Annie was sitting at the kitchen table, a sun visor on her head, a pencil stub behind her ear and glasses perched on the end of her nose, scribbling as fast as she could on a pad of paper. She was drinking her cup of sludge. I still had no idea what it actually was, however, it did resemble what Grandfather passed off as coffee, sometimes.
“What are you doing Annie?” I asked dumping sludge out of the coffee pot and making a fresh one.
“Grandfather, just made that,” Annie sneered not looking up from her paper. “You are so wasteful!”
She scribbled a few more lines, then a few more, before she looked up and screamed, “”See what you made me do!” she wadded up the piece of paper and tossed it on top of a mountain of crumbled up paper all over the floor.
I had to wade through it to make new coffee. “What are you writing, Annie?” I asked, suddenly curious because Annie rarely wrote anything other than illegible text messages.
Annie looked at me like I was the biggest fool in the entire world. “My New Year’s Revolutions,” her glasses were way down on the end of her nose and she stared over them at me, blinking her right eye rapidly and keeping the left one unmoving, how did she do that?
“Resolutions?” I asked.
Annie looked at me and shook her head. She sighed and said, “Maroon!”
Just then Annie Jr. came running out with a neatly typed paper. “All done with mine Mom mom,” he yelled.
Annie took the paper and read, “I will not knead Slam at bedtime? How is that a revolution? ”
“She kicks me out if I keep doing it,” Annie Jr. explained.
“No no it should be Slam will let me knead as much as I want,” Annie said.
“Annie that is not a resolution!”
“That!” Annie screamed, pointing at me. “Is why your fool school doesn’t work. It’s revolutions.
“Look it up Annie!” I yelled.
“Slam, I am like really smart. I am a genius. I make billions off poop.”
I picked up one of Annie’s crumpled up papers. “Slam will cook me breakfast every day?” I read. “Annie I already cook you breakfast every day.”
I picked up another and read, “Slam will work 8 hours a day raking incoming poop, at the poop factory for free! Annie resolutions are not about making people do what you want. They are for making yourself a better you, something positive.”
“If you work at the poop factory for free it is better for me and positive for me.” Annie hissed. “And it’s revolutions! I am smart, Slam. I made a billion dollar poop factory business on my first try.”
“What about all the Annie’s before you, like Annie Swanka?” I asked.
“Annie’s before me? Who is this Annie Swanka you speak of? I never have known no one named Annie Swanka, I have had no dealings with this woman.” Annie rolled her eyes and moved her arms back and forth like she was playing an accordion, her tongue falling out of her mouth.
“Mom-mom you know Annie Swan….” Annie Jr. began to babble.
“Hush, son hush. Mom-mom is talking.”
“Annie sometimes, I just don’t know about you.” I said.
“And Slam,” Annie yelled pointing her index claw at me, “I do not like your attitude.”
I walked away because sometimes, there is no arguing with Annie. After a long day, Annie finally had her list written. I put all the crumpled paper that was ceiling high into several large lawn and leaf bags and took them to the back yard, and lined them up with the trash. I saw several of my things on the top of the garbage. My favorite sweater, a pair of shoes I liked wearing in the summer that were perfectly fine, my brand new dish drainer Aunt Paulie had gotten me for Christmas. I gathered it all up and took it back in.
“Who put my stuff out in the trash I demanded?” Everyone shrugged and Annie screamed, “I dunno!”
“I just got this!” I hollered shaking the dish drainer.
“Oh that stuff?” Annie asked. “I did it. You have cupboards to put dishes in you don’t need that. Besides it was in my way. I can’t walk over the counter and get a fresh drink at the sink and I am tired of walking over it.”
“You aren’t even supposed to be on the counter’s! In the past week you have knocked a gallon of bleach on the floor, a gallon of bleach not even opened, in addition, to unopened things, there was Phil’s soap, and corn syrup. Plus you have kicked the toaster off so many times, it is broken in spots.” I yelled.
“Want me to throw it out?” Annie asked, seriously.
“No!” I yelled. “Why my sweater? And my shoes?”
“Face it Slam you look like an idiot in that sweater. Of course you look like an idiot in most everything you wear. And you haven’t worn those shoes for months!”
“It’s snowing Annie. It’s below zero outside. Of course I wouldn’t wear there now! Why are you throwing my stuff away anyways?”
“We need to get rid of clutter around here,” Annie said. “So I got rid of a few things. Actually all that stuff in the garbage is stuff I got rid of.”
“And it’s all mine?” I asked.
“A few things were grandfathers, and I got rid of Janey’s books, Moo’s dog blanket, the floor out of the bathroom. It was my new years revolution, to declutter.”
“Annie you have a bouillon cube collection!”
Annie stares at me blankly while unwrapping another present from one of her many dump trucks. “Another bag of ping pong balls for my collection!” Annie screamed.
Annie Jr. came bursting through the door. “Mom-mom, I was taking Slam’s bed down to the trash, like you told me and I saw all your paper in the garbage!”
“What?” Annie and I both screamed at the same time.
I dragged my stuff back in and Annie dragged all the paper back in, including the toilet paper collection Annie Jr. had been storing in the bath tub that I had taken out earlier.
“Don’t throw away anymore of my things!” I told Annie.
“And don’t throw away mine!” Annie agreed tossing an old chicken bone onto her chicken bone collection that was all the way to the ceiling and spreading like a disease, covered in flies. I shook my head, trying to rid my mind of the sight, sighed and walked away.
Later on, I came out to the kitchen to see the dog sitting in a kitchen chair licking food off the table. “Go on get it girl,” Annie was urging.
“Annie why is the dog sitting at the table?” I yelled. Why was Annie sitting at the table? “And why is she licking food off the table?” Why was my cat urging her to do so?
“It’s my New Years Revolution,” Annie explained.
I was really getting tired of this. I sighed. “Well at least you are being nice and sharing your food with the dog.”
“It’s your food,” Annie explained. “I am not trying to feed her anyways. I am trying to teach her to be a bit more normal. I mean she eats out of a dog dish for goodness sakes. I never do that unless it is something good.” Just then the dog leaned further over in her chair trying to get a small crumb of food laying her weight on the edge of the table when suddenly it tipped over and crashed to the floor the dog yelped and grabbed the piece of food on the way down.
Annie clapped her paws and yelled. “Good show!” Then laughed her crazy laugh. Duh-Wayne came running out and soon began to laugh and clap as well even though he had no idea what was going on.
“Duh-Wayne did you sign up for facebook yet?” Annie demanded after they had both watched me struggle to set the table upright.
“No,” Duh-Wayne said turning red.
“It’s my revolution! You have ta.” Annie yelled.
“I can use Spam’s account.” Duh-Wayne replied.
“We can’t be bff’s, until it is facebook official and we can’t be official under Spam’s account besides Spam reads all of our conversations. Remember when we skipped your doctor’s appointment and went golfing and Spam grounded you. Did you enjoy working in the poop factory for two weeks because I really did not enjoy hanging out with your clone?” Annie insisted.
“It wasn’t a doctor’s appointment.” Duh-Wayne replied in defense. “It was surgery.”
“It was fun though,” Annie admitted. “Those ducks! Quack Quack Quack!” Annie howled in laughter.
“Annie you were driving the golf cart at top speed while blindfolded and scared all those ducks when the pair of you drove into that duck pond.” I yelled.
“How was I to know there was a duck pond on a golf course?” Annie yelled.
“Because it’s your golf course and you put it there beside you had just finished swimming in it!”
“Well if Duh-Wayne wants to be famous he needs facebook.” Annie said.
“Duh-Wayne wants to be famous?” I asked.
“Yes,” Annie said seriously. “It’s my New Years…”
“Revolution?” I finished.
“Really?” Annie gasped.
I shook my head, walked away and wished for February.