the desk, ordering Spam who was Vice Executive to the cat in the suit, to get him another cat nip smoothie.    He always smelled like a poop factory when he got home at the end of the day.   But he did it faithfully to provider a ‘good life,’ for his kittens since it was so difficult for him; ‘coming up from the old country.’ I had no idea what he was talking about.

She did seem to still like tv and although she always had a fondness for older type tv shows, like Little House and Captain Kangaroo, she began watching even older stuff it that was possible, like Lassie, the Lone Ranger, and The Rifleman.   She also liked political history.   She loved watching documentaries about former Presidents.   That was something Annie normally wouldn’t have liked but she did manage to goof it up.

One day she was watching the current president on TV and said, “He is just like that sticky dick guy.”

“Sticky dick?” I asked so confused. “Who on earth are you talking about?”

“You know President Nitzen?” I looked at her confused.  “You know, I can not tell a lie so I will blow up a apple tree guy?  From when you were a girl; the piece a pizza sign guy.”

“Nixon; tricky dick?” I asked.

“Yes that is what I said, Nitzen Sticky dick.”

But one of the biggest changes in Annie was her shadow chasing.   If you got up and walked around Annie would be following along where ever your shadow was casting and would jump up and try to catch it.   Every surface of our house including our skin was covered with little scratch marks of Annie chasing and trying to catch shadows.   Grandfather made it worse because he like making shadow animals on the wall.

All he could really do was a coo-coo bird, him dangling his fingers around frantically.   I am not sure it was even an animal but that is what Annie called it and screamed all day long, “Do a coo-coo bird, Grandfather, do it!” Then Annie would jump half way up the wall high and higher each time until she was knocking pictures and shelves off the walls every time she would jump.

Honestly it was getting annoying.   Annie’s marble collection got knocked down, and her parrots all got loose when Annie accidently bumped into the bottom of the cage and broke it.   They were flapping all around and pooping all over everything even into the sludge Spam and Duh-Wayne were drinking.   Duh-Wayne said it gave it a cilantro cinnamon flavor.   Spam felt it was more ginger garlic.   They argued for three hours.

I hated her doing it and I could only really blame Grandfather for encouraging her and deliberately trying to get her to jump as high as some thing hanging or dangling above her head, like plants and her collection of model boxes she had hanging and dangling from the ceiling which cast their own shadows making Annie shake her head and run in circles.      Annie had been doing that from the time we got her.

As a matter of fact she claimed the reason she went crazy in the car when Annie called us to come get her was because she was chasing shadows and accidently dug me so badly I needed medical assistance.   It calmed her she said.   It was something she did with my mother, and Aunt Dorky when she lived with them.

“Things were poor back on the farm,” Annie Cara-lyle, began.  “Grandfather Great Great was not sowing enough wild oat and neither were his sons, I loved Unckie Barnyard.   Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky had lost their mom to the sneezles or some old timey sickness and they  had hardly any foods to cook.   That is how Annie and Spam learned to make sludge.   Yummy yummy sludge from my Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky.   They was making it once for Mickey Mouse and I tried it, then I said, ‘Spam try this,’ and she did and she,”

“Wait, this is you Cara-lyle with my mother and my aunt when they are teenagers right?” I asked.

“Yes,” Annie Cara-Lyle said shaking her head in agreement.

“HA,” I yelled bringing my arm down so fast Annie Cara-Lyle almost missed the opportunity to chase the shadow.   “I caught you”

I did not believe Annie had a time machine.   I mean she had died and now somehow was living in a kitten’s body a kitten that had a personality all her own named Cara-Lyle.   I could not explain it but I highly doubted that Annie had gotten into an old box she had painted not very well attached some dials to and a sign that said time machine, zapped into the past before I was even born and had my mother and my Aunt raise a kitten.   Now I had proof because Spam would not have been there.

“How was Spam there?  Spam would not have known my mother,” I said.

“Spam and Duh-Wayne was both there,” Annie Cara-Lyle said.  “Annie picked up a young Spam and young Duh-Wayne in her time machine and took them back so they was all friends.”

“I don’t believe any of this and what does any of this have to do with you chasing shadows.” I asked.

“Cause they were too poor for toys so they made shadow animals on the wall.   There wasn’t a lot for cats to do back then and we were so poor even mice did not move in, so I had to chase the shadow animals.  The coo coo bird is my favorite though.   But Unckie Barnyard could do a Mooselpant.”

“A what?” I asked.

“A fat moose,” Duh-Wayne answered.

“With a trunk,” added Spam and, “and husks on either side.”

“That’s musks,” Annie Cara-Lyle corrected.

I guess it sort of made sense if I believed in the time machine; but I didn’t   Without a time machine though the whole thing made no sense at all.    “Things got better though, after Duh-Wayne and Spam explained the gold like qualities of poop,” Annie Cara-Lyle continued,  “Now with Annie Jr. going back and forth running both factories and Grandfather Great Great and his sons not needing to sow their wild oats but still making a good living working for Annie Jr. in the factory they bought a tv.”

“Huh,” I said out loud some people expanded internationally but Annie was expanding in multiple time zones.    I began walking out of the room.   My head was spinning.

“Slam you wanna hear more,” Annie Cara-lyle screamed, “Like when Slamma Aunt Loosewheels had to get a job in the poop factory?”

“No,” I yelled already knowing I was going to have nightnares over this.   Knowing  the saga of my mother and her sister Dorky was only beginning.



The Blustery Blizzard

“I am so happy it is Windsday!” Annie said sitting on one of my kitchen chairs, petting a baby chicken named Constance-Slam.   It was Bryan’s chicken, the Bryan from ‘Abe and Bryan’; Duh-Wayne’s granddaughter’s.   The chicken was named after me.    Annie called her Constant-Slam and she would slam the door really hard when she said it, then  would scream, “Shut the front door!’  Duh-Wayne had brought Constance-Slam over to play with Ana and Jasmine Ariel Cinderella.

“If you mean Wednesday,” I said looking at  Annie, “it’s not, it’s ”

“No I meant Windsday,” she  cut me off.

Just then the kitten’s came out.   They were both dressed in bathing suits, sun glasses and they had flippers on each paw.   “We are ready to go out and play Granny Annie,” they screamed.

Annie put the chicken down and  Spam slipped her into a pink one piece swim suit while Duh-Wayne fastened a sun hat under her beak.   Annie grabbed a wagon full of pails, shovels, squirt guns, water balloons and some kite string, the kittens and the chicken jumped into it and Annie, thump thump thumped it down the stairs, the kittens meowing and the baby chicken peeping or clucking or bawk bawking whatever a baby chicken does.

“Stay right in the back yard,” I heard Annie scream.    “It’s a Winds Day, ” she looked up at me, I could hear the wind howling, then she stuck her head back out the door and instructed the kittens and the chicken,  “I wouldn’t even bother with a kite with all the wind going on.”

“Annie it is starting to snow,” I said.   “Shouldn’t you dress them a little warmer?”

“Slam!” Annie screamed, “You NEVER know your weathers!”

“No, Annie, you don’t know your ‘weathers’,” I said sarcastically.

Annie stuck her tongue out and held her paw straight up in the air, shook it and yelled, “Abba GEE!”

Whatever that meant!  I went into the kitchen .    I could hear Annie stamping up the stairs behind me; making twice the noise the wagon did although she had left it outside.

Spam was making a new pot of sludge and Duh-Wayne filling cups with the other pot; always two pots of thick sludge made out of god knows what going at the same time.   If I bought a new pot  just for my coffee which Annie called weak, three pots of sludge would be going.

They all slurped too, like loud slurps and you could hear the hum of their lip.   It kind of made you not even want coffee.   I  couldn’t stand the sound of it, so I wandered into the living room.   I loved watching the kittens play so I opened the curtains and looked out the window.

I notice a little fish tank with wheels and a bright orange fish playing with the kittens and the chicken.    “Annie did you buy the kittens a fish?” I asked.

“A fish?” Annie screamed, she jumped up and knocked over four chairs even the two Spam and Duh-Wayne were sitting in and the table, and a hutch on the other side of the room.

She ran into the living room dragging the table cloth and the coffee maker behind her.   She knocked me out of the way and peered out the window.   She whirled around, pushed me again and ran out of the room still dragging the coffee maker and table cloth.

“I’ll make a new pot of sludge,” Spam hollered from the kitchen.

“I’ll righten this hutch.” Duh-Wayne chimed in.

Annie ran back into the room, this time with her glasses perched on the end of her nose, now that she had a new kitten body, she didn’t even need them anymore.   She wore them not so much for vision but for fashion.

That was how she ruined her eyes to begin with.   She went through a ‘nerd’ stage where she wore horned rimmed thick lensed glasses and a pocket protector.   She wore them two years and when she took them off she wasn’t able to see without them.   I kept telling her not to do it again but she didn’t listen.

This time though it was a pink plastic pair with diamonds around the edge.   She had a cord around them so she could wear them around her neck, she never did though she just randomly set them down then would freak out and start screaming, “Where are my glasses, I can’t see,” then, “Help Pa! I’m blind!”  She would quickly turn it all into a Little House on the Prairie episode and everyone playing along like it was normal.

Yes she came running in with her glasses on her nose, this time somehow finding them without drama, minus the coffee maker and table cloth because Duh-Wayne was rightening things and Spam making her special recipe sludge which she was now quite famous for since Annie made her recipe go viral both on facebook and twitter.

Annie took her glasses off and squinted, opened the window wide open and looked out.   “Oh Slam,” she laughed.   “That is Windbag’s fish.”

I looked at her confused.   “You know Windbag from our job, her work son fish? A-B-C….Alpha Beta Charlie?”

I knew exactly who she was talking about.   One of my co-workers Windbag and another girl Krispen, had decided to co-parent a fish and he (the fish) lived in our office in a fancy tank right between his mothers.

Annie knew him because she was an employee at my office.   She had literally been employee at every job I ever had since she was born.   No one felt it was weird though other than me.   She wasn’t there very often though, she only worked two weeks out of the year, the rest of the year she spent using up her vacation, sick and personal time.

It was one of these times that Annie had met Alpha Beta Charlie.   It just so happened to be on the same day she wore her hip boots and brought her fishing gear and tackle box.  They spent the entire day playing.   Annie would catch him in her net or with her pole, he would laugh and Annie would toss him back in the tank.   When they were tired of that they would yell, “Dave’s not here man,” into Krispen’s head set to help her clear the out the phone calls that were waiting on hold.

Unfortunately for Alpha Beta Charlie, that assistance he gave his mom on the phone was one of his biggest regrets.   Krispen, got a promotion and she moved to a new department.   She tried to be a good absent work mom to a fish but, her visits became less and less and little Alpha Beta Charlie settled his fate of being from a broken home with an absent mom.   He was heart broken.

“Why is he here?” I asked.

“Windbag is baking a cake or a pie or a submarine Sammy or whatever it is she cooks,” Annie said.   “So I told her I would baby sit.”

“Why isn’t he at the office,” I asked.

“They are cleaning the carpets cause of the die-a-rear,” Annie said.

Yes, we had a food day and Annie made her famous mexi-cali yum yum.   I don’t know what was in it and had never tried it.   Apparently it was no carb, low calorie ,weight busting great; but it smelled like old rank feet.   Every one in the office raved over it, not knowing the secret ingredient was a laxative.   So yeah, die-a-rear; it didn’t happen to me because I didn’t eat it, but I wasn’t grateful because I had to stay all alone in the building listen to the die-a-rear settle and enjoy the aroma.

“Why didn’t Windbag knock or something?” I asked.

“Oh ABC Alpha Beta Charlie is a free range fish,” Annie said.  “She is one of ‘those’ kind of mothers.”

‘Those kind of mothers,’ meant a mom who dropped her fish son off on the side walk with his motorized tank which he steered into the back yard; beeped, waved and drove off to bake a cake or a pie or a submarine Sammy or whatever it was she cooked.   Annie,  however, had her son driving around in an old pick up truck picking up junk for her junk yard before he even turned a year old.    I sighed she always judged, it was negative 14 outside and her grandchildren were in swim suits, so was the chicken at least the fish had earmuffs on, sparkly silver ones.

I looked back out the window and noticed that it was a complete blizzard outside.   I could no longer see the kittens or the chicken or the fish.  “Annie, a white out,” I screamed, pointing at the window.

Annie stared at me like I was a moron.   “A blizzard, the kittens and the chicken and the fish are out there!” I said frantically, waving my arms around.

Annie kept staring at me, this time shaking her glasses at me the chain she had them on to hang around her neck made a clinking sound and she, ’tisk tisked,’ me.  “Annie we need to get them!” I yelled, looking around for my shoes.

Annie peered  out the window then put her glasses on and looked again, then opened the window and stuck the top half of her body out the window and came back in.   She calmly shut the window walked straight to the kitchen and said, “Edwards, the kids are out in that blizzard!”

Then slowly life turned into a Little House on the Prairie episode and ‘the kids’, two kittens a chicken and a fish were lost somewhere in our back yard, which appears small but somehow honestly goes on for miles; with it’s prairie, and golf course, amusement park, a nearly completed shopping cart race track which was a new coming attraction in the spring.    I knew it was to the Prairie we headed.

Annie, Duh-Wayne and Spam quickly changed into swimming attire, Annie wore a snorkel.   I tossed on a heavy coat a hat, long johns, mittens, boots and pair of tennis rackets on my feet since Annie had ruined my snow shoes playing Volley Ball in them.

Annie Jr. climbed came around the corner, pulling a what Annie called a one horp Olsen sleigh.   Everyone piled on including Annie’s horse. Sugar and I began to pull.   I gave up complaining about this stuff.   If I just went with it, it got over faster.

Every now and then, Annie Jr would screaming in a new sort of manly growly voice he somehow acquired since the kittens were born, “ANA, JASMINE ARIEL CINDERELLA!”

It was during one of those loud screams in my ear I looked up and saw a sparkly silver thing in the air and over the wind I hear the glub glub glub of Alpha Beta Charlie.   I turned that way and pointed to him.   Annie slapped the rains and snapped a stick over my head.

We then saw the kittens flying Alpha Beta Charlie into the air, like a kite.   I drove over, and Annie hopped off the sleigh and the storm instantly stopped.   Annie shut her weather machine off.   She planned this so I would be involved in her Little House game.

Everyone laughed as I stamped back to the house and hummed the little house song.   Later I saw I was tagged in a photo that was going viral is was me walking back to the house, it said, “Slam on a Blustery Blizzard on a Windsday with a fish and a chicken and two cats.”

“Happy Windsday,” Annie yelled when she saw me watching my viral photo on the news.








Granny Annie/A kitten for Phil

Early one morning, I crept slowly in the bathroom, and  sat down on the toilet.   It was all quiet, Grandfather was still at work and would not be home for several hours.   The Annies had finally settled down.   They always did once I woke up.

The running stopped, the jumping on my bed and using me as a spring board jetting themselves off the surgical wound on my stomach stopped, the climbing on top of the headboard staring at me until I opened my eyes and then screaming, “good morning Slam,” before landing on my face stopped; because that is when I normally woke up.

As I sat there, silently giving thanks that the pair of them had not put my hand in a bowl of warm water which they did sometimes, or they hadn’t lured some sort of creepy animal or insect into my ear or nose with some sort of food.   Once I caught them trying to lure a rat into my mouth with a hunk of limburger cheese placed on my tongue.

Yes, I sat there feeling thankful.   It was a good day when I could start my day without cleaning bleeding claw marks on my face or some sort of animal bites on the inside of my left nostril.   Then I heard it, a little squeaky crying voice and a bump sound on the inside of the bathroom cupboard.

Most people would just open the door and take a peek but I was not most people.  I had a couple black and white cats named Annie and when that happens normal goes right out the window.   The last time this kind of thing happened, there was a buzzard named Dave living in the cupboard.    Annie rented it out for six months.   Every time I would get a towel, it would be covered in feathers because it was molting season, then he got a girlfriend and I told Annie he had to go.

I slowly pulled the cupboard door open and saw Mary Jane laying there purring quietly.   “Are you squeaking?”  I asked.

“No,” she replied quietly, with her eyes half closed like she was really tired.

“Did you catch a mouse?” I asked.

“No, Slam.” she replied purring louder.

“What is that squeaking?” I asked.

“My babies.” she replied, and she started purring even louder and licking something near her belly.

“Your babies?” I yelled, opening the cupboard door wide and peering into it.   Sure enough there were two babies in the cupboard one was mostly white with orange and black spots scattered all over her.    The other was black and white just like the Annies with a little heart shaped black splotch on her nose.

“Where did these kittens come from?”   I screamed.

“From me,” Mary Jane replied.   “Annie wanted me to be the test tube for her test tube babies.   She said she needed grandchildren.   So she mixed my dna with Annie Jr. and I was the test tube. Now I have to raise them Annie said.”

I stormed out the bathroom, there was always some sort of nonsense going on at my house.   I would have rather had Annie jump off the headboard with her claws out.   Now I had seven cats.    Seven cats!   It was official I was a crazy cat lady; but only because Annie drove me there.

“Annie!” I screamed, as I stomped into the living room.   Annie was curled up purring softly in my recliner.   Annie Jr. was laying on his back next to her.   His back feet were in the air and his front paws were wrapped around Annie’s neck.   They always slept that way.

They looked funny.  Annie had little short legs since she was still technically a kitten, and a short fat squatty body.  Even though she had tiny little ears that stood straight up on the top of her head she looked like a little bunny rabbit.   Annie Jr. on the other hand was long and thin.   He walked around in a slinky type walk and his ears were big but they did not point upwards, one leaned to the left and one leaned to the right.   He looked like a little fox.

So there they were; a black and white bunny sleeping with a black and white fox.  My voice woke the pair of them, Annie Jr. jumping and Annie just opening her eyes.  “Why are there two kittens in the bathroom cupboard?”

“Kittens?” Annie screamed.   “Annie Jr. they came!”

Annie jumped up tossed on a surgical gown she seemed to pull out of nowhere and tossed one to Annie Jr. and the pair of them went into the bathroom.   For the next half hour they howled in pure joy, made phone calls, and took selfies with the kittens to post on face book.   My phone kept pinging as Annie tagged me in every single picture.

I was fuming.   My phone kept signaling me that Annie had either taken another picture or someone had liked it or loved it or left a comment or both.   I was surprised that so many of Annie’s face book friends would be awake so early in the morning and I was even more surprised that so many of my friends were liking and commenting.   If I posted something I normally got a handful of likes but if Annie tagged me in something even if it was something I had previously posted like every single one of my friends liked it.

She was always tagging me in pro-Donald Trump memes like ‘Don Don he is not a con ‘ or ‘Trumpy Trumpy he is soft and lumpy.’ I am not sure what that even meant or why it was pro Trump.   I tried a few times to unfriend Annie or block her but she knows my password even if I change it every ten minutes she somehow figures it out.   So I gave up and just stood there fuming waiting for her to get over the joy of her grand kittens.

She finally came out to the kitchen, poured a cup of coffee I had just made.   She looked at it and dumped it and the rest of the pot down the sink.   I didn’t ask because I knew she felt it was not thick enough.   I had recently bought us both brand new coffee makers exactly the same make model and color, I put an A on hers but she claimed she didn’t know her letters so I put her picture on her pot.   It still didn’t matter because she filled both pots with sludge every day.

Normally, I would have been complaining about her using both pots and explaining one more time that her coffee maker had her picture on it and a letter A and mine had none of those things.   She still never got it.   However this morning, I had more important things to discuss with Annastasia Annamarie Albergeti.

Annie poured herself a cup of sludge out of the pot she had made earlier and asked, “Want me to top yours off?” while pouring the sludge into my cup without waiting for me to respond.

“Annastasia!” I demanded.   “Why are there kittens in the bathroom?   There are way too many cats in this house already, not to mention, your plethora of ghosts, your parrots and owls, your turkey, and Duh-Wayne and Spam here most of the time.”

Just then Duh-Wayne and Spam came from the direction of the bathroom, Spam screaming, “OMG Annie that little Ana looks just like you and Annie Jr!”   I don’t even know how they got in.   I thought they had left, after their card game with Annie; hours earlier.

Annie screamed, “I know,” as she poured sludge into a cup for both Duh-Wayne and Spam.   Duh-Wayne took a huge slurp out of his.

“Annie!” I yelled again.   “Why do we have kittens?”

Annie looked at me and rolled her eyes, “Cause Phil wanted a cat.”

I sighed.   Annie had been convincing my grand daughter Phil for months that she needed a cat.  They were moving to a new bigger house and Annie had been pushing it.   She was always over there anyways or Annie Jr. was, so Phil technically did not need a cat.    There was a bigger reason.

“If Phil wanted a cat why are there two kittens?” I sighed knowing my frustration with Annie was hitting a top level.

“I figured there was a 50/50 chance of a kitten being ugly because you know Mary Jane is so fugly and a 50/50 chance of one being absolutely perfect and looking like me.   If I made two I would get one of each and not leave it up to chance.” Annie explained.

“Annie that doesn’t even make sense you could have wound up having two calico kittens just like Janey or two black and white kittens or even an all orange one.   Snoopy is all orange and his is Janey’s real brother.”   I explained.

“Really Slam, we didn’t even use Snoop Dogg’s DNA.” Then she shoved the camera in my face and said, “Look at my name sake Ana!”

“Is that what Phil wanted to name her kitten? Ana?” I asked, because Annie had not once mentioned the other kitten.

“No,” Annie said.   “She wanted her cat named Jasmine, so that other thing is named Jasmine.”

“I thought you wanted a pretty kitten for Phil?” I demanded knowing I had caught Annie in a lie.

“I did,” Annie said, “But unfortunately there is only one beautiful kitten; my name sake Ana so Phil will have to be happy with ugly Jasmine.   She isn’t that ugly but in no way as cute as my Ana.”

I glared at Annie and stuck my finger right in her nose and shook it, “Annie you will let Phil pick which ever kitten she wants.   If she picks Ana, she picks Ana. AND,  which ever kitten is left, you will try to find it a home and not this home.”

Annie glared back at me and shook her cup of sludge at me, I was covered with it and it smelled like old vomit and stale poop.   Duh-Wayne took another big slurp out of his and Spam topped both cups off.

“And I TOLD YOU SLAM, that you ain’t the boss round here.   I will be keeping my namesake Ana right here and that ugly splotted thing that looks like MARY JANE can go live with Phil and her Great Aunt Jodie Slamma Jr. Great Great!”

I knew it was senseless to even argue.   I was still letting Phil pick the one she wanted and which ever one was left, if a good home presented itself then fine otherwise I would retain my status of crazy cat lady.

Phil did come and Annie handed her Jasmine and yelled, “oh Phil sweetie this one is the cutest and the smartest.”   Phil hugged little Jasmine right close to her.    Annie pushed Ana behind her with her foot like she didn’t want Phil to see her.   “Oh Phil, honey she loves you.   Yes little Jasmine loves you.”  Jasmine was all cozied up to Phil.

I picked up Ana who was totally hidden behind Annie and held her up to Phil.   Ana began crying and she kept it up just a ear piercing squeak so loud.   Phil gave her a pat but she was smitten with Jasmine who she renamed Ariel and then Cinderella, before she left so  Annie insisted we call her by all three names.

“I will have her all trained for you Phil and Mooom,” she yelled, as my daughter carried Phil down the stairs.   The kitten would have to stay with Mary Jane for several more weeks before it could live with Phil and they had not moved into their new home yet.

“Congratulations, Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr. great great,” Annie yelled and waved as they went down the stairs.

I was still really angry with Annie, but Phil did seem excited about having her own kitten and little Ana was very cute.   It would work itself out and I enjoyed watching their little eyes open and their crawls turning into wobbly walks to hopping and bounding like little rabbits.    It was fun watching them grow and learn new things.

Annie claimed it was her training, but she was only training Ana, never Jasmine.   Fortunately, Jasmine was attentive to her sister’s lessons and learned how to do all of those things a cat needs to do like, climbing out of the box, and using the litter box and eating tasty cat food grandfather brought several times a day, how to claw Slam’s legs when she came to the bathroom.

It was during one of these ‘classes’ Annie was holding that I over heard her with Ana.   “No no Ana, Jasmine is in no way smarter than you and she is not prettier than you.   I just told Phil that because I wanted Phil to take Jasmine.    You sweetheart,” Annie cooed and I peeped around the door to see Annie stroking Ana’s fur, “would not like living with Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr. Great Great.”

Annie sighed and shook her head and made herself get comfortable, I knew she was going to start one of her stories,   I kept quiet still peeping around the corner, thinking I might need popcorn because this was going to be good.

“Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr. Great Great, hates cats.   She only likes dogs, except in my case she loved me way more than Moose over there,” Annie nodded her head at Moo, one time Phil mistakenly called the dog Moose and instead of correcting the mistake Annie changed the dogs name and only referred to her as Moose.   Moo didn’t care she came to any old name you called anyway.

“Jasmine will get old stale food from the Penny Store some weird gross flavor like cardboard garlic sugar,” Annie continued.    “She will not have nice clay litter like grandfather gets, she will be peeing rock salt and she won’t have a fancy plastic box to poop in, she will have to crawl in a sandwich bag.   She will have to sleep out on a cold icy wet porch with nary a blanket.   Plus there is this Brussel Sprout guy and he drives a truck full of farts every day.   That is his job.   And your sister will really be a Cinderella because she will be cleaning and cooking and taking care of Phil and Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr. Great Great and the dog; the dog will get everything.   Cell phone, his own room with bunk beds, his own dog park. Granny Annie doesn’t  want that happening to you sweetie.”   Annie patted Ana on the head.

Somehow that seemed to make everything okay.   Jasmine Ariel Cinderella was happy to go with Phil and Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr. Great Great and Ana was happy to stay and be spoiled by her Granny Annie.   Annie did buy a gift card to give her mother when Jasmine Ariel Cinderella went to live with her.   She knew if her mother bought Phil’s new kitten anything she would look like she was lying so with a few dollars on a gift card she saved face.

Now I had three Annie’s.   There would not be any more though cause I threw all the test tubes away.   But I accepted my crazy cat lady status proudly with two Annie’s curled in my lap purring and a spot reserved for Ana when she got big enough.





A Valentime for Aunt Paulie

“When I was just a little kitty, I asked my Slammie what will I be, will I be bitey will I scratch here’s what she said to me, your name is annastasia, and you are a chunkie monk, a little fat chunkie monkey, you re a chunkie monk,” sang Annie.   She had only been singing it for the last half hour.

Spam wrote it with help from Annie cause she said it didn’t rhyme and needed to fix it and Duh-Wayne played a zither while  Spam tapped a tambourine.   Normally, I wouldn’t have minded but we were all stuffed in a car, and the window was wide open and the wind blowing through the car added a musical accent to Annie’s song.

We were all trapped in a car on a snowy cold (negative 30 kind of cold) because I had a doctors appointment.   I’d gotten another hernia back when Annie was, ‘dead Annie’ and weighed in at 708.4 and convinced me she was able to climb the stairs with her walker and just needed to me to walk behind her.  She got half way up and lost her balance.  I managed to get us both up the stairs, I am not sure how I was able to do it, Annie was screaming, “Oh my God Slam! Don’t drop me.”  Annie Jr. was running up and down the stairs between my feet, Asa Annie’s ghost friend was behind me on his lawn mower beeping the air horn Duh-Wayne installed for him and Duh-Wayne was leaning out the door with his hand extended saying, “Watch yourself.”

I had the hernia repaired and was returning for a visit after the surgery.   Annie wanted to go because she had never been out that way.   Actually she had, as Annie, as Dead Annie and just the week before when I had my surgery.    Annie explained that sometimes the Caralyle part of herself didn’t remember; but I think it was just an act so Annie could get her own way.

Lately we had been carting Annie along where ever we went and it wouldn’t have been so bad if it had just been Annie, but Annie Jr. had to go along, and Duh-Wayne and Spam and sometimes an odd chicken or that goat Duh-Wayne got for a six month free trial.    Even worse was if Annie wasn’t her cute chunkie monkey self and was dressed as a 5 2 furry because a lot of times she would be in costume.   A little kitten riding along in a car with a net out the window was odd enough but more accepted than a little kitten dressed up as a fat short life sized cat.

That’s why the window was opened and the wind was whipping through because Annie had to ride with her net out the window.    In this way she could catch stuff like, birds, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, golden retrievers, cows and horses grazing in a field, foxes hidden in grass, deer staring from afar and our car wasn’t that big but Annie kept catching and singing while I screamed, “Annie bring your net in,” while trying to turn the heat up with frost bit fingers.

“I’m really Annie and I’m Annie Real,” Annie began as Duh-Wayne and Spam played along; Spam now adding a harmonica and Duh-Wayne a cheap kazoo.  “You better believe me, I just caught a seal.”   Yep a seal was barking and clapping it’s paws or flippers or whatever they were.

We were slowly running out of room with the amount of animals, Annie was scooping up in her net.   She really didn’t need any of them.   Most of them she just let loose in the back yard, she had woods, a prarie, a lake, a frozen tundra, a desert, a golf course, a ocean with a beach and a zillion other things in the back yard; although the shopping cart museum was still only half done.

There just wasn’t that many people selling shopping carts.   The shopping cart race track would be up and running early in the Spring though.  Duh-Wayne got a deal on some carts, from a place that went out of business.   They all currently read OK-Fart.

The bottom of our car was scraping the ground as we pulled into the parking lot.   Annie was able to catch a rare singing Moose in her net.   He had a bottle of Moose made around his neck and was pleased to make it full time for Annie in exchange for a nice place to live and three squares a day.

Thankfully Duh-Wayne and Spam had driven a couple cattle trucks nearby the hospital so they could take all of the animals Annie had caught in her net home enabling Annie to catch many more on the way home.    Just a simple trip to the doctor’s office was such an adventure.

It’s weird because no one ever thought it was weird that I seemed to always have a couple of cats in tow along with their best friends; not my best friends; theirs.   They were always obnoxious too.   No one seemed to even care about the things they said and did; except me.  Everyone around us seemed to think their actions were totally normal.   They didn’t even try to hide it.

The nurse came out and called someone ahead of us.    “Van?” Annie screamed, as soon as the nurse said the name.    “Who names their offspring (yes Annie says offspring) Van?”

Then Annie looked right at the man and asked, “What do YOU call your offspring? Mini?”

Everyone including the man laughed; then Duh-Wayne not to let Annie outdo him asked, “What’s your father’s name? Cara?” Then Pam suggested he had  a cousin named Bus, and Annie Jr. said it was funny because he looked more like a steam shovel than a van.   Everyone including Grandfather roared in laughter except for me.  I was embarrassed.

Finally it was over and we were on our way home, Duh-Wayne and Spam following behind in the cattle trucks, a hole cut in Duh-Wayne’s so a giraffe could stick it’s head out the top and another cut in Spam’s for the ostrich. I was glad they were out of our car because we had to have the windows open and the ostrich kept shedding feathers we were still pushing them out the window.

Both the Annies were facetiming with Duh-Wayne and Spam and each other so they knew that Grandfather was stopping for gas.   Annie was begging for a snack but I knew we were stopping for lunch soon so I said no.  Besides it was just a little gas station and I knew she would have to get something crunchy and I hated the way she sounded when she crunched stuff.   She crunched it 9 thousand times louder than she should have and normally sprayed crumbs all over me.

Duh-Wayne and Spam had psychic ability or Annie must have sent them a message because Spam brought them some crunchy pork rinds and Duh-Wayne got them a container of salted minnows which are actually fishing bait but he had gotten Annie addicted to them those few times they went shark fishing in a near by lake.

The smell was horrible.   Annie kept putting a minnow between two pork rinds then crunched and coughed really loud getting bits of fish stuck in my hair.   “Want some Slam?” Annie Jr. screamed pushing his minnow sandwich in my face.

“No, Annie Jr.” I replied, “And stop licking my hair.”  He was licking out the crumbs and minnow pieces Annie kept spraying into my hair with her coughing and loud talking’; with her mouth open and full of food.

We continued on our journey for another hundred feet and Grandfather turned into a place for lunch.   Our total was $185 dollars and that was just for one Annie.   It was really an event filled trip but it was far from over.

Annie was still using her net, not only making everyone cold with the window down; though she did offer to start a fire.    “Get that net in the window,” I screamed, as I did an elephant jogged out in front of the car.

Grandfather hit the brakes, as Annie scooped him up in her net.   “An elephant!” Annie screamed excitedly.   “I needed one of these.”

“Annie, you have 75 elephants  already.   How many do you need?” I yelled as the car once again began to drag on the ground since we had an elephant in the back.

“It’s not for me, it’s for Aunt Paulie.  It’s a Valentimes for Aunt Paulie.”

“Annie Aunt Paulie can not have an elephant in her apartment,” I yelled, knowing full well I was going to wind up having another one in mine.   “Her land lord Donamick won’t allow it!”

“He has to,” the elephant said, ” I’m an emotional support elephant.   My name is Elton.” and he pushed his trunk in my face.  “She can ride me.”

Annie grabbed a bucket of paint and painted a bunch of pink and red hearts on Elton’s ears and called Aunt Paulie to let her know that she was dropping off her Valentine’s gift.  Aunt Paulie was waiting for us and easily climbed on Elton’s back and rode him into the building.

I saw Donamick running out of his office looking hysterical and waving his arms around.  Aunt Paulie handed him the emotional support paperwork, Elton had given her.  Donamick started yanking his hair out of his head.   He looked like Donald Duck when he is angry.

Elton carried Aunt Paulie on his back off towards the elevator, letting large elephant sized turds as he walked.   Donamick ran after them waving his arms and slipped in it and laid unmoving on the floor.   Aunt Paulie gave him a little wave as she and Elton got in the elevator.   At least he wasn’t coming to my house, I thought as we drove away.

He was just a Valentime for Aunt Paulie.






T’was the Night before Christmas by Annie

“Gather around, my children, gather around,” screamed a five foot two slightly chubby, furry namd Annie worn by a cat who weighed less than a pound, she clapped her paws together and yelled, “come along children while old Anna-sTASIA, tells a true Christmas story.”

Annie sat down in a chair next to the tv where a yule log burned and an elf on the shelf eeirely moved it’s eyes back and forth.    Annie had forty two of them placed in various spots around our apartment.    Christmas seemed to get more and more out of hand every year.   No more a dolly for suzy a scooter for jim, it was more like a private island for Annie, a sports scooter for Duh-Wayne, Grand father needs new $700 socks and the matching kicks and that was just the stocking stuffers.

But Annie was always all into Christmas, her favorite time of year she screamed the absolute second pie was served, for Thanksgiving dessert.   Annie was cramming minced moused pie into her face as she jammed a forty foot tree up out stairs into our tiny almost studio apartment.    Train tracks were set up through the entire apartment and they chugged  and whistled 24/7, they almost drowned out the christmas music which blared like store music.

Things had to be moved around at Christmas time; to make room for things.   Annie’s elves were showing up with their equipment before we had the Thanksgiving table cleared.    Of course they all had to have, ‘just a little’ before heading off to make toys and cookies and magic reindeer food so oridnary reindeer could fly.    There were 8 tiny ones in our back yard, attached to a sled.   A big sign read “Free rides, $18 a piece.” Someone that looked like Duh-Wayne was dressed like Santa and he was yelling, “Ho ho ho.”

There was a stable in the back yard, with a real camel named Ruben, and an ass name, Brownie.   A snow glob so big and so bright it lit the entire neighborhood.    45 blow up yard decorations including a black and white cat in a santa suit and one as a snowman,  a merry go round playing some song about Cajun Christmas, and an entire fleet of double decker buses that people were stuffing full of gifts for the Annie’s.

Annie’s favorite part of christmas though was gathering all of her family and friends together to celebrate the holiday.   Family like, Aunt Paulie’s sister Scoob and her husband, Scoop and friends like some guy Annie rammed her cart into at Walmer, and the guy who used to run the register at a store we used to buy gas at 14 years ago who was now living in Tibet.

Annie settled back in  her chair and crossed her legs as everyone else took their places.  Philly climbed on one knee, Annie Jr. on the other and K8 leaned over the back.   Grandfather sat nearby looking straight at Annie with his eager face on.   Duh-Wayne smoking a bubble pipe and wearing his ‘fanciful’ holiday sweater.   Annie ‘wouldn’t lower herself’ to having an ugly sweater party.   Duh-Wayne’s had Uncle Eddie in his bathrobe on it.   Annie wore one with a cat wearing glasses and a Santa suit, along with a pair of pants with Christmas Llamas on them.   I was wearing the same thing.   Annie thought it would be cool for us to be twins.   Annie was also wrapped in jingly bells.

She patted Annie Jr. then petted Philly, cleared her throat and began.   “This is a true story called, ‘Cara-lyle the Christmas Kitten,’ and it is the story of how Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky got their kitten one poor cold dreary Christmas day.”

“Wait, Annie!” I yelled standing up in the back.   I was seated next to an elephant named Paco who was an African Prince, and a duck named Linda who was tossing pieces of buttered corn in her beak and crunching loudly.   She wore a wreath around her neck.

Annie stopped rocking, pulled her glasses that had somehow magically appeared on her face down over her nose, and glared at me; one eye over the top of the frame the other through the lense.   “You said Cara-Lyle was a test tube kitten,” I continued.   I was so sick of Annie lying and making up stuff with her time machine nonsense.

Annie kept glaring at me and continue to do so even when I sat down and lowered my eyes.    “Slam,” Annie said after she had tisk tisked me repeatedly for 15 minutes.   “You certainly are NOT a stable genius.   They did not even have test tubes back then, I had to make her up here and take her back there.   Besides Slamma Aunt Loosewheels would have never believed there were test tube kittens, I had to make it believeable. ”

“Oh like your time machine?” I asked.   “Everyone believes you can travel through time in a worn out cardboard box that has seen better days that you attached some old wrapping paper to and a couple of dials; right Annie.”   I noticed everyone was starring at me like I was stupid so I sat down.

“Thank god that is over,” Annie sighed as she continued.   “It was the year Slamma Aunt Loosewheels was taking her old cold potatoe to school in a cigar box because her father had broken his leg and was unable to work on the farm.   Slamma Aunt Loosewheels walked 15 miles to catch a ride on the milk wagon to school.   The other children laughed at her feed bag dress and her cigar box lunch box and her old cold pototo.  But she knew they wouldn’t laugh when Santa brought her something special for Christmas.

In a pet store on the other side of the planet in an entirely different zip code, in a century that was further in the future than Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s lived a little tiny, tweeny weeny small baby cat named Cara-Lyle.  All Cara-Lyle wanted for Christmas was to get out of the big city and live way out in the middle of no where on a farm that was so far back in the past that social anxiety was not even invented yet.

All day long, the pet store owner, reassured Cara-Lyle that some family would definately scoop her up and take her home for Christmas.   “Here comes a lady in a long fur coat and her hair is black and white just like yours,” he said.   “She will definately want a kitten.”

She didn’t she wanted dalmation puppies.

Next was a fat little man wearing glasses and a topee.   “He looks like a cat lover,” the store keeper insisted.   But the man just needed a bag of bat feed for the homeless bats in his neighborhood, however he did take a long look at the bald Eagle in the cage next to Cara-Lyle.

There was the man with the surf board, looking for a seal, the little girl with a hankerchief full of pennies who bought an untrained monkey for her brother, and the lady who purchased a little christmas pig for her grand daughter.   In and out all day long, fish flew off the selves, birds flew out the windows, hamsters, gerbils, puppies and goats all went home to be wrapped in paper, decorated in ribbons and shoved into stockings and under Christmas trees.   All of them each and every one found a home, all but little Cara-lyle.

Eight O’clock and closing time.   All alone in the pet store little Cara-Lyle kitten laid down and cried herself to sleep knowing she would not be someone’s Christmas kitten.   She was soon awoken with a loud ho ho ho.   She saw a light and heard a voice ask, “Where are the kittens, I need a black and white kitten.”

Cara-Lyle was too frighten to even speak so Annie screamed, “Over here, Santa.” Santa picked up little Cara-Lyle put her into his coat and left her under the tree of Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky.   And that is the story of Cara-Lyle the Christmas cat.”

“Annie!” I screamed.   “My mother used to tell me that story, she made it up.   I told it to you.   That never happened.”

“Didn’t it Slam?” Annie asked.

I just shook my head and drank another glass of rotten egg nog.





It’s a Wunner-fur life

Early one cold winter morning, I sat drinking my cup of sludge and I saw a cat head; just a footless cat head walking; yes walking; somehow, without feet across the kitchen floor. I wasn’t even the least bit scared, after all if your cat dies and spends several months hanging around ‘dead’ and then somehow returns with a new kitten body that she claims she created using a test tube back when your mother and your aunt were teenagers; things just simply don’t frighten you anymore.

“I no longer feel afraid,” a voice came from the head as it walked into a wall. “I feel confident, I can keep my chin up,” said the head as it turned and walked towards another wall.

I picked the head up before it could bump into the next wall, and saw Annie look up at me and cringe a little. She began racing her feet like she was running away, but she stayed in the same spot. It was kind of funny in an eerie way, then Annastasia began to laugh. The feet stopped moving and the fat little bunny rabbit cat with more black than Annie ever had rolled over on her back kicking her fat little rabbit feet and emitted that crazy Annie laugh.

My phone starts ringing and I see I am tagged in a video, from Annie, it’s live and it says ‘ROFLMRO’ Rolling on floor laughing my rear-end off. I can hear Annie laughing next to me and on my phone and my phone keeps beeping and so does Annie’s with all the likes and comments. It goes on for an hour. I don’t dare say a word as it would be viral; all over the world. Yes Annie rolling around on the floor laughing for an hour went viral. But everything Annie puts on the internet goes viral, like her fart Christmas Carols where she farts out a tune, or the video of her making Christmas ornaments out of boogers and pimple pus, and her how to hang callous and toe nail clipping garland properly. The Christmas season was approaching and Annie got crafty around the holidays.

Finally the ringing stopped and I was able to ask, “Annie why are you running around in a head?”

“It’s for Cara-lyle. See Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky live way out in the middle of nowhere, farm country,” Annie began, by this time she had poured her own cup of sludge and was leaning back in a chair tipping it so it balanced on just the back legs, as she blew over her cup of sludge (it was iced). I knew it would be just a matter of time.

“I love being young again,” Annie commented, sipping her iced sludge then blowing on it again. I waited for it.

Annie took another sip, put her cup down, stretched out her arms, tipped back a little further and said, “Old Slampa-pa and Old Slamma-ma were farmers…in the old country…” Annie crossed her legs leaned back once more. Here it comes I thought then BAM, I was on the floor shaking my head not even aware of what had happened. But it happened every time Annie leaned back in her chair and I fell on the floor.

“Cara-lyle was sheltered back there on the farm,” Annie continued. Her chair firmly back on the floor, now that I had fallen.

It was true that sometimes I would pet that cat and she would be nudging at my hand, screaming, “Scratch my back Slam, oh baby scratch my face, scratch my arm pits,” and then other times she would back away from my approaching hand so fast that her fat little butt would fall off the table or the counter; seemingly to prefer that over a pet. Although I did not entertain the idea of Annie making a test tube kitten, I did agree at times she appeared to have a social anxiety.

“Okay Annie but why is she running around in a mascot head that weirdly looks exactly like you did before you died?” I asked.

“Because I don’t have the costume built yet.” Yes she said built.

Then she said, “That’s where you come in.”

“What are you talking about?”

Annie was waving her arms around, all excited, “You are going to be my mannequin for Cara-lyle’s furry costume.”

“A furry costume? What’s a furry?”

“It’s where people dress up as animals to ease their social anxiety,” Annie explained.

“But you or ‘cara-lyle’ are cats.” I said. “Shouldn’t you dress up as a person.”

“YOU!” Annie screamed standing on her hind feet pointing at me, “ARE DUMB AS A ROCK! ”

I just shook my head, Annie just looked funny, because she was now, small, fat and squatty. I shrugged then asked, “And you want me to be the mannequin?”

“YES!” Annie screamed.

“Wouldn’t it be better if you were the mannequin, since it will need to fit you?’

Annie looked at me and spat, “You certainly don’t have a smocking gun with all of your education.”

“Annie none of that made any sense,” I said.

“Because you don’t have any,” she replied, “Don’t you say fake news either, cause I went through your purse looking for a dime and you didn’t even have a penny.”

The rest of the afternoon, I spent standing in the middle of the living room in a pair of worn out white pants. Over those I wore a pair of worn out black pants. Annie crawled around me puffing on a bubble pipe with a mouthful of straight pins, using them to mark off a pattern and poking me in the process. She was wearing a hairnet and curlers. She would later cut the parts she had marked with the pins away so the white pants would show through and then sew the pairs of pants together. She did the same thing of top with black and white shirts.

Oddly it did look a great deal like Annie. The pattern of the black and white was exactly like Annie, the old Annie; the Annie before she died complete with her plunger tail. Her entire backside was black and rounded with a black tail and it resembled a plunger.

“Well, it’s done,” Annie announced, slipping the costume over her tiny body, then adding the head and a pair of paw mittens. She suddenly transformed from a tiny fat little kitten not even weighing a pound to a five foot two slightly overweight, giant Annie.

“Hi Slam,” Annie waved at me. “Now Duh-Wayne won’t have to drive…NOW I can buy Moose-made without ID…” she danced around.

“Annie you make Moose-made in your poop factory. Why would you need an ID to buy it?”

“I?” Annie asked glaring at me, even with the mask on, I could see that glare. “Me?” She asked again. She pointed at herself and glared.

“Yes you! Moose-made; made from fermented moose poo,” I sang, she kept staring, “that’s your jingle. Moose-made for all your holidays back home,” I suggested. “That commercial with the pair of Moose clinking those antler cups in front of a fire and Christmas tree? You teleported them from Alaska and they stuck their heads through the wall so you and Duh-Wayne had a spot to hang your scarves? ” She had no clue what I was talking about.

She took a deep breath and yelled, “Now I can go chase cows with Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and Aunt Dorky,” she paused a moment, cocked her head then suddenly, screamed, “I CAN DRIVE THE MILK WAGON!”

She pulled a shirt with a cat that oddly looked like her over her head, “now I’m Annastasia.”

It was weird having Annie the same size as me. “Well Slam if anyone besides Duh-Wayne decides to read your fool blog and you need to go autograph stuff I could be your mascot; for a price.”

Just then Duh-Wayne and Spam came in not that I knew it was them. Duh-Wayne was dressed as a rat and Spam an elephant. They were off to a furry convention. Not that they had social anxiety but they loved the adventure.

“I’m driving the milk wagon,” Annie screamed as the headed out the door.

What a wunnful life with a five foot Annie.



One morning,  Snoopy stood in the window watching the big trucks traveling down the highway that went passed our house.   “I could do that couldn’t I Slam?”  he asked, putting down a cup of sludge; although smaller Annie still made a morning pot of sludge.

Snoopy was kind of a laid back quiet boy, kind of shy in a crowd.   He liked basketball, hunting, tools, anything manly.   He wore a hat and a flannel shirt when it was cold otherwise his nice orange pelt was enough for him.   I nodded at him.   “Yup,” I said, “I could really see you driving a truck.”  Even though he was a cat, he seemed the type who would drive the big rigs.

“Well it probably won’t happen,” he said.

“Brussel drives a truck, maybe he can take you for a ride,” I suggested.

“Brussel? That guy great aunt Jodi knows? The  Great Aunt Jodi who is Phil, Moo and Annie’s Mom, and Norbert and Annie Jr.’s Slamma Jr. and your daughter; Great Aunt Jodi Slamma Jr?” Snoopy asked.

“Yes, that  guy” I said.

Snoopy nodded.   “He’s okay.”

I could tell he was excited when I  told him that Brussel was coming by with his truck to take him for a ride. I had called Great Aunt Jodi, aka Slamma Jr aka Mom or Mooom as Annie spelled it.   She saw no reason why Brussel couldn’t come by and give Snoopy a ride.

It was still a couple days away and Snoopy could hardly contain his excitement.   I figured at some point Annie would try to horn in on it.   She always did, because everything was always about Annie.   She actually looked really bored when Snoopy talked about it, however there was that look in her eye, especially when she noticed how enraptured Annie Jr. looked when Snoopy talked about it.    Luckily this time I was one step ahead of Annie.

A few weeks prior Annie Jr had asked to go to Joe’s birthday party.   I worked with Joe’s mom Issy and Annie Jr. was friends with Joe’s cat Archie.   “Why’s his name Joe?” Annie had asked, she always answered a question with a question.

“Cause, it’s his favorite name,” Annie Jr. answered.

“What if his favorite name had been Ethan?” she laughed her crazy laugh, “What time do we eat cake,” Annie,  then  asked because food was still one of the most important things in her life.   In that way everyone knew that both she, Annie Jr and quite possibly Duh-Wayne would be attending Joe’s birthday party.

I was glad that Duh-Wayne was there.  Annie being quite smaller than she had been used to struggled with many things, like reaching the pedals on her car or truck or whatever it happened to be that she was driving.   So Duh-Wayne had to climb down on the floor and work them.

He got stuck every single time because Annie had to pull the seat up so close, and she had to use a crow bar to get him out.   Suggesting her moving her seat was not an option nor was having Duh-Wayne drive because Annie did not want to trouble him that much.

The birthday party was the same day I asked Brussel to come give Snoopy a ride.   The Annie’s and Duh-Wayne had left early in the day to go to the party.   They left so early in fact, I had not even seen them.   There was no sludge in the pot even, it might be a great day I thought as I made a fresh pot of coffee, the kind Annie claimed was weak because it wasn’t thick.

Snoopy was standing in front of the mirror in the kitchen, rubbing some kind of man gel into his fur and brushing his whiskers.   He had his flannel shirt on like his dad, a pair of jeans with suspenders like Uncle Rov, and a baseball cap that said ‘Convoy.”  He was whistling and occasionally singing, ‘roll on 18 wheeler roll on.’

“Do I look good Slam?” he asked.

“Yes, Snoopy you look very handsome.” I replied.

“Brussel is coming, we are going to have breakfast where the truckers do,” Snoopy said.   Then he paused.   “You wanna go?”

I smiled and petted his gel covered head.   “No Snoop this is your thing.”

“You can Slam.  Great Aunt Jodi is going and Phil is too.”

“What?” I asked.

“Yeah! Come on Slam, Aunt Jodi wants you too.”  He showed me a text that said, “Bring Slam.”   His eyes were shining like he was excited.

“Oh, okay, I guess, I could go,” I replied.   Hanging out with Phil was fun.

“She’s coming down the street,” Snoopy cried looking at his phone.   “Come on Slam.”

We grabbed our coats and went running out the door.   As soon as I got out the door, the smell hit me.   A sickening foul obnoxious odor the likes the world has never smelt invaded my nose.   I gagged and plugged my nose.   At the same moment a loud weird foghorn combination fart sound filled the air, one then another and then another.  Engines were roaring from the street.

Snoopy cocked his head towards the weird sound and sniffed the air, “They are here!”   He ran towards the street and I followed.   Then I saw it, a whole fleet of big rigs from Annie’s poop factory.   Each one had a trailer that looked like a turd and smelt like ten of them.

Brussel was driving the first truck, he had his had pulled up on his head in a weird way; Snoopy adjusted his hat.   Great Aunt Jodi, aka Slamma Jr, was next to him with Phil,

Behind them was another truck driving by Annie Jr., the next by Annie with Duh-Wayne working the pedals and Spam behind them and forty more trucks behind that driven by poop factory employees.

“What’s going on?” I screamed.

“What do you mean?” Great Aunt Jodi asked.   “Annie said this was YOUR idea.  A convoy for Snoopy to some kid’s birthday party.  And you were buying breakfast…cause we…”, then everyone began singing, ‘…got a great big convoy rocking through the night we got a great big convoy ain’t she a beautiful sight,” then Annie honked and poop flew into the air along with a foghorn fart sound.

Then they all started tooting.   Poop was flying all over out of the turd trucks.   I couldn’t do it.   I just couldn’t.   Since Annie already had her own copy of my debit card, and would use it to feed everyone generously at some local diner as promised, I turned and went back inside as wet poop hit the back of my new jacket and a piece of old corn landed in my hair.

“Breaker breaker,” screamed Annie.   “Got your ears on Stinking Slam?   Come back?  Ten-four? Twenty-eight? Six ninety nine?” She was still screaming numbers as I shut the door.   I was sure I would hear all about the convoy later on as a matter of fact, my phone had already started going off with a steady stream of pictures Annie kept tagging me in, but this was one adventure, I sat out.



Lil Annie

I still wasn’t sure how Annie had some how transformed into this tiny girly version of Annie Jr.   It was much preferred to dead Annie, or fat dead Annie, or saggy skin braids, callous eating maggoty  dead Annie, or skeleton Annie.

I just didn’t know what to make of it, Annie was smaller, kitten like, but she really looked a lot like Annie did when she was a kitten.   Annie had looked like a little bunny rabbit and she now had that same bunny rabbit look; short fat and big feet.  Annie Jr was sort of long and slender.

The markings were different and she had more black but her eyes looked like Annie.   The voice was Annie’s.   She laughed the same crazy laugh, she drank her sludge, she played on the internet, watched AnnieTV, hung out with Duh-Wayne, she was just smaller.

How did she do it? How did she die and come back? How did she gain 600 pounds?  She was a cat for god sakes, cat’s can’t gain 600 pounds but mine did I saw it.   I saw that saggy skin, we still had an entire room full of hatched maggots; when I shooed them out the window unbeknown to me Duh-Wayne was standing on his stilts outside and ushering them into an open window a couple rooms down; he ‘always wanted to be a bee keeper’ and Annie suggested he practice with flies first.  It inspired Annie Jr. Halloween costume, he was a fly sticker and grandfather was a fly swatter.   Halloween Themes were so popular.

I finally decided to let it be.   ‘It is what it is,’ I thought.   Sometimes it was easier that way.  I couldn’t really explain Annie period.   I mean most people didn’t have cats who talked and drove cars, owned a multi-billion dollar poop factories, and no one but me even felt any of that was weird, so why not hop aboard Annie’s crazy train and let it go.

But I still wondered because although this kitten sounded like Annie, and acted like Annie there was a part of her that was off, like she began watching Little House all over again.  That in itself was not odd, she watched the entire series of hundreds of her favorite shows at least once a week.   What was weird was that she would act like she hadn’t seen it before.   It was her ‘favorite’ show however she claimed but she couldn’t remember it.    Sometimes she would recall with vivid detail some episode, but other times she claimed she’d never watched it before, to her  it was brand new.   She would dig her claws in my arm at the scary parts, she always did that but she would use all four paws.   She’d act surprised when something turned out completely different, but the biggest thing was she didn’t announce what was going to happen before it happened, she always started jigging and do-see-do-ing a good thirty seconds before Papa had his chin resting on polished wood.

As a matter of fact there were several things that Annie acted like; ‘it was brand new.’    Sometimes she would look at the dog with a crazed look in her eye and scream, ‘Who are You????”   She referred to Annie Jr. as her brother son and but he called her sister mom and Norbert was his brother uncle nephew and he claimed to be his own grandpa, then the banjo would appear.

Sometimes; something would snap and Annie would be playing along on her own stringed instrument other times, she would cock her head and lean her head towards the sound of the banjo, slowly smile and tap her foot, then scream, “I love it what do you call that jig-a-ma-bog.”   Then Annie Jr would correct her saying, “It’s  jig-a-ma-thingy lil sissy.”  Strangely he called her Mom-mom when she was acting herself.

The most logical explanation was, she was either faking it, or it was her multiple personality.   Annie Jr. claimed it was because Annie had not eaten all the soul of the test tube kitten, he and Annie made at Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s house.   Of course, I wasn’t believing any of that, her time machine; bah and why a test tube kitten, when she was able to just clone herself.

That wasn’t the only thing, when she acted more like herself she was constantly complaining that her legs were too short and she was unable to work the gas pedal on her car, or her favorite pair of footed pajama’s that made her look like a cow complete with an udder bag was suddenly too big, or she needed a ladder to reach the top of the washing machine so she could ride on it when it spun out.

Other times, she was completely comfortable with her size, claiming she had no clue how to drive a car, and wanted no part of being a black and white cow because those were ugly colors if one had to be a cow for whatever crazy reason, brown and white was preferred and why would anyone want to ride a washer.   There was a perfectly good fun park in the back yard with all sorts of rides.

Annie hadn’t used it in years, however she and Annie Jr. had been spending hours out there riding on all the rides while Duh-Wayne ran behind laughing and running the rides for them.   As a matter of fact, Duh-Wayne enjoyed the carney life so much he and Spam had parked an old 60’s model camper out there.   Spam spent her days washing clothes in a sink so she could hang them out in front of her home on a natty old piece of rope and making candy apples.   I would be glad when the snow fell so the sound of the calliope would  end.   It was very annoying.

What was annoying as well was Annie’s mood change.   She was changing her clothes a hundred times a day, true she always changed her clothes several times a day but now it was doubled.    Most of it had to do with Annie’s sloppiness;  her choice was to continue wearing a shirt covered with mouse tails and fish sauce, or a pair of pants she sharted in ‘accidently’ or a pair of slacks with a  torn out crotch she got attempting to leap over a gate to answer the phone and catching her foot in it, then screaming at the top of her lungs ‘get the phone’; she did this at least once a week.   In those cases I made her change.

But now she was changing out of perfectly good clean clothes that moments before she was dying to wear; into something else.  She was trading in her favorite Walking Dead hoodie for a gingham dress, or  a pair of shabby bibbed overhauls, or her favorite, an old feed bag  ’cause no matter how hard a person has it, my family had it harder.’   Before the feed bag had even settled on her hips she was screaming, “I hate  the Slamma Aunt Loosewheels poverty collection!” Then put on something else.

I wondered aloud what my mother’s clothing style had to do with any of this.  “You know Slamma Aunt Loosewheels was poor growing up, Slam,” Annie screamed at me.   “She was darn lucky to even had that feed bag she wore every day to school when she was a teenager and people laughed at her.”

The second the sentence was out of her mouth she began to sob, “I want my Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and my Aunt Dorky.   I hate living with you!” she spat at me.

Annie Jr. ran over and put his paw around Annie and pulled her close and said, “Don’t cry little sissy, I will have Mom-mom take us to see them.   I love Slamma Aunt Loosewheels too.   She hugs me and calls me Mr. Cutie.   Aunt Dorky calls me George though and she is kinda weird especially when she gets out Mr. Thermometer.”

The tears would stop and Annie would laugh her crazy laugh.   “I love Aunt Dorky!” she would scream.   “Me and Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s chase her with old bird feathers.”

“You don’t even know them,” I yelled.   “They have been gone for years.”

“Where?” Annie screamed and began to cry, then her voice changed just slightly and she screamed, “Where?”     Then, she did something very strange, she put her paw around herself and patted her back and said, “It’s okay Cara-lyle.”   She patted herself back and said, “Thanks Mom-mom.”

“Who is Cara-Lyle?” I yelled.   This was getting weird.

“The test tube kitten,”   Annie said.   “Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s named her, she said she looks like a Cara-lyle.”

“Annie, I don’t understand any of this!”  I cried, yanking gobs of my hair out in frustration.

“It’s simple Slam, Me and Annie Jr. went back in time when Slamma Aunt Loosewheels and her sister Aunt Dorky were teenagers, we made a test tube kitten, Slamma Aunt Loosewheels named Cara-lyle and I possessed her and here we are.”   She paused and looked around, then walked underneath Annie Jr. lifting Annie Jr. backside up in the air.  She laughed her crazy laugh, then screamed.   “DUH-WAYNE!”

Duh-Wayne came running from his trailer in the back yard, Spam right behind him both dressed in straw hats and bibbed overhauls, each had an old bucket.   “Milking time?” Duh-Wayne asked.

“We are hired hands,” Spam said to me.   “Your mother hired us.”

I shook my head and closed my eyes.   “Say cheese Slam,” Annie screamed.  I opened my eyes and mouth at the same time.  “Ha ha good one Slam, wait til your mom sees this, she will think twice before she has kids. ”

They all jumped into the cardboard time machine that I swore did not work and I left the room.   ‘So much for riding along on the Annie Crazy train,’ I thought as I plopped into my recliner.  “Cara-lyle!” I said aloud.  “Possessed! Blah.   I am off this crazy train.”  I put my feet up and cracked a can of Moose Made.