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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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?”

Izzie – Making Friends One Bitch-Slap At A Time

Shit!  I’ve been outed!

Last night, Mom called for Teddy and I to come home.  She does it every night and most of the time we comply.  Every once in a while though, we are in the middle of something and we just can’t make it home.  She locks us out and we can’t get in to eat and poop until morning but that’s a price we’re willing to pay.  Sometimes.

Last night she called us a few times.  And then Peter – that dirty, rotten stool pidgeon – calls back to Mom….

“Are you calling for a little black cat?”

Mom:  Yes.  Have you seen her?

Man:  I see her all the time.

Mom:  Really?

Man:  Sure.  She’s a beauty.

Mom (incredulous):  Hasn’t she swatted at you?

Man:  Oh sure!  She swats at me all the time!  But I have bird feeders and she likes to lay under a tree and watch them.  She never catches them though.  They are too smart for her.

Mom had walked down the sidewalk by now and could see the guy that she was talking to0.  He was watering his lawn.

Mom:  Wow!  I had no idea!

Man:  She has a pretty bell and tag so I was sure someone loved her.

Mom:  Yes, we do.  I’m just surprised that she’s made friends with you.  She hates everyone.

Man:  She was in my basement day before yesterday.

Mom:  WHAT?!  She was in your basement?

Man:  She somehow got the screen off the basement window and was sitting on my washing machine.

Mom:  Oh my Gawd!  I am so sorry!

Man:  No worries!  I just let her out the front door when she was ready.  I saw her a while ago, really early in the morning, like 5:30 or something and she was hanging around my front door.

Mom:  That dirty cat!!  She wouldn’t come home so she had to stay out all night.  But that only happens once in a blue moon.

Man:  I was pretty sure that was the case but I went and bought some cat food and I put it out for her now.

Mom:  Wow!  Thank you for looking out for her, even though she tries to kill you a lot.

Man (laughing):  No worries.

Mom:  I’m Lori, by the way.  I live in that house there.

Man:  I’m Peter.  Nice to meet you Lori.  Don’t worry about Izzie.  I keep an eye out for her.

Mom:  Nice to meet you too Peter.  Stop by some time for a coffee.  We run a business out of our home so we’re home all the time.

Peter:  Thanks.  I always have coffee on too.

Mom:  Well, I hope to meet you in the daylight sometime.

Peter (laughing):  Same here.  Oh, there she is!  Good night.

So!  Now she knows!  She told The Viking all about it and he started laughing like an idiot.

They think they’re so smart!  Ross, the guy across the back alley, tattled on me for taunting his dumb dogs and now when they start barking Mom hollers “Izzie!  Leave those dogs alone!”  Ross wanted to be friends but I nipped that in the bud with a good Saa-lap!  I’m only here to bully your dogs!

But then, my collar got caught on the fence and my beautiful beads snapped apart.  Ross brought them to Mom as proof and now I have to wear my baby collar and it’s hideous.

Then there’s RJ and Stephanie who live next door; they are okay I suppose. I like to run through their sprinkler when RJ is watering his lawn.  It’s best when I get really wet and then come home and walk all over Mom’s paperwork.  She loves it.  And again, RJ wanted to be friends but I gave him a Saa-lap! too.  I’m only interested in getting on your garage roof so I can bully the neighbor’s cat!  His kids are a different matter.  I kind of like short people; they don’t tower over me so much.

On the other side of RJ is a guy who wanted to be friends.  Saa-Lap!  I’m only interested in bullying your ginger cat!  The guy told The Viking that I was a bitch.  Me!  A bitch!  Asshole.  Apparently they like Teddy but Teddy won’t get anywhere near other people.

My point here is that I don’t mind people if they just let me do my thing. And once Mom finds out what I like doing, she suddenly doesn’t want me doing them.  So, now I will have to be super vigilant so she doesn’t find any of my other hang-outs.  A girl needs her own places, you know.

Oh!  A Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!  Go ahead and appreciate me.


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The Completely Viking Wedding

So.  I’m no longer living in sin.  I’ve been legalized.  Gone is my hippie rebellion against the norms of tradition.  My naked, mutinous ring finger is naked no longer.

Almost three weeks ago at 11:00 in the morning I rejoined the Wife-Force.  I was a little belligerent about the whole thing if I’m honest.  I’m not going to obey The Viking!  I’m not going to let him boss me around!  He’s not the head of the household!  And I’ll decide when and how much I’ll honor him depending on his behavior at any given moment and not because some official tells me I have too!  Because I was happy as a sinner!

And because I was busy ranting against Wife-dom in my head, I forgot my bouquet at home.  We were half way to the ceremony when I said “Ahhhh fuck!!  I forgot my bouquet!”  And now I’m going to be late for my own wedding.  I muttered all the way back home about the stupid trappings of an obsolete institution that has kept women in subjugation for centuries.

When we finally arrived at the park, an itty, bitty, teeny, tiny woman marched to the car like a miniature Stalin.  I hadn’t met our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss before this moment and, quite frankly, I didn’t know they made them so small.  The top of her head barely reached my chin!

She took one look at me and started chanting soothing words and platitudes.  “You made it.  That’s great.  Take a deep breath.  Let it out.  Take another breath.  Let it out.  This is your special day so enjoy it.  Concentrate on your love.  Your soon-to-be husband is a wonderful man and he’s waiting for you.”

I thought, “Don’t tell me how wonderful his is!  I’ll do the deciding around here!”

But he was waiting for me and he is wonderful.  He was smiling and his face said “Take it easy.  It’s going to be fine.”

My face said “I’m not going to be a great wife, you know.”

His face said “I already know that.”

My face said “Thank Gawd!” and “Can I have a Lemon Gin and Tonic now?”

His face said “Soon, but not right now because it would break a couple of laws and might anger our miniscule Commissioner of Wedded Bliss.”

We held the ceremony under the trees beside the Bow River in Bowness Park.  It was a pretty place and convenient and we didn’t need to make reservations or pay an exorbitant fee.

We had only just begun the ceremony though when a helicopter came buzzing in low from the east.  Someone said “It’s the Paparazzi!!”  Our Commissioner of Wedded Bliss looked annoyed because this was a solemn occasion and no place for jokes!

I further annoyed her because I couldn’t figure out where she wanted us to stand.  In my defence, she kept moving.  She would stop and stand still so The Viking and I positioned ourselves in front of her, facing each other, and then she would move somewhere else.  Every time she scurried I would lose her behind the drape of my jacket.   It was like a Marital Musical Chairs game except there weren’t any chairs and there wasn’t any music.  This wasn’t supposed to be so difficult.  Stand still for fucksakes!

And then two young ladies floated by on the river in a raft and Brad pointed at Junior and yelled “Single man here!!”  Then one of the ladies in the raft shouted back “Single girl here!”  The Commissioner sighed heavily and gave Brad the Stink Eye.

Rafters at the Wedding

When it was time to make our vows to each other……. “OH MY GAWD I’VE LOST MY VOWS!!!”  I started patting myself up and down and turning in tight circles, there was a pressure in my head and my vision started to blur.  The Viking was standing there, his vows in hand, more than a little alarmed.  Just before I passed out, someone calmly touched my arm and handed me my vows.  The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss was chanting “Take a deep breath.  Take your time.  Take a deep breath.  Take your time.”

We finally made it through the vows.  I lost my shit twice but everyone just stood there and waited for me.  That’s the thing about having only my closest loved ones at my wedding – they already know me and expect their patience to be tried.

There were other comments and more laughter and the Commissioner’s make-up began to settle in scowl lines around her eyes.  She had a few more things to say about marriage but, to be honest, I wasn’t really listening because I was married.  Again.  Holy. Fuck.

Me, The Viking, Annette and Erik

And everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  Mission accomplished and no one had to go to the hospital.

Once she had completed her duty, The Commissioner of Wedded Bliss sprinted to her car, shouting over her shoulder that she would file the paperwork.  This was, in all probability, the least solemn and dignified ceremony she had ever attended.

And then it was time for pictures.  Ugh!!  A gaggle of young women in spandex and baseball caps came through like Olympic Speed Walkers and Brad wanted to get them in the pictures.  More rafters floated by, unintentionally photobombing us.  The Paparazzi made several passes overhead, forcing the photographer to shout her instructions.

We climbed among the rocks, sat on a bench, hugged, kissed, smiled and smiled some more.  All the while I couldn’t help thinking “Where in the hell is my Lemon Gin and Tonic?!”

The Viking kept saying “Be careful, Babe!  You’re going to fall!” every time I had to move to a different rock.  Junior and Erik had their hands out, ready to catch me at the slightest wobble.  All I could think about at that point was the Sponge Paper Towel commercial with the Sponge Guys surrounding the kid with a huge jug of orange juice.  And that made me laugh (maybe a bit hysterically) which made me wobble even more.


However, I didn’t fall, didn’t break a leg/arm/finger nail and we all made it back to the house for a big Danish Feast.  My part in this thing was finished, but it didn’t stop me from trying to interfere.  The Viking kept sighing deeply and shoving me out the door to sip my drink in the shade.

Erik & The Viking served up the most delicious Danish Feast ever and Annette created a beautiful table to serve it on.  We were surrounded by people we love and were feeling like the most blessed couple on the planet.  And then the Completely Viking Wedding came to a crashing, shouting, screaming halt.



The Feast Table

Because Brad turned our Wedding into Fight Club.  It took us days to come to grips with all the carnage.  We had been under the strictest orders from Mim to be especially kind to Brad because they had had a fairly severe fight the week before.  So we did our best to ignore his bullishness throughout the day.  It was all for naught though, because he couldn’t have killed the Wedding faster if he’d brought a machine gun.

I’m in knots about it.  I’m ashamed that my new sister, Annette, was treated so disrespectfully.  I’m embarrassed that Junior’s friend was witness to the whole debacle and even our neighbors heard the shouting and screaming.  I’m furious that our Wedding was ruined.  And I hate the taint on what should have been the happiest day of our lives.  I’m particularly enraged at the position Brad put Mim in.  She was as embarrassed and ashamed as the rest of us but he weaselled his way out of any accountability; trading on her love for him in order to forgive what he did to us.

We’ll be asked to get over it, to refrain from bringing it up so he doesn’t feel like it’s hanging over his head for the rest of his life.  The memories we have will be less important than his feelings no doubt, and we’ll try to do it because we love Mim.  Maybe had he come with a sincere apology it would have been easier but that’s not what we received.  We received a belligerent, narcissistic declaration that negated any responsibility on his part.  He breezed into our home, said “That conversation shouldn’t have happened last night!” and then breezed out again.

Out of the ashes though were a few salvageable memories.  The love and laughter we shared with everyone else was lovely and we’ll cherish the fact that they were here with us on our Wedding Day.  Junior’s friend turned out to be a great girl and we consider ourselves lucky to have met her.  I hope she’ll come back sometime so we can show her what we’re really like.

So, there were some redeeming moments that we will try to focus on instead of the shitty way the day ended.


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The Viking Invasion


Erik and Annette arrived in Edmonton smiling but exhausted while The Viking and I were almost jumping up and down with excitement.  Almost.  Because it’s unbecoming for Double D boobs to start flapping around in crowds – someone, other than myself, could get hurt and The Viking’s little jiggles would offer little distraction from my epic display.  So we waited impatiently without jumping.

Then, through the sliding doors, behind a fussy little guy with a mountain of luggage, I caught a glimpse of Erik.  “THERE THEY ARE!!!”  The Viking pushed me out of the way so he could verify the sighting – like they were Yeti’s and I couldn’t be trusted with visuals.

We spent the night in a hotel near the airport then drove back to Calgary.  The following day would begin the ‘Victoria or Bust’ Vacation/Honeymoon Tour.  My legs were shaved, exfoliated and smeared with the best lotion available in the hopes that British Columbia sunshine would give them even the faintest of tans.  My legs are tan-resistant, always glowing in the dark like they belong to a damned Vampire.  Oddly, my feet tan just fine.  I’m pretty sure I know why though.

“Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my boobs, my legs shall fear no sunburn: for the great boobies protect them from UV rays.  Bugs will bite and thorns will scratch but no burn will afflict mine legs.  Surely their whiteness shall beam for all the days of my life.”

Um…… where was I?  Oh yes – travelling.  It didn’t take us more than an hour and a half to completely corrupt Annette with Canadian food – Tim Hortons to be exact.  A breakfast sandwich, a large double/double coffee and Tim Bits ruined her for life.  And we didn’t do it just once either; we shoved that shit down her throat for a week before The Viking and Erik decided we had to stop with the Tim Bits.  The breakfast sandwiches were still okay in their opinion but Annette and I would be starved of the doughnutty deliciousness until further notice.  It was only on the final leg back to Calgary that the Doughnut Police finally decided we could have Tim Bits again.

“What. The fuck. Is that?!” Annette and I wanted to know when they showed up with coffee and a teeny, tiny, miniscule little box of Tim Bits – like they were for Ken and Barbie or something.  The Viking was beaming like he was offering us gold bars while Erik nodded his participation in the offering.

The Viking:  We thought that since this was the last day of our road trip we would treat you with Tim Bits.

Me:  Did you do the math on this?

The Viking:  The math?

Me:  Yes.  The math.  There are 4 people in the vehicle and 20 Tim Bits.  That means we only get 5 each!

The Viking:  That’s enough, isn’t it?

Me:  Oh, it most definitely isn’t enough!  It might be months before I get Tim Bits again and you’re rationing us?  What is this?  War time or something?  What if I put you on a licorice diet?  Only allowed you 5 pieces of licorice once a day?

The Viking:  That’s not the same thing at all!

Me:  Yes it is!  Erik and Annette brought you 83 pounds of candy from Denmark and that might have to last you for 2 years.  It’s totally the same.

The Viking wouldn’t cave but Erik decided to watch his man-ly figure and generously donated his share of the Bits.  Annette and I split them between us because The Viking didn’t deserve any more.  I then proceeded to give him the stink eye all the way home.

We graced Vancouver Island with our presence for 3 days then we headed to Pentiction where we would tour Wineries and lay on the beach.  That was our intention, but it didn’t actually work out that way.  We hit one Winery, only stayed at the beach for an hour and a half before it clouded over, took a ride on an old historic train and got drunk a lot instead.

We did play Mini-Golf but Erik was like some sort of Pool Shark except with golf balls.  Sure, he was humble while we were playing but when he announced that he beat all of us by a minimum of 6 strokes he couldn’t hide the Victory Grin.

I asked, “Is anyone else suspicious that the guy who kept score is also the one that won the game?”  The last laugh was ours the next morning though when Erik developed painful Golfer’s Wrist; we had to find a splint to immobilize it.  What cost the price of Victory?

After Mini Golf we went to a Chinese Buffet and the true difference between how the Danes treat Buffets and how Canadians (at least this Canadian) treat Buffets were glaring.  Annette, The Viking and Erik carefully perused the food and picked out Fishy Stuff.  I perused the food and picked out the stuff I liked and put it on my plate.  Back at the table, my plate was full while their plates held only a few things.  They all finished their first course and returned to the Buffet for their next.

I sat nibbling on my chicken balls, watching the progress of my companions.  It took a moment for what I was seeing to sink into my brain.  The Viking was first, Annette was second and Erik was bringing up the rear.  Their movements were perfectly synchronized!  They all took one step to the right in precise unison.  They all put something on their plate (the hand movements were immaculately synced) and took another flawless step to the right.  They repeated this amazing show the whole way around the Buffet!!  This performance would have captured them a Gold Medal if it was an Olympic Event (we should make this an Olympic Event).  No swim team could have matched the precision.  They returned to the table, in-step, with a military precision Korean soldiers would envy.

“Um….I don’t know if you know this but that was an incredible display of The Buffet Shuffle.”  I said.  “I was completely entertained.  Well done!”

Apparently they had never heard of The Buffet Shuffle so I had to explain the intricate steps and movements involved.  I’ve been to a lot of Buffets in my life – my father is a huge fan – but I’ve never seen the Shuffle done so well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get my phone out and record it until it was too late.  Equally unfortunate was the fact that when I went up to get another dumpling the only person I had to Shuffle with was a very tall, very skinny guy and he was more interested in the Ginger Beef than Shuffling.  I did try though, but had to stop when he caught me trying to match his movements.

We gazed at mountains and glaciers, tramped through a forest, Erik watched whales and the rest of us communed with nature at The Butchart Gardens.  We toasted bikers, toured a Miniature Land and browsed 317 gift shops.  We saw the Hope Slide, the Enchanted Forest, Fisherman’s Wharf and a Water Fall that used to be free but now isn’t.  Erik and The Viking drank Beer with Clamato Juice and Ceasars with abandon and then had the trots.  They didn’t believe me when I told them it was the Clamato Juice so they had the trots for much longer than they needed too.  Annette and I polished off two bottles of Lemon Gin and didn’t get the trots at all.

Most importantly, we had HYGGE.  In abundance!  We just spent time together and laughed and talked and were a family.  It was one of the best times of my life.  You know how sometimes you spend time with people but after a few days you want to shoot them in the face?  Well, this wasn’t one of those things.  It was bliss instead.

We arrived home to two very love-y cats who refused to let any of us out of their sight for two days.  That was fine because we had only a day and a half to prepare for my Wedding.  Thank goodness Annette is a brilliant Hair Stylist.  Also thankfully, she is a calm and serene island in the middle of my Stress Mess.

…..Stay tuned for My Completely Viking Wedding.

Just Like Us






It has become evident that The Viking and I have rubbed off on our cats.  You might think that would be a good thing, especially if we are competent at using a litter box, but it’s probably not.  It appears they are picking up only our bad habits and personality disorders.

When Mim brought her two kitties (Dexter & Lucy) for a visit all 4 cats got bent out of shape.  Despite having spent quite a bit of time together (and playing!) in the past 6 months they act like they’ve never laid eyes on each other before.  Every human got at least 2 Stink Eyes from at least 2 cats.






And then………Everycat started Kung Fu Fighting.

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Lucy was the most committed.  She takes her Kung Fu very seriously.  Izzie was a close second because she, too, enjoys the occasional Kung Fu Free-For-All.  Blizzards of slapping happened with staccatos of trash talk.  They are both lovely ladies but I’m pretty sure there were a few ‘fucks’ thrown around and perhaps a little body shaming in between the lightning-fast bitch slaps.

In the meantime, Dexter and Teddy thought they should be doing something.  Dex made the first move – a half-assed slap aimed slightly to the left of Teddy.  Teddy sent a quick poke that fell far short of Dex and that was that.  Dex sort of went “Aw…fuck it!” and took over the top of the spare fridge.  Lucy finally decided that she’d had enough of the opening skirmish and took over the top tier of the Cat Tree.

We humans started nodding our heads going “that went well”, genuinely pleased with the social skills of our Clowder.  Mim and Brad had to leave for a few hours so The Viking and I were the referees should anymore conversations break out.

Eventually, the house settled into quiet.  So quiet, in fact, that I became a little suspicious and went to check on the combatants.  Teddy was humped up taking a poo in Dex and Lucy’s litter box while Izzie was rolling all over their blankets.

“Our cats are now Passive Aggressive!”  I said to The Viking.  “That’s exactly how we would handle an unwanted invasion into our territory.  You would poo in their suitcase and I would spray something smelly on their bed.”

“Why would I be the one to poo in the suitcase?”

“Because that’s definitely a guy thing to do.  Besides, you’re a better pooper than I am.”

Mim and Brad came again this past weekend and our suspicions were confirmed.  Once again, Dexter took over the top of the spare fridge and Lucy commandeered the top tier of the Cat Tree.  Izzie – she’s the brains – and Teddy wandered down the hallway, probably intending to poo and roll again but something else presented itself.

The Viking and I were watching a movie when we heard a loud rustling of plastic.  I went to investigate.  Both cats had ripped open Dexter and Lucy’s treat bag and were busy munching.  When they saw me coming both cats started to eat faster and faster.  By the time I rescued the bag there were only 3 treats left.

How can I be mad when they are doing exactly what we would do?  The Viking and I would totally eat their treats.  And make yum-yum noises as we did it.

I’m fairly certain that Teddy pooped in their litter box at some point and Izzie rolled all over their blankets again but I didn’t actually witness the crime.  Izzie did camp out on the floor in front of the Cat Tree – an “I dare you to come down, Lucy” sort of thing while Teddy took up a position in front of the fridge.  He was less effective because he is on pretty good terms with Dexter.  You have to give him points for his solidarity to his sister though.

So, now I’m wondering if The Viking and I need to be setting a better example.  When someone comes to the front door I have to admit that I’m a little standoffish but I’ve honestly never got into a bitch-slapping fight.  Okay….there was that one time I almost did but I managed to use my words to drive the person off the step.  And to be fair, they were trying to sell me a vacuum cleaner and dumped dirt all over the front door mat.

I suppose I could be more welcoming.  I could offer refreshments and stale cookies.  Would that make the cats better about welcoming their cousins?  It’s doubtful.  The damage is already done, precedence has been set, a routine established.  A change in tradition might cause more harm than good because cats get crazy about changes to the rules.

It’s settled then.  I don’t have to be any nice-r to people bothering me at the front door and The Viking can still poo in suitcases if he doesn’t like the company.

Is it dangerous?

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers.  Tell a story based on the picture below in 100 words or less.


“Just a peek for now, we can’t risk being seen.  Poor Jacques learned that the hard way.”

Pascal’s eyes grew round.  “Is it dangerous?”

“Not if you know what you’re doing.”  Louis boasted.  “Relax!  I’m the best!”

“Um……okay.”  Hesitantly, not totally convinced.

Louis grinned mischievously.  “You’re not in the country anymore, cousin.  This is the city – you can find anything you want!”

“Is there cheese?  I love cheese.”

“Only about 10 different kinds!”

“And toast?  Toast is wonderful.”  Pascal’s tummy rumbled.

“Let’s grab a nap now so we can eat all night!” Louis said, his whiskers dancing in anticipation. 

-100 words

Special thanks to Roger Bultot for the cool photo and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.

For more short stories, click the button below.

Me And My Demon

Oh.  Hey.  Welcome to Coffee.

Yes, I am a little depressed.

Because I’m the worst Villain in recorded history, that’s why.

Well, it was my birthday on the second of April and The Viking and I celebrated it like we usually do – getting drunk and telling each other our inner most feelings.  We then further celebrate for two more days by lying around the house with hang overs.  It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it works for us.  No, that’s not why I’m depressed.

I’m depressed because I noticed something.  Maybe it was because I was kind of drunk or maybe it was one of those random things that suddenly occur to me.  Whatever the reason, I realized it when I was dishing up the Birthday Cheesecake.

I have a Demon.  And it’s evil.  But such a sissy evil that it may as well not be evil at all!

You see, the tip of the first piece stuck to the tip of the second piece and that second piece was my piece!

I made that determination before I ever began dishing it up.  I would serve The Viking the first piece and I would take the second piece, because I’m generous like that.  There was no way I could have foreseen this eventuality.  But now his piece had a jagged, square tip instead of the nice point and my tip had a bite-sized raggedy knob jutting off to the right.

I should carefully and surgically remove the extra tip from my piece and stick it back on his piece.  That’s the proper thing to do.  My angelic side voted for this immediately.

But wait!  Let’s not be hasty here.  The Viking isn’t even paying attention.  He would be none the wiser if I pinched the end of his piece into a tip.  I could still remove the extra bit from my piece but then eat it quick so he wouldn’t notice the discrepancy.  He’s drunk.  I’m drunk.  I think I could pull it off.  He wouldn’t see that my piece was bigger than his piece, especially if I tilt my plate a little bit to obscure his view.  The Demon voted for this option before I was even done thinking it.

The Angel disagreed.  No.  Put the tip back on his piece.

But it’s CheesecakeStrawberry Swirl Cheesecake!

Under the rules of the Jungle possession is 9/10th of the law, you snooze you lose, what happens on the counter stays on the counter, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, waste not want not.

On the other hand… unto others as you would have them do unto you, once a thief always a thief and what would Christopher Walken do?  Hmm….maybe he’s not a good subject because I have a feeling that Chris would eat the entire Birthday Cheesecake and leave without saying a word.

But I gave The Viking the bigger pieces of fish the other night because I know he loves fish more than I love fish even though I was just as hungry as he was!  And I let him take more potatoes last week!  I always give him the bigger share and I’m happy to do it!   That should buy me a little bit of Karma.   I even let him drive my car.  Unsupervised!  All the time!

However, maybe Karma gave me the tip of The Viking’s Cheesecake because I always try to do the right thing.  Maybe it’s a reward and if I give it back it could be misconstrued.  I think there is a rule out there, somewhere, that to ignore a gift from Karma is insulting and she may never give me a gift again.

I might have given in to the Demon at that point except the Angel brought my attention to a recent event that wasn’t my most shining moment.


A few weeks ago I split my Easter Bunny Poo with The Viking and there was an odd number of Poo Pieces so someone had to take that last one.  He was so busy watching TV he didn’t notice that I took the last one.  I felt guilty about it, but it’s not like it was licorice!  I would have given him the last licorice because I know how much he loves it.

What if I used all my stored-up Karma by eating that extra Poo and this is a Karma-y test?  That would be just like Karma!  Use Easter Bunny Poo against me.  That’s the problem with these ephemeral concepts – you never know what is going to come back and bite you in the ass.

“Do you need a hand, Babe?”  Said The Viking.  Apparently my ruminations were taking more time than I thought.

“No.  I was just thinking.”

He knows better than to wade into that trap.  In the end, I took the extra tip off my piece and put it back on his piece and served it before I could change my mind.  So my Demon is such a wuss it couldn’t even win me an extra bite of Cheesecake!  And that’s fucking depressing.

But who knows?  Maybe this one little thing will let me win the Lottery?

Thanks as always to Part-Time Monster and Nerd in the Brain for hosting Weekend Coffee Share.  You guys rock.

An Alarm Certificate, Testosterone and Apologies

Happy Weekend! If we were having coffee I would have to explain that I nearly destroyed 2 generations of one family this week. Without even trying. It’s just that easy for me.

It’s time to renew our company insurances, you see, which is stressful, to say the least. Luckily, we have an Insurance Broker Super Hero – Teri-Lynn. This year she pulled off a miracle and managed to get all our insurances under one provider which saves us a huge chunk of change! I only needed to contact our Alarm Company to get an Alarm Certificate and if I could get it quickly Teri-Lynn could submit it with all the other paperwork.

Three phone calls, one to a real person and two to answering machines, in 24 hours accomplished exactly nothing. So, I tried a different point of contact, hoping for better luck. I sent an email to the Alarm Company’s Contact Us page.

Dear Customer Support,

 My Account # is **-**** and my name is Lori *****.  My phone number is ***-***-****.

 I need an Alarm Certificate for Insurance purposes and I’ve made 3 attempts to get this certificate in the past 24 hours with zero success.  I’ve spoken with a real person once who assured me she would send one yesterday, and then I’ve left 1 message for Neem(?) and then another message in a generic mailbox.

 With that in mind, there are 3 things you should probably know about me.

 1.  I am 3 years 5 months and 23 days into menopause.

2.  My husband is a Viking.

3.  My Insurance Broker makes people cry.  Including me.

 These things may not mean much to you at the present but my lack of success in obtaining an Alarm Certificate is about to set off a chain of events that may impact you.

 First, my Insurance Broker is going to lose her shit because she has tomorrow off and how hard can it possibly be to get an Alarm Certificate?  Second, The Viking is going to hear my Insurance Broker lose her shit and he’s going to grab his Axe and Shield and start hollering curses and gesturing in my general direction (it’s actually as scary as it sounds).  That, in turn, will increase my stress which sets off Hot Flashes from Hell, extremely itchy skin and copious amounts of tears.  And then I’ll frantically call you over and over again, leaving louder and louder messages.

 I understand that you are probably a busy person and I’m sorry that I have to be so forthright, but an Alarm Certificate shouldn’t be this difficult to get.  I know you have my email address because a) the lady from yesterday read it back to me, b) I receive emails from you all the time that I never read and delete quickly and c) this note is being sent to you from my email.

 So, I’m appealing to the sweet, efficient person in you to please help me avoid all this drama and send me an Alarm Certificate.  Especially since I accidentally broke the arm strap on the back of The Viking’s Shield and haven’t had a chance to fix it yet.




15 minutes later I received this email:


I will have the cert sent to you today.

Please start reading my emails you might just find them entertaining

Sean (from the Contact Us Page of the Alarm Company)

Uh!  Oh!

 7 minutes later, I received this email:

Hi Lori,

Please find the attached certificate below.

 Thanks  Reem (the woman I left messages for at the Alarm Company)



But the thrill of success wore off eventually and I started thinking about poor Sean. In my campaign to get that damned Certificate I completely relegated Sean to a Meaningless Person of No Consequence. If I had thought about it for a brief second I might have considered that the regular emails I get and delete weren’t sent by a computer at all but by an actual human being. Maybe Sean really likes his job, it fulfills him, makes him feel needed and respected and then I come along and totally destroy him!

Or maybe he has a wife and children he’s grooming to take over the business of sending monthly updates and offers to customers? I might have wiped out the dreams and aspirations of two entire generations of one family!

I really suck!

Well, I can’t leave poor Sean and all the Little Seans to wallow in defeat. I will make this right!

Dear Sean,

 Apparently, in my laser-focused quest to acquire my Alarm Certificate, collateral damage occurred. I feel terrible about that. I’ve heard of Collateral Damage happening, usually in times of war, but never thought that I would be the cause of it during peace time.

 I’ve given this considerable thought since I received your email and I think I may have found the reason for my thoughtlessness.


You may not know this but as men age their testosterone levels drop and their estrogen levels rise, which explains why old guys pull their pants up so high – they are looking for their feminine waistline. And just as age affects men, it also affects women (which sucks because I am one). As a woman ages, she produces less estrogen and begins producing more testosterone which is why old women buy so many tweezers – it’s for plucking chin hair.  I know this for certain because I felt a fucking whisker on my chin while I was in the middle of writing my plea for an Alarm Certificate.  And once a woman feels a whisker on her face her entire focus shifts to the immediate removal of the offending whisker. 

 Being 3 years, 5 months and 24 days into menopause, my testosterone levels must be higher than I realized.  I did one of those tests on Facebook to see if your thinking is more feminine or more masculine and I scored 90% Man and only 10% Woman.  I asked The Viking if I’ve been more man-ly lately but without the expletives I’m not sure what his grunted reply indicated.

So, in absence of better scientific data I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and apologize for my thoughtless words.

 Please accept my profound apologies. In future, when I receive an email from Alarm Company, I will read it thoroughly. I’m sure I will enjoy them immensely. I would also like to send you some Maple Brown Sugar Cookies as further proof of my regret. I would offer Chocolate Chip cookies but, to be honest, Maple Brown Sugar Cookies are my favorite and I would just make a double batch, send you half, and then drown my sorrow in the other half.



I think that should do it. I accepted full responsibility, right? UPS delivers cookies don’t they?

So, how was your week? Did you almost destroy anyone by accident?

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for Hosting The Weekend Coffee Share.

This Food Smells Like Shit!

Welcome to Coffee. Leave your shoes on – there’s litter everywhere. I swear to Gawd the little beasts have a fertilizer spreader loaded with litter and they spend the whole night distributing it. Here, let me move a cat so you can sit down.


Sigh. Having a Clowder of Cats is not as fun as you might think. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I know Mim is excited that between us we have a good sized Clowder, but living with four cats has its challenges.

For instance, food……

Dexter: Eww! This food smells like shit!

Teddy: What? I LOVE this food! It’s better than anything I found on the streets.

Dexter: It’s shit. I can’t eat that.

Teddy: But this is organic with no chemicals and fillers.

Dexter: So it’s organic shit with no chemicals and fillers.

Lucy: If Dexter doesn’t eat it, then I won’t eat it.

Teddy: Fine by me! I’ll eat it.

Lucy: Okay. I’ll eat it. It’s not that bad, Dex. And I am hungry.

Dexter: Not one piece of that will pass my lips.

And then there’s the challenge of Poopers……

Dexter: Hi. I need to poo

Izzie: Hi. That’s irrelevant to me.

Dexter: There’s a pooper behind you that, I believe, I’m supposed to use when I visit.

Izzie: That pooper? That’s my pooper.

Dexter: May I use your pooper?

Izzie: No.

Dexter: So where am I supposed to poo?

Izzie: That, too, is irrelevant to me.

Dexter: I’ll just wait until you leave and then I’ll poo in your pooper.

Izzie: I have nothing else to do for the rest of the day.


Dexter: Thank Gawd! Another pooper!

Izzie: That’s my pooper.

Dexter: No. That other pooper is your pooper. This pooper is for Lucy and me because you won’t let us poo in your pooper.

Izzie: Nope. It’s mine too.

Dexter: You can’t have both poopers!

Izzie: Why not? There’s no rule saying that I can only have one pooper.

Teddy: Is anyone going to eat this last bit of food?

Lucy: I really, really need to poo. Please, can I use this pooper?

Izzie: No.

Lucy: But I really have to poo!

Izzie: Irrelevant to me.

10 minutes later…….

Izzie: Oh, you are in trouble now! A poo on the carpet! You’re a dead cat walking. Haha!

Then it was the Cat Castle……

Lucy: Wow! That’s a fancy-shmancy palace.

Izzie: It’s mine.

Lucy: Lucky you! I think the very top platform is perfect for me.

Izzie: No it isn’t.

Lucy: Sure it is. I’ll just try it out.

Izzie: Didn’t you hear me? I said…..slap…’s….slap…..mine…..slap.

Lucy: You’re not very nice.

Izzie: That’s irrelevant to me.

Lucy: Oh, come on! It’s more than big enough for all of us.

Izzie: Yes, it is.

Lucy: So? Can I have a nap on it?

Izzie: No.

Teddy: Yeah. She won’t let me on it either. I feel your pain. It’s so close, yet so far away. I left a little food if that helps.

The worst challenge by far……

Izzie: Did you just let my Mom pet you?

Dexter: Yes. And it was lovely. She’s a great petter.

Izzie: She’s mine.

Dexter: That’s irrelevant to me.

Izzie: Really? Is….slap….this….slap….irrelevant….slap….to….slap….you?

Dexter: Hey!

Izzie: Never let my Mom pet you! Ever! Slap, slap, kick!

Teddy: Mom gave me a brush last night and it was amazing.

Izzie: WHAT?! She brushed you?

Teddy: Yup! By the way…are you going to eat those leftovers?

Izzie: Don’t ever let me catch you getting a brush again!

Teddy: She’s my Mom too.

Izzie: No she isn’t. You’re just something she dragged home.

Lucy: She scratched my chin last night.

Izzie: WHAT THE HELL?! You too?! Gawd!!

The challenges are not confined to the cats. We suddenly have hairy dust bunnies the size of Grizzly Bears. There’s hair everywhere! I went to buy groceries the other day…..

Nice Lady: I love your coat! Is it cashmere?

Me: No. It’s cat hair.

Nice Lady: Oh! Ew!

But, the thing is, it all turned out fantastic-ally. After the blizzards of slapping tapered off, and the chases morphed from terrifying to fun, and they worked out the poopers, they ended up liking each other.

Even better? Teddy and Izzie have become friends. Mim and I were totally excited when Teddy started licking Izzie’s face. Of course she was repulsed at first but then she must have decided it was not un-pleasant. She even gave him an experimental lick while Mim & I did a quiet happy dance.

Thanks for coming for coffee. I needed some human contact. Here’s a lint roller. No, take it with you – cat hair will turn up for days and you’ll probably need it.


Thanks, as always, to Part-Time Monster.