Friendly Referrals

After the thirty-minute drive over and an hour-and-a-half wait in the reception area, Miranda thought it would be difficult to explain to the doctor what was happening to her.

Surprisingly enough, when her turn came she was able to spill it out to him in coherent sentences.

The doctor nodded quietly. He made the appropriate eyebrow arch at all the appropriate junctures in her long, sad list of complaints. He wrote furiously on an imposing metal chart. Miranda felt like a deflated balloon when the secrets she had been keeping were finally out.

“Well Doctor, what do you think? Am I a lost cause?” She giggled self-consciously, thinking maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The doctor leveled a stare at her from across the desk. His demeanor suggested her condition was grave.

“Miss Moron, I’m afraid you have a very bad case here. If all you’re telling me is true, I’d venture to say you have a stage-three progression of Simian Dorsal Syndrome,” he said. The doctor paused, then continued, “Quite frankly, I’m not sure how to go about treatment from here. I’m surprised you haven’t sought professional help before now. Surely you had an idea?”

“Maroon,” said Miranda.

“I’m sorry?” The doctor was obviously confused by her strange answer.

“Maroon,” said Miranda. “My last name is Maroon, not Moron.”

“I apologize Miss Maroon. An office typo,” said the doctor. His pen grated across the metal chart, obliterating the mistake with a single line.

“Doctor, I don’t understand what you’re saying. What’s wrong with me? In layman’s terms, please.” Miranda realized the pleading nature of her voice and checked herself.

The doctor leaned over his desk. He pointed a long finger in the general vicinity of her right shoulder.

“Quite simply put my dear, you have a monkey on your back. And a rather large one, at that.”

Deep down inside Miranda had known it all along. She didn’t need a professional to tell her about the ailment. She only needed the confirmation of someone other than herself to make it real. She felt it, gripping her by the nape of the neck, pissing down her back, dirtying her sheets at night with foul feces. It was the reason she didn’t sleep well, the lump under her pillow, the monster in bed with her.

A goddamn monkey.

Miranda gathered up her purse and stood to leave.

“Thank you very much, Doctor Smug. I appreciate your time,” she said.

“Sums,” said the doctor.

“Excuse me?” Miranda was confused by his response.

“It’s Doctor Sums. Sums is my last name,” said the doctor.

“I apologize, Dr. Sums. Didn’t read it right on the card, my mistake,” Miranda said.

As she turned, Dr. Sums called out, “What exactly do you plan on doing about your ailment, Miss Maroon?”

“Dr. Sums, we have established that my name is not Jane Goodall,” said Miranda, “I’m going to do what any sane person would do. I’m going to kill it. I’m going to kill it, I’m going to wash my sheets and I’m going to sleep for a week.”

She opened the door to the world outside, refreshed and ready to conquer. Miranda made a mental note to herself to recommend Dr. Sums to all her friends.

It was monkey-killing time.

Eula Bell and Beauregard

(Please note: This is not like anything else you’ve read on my site thus far. This is my true love – weird, offbeat and somewhat terrifying fiction. Feel free to leave suggestions. Thanks!)

Pt. 1

Eula Bell’s tips for moist chocolate cake and goblin-killing.

This morning I made a rich and delicious triple-layer chocolate cake. I finished icing it right before I stabbed my neighbor, Beauregard Bagman, between the eyes with the very butter knife I used to frost my beautiful cake.

Not many people know this but mayonnaise is the secret ingredient in chocolate cakes.

I doubt anyone in the village but me knew my neighbor was a filthy goblin but I jabbed him between the eyes with a silver butter knife and began the process of allowing the goblin-gas to disperse from his human-like skin-bag anyway.

The butter knife and cake recipe were passed on to me by my grandmother, Alva.

The goblin intuition is my own.

As I wait for his screams to subside (which aren’t screams at all, but the off-gassing of a very angry goblin who has had their skin-bag pierced with a sterling silver butter knife) I’ll reflect on the times I’ve caught Beauregard in cahoots with the devil.

I’ve seen his tail with my own eyes.

I wasn’t spying, it was his own fault for shambling out to the end of the driveway in a flimsy bathrobe to retrieve his morning copy of the Manson Village News a month ago. I just happened to be taking my morning stroll with Mr. Fiddlesticks, my feline companion and the best judgement of character you would ever want to know, when we walked up on Beauregard in his less-than-properly-dressed status.

His response to my cordial greeting was to hiss at Mr. Fiddlesticks as he whirled away, off into the dim light of dawn towards his front door. And let me tell you, even the dim light of dawn couldn’t hide that scaly tail flapping behind him as he rudely raced off without so much as a, “Hello.”

Then there was the time Mr. Fiddlesticks brought home a rancid bat carcass and Beauregard retrieved it from my trash can in the dead of night. Apparently, goblins aren’t up on the latest ‘Ring’ doorbell technology that captures video of movement beyond the back door.

Of course, the crescendo of our relationship began when he had the audacity to come to my back door in partial goblin-form, right out in broad daylight. I had no other choice than to plant my butter knife squarely in the center of his grotesque forehead, immediately upon answering the door.

My goodness, it’s taking an awfully long time for all his goblin-gas to escape. I’m going to have a piece of cake while I wait. Later, I can burn the skin-bag and be done with this silliness.

Pt. 2

Beauregard Bagman’s tip on surviving butter knife attacks from crazy old women.

Did this bitch really just plant a butter knife into my skull? How the actual fuck can an old lady be that strong? I mean, she did have the element of surprise and a downward angle, but fuck, this butter knife is sticking out of my fucking skull.

Maybe she really is a witch.

She’s standing there watching me look cross-eyed at this fucking butter knife like she’s waiting for something else. Here’s an idea for something else. Help me, bitch.

I’m paralyzed from shock and possible brain damage – the only things moving are my eyes and my bowels. I’m actually glad I shit on your porch. If that’s the last thing I do in life, it was worth it.

Who the fuck is screaming? Is that me? Wow. You’d think she’d at least be alarmed by the screams.

Wait, what is she doing? Is she really putting that goddamn cat out here and closing the door? That cat is the reason I have to wear an asthma mask outside of my home. It’s the reason I came over here in the first place, to tell this crazy old bitch to keep that goddamn cat away from me.

That fucking cat prowling around my property is the reason I need a C-pap machine at night.

That fucking cat stole the model in my bat study that was part of a dissertation I’ve worked on for five fucking years. I had to dig in the crazy bitch’s trash can to get it back.

Fuck that cat.

Hold up, I think I can move again.

Oh yeah baby, I can crawl.

I’m crawling. Fuck that cat, I’ll punch him if he comes close to me. I’m crawling back to my house and I’m calling 911.

Fuck that cat.

Pt. 3

Eula Bell’s cake is so delicious, it brings visitors from far and wide.

Me oh my, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I make the best chocolate cake in all of Manson Village. There’s nothing more satisfying than a slab of delightfully rich cake and a tall glass of cold milk.

The screams stopped about half-way through my cake-break. Now that I’m done goblin-killing and cake-eating, I’ll invite Mr. Fiddlesticks back inside to finish my glass of milk. We’ll drag the skin-bag to the back of the property and burn it where we’ve burned the others.

We’ve been in Manson Village a very long time. We don’t like outsiders, especially when they’re goblins and such.

Oh look. The sheriff is here. He probably knows I baked a cake.

Photos by Polina Tankilevitch on

China berries and the pressure cooker of death

I was extremely fortunate to live close to my grandparents when I was a child. I spent many summers enjoying the shade of Granny Benton’s magnolia tree with my cousin Che’ Boy, dodging bees and china berries my Uncle Flip would wing at us with a sling shot from the branches of that evil damn berry tree.

Che’ and I spent endless hours walking in opposite directions on a dirt path around Granny’s house with no purpose other than to high-five each other when we met each pass. Of course, there were things to do along the way, like pick figs for Granny to can in the pressure cooker of death, or pluck Catawba worms off the Catawba bush for Uncle Flip and Uncle Bruce to go fishing with.

Che’ Boy’s daddy went to Vietnam, and we weren’t really sure where that was, but we knew it made his momma cry a lot. We were happy when Uncle Danny came home, but then they had to go to Germany and Che’ Boy was gone for a long time and Granny was sad again.

Grandad would load me up into his old, green pick-em’up truck for trips to the Western Auto and Piggly Wiggly. I sat in grocery buggies with ashtrays attached to the handle, so Grandad could rest his Winston cigarette directly in my face while making his full-fat-full-flavor ice cream choices. It was the 70’s, man. I didn’t wear a seat belt, either. Part of the fun of going to the store with Grandad was standing beside him on the bench seat of the pick-em up truck. It was magical.

Not everything was as magical as rides with Grandad. I dreaded canning season, the time of year when we were used as child slaves to snap more damn beans than the world could consume, and deal with the terrors of the pressure cooker of death.

Granny and Grandad owned the house I spent summers in for probably 50 years or more and there was never a time in which I can remember there not being an explosion mark on the ceiling of the kitchen from the pressure cooker of death.

This fucking thing was monstrous. It hissed and steamed and spit hot water like a cobra. And for a week at the end of each summer, it never stopped scaring the beejeezus out of everyone involved with the yearly canning process.

Close to the end of summer break, my entire extended female family would go to the farmer’s market up in Atlanta with the pick-em’ up truck and load that thing with enough stuff to can for six families to eat all winter. For a week after that, it was chaos, bean snapping and canning – and the fiery dragon of death pressure cooker that blew up at least once a year.

Of course, the grown-ups had us scared silly of it. I was afraid my hair would catch on fire if I got close to it. My Aunt Chiquita burned the skin off her finger messing with it. She had a blister that excused her from dish-washing for a month, so everyone teased her about doing it on purpose.

(This is still questionable, because the amount of dish-washing during canning season was almost as horrifying as the pressure cooker. Granny and Grandad had five kids; they never needed an automatic dishwasher.)

I hated canning season back then. I didn’t grasp why we couldn’t just buy a damn can of peas at the Pig instead of doing a week’s worth of manual labor to save twenty-nine cents. I didn’t realize then that those memories would be the emotional flotation devices I would rely on later in life to navigate stormy seas and fragile mental health.

I am so thankful for the memories and the people who made them with me. A lot of them have left the mortal coil, like my Great Aunt Peggy, who was tall, and terrifying and said “shit,” a lot. She was magnificent. She and Granny would conduct that kitchen like maestro’s and every time the pressure cooker blew up, Aunt Peggy would yell, “Shit!” and everyone would scatter.

The menfolk were never in the kitchen, but they did sit around the dining room table in the evenings, cleaning, trading and talking about guns. Of course, most of the gun stuff inside the house ended after the late John Dees accidentally shot a hole clean through my Granny’s new stand-up freezer. All the mommas yelled at John for being careless and the men took their guns elsewhere.

Granny put a piece of packing tape over the hole in the door of her freezer and the damn thing ran for another 20 years, long after John Dees passed from cancer. He was lucky my Aunt Peggy didn’t skin him alive when he discharged a firearm in a house full of people, but she was busy checking the pressure cooker to make sure it hadn’t exploded again.

It was a dangerous, wonderful life during the summers at Granny and Grandad’s. By today’s helicopter-parenting standards, every adult involved would have been arrested for child endangerment, when in fact it was life enrichment. We survived. We figured things out and we entertained ourselves. We drank Kool-aide made with real sugar and water from a backyard hose. We ate canned meat and stood in the sunshine for more than 15 minutes at a time.

And we had it good. Except for the exploding pressure cooker. Fuck that thing.

Who wore short-shorts in 1974?

Photo by julie aagaard on

The answer is – everyone. But only one is burned into my memory like no other.

The resident “Pool God” of Four Winds Apartment Complex wore short-shorts. They were cut-off Levi’s, short enough for the bottoms of his pockets to hang well below the frayed denim that barely covered his ass.

By 1974 standards, this dude was cool. His shoulder-length hair had golden Sun-in highlights that set off a tan he worked on every single day the pool was open during the summer. He strolled in barefoot with a Marlboro red dangling precariously from his lips, naked, but for his Levi short-shorts and a beach towel casually draped over his shoulders.

All the kids knew him, all the kid’s moms knew him and my Aunt Nina, who happened to be 17 years old and pretty dang hot herself, made it her business to get to know him.  Aunt Nina came to visit and baby sit me for two weeks while momma recuperated from an operation, which actually meant pool day all day every day and I was in heaven.

The feeling was apparently mutual because as soon as Pool God arranged his towel on his favorite reclining chair, he slathered his special tanning mix of baby oil and iodine on his chest and strutted around to the shallow end, where I was playing mermaid and Aunt Nina was being coy while not getting her long, perfectly straight, perfectly parted and gorgeously glossy head of hair wet.

They made small talk about the water temperature and sunshine while I was flopping around and splashing, like little kids do. I decided to get closer to hear what else they might talk about, so I stealthily swam underwater to the edge where Aunt Nina was flirting, and the Pool God was really digging it.

I popped up my head just as Pool God squatted down for more conversation with the very foxy Aunt Nina. Unfortunately, Pool God did not wear underwear beneath his short shorts, so his free willy was free to fall out the leg of his shorts when he squatted down. Just for a stunner, his full ball sack plopped out shortly thereafter, completing a horrific scene of parts I could not even begin to understand as a young child who had only briefly seen my dad naked as he ran from the shower to his bedroom with his hands covering what I now knew to be the weird things that just fell out of Pool God’s pants.

No wonder he covered them. They were hideous.

I don’t know if my Aunt didn’t see it, or she did and acted like she didn’t, but they just kept chatting like the guy hadn’t just let his junk escape out the leg of his short shorts.

I seriously thought there was something wrong with him. I was horrified. I couldn’t decide if he’d pooped a hairball or what the hell was going on, but I was beyond the capability of speech to ask why the hell he had a glob of hairy skin and a Vienna sausage in his pants.

I silently slipped underwater, away from the very confusing scene happening right outside the left leg hole of Pool God’s short-shorts. I counted to 10, which was just long enough for Aunt Nina to wonder where I was at. (She was a flirt, but a great babysitter, and always my favorite.)

Nina excused herself to find me and Pool God finally stood up to readjust his Vienna sausage hairball mess so it wasn’t on display for the whole world to see.

“Aunt Nina, there’s something wrong with him,” I whispered to her, after she beckoned me out of the water for a rest break.

“What do you mean, sweetie? Did he say something to you?” She asked.

“No, I think he pooped his pants or something. We shouldn’t get in the pool after him, it might float out of his britches,” I said. I was worried about disease a lot when I was little, it was a tool my mother used frequently. (“Honey you NEVER touch raw chicken. It will give you worms.” Consequently, I was 40 before I felt comfortable touching raw chicken. Worms ain’t no joke.)

Aunt Nina, who was then and still is one of the coolest people to ever walk the earth, patted my head and laughed. She agreed that we shouldn’t get in the pool with him or after him, but I think her reasons had more to do with the free-floating junk that may be on display more than poop.

We went home and she fixed me peanut butter sandwiches because there’s nothing like peanut butter sandwiches after a morning of swimming in the hot sun. (I’ll fight you over that one.)

All was right in the world again, and the Pool God left us alone, but I still to this day despise short-shorts.

“I’d Rather Have A Pet Octopus.”

Love being a part of the LOL site. Thanks again!

Little Old Lady Comedy

I’m not sure I can adequately describe how shocking the phrase, “Oryou can have a mastectomy,” is to someone who has had a pretty great relationship with her boobs her whole life.

They never really bothered me, fed my babies, held my clothes up. All normal anatomical functions for healthy breasts. Even at 51, when they’re not so perky and hard to buy a comfortable bra for, I have no ill will towards my boobs. They don’t define me, but they certainly make it easier to find dropped M&M’s when I’m cramming my stress-eating face with chocolate.

“You have breast cancer.”

Boom. There it was, out in the open.Breast cancer. I knew it before he said it, but it’s my nature to bristle and posture instead of scream and cry.

“What? No way! I never order cancer here, it’s always undercooked. I’d like to see…

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Have a nice bidet

So, I may have drunk-Amazoned myself a bidet. Pretty sure I had it in the cart the last time I was wall-eyed and on the interwebs.

I blame the advertising, and wine, for making it seem like the most enticing thing in the world to have an icy jet of water shot directly into my asshole post-poop. Not to mention the eco-friendly use of clean, potable water instead of paper, because when the world ends we will apparently need toilet paper more than drinkable water.

I don’t make the rules, I just drunk-Amazon after evaluating the general scheme of things.

When the “Spray Away Bidet” arrived, I failed at convincing my husband that it might have been a gift, or a mistake. We once got a $200 Amazon gift card that didn’t belong to us out of the blue, why not a bidet?

“Hey, look at this thing. It came from Amazon – it might be a gift from someone. It’s a bidet,” I slyly slipped this into the conversation we were having about Oreo cookies and the abhorrence of Oreo Thins. I pulled the box out from behind my desk.

“Why the fuck did you order a bidet?” He said, like I knew he would.

“I don’t think I ordered it, it might be a gift,” I persisted.

“You ordered it. I’m not using it.” He said.

“Why the hell not?” I asked, gliding right past the fact that I had indeed ordered a bidet and it was not a gift or a mistake.

“Does it have a heat feature?” He asked.

“Ha! You would really be pissed if I had ordered the heat option. It costs hundreds of dollars,” I countered.

“See, I knew you ordered it. You had to if you know that. I’m not using it, but I’ll install it for you,” he said.

Considering this a win, I artfully steered the conversation back to Oreo cookies and let the bidet issue sit for the moment.

To his credit, he tried to install it on the toilet closest to my office, but something was something and cuss, cuss, fuck, it was back in the box.

The ever-elusive bidet continued to elude me.

Fortunately, my husband leaves me alone with an abundance of tools for long periods of time. (It’s called ‘working outside the house’ and it sounds awful, but someone has to do it.)

I really didn’t plan on installing the bidet myself until I had to fight with the cat to use the toilet. This is a habit my cats have; they drink toilet water regardless of the 97 bowls of water strategically placed around the house in areas where I kick them over at least three times a day.

I got the bright idea that I could probably cut it back to maybe 30 bowls of water on the floor if I just left the bidet on trickle for the older cats who fall in the toilet occasionally when the water table is low. Also, I wanted a bidet.

Have I mentioned that? I feel like it’s a secret no one talks about. I talked to a few people before I may or may not have ordered the thing and they were like, “Oh yeah. I’ve had one since the pandemic began. You’ll never go back.” I feel like this information isn’t shared enough. I also feel like we should probably figure out how to drink toilet paper when the world ends. I think I mentioned that, too.

I digress.

I had a little more trouble installing the bidet than I thought I would. I also spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning the back of the toilet and marveling at why we don’t have herptafluffalupugus from the funk that had accumulated.

Moment of truth. I sat down, slowly turned the adjustable water flow knob around to medium/high and waited for my life to change.


Aaauugghh! I didn’t turn the water to the toilet back on and I quickly realize that two shot shoulders make it entirely impossible to reach behind myself far enough to reach the stupid water valve while I am sitting on the toilet.

I stand up, bend over, put my face three inches from the bidet, turn on the water, forgetting that I have the bidet pretty much wide open on fire hose-status.

I lost half my eyebrow and a large portion of sight in my right eye. Even worse, the cat was knocked off his perch on the tub, where he sat watching me fuck up his favorite water source. My hopes of having a kitty water fountain/bidet were immediately dashed as the cat now has very hard feelings about being jettisoned off the side of the tub in such an undignified way.

But I’ve got a bidet, y’all. I’m one of the cool kids.

Photo by Markus Spiske on

Reflections and realizations

“I’ll never be like Gran.”

My Gran was obsessed with her dogs.

Mind you, this was cool when I was a kid and A.C., the snake-killing chihuahua, was the center of her world. A.C. patrolled Gran’s property with precision and took no shit until he was too ancient to make it from the dog bed to the window.

Gran grieved A.C. for a long time before she finally got another dog. Thus, the “white poodle” stage of this story begins, where she lost her damn mind over the worst dog in history. To make it even worse, she named him Toby.

Toby was by far the most horrible animal that has ever lived. He barked at his own doo-doo, let snakes into the house and ate Ferragamo boots like they were Kibbles-n-Bits.

My Grandmother adored him.

Toby’s favorite thing to do was find ink pens to chew holes in so he could drag the leaking ink through, over and on every fabric item in Gran’s house.

She bought him pen-shaped toys. She took him to Krystal for hamburgers. She yelled at us for yelling at Toby for peeing on our bags when we visited her.

My beloved Gran and her beloved Toby have both passed through the mortal coil. Toby went long before Gran, but she replaced him with an equally offensive white poodle named Charlie, who is also gone.

In retrospect, we had no right to judge Gran’s awful dogs. They were her boon companions. We learned to love all creatures great and small (except snakes) from her example of loving imperfect creatures who happen to both be white poodles.

That being said, I still vowed never to be so smitten by an animal that I would allow it to destroy my home. “I’m never going be like Gran,” I said.

Flash forward 30 years. (Forget the fact that I’m over here feeling nauseous that things I reference happened thirty years ago and just read the story.)

I’m in my own living room, cleaning up what can only be described as the messiest art project ever, created by our 10-month-old hound puppy, who went from being a precious, fweet, little baby to a holy freakin’ terror about the same time he became giant.

The giant terror somehow got a bottle of Modge-Podge from God-only-knows-where and squeezed it all over a pile of shredded cardboard he obtained from the recycling bin. He then ate and slobbered lovely decoupage piles on the rug and I’m not going to mention his confetti poops that came later on.

Instead of being infuriated, like I should have been, I found myself feeling guilty for not entertaining him enough to keep him out of trouble. “Oh no. Is the fweet baby bored?” I asked the dog. “Is him want his busy box? Mommy has a pork chop to cut up for your treats today,” I cooed, as I scraped Modge-podge off the carpet.

My husband, who was getting ready for work because he must (gasp) leave the house to work, listened to me basically praise the dog for being a horrible brat. He didn’t say anything until he noticed the turkey-shaped butter statue I had set out for the cats to enjoy like a festive saltlick.

“Did you really buy a turkey-shaped chunk of butter for the cats?” He asked.

“Uh, it’s Thanksgiving this week, duh. Yes, I did,” I said as I cut up the pork chop I promised the dog earlier.

“Is that my pork chop?” My husband asked.

“Is this the fucking Spanish Inquisition, or what?” I snapped. “I promised that pork chop to the dog.” I said, as I broke up tiny pieces of Milk Bones and hid them in the sheds and tatters left of the dog’s toys so I could pack his busy box full of delightful surprises.

“Ok, I’m leaving,” said hubs, “Try not to act crazy where the neighbors can see you. Love you!”

“Love you, too,” I said, distractedly, as I filled hollow bones with peanut butter to pack in the busy box.

I love my animals. But I’ll never be a nutty as gran.

Easy Ollie

(And now for something completely different. I worked in nursing homes as an aide, and then an LPN for more than 10 years. I try to write funny things about it, but not much about dementia is funny. I have a great deal of respect for the people I took care of – even Mr. Mustard, who did not do it in the dining room with a candlestick, but did drive me and my colleagues nuts when he went on his screaming fits at three-o-clock in the morning, right after everyone finally went to sleep. Remember these people, and the people who take care of them. Give them respect and understanding, they deserve it.)

Warm piss. The smell of fear. Moaning from dark corners, piteous enough to never be considered rapture. This is a bad place, a place where nightmares are born and re-played, over and over again. He knows he has to get away from this place, or he will be consumed.

“Ollie? Oliver? Mr. Oliver, it’s time for breakfast! Let’s get you all dapper for the day!”

Sunlight. Blinds are opened, strangers whirl around him. This is the daytime dream. It’s not as bad, he can see the gloved hands before they touch, some gentle and patient, some rough and hard. He imagines the skin on the heart guiding those hands to be the same. The strangers chatter to one another, making plans for a day he has no say so in.

“I love taking care of Ollie, he’s so easy – oops, looks like he had an accident last night. He’s just wet, we’ll get it with his toileting care – let’s move him to the potty chair.”

Just like that, he’s lifted out of bed, on to cold plastic, naked, shivering, confused. The strangers keep calling him by a name he doesn’t know. Who is Ollie? Didn’t he know an Oliver, a long time ago? He struggles to ask, but he doesn’t remember how to make words. He grunts, tears of rage forming. This is the part of both dreams he hates the most.

“Hey – put in the notes that he’s constipated. He’s grunting so hard his eyes are watering, and nothing’s coming out.”

More gloves. More hands. Warm, soapy rags, strangers touching the most private of his parts, chattering, incessantly chattering about someone named “Oliver.” As if by magic, he’s dressed and sitting in a chair with wheels, a chair he will spend his day in, wishing he had the power to roll it into oblivion and be done with these dreams.

“See? He’s super-easy to do. That’s why I always start with him. Ollie’s a champ. Aren’t you Ollie?”

He wonders for the millionth time if he knows Ollie, as his chair with wheels is guided through antiseptic hallways by chattering strangers to the day room, where he is parked and sits with the others who are “easy to do.” He wonders if any of them are Ollie.

Notes on manifesting familiars (and other bewitching tips)

Considering the current pandemic situation our coven quilting bee scheduled for the November 30th Beaver Moon has been cancelled. Stay home with your familiar, they should be sufficient in any spells requiring two witches to bind your magic into holiday gift projects. Be safe, wear your masks and hopefully we will merrily meet in person again soon. Blessed Be!

“Holy shit,” said Lilith. “Limp! Look at this message! I can finally bind my own magic without getting big-eyes from one of the Becky Home-ecky witches who can sew a straight line!” Lilith was elated by the thought.

“I can’t read,” said Limp, Lilith’s beleaguered familiar, “As a matter of fact, I don’t really know how I can talk, since I don’t have a mouth,” she said.

“It’s ESPN. Hahaha! Get it?” Lilith guffawed at her little joke. She loved referring to ESP as ESPN.

Limp did not laugh.

“You’ll understand my jokes when you get used to me,” Lilith said to a still-silent Limp.

“I don’t think so,” said Limp. “I’d appreciate it if you’d send me back to the dumpster you conjured me from,” she asked, for the hundredth time since Lilith manifested Limp as a familiar.

“Look, I can’t help it if every other bored intuitive person on earth decided to take up Witchcraft during the pandemic,” explained Lilith, “Pickings for familiars are slim right now,” she said.

Lilith went on, “I wasn’t really that good at it to begin with and when we started Zooming the coven meetings, I fell behind.”

The admission was no surprise to Limp.

“That might explain the “how,” Lilith, but it certainly doesn’t explain the “why” you don’t send me back,” said Limp.

“I’m lonely,” admitted Lilith. “There’s this here pandemic on and it’s just crazy,” she whined.

“Lilith. I’m a rancid boneless chicken breast from the KFC dumpster on North Main,” said Limp, as emphatically as a rancid chicken breast could.

“But you’re a self-aware rancid chicken breast, Limp. And you have a name. That’s an accomplishment,” said Lilith.

“You named me Limp, Lilith. Would you like to be called “Limp” your entire self-aware existence? I think not,” pontificated Limp, in a very self-aware manner.

Limp continued, “I’m also deteriorating. If you don’t send me back, you’ll soon have pile of smelly goo as a familiar,” she said.

“I bound you with a no-smell spell, so ha. Got ya’ there,” sniped Lilith.

“You did not bind me, Lilith. You have a head cold and a stuffy nose,” said Limp.

“You’re pretty lippy for a breast,” said Lilith. She again guffawed at her own joke. Lilith never ceased to think herself hilarious.

Limp did not laugh.

“Please Lilith,” she said, “My destiny was to feed the ground from which I came. You are denying me my righteous path,” said Limp, clearly more self-aware than ever.

“Ok, I get it,” Lilith conceded. “But can I just throw you in the yard instead of taking a chance on fucking up and sending you to the moon, or something?” asked Lilith.

“In light of the extraordinary circumstances with the pandemic and all, I think that’s a fine idea, Lilith,” said Limp.

After releasing Limp into the night (by throwing her out the back window) Lilith vowed to take better notes on summoning familiars.

In the meantime, she’d adopt a cat.

Federal inmates make clear they will sue if slander continues

Federal inmates have come together to fight the social media slander surrounding the growing chance of a Donald Trump prison term and the general public’s assumption that they, the federal inmates, might rape, pillage or otherwise whore him around the pen – if and when he gets there at all.

“I find it abhorrent that just because I robbed a federally insured bank people automatically assume I would rape Donald Trump if the occasion were to come available,” said senior organizer, Les Terdiddit, in a recent and possibly imaginary telephone interview with this writer.

Terdittit brought the group together to pool resources within the inmate community, in efforts to secure an attorney to take on the case. Who exactly will be sued remains a mystery, but they are steadfastly committed to the effort.

“We’re serious about this,” said co-organizer and former money-launderer for the Gambino crime family, Tony “Three Fingers” Bangbimbo. “The thought of touching that guy is enough to make a former hit-man, I mean money launderer, shiver.”

In an effort to spread the message far and wide, Terdittit and Bangbimbo formed the Penmates are not Playmates, (PP) and they plan to have their friends and family on the outside help spread the word.

Linda Slavenship, warden of Neverhapened Federal Penitentiary had a quick response for the inmates, who are restricted from any social media at all.

“Look, we can’t have a bunch of PP’s out there waving lawsuits around. They’re federal prisoners, and PP or not, they’ll abide by the rules,” said Slavenship.

There’s no film at 11 because our amps only go to 10, but you can bet your sweet ass I’ll be following along. Keep it tuned here for all the PP updates.