Hey. This is Charlie. If you're readin' this, call the doggy coppers. Just dial bow-wow-wow. I just can't put up with anymore of this neglect and abuse... I have the worst mom in the world.
Yesterday, she made me get in the sink and dumped soap and water all over me. I was wet EVERYWHERE! And then... and then she put this stinky stuff on my back. Well, no wonder the fleas don't like it! It stinks! And she makes me WEAR it! I love her, but she clearly doesn't know how to take care of a little guy like me.
And she won't let me sleep by the window. She always puts my pillow on the other side of the bed. And she put all my toys in a box and won't let me put 'em on the floor where I can see 'em. She'll only let me have like three or four at a time! How can a guy play with only four toys!
And tonight was the last straw... I was a good boy all day and she wouldn't give me another cookie! That was just mean! I wanted that cookie!
Wait... shhhhhh! What? I'm not doin' nuthin'! Hey! I don't wanna go to bed! Noooo! Noooo! WWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo!!!!!
This is actually a true story, but it's funny – well, I think it's funny.... sort of, anyway. I had ordered some books from the UK - the later books in the Skullduggery Pleasant series. You can't get them in the US because they don't have US imprint versions. It took some time for them to arrive, having to come from the other side of the planet. Not exactly months, you understand, but not at all like ordering from Amazon and getting it next week.
Anyway, I first got notice that my Skullduggery books had arrived via a notice from the post office that I had a parcel that required my signature. I thought, ‘That’s funny. Why didn’t they just plunk it on my porch like they usually do?’ I’ve never had to sign for a package before, whether it required a signature or not! This is Pokey Oaks, Iowa, for goodness sake! And the PO is only open when I’m at work, except on Saturdays for a very brief time. That Saturday I was attending a writer’s conference, so I was a bit put out.
I called my sis and asked if she would pick it up for me if she was going that way, promising to call the PO and let them know. She had no trouble picking the package up, and I got a rather cryptic email from her telling me that she had it, and “What a package, I tell you!” “???,” said Jeannie. “Is it heavy?” It was only six paperback books! How heavy could it be? ‘Nope’, said Sis, and nothing more. Hmmmm. So I promised to pick it up after work that afternoon. When I arrived to pick up this mysterious package, Sis went to her workroom, got the package and plunked it on the kitchen table in front of me.
At first, I couldn’t tell what I was looking at! It was a misshapen pile of fabric that in no way resembled books. My first impression was that they had put the books in a shopping bag and mailed it. But there’s no possible way they would have traveled safely from the UK to the US that way! I took a closer look and realized that the fabric had ‘Royal Airmail, Great Britain’ emblazoned on it. It’s a mail bag from the UK! They had zip tied the package inside it, with a destination tag on it and just delivered it that way!
Now, I’m fairly certain that the person half a planet away who put my package of books in that bag likely expected that someone along the way would take it out of the bag at some point before being delivered. Why that didn’t happen, I have no guess, but then again, what do I know about International Postal procedures, right? But it certainly caused some major head-scratching, let me tell you!
The post mistress was a little put out. In her 30+ years as post mistress, evidently she’s never seen anything like it. Well, neither have I, truth be told, and I’ve ordered lots of things from the UK before.
The post mistress wondered what I’d be getting from the UK, so my sis filled her in on the story – that you can’t get those particular books here in the US. So today, my little corner of Iowa is all atwitter with the gossip that the crazy lady who bought that big house for just her and her dog reads weird books from England about skeletons and dead detectives.
You know, when I ordered my precious Skullduggery books, I didn’t expect they would make an entrance with trumpets blaring – I figured they’d be quietly placed on my front porch, and no one would be the wiser! Dad gum it, UK! I don’t need help in making my neighbors think I'm weird! They already think that!
Oh look! It’s a British nail in my coffin of weirdness! How elegant! By the way, if you want your mail bag back, you’re gonna have to tell me where to send it. The PO folks here certainly won’t know what to do with it!
It’s been pretty dad gum HOT lately! How hot has it been, you may ask? OK, yeah, I know that you probably wouldn’t ask and couldn’t care less, but this is Whopper Friday, so just go with it, okay?!?
Whoa! Sorry! The heat is making me a little testy, I guess!
IT’ S SO HOT THAT…
- The corn is popping right out in the fields! It looks like there was a blizzard. A HOT blizzard.
- Hell called to complain. They said they’re closing their doors because we’re letting too much heat in. Big babies.
- I had to special order size 97 shoes, because all the fat in my body melted and ran down to my feet. No, seriously! The only size 97 shoes I could find were clown shoes! I’m going to have to stand on my head for HOURS to get it all to go back to where it’s supposed to be!
- People are carrying their pets around everywhere because the ground is too hot for their poor little feet. I saw a guy toting around an English Mastiff just this morning! He just had him slung over his shoulder. The dog was having a great time, but the poor guy could barely stand. He was just staggering around while the dog just grinned and drooled down his back.
- The county put out an emergency message. DROUGHT CONDITIONS: No burning, no fireworks, no watering the lawn, no washing the car, no filling swimming pools, no playing in the sprinkler, no laughing, no jumping, no breathing! And stop making that face, your pissing us off!
- Air conditioners are going on strike.
- Bar fights aren’t breaking out because it’s too hot to bother with kicking that guy’s @$$ because of what he said about the other guy’s wife. “I’m gonna tear you up when it gits under a hunerd!” they’re muttering.
- The governor is discussing a measure to relocate the state to the West Coast so we can all play in the ocean. The West Coast said, “Bugger off!”, but he’s appealing to congress. Surely, there’s a few yards of coastline between Oregon and California that aren’t being used for anything!
Yeah, everyone is a tad cranky. But hey, it can’t last forever, can it?
Well, in case you’re caught in this mean old heatwave, too, one of my docs sent me a little clip this morning to help cool us all off. Enjoy!
Tonight I’m going to a gold party at a friend’s house. It’s where one of your friends or acquaintances hosts a party for their friends to bring their unwanted gold and sell it. I mean, presumably you do know people who invite you to functions – you wouldn’t expect an invitation to arrive in your mailbox from a random person in your town whom you’ve never met. It’s just not done.
I honestly have no idea what to expect. What sort of people will be showing up to this thing? Who has scads of gold just languishing in their cellars to make an event like this worthwhile? Hmmmm… thinks Jeannie. I wonder. Here’s how I see it going…
Arrival #1: Minerva Gottrauchs, ex-movie star fallen on hard times, forced to relocate to her family’s old falling down farmhouse deep in the Midwest, surreptitiously arrives heavily swathed with a moth eaten faux mink and dark glasses in a wheezing 87 Chevette that has seen better days, looking to hock some of her less cherished baubles.
Arrival #2: The Lucky Charms guy. The economy has been tough on breakfast cereal icons, what with the health food craze and all, and he’s lost most of his lucky charms on bad wagers, having developed a vicious gambling habit. Fortunately, he has an extra pot o’ gold stashed away for just such an occasion. Unfortunately, he plans to bet the whole pot on Whackamole in the second race at Fairfield Downs tomorrow. He’s been assured it’s a sure thing.
Arrival #3: Scrooge McDuck. Cuz if there’s gold, he’s gonna be there.
Arrival #4: Captain Hook - He’s decided to sell his solid gold hook hand to hire an assassin from the Ankh-Morpork Assansin’s Guild (one of the most vicious assassin’s guilds around, as everybody knows) who will finally rid him of that pest, Pan, once and for all.
Arrival #5: Aladdin and his 40 Thieves, in which case, no one will have anything left when they leave, because the thieves will have swiped it all.
Arrival #6: The Miner, 49-er. This guy’s going to make a pest of himself running around grabbing all the gold in the room and shrieking “Eureka!” while hitting everyone with a pickaxe. I suggest we lock the door when we see him coming.
Arrival #7: Paris and Helen of Troy, looking to trade in the apple that started it all. Who knew Sparta was gonna be so chintzy and present them with a bill for damages? How’s a new couple s’posed to set up housekeeping while paying for a major war?
Arrival #8: Robin Hood – hey, this dude is BAD NEWS! We shouldn’t allow him anywhere near our party, because you know he and the forty thieves are gonna end up dukin’ it out over all that gold, and he’s gonna be all “But it’s for the poor!” (yeah, right!), and then the cops are gonna show up and before you know it, we’re all having to call our nearest and dearest to bail us out of the pokey. Let’s hope Mr. Hood has somewhere else to be tonight!
Arrival #9: Smaug. Yeah, if Smaug shows up, he can have all the gold. Heck, he can take all the cheez doodles, too. Let the guy have whatever he wants.
Arrival #10: Jed Clampett, and probably the whole Clampett clan. That black gold done dried up and now they’re gonna try to trade in Granny’s gold fillings to put some gas in that old jalopy to get them back to the ol’ shack in the woods.
Arrival #11: Richie Rich – he needs to sell the few trinkets that his Dad’s accountant didn’t run off to Bermuda with.
Well, with a guest list like that, it should be an interesting evening. Don’tcha think?
Hi guys. Charlie here. Mom’s doin’ stuff today so she said I could say ‘Hi’ if I wanted to.
She’s in one of her writer-y moods and she’s just staring at that dang box again. I don’t know why she bothers. All she does is swear at it an’ get mad and she spanks it A LOT! I don’t know what it’s doin’ but it must be really, REALLY bad, cuz she never spanks me. She never swears at me like that either, but she does get all red in the face and call me a brat sometimes. I think that’s funny!
You know what? A couple days ago that stupid box got sick. Wanna know a secret? OK, but SHHHH! You can’t tell Mama. I did it! Ha ha ha!!! I figured if I broke it she couldn’t sit and stare at all the time and not play with me. And she’d probably take it over to Auntie’s house to see if she could fix it, and then I’d get to go and play at Auntie’s, too! Which I did.
So I just turned it on and started hittin’ keys. Hey, I hit all those keys, and you know, it wasn’t nearly as much fun as mama seems to think it is. I can’t figure out what she can be starin’ at! It didn’t squeak, or want to play catch or even smell like anything. It was pretty boring… and weird! Did you know that sometimes people don’t wear clothes on that thing? Yipes! You don’t see me takin’ my fur off and struttin’ around like it’s neat-o, do you? Peoples are supposed to wear clothes. Someone needs to tell them that, cuz I don’t think they know.
But then Auntie fixed it. Grrr. I didn’t think she would, but she did. I almost said a bad word. But, you know, she’s my Auntie and she’s nice and she smells good. Plus, Auntie lets me do lots of stuff at her house that Mama won’t let me do, so I couldn’t be mean to her.
Anyways, DON’T tell Mama, cuz she’d probably be mad. She might even call me a brat AND spank me. Yipes! But I’d do it again in a whisker! Tee hee!
I heard on the radio this morning that Mister Rogers is trending in the news. Mister Rogers, of all people! That takes me WAY back. Anyway, Mister Rogers is trending because PBS commissioned John D. Boswell to do a remix of clips from the show, and came up with a piece called ‘Garden of Your Mind’. It’s an interesting piece, and it got me thinking. What grows in the gardens of MY mind? Would there be silver bells and cockle shells, or stinkweed and nettles?
First of all, there would definitely be more than one garden. There would be a garden of whimsy, a creepy garden, an angry, spiteful garden, a silly garden, a formal garden, an intelligent garden, a wistful garden, a peaceful garden, a passionate garden and a kitchen garden, and, I’m afraid, they would all be overrun with yard gnomes.
You know, they get everywhere. Sure they look all cute, with their pointy hats and round bellies and cherubic faces, but they are TROUBLE! Cockroaches have nothing on yard gnomes. And there’s just no getting rid of them. You just TRY and find a yard gnome exterminator. Look in the yellow pages! There are no listings for that at all!
They’ll climb up in your apple tree and take one bite out of every apple. They tease the ladybugs and make them cry. They harass the frogs, and try to ride them like ponies. This will annoy a frog quicker than you can shake a stick at it, and he’ll leave and there will be no one to eat all the bugs. Yard gnomes like bugs. Especially rowdy bugs. Thug bugs. They like to have fon-dew parties and drink until they’re stupid.
Then they do things like turn your mailbox the other way round so the mailman can’t open it, or move your driveway so it stops at the front door, or pop up and down in front of the window all night and tease Charlie, so he barks viciously at seemingly nothing and gets in trouble. And the bugs just encourage this bad behavior. They are a terrible influence on yard gnomes!
One time, they repainted my house this horrible, eye-gouging shade of electric purple, but it turned back to blue the moment I stepped out the door. Tricky devils! They’ll steal your mail, remove whole sections of the sidewalk and put it above the door so when you open it, it falls on you. Nothing is funnier to them than concussing some poor, unsuspecting soul. Yeah, they’ll laugh like idiots for hours, and do you think they’ll call 911 for you, or put pressure on it to stop the bleeding? Don’t hold your breath.
And heaven help you if they get in the house! They’ll walk around in your best shoes and wear the heel caps off, which puts ugly marks all over the floor. They’ll put sticky hand prints on the fridge and eat all the marmalade. They smudge the furniture and adorn the drapes with cat hair and half eaten lollipops – and I don’t even have a cat! They watch pay-per-view all day long while you’re at work, running up enormous cable bills! And they watch very not nice stuff! Nasty little gnomes.
Now, it’s well known that if yard gnomes take up residence in the house the only thing you can do is try to entice a brownie to live with you. Brownies are standoffish and can be terribly rude, however they are very industrious and yard gnomes hate that! It makes them look bad. They’d sooner kick a brownie than look at him, but brownies don’t like to be kicked and they’ll give that yard gnome whatfor! So generally, a yard gnome will avoid a brownie at all costs, even if it means moving out of your house, and will sometimes go so far as to vacate the yard entirely and move next door. Your neighbors won’t like this, but hey, it’s every man for himself in yard gnome warfare.
Because brownies are standoffish, you might have difficulty tempting one to abide in your abode. You need to have a good, comfy mouse hole for him, and maybe leave things lying about like bits of string and peanuts and postage stamps, and perhaps cotton swabs or butterscotch and a good assortment of cardboard and Elmer’s Glue. You know, things he can make use of.
You might also try letting the fairies in the garden know that you’re in the market for one. Perhaps, if you’ve been very nice to them and said nice things to them, they’ll negotiate a deal for you. This is, of course, as everyone knows, the best way to get a brownie to move in and protect your humble home from the dreaded yard gnomes. Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me! Quit laughing! Fairies are actually pretty bad@$$ when you get right down to it, and can be very shrewd wheelers and dealers if they have a mind to.
Of course, if you haven’t been nice to them, they’ll just be silly and may side with the yard gnomes. If you’ve been hateful to them, and swatted at them and laughed at their wings, or worse, ignored them altogether… ***wince***. Everybody knows that this is the worst possible thing you can do to fairies, as they are very, very vain. They hate that. I mean they really HATE that and then you’ll really be in heck! They’ll egg your windows and key your car and bring every mole in the county running to your yard. You thought the gnomes were pesky!
I hope you haven’t ignored them. That really is ill advised. Better take them some marmalade… quickly. I said quickly!
Don’t bother with the elves. They don’t care. They only care about the trees and such and frankly, they see you as the garden pest, much in the way that you see yard gnomes as garden pests. I know. The very idea. Elves are mean, what can I say.
I stumbled across my high school year book online. Well, it wasn’t MY class yearbook… it was 1984’s class yearbook. MY yearbook isn’t there. Sorry Spartans of ‘85 – but we are so lame! I think there was a 20 year reunion, but I haven’t heard of any since. So it’s no wonder that the yearbook isn’t there. I doubt we could organize our way out of a wet paper sack.
Anyway, if I had to find one word to describe us back then, I think it would have to be ‘fluffy’. We were very fluffy. OMG – the hair!!! There was hair everywhere! And the glasses - they were enormous! Were we trying to see into the future, for crying out loud? It didn’t work, because if it had, we’d have taken off those awful specs and made a bee-line for the girl’s room to wash out all that AquaNet.
I remember those glasses – I had some, and they took a full ten minutes to clean because there was just so much of them! It was like washing saucers. And they were as heavy as saucers. I have terrible eyesight, and they didn’t have polycarbonate lenses back then, or any of the other nifty widgets they have for glasses these days. On a hot day you practically had to tie them to your head because they’d make your nose sweat and keep sliding down. Nerd alert! I remember doing just that. They’d fall off otherwise, and you ran the risk of accidentally breaking them – oh yes, specs made with glass lenses DO break. Then you’d be in double dutch with the parents because they weren’t made of money and glasses didn’t grow on trees.
There were mullets as far as the eye could see in those pages. Page after page… mullet after mullet. Yikes! I actually asked my mom, who used to cut our hair, to give me a mullet. Hey, I was sixteen… seventeen, maybe? It was THE haircut back then. Only, I didn’t know it was called a mullet, and I had trouble describing it to her. So the style I got was nothing like a mullet, but more of a cute bob, which I hated! Not because it looked bad, which it didn’t, but because it wasn’t what the cool kids were wearing.
I have never, to this day, been so grateful for my lack of communication skills.
Publishing a book can take a long time. A very long time. So while we wait, here are some suggestions to while away the time, and make those minutes fly!
1.) Write the next book – Hey, I’m working on it!
2.) Draw every single scene in the first book. (I’m not sure I like drawing as much as that.)
3.) Steam clean my entire house. (Blech.)
4.) Steam clean my entire yard. (Acre and a half – that’s a lot of steam.)
5.) Build my library/workroom.
6.) Build A library… ANY library…
7.) Build a gigantic pencil as a monument to writers everywhere. I’ve got a big backyard – it’ll fit!
8.) Build a gigantic pencil sharpener for the gigantic pencil monument.
9.) Road test office chairs – see how many times I can spin around in them before they break or I throw up.
10.) Stand in the middle of the street and scream cuss words every ten minutes. Take a survey of how many people come running. Be very official and write it down on a clipboard and mutter things like "Very good, very good" or "No, no, no… this won't do at all". Time how long it takes for the sheriff to show up!
11.) Join a Search and Rescue Team and go on an expedition to find the lost city of Atlantis and rescue them, whether they want to be rescued or not!
12.) Convert my entire acre and a half to a pumpkin farm!
13.) Break dozens of mirrors and mosaic the entire outside of my house with them. OoooooOOOOOOOoooooooh! Shiny!
14.) Go to acting school and become a thespian!
15.) Bake a different batch of cookies every day.
16.) Practice the violin and become a virtuoso. Or is that virtuosa, since I’m a girl?
17.) Join a biker gang, and start bar fights.
18.) Teach the biker gang how to needlepoint!
19.) Take over the bar in town with our biker gang / needlepoint club, and stitch seat covers for all the bar stools.
20.) Open a B&B, get a five-star rating and then close it… just because.
21.) See how many stickers it would take to COVER townhall.
22.) Take up carving and painting ostrich eggs.
23.) See how long it would take to literally dig a hole to China.
24.) Learn the art of origami.
25.) Sculpt 20:1 scale statues of all my characters in the middle of town.
26.) Become an expert in protocol and take over Pluotistan.
27.) Join the circus and become an expert juggler.
28.) Collect nuts for winter.
29.) Find a prince, marry him, and then leave him because HE'S not good enough.
30.) Have the biker gang/ needlepoint club stitch slip covers for every piece of furniture I own.
31.) Endeavor to be the very best at my day job I can be. Nah! That's just crazy talk.
32.) Open a speakeasy in my basement.
33.) Learn to ride a unicycle.
34.) Make fudge!
35.) Make fudge in the speakeasy while riding a unicycle.
36.) Discover life on Mars.
37.) Team up with yard gnomes to become a public nuisance.
38.) Build a better mousetrap.
39.) Invent a hairstyle no one’s ever seen before.
40.) Make cheese.
41.) Grow an entire yard full of Titan Arum (Google it if you don’t know what it is) and sell tickets when they bloom. NOTE: Best not to do this in YOUR yard. Any yard across town will do.
42.) Do the Macarena!
43.) Become a warrior first class and ambush cars, challenging them to a duel to the death using only Cheetos® and Barbie® shoes as weapons!
44.) Write fan letters to Norse gods.
45.) Handwrite a copy of ‘War and Peace’ on Post-It® notes. C’mon now! No cheating! Use the little ones!
46.) Build a diorama.
47.) Organize my sock drawer.
48.) Organize my friend’s sock drawers.
49.) Organize my family’s sock drawers.
50.) Organize my neighbor’s sock drawers.
51.) Call my mom for bail money because it turns out that surprising your neighbors by organizing their sock drawers is considered ‘breaking and entering’. Who knew?
52.) Paint a replica of the Sistine Chapel on your ceiling.
53.) French braid my grass.
54.) Make certain insinuations.
55.) Make other insinuations.
56.) Learn to jitterbug.
57.) Throw a carnival in the back yard and make it free admission to get in but charge people enormous fees to get out.
58.) Make mud pies.
59.) Build a birdhouse metropolis in my vacant lot.
60.) Take up casual dentistry.
61.) Make noise.
62.) Ride a bike along the river and pretend to speak French to everyone encountered.
63.) Except if you encounter anyone who actually IS French, in which case, you probably shouldn’t do that. They’ll think you’re weird.
64.) Take a nice, long nap.
65.) Learn to blow bubbles in the shape of a Zeppelin.
66.) Teach Charlie to make Eggs Benedict.
67.) Teach Charlie not to gobble down the Eggs Benedict, but to serve them like a gentlemen.
68.) Gently admonish Charlie for not listening as you try to teach him how to… HEY! GIVE THAT BACK YOU LITTLE BRAT!
69.) Wrest the frying pan from Charlie before he burns himself!!!
70.) Design a line of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Ice Cream in the most disgusting flavors.
71.) Fend off lawsuit for copyright and registered trademark infringement.
72.) Design a line of Auntie Myrtle’s All Kinds O’ Gunk Disgusting Flavored Ice Cream.
73.) Figure out what to do with all that nasty ice cream because, as it turns out, no one is curious about Toecheesecake Ripple or Vomint Bon Bon flavored ice cream.
74.) Take up boogie boarding… in Iowa… where there is no water in which to boogie, to speak of…
75.) More writing than you can shake a stick at.
76.) Shake a stick at your writing.
77.) Wonder why the heck you’re shaking a stick at anything because that’s just dumb.
78.) Read up on the history of the marconigram.
79.) Do something with marshmallows.
80.) Build a stinky igloo with mothballs.
81.) Make waves.
82.) Kick butt and take names.
83.) Learn to tat.
84.) Memorize 1,001 uses for Crisco®.
85.) Feed the Hunger.
86.) Learn to tie a sailor’s knot.
87.) Make polyjuice potion.
88.) Reenact every episode of Doctor Who ever made with homemade sock puppets and Weebles dolls (Don't know that Weebles are? Weebles wobble but they don't fall down! Still don't know? Oh, for heaven's sake! Look it up on Wikipedia!).
89.) Learn to salsa.
90.) Learn to make salsa.
91.) Take a class in the History of Classical Dead Sea Karaoke.
92.) Call your mother.
93.) Build a website to honor and showcase widgets.
94.) Make excuses.
95.) Paint the town red.
96.) Hide the red paint cans and brushes in the Titan Arum patch when the cops come sniffin’ around because someone defaced the town with red paint and stickers.
97.) Smell the roses.
98.) Wake up and smell the coffee.
99.) Drink the coffee.
100.) Don’t drink the roses - those thorns really smart going down.
101.) Become a famous aardvark photography hunter.
It has been very stormy over the Midwest the last two nights in a row, and it looks to be gearing up to go again tonight. I hope not – I need some sleep!!! I’m feeling a little ornery, so I think I might mosey on over to The Keep and poke Nathan a little about throwing tantrums and making it storm.
Jahx Um, please don’t.
Aw, c’mon! It’s fun! A girl’s gotta take advantage of entertainment where she can find it.
Cullen It may be fun for you, but it’s distinctly NOT fun for us. Go away now. Shoo!
Hey! This is MY blog. YOU shoo!
Cullen Well, if you don’t have anything better to do than pester people with it, I’d say you don’t deserve one.
Jahx I’d agree. I bet Cristov could give her a list of more productive things to do.
All right now, just stop it right there. Besides, you lot tease Nathan an awful lot about the weather, anyway. What’s the difference?
Jahx Well, it makes a great difference to us when he gets annoyed and rains rocks down on our heads and not yours.
Nathan I have never rained rocks down on anyone’s head!
Cullen Oh, I beg to differ! What about that time…
Nathan That was on purpose – not in a fit of temper!
Cullen You told Cristov that you lost your temper.
Nathan I lied.
Cullen I’m telling!
Nathan Are you five?
Cullen No! And I’m still telling.
Nathan Go ahead.
Cullen Ow! Hey! What was that? Gravel?!?!
Nathan Nonsense. Clearly it’s hail. You heard her – it’s stormy.
Cullen Oh, you wanna take me on? Really?
Nathan Yeah! I’ll give it a go! C’mon, ya big girl!
Now boys! Settle down! Good grief, I wasn’t feeling that ornery!
Cullen Eat vine, Nathan!
Nathan PUT ME DOWN, CULLEN!!!
Cullen What’s the matter, Nathan? Nothing better to do than hang around?
Jahx Knock it off, you two!
Nathan You $%^& ^ &%$%^ dafnit!!! Guess what?!?!
Cullen OW! Hey!
Nathan OW!!!! You dropped me!
Cullen You broke my head!
Nathan I did not break your head, you big baby!
Could you boys move this to The Keep? I don’t think… oh my! Stop that now! STOP IT!!! You’re gonna break something!!!
Cristov WHAT IN THE NAME OF FIARYN DO YOU TWO THINK YOU’RE DOING!!!
Nathan Aw, man! Cris, stop it!!! My ears are all plugged now.
Cristov What’s going on here? Two grown mages – acting like children! I expect this from the noviates but YOU TWO!?! I ought to shear you both!
Cullen Thanks a lot, Jahx.
Nathan Yeah, thanks. Friend.
Cristov You leave Jahx alone. Had you not been acting like delinquents, he wouldn’t have had to get me, and by the looks of things, I got here just in time.
Nathan It was the Mage Sister’s fault! She was…
Cristov That’s enough! I don’t want to hear it. I’ll see you two in Council Chambers in ten minutes. Bring your toothbrush.
Cullen I’d sleep with one eye open if I were you, Jahx.
Cullen I’m coming!
Wow. The storm tonight is bound to look pretty tame compared to those hotheads. Goodness.
Jahx I did warn you.
No one likes a goody-goody, Jahx!
Jahx I’m just saying…
Don’t you hate it when you go to bed at the proper time, but circumstances beyond your control keep you from sleeping? Yeah, that’s what I put up with last night? What circumstances were these, pray tell? Well, I’ll tell you – a pup who clearly slept all day – lazy beggar – and then wanted to play all night! Here’s how it went:
Teeth brushed, hair combed, face washed – check . Read ‘Dark Days’ by Derek Landy (#4 in the Skullduggery series) for 15 minutes. Charlie plays with/chews on favorite toy of the night.
Lights go out, Charlie settles down on his pillow, Jeannie snuggles up on hers, we drift off to sleep.
Thunk. Tippety-tippety-tippety. Tippety-tippety-tippety… … … Tippety-tippety-tippety-tap. Silence. Slurp, slurp, slurp… … … Tippety-tippety-tippety. Tippety-tippety-tippety. Silence. Ggggggrrrrrrrr. Ggggggrrrrrrrrgggrrrrrrrr. Woof.
“Charlie! Get back up here! Go to sleep!” Tippety-tippety-tippety… … … thump. Charlie settles down.
“Hey. Hey Mom. MOM!”
“Go to sleep.”
“But MOM! I hear a mouse.”
“I don’t care. Go to sleep.”
“But there’s a mouse in here! I don’t like him – he thinks he can just do anything he wants. I wanna bite him.”
“Ignore the mouse. Go to sleep! And don’t wake me up again.”
Charlie turns in circles about a billion times till the pillow is mashed just the way he likes it. “Fine. But I’m gonna get that mouse.”
“Whatever. Go to sleep.”
Thunk. Tippety-tippety-tippety. Tippety-tippety-tippety… … … Tippety-tippety-tippety-tap. “ROWOOWWRIROORW ROWROWROWRWE GGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RAHRRWROWR!”
“CHARLIE! SHUT UP AND GET BACK IN BED!”
“But there’s a bird outside!”
“It’s just the #$%^& ^&*^* wind! Get back in bed!”
“Sounds like a bird to me!”
“I don’t care if it’s a t-rex! As long as it doesn’t come in here, I don’t need to know! Now go to sleep AND DON’T MAKE ME TELL YOU AGAIN!”
“Well, you don’t have to yell.” Charlie turns in circles about a billion more times till the pillow is mashed just the way he likes it.
“Hey. Hey Mom. MOM!”
“There had better be a horde murderers at the bedroom door, dog.”
“What’dya think of that little white dog down the street. She’s pretty cute, eh?”
“Not at 2:30 in the morning, no! Go to sleep!”
“Think she’d go out with me?”
“You’re neutered. Go to sleep.”
“Yeah, I don’t know that means. Could you drive us to the movies tomorrow night?”
“GO TO SLEEP! AND DON’T WAKE ME UP AGAIN!”
“So that’s a maybe?”
“Arggh!” Jeannie stuffs head under pillow.
“Can I sleep by the window?”
Thunk. Tippety-tippety-tippety. Tippety-tippety-tippety… … … Tippety-tippety-tippety-tap. “ROWOOWWRIROORW ROWROWROWRWE GGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RAHRRWROWR!”
“Bug. You woke me up again for a bug.”
“Well, it was on the screen. What’d you want me to do?”
“I give up.”
“Does that mean I can play now?”
“Fine! I don’t like you when you yell.”
Beep beep beep beep… Beep beep beep beep… Beep beep beep beep… Beep beep beep beep…
“Aw man. It is NOT six o’ clock yet. Damn it!”
“Actually it is, Mom. And would you turn that off? It’s keeping me awake.”
Yeah, tonight, right after I double my blood pressure meds, I’m going to put diazepam in his water! Little brat.