Just then Annie came through the door. She was driving a fork lift which had several cases of poop candy on it’s lift.    She was wearing a hard hat and  covered head to toe in filth.   It looked like she dug herself out of a grave and she smelled horrible.   Flies were buzzing around the top of her head like a black cloud.  She drove  through the house leaving a trail of drippy stenchy filth behind. She parked the fork lift  then  flopped onto my bed.   ” Here’s the last of it Annie Jr.  The fourth golden ticket was found today,” Annie said.

“Who?” Annie Jr. screamed frantically.   “Who was it?”

“My friend Maddie.”  Annie said.

“Who is Maddie, I never heard of Maddie,” I said.

“Oh for the love of God Almighty  Slam! She and I have only been going to AA meetings  together for twenty odd years.   You never heard of her!” Annie snapped at me.

“Annie you are only 14 and you have never been to an AA meeting.”

” Yes!  Air Allergy, Slam!   We are allergic to air!”

“Then how do you breath?” I screamed.

“Through our mouths,” Annie yelled back like I was stupid. “Do I have fins like a sea critter?”

“Without dying?” I asked.

“YOU IDIOT Slam if you stop breathing you die.” Annie slapped her head.  “Why should I be forced to put up with your dumb all the time.   And you know Maddie’s Mom.”
I shook my head that I didn’t.   “You do” Annie insisted, “You know Cousin Stew’s, Uncle Midge that used to be Aunt  Tammy….they had that crow that told jokes when he got to eating too many crackers.”

“No I don’t!”

“Neither do I,” Annie replied.

“Annie really?  Who?”

“That girl in the song?”

“What song?”

“I’m in the smood for Smelody, I’m in the smood.”

“My friend Smel I have known since I was a kid?”

“Yeah, the one that married that guy, Candy?”

“His name isn’t Candy.”

“It is too,” Annie insisted.   “He eats kit kat bars.”

Just then a tv announcement came on, “Breaking news” the broadcaster screamed hysterically.   The tv started beeping like it does when a storm is coming.   We all watched with eyes wide.

“The last golden ticket has been found.”

“No way!” Annie screamed.    “It a fake!”

“How do you know Annie?” I just knew she cheated.

“Cause I picked who wins them,” Annie replied.

“You advertised that it was 5 random candy bars.”

“It was poop bars, Slam.”

“Who cares?  My point is you said random.”

” Random; It’s just a thing you say, Slam! It doesn’t mean anything” Annie argued.

“I was supposed to get one!” Annie Jr. screamed jumping up and down.   “I want a golden ticket now!”

“You will,” Annie soothed.   “I took care of it personally.  It’s in one of those boxes of candy I brought home. But I don’t remember which one.”

I looked over at Annie Jr. who was sitting on a pile of candy wrappers and a pile of uneaten poop candy piling up behind her.   It was then that I noticed the fork lift.   One box was wrapped in bright red paper with a big gold bow.    It had a big sign that said, “Golden Ticket inside!”  There was a brightly lit arrow pointing at it.   As I walked towards it, it squawked, “Pick me, ding ding ding golden ticket inside pick me.”

Annie Jr looked at me, then at the box, then at Annie, shrugged and said, “Okay I will keep opening.   She selected another piece from the box she had been working on,  opened it slowly. She was holding her breath and looking excited.   She pulled the wrapper back, her face fell, “Darn it!” She tossed the candy over her shoulder and let the wrapper fall from her paw and took the next one.   “Annie smartest cat in the world!” she muttered under her breath as she tossed another losing candy over her shoulder.

“So who won the ticket?” Annie screamed at the tv.

“The winner of the ticket,” the broad caster who had been sitting behind the desk said, as if he were just waiting for Annie to ask, “is Miss Mary Jane Marie aka Janey aka Elaine.”

“No!” Annie screamed.   “Lars, Allie, Kiko, Maddie and Annie Jr are going NOT JANEY!”  Annie jumped up and down on the bed, she looked like Donald duck when he was mad.   She was even making that  crazy quacking noise he makes.  I’d never seen her so furious.

The time they had a recall on buckets of birds because they were missing their beaks, Annie was mad but not as mad as she was now.    Last week when I shot down her idea to wallpaper our car so she could spot it easily in the parking lot,’she was mad but not this mad.   At lunch she threw a cup of her homemade poop coffee at me because she felt I took the bigger slice of cheese.   But she was even madder now.   She was madder than a wet hen, madder than the mad hatter.   Her fur turned bright red and then magneta and finally a deep purple; steam was coming out of her ears and she spat, “JANEY!”

“Hi everyone,” Janey said coming through the door.   She was unbuckling her bike helmet.   She’d parked her bike in the shed downstairs like she is supposed to and because Annie refuses to allow Janey to use the garage in the living room.    She set down her book and took off her back pack.   “Why are you all looking at me like that?” she asked finally noticing us staring.   “Oh guess what?”   She opened her book bag and took out a golden ticket.   “I won a ticket?”

“It’s fake.  You made it.”  Annie accused.   “I seen your slimy rear end slinking around the poop factory.”

“Annie, I work there every day after school to repay you for the air I breath.”   Janey sighed.

“Well, it’s summer time now no school so get to work.”  Annie screamed.

“I just got done,” Janey replied.

“Then YOU STOLE it.   STOLE IT from a teeny tiny baby kitten who’s life’s dream is to visit that poop factory.”

“Annie she was there all day, wandering around looking at stuff, with Annie Swanka.”

“You STOLE it!” Annie screamed again, steam  poured from this whistle that had formed on top of her head.

“I didn’t.   I bought it. ” Janey defended herself.

“Lies!” Annie announced swinging her arm down and pointing at Janey.  “I take all of your money!”

“I saw money in the gutter, and I fished it out.”

“You don’t own a fish!” Annie yelled.  “Where’d you buy it?”

“From Scraggs.”

“Scraggs! Scraggs is friends with Jackie Nermal.   Oh that Jackie Nermal she has been trying to get her hands on my secret formula for years.   If she gets her hands on the formula for my ever lasting poop stopper, I’ll be ruined.    Imagine if people stopped pooping, I’d be out of business in a hour.”

At that moment a commercial came on…a toilet was slowly making it’s way towards the screen, close up of the inside of the bowl and someone had definitely not flushed and then Annie’s voice began singing from the tv.  “I have a toilet full of poop and I need cash now.   Call Annastasia 877-poop-now.” Then  a picture of Rov, with a handful of cash smiling.   That commercial was followed by Annie dancing and singing while Annie Jr. played her banjo.   “Pooped your pants, call us fast we can help you get the cash.  Call 888 we can poop that’s 888 we can poop.”

“What channel is this?” I screamed.

“AnnieTV,” Annie said like I should have known.

“You are not going Janey!   You will never set foot in my factory and steal the secret formula for the ever lasting poop stoppers.”   Annie screamed.

“I wasn’t going to go anyways.   I was going to give it to Annie Jr.” Janey said.

“I don’t want a fake ticket!” Annie Jr said.

“Try that box, Annie Jr.” Janey said pointing to the red wrapped package. “I’m going to bed.”

“Be on time tomorrow too Janey,” Annie ordered.  “You finish that case of poop stoppers okay.”

Janey shook her head and left the room.   Annie Jr. screamed suddenly.  “I found the last golden ticket.   It says, “Annie Jr. be at the poop factory on October 1st (unless it rains) at 10 o’clock.  Bring old slam with you!”

Annie Jr. screamed!  “Slam we are going to the Wally World!”

“The poop factory, Annie Jr.”


I groaned.   This was going to be thrilling.








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