Friday Fictioneers – A Banana Fell Out Of The Cage

I finally found some time for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  The picture for this week’s challenge has been provided by J Hardy Carroll.

 When I was a kid I went to a Circus Carnival with my parents. I saw a pair of Siamese Howler Monkeys in a cage behind the Big Top.  Each head controlled one arm.  The left side was Frank and the right side was Sinatra.  

Frank stole Sinatra’s banana so Sinatra howled in Frank’s ear.  Frank gave the banana back to Sinatra but as soon as Sinatra had the banana, Frank howled in his ear.  Then Sinatra slapped Frank and Frank slapped Sinatra and the banana fell out of the cage. 

The inspiration for my post is from Genius Funny Man Tim Conway and his Siamese Elephant skit on the Carol Burnett Show.  If you haven’t seen it, I’ve put the link below.  It’s not great quality which is a shame – the better links were blocked in my country which is another shame.  For the Siamese Elephant go to 2:00 in the video.

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Hobbit Feet and Toadstools

I have a new Dentist.  Not only is he absolutely adorable but he’s kind and more than just a little talented, too.  I don’t want to gush but he’s managed 2 miracles in the past month alone.  If he keeps this up, I’ll have to contact the Vatican and recommend Sainthood.

My problem is Dry Mouth, caused by nearly 10 years of pain medication that keeps me on my feet and not in a wheel chair.  I don’t eat candy all day long, I brush my teeth, floss and use mouthwash like every other responsible person but I have no spit.  At all.  No enzymes that kill bacteria.  It’s the Sahara Desert in there which leaves me with a surplus of cavities and a deficit of Dental Coverage.

The Dental Clinic that I had been supporting created a mess with revolving Dentists, inferior materials, no quality control and insane prices.  I have a filling in a molar that was installed in 1998 and it’s pristine while every filling that was installed at this clinic lasted less than a year.  After I spent a month on IV and oral Antibiotics I finally said, “Fuck this shit!!” and started looking around for a decent Dental Clinic.

Oddly enough, it was my Hair Guru that recommended the Montgomery Dental Centre .  I had nothing to lose really; that infected tooth had to be dealt with if I wanted to avoid more antibiotics.

So, I called them and made an appointment.  I was expecting Dental Shaming at a bare minimum and perhaps flagrant condescension.  What I didn’t expect was Dr. Manu Dua, DMD or the sweet women that greeted me, prepped me and kept me calm.

Dr. Dua – okay, wait.  I can’t call him Dr. Dua all the time, it’s bulky and awkward and I’m old enough to be his mother.  I understand that he’s a very talented man who spent a lot of time and money being educated and I want to show my respect for that education but can I salute him or curtsy or something and then just call him Dua?  I’m going to ask about that at my next appointment.

Anyway, Dua arrived in my cubicle wearing a face mask and snapping his plastic gloves.  He poked and prodded around in my mouth with several sharp instruments he ordered from The Tower of London.  He started tap, tapping here and tap, tapping there like my mouth was a xylophone and he was playing Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting.  “Does this hurt?  How about this?”  After a lengthy examination, he pulled down his mask and said, “Yeah, I can fix this.”

The confidence in this one is strong.  I like it!  I was worried he would pull all my teeth and send me for dentures, which is one of my worst nightmares.  Your whole face collapses and you suddenly look like Whistler’s Mother even if you’re still in your teens – which I’m not.

He said, “Begone!  Come back in two days” at which time he would do Dua Magic.  And he did!  He built an entire eye tooth out of fairy dust and sunshine!  It’s brilliant!  I stop and look at it in the mirror a couple of times a day, turning this way and that so the light shines on it.  Even better?  He called me a couple days later to ask how my Magic Tooth was doing!  In my excitement I accidentally said, “I love you.” Which I do but maybe he was creeped out.  It’s a totally platonic love, Dua.  No need to move to another city and change your name.

He tackled the infected Asshole Molar right after Christmas.  He drilled it out and cleaned out the infection, gave it a stern talking-to, then filled it with some temporary stuff – probably toadstools and Hobbit feet – so it will hold until my Dental Coverage kicks in again in April.  That’s when the Dua Plan kicks in.  He knows exactly which tooth will receive the Dua Magic next, and I find that comforting.  Also, he called me a couple days later to check up on my Hobbit Tooth, which is wonderful.  I managed, in the nick of time, to keep my affections to myself.  And it wasn’t easy, Dua.

So, now I’m working on a dental clinic VooDoo doll (for the old clinic) which is harder than you would think because where do you jab the pin?  I could jab the receptionist but unless she’s the actual owner of the clinic it wouldn’t be fair.  And I don’t want to jab the Dental Assistants because they, like Nazi soldiers, were only following orders.  So where does that leave me?  They have rotated at least 5 Dentists through that clinic in the past 5 years and I can’t remember them all.

Well, I suppose I’ll just send special wishes to Universe regarding the old clinic.  I’m not too bitter, but I’m still annoyed enough to take reasonably aggressive action.  Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t risk messing with Universe because that can easily backfire.  Waiting for Karma can be a lengthy proposition, though.

PS:  Don’t even think about relocating, Dua.  It takes no time at all to make a VooDoo doll for you.

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The ground under my feet shifted on December 23rd.  Not literally, of course, but something moved and my soul moved with it.

As you know, Mim (my amazing daughter) got married on that day.  When Mim arrived at the church, her father (Stanley) and I made our way downstairs to the staging area.  When we reached the bottom of the stairs and saw her…….time stopped.

Where did this gorgeous creature even come from?  I looked at Stanley and saw my awe reflected on his face.  He said, “She looks like Princess Ariel!”.  And she did!  I said, “I can’t believe we made that!”

And there was that moment.  Thoughts that had been waltzing around my brain for a couple of years suddenly coalesced into a brilliant moment of clarity.  My family circle had holes that needed to be filled.

I looked at Stanley again and my heart hurt.  We’ve been so awkward since we separated but all the negative feelings have long since fallen away.  Stanley found Mildred and I found The Viking and we’ve all created wonderful lives for ourselves.  And there I stood, looking at our daughter, falling in love with Stanley all over again.

Skreeeetch!!  Not like that!

Stanley and I are connected.  We each hold a small piece of the other’s heart.  There is kindness and respect and a deep love that will last until we die.  We just weren’t meant to love like married people love.  Instead, we were meant to love like only the very best of friends can love.

The question then becomes ‘How do we go from awkward and weird to Hygge* Friends?’  My last encounter** with Mildred was sort of tricky.  What we need is copious amounts of booze to rub off the rough edges and lubricate the Hygge.  OR!  Moderate amounts of Akvavit because that shit is like a truth serum.

So, on December 30th at 2:00pm, the Julefrokost began.  There were six of us – Junior and his girlfriend, Stanley and Mildred and The Viking and me.  It was sad that Mim and Kevin couldn’t come – they were both very sick and making the 4-hour drive in freezing weather was beyond their capabilities.  We missed them both terribly, but the party went on as scheduled.

The Viking, Junior and I were the only seasoned Julefrokost-ers at the table so you would think we would break the Newbies in gently.  You’d be wrong, though.  It was Trial by Fire, Baby!!

We started off with Pickled Herring on rye bread topped with onions and boiled egg.  Take one bite and shout SKÅL!!, a shot of Akvavit with a chaser of beer.  I must confess, that first shot of Akvavit is a killer.  My right eye slams shut and my left starts to water.  My mouth contorts into an alligator smile.  My throat burns and I can’t breathe for about 15 seconds.  Then my entire body shudders and an involuntary moan wheezes out of my nose.  I was so busy trying to survive my own first shot that I have no idea how Stanley and Mildred did.  Apparently, they were fine because no one was on the floor when I finally stopped gasping.

Mildred & Stanley

As the courses progressed, we all became increasingly tanked.  I kept spilling things (it’s what I’m good at) but Mildred was fast on her feet fetching the paper towels.  I blame the Akvavit because Stanley started gesturing with his shot glass to emphasize his verbal points and we all thought he was Skål-ing so we shouted and drank.  I was even trying to just sip my shots but it didn’t matter.  I’m just happy I didn’t have a repeat of two Julefrokosts ago. Don’t ask.

Stanley demanded Honorary inclusion in The Viking Club, and after a short visual conversation between The Viking, at the other end of the table, and myself, we granted his wish.  He & Mildred were embracing the Julefrokost better than anyone I know and so deserve it.

The conversation went from “How’s the weather on the hill?” to “We want to go to Europe.” to “We should go to Europe together!!” to “Gawd!! I love you guys!”

The Viking and Mildred bonded and Stanley and I sashayed down Memory Lane.  We marveled at Mim’s Wedding and reminisced over vacations past.  It was beautiful!

The next morning, though, I was a wee bit nervous.  I hoped I didn’t need to ‘Apologize For Anything I May Have Done While I Was Drunk’.  I thought Stanley and Mildred enjoyed themselves, but in the sober light of day will they ever come back?  So, I handled it the way any rational human being would – I called my son.  I pumped him for information so hard he finally had to tell me to ‘RELAX!!  It went great!’  When Mildred accepted my friend request on Face Book I was thrilled!

Princess Mim called two days later and demanded to know if this will be a new family tradition?  The Viking and I certainly hope it will.  There will be plenty of other occasions together so we may as well do it as good friends. Junior was very happy to see both his parents sitting at the same table, enjoying each other’s company and Mim was sad to have missed it.  We’ll just have to do it again.

Besides, if Kathy & I are friends we can be Back-Up Labor Coaches in the delivery room (Mim’s not pregnant yet but I can dream, can’t I?).  You know….in case Kevin passes out or something.  One on each side.  Stereo encouragement!  I’m sure Mim will appreciate it.

In the meantime, the holes in my family circle are filling up.  How blessed can one woman be?


*A Danish word for spending time with loved ones, being cozy and calm.

**Click that link to read “Is That You, Mildred?”

Superman and Spanx

At one point in my life I was an Extrovert.  At least I think I was.  There is a significant amount of evidence to suggest I might have been a badass Extrovert as a youngster.  I’m not that anymore, though and the only explanation is that my inner Extrovert was ambushed, tortured for several decades and killed by my inner Introvert.  The war happened so slowly that I really wasn’t conscious of it.  It took one well-timed meme on Facebook and I was suddenly confronted with the reality that I’m a total and complete Introvert.

Under normal conditions this isn’t a problem.  We work and live at home so there are entire days where I don’t need to see anyone.  It’s lovely.

However, this past month has been filled with occasions where I needed to leave my dark cave and intermingle with other humans.

Mim and Kevin got married on December 23rd and I was forced to dress up and smile and shake hands.  There were a few awkward moments when my brain locked up and I was concerned I may need to run.  Like when Kevin’s Dad introduced himself as Kevin’s brother and I looked at Kevin and then at the guy in front of me and what I wanted to say was, “Get the fuck out of here!  You’re too old to be his brother!”


And then conflicting thoughts started:

Maybe their parents had too much love for just one kid and by the time they realized it the first love-child was already in his twenties.  It happens and I’m not judging.  In fact, it’s lovely.

Maybe they have different mothers but the same horny father.  This, too, happens and it’s nothing to be worried about.

Maybe the older one fell out of the sky as a baby, making a huge crater in the middle of Russia, and then crawled for months without food until a nice farm couple found him and raised him as their own.  And then he realized he had super powers and logically decided to become a reporter with the Daily News as a cover for his Super-ness.  Maybe I’m standing here with Clark Fucking Kent!  What does one say to Clark Kent?  What’s the etiquette?  I hope he doesn’t expect a curtsey because I am way past the point where a curtsey is a curtsey but rather an awkward slow fall to the floor.  But he’s fucking Superman – he can just pluck me up and put me back on my feet again like nothing ever happened.  And, I bet he can really get the lid off a pickle jar in a hurry, too.  He probably doesn’t even shout about how I managed to get the lid on the pickle jar so tight that only Superman can get it off because he IS Superman so no harm, no foul.

Fortunately, for both of us, Kevin’s Father correctly identified the emotions racing across on my face and took pity on me.

And then there was the woman who looked me up and down and decided I didn’t meet her standards.  So, I frowned and looked her up and down and decided she didn’t meet my standards.  Apparently, she’s not the kind to back down so looked me up and down again.    I retaliated with another look up and down but with a bigger frown.  And then she did it again and I did it again and then The Viking decided he should break up the war before someone’s face got stuck in a sneer for eternity.


When it came time to dance I was happily sitting at my table, minding my own Introverted business and suddenly Kevin showed up.  I said that Mim promised I wouldn’t have to dance.  He said he didn’t make any such promise and if it would make me feel any better he wouldn’t twirl me around.  I said that was probably the best idea he had ever had in his entire life.  That scenario was full of terrible possibilities, most of them ending with me on my back, my dress up around my ears and my Spanx letting go.


I ended up in Emergency again, on Christmas Eve.  And the second Emergency waiting room was packed with only two seats available – one squished between two guys and one beside a lady, but her husband’s wheel chair was blocking access.  My Introvert didn’t even pause.  It said “Fuck this shit!  I’ll stand in the hallway!”  But then the lady noticed me and recognized my Introvert because she said, “Come over here and sit beside me, dear.”

I loved her in that moment.

The ultimate test of my Introverted-ness came when we hosted a Julefrokost (a Danish Christmas Feast) on the 30th for my kids and my ex-husband, Stanley and his wife, Mildred.  Stay tuned because that’s my next post.