The Nightmare before Annie

Every morning I would roll over to get out of bed and my feet would hit the floor,  covered with soft mushy rotted carpet.   We didn’t have a carpet though, it was Annie’s dead saggy skin covered in stinky  fur.   She let it down at night and it covered the entire square footage of our apartment.

The smell was awful  and in several spots maggots were growing.   Prior to her loosing all of her weight, she lost a shopping cart full of food in multiple rolls of skin, so maggots had formed eating the food and then into Annie’s flesh so a fresh swarm of flies flew around her.   She looked a little like a pig pen, all she needed was a fence around her but no one had that much fence.

So until Annie woke up we all had to sink our feet into her yucky fur.  She said she didn’t even feel it because under her fur her skin had grown into a hard callous.   She had shaved a few spots on her stomach cleaning off all the fur so she could see the callous.   She liked putting her maggots on it so they could eat it.   She had a whole website on the internet and a show was in the works to come out on AnnieTV.

Once she woke up, Duh-Wayne would put her skin up into a pony tail and Annie would be able to get around; free of her saggy skin.   I still complained.   I mean she already smelled like the ground she dug herself out of and now there was a ton of extra skin covered in skanky fur and fat  maggots munching on her icky hard scaly epidermis. Even if we weren’t always stepping on it we were smelling it as a matter of fact everything was absorbing the smell.  I started smelling like her and no amount of baths could get rid of the stink because the source smelt worse daily.

“Annie you need to get rid of your extra skin,” I yelled one morning.

Annie was at the table gobbling a serving bowl full of cereal.   “Do you really need all that cereal?” I nagged.

“I’m sharing it,” she replied letting the milk drip off her spoon slowly pouring it onto a herd of maggots hanging near her left thigh.

“Annie,” I screamed, “I am not sure how much more I can take.  Those maggots are going nom nom nom when they eat.   And your skin is oozing and it smells.”

Duh-Wayne ran over with a skin brush and comb and began gathering  up Annie’s skin and making a braid on either side of her head, pulling the rotted maggot infested furry skin tight into big fat long braids.   If it wasn’t so gross it might have been cute, I mean what is cuter than a cat in braids.

“Annie call your doctor and tell him your sag skin needs to go.” I insisted.

“Fine Slam!”  Annie said.

Later that afternoon one more time, a camera crew arrived to tape another hour long episode of the reality of Annie’s life.   It began with Annie talking about her skin and her maggots and how I enabled her and made her life miserable by suggesting she exercise to tighten her skin.

She made arrangements to have her skin removed and told me it would take place the following day.   I rolled out of bed early that morning not sure what time Annie had to be in Houston to have her surgery.   She hadn’t really shared all the details with me.  I put my feet down and thought about how I would never have to feel the icky skin carpet on my feet, again, this was the last time.

I cringed as I put my feet down waiting to feel maggots crawl between my toes.   I waited and all I felt was floor.   I knew Annie was home cause I could hear her snoring loud and obnoxious in her Princess bed.   Perhaps she wore her braids to bed.

Another noise was going on as well, a loud loud buzzing.   I turned the light on and I could see it shining but it seemed to be blurred out by a black fog, then I got it; Annie’s maggots hatched into flies.   I opened the window and started fanning them out.

Annie was in her princess bed screaming, “good bye, good bye, good bye!”

It seemed to take forever to get all the flies out.   But once I did, I turned and screamed, “Annie WHY?”

Then I looked at her.   Her skin wasn’t up in a couple fat braids or a big large pony tail, it was gone along with the maggots.  There was no stinky rotting stretched out skin covered with fur, callous’ and maggots.  Just a pile of bones shaped like a cat.

“Hi Slam,” Skeleton Annie said in the bone clicking voice.

Lately, I had been dealing with all kinds of Annie’s, a dead dug herself out of the ground Annie, a fat Annie that made out floor weak in several spots, then a saggy skinned Annie covered in rotting maggot callous covered fur and now a talking cat skeleton that still smelled horrible because there were pieces of rotting flesh still hanging on to her.   I didn’t know which one was worse, I just wanted my cat back.   The cat I had before she ‘died’.

Why did I have a weird cat, why was this happening to me?   Why couldn’t I have a regular cat that just laid around sunning herself and licking her fur?   Nope, I had to have a talking skeleton cat, who would be in some other form with in the coming days.

“Annie,” I screamed.   “I can’t take this anymore.”

“What Slam?” Annie’s bone clicking voice asked, I knew her eyes were giving me that questioning look even though I couldn’t see them just the boney sockets.   She shook her head and her skin fur braids which were somehow weirdly still attached to her head moved as she shook it, a few left over flies flew out and into the room.

Annie Jr. and Grandfather ran after  them, Grandfather with a fly swatter and Annie Jr. who had wrapped several fly stickers around himself.   I knew it was going to be one of those day.    “Got ’em Grandfather,”  Annie Jr. screamed.   “Good job, son,” Grandfather yelled clapping his hands and yelling, “Yahoo” like a loud yodeler.

“I want my cat back,” I screamed.   “I want my regular Annie back, a furry Annie that doesn’t stink and isn’t all rotted and boney.   I wish you hadn’t died.   I know it was on your bucket list but you did it and I can’t stand it without you. ”   I was sobbing when I stamped out of the room.   I vaguely heard a bone clicking whisper of,  “it’s time.”

I ignored everyone that whole day, I just sort of kept thinking about Annie, Annie as she was, when we first got her and reviewing all of her life and how much I missed that Annie.   The soft little black and white cat that would crawl in my lap sometimes and how her fur smelled and felt when I petted her.   I spent the whole day wishing I had her back.   I didn’t want a bone clacking cat with skin braids.   Who had a cat like that?   Me.   I was such a weirdo.   I cried myself to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up and the first thing I noticed was that boney gross smell was out of the house.   It smelled like someone cleaned, I could smell the grass fed cow manure scent; Annie’s favorite scent for house cleaning.   That had was so much better than the rotted flesh smell we had been smelling.

Annie’s princess bed was empty but it was clean.   The grave slime that had covered it for weeks and weeks was gone.    Annie Jr. was sitting in the corner with Janey, they were reading books, Annie Jr with a pair of blue horned rimmed glasses hooked over his ears.  Grandfather was cooking breakfast and it smelled great.    Everything was peaceful and bright and happy; it was almost eerie and I was frightened.

I poured a cup of coffee, for once it was real coffee and not the sludge Annie was partial to.   We had sugar and my favorite creamer.   We were always missing one of the three.   I sipped it and it tasted wonderful, but I just couldn’t enjoy it because I knew.

I took one more sip.   “We have to go get Annie,” Grandfather announced looking at his cell phone.

“What?” I asked.   I knew then this was it.   The morning was too pleasant and it was about to go downhill in  a handbasket.

“She said bring the cat carrier,” Grandfather said still looking at his phone.

“Oh Jesus,” I said.   I knew it was bad.   “Where is she?”

Grandfather mentioned a little hill billy town outside the city.   What in the world would Annie be doing there and then I remembered, it was Annie.

“She said the sooner the better and she is typing in caps.”

“Oh good god,” I screamed.   What was this all about.   “Get the cat carrier,” I yelled.  “I have to get dressed.”

I zoomed into the bathroom to put my clothes on.   I ran a brush through my hair and scrubbed my teeth, then zoomed out of the bathroom to get my shoes.   I found Grandfather kneeling on the floor trying to tie the cat carrier together.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“The clamps are gone,” he responded.

Sure enough the clamps that went around the box were all gone.   “Well where are they?”

Grandfather shrugged, “I looked for them but I can’t find them.”

“Who would have taken them off?” I asked.   “That isn’t even ours, it’s Curry’s.”

“Annie said we need to hurry,” Grandfather said, putting his phone back in his pocket and grabbing the cat carrier and a bungee cord he was trying to tie it with.

Off we went to the little hill billy town.   Grandfather texted Annie to let her know we were there.   The next thing we knew, an older guy knocking on the window of our car.     “I got ya cat,” he said.

He opened the door to a rusted out old red truck and handed me a plastic milk crate with a dish pan over the top.   In it was a little black and white kitten.   It looked like Annie in the face but had a black beard like Annie Jr and was marked more like Annie Jr.

“That’s not my cat,” I said.

“You answered a ad for a cat right,” he asked.

Then I knew, there wasn’t much I could do.   I mean who would believe my dead cat had set me up to get a free kitten.   ‘I hope you got a crate,” he said.

“Well sort of,” I said.

“She’s scared, she will be a bit wild, make sure she doesn’t bolt out of the car,” this old guy instructed.

I got into our car with the kitten and removed her from the box, and she went crazy.   She bit, she scratched, she jumped around the entire vehicle acting like a flying violent winged rabbit.   She was all over the place and I was covered in blood.   She took a chunk out of one finger.   I finally got her and decided to get her back in the milk crate and she went quite willingly.   Grandfather promised to return the man’s crate and dish pan at a later time.

I sat on the back seat and sighed.   My heart was pounding my hand dripping blood all over the white pants I put on.   “What is wrong with Annie?” I screamed.   “Why would she set us up to get a kitten, especially one that is totally nuts?”

“Hi Slam,” said the cat in the crate.

“Annie?”  I said looking at her.

The cat in the box began to laugh her crazy laugh.    I looked at her.   Granted the eyes were hers but the rest of her looked more like Annie Jr.   “How Annie?” I screamed.

Annie was inside the box laughing her crazy cat laugh.   Then she said, “I made the first test tube cat.   Me and Annie were visiting Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s back in the past and me and Annie Jr made a test tube kitten.   Then I ate it’s soul and took over the body.   Slamma Aunt Loosewheel’s has been watching it all this time, growing it and stuff.   Then Duh-Wayne  dropped it off to some guys house who would wanna get rid of it.   Then I placed a ad looking for a cat and emailed it to that guy. Now here we are.”

I didn’t buy any of it.   She just somehow turned into a kitten and got her skin back and painted herself so she had more black there was no way she ate a sole or went back through time.    At least she didn’t stink or have maggots on her.

“Why did you scratch me and bit me like that.   My one finger looks infected all ready, it’s red and swollen?” I asked.

“I had to make it look real,” Annie replied.

So life went back to normal, with a non dead Annie, a smaller blacker Annie, but my Annie.   One I could let sit in my lap and one I could pet and snuggle.   It didn’t matter, I had her back and she was far from dead.

I wondered what happened to the bones.   I mean there were two cats.   When I went to work however, some of my co workers had come in to decorate for Halloween.   Dead Annie was on that committee.    Our theme was a coven of witches, I had a witch dress, I had been planning for weeks to wear.   I noticed there was a cat skeleton in a cage.   My heart beat hard.   I knew those sockets.   I stayed away and tried to forget and cuddle my little Annie at home.













Annie’s 600 pound life

So another bucket list entry was about to be checked off. Annie or Dead Annie as she liked to be called was slowly reaching her goal weight of 600 pounds.

Annie had dropped a lot of weight prior to her death, she was skinny and almost boney. Dead Annie, began her mission to change all of that ‘stat’; a new word she had begun using. I raised my eyebrow when she said it because my mother used that word and it was so annoying. She was a switchboard operator at a hospital and when she announced ‘stat’ everybody obeyed her orders. So naturally her saying stat at home should get the same results; now Dead Annie who was  not a switchboard operator or in any way, ‘in charge’, was using the word stat.

“I need a donut, stat,”, “no I am not waiting 30 minutes for a pizza, you deliver it stat,”,”Duh-Wayne, Spam, Slam, Mary Jane…stat stat stat.” Life was awful.

At first, she merely filled out and went to her normal weight of a solid, not really fat, 12 pounds. Then a pudgy 25, then a fat 50.

At 75 pounds, she out weighed the dog but was still able to get on her feet but not for long.  On to a hundred and then two, then three, no longer was she able to stand she simply rolled from one room to another looking very much like Violet turning into a blueberry.

Dead Annie would giggle from her princess bed, “I can see the lympodema growing in my tail, Slam.”   Her tail was disgusting, having large fatty growths all down her tail so many in fact it she was barely able to lift it.

She panted when she talked and needed oxygen twenty-four hours a day.   For a while she was able to  wash herself laughing and yelling, “I wash myself with a rag on a stick,” marking that accomplishment off her long bucket list.    Now, she needed someone to take care of her.

That was my job, washing her, changing her bed pads and depends which we had to order online.  Getting diapers for your dead cat who weighs almost 600 lbs is not easy, and one diaper filled an entire garbage bag.

“Annie,” I yelled at her.  “This weight is killing you.   Your heart stops every other hour.”

“I’m already dead, Slam.” Annie panted as I tried to get beneath her fat rolls to wipe her butt.

“This lifting you around is killing me, Annie.” I replied.

“Well you could have been in charge of feeding me but you wanted me to eat that fool lettuce and cottage cheese.”

Just then Duh-Wayne wandered in coming back from a trip to an all night fast food joint because Dead Annie needed a mightnight snack at 2 am.   He had a pile of cheese burgers, 2 gallons of moose made, and a dozen sundae’s with a sprinkle of mouse tails.   Grandfather was right behind him with several dozen blood filled donuts, a feed bag full of pork rinds and a 50 pound cheese wheel.

I groaned, her diet of fast food made her go to the bathroom more often and with the amount of food she ate it seemed like she was going twenty four hours a day.   In fact it was so bad , I had to wear a gas mask and face shield because Annie delighted in screaming,  ‘Here’s poop in your eye Slam,” as she would push down really hard and spray poop all over my face.   The only upside to this, if you consider it an upside was that Annie’s poop factory had increased production 1 million percent.

The day Annie sucessfully hit six hundred pounds there was a sense of jubliation in the atmosphere.   Annie had a huge party.   All her friends came to re-enforce the floor underneath her.   Annie had a huge buffet set up that would easily feed two thousand people with left overs, she ordered one large cheese pizza for her friends and they partied and ate all night long because the following day Annie would make the call to start her weight loss journey.

Once again a camera crew invaded our home, as Annie described her eating habits and rapidly chomped her way through a plethora of food with loud smacking noises; filling up the first half hour of her tv debut.   She called a Dr. Later in Houston a vet specializing in large size animals needing weight loss.

It was one of the few times I was happy that Annie had a teleporter.   I really didn’t want to drive all the way to Houston or try to get a six hundred pound cat down the stairs into our car which she wouldn’t have fit in.   I did have to push her into the doctors office in an oversized wheel barrow however, Duh-Wayne went with us but his back was way too out of whack to even consider pushing her in.

Annie was delighted to see she had gained another 50 pounds since her party but she was honestly ready to loose her weight since her goal was met.   Dr. Later, a badger with crazy hair and an accent, told her she needed to get a lower calorie diet and exercise.  He allowed her 12 thousand calories a day and to decease it as her weight began to come off.  He said she needed to loose one pound over the next month.

Of course, Annie gained weight the first month, lost a half a pound the second month and with the threat of discontinuing the treatment by the third month Annie got on track and lost the first pound.

She had begun to exercise as well laying; on her back and moving her legs like she was running.   It was sort of comical.   By the time she had lost 50 pounds she felt she was able to sit in a wheel chair and go for walks.

Annie picked a route to walk with complete with a hill.   It was a mile and a half, through the absolute worst area of our town, at 4:30 am because Annie did not want people seeing her as fat as she was.   It never even dawned on her that most of the free World or anyone who had access to her AnnieTV channel would see her anyway.  She was  quite popular in South East Asia.

Annie never walked the walks.   I did; pushing her in her wheelchair the entire way.   She would be panting by the time I started pushing her up the hill.  Duh-Wayne would be slowly bringing up the rear putt putt putting up the hill behind us on his scooter with the leaky back tire.

Annie had recently purchased a scooter which would support her 600 pound size, she named it flower and wrapped it in flower contact paper and attached ribbons and a big flag that said FAT CATS RULE.   She and Aunt Paulie started a business decorating scooters, canes, wheel chairs, IV poles and all kinds of medical equipment to make it festive.   Annie’s had a commode that filled the air with stinky confetti when you tinkled in it.

But Flower never went on our walks.   Annie said she got a better work out when I pushed her.   She liked the putt putt sound though so she expelled gas almost the whole way and at least twice she would need a diaper change and she no longer fit on one of those baby changing table not that any place was open at that time of the morning.

We always had to walk through the thrift store parking lot because Annie loved joining in with the rest of the regulars, going through the dumpsters and rescuing a rainsoaked stuffed animal or a handleless soup pot or a flea infested worn out run of carpet.  Annie always found an orange moo-moo, or a rotted piece of wood she could turn into treasure, or some other splendid piece of americanna as she called it.

Over a time lasped 5 months, Annie, Duh-Wayne and I took these walks almost every day.   Well, I walked.   Annie had a large boom box she carried on what was left of her lap.   Duh-Wayne had a large speaker in a wagon he pulled with his scooter.

Annie played rap music, really loud and never ever the edited version.   She claimed since we were in the hood, we had to carry ourselves properly.  By listening to Lil Jon, and T Pain, E40, and Petey Pablo, we’d get our thug walk on and everyone would know we were ‘G’s’.   She made us stuff our pants so it looked like we were packing a piece.   In that way we would be safe.

I was sure no one would bother us.   They would be afraid of us.   A 600 pound cat in a wheel chair  being pushed up a hill by a woman wearing a cat hat.   Annie insisted I wear a cat hat so people would believe she and I were related, she claimed it was magical.   And Duh-Wayne bringing up the rear also in a cat hat dragging the speaker and Annie’s oxygen tank behind him.   Both of them, screaming “Dance with the Dawgs in the Nighttime,” along with Migos the song they had to play on the way up the hill.   Annie loved that song because it was about her favorite food stir fry!

And over time, Annie became friends with ‘the morning people’ as she called them.  The old guy who had a cleaning service and pushed a shopping cart around with broom, dust pan, mop, feather duster and other supplies around town, or ones slowly making their way home from the bars, or those looking for change which the ones making their way home from the bars lost, or the truck loads of contracted workers we walked past heading into their job at the poop factory.   The lady head edout for a morning coffee and a piece of pecan pie, wearing a pair of slacks and a slip.   The elder on a bike wearing two hospital gowns one on top one on bottom.

It was an intresting time and I grew a lot of leg muscle.   By the time cold weather came, Annie had lost 324 pounds and she was ready to be back to normal, so she had lipo-suction to get rid of the rest.   She was finally back to a more normal 20 pounds.

The only problem was, Annie had saggy skin, so saggy in fact she was unable to walk, so Duh-Wayne had to pull it all up into a rubber band which he secured at the top of her head.   Annie wasn’t sure if she wanted to keep it or maybe later do a follow up reality show called, “Where is the skin now?”

It was on her bucket list so who was she fooling.   I knew it would come at some point.   I kept up with the walks every day…it was my quiet time.   As I easily walk the hill now I can hear Annie screaming, “Dance with my dawgs in the night time.”







Buried Alive; Annie’s Story

Annie quickly set about complete bucket list as she called it. She was gaining weight quite rapidly, and her hoarde was finally beginning to work once Grandfather opened his yap and explained to Annie how she was doing it wrong.

Grandfather was very often a know it all or more like a ‘NO’ it all. No matter how you were doing something, Mr. No it all would come along and explain how you were doing whatever it that you were doing wrong then explain the proper way to do it which was how you were doing it in the first place. It did no good to explain that you were doing it his way because he would say something like, “You used the wrong spoon,” then rummage through the drawer and act like he was rooting for a treasure while yelling, “did you even look for it? RIGHT HERE!” he would announce and hand you a spoon that was an exact duplicate but his face shone with this ’em I right’ look and you just let it go.

Sometimes, I wondered if Grandfather learned from Annie or Annie fed off him. A little of both I suppose, but this time Mr. No it all was right. Annie would just make extra room for her hoardes so our little apartment with a dinky back yard was an endless maze of Annie’s collections and golf courses, and Little Houses and prairies, sugar bushes, animal sanctaries, shopping cart museums. It was endless but organized and neat. Most of the time, I couldn’t even see it, but once Grandfather told her to quit making room for it, stuff began to pile up.

I had resolved myself that it was coming; this ‘reality’ lifestyle and just sort of buckled up and went with it. There was not much I could do about her craziness when she was alive but now that she was dead, it was even worse. I figured it would be better for her to do it and get it out of her system. I mean she currently was getting so fat it was hard for her to get around. Every time she stood she screamed, “OH MY KNEES!”; and cats don’t even have knees.

I had hoped that Annie’s hoarde would the type that was just a bunch of unorganized stuff covered in a layer of dust and cobwebs and not one of the gross ones with jars of poo and diapers full of pee. It was Annie though and I knew her hoarde would be the biggest, plus it would be grosser than any other, and it would smell worse than any other. Annie did things ‘bigly’.

It didn’t take long for Annie to have a hoarde the likes this world has never seen growing out of control in our apartment and spilling out into the yard which Annie was piling up with junk as well. Like I mentioned earlier the days seemed endless now, each day seemed like three so it was just a matter of days that we had stuff piled up and shutting off with what little bit of natural light we had.

Finally, Grandfather said, solemnly, “Call them.”

Them was the reality show, Annie had been begging me for days. I resisted and not because I liked the hoarde or wanted the hoarde, I didn’t want the public spectacle end of it. Why couldn’t it be, “Okay Annie you became a hoarder, check it off your bucket list and let’s move on.”

No it had to be putting our dirty laundry, specifically Annie’s dirty diapers which she stored at the end of my bed. Her die-a-rear was acting up she said. The whole house smelled like a radioactive fart. I was glad that at least no one could smell it except for the hoarde of camera people and intervention coaches and directors and stunt doubles and make up artists and a couple of garbage men with a full truck if more was needed for special effects.

There was barely room for the camera crew but Annie was able to move a pile of old fly stickers and used overfilled vacuum cleaner bags. Annie bought both from a supplier in Michigan.

Annie claimed her addiction was caused because she lost her life and that tragic moment caused her impulse to hoarde. Hoardes of old cat litter and a collection of canned goods so ancient the cans were made of tin and there were no expiration dates.

Clean up began, of course true to form all of the contents to our house were dragged out to the yard. Annie’s dried out play dough collection had to be kept, and her collection of ties from famous cadavers. The rolled up carpets that Annie had covered with moose urine and pig poop, garbage, sand and fleas were safely in a dump truck when Annie decided to keep them because of the good memories they held and she wanted to reuse the jars she kept her boogers in, her boogers too but in different containers she had picked up on one of her morning trash runs.

Piles of garbage bags filled with dirt (Annie had a truck load of it brought in), old papers. food wrappers. broken dvds, out dated computer, a pile of red maga hats were all over the back yard awaiting their placement because Annie was keeping it all. In the end she kept it all except for my stuff which made it to the truck then Annie stole it all back in the middle of the night to keep for herself. She even kept a truckload of stuff Duh-Wayne had brought over to make sure there was enough hoarde.

After everything was brought out to the yard and the next yard and the street and the next street Annie gave up nothing. In the end she made more room for all of her stuff, marked a item off her bucket list and life continued with our living space increased.

We needed it to complete Annie’s next challenge her 600 lb life which was finally working for her at a rapid pace.

Annie 2 point oh

Things became completely weird after Annie died and then got resurrected somehow. Part of me believed that Annie never died she was simply pranking me but for her to lay that still for several hours without her sides shaking in a noiseless laugh was difficult for even Annie. Plus there was the fact she looked moth-eaten and dirty and she smelled really bad like rotten eggs and bile that sat in a hot car with ketchup on top. But she had taken to eating that so… I just didn’t believe in all that hoo ha.

I mean it happen in movies and books not in my life, however I had a junk yard in my back yard, a never-ending back yard filled with the nonsense of my cat and we couldn’t even get rid of any of her stuff and use the back yard for something else because if Annie died she had somehow returned and was in her princess bed recuperating from her ‘ordeal’ as she called it and somehow blamed on me.

You see I had gotten up to use the bathroom and seen Annie gasping for air and then she was gone. Annie claim it was not old age that had gotten her. She claimed she was choking on a fish eye and had I attempted to save her, none of this would have even happened. That was why I was in the kitchen cooking 24-7 making up for the hours she had been unable to eat…”BECAUSE OF YOU SLAM!” she screamed.

Annie Jr. was still running around the house screaming, “My mom-mom died!” Annie would hug him while Annie Jr. hugged her back but with only one arm because he had to plug his nose against Annie’s stench. Annie would glare at me and his, “SEE SLAM! SEE WHAT YOU CAUSED!”

People kept visiting paying their last respects to the open ground and the flung to the side cross we had used as a marker. I had heard about that too. Despite the fact Annie wanted to be buried in a walmart bag she really was disappointed in the fact that I had not spent millions on a something a little more monumental like something made out of gold and several stories high with a cross on it. “I could have rented some rooms in something like that….Annie Tower,” she mused closing her eyes as if dreaming about the money she would make.

Then the visitors would come visit Annie spending several hours reminiscing their favorite memories of Annie; with Annie. “It’s true, Slam,” she remarked in between guests, “People visit you more after you’re dead.”

I still was not convinced that Annie was being honest, but there were a few things that made me wonder if she was, like the fact she always felt cold even when she was wearing her feet jammies and the heat index was 106 in the shade.

I also discovered that she could be in two places at one time. She was sitting right next to me watching family feud which she previously detested while at the same time streaming a live video with her mother, phil and annie jr. It wasn’t a clone she used either. I was able to tell a clone from Annie and so was her mother. It was doubtful she had improved her skills.

She had a somewhat different outlook on things too, claiming she was never able to meet any of her goals like have me or Aunt Paulie become hoarders or become 600 pounds, and now with nothing restricting her like morals or values or hygiene or health, because she was dead; she was out to live the reality lifestyle.   She was going to hoarde and gain 598 pounds give or take a few.

She and Duh-Wayne even went to see Don when he came to town.   Not only did Annie pay the $1000 entrance fee, (Annie was tossing money away like a drunken sailor; she had a huge life insurance policy made out to herself in the event of her death and she was plowing through it like a sharpened snow plow on a pile of soft snow),  she also joined the crowd of Trump supporters.   Duh-Wayne bought a cart load of cheese puffs and they made a cool sign, Annie tossed cheese burgers into the street as the limo went by and Annie Jr. was across the street selling balloons shaped like a fat guy in a diaper with gold hair to the protesters.

A good time was had by all except, Curry’s husband, Chuckles got caught in a traffic jam  with all the chaos going on, but Duh-Wayne snapped at him, “Shut ya pie hole, it made Annie happy.”   Duh-Wayne had taken Annie’s death really hard and he was glad to have her back and defended her every whim.

If Annie wanted a large mouse tail pizza in the middle of the night, Duh-Wayne some how got it.   If Annie wanted to go root around in the trash at the second hand store or troll streets on garbage night, Duh-Wayne and Spam drove the old red truck slowly aroud while Annie and Annie Jr drove behind on their scooters, stopping to rummage through things then wave to Duh-Wayne to come load something up.

Slowly  our house began filling up and Annie somehow kept adding more space which was the real reason her hoarding never worked.   She made room for that truck load of old discarded clothes with the worn out sleeves and stains and missing buttons and snaps that would fit absolutely no one in our house not that anyone wanted to wear them other than Annie and now, sometimes she did.   She had this magical sense to tell who at owned the clothes before her.   “Old Bessie’s house coat, she died wearing this,” Annie explained wearing a bright yellow wrapper with a huge brown stain on the back.

She made frequent trips to the past.   She adored going to visit, “grandma aunt loose wheels”; my mother when she was a young girl in the early 50’s and she started wearing poodle skirts, saddle shoes and chewing gum.

Days somehow seemed to drag on endlessly with just a constant switch of Annie going from one thing to another like someone just flipping through the channels.   I knew the death of Annie was going to be difficult for me but I could never have imagined all this.  Not to mention she met lots of dead folks now that she was dead and they visited now as much as all the other people who had visited when she was alive.   It was constant chaos.

One morning Annie wandered out in a pair of old overhauls that were shredded on the bottom and a straw hat.   Farming time I thought as Annie yawned and poured her sludge.

“Miss me yet Slam,” Annie said getting close to me her grave stink was over whelming and the overhauls smelled like barn.   She kissed me on the cheek, and I could feel unshaved whiskers on her face.   She was a cat.   It was creepy.

“Yes Annie,” I replied.   I still wasn’t sure if she was pranking me or she had died and came back but all of it was weird.   I did miss the old Annie because it was bad then but I never thought it could get worse but Annie 2 point oh was proving me wrong.   It was only the begining.



Pet Sandwichtarry

Knowing that fifteen is quite old for a cat, Annie had been planning for over a year.   “Getting my affairs in order,” she explained, when she handed me a sheet of notebook paper.     ‘First will and testify,’ read the top line written in crayon, each letter large scrawling and a different color from the last making the whole thing look like a strange version of a rainbow.   Then it said, ‘Bury me in the Pet Sandwichtarry in the back yard in a Walmer bag.’   Phil had begun calling Walmart Walmer and Annie followed suit.

“Annie it’s ‘last will and testatment,” I said.

“Slam, cats have nine lives and this is my first,” Annie replied, tossing a handful of fish eyes into her mouth rolling them around on her tongue and sighing, ‘ummmm’ when she finally started chewing them.

“Where is this pet ‘sandwichtarry’?” I asked knowing exactly what a sandwichtarry was.   My father had often referred to the cemetary across the road from our house as a sandwichtarry.    I still did not believe Annie had frequent visits with my parents when she traveled in her time machine, but only because I did not believe that her time machine could actually work.

“Slam,” Annie sighed, like I was the dumbest person that ever drew a breath of life, “The old pet sandwichtarry that has been in the back yard for the past 93 years.   Old Sophie’s pet daddy long legs, Bessie Bunch’s 800 pound gorilla; Don, Old Slimy Babcock who passed away last week in the towers,” she pointed to a garden of bird houses she rented to mice and squirels.  Slimy was an elderly gecho.

There had never been a pet cemetary in our back yard, but Slimy had passed away the previous week and Annie, Annie Jr and Duh-Wayne had been seen treking through the back yard with shovels and pick axes claiming they were gold miners and not to bother them.   You know I kind of expect this behavior from a couple of cats but Duh-Wayne he really should have known there is no gold around here.

I probably should have been worried about the Pet Sandwichtarry but I didn’t bother myself with it.   I had plenty of worries already so I didn’t.   Annie was always digging around in the back yard, digging up stuff and planting stuff, like the multiple hamburger trees and mice tail roots she had been trying to cultivate for years.

I should have worried even more when Duh-Wayne took on a Maine accent, and kept saying….’Ahhh yup,’ instead of a standard yes.   The fact he took on that accent after a weekend of scary movies should have worried me more but again I ignored all of it and moved passed the whole sandwichtarry thing.

“What did you mean by first will anyway, Annie,” I asked.

Annie slapped her head.  “Cats have nine lives, Slam.” Annie explained.

“Annie that is physically impossible and what that means is that cats often times live dangerous lives and get into all kinds of scrapes and situations but somehow get through it unscathed and dangerous life means fending for yourself fighting off other cats for a dinner you had to hunt for yourself.   Not like you Annie that lays around watching tv, tweeting and getting your meals served on a silver platter.”  I sighed.

Annie made this weird annoying beeping sound and screamed, “Negative wrong answer.”

Annie was strangely quiet the rest of the day though and later on I heard her answer Annie Jr’s question of , “what’s wrong, Mom-mom,” with a, “I’m dying Annie Jr. life is like a box of chocolate covered mice….”

I interrupted her with.   “Annie stop saying that.   You are NOT dying.   You pretend this at least once a week.   I will think you are dead because you are laying there unmoving no matter what I do and just when I think you ARE dead, you roll around and laugh.”

Annie did not argue this time, she just stared at me from her big princesses bed, she laid in every night with the flannel sheets with little pigs on them, keeping her warm in the winter and cool in the summer.    She remained quiet the rest of the day and rested.   I never thought anything more about it, I mean I knew she was getting old.

Later on, I got up to go to the bathroom and saw she was gasping for air.   She did this often trying to fool me and I laughed a bit at her prank.   But she wasn’t pranking this time.  She gasped a final breath and my beloved Annie was gone.   She had died of old age and my heart broke in a zillion pieces.

Grandfather and I wrapped her in a towel and then the blanket that Annie Jr. wore home to us.   Abe and Bryan had given it to him and I knew how close Annie was to Duh-Wayne, Curry and the girls.   Then as instructed we put her in a Walmer bag.

I held her while Grandfather dug her a little grave and we played her favorite songs.   “Dancing in the Dark”, “Thank God, I’m a Country Boy,” “Nashville Cats,” and we sent her off with her idol Rod singing her to sleep with “You’re in my heart.”

Saying goodbye to a friend like this is always so hard, especially knowing that you won’t have the ability to interact as you once did.    I felt empty inside and my face was wet from crying and my cheeks were red.   Grandfather’s shoulders were all slumped and his head was pointed down as he put his arm around my shoulder and we went back upstairs.

The saga of Annie had ended.   Fifteen years of a life no cat had ever experienced before Annie.   Fifteen years of stories and nonsense; fifteen years of a bizare unpredictable, off the wall crazy cat and it was over.    I missed her already.   My heart hurt, my stomach had lumps in it and the tears stopped sometimes but started again soon after.

Grandfather and I reached out to family and friends, and spent time talking about and remembering our dear Annie.   Duh-Wayne and Spam came.   Spam and I sat drinking a cup of sludge in honor of Annie, Spam knew exactly how to make it.

Duh-Wayne, Grandfather and Annie Jr. went to visit Annie in her final spot.    There were gone for what seemed an eternity.   They returned and I suggested we order a pizza because Annie seemed to like that the best.    Annie Jr. ordered it and I cringed a little when I heard extra mouse tails but that is how Annie liked it best so I decided to go with it.

We’d no more than opened the box of pizza and Duh-Wayne had cracked the first moose made when I heard a familiar laugh.  I thought at first it was Annie Jr. because he sounds a lot like his mother.

Then I heard Spam say, “Grandfather, your cat smells like the ground she dug herself out of.”

Then I knew.   I knew the reason for the pet sandwichtarry and why Annie had not left even one possession to anyone and why she said first will.    She wasn’t going to be a zombie, or a ghost, or a witch, she was something else.   “I’m back Slam, a hundred times more Annie than you can imagine.”  Then she laughed.

It was an eerie laugh, a scary laugh the kind of laugh that makes you get goose bumps.   This was more like death with Annie not life with Annie.   I was a little scared but living with Annie had made me a little braver over the years.   Sometimes her nonsense made you stronger and I feared it would get worse.

Annie, who had taken on a dirty moth eaten look since she had been buried and later reburied by Duh-Wayne, Grandfather and Annie Jr. in the pet sandwichtarry, crawled back into her princesses bed and flipped on her remote as if nothing had occured.  She smelled awful.    Life went on as normal.



Authors note:   My beloved Annie did pass way this morning a few minutes after two she was 15 yrs old.   Her presence in my home will be sorely missed, from her awesome mice catching skills, to her chirping meows.   My heart is really broken, but this blog and making Annie continue her adventures will lessen my grief and heal my heart.   Fly high Annastasia AnnaMaria Albergeti.






The Music Teacher

It all began with a warped and rain soaked pipe organ.    Annie can never be happy with the amount of money she generates from the poop factory, but that is because she spends money faster than she can make it.   Her constant need for money and things, forces her to get creative with bringing in a second, third or fourth income.   That is where the pipe organ came in.

Since school had ended for the summer the Annie’s had time, not that Annie Jr. or Annie were going,    Yes Annie was still enrolled in several institutions of higher learning.    Sometimes, she went with K8, or Abe, or Bryan; occasionally the class where her Aunt Dinyell taught.   Actually she spent more time trying to get out of going to any of the classes she was enrolled in than actually going, and passing that trait on to Annie Jr.   So the whole pipe organ dilemma was quite ironic.

With no actual classes, Annie continued on with her role of running a junk yard, which meant she donned a pair of suspenders, adapted a wobbly walk and sat in the back yard with Duh-Wayne watching re-runs of the Edge of Night some old soap opera from the 70s.   Annie Jr. with his fake side burns and beard drove around the neighborhood picking up junk and loading it onto the back of his old red truck, while loud wild harmonica music pulsated from the speakers of his truck.

One day Annie Jr. carted home an old pipe organ.   Annie Jr. hauled it out of an old church on the North Side that had caved in back in ’42.  It was rain soaked, housed a family of Pakistanis  mice who were refuges from Mexico (all of them were terrified of ice even hearing it clink in a glass caused fear) and it smelled like moldy incense and church wine that turned to vinegar.

Annie of course was in awe because she loved playing any sort of instrument; badly.   She had her favorites; like her fiddle and the old bed springs but she had never had a pipe organ.     Annie pressed one of the organ’s keys and a puff of old dust honked out of one of the pipes.   Annie pressed another one and another putting her ear towards it like she knew something about it’s tune.   After a moment she was hitting the keys rapidly, while the organ sounded like a wounded intoxicated moose.

“I didn’t know you could play a pipe organ, Annie,” said Duh-Wayne.

“I can play anything.” Annie said. “My real mother, not ya know,” she glared at me nodded in my direction, “was a musical genius. I went to college with her.”
Annie closed her eyes and sighed. She pressed down on one key and it kept letting out this one note in a long drone. It went on for several minutes and then Annie sat up and opened her eyes then released the key. “Yep my Mom was a musical genius and I was better. I rocked that slide whistle and tambourine.”
Duh-Wayne’s eyes got big and he looked excited. “You know Annie,” Duh-Wayne began, “With your talent and your patience you could generate a lot of money teaching music lessons. ”

So that was how Annie became a music teacher and not just on the pipe organ but many other noise makers.   Her fiddle, which she played with a scratchy nails on the board sort of way and she jigged around while she did  so making sure her hips swiveled as she jigged.   Her bed springs which she plucked, her kazoo, an old police whistle which she often blew into her phone the second I answered her call and said hello.








Diary of a wimpy cat

Annie quickly lost interest in taking care of me, she claimed it was supposed to be a temporary job anyways.  I wondered not if, but when I would get a bill.    She would probably even charge me for plucking pigeons for her chicken figgies.

It was okay with me, I was getting around a little better and was able to do for myself.   In addition,  I was able to see what life was like during the day after I normally would have left for work.

With Annie no longer dressing like Annie Cleaver, she went back to her normal antics.  One morning Annie came out of the bathroom looking like she had been zapped by a lightbulb.    Her fur was puffed straight out and there was a lot of it and it was long.   She looked like a freaky sort of poodle.

At first I thought she had had an accident with the invention she and grandfather made.  It actually wasn’t an invention, it was more like a fire hazard.   They would plug a light in and set it right next to the toilet then soak a piece of toilet paper in air freshener (of course, something from Annie’s stink collection), put the toilet paper on the light bulb and turn the light on.   They claimed it worked better than just squirting it.

But Annie hadn’t had an accident.   She feared her fur was growing thin in places and had ordered some hair growing clinical trial stuff she found on the internet.   It had worked a little too well because she started looking less like a poodle and more like a mop head.

Another day, Annie spent half the day haggling with someone over the phone for a span of shopping carts some man had for sale on some garage sale group both Annie and Duh-Wayne were involved in.   Annie and Duh-Wayne were building a shopping cart museum and they wanted to display shopping carts from different time periods and different stores from all over the world.

Annie would buy up all anyone had.   She called it the fart of the deal.   Her method was to fart and people would agree to anything just to get away from her.   She used the extra carts to trade for carts she didn’t have or occasionally sell them.   Duh-Wayne bought a bunch of them for his shopping cart raceways a project he was working on.   He tried the fart of the deal with Annie but she just bottled it and sold it calling it ‘Skids by Duh-Wayne’  from her real men smell collection.

Weekdays were pretty much the same as weekends except different shows were on.   Annie really loved the talk shows and week days we had to watch them all.  Annie would be laying there gobbling bags of snack food and cart loads of burgers, pizza, tacos, and fries flipping from talk shows to my 600 pound life.  She would be stuffing half a pizza in her big yap and saying, “my god where do they put it all?”

Annie Jr. should have been going to school but Annie claimed his school was using up unused snow days.  He still was not coming near me and I felt badly because I really loved him and I loved hugging him.   Finally one day, I saw him creeping up close to me.

“Come on, Annie Jr.” I coaxed.   “Come over to Slam.   I am really not a ghost.”

He crept a bit closer and I picked him up and tried to hug him.   “Help!” He screamed.  “help, help!” He pushed my arm with his feet claws full out then he jumped and ran.

I sighed how could he be so afraid of me.  Asa was a ghost for goodness sakes, and Annie Jr. had been at the hospital with me every day,   He knew I had not died, and as far as I knew I hadn’t done anything to make him mad.

Later that afternoon, Grandfather headed to the store.   As soon as he left, Annie Jr. came creeping over to me.   “Come on Annie Jr. you can get into my lap.  I am not a ghost really.”

“I know,” Annie Jr. said.   “Asa told me.   He can’t see through you so it means you are not a ghost.”

Annie Jr. crept closer and I notice he is wearing these black hairy things on the side of his face.   “Annie what is on your face?” I asked.

“Sideburn,” he explained slowly making his way into my lap.  “I made them out of Mom mom’s extra fur.”

“Why?” I asked, then I got a smell of him, he smelled like  cigars and old spice.   “Annie Jr.why do you smell like you have been smoking cologne?”

“The same reason I am wearing sideburns.”  he began.   “Grandfather said cats that hug their Slams are wimpy.   So if I wear sideburns and old spice and smoke cigars I can hug you and not be a wimp.”

I sighed.   “No Annie Jr. you are not a wimp if you hug your Slam.” then I repeated the same things I said every day.  “Please don’t listen to grandfather.”

I was so glad Annie was letting me hug him again.    It made the time go by faster because I was getting anxious to get back to work.   I was starting to feel better.    Besides Annie was getting her summer plans started and I did not want to be around for it.

Duh-Wayne was digging a hole for the pool Annie felt she needed in the back yard.   She was anxious to play this game she called, “Skinny dip trivia.”  I certainly did not want to be around for that.

Until I was able to go back to work, I just enjoyed hugging my cigar and old spice smelling cat who wore sideburns.









Recovering with Annie Nightingale

After nearly two weeks of rest and relaxation, at a luxurious facility,  as Annie referred to it, I was allowed to leave the hospital.   I was no longer lumpy and blown up like a jiffy pop pan but I had a large incision in my stomach which was not healed  and I was barely able to get around.   I found out the only reason, I was able to leave was because Annie claimed to have an RN license.   She did have an RN but it did not stand for Registered Nurse, it stood for Rotten and Nasty.

It was a piece of paper that proclaimed, license to be rotten and nasty to anyone anywhere anytime.   She claimed she ordered it off from the back of a comic book she borrowed from my brother Sigh when she was visiting him in her time machine and forgot to return.   She also had a license to fart.

After two weeks of being away from home I was anxious to return there no matter how great Annie claimed the hospital to be.  I had planned on Grandfather coming with our car to take me home but my life would be so boring if Grandfather came to get me in an ordinary vehicle.

Even worse was the fact the nurse who accompanied me out to my ride acted as if she loaded patients every day into a recliner, tied to a wagon which was being pulled by a poop shaped golf cart.   Annie had her pink horned rimmed  rhinestones studded glasses with no lenses in them on, she sat on Spam’s lap fooling around with the radio trying to find a good song.  Spam rode shot gun (Duh-Wayne drove).  Spam had come along because she said it was a nice relaxing drive.

That part was true, it was a nice relaxing drive, but a long one.   A longer one if the drive was made in a golf cart, and not relaxing at all if you are riding in a wet recliner attached to the golf cart with a wagon, with the poop stench coming from the golf cart and a fart smell coming from Annie, Duh-Wayne and Spam playing a game they called ‘road trip farts’, and it’s raining.

It seemed to take forever, but we finally arrived home.   Annie yanked the wet blanket off me, handed me an umbrella, then jumped into my arms and forced to me carry her upstairs even though I was not allowed to lift over five pounds and Annie was way over that.

I made it in the door and saw Annie Jr. sitting on Asa’s lap coloring in his coloring book.    “Hi Annie Jr.” I said.

Annie Jr. looked at me and screamed.   “A ghost!  Oh my god a ghost. Help Asa, help!”

“Annie Jr. it’s me Slam.” I said.   “I’m not a ghost!”

“Yes you are!” Annie Jr. screamed.  “Mom-mom said you died.”

I sighed deeply the last time I spent a significant time in the hospital, due to Annie, she had also told all the other animals I died.   “Annie Jr. you were at the hospital every day.   You know I didn’t die.”

Annie Jr. clung to Asa, scared to death of me;  fearing I was a ghost.   I shook my head and headed to the other room.

Grandfather had purchased a recliner for me.   It was easier for me to get in and out of than the bed.   Annie had eaten a bunch of crackers in it before she had come to get me and it looked like an entire case of crumbs were scattered into the seat.   Grandfather was shoveling them off into a pile in the corner.

Finally, I was all settled in my chair.   “Comfy,” Annie yelled  into my face, her breath was foul.   It was like moldy bones and unwashed body hair.

My stomach was having a hard time dealing with stink and riding home in the fartmobile was bad enough.   “Annie!  Your breath!” I screamed.

“Sorry Slam,” Annie said.   She took a bottle from the pocket of her apron.   Yes she was wearing an apron and some sort of dust cap on her head, a 50’s style dress, and a pair of nylons with runs in them and a pair of slippers.   I didn’t ask.

She squirted whatever was in the bottle into her mouth.  “Better, Slam?” Annie yelled again blowing, like she was trying to toot a tuba, right into my face.

I gagged it was a million times worse.    “No! Annie what is that?”   I screamed.   I grabbed the bottle.   ‘Annie’s breath spray.   Natural Body smell…moldy bones and unwashed body hair.’ It read.

‘Figures,’ I thought as I handed the bottle back.   I fanned the stink.

“Wanna squirt?”   Annie asked.

“No Annie, but it’s really hot in here.”  I said.

“Hot?  How do you mean?”  she looked at me vaguely.

“Hot Annie!?! Turn the heat off, open a window, turn on a fan!”

She brought me  sweater.   I knew it was going to be a rough recovery.

The next morning Annie was laying on the arm of the recliner, playing with her ipad.   Annie Jr. was sitting on the other side of the room wearing a ghost buster uniform pointing some sort of ghost gun at me and he was glaring.    “Annie Jr., it is really me, I am not a ghost. Don’t be afraid.”

“I ain’t fraid of no ghosties,” Annie Jr. hissed but would not take the ghost gun off me nor would he come near me.   He occasionally snapped a picture of me on his cell phone and Annie was sharing  them on the internet with the caption, ‘real live ghost in our house; the demon slam.’

I saw it several times on facebook because Annie kept tagging me in them.   It was just a picture of me sitting in my recliner, using my computer while Annie sat next to me.   People kept liking it and sharing it.    It was on twitter too.   Donald Trump liked it and retweeted it captioned, ‘Slamn Witch Hunt.’   This was all in a matter of minutes.

I almost missed it because of the viral paranormal (paraidiot) post, but I did see the recipe Annie tagged me in with the caption, ‘dinner?’.  It was a recipe for chicken riggies. Since I was not able to stand long enough to cook, I figured I couldn’t be choosey.

I looked at Annie who was still sitting on the arm of my chair and said,  “okay” and “follow the recipe!!!!”;  since she had made me boxed mac and cheese the day before and had added the cheese powder to the water and boiled it with the macaroni.

Then  “Make sure grandfather helps you turning the stove on,”   Annie had a habit of just starting a log fire in the oven instead of just turning on the stove top.

Annie replied, “Eye I Captrain.”    She logged into my account and posted my verbal reply then logged in under her account and replied to it.

Around four in the afternoon, I waited to start smelling dinner cooking.   I knew Annie was working on it because she had posted a picture of herself in an old Mc Donald’s uniform and a Burger King hat holding a meat clever.   It said, “Cooking up some Slam dinner!” She was also banging pots and pans around.   I heard the blender, mixer, food processor, can opener, coffee grinder and electric knife going.   I sighed wondering who was doing the dishes, because Annie’s ‘the dog has been pitching in and helping’ was not reassuring.

Finally Annie posted a picture of dinner.   It looked fantastic.   I was impressed.   It was on a paper plate, I guessed no one was washing the dishes but that was okay.   I was looking forward to that paper plate full of riggies.   I still was not able to smell them.

Since Annie was still in the kitchen I replied, on her post.   “looks good Annie, I will take some!”

I should have known, I can predict it better than 10.99 a minute psychic, I should have known.   But I fell right in it;  both feet, head first.   Annie walked in, still wearing her uniform and hat, she was covered in blood, feathers all over her paws, gooey brown crumbs of some sort, covering her whiskers and she was wearing those rhinestone glasses with no lenses.

In her hand is a plate, it has raw rotted meat, mixed with crumbled up fig newtons.   “Annie what is THAT?” I screamed refusing to even take the plate.

“Chicken figgies!’ Annie replied.   “But I didn’t have any chicken so I had to use pigeons.”

I shook my head.   “You didn’t even cook it,” I screamed again as if it even made a difference.

“Grandfather wouldn’t turn the stove on,” Annie screamed back.

“Did you ask him?” I asked, knowing full well she hadn’t.

“How can you be so stupid?  I swear that surgery messed up your ever loving mind.”   Annie screamed.   “I can not even believe you asked that. ”  A long pause, then, “Well?”

“Well what?” I asked.

“So you aren’t eating this?” Annie asked.

“No, Annie, jesus!”

“Well would your HIND ASS want something else then, since she is too royal to eat something I slaved over an open fire for?”  Annie sneered.

I wasn’t sure how to even respond since Annie acted so out of control.  Then she became all sweet and loving.   “I have some tuna fish I can mix with some mayo and put on those fresh rolls grandfather bought,” Annie said.  “I can put a little slice of onion on it.”

“You’ll change your bloody shirt and wash the feathers off your hands?” I ventured.

“Of course, Slammie Sweetie.”   I watched her come out of the bathroom several minutes later freshly bathed and clean clothes.   She was back to the 50’s outfit this time a poodle skirt and saddle shoes with bobbie socks.

I heard her singing in the kitchen as she made the sandwich for me.   She came in the room, and I saw the fresh roll and lettuce and tomato along with the onion.   There was a fresh napkin.   It looked really good and my stomach growled.

I picked up the sandwich and took a bite.   I should have known, I should have known.   It was bound to happen and I jumped right in; both feet butt first.   It wasn’t tuna fish.

I spit the mouth full out on the plate and screamed, “Annie that is NOT tuna!”

“It is too,” Annie screamed. She ran to the kitchen and came back with a can.   “T-u-n-a,” she spelled out then handed me the can.

“Tuna and liver cat food Annie,” I read.

Grandfather wound up ordering pizza again.   Annie screamed excitedly when she learned we were having take out again and decided we all needed to watch a movie.   She chose one based on the fact the lead character was named Annie just like her and she had a pig just like Aunt Din-yell did and she had a writer laid up in her house just like she had a blogger laid up in her house.

I sighed.   I was only one day into my recovering at home and it was misery already.   I was picturing life with my number one fan.   Annie Nightingale was bad enough.




The Jiffy Pop Experiment

Anyone who owns a cat already knows that difficult challenges are daily hurdles that one must somehow get over.   Living with a cat like Annie, hurdle days are good days because they are few and far between, normally it’s hills, mountains, and volcanos to get over every day.   Cats like Annie don’t do just typical cat annoyances like knocking stuff off the counter or playing tag at 3 am or leaving dead animals at the side of your bed so you step on it.  She does all of that but takes it a hundred steps further.

It all began with Annie breaking another microwave.   Over the years she has put quite a few of them out of commission.    Like the time she put her blow dryer into it to warm the handle, or the time she was trying to invent some super strong glue made out of maple syrup and gasoline (she is still working on that one and says she is close to a break through). The time she was trying to use it as an incubator for a dozen eggs she had picked up at the local market and most recently trying to melt silverware figuring if the words stainless steal were melted away she could sell it for actual silver.

I gave up and vowed not to get another one.   We only used it for popcorn anyway and there are other ways to make popcorn.    When the pop corn cravings set in, I grabbed a package of popcorn the kind you can make on the stove.    Annie Jr. begged for the Jiffy Pop kind.   Annie told him that it was THE coolest way to make pop corn and he just had to have it.  I agreed but with the condition that neither of them use the stove to pop it without my supervision; they agreed and I bought it.

Annie Jr. had promised Annie the pop corn would be an event they would share.   Annie Jr. was quite anxious to see how it worked but Annie was having her girls night out with Duh-Wayne, Kiko, Maddie, Allie, Chad, Aunt Paulie and a few other friends.   I was left with an inconsolable Annie Jr. who sobbed and sobbed over the popcorn and kept watching out the window for his beloved Mom-mom to return.

Even with the constant sobbing going on, and repeated phone calls to Annie’s voice mail with Annie Jr. screaming, “Mom-mom get home it’s an emergency!”; I kept drifting off to sleep.    I had to work the next morning.   Finally around mid-night, after calling Annie’s phone myself a few times, and Duh-Wayne’s, and Kiko’s, and Maddie’s and Allie’s and Chad’s and Aunt Paulie’s and several others, I told Annie Jr. he would have to wait until the next day because I was going to sleep.

Now what happened after I went to sleep, is what caused all the problems.    Annie returned shortly after I fell asleep.   She claimed she tried to wake me up, but I wonder how true her story was, it seems I would have awoken at some point.   Annie had ways of disrupting my sleep patterns making me have crazy dreams or putting me so deeply asleep that a train driving over my body would not even cause me to sigh in my sleep.   I suspect the latter is what happened.

Since Annie was unable to wake me and since Annie Jr. was so impatient; Annie decided to disobey me and make the popcorn without me.   She claimed later that they had merely agreed not to make it on the stove top and since I said absolutely nothing about making it in the oven she figured she was not doing anything wrong other than pleasing her son and if I had woken up none of it would have happened.   It was further all my fault because I was too cheap to buy an oven with a light bulb inside, for it if had a light bulb none of it would have happened.   Not only was Annie Jr., unable to see the jiffy pop pop in the dark oven, Annie successfully burned the only package of jiffy pop to a crisp.

Annie Jr. went off into one of his terrible one’s tantrums, throwing himself on the floor, kicking and screaming.   Waking everyone in the neighborhood up, except for me.    Then it happened, Annie got an idea, an awful idea, but one she hoped would soothe her crying child.

What was jiffy pop, she thought, other than popcorn kernels packed  in something that would expand.  She grabbed the package of popcorn and looked around for something that would expand; stomachs expand she guessed correctly.    With that knowledge she inserted a gastro tube she had collected on one of Duh-Wayne’s medical visits, and ran it from my mouth to my stomach and blew each and every piece of popcorn into my stomach, then using a blow dryer set to extra hot she popped it right inside of me making me look like a huge lumpy piece of popcorn.

That wasn’t even the worst part.  I mean I could totally deal with looking like a huge lumpy piece of popcorn but there was so much of it, and it was packed in so tight only surgery could fix it.   Annie claimed I should have been grateful because I got a free day off from work, actually quite a few days, but it didn’t make me feel any better.

Even worse, was having Annie,  Annie Jr. and Duh-Wayne hanging out all day with me at the hospital from 9am to 9 pm.  Since Duh-Wayne became Annie’s personal driver because Annie accidently flushed her glasses down the toilet and couldn’t see, I had to get used to him visiting as well.

Every day was the same thing and each day ran into the next.  There was nothing to look forward to, the nurses came at the same time, the same shows were on at the same time, the food came at the same time and the menu never varied.

Typical of any gastro surgery, you have a diet that starts with zero on the menu and gradually food is added, like water, broth and jello.   Even though you are starving to death it all looks, smells and tastes gross and then when you can get something good like chocolate ice cream, you eat one bite and feel as if you had a 10 course meal with a double dessert.

Even though Duh-Wayne and the Annie’s came daily often bringing a special guest star(s) as a surprise visitor(s), like the homeless duck in our neighborhood, the dog I saw from a car window while on vacation in another state with my family in the early 80’s, the great great great great great grandson of a hamster I once owned from the 70’s, three girls who knew a guy who knew a guy who was related to another guy that who had a cousin who saw Captain Kangaroo live in concert, there still wasn’t much to look forward to.    Duh-Wayne chain smoked next to a bunch of oxygen tanks, Annie Jr. jumped around the room with his pogo stick making sure every other jump was on my bed, until I forbid him to use it and then he tied springs to his feet continuing to jump and sing ‘the wonderful thing about Annie”.   Annie dressed in a white lab coat ran around the hospital, picking up useful information about other patients, staff and visitors and would come back at the end of the evening with large pizza’s or hamburgers or something equally delicious smelling and share it with Duh-Wayne, Annie Jr. and the woman in the bed next to me (not me though because I was not allowed to have it) and regale them with tales about others.

She also got in the habit of bringing back large ice cream sundae’s heavily laden with multiple kinds of syrup, sprinkles, nuts, candy and whipped cream and sharing with that with the woman in the next bed as well.   No one could figure out why her sugar registered so high, it was almost as high as Duh-Wayne’s.    But as Annie always said about her own die-a-beat-us…”I can have a little bit of sugar,” when someone called her out as she reached for a chocolate bar then took and ate nine of them.

When I was finally able to eat, even though the food tasted good, I was only able to consume a little at a time.   Then Annie mixed up her chocolate and her ex-lax.   Not only both Annie’s and Duh-Wayne got diarrhea, but the lady in the next bed did as well.   Since she was unable to get out of bed, she had to use a bed pan and always had to go right during meal times.    I could actually see the smell come over and envelope my food.

Annie took full credit for the few pounds I lost.    Claiming the whole jiffy pop experiment was planned for this reason and this reason only thus relieving herself of any guilt she may have had, but didn’t over the fact I was in pain, my intestines would never be the same, I’d need another job to pay for the medical bills not to mention, I would be incapacitated for awhile.   Annie also took glorified credit to the fact that I now had a nice long summer vacation.

I was finally allowed to leave the hospital and begin that vacation.  Thus ending the saga of the Jiffy Pop experiment but the beginning of Annie Nightingale.



April Foolish Easter

Easter, another holiday where Annie lavished herself and her son with basket, after basket filled with every kind of egg decorated with gold paint and jewels, candy, toys, money. It was the kind of holiday when Annie felt a flock of baby ducks, and a herd of baby lambs, and little chickens snuggled with new born bunnies to keep warm, were at the top of her ‘need to get’ list.

This Easter also happened to fall on a special day for Annie. First, it fell on April 1st which was the day Annie had married her ferret wife Gladys. Normally Annie would spend part of April Fool’s Day, mourning the death of Gladys, even though, Gladys (the ghost ferret) stopped by quite frequently.

“That is what you do,” Annie had remarked one year as she mourned; while Gladys sat nearby. drinking a cup of ghostly tea; she seemed to enjoy Annie’s relentless wails of grief.

The latter part of April Fool’s day was spent pranking everyone. My phone would ring repeatedly, Annie’s custom ring tone would yell, “Slam it’s me Annie.” I would answer the phone knowing Annie would be at the other end asking, “YOU ODOR EGG ROW?” She wasn’t very good at it.

Since the holiday’s fell together this year and since both were a first for Annie Jr., Annie decided it must be special and Annie Jr. seemed to have brought Annie out of her normal April 1st Day funk. Oddly Annie decided to take Annie Jr. on vacation for the Easter holiday.

I was a little sad thinking I would miss Annie Jr.’s first Easter, relieved as I would avoid a basket full of raw rotten Easter eggs, that were still wet with the exterior wall paint Annie used to color them with.

But Annie had that coupon from the failing golf course and she wanted to take advantage of it before it expired, so she packed up her customized golf cart shaped like a pile of poop complete with stink, stink lines and flies. It putted along expelling a fart like noise as it moved forward and an obnoxious smell was emitted even worse than the obnoxious smell that was already present. And she packed up Annie Jr.

Annie Jr. who could not possibly leave his pet wolf home for even one night and Annie Jr.’s basket of Easter Eggs, some good, some raw, some rotten, some ready to hatch, some unknown species and ready to hatch. Then of course, no trip would be complete without a driver.

But Annie for some reason really liked driving the poop golf cart, standing on her hind feet steering it with her front paws , laughing like a crazy lunatic when an obnoxious smell, smelled even more obnoxious than ‘normal’. So Duh-Wayne, rode shot gun, making himself useful. Annie Jr. had several bags of prank eggs he was painting to look like golf balls, Duh-Wayne was helping.

Duh-Wayne’s family, “Duh-Difficult” he was called by them, was not really happy he was going to be gone over the holiday. Curry had a melt down asking who was going to wear the traditional Easter Bunny costume and hop around the back yard planting eggs filled with $20 bills, winning lottery tickets, $100 gift cards, silver and gold in very obvious places for good little girls with names like Abe and Bryan to find. Spam, who had Annie sitting on one knee and Annie Jr. on her other, said in a cold harsh voice, “I think you are spending just a little bit too much time with this ‘Annie’ person.” “Yeah, Duh-Wayne,” Annie echoed.

They all even pointed out that Duh-Wayne didn’t even play golf, however Duh-Wayne just shrugged and said, “It’s free!” As if that was all that mattered, since Annie was paying.

It didn’t really matter anyway, before Abe and Bryan even wiped the sleep out of their eyes, on Easter morn, Duh-Wayne was home; the trip suddenly cut short.

It happened this way, Annie decided since it was April Fool’s day that she should trade golf carts.  They were about half way through the course when Annie spotted a golf cart with what she called a ‘precedental seel’ on it.

“It was just sitting there empty,” Annie explained to me later.

Leaving the poop cart behind, the trio if you didn’t count the wolf, headed onto the next hole.   It was Duh-Wayne’s turn.   Annie Jr. placed the ball on the tee and Duh-Wayne gave it a healthy whack.   Instead of the ball busting on impact and emitting a horrible stench or freeing a baby bird or baby reptile, the ball actually flew through the air.

Duh-Wayne made a hole in one, however it wasn’t the right hole.   It was a rabbit hole, a big rabbit hole, a rabbit hole owned by an important rabbit.

Now every single person knows that the Easter Bunny has a huge candy making factory in a hole under the ground.   All year he and his barn yard or woodland friends or a combination of both depending on who is telling the story,  lay eggs and make candy.  Every single person also knows that although Walmart and dollar stores and grocery stores and drug store sell the exact same candy, the jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and eggs filled with yolky looking sweetness are 100 times better when made in the factory beneath the earth and delivered to your basket by a rabbit pushing a wheel barrow filled with candy through the night to well behaved children.

It was that rabbit and that hole where Duh-Wayne got his first and only hole in one.   Now having a ball zoom through the air at top speed and land in your hole can cause a great deal of damage.    Thank goodness, the bunny and his friends had left on vacation as soon as the last egg was hidden and no one was hurt.

Had the ball simply landed in the hole the damage would have been substantial, but fixable.   This ball exploded.   It exploded because it was April Fool’s Day and everyone had prank balls.

After that Annie decided she had her 50 cents off worth and turned around the cart with the ‘precedental seel’ on it.   She found her poop cart a short ways behind her, a baby duck, a baby turtle, and a baby lizard sat on the seat.   A short distance away was a man with yellow hair in tan pants, white shirt and red hat  shaking his golf club screaming, “WHY DO MY BALLS STINK?” whenever he teed off.

Duh-Wayne and the Annie’s along with the wolf and poop cart teleported home a short time later.   Annie had business to conduct.   She called the Easter Bunny and offered him a hole on her golf course which wasn’t failing and wasn’t exploded.   It was a win win for Annie.    She got rent money for a hole in the ground and the yard smelled like marshmallow shaped chickens covered with pastel colored sugar.

Duh-Wayne got to dress as a deranged Easter Bunny and hide eggs for Abe and Bryan. I got to enjoy Annie Jr. on his first Easter.   He and Annie both sitting on a mountain of candy gobbling it as fast as their mouths could move.

It was a April Foolish Easter.