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Saturday, December 24, 2011

When You're Rich Beyond Dollar Signs

A re-post. Neither Mary nor I smoke anymore, but I'd almost forgotten about the day that John replaced their front door...

“I just want you to know,” she says, “that you are free to write about us as you see fit. I mean, I know what we look like to some people, and I don’t want you to stifle anything because you feel it presents us in an unflattering light.”

She pauses to take a drag from her cigarette.

“Heck,” she says. “I know what we look like.”

I am sitting on the couch in her living room. T-Bone, a Labrador of Great Sincerity and Low-Grade Flatulence, has his head on my knees and is gazing upward with the expression of one who believes I may have greasy, cat-flavored treats in my coat pockets.

I do not.

I light my own cigarette and blow the smoke toward the candle.

It is 24 degrees Fahrenheit outside (4.4 below Celsius); and inside, we are wearing our boots, coats, and hats.

We are not wearing our gloves.

That would be silly.

I pull my hat further down over my ears. “Tell me again why today is the day to replace the front door?”

Mary sighs. “Well the new one’s been in the living room for over a month now. It seemed like it was time.”

We gaze out the front door. It is 7:00, her abnormally dark street flanked by mounds of uncooperative snow. She takes a drag off her cigarette. “Check out the headlight.”

The David Mann mural on the wall nearest the front door has been desecrated by the creation of the new frame, the headlight on the friendly trucker’s vehicle now a shattered spattering of Drywall on the floor.

I shook my head sadly. “The chick on the bike still seems pretty happy.”

“Yeah,” Mary shivered. “Well, she’s been painted that way, if ya ask me.”

Eventually, of course, Jon and Justin have the frame square and the inner and outer doors attached to the frame.

It is beautiful.

The two holes in the doors, however, the lonely and unfulfilled spaces that will house the lockset and knob tomorrow whistle aggressively with a driving Arctic wind fresh out of North Dakota.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” asks Jon. He runs a thoughtful hand through the thatch of hair on his head. “Yep, this is going to be one beautiful –”

“JON!” Mary can hardly control herself. “There are HOLES! Ya hear that whistling? Ya feel the cold? Ya smell what I’m cookin’ here, Jon?”

Jon’s eyes alight on mine, and we grin silently. She yells because she cares.

He bursts into laughter. “I’m gonna cover the holes! Don’t you worry!”

Mary pulls back a bit. “OK. So how are the doors going to stay shut all night with that wind?”

Jon winks at me. “Ahhh. See, I got that covered, too.” He pulls the belt off his pants.

“Hey! Hey!” Mary shouts good-naturedly. “This is a family show!”

Jon frowns at her. “Hey, we don’t talk like that.”

Now it’s Mary’s turn to wink at me.

Jon’s already at the door. “Ya see this,” he says, opening both doors, “I’m going to run the belt through the screen door, then through the inner door, and now I’m going to shut them so the belt is caught between the house and the door.”

He straightens up, arching his back. “See that? Minneapolis Security System.”

Mary turns to me. “When you speak of this,” she says, “and I can see by the look on your face that you will, just remember who loves ya.”

She calls the dog over, who jumps into her lap and knocks her backward.

Mary buries her face into him, talks baby talk into his neck. “Iddin tha’ right, T-Bone? Iddin tha’ right? Who loves our lives more than we do?”


mybabyjohn/Delores said...

If we all did the same things in the same ways wouldn't life be boring? "Minneapolis Security System" gotta love it.

Joanne said...

I have so many friends with similar circumstances. One had a blue plastic back wall for almost a year. Her husband said nobody could tell, it was the back of the house. Small World Security System.

SparkleFarkle said...

A tribute-y video just for you, Mary, a "blowin'"-in-the-wind T-Bone, David Mann, Jon, Justin, and this blog story: cLiCkY-cLiCky HERE.

Make with the Merry Christmas!

Pearl said...

I enjoy you guys so much. :-)

And as Sparkle Farkle suggests, here's to makin' with the Merry Christmas!

vanilla said...

Amazing. Still funny. Merry Christmas, Pearl.

greetings at http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2011/12/tis-night-before-christmas.html

Stephanie said...

Great story. I lived the same one in a parallel universe in S. Florida. Here's to creative fix-it solutions.

Happy Holidays!

ThreeOldKeys said...

I wish you and yours, Ms. Pearl, a Very Merry Christmas. And I say that with Great Sincerity. I'll just keep the rest to myself.


Clipped Wings said...

Just wishing one of my favorite bloggers a happy Christmas with lots of good cheer!

savannah said...

merry christmas, sugarplum, tis the pogues at my place today! ;) xoxoxoxoxo

Symdaddy said...

Froehe Weihnachten Perlchen.

Ich wuensche euch einen wundershoenen Weihnachtsfest.

JohnD said...

Christmas Day here already - hit 37.5C (100F) in the shade yesterday but we are hoping for a cooler day today.

All quite in the house, Denny's sleeping off a night of chasing possums out of the yard. Rhonda's gone to work for the morning and I'm about to have a nice mug of hot tea!

Eva Gallant said...

Love, love your description of TBone! Great post; Minneapolis Security....very unique.

Leenie said...

I think this was one of the first PWYL posts I read. You had me at, "Labrador of Great Sincerity and Low-Grade Flatulence." Best writing ever! Wishing you a great holiday with lots of richness of all kinds.

jenny_o said...

Here's to good friends who don't mind being written about :)

And here's to a great blogger.


Merry Christmas Pearl!

Linda O'Connell said...

Your posts are like presents, I love unwrapping your humor.

River said...

I think I love Mary.

On My Soapbox said...

I think I have a door like that in my basement....

Michelle said...

Bloody Nazis..got to be mentally ill to even dream you want to be like Hitler..JARYMOV..they got that..and they got FEEKZAK, too.
So " THOWE"..hast been bombed by they students in all your EF.
WANSANDE....THRILL...all pathetic gun- runners and peds....and now DISTO..." oh RELLY"?
The point is that even METTETAL gave up FRADO in VERMONT with ROOT.
And that was a PENN operation?
With RICE?
Your black- white- WHOORESS?
" Brilliant"...blog PEARL...keep it up.
And Merry Christmas!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are delightful. I have visited much of late. Thanks for visiting me.