“Annie Jr. let’s pick out the outfit you wanted to wear tomorrow for your first day of school.” I said happily.

Annie Jr. jumped up and down and said, “I want my paw patrol pants and my Krusty the clown shirt!” She then sighed long and deep.   “But I can’t.”

“Why, what happened?”   I asked a little scared.   Every time things seemed to be going right there was some sort of crisis.

“I weared them and got them dirty.”  Annie Jr confessed.

“So we will wash them.”  I said, happily.   Content that dirty school clothes were the only dilemma.

“Mom-mom already did.” Annie Jr. said.   “She was real happy with all the mud I had packed on them cause now it’s clean she can sell it.”

I started to imagine my washer with the 10 inches of mud, I’d seen on Annie Jr. earlier.   I couldn’t tell she was wearing her school clothes under all the mud.   I was planning on letting them dry and knock most of the mud off but knowing Annie she hadn’t done that at all.   ‘At least she’d washed them,’ I thought.  Then, “Are they clean, Annie Jr.?”

“Oh yeah!” she replied happily.

“So let’s get them!” I said.

“Can’t” she shook her head.

“Why not?”

“Mom-mom found her spiritual side.   She cut all our clothes up and made them into quilts.”

‘Again!” I thought.   Annie would embrace her spiritual side a couple times a year.   She’d plant a bunch of cat nip, wear a headband and dark round sun glasses.   Don her hippy dress, drag out a wad of sheep’s wool and try to knit a scarf.

I knew it, it never failed.   I’d have to figure out something for her to wear later.   “Well, lets pack your book bag,” I suggested.

“Can’t,” Annie Jr. said.   I looked at her.   “Mom-mom planted cat nip in it.”

I hated to ask but I did.  “And your school supplies.”

“Mom-mom made necklaces out of the paper and she broked my skissors trying to carve her name in the wall.   She sniffed all the scent out of my markers and she is currently making candles out of the crayons.”

I walked out into the kitchen to find Annie stirring a pot of Crayola’s on the stove.   There was dried crayon all over everything.   Annie was pouring a batch of melted blue crayons, through one of my best funnels into candle molds; and she had my best cooking pot.    There were boxes and boxes of Crayons against one wall and boxes and boxes of home made birthday candles on the other.

“Hi Slam.” Annie said.   “Dig these candles, Slam.   They are far out in a happening way.”

“Annie! Why?”

“It’s Moon Bean.”

“What’s Moon Bean?” I asked.

“My name, not Annie.”

I shook my head; it should have been ding dong.

“I will make a fortune on these candles, ” Moon Bean, I mean Annie said.

“Put them on the cake, light ’em, blow ’em out, color with them afterwards.” she continued.

I picked up a couple boxes and looked at them.   They actually looked quite nice, all of them packaged neatly in attractive boxes.    “Annie, wouldn’t it be better if there was all different colors in the box.   I mean who wants all green crayons or all blue crayons.” I asked looking at the boxes.

Annie just looked at me.  I looked back.   She kept staring.  “What?”

“My name is Moon Bean!” she said stamping her foot.

“Okay Moon Bean, jeeze.”

“That’s better.   First learn your colors Slam those are yellow and orange CANDLES, and who would ever want to use more than one color.   You are so stupid, Slam.   But coloring is not the best feature.   They are scented.  Smell ’em!”

“Do I have to?”  I begged.   I knew about Annie’s fragrance line, I hated throwing up.

Annie shoved a package of blue candle crayons under my nose.   “Oh Slam,” she said pushing them so close to my face breathing from my mouth was halted and I had no choice.   Ironically they smelled great, like fresh perked coffee, strawberry cheese cake and a fresh mowed lawn all mixed with a hint of late summer roses.

“Wow, Moon Beam!” I said.

“Bean, it’s Bean not Beam…Moon Beam, how dumb is that Slam.”

“Moon Bean, then.   These smell really good.”

“Told ya a fortune, Slam.”

“I really think you should make them all different colors,” I suggested again.

“Like you know anything saying all my stuff stinks.”   Annie/Moon Bean replied.

Just then a funky looking van pulled in the drive way.   It was kinda a cross between, the Mystery Machine and a creeper van.   It had peace signs on it, the ‘shag wagon’ was written across the top.    There were these little balls hanging like Christmas bulbs all around the windshield, along with lights that flicked on and off in time with the music; Canned Heat “Up the Country.”  The dashboard was covered in fur and a skunk tail hung from the cb antenna.

“Oh it’s Unckie Duh Wayne and Auntie Spam?” Annie Jr. screamed.

“No Winky, it’s Snowfish and Om.”

Duh-Wayne aka Snowfish or was he Om, I had no idea, used his key to come in.   Why did he have a key.   Just them my boy friend walked in.   “Hey Om!” He said waving.   “Greetings Snowfish.”

“Sha-loom, Jazzerus, my brother.” I guess it was Om said.   This was nuts.

Annie Jr. climbed up my leg to get on my shoulder so she had a better view of things.  “Annie Jr, I mean Weezey, stop.”

“It’s Wylie,” Annie Jr. said right into my ear.

“It’s Winky,” Snowfish said coming inside carrying a large jug.   Om had one too.

It was then I noticed their clothes.    Om was wearing a pair of baggy old sweat pants with a pair of black leather chaps covered in rhinestones.   He had a old black and red checked coat on, a cowboy hat, a beat up old tennis shoe on one foot and a broken flip flop on the other.   Snowfish was wearing a tall leghorn hat, a sparkly halter top with a huge feather boa, and a pair of pajama pants that had N sync of them.   She wore no shoes and had a daisy between each toe.   They were dressing like Annie!   I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea, their friendship.

I turned to look at my boyfriend and noticed he was wearing old jeans and a peace sign around his neck.  “Did you smell these?” I asked him.   I sniffed the crayon candles once again before I held them up to his nose.

He sniffed and said, “Negative!”

“Negative?  Your nuts!”

“We have a new scent, Moon Bean,” Om said, taking the cork out of his jug.

Om smelled deeply, and passed it to Snowfish who inhaled deeply and went ummmmmmmmmm as she did, Moon Bean stuck her face into the jar and screamed, “Dynomite!”

My boyfriend took the jar, sniffed once.   No one could tell what his thoughts were.   He sniffed again a bit longer lingering a bit.   He looked at Om, who asked, “Well my brotha,”

Jazzerus’s face broke into a Grinch type smile and he nodded like it was the best thing he ever smelled and said, “Not bad.”

Winky, jumped onto his shoulder and said, “Let me mell it Grandfather, let me mell it,” she screamed.   “Ohhhh I could eat it and mell it and taste it and feel it.”

“Here Slam, I mean, Onion Sammich, smell it!” she shoved the jug under my nose.

My eyes were burning before it even got to my nose, and as Annie shoved it half way up my nose the most obnoxious scent I have ever smelled hit my brain like a freight train smashing head on into my scent receptors.   I thought for a second I was dying because my life was flashing before my eyes.    Annie’s bright idea to jump out of a plane with a pogo stick, Annie decision to be a garbage man and then a Junk Dealer and that old red truck she got and whenever it rolled into the driveway, this harmonica music was playing, and Annie Jr’s little arm would be hanging out the window and Annie staggering over to a rocker wearing a pair of suspenders.  I began to vomit. “Thanks!” Annie screamed as it went into the jug.   “Just what it needed.”

Then, “I love it Om what is in it.”

He walked over next to me with the other jug to catch what was coming out of my mouth.  “Well I start with a half a cup of limburg.  I call it limburg ya know,” Om explained  hitting me with his elbow as if he wanted to make sure he got every drop that was in me.   “Then a rotten orange so it has that hint of citrus, three rotten eggs, a pickled herring, sun baked livers about 6, three cow patties, and a bottle of commode juice straight from the pot. ”

By the time he finished, I was spent had nothing left inside of me except to say, “how can these smell so good,” I shook the box of candle/crayons,  “and then that!?!” I said pointing at the jug.

Om took a smell of the box, his eyes watered and he began to gag as he passed it to Snowfish, who was at this time cuddling Winky.   “Peeeee Yooooo,” she said waving her face to rid the air.   “That ninks,” Winky said.

Moon Bean took the box and smelled it.   “You IDIOT! This is a reject.   No one wants to smell that!”

I shook my head and walked away.   This was my world and I had no idea what Annie Jr. would wear on her first day of school.   I hoped her name would be Annie Jr. tomorrow and I wouldn’t be Onion Sammich.

 

 

 

 

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