“What are you doing?” I ask Annie Jr. from the kitchen.   Whenever she is quiet I have to ask, because you never know what she is up to and with Annie working all sorts of crazy hours at the poop factory someone has to keep an eye on her not that Annie even does that when she is home.

“Looking at Halloween Perfumes.” she answered.

“Halloween perfumes?” I ask coming into the living room to find Annie Jr. laying with her Ipad.

“Yes,” she replied.   “Annie said I had to be Sylvester the cat but I already look like him and everyone will know it’s me.   Just cause Annie was Sylvester on HER first Halloween doesn’t mean I want to.”

“You mean costumes and yes Annie was Sylvester for her first Halloween only because she had no imagination.”

“No Slam it’s perfumes.” Annie Jr. corrected.    “I want to be something scary like a Werewolf or a Vampirate.”

“What’s a Vampirate?”  I asked.

“Vampirates love to bite and I bite and they say arrgghhhh like SpongeBob Round pants.”

It’s square pants.” I said.

“No, ” Annie Jr. insisted.  “Annie said that square pants are fake news he is really round.   But I was convinced he was a friangle.”

“I need to enroll you in school for the fall.   I can’t stand that your only education is coming from Annie.” I sighed.

“I don’t need school….look at Elaine she loves school and she is a challenge.”

“Her name is Janey and she is very smart.”

“Annie says school made her a challenge. Her and her fool cooks she is always reading.”

“Cooks? It’s books.”

“No, Slam,  you book at cooks and look food in the kitchen. ” Annie Jr. replied.

I slapped my head.   “Annie is teaching you all wrong so she looks smarter.”

“No YOU ARE!” Annie Jr. screams.   “What about that cook you just read me about Chester Musket and Annie Swanka? You read it all wrong.”

“Who is Chester Musket?”

“You said his name was Charles Pail?”

I rack my brains thinking about the books I had read her recently because it’s used to be one of her favorite things until just now.   “Charlie Bucket?” I finally asked.   Thinking about how Annie chose that book for me to read herself and how she sat quietly looking half asleep when I read it to Annie Jr.

“That is what I said.   His name was really Chester Musket and Annie Swanka was the owner of the poop factory…Annie told me all about the history of the poop factory.

“Seventy five years ago,” Annie Jr. began    “Annie Swanka owned the poop factory and shut the doors of the factory when Jackie Nermal tried to steal the secret formula of making poop into product.   She tried and failed so many times, only able to make poop soup and Annie Swanka was worried so she shut the doors of the factory and since then no one comes in and no one comes out and all the Annie’s who have worked the factory up until now have kept the doors closed.   So Annie is opening the factory for five lucky winners to come in and tour the building.”

I sighed loudly.   “Annie has been giving tours in her factory for years at $150 a pop.   You were there 15 times last week.” I said.

“Thank god for your magic card,” Annie Jr. replied.   “It’s not working now though after I bought 150 cases of poop candy.”

“Why did you buy all of that, we have an entire room full of it?” I scream.

“Those were before the golden tickets and I have to win one.”  Annie Jr. insisted. “I want to be like Chester Musket.   Allie won a ticket already.   So did Lars and Kiko.   There are only two left.”

“You guys are all in and out of that factory all day long!”

“Fake news, Slam!”

“It sounds like the whole contest is rigged.”  I responded.

“No Annie is wearing her real fur now not a rig.”

“That’s a wig. A rig is a big truck.”

“Slam you make no sense, the whole contest is a big truck?”

“How does fake hair make sense?”

“Fur Slam a rig is fake fur,” Annie Jr. explained, as if it being fur versus hair made all the difference in the world.

“Maybe I want to be a Franklinstein,” Annie Jr. said looking at her Ipad again.   “or a scary scary Hitch, or a Slummy wrapped in toilet paper.”

“You need school, Annie Jr.!”

“I does NOT,” she screamed.

“Annie said she had a teacher in school named Mrs. Meano and she was mean!”

“Annie never had Mrs. Meano that was another one of my cats.” I said.

“You had other cats Slam?”  Annie Jr. asked.  “Annie said she was the first the best and the most favored and always will be.” She cocks her head in thought then continued.  “It is possible cause you are old as dirt, Annie said you went to school with Nellie and Willie.”

Nellie and Willie who?” I asked.

“Olsen!   When you lived at little house.”

“I never lived there,” I said.

“Did you know Annie Swanka, was she the cat that had Mrs. Meano?”  Annie Jr. coaxed.

“Yes, yes,” I sighed tossing in the towel on the nonsense.

“And you took Annie on her first tour of the poop factory when she was Chester Musket?”

“I thought it was closed?” I asked.

“Well, I gotta go,” Annie Jr. said pulling her scooter out of the garage Annie built for all of her vehicles in our living room.

“Where are you going?” I demanded.

“To visit Annie Swanka in the nursing home.”

“She’s still alive?!?” shocked in disbelief as I let the words come out of my mouth.

“Yes, all the Annie’s are.   They live in the poop factory nursing home.”

“None of this is true,” I screamed.

Just then Annie Jr. phone rang it said, “Annie Jr. pick up the phone it is great great great great great (and the greats continued for one hour) Slamma Annie Swanka pick up the phone.”

I fainted.





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