Annie Jr. had become quite a bully, not only to his friends, but the other cats and the rest of the family, all but Annie.   Annie babied him though giving into every whim.   With Halloween coming up,  Annie Jr. was growing increasingly excited.   He could not make up his mind whether he wanted to be Marshall or a Vampirate…Annie suggested he could be both and would get him both costumes if he also agreed to go as Sylvester the cat.       I asked Annie how Annie Jr could  wear three costumes and she told me to button it and not worry about it.

The closer we got to Halloween the worse Annie Jr. became.   He had pounced and attacked Snoopy, a laid back fun loving cat, so many times his ears were sore.   Mary Jane hid most of the time, preferring to lay in a closet reading a book until she fell asleep, versus taking her nap on the bed because every time she did, Annie Jr. would let go of the suction cups he had attached to the ceiling and scream, “Hi Elaine,” as he dropped from above landing on her with a claw raking thump.   And me?

Well, Annie Jr could never just hop in my lap it was climb on top of my chair tipping me backwards because even though I locked it as soon as I sat down, Annie Jr. would unlock it before jumping up.   Then he would lay on his back and sliding down between me and the chair and his claws would slowly slide down my back and I would move forward to get away allowing him to slide further down.   He would be laughing that crazy Annie laugh and screaming, “HI SLAM!”   In the shower, he would slap me with his claws from outside the curtain, screaming on occasion, “I’m slipping Slam, save me from the sharks!” and that shrill Annie voice made me jump and slip myself.    His favorite thing to do was wait until I was playing a game and just when I was ready to win, he would press his paw down on the power button thus shutting down my computer and my game. Sometimes,’   I would come home only to open the door and have a bucket of ants rain down on my head.

“It’s all in fun, Slam, he is just a growing boy.”  Annie defended her clone.

“Annie you have been doing that same bucket trick almost daily for the last 14 years,” I yelled.

Annie laughed her crazy laugh.   “It never gets old, Slam!” she roared slapping her leg.

“Annie, I wanted a sweet little girl cat like Mary Jane maybe, and I get a kitten who pretends he is a tiger from the walking dead.   If he screams Walkers one more time as I walk by and claws me with his razor blades…”

“That reminds me,”  Annie said.   “You ready to meet God Gab, me and Lucy are gonna toss ya to the Walkers!”

Duh-Wayne choked on his coffee.   “I am looking at God, Annie.   I mean Neegan.”

I guess some people had gotten their new parts.    I still had the same part.   I was still shaking powder out of my hair that Annie had tossed into it to make me look like an old Dick.   I had told her so many times his name was Rick.

The final straw was when Annie Jr. was swinging from his trapeze in the living room and ‘accidently’ got caught in the ceiling fan;  while. for some odd reason, carrying a bag of old poopy diapers.   Of course, the bag broke just as I walked in and opened my mouth to scream, “What’s going on?”

“That’s it, Annie Jr.!” I screamed spitting out old  yellow and brown stained clumps, “No trick or treat for you!”

“MOM-MOM!” Annie Jr. wailed.

“No Sweetie! Don’t cry baby!” Annie soothed.

“Annie you better tell him no trick or treat or your party is off!” I said stomping out.

When questioned, Annie assured me that she had told Annie Jr. no trick or treating.   Even so costumes, kept arrive daily for Annie Jr.   “You didn’t say he couldn’t go to my COSTUME party,” Annie screamed.

“Well he could loose that too,” I warned, “And before you tell me to button it, if you want to have your party at all…”

“Speaking of my party,” Annie said sweetly, “Want a cup of tea Slam.”

“No Annie, what do you want?”

“Well, I was wondering if you might, watch Annie Jr. from like 6-8 so I can set up for my party.”

“Alright, Annie.”   I said figuring she had made plans to set up while Annie Jr. would have been trick or treating.   I wondered who she had planned on taking him, had he not had lost his opportunity.

Duh-Wayne and Annie had been decorating the junk yard all afternoon for her party.   She had been transforming the junk yard into a haunted maze and clearing off an area for food and drinks and dancing.   For some unknown reason, Annie had begun calling Duh-Wayne ‘Big D.’

I think it began while he was having some sort of surgery or something.   Annie hung out with him at the hospital, dressing up in set a scrubs and a mask, telling patients that their leg needed to come off and if they wanted a bullet to bite then she would pull out her chain saw.    Also in disguise she searched the entire hospital for “Halloween Props”, I later discovered that some of the ‘fake’ body parts were not so fake.   She wound up getting a part time job emptying bed pans and another Annie clone was made just for the job.

So at 5:30 sharp Annie Jr. came into the kitchen dressed as a Fence Post with VP written on it.   He had a plastic grinning pumpkin pail in one hand perfect for Halloween treats.   “I’m ready Slam,” he said.

“Honey you look adorable.   Let Mom-mom get a picture, sweet darling.”

“Wait ready for what?” I asked.

“Trick or Treat,” Annie Jr. said.

“No you lost trick or treat! Right Annie?” I said glaring at her.

“Right, but only one those two streets.” Annie said.  “It’s his first Halloween, Slam.   Two streets are a lot.”

I sort of felt I had been a little too harsh so I nodded and asked, “What two streets?”

“Those two short ones,” Annie replied.

“The ones with no houses?” I screamed.

“Yeah, duh Slam.” Annie said.

“Annie that is not even a punishment.”

“Yes it is,” Annie replied.   “Now he can’t trick them for not treating.”

“Come on Slam,”  Annie Jr. yelled pulling my arm.   “You have to put your costume on.”

“Wait wait, first of all I agreed to watch you not take you trick or treating.   And I am not wearing a costume.”

“Slam you have ta.   It’s a rule. Put it on.”   I looked at Annie Jr. knowing I was going to be walking him around the neighborhood, in some sort of costume whether I liked it or not.   I kept looking at his costume though, I just didn’t get it; a fence post with VP on it?

“What are you anyway, Annie Jr.?” I asked tearing open my costume.

“Vice President Fence,” he replied.

“It’s Pence, not Fence,” I sighed slapping my head.

“Well that does not even make sense, there is no such a thing as a pence,” Annie screamed.   “Keep watching fake news, Slam.”

I slapped my head.    My costume was a pile of poop, literally I was dressed as a pile of poop with eyes and everything.   None of the other ‘parents’ were dressed in a costume.   I felt like crap.

We went up on the first porch.   I told Annie Jr to say trick or treat and thank you no matter what kind of treat he was given.   Annie Jr said, “Trick or treat smell my butt give me candy for my gut.”

“Annie Jr. what a horrible thing to say,” I yelled at Annie Jr who was turned around waving his butt at the older lady.

“Shut up you piece of crap,” the old lady roared at me throwing a rotten tomato at me and filling Annie Jr. bucket full of big candy bars, all different kinds.

“Grab that wheel barrow off the porch, Slam we will need it.”

Could the night get any worse?   Fifty years old and I am following a cat dressed as Vice President FENCE, dressed as a pile of dung with eyes pushing a wheel barrow full of candy.   “Just down our street once Annie Jr. some people might not get your costume.”  I said grabbing the wheel barrow as Annie Jr. dumped his overflowing bucket into it.

The next house we stopped at the old lady said, “Oh darling what a wonderful tribute to our Vice President.   What a patriotic young cat you are.   You will be president someday.”  She filled Annie Jr. bucket full of dollar bills.   She then looked at me and said, “You should be ASHAMED, you pile of horse manure.   Dressing up and begging.   Get a job.” and she threw a rotten egg at me.

Now that I smelled like rotten tomatoes and rotten eggs, flies were swarming me.    So it went all the way down the street.    Annie Jr. getting a full bucket of something at every house, while I got covered in toilet paper, silly string, Annie’s all natural scents of the earth ‘stink weed’ air freshener.   Chad was at the end of the street with a dump truck which was a good thing because the wheel barrow was full and we worked the final side.    I was so glad when we reached the front porch.   Annie Jr. emptied his wheel barrow, stripped his costume off and suddenly became Lillian from the Rugrats, in honor of his ‘twin’ Phil he explained yelling at me to hurry up there was still plenty of time to trick or treat.

“No Annie Jr. I am not sure how many costumes you have on but I said once!”

“Once as Vice President Fence, you said.”

I sigh and grabbed the wheel barrow again.   Annie Jr. climbed up on the first porch dressed as a female rugrat, and said, “Trick or Treat, smell my rear, give me treats or you will fear.”

“Annie Jr.!” I screamed.

“Hey, you were here earlier,” screamed the old lady.   “I recognize that tomatoe!   Get you free loader!” she chased me with a rake.

One more time down one side of the street and then the other.    I had a hose turned on me, things thrown at me and one lady chased me with a chain saw wearing what looked to be a skin mask.    When we reached our house a final time, and Annie Jr. stripped off his costume and became Yoda, I put my foot down.   I made ‘Grandfather’ take him.   I was tired of pushing the wheel barrow anyway.

I removed my messy costume and my boyfriend put it on, grabbed the wheel barrow and followed Annie Jr. across the street.   I waited because I wanted to laugh at him as he laughed at me when I got pelted with stuff.

I heard Annie Jr. say, “Trick or treat, smell my ass, give me treats you’ll get no sass.”

I opened my mouth to scream and noticed he was sitting on a little donkey.    “He smells lovely,” the old lady cooed sniffing the donkey.    She filled Annie Jr. bucket then went to my boyfriend.

“That’s Grandfather!” Annie Jr. said.

“Oh poor baby, who pelted you with tomatoes?”   said the old lady as she  lovingly wiped them off, Grandfather’s poop costume and filled his wheel barrow with treats.    Chad began lumbering down the street with the dump truck.   I notice just then all the other parents were in costume.  I left.   I saw quite enough.

Annie’s party was in full swing.   Duh-Wayne was there  he was dressed as maybe Johnny Cash, Elvis or it might have been M J, that black glove threw me off.   Spam was there with Duh-Wayne clone, they were Loretta and Doo-little Lynn.     Annie had closed the poop factory so the employees could attend.   It seemed somehow our back yard just expanded to fit Annie’s crowds.   She charged $5 admission.

The grand finale came at midnight.    A visit from the Great Poopkin who rose out of the poop patch and gave gifts to all who believed.   I sat in the back ground watching the party at a distance.   I saw Annie Jr. dressed as Batman, a giant chicken, a zebra with Grandfather in the back end.

Mid night came and everyone but me was gathered in the poop patch.   By that time I had went inside and watched from the window.    Annie had been screaming over and over, “He’s coming.”   After five minutes of Annie screaming through her megaphone. I turned from the window and people began to scream.

I ran outside.   A huge poop volcano rose from the ground.    It erupted and money spurted forth into the air.   People were screaming and shouting, grabbing money.   Annie had a net.    Money, I needed money.   I ran towards the rain of money and something plopped in my eye.  It was poop.   No money fell near me.   Just poop.

I slowly headed in and heard  Annie Jr. scream, “That’s what Halloween is all about Slam.”




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