Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our House Got Broken Into!

   Here's the deal.  I'm really upset.  Yes, I was supposed to take a break today, but instead I want to tell you what's really been going on.
    Do you remember my friend, Jill--the pansy?  Here's that post:

Grandma Gertie and the Break-in Patrol

   Well, get ready for some tough nuggets . . . Jill is me.  I didn't want people worrying about me if they found out our house keeps getting broken into.  I've told you how Melynda guarded my house--even though she couldn't see.  I've told you other things that might have tipped you off.
    Anyway, I'm sick of denying it and super aggravated!
    I sent this email to a friend recently, and finally decided to post it here. . . .

    Someone broke into our house on my birthday--talk about inconsiderate!  My brother said I'm getting desensitized to the whole thing.  "Why does your birthday make it worse?  Isn't a break-in bad enough?" he asked.
     The point remains, this has happened multiple times.  In the night.  In the day.  I tried explaining how I don't know why this makes things worse, but it does.  Maybe it's coincidence . . . I don't think it is though.  Now it shows they know details.  It's more of a violation.  It could be someone I know.   

    We've replaced three doors, dumped in money we don't have to repair damages, replace locks.  This last time, my alarm blared before I got in the house, so I went to my neighbor's.  She saw me pull up, said there was a man
in a black car parked across the street.  The neighbor said he watched until I pulled into the driveway, then he drove away.  I've been watching for a black car; I think everyone and their dog owns a black car--they're all I ever notice now. 
    Why can't criminals pick bright pink cars, something that's easy to spot--seriously.
    A detective came, he's been here when we were broken into before.  He took down names of everyone and anyone who I think might--break-in OR drive a black car--I think that's a long shot.  One cop patronized me, like I'm an idiot for getting worried!  At least the detective took me seriously; he's seen the damages from before though--broken beer bottles in the garage, a crowbar to the back door . . . A mandoor partially shouldered from its frame and upper hinges.  The list goes on.
    "This person . . ." the detective said, "they get into your home and when the alarm goes off, they run." I nodded.  I've been home when they've gotten in at night before.  He didn't need to tell me about it! "They're just trying to scare you."
    "I'm not really scared, though," I said.  "Maybe I used to be, but its happened so much, now I'm just mad.  I want to know who this is and I want it to stop."
    He nodded.  "We'll send extra patrols around your place."
    This could be anyone--and I HATE black cars.  I rented a movie from Redbox yesterday and almost karate chopped the guy behind me--see what I mean--everyone around is suspect! 
   Sure the break-ins started almost five years ago, when I had a booming clothing business and no time for writing.  Still why would they break in on MY birthday?  I bought a gun, took shooting lessons, got a concealed weapon's permit, practically could have played the lead in "Salt"--because now I know what I'm doing.  

    Still things bother me . . . It's getting worse lately.  Maybe the criminal's balls finally dropped?  Does this have something to do with my book?  The fact that I'm a religious minority.  The first thing taken was a box of memorabilia--pictures of my son who died--Zeke.  Am I putting my whole family in danger because I wanted to publish Zeke's story and help people?  I don't use my real name.  I use fake addresses.  For all you know, my name is Michelle or Juliet . . . wait, let's go with Juliet.
    Maybe all of these
break-ins aren't linked.  Maybe it's just coincidence how it was my birthday?
    All of our doors have been broken into now.  They've only taken one thing--pictures.  My (unbroken at the time) iPad2 was on the counter--they didn't even take that!  What kind of idiot leaves an iPad2--they're practically God's gift to mankind!!
    Joking aside, I'm really angry.  I try my hardest to help people and do what's right.  Then some ass comes and does this to my family.  Heaven help the man in the black car if he gets in this house and decides to stay instead of run.
This is just a bunch of BS and it needs to stop.  I hate feeling that I may have done something to put my family in danger.  Out of everything that has happened (even the crowbar thing) this one makes me the most angry . . .  You don't mess with someone's birthday, really.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Famous Woman Named Melynda

    Something VERY exciting is happening on Thursday and I need your help.  Here's what I'm talking about in case you forgot:
If You Love Melynda READ THIS
    Melynda is having eye surgery again on Friday. She has no idea that the book she worked on--before going blind--will be published this Thursday. I can't wait to give her a copy and surprise her. I'm really hoping this will help cheer her up.
    If you'd like to write a guest post to advertise her book on Thursday, that would be wonderful!
    Here's the cover and the goodreads link to include:


 Fishducky, Joshua (from Vive le Nerd) and I have worked our butts off to get this done by March 1st!  And now it's ready--YAHOO!  100% of the profit will go to help Melynda.
    I sure hope she'll be thrilled.
    On another note, we're still potty training over here.  Doctor Jones is doing great, but it's pretty tiring.  So, instead of writing a new post, I decided to share one of my favorites about Melynda from last year.  Here it is:

A Famous Woman Named Melynda

    This post is about an awesome woman that I know. Her name is actually Melynda. She's quite famous. If you'd like to dispute this, then take a step back and answer a few questions. Do you know of this, Melynda that I'm writing of? Does she have people that stalk her life, the very words of her existence? Do you know what she looks like? If you answered "yes" to at least one of these questions (but no more than three) then you just proved that she's famous.
    The point is that Melynda is MY neighbor. She lives next to MY house. When she borrows sugar, it is from ME! I love this lady, and I'll never forget the first day I met her.
    So, my name is Elisa "The Neighbor," and this is MY story.
    We live in a very religious state. People don't drink coffee here. People don't swear. People don't drink beer. People don't hang out ON SUNDAYS! Can you tell this is a soft spot for me? Hell, there's a church on every other block. These people don't even drive to church. Sure it's saving gas, but it's killing me!
    Well, if you haven't guessed, I'm not one of those religious people. I think they're nice and dandy, but I'm not part of their clan. Neither is the guy who lives directly across from me, to the east. Every Sunday he puts his sprinklers on full blast because he's figured that people won't walk by his house if he has his sprinklers on. He approached me one day. "You're not religious?" he said.
    "Nope." I wondered how he'd guessed. Maybe it was the bud light in my right hand.
    "Well, the way I figure it, if you turn your sprinklers on all day Sunday, then those do-gooders will have to walk in the middle of the street." He rubbed his hands together in a evil genius sort of way.
    "Ummm. I'm not sure I can do that."
    "'Cause you're chicken! Or maybe you're just as much of a do-gooder as the rest of 'em."
    His words stung. I didn't want to be a chicken. I didn't even know if I wanted to be a do-gooder. But that Sunday, I decided to make my choice. After all I've always despised people who can't make up their minds.
    I pulled up a lawn chair, set it on my porch and watched as the religious people skipped by. They looked so happy in their Sunday best, until the guy across the street turned his sprinklers on. He didn't just have them going. He'd wait until someone walked past and then WHAM! he'd squirt them something terrible.
    I sat wondering if they'd walk on my side of the street. But I drank cola from a beer can. (It was well before noon--too early to drink real beer.)  I got crusties from judgemental folks AND all I drank was pepsi!  Anyway, as I sat there, I realized that people were walking in the middle of the street instead of by my house or the one next to mine.  Sure I drank a fake beer, but why were they avoiding the house to the north as well? 
    I looked and my eyes nearly fell from my face. The tannest, most fashionably-dressed woman was gardening in A TANK TOP! She was really gorgeous, with spunky hair and a smile that matched. She had the best yard in the world and I couldn't help but grin when I saw her because tank tops are rare around here. I liked her spirit and thought Hell, if I can sport fake beer, I can wear spaghetti straps on a Sunday too!
    A religious woman walked with her husband in the street. His eyes kept darting to my tan neighbor and her perfect yard. Well, the woman didn't appreciate it and she kept tugging him closer to the sprinklers across the street. The whole thing made me giggle because my innocent neighbor had no idea what had gone on around her.
    So, that was the first day I saw Melynda. I even waved, with a fake beer in my hand and a smile painted on my face. She tipped her hat and nodded. I never would have guessed that I'd just met someone who would change my life for the best, someone who'd I'd be friends with forever.

    I love Melynda--she's amazing no matter what she's going through. Plus, I'm so thankful to know someone who's famous!
                                                     E (The Neighbor)

Friday, February 24, 2012

KLUTZ: Fishducky Friday


    OK, so I’ve fallen.  Once.  Maybe twice.  Fine, so it’s closer to a gazillion times!  It’s not as if it was ever MY fault.  I didn’t expect the curb to move as I was stepping onto it.  So what if I broke my arm?  The paramedics were fast getting there--& they were really cute!  (Note: If the paramedics offer to take you to the hospital, go with them!  My husband was with me & told them he could drive me there—so he did--& we got a bill from the city for paramedic services.  We found out later that if they drive you, there’s no charge.)
    And I certainly never expected the folding stool I was climbing on to do just that—FOLD!  Not while I was on it, anyway.  I can’t remember what I sprained or broke then, but I’m sure it was something unimportant, like an ankle.  Or my neck.
    I was standing on a molded plastic kitchen chair to reach for something on a high shelf.  It broke & I fell—not off, but THROUGH it!  Nothing broken, but I did have some rather large holes in my leg from the sharp shards.
    The (first) time I broke a toe we were at Bud’s sister’s house on a Sunday evening.  I didn’t want to go & wait for hours at the ER or bother my doctor on a weekend, so I asked my brother-in-law, who was a veterinarian, to bandage it for me.  I went to see my doctor the next day & he said, “Who the hell bandaged your foot?  It looks like a hoof!”  I said, “Funny you should mention that.  My veterinarian did it.”
    Another toe tale: I had had arthroscopic surgery on my knee.  The next morning I was awakened by the doorbell.  Bud had gone to work & my son was asleep, so I grabbed my crutches (which I was NOT used to) & “ran” for the door.  I didn’t make it.  I fell in the hall.  While trying to protect my knee, I broke a toe.  It had been the UPS man at the door.  He had left me a package—a cane, beautifully hand decorated with lace, which a friend had sent me as a get well gift.  If she hadn’t have sent it, I probably wouldn’t have needed it!
    It’s apparently not just me.  I can be a threat to others, too.  My son, Blake, was about 8 years old.  The kids were in their pajamas at the kitchen table.  I had left my cigarettes & lighter on the table.  Blake started playing with my lighter, which both scared & annoyed me.  We started arguing & he stood there with his arms straight out, as if he were ready for crucifixion.  He was wearing an old terry cloth robe, with its strings hanging down.  I was making a point about the lighter being dangerous & was stupidly waving it (lit) under his arms.  I swear it was AT LEAST a foot away, when the threads hanging under his arms caught fire!  We were able to get the robe off & the fire put out with absolutely no harm to him or anyone else—but I guess I made my point!
    Blake brought most of his problems on himself.  (Note: HE IS NOW ABSOLUTELY PERFECT & JUST FIXED MY COMPUTER SO I AM ABLE TO WRITE THIS.  THANK YOU, BLAKE!!)  When he was about 2, the kids were having lunch & I was at the sink, with my back to them.  He knocked over his glass & spilled his milk.  I wiped it up & poured him some more.  He knocked over his glass again, & again I wiped it up & poured him more.  I warned him not to do it again or he would be sorry.  I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he DELIBERATELY knocked it over one more time.  I picked up the gallon milk bottle (which had probably a quart or so left in it) & emptied it on his head!  Childish, I know, but it made a beautiful waterfall—or, I guess, a milkfall.  He didn’t even cry—he just sat there with his little mouth hanging open in amazement as the milk cascaded from his head.  As far as I know, none of our kids ever deliberately knocked over their milk again.  Not while I was in the room, anyway.

Moral: Beware of fishducky

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Constantly Evil

     A few entries have already been submitted for the contest Wayman Publishing is holding.  Please go here for more information about that: 

    "What's the name of the bad guy in your book?" I found a note under my door.  "Can you tell me about her?  Is her name still Constance? I want to win the contest so bad. It might be neat drawing something from your book.  I could really use 50 US dollars."  That cracked me up because the "50 US dollars" bit came directly from my blog.  "I'd also like to win a copy so I can read the sword of senack to my cat and dog."
    The Scribe--that MOTIVATED child--had written the letter.  She wants a laptop AND thinks the animals belong to her?  Okay, so I have to give the kid some props; that was an AWESOME idea to draw something from my book--talk about pulling at my heartstrings. (Too bad she can't enter).  I wish her luck saving that much money though; God bless her when reality sets in.
    "Constance," I replied on a paper I later slid under the Scribe's door, "is a shape shifting witch, heartless and cruel beyond anything.  I picture her with long curly hair.  She has green eyes and a triangular face.  She's made herself as attractive as possible since she can chose what she looks like."
    That night, I found another note with this picture attached: 

   "I'm a writer too," she'd written.  "How did you come up with such a good idea for a bad guy?  From, your biggest fan."
    Number one, was this just to butter me up?  Didn't the Scribe realize I'd know it was her?  Oh, she's a goose!
    I smiled and wrote back.  "I'm almost always nice to everyone--as you know--even when I should be standing up for myself instead.  One day a person really bullied me.  That's the day I created Constance.  She's the complete opposite of polite.  She's pure evil.  Some villains are partly evil, meaning they have some good in them.  Constance is all evil though.  Even if she seems nice at moments, she isn't.  She's what Syronians call 'mindstruck' because one bad thing happened in her life and she cracked."
   "Thanks for your help," the Scribe  responded the next day.  She is hilarious.  I might just give her a copy of the book so she can have it special.  As far as the laptop goes, she'll be saving for a LONG time.

    In closing, is it more impacting to create a villain with the potential to be good, or a villain who is completely evil?  

    For some reason, the 'pure evil' aspect terrifies me--always has.  That seems far more dangerous.  For example . . . in my book even when Constance acts nice, the children should be wary; she's far more wretched than they can possibly imagine. 

    I'm so excited to read your opinions about this.  Sorry I haven't been able to visit blogs as much as I normally do.  I'm amidst some serious editing projects and deadlines as well as potty training Dr. Jones; let the good times begin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bible Girl and the Smoke-filled Car; Reprise

   They were the "cool kids."  So when they asked me to sit in their car, what was I supposed to do?  I was only sixteen and I was cold! 
    This is A VERY embarrassing story for me to write, probably because it shows how naive I was, and probably since it makes me look like the biggest nerd the world ever birthed.  So, it was sometime in November.  I know that because Thanksgiving rested on my mind and snow blew across the ground like fairies dancing to a crazy beat.  My Junior year stretched before me and I loved school mostly because of the Bible study I held during lunch.
    It was strange timing that specific day because we'd decided not to meet for Bible study.  Many of my friends went on an AP field trip and weren't around.  That meant I'd have to sit alone during lunch--not a pleasant thought since the rest of the kids sat in clumps at the cafeteria tables.  I figured I'd read my Bible and keep my head down, but as I walked further into the lunch room some of the kids yelled out "Bible Girl."  I usually didn't mind the nickname, but that day it really bothered me how those girls spit the words out, like something revolting.
    I guess I'd had enough.  Instead of getting pizza or Ben and Jerry's ice cream, I burst through the heavy lunchroom doors and ran to the front of the school.  It was so cold my breath wrapped around.  I shivered as I stood watching the cars glide past.
    The mountains loomed, bedded in mist and made me wish I could drive to them and play my violin.  Whenever I had a hard time I'd take my fiddle to a cave in the mountains.  It was fun jamming inside for hours.  The music would echo off the walls, an effect of sorts because while playing there I'd harmonize with my own melodies.  I was just longing for my cave, when a car appeared from the mist to my left.  It parked in front of me and the most popular skater in school stepped from the door by the back seat. 
    I couldn't master the bewilderment on my face.


    It reminded me of those movies where the famous musician walks from the fog.  You get chills and have to catch your breath.  That's exactly what happened to me.  I wanted to tell him he'd make a great musician and could have been in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.  What's hilarious about "Thriller" is that it was the only secular music video I'd seen.  I wasn't allowed to watch MTV or listen to non-Christian music.  I could answer a million questions about DC Talk, Michael W. Smith or The Newsboys.  I was fine as long as nobody asked me about Metallica, Pearl Jam or Green Day.  I didn't know much about them except they weren't recommended listening at church.

    "Hey, dude.  You need a lift?" the skater asked, even though I wasn't a "dude."
    I looked around, making sure he was talking to me.  "Are you serious?" 
    "Anything, for a pretty girl."


    So, I got into the smokey car.  It was so foggy INSIDE that cab, I wondered if it was the source of the haze wrapping around our valley.  I squinted and realized two guys sat in the front seat.  
    "Where to, Bible Girl?" the driver asked.
    I coughed and waved my hand in front of my face.  "The mountains.  But is your car okay?  Isn't it a bit smokey in here?"
    "It's just this dumb engine, man.  We're gonna fix it in shop next week.  We'll make it to the mountains.  No problem."
    I paused.  "Okay . . .  Thanks for the ride."
    All three guys laughed then, giggling high and squealing loudly.  I had no idea what was so funny, but I shut my door and sat back into my seat anyway.  I cinched my eyes and willed the driver to go as fast as he could.


    "Wanna brownie?" the driver asked.  "I made them myself."
    All three guys laughed again.  They really thought those brownies were hysterical.

    "You . . . like to bake?" I asked.
    He nodded.  It was shocking really, and even though I didn't want to be rude I didn't feel like eating something he'd made.  He did NOT look like the baking sort and their merriment made me think he'd put something horrible in those brownies, like cat poo or egg shells.  I suddenly worried that the whole ride was a prank they'd wanted to play on me for years.

    "Ummm . . .  Thanks so much, but no thanks."
    I sniffed.  The closer we got to the mountains, the more I realized how strange that cab smelled.  It did not smell like a malfunctioning engine.  It seemed like a strong cologne mixed with a woman's perfume.  Clues hung in the haze around me, but unfortunately I didn't have the knowledge to discern what really went on in that car.  I was too naive.  So, in an effort to dispel my concern, I opened my Bible.
    The handsome guy next to me said, "Oh dude!  She's opening her Bible."
    They all started laughing manically again.
    I didn't look up, and instead pointed me finger onto a verse in the Bible.  I'd opened to second John.  I read aloud, "For many deceivers enter into the world."
    "Deceivers, man!" the driver hooted with amusement and shoved an entire brownie into his mouth. He had Samson's appetite!  I looked ahead, then wondered how the driver could see through the fog outside and inside of the car.  He must have had a Biblical appetite AND Superman's x-ray vision.
    I thought of that brownie again.  The words I'd read rolled around my innocent mind.  I suddenly smiled, thinking I'd discovered their secret.  The thought hit me like a light-less train in the dark.  I sniffed the perfumy-stuff again.  Maybe those three skaters were hiding together in the back of a big-fat closet!  The driver liked baking; they drove in a car that smelled like potpourri.  The guy next to me held his hand out like a limp fish when he talked.  They all giggled despite the fact that most straight men chuckle.  I knew what was going on!  All three of those guys--were gay!
    I puffed so proud from my power of deduction, I had to grin.  Then a laugh burst from my mouth.  I laughed harder and harder.  The whole thing was like a crazy sitcom--or so I suddenly thought--and I LOVED it!  I was the cool girl--for once--friends with a bunch of sensitive guys.

    "What's so funny, man?" the driver asked even though I was still a girl.
    I blinked.  "I . . . don't exactly remember."  
    We laughed for a long time after that.  It was a blur really.  I had a great time with those gay guys.  I'm not sure how long we drove around, but we never made it to the mountains.
    It wasn't until the next day that one of my best Christian friends paled after telling me those horrible sinners weren't gay.  I had a very long debate with him and myself.  I didn't know what to think.  I felt horrible.  I HATE drugs, always have, always will and yet I'd unknowingly hot boxed!  After thinking about it for a long time I remembered John 8:7 about casting the first stone: "Those of you who are without sin cast the first stone."  I thought about what Jesus preached in the Bible.  
    "What would Jesus do?" I asked my friend.
    "If He'd been in your shoes He wouldn't have followed that skater and stepped in that car."  His motions were blunt, angular and exact, like he suffered from OCD.
    "But if He had ended up in that car . . . somehow, He would love those guys and not condemn them," I said.
    "You know they're headed straight to Hell," the guy said.

    I look back now and have to laugh.  I still can't believe those skaters did that to me.  They tricked "Bible Girl" into hot boxing!  I NEVER stepped into their car after that, and I'm so glad I never ate one of their homespun brownies.  I can say this though, they came to my Bible study a couple times after that and I never sat alone at lunch again.
    "You know.  You're all right, Bible Girl," one of them told me once.  He'd bought a Bible and everything.
    "So are you," I said and started giggling.  "I still can't believe you convinced me to get into that smoke-filled car."
    "That was hilarious," he said.
    "Yeah, especially since I thought you were gay."
    "What?!" he gasped, and I had to laugh harder than that day we never made it to the mountains.

    So, I have a question: If you were me, what would you have done after discovering those boys tricked you into entering that smoke-filled car?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Read Cat Bookstore and The Senack Art & Writing Contest

    "What will you be when you grow up?" the woman asked me when I was five.
    The truth remained, this was a touchy subject.  Did she always have to ask TERRIBLY SAD questions?  I was only five!  I loved Doris Day and Ginger Rogers--tough luck I'd been born in the 80's.  I could have tap-danced my way to stardom, but none of the other kindergarteners liked tap--heck, none of those pansies even knew who Gene Kelly was!
    I mumbled then, to that old woman who thought I was so delightful.  "Well, I'll never be a tap dancing star . . . Instead, I guess I'll have to buy a beautiful castle with huge rooms."
    She laughed--she always laughed and it was infuriating.  "And how will you get enough money to buy a castle?"
    "It's just money." I scoffed at her. "I'll get it somehow."
    "And what will you do with all of those rooms?"  
    Sure she wanted to hear about my future.  What was HER past like though--had she been an interrogator for the F.B.I.? I could picture it clearly.  "If I can't be a star," I said, "then I'll devote my life to charity!  Those rooms will be for my cats.  I'll take care of all the cats that used to be sad, mean, old or homeless.  I'll have thousands of cats in my castle and I'll NEVER get married!"
    It was true.  There I stood, reconciled to the life of a giver.  Who needed stardom--or marriage--after having a million cats to feed . . . take that Shirley Temple!
    My mom and I left the old folks home then.  We'd go visit that woman once a week because for some reason she liked me.  I was very sad when she died; after all, she asked the best questions.
    I never knew I would grow up, get married, buy a tiny house, have FIVE babies (only one cat) and become a writer.
    I thought about this last week, because I had a book signing at the best book store ever.
    The owner loves cats.  (The place is called "The Read Cat Bookstore" as in "I loved the book I read last week.")  He would have completely understood the answer I once gave an old woman.  Here are some pictures of the genre labels he designed himself.  He's very talented!


And my favorite because it's epic!

Here are some pictures of me at the signing:




     Anyway, after these pictures were taken, a wonderful man wrote an article about me in the Examiner!  Here's that link:

The Examiner sits down with author EC Stilson to talk about her latest project! 
    I didn't get that castle or become a dancing star, but I think I got something much better.  It's amazing how life works out just perfectly.

    In closing, I have an announcement.  My newest book "The Sword of Senack" is coming out on 3/17/2012! 



    To celebrate this exciting event, Wayman Publishing is holding an art and writing contest!
    If you'd like more information about that, please go here:

Friday, February 17, 2012

WHAT IF I RUN OUT OF IDEAS?; Fishducky Friday

    Elisa said that I could post more often if I wanted to.  I told her I was worried I’d run out of ideas.  For instance, I don’t know what to write about today.  
​    I guess I could tell you about my dad.  He was one of the nicest people EVER.  He would do anything for anybody. He lived in L.A., but if someone asked him for a ride home (to San Francisco) I have no doubt he would’ve said yes.  If his doctor told him he’d have to amputate his head, Daddy would probably have asked, “When would that be convenient for you?”  When he wanted to tell you about a movie he’d seen, you learned to get comfortable.  If it was an MGM film, he’d start with, “First the lion came out & roared.”  I hosted a yoga class in our garage at the beach.  I didn’t want to be there because my dad was in a coma & dying in the hospital, about an hour & a half away.  I wanted to be able to get to the hospital quickly.  Bud said I needed the mental relaxation yoga would bring & convinced me to go.  After the exercises, our instructor would have us clear our minds & totally relax.  I swear I had an out of body experience.  I found myself in his hospital room.  He sat up & VERY sternly said, “What are you doing here?  You need to be at yoga—you worry too much.  I’ll be fine!”  I learned later that that was about the time he died.
    ​No, that wouldn’t work.
    ​Maybe something lighter would do it.  I regularly spill food on myself when I eat.  My granddaughter, from about the age of 2, could eat soup without spilling a drop.  She probably got that from her mother.  My friend was president of a group that had yearly fundraising luncheons in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s (remember “Pretty Woman”?) grand ballroom for about 2,000 people.  She was more like me.  Messy.  Depending on what she was wearing on the dais, she topped it off with either a silver or gold lame bib.  I don’t think so, but is that what they mean by “pre-spotting” laundry?
​That probably wouldn’t work, either.
​    OK, I’ll give it another shot.  I told my husband that I had picked up lunch at a Jack in the Box drive-thru window & that the guy confirming my order said, “One Yumbo Yack, right?”  Next time he & I went through the drive-thru window, Bud asked for two “Yumbo Yacks”—I hit him!
​    No, try again.
​    Would something scary work?  We live a few blocks from Century City.  The tops of the tall buildings are visible from our house.  Early one evening I was looking out our front windows when suddenly I saw a HUGE fireball erupt on top of one of those buildings!  I was just about to call 911 when I got distracted by an emergency with the kids.  About a half hour later there was another fireball.  I found out later that they were filming a scene for the Bruce Willis movie “Die Hard”.  They shoot a lot of movies around here but I’ve never been scared by a filming before.  They should have warned us—I bet 911 was swamped!
​    No.
​    A joke, then.  I went into a bookstore & asked the saleswoman where the self-help section was.  She said, “I could tell you, but that would defeat the purpose.”
    ​Not that, either, right?  

    Sorry there was no post this week—I tried!----fishducky

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Training a Hell Cat

    Before beginning this post, I just have a few things to share as a follow-up to yesterday.
    The Hippie called and told my mom what happened. She still needs to get ahold of my dad. Anyway, tears filled her eyes as she explained about practicing math on the iPad before she dropped it-- which was true.
    The Scribe felt bad for what she said, so today she surprised the Hippie by cleaning her room for her. (She did this on her own.)
    I also set up an appointment to visit the Apple Store.
    Thank you so much for all of your help! It means a ton to me.

Now onto the post . . .
When I was little, all I wanted was a cat. 
    I knew I'd be a great mommy if I just had a kitty.  I'd dream about that ball of fur, pretend it was my pillow at night.  I'd squish it hard and love it with all my heart!  Once I even made a paper airplane and took it for a walk because my cat would be so well-mannered, it would go for walks.  I spent years dreaming about cats, until one day my beautiful aunt (who lived down the street) showed up at our door.  She cradled a kitten in her arms, a black kitty with little white feet.  He had a red ribbon around his neck and when I found out she'd brought him for me, I thought I'd explode from happiness
    That was before I realized Bootsie was 1/2 felis domesti-catus, 1/4 mountain lion and 1/4 crocodile.


    There must be something to black cats.  They're either the sweetest things ever, or the meanest.  If you've met one, you know what I mean.  They're supposed to resemble bad luck--that's what people say.  The thing about Bootsie though, was that he held something special deep inside.  My aunt and I both saw it.  I knew if I made him love me, I'd have a friend for as long as he lived.
    Well, Bootsie WAS NOT the sweetest thing ever.  In fact (even though no one else believes me) I think Bootsie killed a cat.  I found a dead cat in our yard one day--it was a brutish-looking tabby.  Bootsie strutted from the bushes nearby; he was all scratched and his right ear no longer perked straight, instead it folded on itself in a crippled way.  I decided that's what happens to cats that are murderers!  They lose an ear just so all the other cats will know what they've done!
    My family swears Bootsie didn't kill that cat, but they didn't know Bootsie like I did.  They didn't understand that cat's rage!
    Shortly after witnessing the crime scene, I started operation "you're going to love me."  Bootsie was a cat-killer, but I'd help him turn from his sinful ways.  He'd love me someday--I was determined.  
    So in an effort of hope, I'd chase that cat around the yard, up a tree, even into the neighbor's bushes.  I'd brush him hard and love him tight!  I remember tying Bootsie up in a blanket, swaddling him like a baby so only his face showed.  Then I bounced him on the tramp, knowing he needed to see that it was okay to have fun and smile.  But Bootsie didn't smile.  Bootsie gave me the glare of death.
    That afternoon as I sat singing a sweet song to Jesus, Bootsie lurked in the grass behind me.  I remember feeling something wasn't quite right.  I wonder if that's how the other cat felt before it died and Bootsie got "the mark."  I turned around, but no one was there.  So I continued singing to Rainbow Brite, telling her how she could go to church and accept Jesus.  Sure she'd have to walk up and confess in front of all those people, but no one said going to Heaven was easy!  
    The thing was I'd been preaching to the wrong soul.  Bootsie crouched behind me, ready to deal out another death!
    With all the pent-up aggression a cat's ever seen, that feline jumped from behind an apple tree and attacked me something unfathomable.  I wished I had my blanket!  I'd bounce Bootsie on the tramp again, but not nicely this time.  I wanted to play crack the egg, or dead man standing!  I'd like to baby him--oh I'd show that cat.  He dug his claws into my shirt and my first-grader arms barely held him at bay.  I was lucky though, that beast hadn't even scratched my skin.  I laughed, an evil wizard's laugh.  That's when Bootsie showed me the meanest face in the world!
    I felt fear, real fear as I studied Bootsie's ear and thought of "the mark" of a murderer!  Visions--of the dead cat--danced behind my eyes when I blinked.  Maybe I'd be next, but I needed to be brave.  I thought hard and realized the only way to win this battle, was to be a pirate!
    I'd always be the pirate girl who stowed away, then saved the ship and swooned the cabin boy.  I flew into the moment as Bootsie stared at me.  I knew we were about to have a showdown.  I'd win, or sink trying.
    "You scurvy piece of a barnacle.  I'll rip ya from stem to stern."  I didn't know what a stem or a stern was, but I'd heard those words on an old black and white movie and they sounded mighty fierce, like something a pirate girl would say!  "If ya try movin', me arms'll wrap ya up like a baby codfish.  I'll rock you 'til it be night night.  So, don't move or you'll be rocked until I make you walk this here plank!"
    I'd expected Bootsie to shake in his little white boots.  But instead he didn't seem bothered by my perfect speech.  He waited quietly, let me go on.  Then, like a blind beggar with only one ear, he struck out his arm, clutching for treasure.  Too bad that treasure was my scalp!  
   I screamed!  Tried to throw Bootsie off, but when you're part crocodile, you know how to hang on!  Bootsie's claws sunk deeper into my hairline.  The only thing I saw hanging by my eye WAS HIS EAR.  I screamed!  Bootsie HAD killed that cat.  I just knew it!  No one wanted to face the truth, but he had "the mark."  Couldn't anyone else see it?  Didn't they have eyes to see his ears!
    I screamed again, harder that time, hoping my sister would hear me.  She'd always save me when something wasn't going right.
    "Help!  Help!  I'm the next victim!  Bootsie is a cat-killer."  I shook in pain and ran around the yard.  But it was scary running like that because I couldn't see where I was going and we had a window well!  I stopped nervously, even though I still pretended to be a pirate.  I tried looking around, but all I saw was that damn ear!  "HELP.  I told you he killed that cat!  Now he's trying to kill stowaways too!" 
    My sister ran from the house--thank God.  I knew she was there because I heard the panic in her voice.  I turned toward her, but still couldn't see a thing.  
    "BAD CAT!  Bad.  Let go.  You let go of my sister!" she warned.
    She tugged, doing the only thing she could and we played the strangest game of tug-o-war anyone's ever seen.  I got whipped around, cause crocodile's don't let go.  Then my sister finally won.  She pried Bootsie off my face and I cried.  Even though I hated crying since stowaways don't cry, but I hadn't won the battle.  I'd sunk trying.  Plus, my head AND my heart hurt.  
    But everything did turn out okay because my sister hugged me.  Her hugs were the honey of life.  She told me she loved me and I'd be okay.  That sweet teenager even brought me into the house and gave me a free makeover.  I felt better after that.  She always knew what I needed.  And a few days later I felt so great, I continued operation "you're going to love me" with Bootsie the crocodile.
    As shocking as this may sound, I never gave up on Bootsie.  A couple years later he did turn from his life of crime and we became best friends.  We were nearly inseparable and the funny thing was that Bootsie liked playing pirates and even went for walks with me sometimes.  
    Bootsie really was the best cat in the world.  I miss him dearly because sometimes I think I appreciated our bond more since I worked for it.  I guess that's why I still miss that cat-killer.  I'll never look at a crocodile the same again.

Today I have one question for you:  
What was the name of your first pet? 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"It's Just An Object."

    I know it was "just an object" and I shouldn't have cried, but I did.
    Do you remember my book launch for "The Golden Sky?"
    I gave away an iPad2 as part of the launch. 


    Well, we hardly ever get anything new.  Our couches are used.  Our dishwasher, fridge, everything is used.  I actually love it--how even my wedding ring is used--because it makes our little house and life magical, honestly.  I know so many memories float around.  I always wonder who had this ring before me.  Did she get divorced . . . or die in a tragic accident that will someday befall me BECAUSE I STILL WEAR THE FLIPPIN' RING?  Did someone steal it from her before bringing it to the pawn shop!  You know what, as long as it wasn't a product of divorce, then I'm good to go.
    Anyway, my parents are AMAZING.  My dad must have known what a sacrifice it was to give a BRAND NEW iPad2 away.  That's why I think he got us one for Christmas.  I cried after opening it, becoming a genuine ball baby as I turned to my parents.  "This means so much," I blubbered like I had a fat lip.  "You're the best!"
    So, yesterday when I couldn't find the iPad2, I should have known something was wrong.  It's off limits for the kids.  Yes, they used it for the Cinnamon Challenge. Which I shouldn't have condoned. 
    "Has anyone seen the iPad?" I asked my angels, but no one fessed up.  Then I found it, resting under newspapers and bills.  My mouth dropped to the floor.  My eyes turned red and steam billowed from my ears.  "WHO DID THIS?!"
    The thing is, it still works, but the glass at the edge of the iPad had shattered.  It made me sick.  I couldn't breathe.
    The Hippie tugged on my shirt.  "I cleaned the whole basement," she said.  "I put the shoes away.  I folded my clothes.  I'll do the dishes.  I'll change Dr. Jones' diapers for a year.  I'll make breakfast!  I'LL EAT HOT PEPPERS.  I'LL LIVE HERE . . . FOREVER," she whispered before crying like the house was on fire.  "I'll be your slave!"
    Somehow I couldn't be super mean.  I held my iPad-lovin' anger at bay.  "Did . . . you do this?" 
    "Yes," she sobbed.
    "You're grounded from video games and TV for two weeks."  She got off easy; and I was so sweet--I'd just bought a ticket to Heaven!  "You also need to help with extra chores to help pay for a portion of this."  Who was I kidding?  She'd put five bucks toward it!  Still though, I remained calm, and I felt proud until the Scribe actually smiled.
    "Too bad, Hippie.  You'd never see me doing something like that.  I wouldn't break the iPad.  I wouldn't even touch it," the Scribe said.
    I erupted with frustration at that point.  I screamed so loud the neighbors probably went deaf, and now I'll go to Hell.
    "HOW . . . DARE YOU TRY TO MAKE YOURSELF LOOK GOOD  . . . THROUGH THIS!" My voice turned terrible, like acid rain that doesn't make you a super hero!  "Clean, the house NOW.  All of you!"
    The Hippie stopped crying and went to work.  She wore ear muffs and I knew she couldn't hear anything else as she whirred, dusting and vacuuming.
    The babies dances around the vacuum because nothing phases them--not even my mean voice.
    The Scribe locked herself in her bedroom and said she was cleaning.  But when I opened the door, her window stretched wide open and she sat drawing and writing!
    "That's it!  I'm going to get coffee before I flip out even worse.  I'll be back in five minutes.  This place better be clean when I get back."
    So, I left, bought my coffee and came back.  When I turned on our street, I noticed a bunch of scroll-shaped papers rolling in the wind.  I stepped from my car and was lucky enough to grab one before it spun away.
    This is what it said--in the Scribe's writing:

    Read This! 
    Whoever is reading this. God loves us even you! God maid everything that is hear this very day. He gave you, food and water. Love God and ask him to be in you're heart. 

- He loves you.

    Somehow a little bit of my anger dissipated.  The Scribe had spread God's Word--EVERYWHERE--and it was rolling down the street!  I went inside and all of the kids were finally cleaning.  
    I sat down with my coffee and put my head into my hands.  Sure the iPad2 was just an object, but if my parents find out, they would be super disappointed.  
    I opened my eyes.  The Scribe's letter sprawled in front of me, next to the broken iPad2 and the Scribe's Bible.  I opened the Bible, hoping it would say something that might help.

    I read part of Proverbs 4:7
   Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

    I can't explain, but I felt something so strongly.  The iPad2 was an object--that was a fact--the reality of it brought true understanding.  The kids needed to learn from the situation--this presented a time where I could teach them something important: if someone tells you not to touch something, you shouldn't.  
    Yes, it sucked, but my kids were okay, they were all right and not in Heaven with their brother Zeke.  Plus, I would never tell my family about the iPad--I'd take that info to the grave or die right after they found out and killed me.

In closing . . .
    What do you do in situations like this?  I'm sad, but at least the iPad still works for now.  And who knows, maybe I can get it fixed someday when robots roam the Earth . . . 

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is the Cinnamon Challenge?

    I didn't know about the terrifying cinnamon challenge--or the crazy people who'd do it and live--until after visiting Paige Kellerman's Blog.
    P. S. Check her out; I know you'll love her. Here's that link: Paige Kellerman

    Well, the other day Paige showcased a video about "The Cinnamon Challenge." The person doing the "challenge" is supposed to put a huge scoop of cinnamon into their mouth, then they have to swallow it. I watched different videos and gaped. Some people gagged. Some threw up. Some felt amazing when they actually swallowed the cinnamon--because apparently that's cooler than skydiving. Could those reactions be real?
    The day went on, and what I didn't realize until later was that the Scribe and Hippie had watched the videos, too--from over my shoulder.
    Some friends came over and my iPad went missing . . . so did my cinnamon. "What is going on?" I asked my friend, a bit worried because the iPad is worth more than my soul--practically. We looked outside and there they were. Her little boy held my iPad2 while he taped my girls who were doing THE CINNAMON CHALLENGE!
    I stayed quiet because being the gift of a mother that I am, I wanted to see how they'd react!
    We stepped outside and watched. Cars drove past. I'm sure they wondered what was so amazing. Those idiots had no idea that two girls were risking their lives!

    So, after the video ended, I became an even better mother and I uploaded it to youtube--because once again, I'm a certified gem.
    Their reactions were far different from the adults on the other videos. There's a part not on camera where the Hippie pretended to gag right before shoving more cinnamon into her mouth!
    Well, here's the video, (the words are below in case they're hard to hear . . . oh and the Hippie is on the left; the Scribe is on the right):

    "Why are you giving me so much?" the Scribe asked before taking the cinnamon and giving herself even more. "Well, Hippie, you ready to die?"
    The Hippie held a LADLE, while the Scribe simply had a spoon.
"Bye," the Scribe hugged her sister. "See you next summer."
    The Hippie smiled, still wearing her favorite earmuffs EVERY DAY. "See you in Heaven," she countered.
    "I'm glad we have each other."
    "I'll be with you in Heaven," the Hippie said before going to take a bite, but the Scribe interrupted her through several times when she could have eaten the cinnamon.
    "We're risking our lives!" the Scribe said.
    It was the cameraman's turn to talk, because he was stunned they took on such a brutal campaign. "You not gonna die," he spouted hopefully, having no idea of the danger unfolding before his four-year-old eyes.

    A few surprises did unfold. The Hippie spit all of her cinnamon out, but the Scribe held it in her mouth for a full minute and then swallowed it.  "I lived!" she said.
    After the camera turned off, the Scribe looked at me and smiled with brown all over her teeth. "I could do it, and that's awesome. But there's one thing I can't figure . . . What's wrong with all of those other people on youtube?"

    Those kids keep me living on the edge. Whether it's cinnamon, pranks, or calls from the principal's office, it's never a dull moment over here.  I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world, though, not really because they're awesome and money can't buy kids who can eat mounds of cinnamon and live.

Friday, February 10, 2012

THE CURSE OF BONNIE; Fishducky Friday

    Thanks for joining us again, Fishducky. I love your stories!


       A while after we bought our beach house in Port Hueneme, CA, my next door neighbor, Bonnie, moved in with her husband from a few blocks away.  She was from Kentucky & as “down home” & unspoiled as you can get.  A month or so after she moved in we were all invited to a semiformal dinner to honor the new commander of the Naval Base.  We asked her what “semiformal” meant in this small town.  Her answer: “Perfume OR deodorant!”
Bonnie & Dex (her husband) invited us to go to the Kentucky Derby with them.  Then Dex said he couldn’t go, so Bud decided to pass & let Bonnie & me go alone.  We did & we had a great time.  When we got home her husband of about 25 or 30 years said he was glad she had fun & got home safely & by the way, he wanted a divorce.  They got it.
A couple of years later—1989—the San Francisco Giants were playing the Oakland A’s in the World Series.  My son was assistant Travel Secretary for the Giants & had 4 tickets for us to go to all the games.  Bud couldn’t take that much time off work so I took Bonnie, my other son (then a teenager) & his friend.  We stayed in the Presidio at the home of a friend who was a  Colonel in the Army.  He & his wife were off somewhere on vacation.  We used his car & I drove to Candlestick Park, less than a half hour away.  It was just about time for the first game to start, the fans were in their seats & the players on the field--& THE LOMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE HIT!  There was a lot of fear, but not too much panic in the stadium.  We found our car & I started driving home.
Driving in San Francisco is not the easiest thing to do in the best of times--& this was NOT the best of times!  The street signs seemed to be placed at random.  This was before the GPS or the cell phone were invented.  My son was in the back seat reading a road map by the overhead light as I drove a strange car through dark San Francisco.  As we passed one corner we heard someone yell, “Shoot ‘em now!”  We didn’t know if they meant looters or US!  We couldn’t go to a hotel—many streets were closed & the city was essentially shut down.  It took us almost 4 hours to get back to the Presidio where we were met by an armed guard who told us that it was closed & that only residents could get in.  I did the only logical, adult thing I could do.  I cried.  Then I remembered that my friend had a bird (full) Colonel’s decal on the car window.  I pointed it out to the guard & he let us in.  We spent 5 days in a dark, cold house before we could get a flight home.  Thank heavens the phones still worked.  Our only source of information about the earthquake damage & fires was by phone to our family or a few minutes at a time on the car radio.  We were afraid to kill the car battery.
A “Bonnieism”:  We were playing golf behind a very slow group of men.  She exasperatedly asked me why it is that men will spend 10 minutes looking for a lost ball, but they won’t take 5 seconds to find your “G spot”!
Bonnie & I still enjoy each other’s company, but we figure that if we ever travel together again the smart thing would be to buy one way tickets because AT LEAST ONE OF US IS PROBABLY GOING TO DIE!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Twenty-ager Crisis!!!

Too bad I'm not thirty yet!


     I'm twenty-nine.  And now I can't get a certain conversation out of my mind.  Last year one of my friends insisted on telling me how sad it is that I'm not thirty yet.
     "Why?" I asked.
     "Because women in their thirties appreciate life so much more than women in their twenties. In fact, if you have kids when you're over thirty you appreciate them even more. Plus sex is better in your thirties."
    This may sound silly, but now I can't wait until I'm thirty. Maybe a light bulb will suddenly turn on in my head and light will shine from my nostrils. I'll finally be able to sing the alphabet backwards; I'll do that front hand spring I never mastered as a kid and my husband will be a very happy man. There's just one problem, one year seems like a long time to wait.
    So, like a bull being taunted by a man in tights, I'm actually excited to get older. When you turn thirty angels sing. You lose that extra pound you've been hiding in your butt, and your boobs get bigger than a fourth grader's. At least that's what it sounds like--but I don't really know. I'm just an uncool twenty-ager.
    I have to call myself a twenty-ager because now I just feel like the crap age. I'm not a teenager (thank God for that, they keep looking younger and younger) but I'm not in my thirties yet either. I must admit I'm a little scared though. I already appreciate things so much since Zeke died, if I become more appreciative I might explode with gratefulness.
    What do you think, is life better after you turn thirty???

Here's my awesome list for why I want to be really old.

If in a hostage situation I'll get released first.

I can gain two hundred pounds and no one will care. Then if someone breaks into my house they'll have picked a real wrinkly winner. I can sit on them and they'll cry for mercy and turn to a life of goodness.

If I grow nose hairs I won't have to pluck them because everyone expects old people to have nose hairs.

When people are mean, I can poke them with my violin bow and call it an accident.

Sexual harassment charges won't stick.

No one will expect me to be the hero, I'll get to be the victim who needs saving--for once.

Cade (my husband) is gonna look sexy as a bald old man.

There will be nothing left to learn the hard way.

I won't have to worry about anything wearing out, I can just take it to the grave.

My birth certificate will say "expired."

Gravity will be my worst enemy and my only friend.

I won't have to sleep with my teeth anymore.

I can say, "I remember when gasoline was less than a dollar, Sunny." And my dyed purple hair will glisten beautifully.

I'll have a clear conscience and no memory.

And finally, my kids can put me in a home for awesomely nutty people. My roomies will tell me stories I can write in my blog and we'll get to eat hospital food all day long.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catch Me If You Can

This is a continuation from yesterday.

    "Get under the table now!  We'll block you with our legs.  He'll never see you."
    I slid right under, not questioning their logic at all.  I'd sluffed from school.  My dad stood at ten o'clock and I refused to get busted in front of everyone at Burger King!  It was a good thing four of my guy friends were on my side and there to save the day.
    "Oh my gosh!  He didn't even order and now he's coming this way," Dave whispered above me.  "Everyone act natural."
    So, my dad sauntered up to the table.  I knew because he wore these huge cowboy boots which put fear into my heart.  He didn't have spurs, but for some reason I imagined what spurs would have sounded like if we lived in the Old West.  I think my dad knew a skunk hid in his midst and that skunk was me!  Maybe he wanted to call me out of that place and either have a shoot-off or ground me for a month.  
    I think my friends imagined the gun-slinging contest too, because I swear their knees started shaking next to me.  After a moment, it felt like I was in a meat grinding machine right there in Burger King!  It was sucky, plus, getting kneed in the ribs, it's not what Heaven is made of!
    "Hey, boys," my dad said.  "What are the odds of meeting you here?"
    Who was he kidding--there were no odds!  When you get caught one-hundred percent of the time, chance is out of the question.  I shouldn't have sluffed school--it was asking for heartache.
    "We're doing . . . fine . . .," Dave said in a small voice.
    "Sir," another guy added, then pushed me with his leg so I had to crawl closer to the wall.
    "It's strange seeing you here, without my daughter.  The five of you are always together lately."
    "Yeah . . . yeah, she's a live wire that one."
    "What do you mean?" my dad asked and I watched as one of Dave's feet kicked another guy in the shin.
    "Ow . . . She's just . . . well, she should have been a red head."
    What was that--enough with the small talk!  Those tiles were nasty and I hated putting my hands where millions of shoes had been.  I could smell someone's feet too.  I wasn't quite sure who I smelled, but I had my suspicions.
    "Uh huh.  You wouldn't happen to know where she is.  Do you?"  Oh, my dad toyed with us!  He toyed with us bad.  Where was my white flag to wave in surrender?  Maybe he'd be easier on me if I just crawled from under the booth and gave up, got away from the stinky feet and took my hands off that greasy floor.
   "She's probably at school, Sir.  That sounds like Elisa, always getting good grades, studying and picking the coolest friends in school."
    How sweet of him to compliment . . . himself!
    "Well, it's nice seeing you here."
    "Bye, Sir."
    My heart beat faster than eggs in a blender.  I wanted to get out of there.  I'd only kissed two guys and being surrounded by a bunch of male legs, well it wasn't my style.  "Can I come out now?" I asked.
    "Shhh.  No."
    After a moment Dave handed me a napkin.  "Your dad just finished ordering and now he's sitting RIGHT behind us," the napkin said.
    What the hell?!  I didn't want to stay there forever.  What was the point of sluffing if I couldn't sit ABOVE THE TABLE and eat! 

    It sucked.  I couldn't write back; I didn't have a pen.  Maybe that's what Helen Keller felt like, unable to communicate with most other people.  I felt bad for Helen then, really bad.
    After a moment, Dave held another napkin by his leg.  He held it a bit too high up if you want to know the truth.  I grabbed the napkin and thought if he did that one more time I might punch him in the nuts.
   "Your father," the napkin read, "keeps looking at us."
   Well what was I supposed to do?  Looking wasn't a crime even in Texas!
    Another napkin. "He won't stop. Hang tight and we'll tell you when he leaves."
   So, they WERE terrified, just like me and my greasy hands.  But men (especially boys) seem to forget about things far too quickly and before long the napkins stopped coming and the guys started laughing and joking about some girl they had all kissed.  There I was UNDER THE TABLE and those "friends" thought they were at a Sunday picnic!
    That made me angry.  Plus, the girl they joked about was my buddy.  I had to get revenge.  But what could I do?  I was stuck under some stupid table.  
    Then a thought hit me; I know it's the oldest trick in the book, but it's old for a reason.  Since I was already down there, I started tying their laces together.  No one forces me to hide (under the guise of protection) and then forgets about me.  I smirked, almost sniggering as I tied all of their laces together except for one guy who had Velcro skater shoes AND was nice to me--he got off easy that day. 
    After A LONG TIME, Dave said in a regular voice, "Your dad's gone.  You can come out now."
   I crawled over the web of laces, pushed their legs aside and stood at the end of the booth.  My hands felt yucky.  My jeans had gross spots on the knees and I bet I smelled like feet.
   "I never want to sluff," I said in a low voice, "ever again."
   "But he didn't catch you.  You got your ninety percent."
   "You don't think he caught me?  Seriously?  That was my punishment.  Since when does my father sit down at a fast food restaurant?  NEVER, that's when.  I'll be out waiting by the car.  And I'm not riding in the trunk this time.  I get shotgun."
    They held their breath--shotgun was a sacred thing.  They didn't even argue, though--I was a woman on the edge.  I turned fast after that and hauled butt out to the car.  I knew they were about to stand and their laces were still tied together.  I didn't want to be around when they hollered and yelled about the new member of their clan who didn't like hiding under tables.

    So, my dad never told on me, he didn't even call me out.  But I will never forget waiting under a booth forever.  I definitely got my ninety percent that day, exactly what I deserved.

    My dad took me out for my birthday last week and I finally got some guts.  I told him this story and after he finished laughing I asked, "When I was fifteen and sluffing, did you know I was there under the table the whole time?"
    "No," he said.  "I used to go eat there quite a bit."
    "So of all the places for me to sluff, I picked your favorite place?"
    "Pretty much."  He laughed.  "That's life for ya.  You couldn't spit without us catching you."