Wednesday, January 29, 2014


"Your drink, Herr Newman."

"Danke," Newman replied absently, making no eye contact.

Newman surveyed the restaurant.  The newlywed couple from Room 202 occupied a centre table,  embarrassing themselves as usual, feeding each other and pretending to be impossibly in love.  It was an act, of course.  Herr Newlywed began an affair with his office assistant years before his nuptials.  Eventually Frau Newlywed would catch on but, until then, life is a cabaret, no?

Newman knew these things.  Newman knew a great many things.  That was his job - to know things.  Secrets.  Dangerous secrets.

Lost in a fantasy involving a threesome between Herr, Frau and the office assistant, Newman failed to notice the blonde's arrival.

"Hello, Newman."

"Hello, Muse," Newman replied without looking up.

Muse showed no reaction but Newman knew she was annoyed by him using her code name in the clear.  That's why he did it.  He enjoyed annoying the Muse.  Later, Newman planned to really "annoy" the Muse and the thought of her chipmunk noises caused a vague stirring in his loins.  Focus, he thought, focus.

Muse sat down and ordered a Hendrick's with a slice of cucumber, no ice.

Newman allowed himself a tiny smile, just a tightening of the lips at the thought of Muse liking it "straight up."

"Down boy," Muse said, "and cheers."

They clinked glasses.

"So," Muse said, "you have news?"

Newman paused for effect.

"Yes.  Nothing earth-shattering other than I've located agent Kirsch, who later this evening will become ex-agent Kirsch."

Muse's heart pounded as she fought for composure.  Kirsch!  The most secret of secret agents.  Totally invisible and completely devastating.  Kirsch!  Could it be true?

"Are you sure?" Muse probed.

"Quite sure," Newman replied, "In fact she's sitting over there, the corner table by the exit."

Muse pulled out her compact, flipped up the mirror and regarded the long-sought Kirsch.  She didn't look like much.  Muse imagined her as a librarian.  Kirsch sat alone, her back to the wall, head down and scribbling furiously into a journal.

"Hmm," Muse muttered, "not much to look at.  What tipped you off?"

Newman swirled the ice in his glass, an unsophisticated gesture that irritated Muse, as did most, to be true, all, of Newman's gestures.  She knew they were all fake, anyway.  It didn't matter.

"Penmanship," Newman announced with a flourish, "penmanship."

Muse stared at Newman as if he was covered in leeches and imagining the horror the leeches felt.

Muse leant across the table, her face inches from Newman's and whispered, "Penmanship?"

"Ah, Muse," Newman sighed, "someday maybe far in the future if you stick with me and pay attention you will learn to pay attention ... to details.  They say the Devil is in the details but it's the details that will send our adversaries to the Devil."

Newman allowed himself a brief chuckle and smile, celebrating his witty observation.

Muse, unmoved, repeated, "Penmanship?"

"They all make mistakes, you know," Newman lectured as if to a particularly dim student.  "I managed to observe Kirsch's journal while pretending to admire the garden."

Muse thought, "You probably admired her tits, too," but let it pass.

"Beautiful penmanship," Newman continued, "and in ink.  It was the ink that caught my interest.  What kind of writer writes in ink?  A Number Two pencil is the rule according to Stephen King.  Ink, never."

"Hardly damning," Muse objected, "penmanship and ink.  What does it prove?"

"It fits the profile we constructed for Kirsch.  Deliberate, careful, never makes mistakes.  What kind of writer fits that description?  None!"

"What are you going to do?" Muse asked.

"Ah, well, Miss Kirsch is going to have an 'accident' this evening.  Apparently her hair dryer fell into the bathtub.  Such an unfortunate accident."

"But, what if you're wrong?  What if it really is just a writer and not Kirsch?" Muse inquired.

"No matter," replied Newman, "no matter.  In the grand scheme of things.  We'll move on and start the search anew.  No matter."

The waiter appeared with their orders which they ate in silence.  After dinner, Newman paid for the meal and they retired to their room for the night.

The morning was bright and sunny.  The hotel opened the patio for breakfast and most early risers enjoyed the sun and mild temperature.

Kirsch sat at a table overlooking the garden when Muse arrived.

"What do you want, bitch?" Kirsch asked, not looking up from her journal.

"It takes a bitch to know a bitch, bitch," Muse replied.

Kirsch looked up, regarded Muse and said, "What do you want, bitch?"

Muse sat down and said, "A coffee American and a croissant, please."  The waiter, standing nearby nodded slightly and moved away.

When her order arrived, Muse slurped some coffee and bit the croissant in half.

"Busy night?" Kirsch inquired not looking up from her journal.

Muse swallowed the croissant, took another slurp of her coffee and mumbled, "Newman."

Kirsch stopped writing, looked up and said, "Newman?"

"Yes, Newman," Muse continued, "it seems he had an unfortunate experience."

Kirsch allowed herself a little smile and said, "Cyanide?"

Muse paused for effect and said, "Cyanide can be traced.  No, peanuts."

Kirsch stopped writing, looked up smiling, "Peanuts?"

"Yes," Muse continued, "peanuts.  Newman was deadly allergic to peanuts.  He kept an epi-pen with him at all times.  At dinner last night after he told me he had identified you I put peanuts in his food."

"OK, I can see that," Kirsch replied, "but why didn't he use his epi-pen?"

"He did," smirked Muse, "I replaced the contents with water."

"Newman died in agony?" Kirsch looked amused.

"Oh, yes," Muse confirmed, "and his last sight was my tits waving in his face.  I mean, I'm not a total monster.  I'm just a bitch."

Kirsch looked at Muse, pulled her close and gave her a long, wet kiss.

"You're not a bitch, Muse," Kirsch purred, "you're my bitch."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Unfortunately True Story


Per your request to obtain the original, certified copies of Certificates of Live Birth re:  You and Mom, I went upstairs to look for them and the funniest thing happened.  I looked out the window and what did I see but a big, old squirrel!  Big as day, right out there on the golf course.  I exclaimed to Kink, "Look, a squirrel!"  Then I ran downstairs, out the back door, across the yard to the gate, but the lawn guys had tied the gate with a wire and by the time I got it untangled the squirrel had run away.  I walked up and down the fairway looking for the squirrel, but he was gone.

So, I went back through the gate, wired it shut, went back in the house and, I guess, I got confused because I forgot all about the Certificates and made myself a sandwich, instead.  It was a good sandwich, too!  I bought some rye bread that Mom doesn't like which means I get to eat it all and slapped on some roasted turkey breast, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato and a slice of dill pickle (expiration date: 2010 - extra sour).  After cleaning up I checked my Facebook statuses, wrote some LOL comments and someone commented about "certificates" and I remembered, "Certificates!"

I went back up stairs to look for the Certificates of Live Birth and, wouldn't you know it, as I walked by the big window something told me to look out on the golf course and, lo and behold, there he was - the squirrel!  Kink saw him, too, because he went right up to the window, pawed it and meowed as if to say, "Hey, that big, fat squirrel is back out there!"  What could I do?  I ran downstairs, out the back door, across the yard, unwired the gate and I just got a glimpse of him diving into the sand bunker.  I ran to the bunker but I was too slow because he had scampered off.  But, he left a cute trail of tracks in the sand.  I had to get a picture of them but I left my iPhone in the kitchen.  I ran back to the gate, across the yard, in through the back door, grabbed my iPhone and ran back to the bunker.  Unfortunately, some golfers beat me to it and had raked over the tracks.  If I could find a "sad" emoticon I would put it here.

Once again, having been distracted by the squirrel, I lost track of my original task and read the paper, did the Jumble (it was easy!) and went through the mail and decided to clean out the kitchen Junk Drawer.  That took me about an hour and all I ended up doing was taking everything out of the junk drawer, playing with it and putting it back.  At least it's neater looking.

Now it was getting late and Kink came in meowing for dinner and I gave him that and Mom came in asking when dinner was so I started working on that and before I knew it the day was over and I was brushing my teeth.  Brushing, brushing, brushing - the thought of "Certificates" came through my mind and I made a mental note to go into the kitchen and make a physical note to remind myself to do that first thing in the morning, after breakfast and coffee, of course, but by the time I finished brushing my teeth that thought had vanished.  If I had remembered to keep my iPhone with me I could have made a Fail dot Com video of me failing to write the reminder, but I didn't.  Too bad, it would have gone viral!

I hope you are keeping warm in Chicago and remember, layers, layers, layers.  If you need anything from us just send me an email or a twerker or something and I'll get right on it.

All the best,

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Stand Down

I mark time by the Christmas Tree stand.

I take down the stand in December.  I put up the stand in January.  Thus, the year, a passage of time is marked.

It seems to me that I'm repeating this cycle faster and faster.  No sooner than I put the stand up then I'm taking it down.  The back up.  And down.  Up.  Down.

It's shocking to me the acceleration of time.

Eons ago we had this very tiny, itsy-bitsy Christmas Tree stand.  Appropriate for a toothpick or the size of tree we could afford back then.  Our first cat, Natasha, loved to climb Christmas Trees but she weighed a lot more than our trees so we would find tree and cat flat on the floor every morning.  Eventually, we just decorated the tree horizontally and left it that way.

As time went on and our ceilings elevated we were able to buy taller and, therefore, thicker trees requiring a new stand; a robust stand that could "stand" both a tall tree and a couple of cats.  This we found and it has been our stand for many years.

A few years ago we bought a humongously tall tree, well over eight-feet.  It's trunk was at least six inches in diameter, but our stand did the job and that tree was as magnificent as our Christmas morning.  A wonder to behold.

In recent years we have settled for smaller trees, around seven feet in height and well within the tolerance of our stand.  It's worked out well since the cats no longer have an interest in climbing Christmas trees.  I guess  there's no fun in climbing a tree if it's not going to fall over and cause a ruckus!

Which takes us to today.  The Christmas Tree is on the lawn awaiting the recycling truck, the Christmas decorations are back in the loft and I dis-assembled the stand, oiled its parts, put it back in its box and stored it in the garage on the top shelf where it lives.

I have no doubt that I will go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow, only weeks before Christmas and be told,

"Hey, you need to get the Stand down, we're buying a Christmas tree today!"

Yeah, I know.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


I love bows.  Christmas package bows.  Red, green, silver, striped, I love them all.  I love them so much I keep them.


In a giant bag.

That's where bows go to die because I - never. use. them. again.

My bows.  

Nobody touches my bows.  They're in the bag.  Safe.  Safe from you, bow stealer!

Yeah, that makes no sense but it's what I do.  Send me a present for Christmas and put a bow on it and I will carefully, like a surgeon, preserve the bow and put it in my bag like some kind of Predator collecting skulls.  Oh, and if I can collect some of the wrapping ribbon, too, that's like Predator pulling out a spine.

Not quite as creepy.  Right?  Srsly, right?


This year I resolve to use my bow collection for good.  I can't say I've been changed for the better, but because I have my bow bag, I've been changed for good.

OK, you can look up that reference.  However, if you get a package from me with a bow on it, rest assured it was a loved bow, a treasured bow and a bow just for you.

P.S.  If you feel inclined to send the bow back to me I've included a SASE.  Love and kisses.