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Posts tagged ‘comedy’

WHAT EMMA TAUGHT ME

When I met Emma, she couldn’t pour her own cereal because she destroyed the kitchen. The whole place would have scattered cereal and spilled milk everywhere. It was like the Tasmanian Devil got hold of the Cheerios.

We’ve come a long way since then. She makes her own breakfast now. Having mastered that she’s moved onto bigger things–teaching me stuff, which is not as easy as it sounds. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Sandwiches do not need condiments. You taste the meat and cheese so much better. You get the essence of the unadulterated flavor.

The Review tab takes you to Spelling and Thesaurus in MS Word.

Coconut oil is great for your hair. It makes it shiny and soft. Note: A little goes a long way.

How to change the interior car lights to different groovy colors—a car feature I had no idea existed.

Ice cream in a cup is better than in a cone if you’d like it to stay solid when it’s a hundred degrees outside.

It’s fun to surf the floor in your socks. You need to watch your speed. Wood floors are hard. In the event of an emergency landing do the butt.

Chicken wire and manure have many uses. We won’t go there. Layce is still mad about it.

Recorder players are cool. Now, I am a record sniffer-outer in flea markets, antique shops, and thrift stores. Buying records facilitates a dialogue with others.

You can’t be lost if you’re still in Oklahoma. (Also, all cows look alike. You can’t use them as landmarks.)

She taught me that it is possible to crack the screen of your laptop by tripping and falling. I have experienced this myself. It’s alarming.

She taught me that you really can lose your glasses in a hay maze. I keep mine in sight at all times, most times, okay, there have been slip-ups.

It’s okay to wear a wig.

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LEAVE IT TO BEAVER

“We can’t go that way,” I told Emma. We were walking home after the belly dancing show in the park.

“Why not? It’s shorter,” Emma said.

“Because of the beaver.  I can’t deal with it. I tried to call the city to pick it for two days now.”

“Is it dead?” Emma asked.

“As a door nail.”

beaver

“Remember when you used to keep track of the dead animals we’d see on our road trips?” Emma asked.

“I had to stop doing that. It was too traumatic and I was concerned I’d start stopping to bury them.”

“Didn’t you have a character in one of your books that did that?” Emma asked.

“It was in my Family Affair trilogy. Chase did it. She couldn’t  bear to watch a beaver or any other animals get squished and taken to parts unknown in the tire treads of all the cars that will run the poor things over. And neither can I. If your mother hadn’t had stellar reflexes we would’ve high-centered the Jeep going over it,” I said. I was so busy worrying about the beaver that I didn’t realize we’d arrived at our street.

“Come on, you can do it,” Emma said.

“I can’t look.”

“Just pull your shirt over your head like you do when you watch scary movies.”

“I only do it when there’s a lot of blood, or needles, or dark hallways leading up to closed doors or…” I stopped. Evidently, I did wear my shirt over my head a lot. “Oh, all right. You’ll have to lead me past the beaver because I won’t be able see.” I pulled my shirt up over my eyes.

We got past the beaver without incident. At the top of the hill, Em told me it was safe to come out. I pulled my head out of my shirt. “What did the beaver look like now? Was it smooshed, dismembered, and lying there as a reminder of the complete disregard for the sanctity of a dignified death?”

“I don’t know.”

“How can you not know?”

“Because it wasn’t there.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me? It’s hot under my shirt.”

Emma just smiled.

“Does this have anything to do with my comment on your room?”

“You mean the one where you called it a cesspool of teenage funk and disarray?”

“Sounds familiar,” I said.

“Then, yes.” She looked at me and grinned.”Paybacks are hell.”

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THE BIG TRIP, Part One

I slapped a fat manila folder down on the table. “It’s finally done. Now we can go.” I was thrilled.

“What’s this?” Layce asked, gingerly picking up a corner of the folder as if what’s inside might leap out and snap off a finger.

“It’s the history of Hot Springs, demographics, weather predictions, must-see sights, morning walks mapped out, the best place for coffee and lunch, a list of all available hotels and their amenities, coupons, more maps, and reviews I want to compare to see just how people come up with those snippets on TripAdvisor, and a detailed packing list of all the things we’ll need to make our trip a success. Do you have any questions concerning your packet?”

“Huh?” Layce asked.

“You need to read all that so you’re prepared for our trip. I’ve included photos so you can get the feel of the place. See,” I handed her a series of photos of the Garvan Woodland Gardens. “And that’s the Grand Promenade,” I said indicating another photo. We’ll walk that the first morning. There are some great coffee shops along the way.” I pointed to the list of coffee shops, bistros and restaurants I had compiled.

“You have times listed here,” Layce said, scanning down the page.

“I made out a daily agenda so we wouldn’t miss anything. It just makes things easier. You get up, and you have your day all set up because your wife is taking care of everything. Now, I think you should go pack.”

“We’re not going for another six weeks.”

“No time like the present.” I grabbed the car keys.

“Where are you going?”

“To get the oil changed, the tires rotated, and a 52-point inspection. You don’t expect me to leave town without doing that. Safety first.”

I looked down at the presentation folder as it sat looking forlorn on the table. “Why aren’t you reading? You’ve got a lot of material to cover in six weeks. I expect you to be fully prepared.”

“Will there be a test?” Layce asked. She’d gotten up to pour coffee.

“No, but I put a lot of time into researching.” I put on my best pout face.

“But this is like watching those movie trailers that are too long. After you watch it, you feel like you’ve already seen the movie.”

“Are you saying you don’t want to go now?” I asked.

She flipped through the folder and said, “All the best stuff’s in here. We’d save a lot of money if I just read this. Then we wouldn’t have to go and spend a fortune on a vacation.”

I snatched the folder out of her hands. “Forget it. You’re not reading this.” I dumped it into the trash. “Forget it even existed.”

Layce smiled and walked out of the room humming a tune that sounded a lot like We Are the Champions.

Why do I get the feeling I was just bamboozled?

Stay tuned for The Big Trip Part Two.

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The Cold, Hard Truth

I had been led to believe I was the perfect child for most of my adult life. Then one day my mother dragged out a box of letters that she’d written to my departed grandmother. They told a completely different story—a story of a tyrant, an errant flower girl, an anarchist Brownie (not the kind you eat) and a Halloween Scrooge.

It goes like this. Every day after grade school, the neighborhood children gathered at our house. One late afternoon as my mother took out another pitcher of lemonade, my father asked why everyone always gathered in our backyard.  My mother looked at him coolly. She pointed at me. “Because she can’t be the boss at someone else’s house.”  This was true. I prefer to control my own environment even now.

This need for control got me ousted from Brownies. My mother decided that socialization with other little girls would be a good idea. She dressed me in brown and sent me off. The first couple of times were okay. A bird pooped on our leader’s head during a bird watching session. I enjoyed that but insisted from then on I would always wear hats when in the woods. Which I still do.

It was the crafts part of Brownies that was my undoing. I thought it was inane to roll up pages of magazines and glue them to the outside of an empty gallon ice cream container in order to make waste baskets. As I pointed out, I already had a waste basket and I didn’t think taking away much needed manufacturing jobs was the sort of thing the Brownies should do—especially during dire economic times.

The next letter’s interlude had to do with my aunt’s wedding. For some reason unbeknownst to anyone other than my four-year-old self, I had gotten peeved about my flower girl dress and had what we refer to in my family as a “hissy fit.”  So, as was described in the letter, I held up a wedding, further stressed out the bride and refused to ever return to the wedding’s country of origin—Bicktoria (Victoria), B.C.  I have since returned.

As a child I adored Halloween. It was less about the dressing up and more about the acquisition of free goods. There would be few times in life that people actually opened their doors, smiled and cooed, and handed you candy. Halloween seemed the only time that adults did not fear hoards of children coming at them. At the end of the evening, I would dump out my pillow case full of candy and begin the inventory. I sorted the candy bars and treats into their respective categories and tallied up the totals. I went to bed and the next morning got up and recounted my inventory. Some were always missing. My parents denied any knowledge of the missing treats.

My mother put the letters aside. We studied each other. “You always told me I was the perfect child,” I said.

“I lied.”

And that’s how I found out the cold, hard truth about my younger self.

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Butter-Sitting

“I warned her,” I said. Layce and I were at a play in Tulsa. It was date night—only it was two o’clock in the afternoon. (This has nothing to do with our advancing years so banish that thought from your head. We like matinees.)

Another frantic text came in but the house lights have gone down so Layce turned off her phone. “She’ll be fine. It will teach her life skills.”

“I don’t know if it’s such a good idea to let her practice on Butter,” I said, biting my lip.

Layce patted my hand. “Emma is perfectly capable of taking care of Butter.”

I settled into the play and guiltily forgot about Butter until intermission. We went out into the lobby to stretch our legs.

“Aren’t you going to check your phone for messages?” I asked, trying not to sound frantic.

“We’re on a date. Butter will be fine.”

I tried to look relaxed. “Yeah, sure.”

“Oh, all right,” Layce said, and turned on her phone.

I leaned over to look. Emma had left ten messages, each one worse than the last. Emma was doing a complete overhaul on her room and, in theory, Butter was supposed to sit in her laundry basket on her blanket and chew on her chew toys while Emma worked. This did not happen.

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“She won’t stop crying. And she keeps getting out of her basket. I can’t get anything done. I had to get out the baby sling and carry her around.”

“She sounds a little overtaxed,” I said. I was trying to be diplomatic. Butter made me feel the same way. I haven’t practiced my guitar, or sewed, or read, or colored, or anything else that tended to last more than fifteen minutes at a time.

“She’ll survive,” Layce said. “I did. I had Emma attached to my hip for her first three years. She was like a giant wart who gave me tendonitis.”

“Is this payback?” I asked.

“It’s more like preparation,” Layce replied.

The lights flickered and we went back into the theater. As I sat watching the play, I thought that it wasn’t Butter I should be worried about, it was Emma.

When we got home, Emma was at the door holding Butter and looking the most frazzled I’ve ever seen her—including finals week.

“Here, take her,” she said thrusting Butter at me. “I have to go lay down.”

Butter was happy as a clam. She licked my face. We both sat in my recliner. She fell asleep immediately. I sipped my coffee and read. Maybe Emma could Butter-sit again next weekend.

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What Do Zombies Eat?

Written by Saxon Bennett and Layce Gardner

People always ask us where our ideas come from. I usually answer that our books are born in our kitchen. I don’t know why the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the nurturing idea of food, perhaps it’s the smells, the tastes… Honestly, I really have no idea. All I know is that the kitchen is where most of our books are born.

Just like our newest book. We gave birth one day while Layce was cooking.

I was setting the table when I suddenly announced, “I have an idea.”

“Do I want to know?” Layce poured more batter in the pan. We were having one of my favorite dinners—pancakes. Layce makes great pancakes.

“We need to take a break from romantic comedy—try something new for a bit. Stretch our legs,” I said.

“What do you want to write about—zombies?” she said jokingly.

“That’s a great idea!”

“But I thought you said you already had an idea?” Layce said.

“My idea was about writing something new and different—I just didn’t know what. But now I know. We’ll write a story about zombies.  Only we’ll make them lesbians.”

“And we can have these bad ass women fighting them,” Layce said.

“There’ll be lots of danger, and remember all the contingency plans I have for an apocalypse? We can use those ideas. These women will be really smart and resourceful.”

“Why are we making the zombies lesbian?” Layce asked.

“I thought you’d never ask. The zombies attack the vajayjay, not the brains…”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, that’ll be the funny part,” I said.

“I like it,” Layce said sounding less uncertain..

“You do?”

Layce handed me a short stack of pancakes on a plate. “We’ll call it ‘Attack of the Lesbian Zombies.’ Like it’s a B-movie. It’s a satire on all things zombie. And it’ll be a trilogy.”

“Now you’re talking,” I said, smearing butter over my pancakes.

“I’d read it.”

“I would, too.”

And that’s how our latest book “Attack of the Lesbian Zombies” was born. Right in our kitchen, over pancakes. If you rush out and purchase the book right now, you will also receive a short stack of Layce’s famous pancakes.*

Zombies print

Attack of the Lesbian Zombies is a five-part episodic saga. You can read it in parts—for only 99 cents each— or you can download the entire book (parts 1-5).

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* This is not true. We ate all the pancakes.

 

 

The Towel, The Pillow and The PBJ

Layce and I were at the department store looking for new bath towels. We started first with picking out colors that would go with the bathroom.

“How about these?” I asked, holding up a bath sheet. A bath sheet appeared to be a bath towel built like a Hummer.

bath-towels

“I don’t want a bath towel…” Layce said.

“It’s a bath sheet not a bath towel,” I interjected, unraveling one to take a look at what made a bath sheet so much different from a bath towel.

“With a flag on it,” Layce finished. “Or an alligator or a horse.”

“So no bath sheets with logos. Got it.” I continued my search moving over to the Martha Stewart Home Collection. Martha evidently didn’t believe in logos. I checked out the price—18.99. A bit high but not completely unreasonable, until Layce told me we needed six.

“Why do we need six? One set on the rack, one set to replace, wash, trade out. The other two are just sitting there taking up room.” I noticed that it was a bath towel that was 18.99 not a bath sheet. Now, I had to figure out if I was holding up a bath sheet or a bath towel. I measured it against myself.  Yes, I was definitely holding a bath sheet—a 29.99 bath sheet.

Layce stared, with evident hostility, at a hand towel. “This hand towel is 16.99. That’s highway robbery for a hand towel.”

“I think it’s an oversized hand towel.”

Layce stood glaring at the shelves of towels as if they were foes to be vanquished. It was time to leave.

“Maybe we better leave off the towels for now and go look at pillows, maybe we’ll have better luck with pillows,” I suggested.

I tried to refold the towels as best I could, which wasn’t good, and went to find Layce.

pillows

I found her jabbing a finger at a pillow. “This is a 200.00 dollar pillow!”

I gave it a poke. It didn’t seem to be that special. “Well, we definitely won’t be buying three of those. Or do we need six?”

Layce narrowed her eyes at me.

“They have other pillows. Here look at this one,” I said trying to divert her attention.

“I’m mad at this store. We’re not buying anything and just for having overpriced bath sheets, oversized hand towels and two hundred dollar pillows, we’re keeping our pillows and towels. That’ll teach them.”

I refrained from saying ‘but they won’t know.’ I know, well, most times, okay just sometimes, I know, when to keep my mouth shut.

We walked by the food court. “Let’s have lunch,” Layce said.

“But what about the PBJ sandwiches I packed?” I said. I hadn’t known if we’d have time for lunch before heading home. I was prepared for this scenario as I am prepared for most scenarios, having a minimum of six contingency plans. Subsequently, I packed sandwiches.

“Okay, I mean, if sitting in a cold car eating a PBJ sandwich is better for you, then by all means.”

I looked around. I wasn’t mad at the food court. I had the world of food at my disposal. Had I lost my senses? This was so much better. “We can always have them for dinner.”

“Sure. Let’s go get some bourbon chicken.”

By the way we had the PBJ sandwiches for dinner in the warm house and without the delicious smells of the food court. We showered using our old towels and fell asleep on the same pillows. Ah, for victory.

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