Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Crash in the Night and Richard Armitage




Picture this.  It is the dead of night, you are asleep, vulnerable to be sure but safe in the security of your home. 

A crash awakens you.  You are confused, muddled.  More than usual.  You turn to the person beside you.  Wait, it's the hind end quarters of a dog.  You turn to the person on the other side of the dog beside you.

"What the f....?"

"It was nothing.  Go to sleep," he mumbles sleep drool spilling from his mouth, his hair rumpled, his eyes pressed closed.  "It was probably Darcy."

I look at the dog between us.  Darcy the Dog has a rather odd way of sleeping. She is on her back with her right front leg stretched stiffly in salute.  At times I wonder if we rescued her from a Nazi Youth Camp instead of the Humane Society.  But I Digress

"Darcy's here.  She's beside us,"  Sleep drool spills from my mouth.

"...it was the cat..." he mutters in his sleep

"The cat's been dead for six months."

"...bummer..."

"Richie!  There was a crash in the kitchen!  Hello."  I am nearly fully awake now and my heart is pounding.  I listen.  There is silence.  "We're going to be slaughtered in our bed."

Darcy the Wonder Dog opens one eye and looks at me, then promptly disappears under the covers.

"Richie get up, get up, get up, get up"

"Ok, I'm up already.  What's wrong?"

"Didn't you hear that?  There was a crash in the kitchen."

"Huh."  Richie stumbles from the bed and blinks, recoils from the blinding light as I turn on the lamp.  "Good lord, turn that off.  Please.  Thank you.  Go back to sleep and I'll go see what happened."

"Oh no, not on your life."  I fumble for a flashlight in my drawer.  Nothing.  I run to his side of the bed as he totters into the bathroom to pee.  I look in his nightstand and finally find a flashlight.

You realize by this time whoever it is could have put the house on the market and sold it, we are taking so long. 

"What are you doing up?" he asks,  "and what are you doing with a broken flashlight?"

"Shit.  Well, in the right hands this could be a formidable weapon."

"There were some key words in that sentence."

"You mean, 'in the right hands'?"

"Those would be the words."  I handed him the flashlight.

"Stay here.  I'll go look."

"Not on your life.  You die - I die.  We go down together, no matter what form of vile, horrible fate lies ahead."

"That's really sweet.  Ok.  Put on a robe and some slippers..."

"Richie, I think he's made a roast by now.  Can we just go defend our home?"

He turns to the bed and lifts the covers.  "Darcy, you stay here."  We both agree on this.  The dog must not be harmed.

Anyway, I've drawn this out as long as I could.  It was nothing, no animals were harmed in the making of this post.  An overhead fixture panel decided it was time to commit suicide and jumped to it's death.  There was no one in our home, no terror but what I had created in my mind.  We were safe again to crawl back into bed and reassure Darcy that she would live till morning.

I forget again - just why did we get a dog in the first place?




Happy New Year, y'all!!


.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

CHRISTMAS SUNDAY NIGHT RAMBLINGS

This and that on Christmas Sunday Night:

Rich and I went to mass today and I was surprised by how few people were there.  Of course this is Florida and most Snowbirds go home for the holiday, then head straight back here sometime around 12:01 a.m. tomorrow morning.  The service was very nice, too long, and he didn't voice the usual irritating complaint about people who go to church only twice a year. 



My favorite priest officiated, have no idea what his name is though, since we go to church only twice a...never mind.  The kids were the best show at mass.  The little girls had their bright red dresses on and the little boys wore plaid shirts and long pants.  We all wore our ugly Christmas sweaters and tried to pretend we were up north for one hour.



Of course that passed the moment you went out into the 80 degree weather.  But the children were cute and now we are off to a friends house for dinner.  Darcy the wonder dog had bacon and eggs for breakfast.  All is well with the world.


Differences between men and women



Of all the thousands of differences that distinguish us from our better halves one of the most startling, to me anyway, is The Three Stooges.  OMG.  Why oh why do men find them to be so incredibly funny?  Richie was laughing his head off the other day and I walk in to see Curly yuk yuking and poking his fingers in his brothers eye.  Oscar Wilde must be so pleased.  Were they even brothers - the Three Stooges I mean.


Another difference I noted yesterday as we watched "Jane Eyre" for the first time on "On Demand" (Just discovered that wonder.  Bridesmaids is next) - during which Richie drifted off to sleep at least twice.  Men's heads are twice the size of women's - did you ever notice that?  It's true. 

The first time I noticed was at the end of Pride and Prejudice.  My God in Heaven Donald Sutherland's head is huge!  Kiera Knightly almost disappears into his nostrils.  Yesterday I saw the same contrast between Michael Fassbender and Mia what's her name who played Jane.  That was a good movie but kind of dull.  I still prefer Jane Austen to the Bronte's.  Go team Austen.




Worst movie I saw this year - THE THREE MUSKETEERS

Best move I saw this year - THE GUARD

Finally, I would like to give my poor brother his wish - Alastair Sims in THE CHRISTMAS CAROL.  He was complaining he couldn't find it anywhere, so here.  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Darcy and Fitzwilliam and the Turkey Blog Tour!!!



I love that cover.  It was created by a girl named Karen Horton at Soucebooks and in my opinion it is about the most beautiful cover out there.  But I digress...

So much has happened, and not happened, in the months since Darcy and Fitzwilliam was publishced, February 1, 2011.  We are still not in Walgreen's or K-Mart book stalls; those seem to be reserved for Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber and that Sparks guy.  I look every day and my heart skips a beat when I see green - but it's never Darcy and Fitzwilliam.  I tried in the beginning to push the stores into selling my book but evidently they have no say so about what books are selected.  There is a company the chains hire to go to the publishers and select the ones they want (that translates into those that sell).  Rats

In the meantime I am stuffing bookmarks into random books at Walmart (oh yes, I have no pride left whatsoever), I have a display of my one newspaper interview atop a garbage can at the Subway sandwich shop where Richie and I eat everyday that offers my book marks too, then there are blog hops, blog groups, twitter groups, etc.  It has seemed endless, exhausting, and left me no time to write so evenually I had to back away from some of it and start to write again.

And it worked!  Now I have  another book started - Darcy and Fitzwilliam - Fatherhood! It is still in very rough draft form and I have little to no confidence in myself.  I dread the thought of the second book not being accepted by my Publisher (they've been turning down P&P sequels lately) and then, if by some miracle it does get published, I would have to face another horror of a month as I did in February 2011,waiting and watching for reviews, tearing my hair out because of the bad ones and jumping for joy at the good ones. 

It is a roller coaster ride I swore I'd never take again, but if I am very very lucky, maybe I will.
Here is an excerpt from the original, my most favorite book in the whole world, which should be made into a movie with Brendan Gleeson or Martin Clunes as Fitzswilliam and Colin Firth and/or Matthew Macfadyen as the beaver.

Darcy and Fitzwilliam

Another shout out came from a group of young Corinthians racing by in their phaetons. “Whoo! Hoo! Well done, Colonel!” “Capital fellow!” “Come have a drink with us!!” He smiled vaguely then winced as one phaeton slid sideways on the ice, almost toppling itself and nearly injuring the precious horses. Goddamn stupid idiots, he thought as he smiled and waved. They righted themselves soon enough and laughed uproariously at their own daring.

The wind was kicking up more now, and it was biting cold. Bloody hell, did Darcy move his goddamn house? I don’t remember it being this far of a walk. He should not have told his batman to go home and get warm so that he could continue alone and think. Thinking is highly overrated he decided as he stomped his feet while awaiting traffic. I’m going to freeze my fucking balls off if I don’t… “Ladies…” Smiling warmly, he bowed and tipped his hat, flirting outrageously with the three giggling lovelies who slowed their pace as they walked by, whispering and staring back at him as they did. His spirits rose considerably when they spun around to follow him.

There definitely was an upside to fame.

The sad truth was that the one thing he really would have wanted to do with his life was the one thing that he could not. In his heart of hearts, Fitzwilliam wanted nothing more than to be a simple country squire. He wanted to work the soil, chop trees, and visit his tenants. He wanted to read and actually understand cattle and crop reports, or bicker over terms with tradesmen. He wanted a quiet, neat little home and the chance to doze off in a chair in his own garden, after he’d had a good pipe and glass of port. He wanted to smell the daisies handed to him by an adorable little moppet daughter, and to teach a son to ride a pony and how to fish. He wanted an innocent, demure, quiet, and biddable heiress wife, a shy lady who would be a model of English propriety by day and a whore for him in his bedroom by night. He sighed and grunted at his own foolishness.

After all, he had no money of his own.

He was a well-bred English second son.

He also was thirty-two years old and had spent the first blush of his young manhood sitting in mud and worried about getting enough food for his troops. Enough food and enough blankets, bullets, boots, horses, etc. Scavenging and stealing had occupied much of any time not spent in battle or being blind drunk, and the years had just slipped away. To his mind, he was too old now to start afresh, had no home of his own and no income. Of course, he could ask his father for any amount of money his heart desired, but he could not and would not take advantage of a man he so respected. He was back to wondering what to do with the remainder of his life. Most second and third sons could be assured of benevolence from the firstborn who inherited all; however, once his father was gone, he was certain Regis would cut him off without a farthing. They hated the sight of each other.

He truly should plan for the future, but not today. Well, I have finally struck bottom, he suddenly realized. I am wandering the streets, destitute, lost and homeless, and waxing maudlin. I’ll be sobbing on some poor bastard’s neck soon, drunk as a lord. If I am very lucky, perhaps Darcy will adopt me.

A gentleman slapped him on the shoulder. “Good show! Good show!” the man exclaimed then planted himself squarely in Fitzwilliam’s path. “I say, Colonel, may I call you Dick? Excellent! My, you’re a tall one, aren’t you? How’s the weather up there, what? Ha! Ha! Dick, did you happen to know my cousin? Major Billy Hench? Average height, light hair. Oh, surely you knew him. He was at Waterloo, also, and made quite a show for himself there.”

Fitzwilliam stared down at the diminutive man, expecting a little more information, and when it wasn’t forthcoming, he decided he would speed things up a bit.

“Excuse me, sir. Was your cousin also with the Coldstream Guards?”

“No, he was with the 72nd. To tell the truth, he did not actually see much action in the battle, per se, but he did attend the Duke of Richmond’s rout the night before. Surely you were there yourself! No? Are you certain? But my dear Dick, you must be mistaken. It was the place to be, I am told! It’s quite a humorous story, actually; he became frightfully drunk and nearly missed the whole fracas. Got in the game rather late in the day, I’m afraid. Oh, I am certain you must have met him—he wore a red uniform jacket with black boots.”

Oh my God, some people should just be drowned at birth. Fitzwilliam smiled down politely at the eager gentleman. “I don’t recall meeting him, sir, but I am certain I heard about his bravery. If you will excuse me, I must be going. I am late for an important meeting. Good afternoon.” Thank God this bloody war is behind me.

Truth be told, though, the war years were not completely behind Fitzwilliam, whether he acknowledged it or not. Unknown to his friends and even to some of his family, Fitzwilliam had been experiencing the aftermaths of war—battle fatigue and its accompanying nightmares, flashbacks, and panic seizures.

The more these symptoms plagued him, the deeper he fell into his old cycle from the years before—drinking, women, and gambling—until he himself was becoming aware of the adverse effect it was having on his physical, as well as mental, health.

The tide turned upon one comment from his beloved aunt Catherine. “Character is revealed in the dark, Richard.”

Damn old bat.

The remark had struck home. He knew his dark had become more and more appalling, possessing moments he would be loath to have exposed to the world, behavior of which he had become deeply ashamed.

One day he would open up to Darcy. He knew that a day would come eventually, probably during a drunken weekend and after several bottles of whiskey, and maybe then he could begin to confront the demons that tormented him.
He wanted so to have better life
.
He wanted so to be a better man.





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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dogs and Cats



The Following was found posted - very low - on a certain refrigerator door...

Dear Dogs and Cats (you know who you are):  The dishes on the floor with the paw prints are yours and contain your food, such as it is.  The other dishes are ours and contain our food.  Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate does not mean that it is suddenly, now, your food, nor do we find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. 

The stairway is not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Racing us to the top of the stairs is not the object.  Tripping us doesn't help because we fall faster than you can run.  We have had years of practice.

We cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed.  We are very sorry about this.  Do not think we will continue sleeping pressed into a corner of the mattress, or on the couch, to ensure your comfort.  Dogs and cats can actually curl up into a ball when they sleep.  It is also not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  
We also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize the space that you are taking up, is nothing short of sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom!  My goodness!  We cannot emphasize this enough.  If, by some miracle, We beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door.  We must exit through the same door we entered. 
Also, we have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is this:  Kiss us first, then go smell the other dog or cat's bottom.  
Again, we cannot empahsize this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dearest pets, we have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND COMPLAIN

(1) They live here...you do not.

(2) If you do not want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.  That's why it is referred to as "fur"-niture.

(3) We like our pets a lot better than we like most people.

(4) To you, they are animals.  To us, they are the only children we will ever have, adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly. 

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(a) eat less,

(b) don't ask for money all the time,

(c) are easier to train,

(d) normally come when called,

(e) never ask to drive the car,

(f) don't hang out with drug-using people,

(g) don't smoke or drink,

(h) don't want to wear your clothes,

(i) don't have to buy the latest fashions,

(j) don't need a gazillion dollars for college

and, best of all,

(k) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children
<><>
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Monday, October 24, 2011

DARCY THE WONDER DOG (and the Blog Hop Winner is announced)



It occurred to me the other day that you are young for a very, very long time and then - SWISSSSSHHHH - all of a sudden - you aren't.  It happens just like that, just that fast.  It's like getting bashed in the head by the Old Age Fairy with a baseball bat.  BAM, BAM, BAM. 

That is when you notice nothing works right anymore, everything aches and you realize you have been tired since you turned fifty.  Richie reminds me of how old I am whenever he helps me from a chair or whenever I drop something for no reason or whenever I walk into a room with that customary blank stare on my face, forgetting what I came into the room for. 

Or is it - for that which I came into the room.  I hate grammar.

It happens to him also occasionally, for which I thank the Lord God Almighty.  His trials began in earnest with our adoption of Darcy the Wonder Dog, or Darcylicious or Darcy Elizabeth or The Damn Dog Peed Again.  She depends a great deal upon our continued poor eyesight in conjunction with our less than stunning reflexes, and with good reason.

We are old.  She is young.



Case in point:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON
Richie came in screaming that the dog had stolen his screwdriver.  Rich was repairing the lawnmower (he has been repairing the lawnmower for about eight months now) and as he explained it he just put the screwdriver down for a second and it was gone.  Shortly afterward Darcy flashed by, screwdriver in mouth, laughter on face.  to add insult to injury she did a little victory dance in front of him - like a Greenbay Packer in the end zone.  He threw his work gloves down in a fit of peak. 

They too disappeared shortly thereafter.


SATURDAY MORNING
It was very early morning; we had searched the grass blade by blade the day before and found nothing.  Richie couldn't run the riding mower until we found that screwdriver because the damn blades would find it way before we did and it would damage the machine.  There was only one thing to do - we needed to catch her in the act.  She was wily and cute, we were old and cheap.  I am not about to buy another riding mower.

We hid behind the bushes, our backs to the side of the house.  Stealthily we leaned forward to observe what Darcy the Doppelganger was up to, and we saw - she was lying on her tummy in the grass and waiting for us to appear around the corner. 



Beside herself with the joy of the game she grabbed the purloined screwdriver, clicked her heels (yes, dogs have heels) and was off like a shot...like a shot and a half...with Richie in hot pursuit.  At this point the phone was ringing; and, besides, with Richie safely out of the house I could sneak in and snatch that last French Cruller.  I went inside and left the Gang of Two to fight it out among themselves. 



Richie came inside about an hour later,laughing. 

"She pulled my shorts down," he said with a groan.  "I had my hands full, trying to keep aloft the gloves and the screwdriver I had just tricked her into dropping, and she pulled my pants down.  I couldn't move fast enough to catch them." 

"Oh, you poor thing," I said, trying to appear as if I meant it.  "I can't think of anything more...more...embarrassing."

"I can.  Since I hadn't taken my shower yet I didn't have any underwear on.  I had just slipped on my jogging shorts to go outside."




Outside the window Light Fingers Darcy was standing on her hind legs doing a hula, gloves at her feet and screwdriver in her mouth.




The week long Spook-a-licious Blog Hop is over.  Finally.  I am so tired. 
The winner of a signed copy of
"Darcy and Fitzwilliam"
is

mirrormera92

Congratulations, Mera!!!!

yay

*

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SPOOK-A-LICIOUS BLOG HOP TOUR - Pride and Prejudice Style

(CLICK ON THE TITLE OF THIS POST TO SEE THE ENTIRE TOUR, or
CLICK ON THE SPOOKY PICTURE ON THE RIGHT)

Karen V. Wasylowski



SPOOK-A-LICIOUS:
WHERE BOO-KS DEVOUR YOU
BLOG HOP TOUR (OCT 17-24)
***
Leave a comment here to win a signed copy of my book,
"Darcy and Fitzwilliam"
selected by the
Orange County Calif. 'Register' as a
Great Summer Read!!
***
Now
AS THE JANE AUSTEN WORLD TURNS
Episode 10,733

Pride and Prejudice and
Dancing with the Vampires

(Starring "Darcy and Fitzwilliam")


***
Photobucket

 When we last saw the iconic Mr. Darcy, he had returned from a Home Depot Wall Treatment Seminar to find his beautiful home, Pemberley, had been turned into a Regency Era
version of the Munsters, transformed by his ward and one-time trusted sidekick,
Charles Bingley.

In fact, all of Meryton has been turned into a sort of
Vampire Time Share. The only person not infected is our hero,
Mr. Darcy!!!

or so he believes.  There is one other person (all right, maybe six) not infected.

Colonel Fitzwilliam!!!
***
Our story continues, one week later, on Halloween
***

Mrs. ReynoldsMr. Darcy, there are more undead banging on the door.  Shall I send Henry out with Bridget Jones II?




Mr. Darcy:  Oh, I see no need to be that cruel, Mrs. Reynolds.  I think torching them should be sufficient.

Mrs. Reynolds:  Very good, sir.  By the way, Colonel Fitzwilliam has only just arrived, all the way from Belgium and Waterloo...or was it Dorset and the Dinosaur Museum?

Mr. Darcy: Excellent.  I need Fitz, a statement I rarely can make without laughter.  He can go with me to the Meryton Public Rooms and help me destroy the head Vampire - George Wickham.  There is a public ball tonight and I shall need all the non vampires I can summon.  Since he just returned to town I doubt he could be a vampire yet. 

*
Mrs. Reynolds:  No, I believe he's Church of England.
*
Mr. Darcy:  Excellent.  There may be dancing.


Colonel Fitzwilliam (just entering the room):  Not on your life, Darcy.  You never let me lead.



******


It is hours later and Darcy and Fitzwilliam are standing outside, on the lawns of the Meryton Public Rooms.   Creatures of the night are flying by, possessed bodies are digging themselves up from their graves, zombies are tearing at human flesh, there are screams, blood curdling cries and blood everywhere. 

Think Walmart the day after Thanksgiving.



Mr. DarcyDid you bring everything?



Colonel Fitzwilliam:  What do you mean, did I bring everything?  Who put you in charge?

Mr. Darcy:  I am the designated Vampire slayer for the Peaks District, or hadn't you read the flyer yet..  I have had all the required training and I have a whistle.

Colonel Fitzwilliam:  Sounds a bit like Baywatch

Mr. Darcy:  Fitzwilliam!

Colonel Fitzwilliam:  All right, all right!  Don't get your knickers in a twist, Shirley.  Oh bloody hell, now you've made me forget, what was I to bring again?


*
Mr. Darcy (sighing):  A Wooden Stake, A Large Wooden Hammer, A Crucifix, A String of Garlic, A Change of Underwear, Wolfbane...
**
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  Wolfbane?  I that that was to repel sheep...or was it to repel Reverend Collins?

Mr. Darcy:  I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.   All right, I believe we are finally ready -  time to don your String of Garlic.
*
*
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  No, no, no. no. You must be mad.  What woman would dance with me if I was wearing that smelly thing?
*
Mr. Darcy:  None, but now they would have an excuse.
*
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  Very funny, brat.   What are we supposed to do when we get into this bat soiree anyway.  How will we know which of these toaddies to speak with?
*
Mr. Darcy:  Well, we won't actually speak with them, I may have misled you a bit with that.
*
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  Wouldn't be the first time either.  All right, give me the boring run down for each item.  What do I do with my Wooden Stake?
*

*
Mr. Darcy:  Quite simple - I've even included some written instructions.  You position your Wooden Stake, point downward, directly above the Vampire's heart and then drive it into the subject's chest with your Wooden Mallet, as deep as it will go, pound, pound, pound, until blood squishes and guts and ribs...
*

*
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  DARCY!  ARE YOU INSANE?11!

*
Mr. Darcy:  What?

*
Colonel Fitzwilliam:  I've just gotten my uniform cleaned.  You drive your Wooden Stake into the bodies.  I'll be romancing the ladies.

*****

*
Inside the Dancing with the Vampires ball Darcy and Fitzwilliam stroll through the crowd liesurely, attempting to appear as Un-Dead as the rest.

*
Mr. DarcyYou needn't have worn a costume, Fitz.

*


*
Fitzwilliam:  How rude.  What costume?
*
Mr. Darcy:  You've been watching too much porn again.  Very well, Fitz.  I see Wickham coming over here with Bingley.  Do you have your Vampire kit?  Fitz?
*
*
Fitzwilliam:  I like this music it has a nice beat.  Hello, Ladies.
*
Mr. Darcy:  Fitzwilliam?  Are you listening to me?  Get your stake and have your hammer at the ready.  I'll meet Wickham and Bingley at the bar and lead them to you.  Fitzwilliam?
*

*
Fitzwilliam:  Later Darcy - why don't you relax a bit, I see some old friends.  Will you excuse me one moment?  Ladies, I'll let you gnaw on my neck if you let me gnaw on yours.
*
Mr. Darcy:  You can't be a Vampire already, it doesn't work like that.
*
Fitzwilliam:  It does if you volunteer.
********
*
Mr. Darcy:  Well, that is so typical.  I suspect I'm on my own again.  Here come Bingley and Wickham.  Hello, George, Charles.
*
Mr. Wickham:  Hello Darcy.  Want a bite?  Vampire humor - not very good.  So is that a stake in your hand or are you happy to see me?
*
*
Mr. Darcy:  'Fraid it's a stake, old boy.  Would you mind unbuttoning your shirt and baring your heart to me.  This should only take a moment.
*
Mr. Wickham:  I've a much better idea, Darcy.  Join us.  We have life eternal, days off, an excellent food supply and we have dental.
*
Mr. Darcy:  Works for me.



Next up, Randi Alexander
http://randialexander.com/


I hope you have enjoyed Dancing with the Vampires starring:
"Darcy and Fitzwilliam"
on sale everywhere, including e-books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million - even the DePaul University Bookstore for some reason.
"Darcy and Fitzwilliam" is actually non-vampire, but very funny and kind of poignant too.  It is a continuation of Jane Austen's
Pride and Prejudice...
A sort of Regency Era Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
***
***
Watch my video
Just look at the sidebars here if you want to buy.

Or just buy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

BACK FROM CHICAGO AND TEN POUNDS HEAVIER!


(Not really a Lincoln Town Car or fleeing old people - but a faithful representation)

We’re Back!” the couple screamed as their ancient Lincoln Town Car bounced it’s way down the Florida highways, slid sideways up their side street sending walkers and oxygen poles flying from terrified old people, and up into their driveway.

It was later reported that the number of “For Sale” signs that went up within moments was unprecedented and probably the true cause of sudden hurricane warnings on THE WEATHER CHANNEL, or as we like to call it in Florida, THE TRAVEL CHANNEL.

Yes, we have returned. I sit here now and reflect, relaxing after my first decent shower in two weeks, contemplating the blowtorch that I have fired up beside me, ready to do it’s good work on the old leg hairs – or branches as Richie likes to call them, with that mad twinkle in his eye – leg hairs that have woven a colorful tapestry across my limbs and under my arms.


I look like a homeless woman, I really do. More than usual. I have toenails that rival Howard Hughs’ and the fingernails of an Opium Den proprietor, or Empress Dowager Cixi, last Emperor of China (get real - of course I looked that up on Wikipedia, do you think a reasonable person knows these things off the top of their heads? Hmmm, do you? As if I was a reasonable person to begin with … Where was I…?)

Oh yes, so we have returned to the scene of the crime, our home, after two weeks of being with friends and relatives. Next time I’m bringing a gun.

I won’t bore you with details (or with facts for that matter) but I have a few observations I wish to make for posterity.



(Not actually Don and Carol but a faithful representation)
***
First of all, Carol and Don Furst are about the nicest people in the world. We love them to bits – Carol is my husband’s niece and a delicate delight. Don is not so delicate but still a definite charmer himself. How we got to be related to people like this is more mysterious than a Greg Isles novel but suffice it to say that they are dear sweet people who deserve all of the luck they have. All that luck. All that darn luck. I don’t begrudge them any of it, not a thing. Nope. Really I don’t.

However…


(Not really Don and Carol's home but a faithful representation)

Who else do you know who buys a gorgeous, historical, home (their driveway and lovely professionally landscaped and lit patio is all made of pavers for god’s sake) and have the seller insist – INSIST – that she must paint all the rooms for them before they move in, whatever color they choose. And she took some money off the price – cause they are such nice kids. And she sent them a card for their year anniversary in the house. And she sent them a card for Don’s new fancy job downtown…come to think of it, just why do we like this couple?



Oh yes. They have perfect children. Their daughter, Beautiful Colleen married Handsome Adrian, the same man who voluntarily made my website presentable, out of the goodness of his heart. And their son, Adorable Charlie is a brain walking around just being brilliant all the time and he gets to go to London with his boss.

These people are starting to get on my nerves. Let’s move on.




(Not my brother's actual home but a faithful representation)


(Not my actual sister-in-law but a faithful representation)

We drove next to my beloved brother’s house. My brother is on a lot of drugs for back pain so he can't drive at the moment and was waiting for us at his daughter's home.  (Note to self – do not ever again ride in car driven by lovely, super powered, multi-tasking, distracted sister-in-law as she applies press-on nails and polish) Richie nearly peed in his pants in the back seat and so did I in the front seat, but I pee in my pants hourly so that doesn’t count. Anyway, we got to my niece’s house. Anne Marie had given birth to an angel. Dillon or Dylan - or however they are going to spell it - is a beautiful seven days old, but had just come home that day from the hospital because of some complications; she must wear a heart monitor for a few weeks.


(Not actually my brother but a faithful reprsentation of him on drugs and
hearing the baby monitor go off)

That is all my brother and I have to know to be on 'edge' (read hysterical - discuss among yourselves). It is in our genes, truly it is, and cannot be denied, not that either of us attempts to achieve any level of “reasonableness” very often. Well, I finally was convinced to hold the little bundle of love and wires for a few terrifying minutes. Here’s an interesting aside - not all women are maternal. No siree. I am about as maternal as a Komodo Dragon and tiny babies are the pits. When the babies are sick and tiny…don’t make me hold them. Please. I do have a warning from the National Institute for Health issued concerning me with small children and farm animals.

Anyway, my brother hovered and I trembled. Then the worst thing happened. The alarm on the baby’s heart monitor went off. My life flashed before my eyes. It had to be my life because the TINY INFANT I WAS CLUTCHING IN A DEATH GRIP HAD HAD NO LIFE TO SPEAK OF YET!!! Poor wee thing, and me with my brother’s hands gripping my throat…

Well, it turned out to be the battery on the monitor was low because I was walking around singing “Baby Face” to the little one (I always sang Baby Face to my nieces and nephews when they were newborn infants. Many of them screamed and two left home on all fours. But I digress…)

Coming next…on to DANNY AND REBECCA’S HOUSE!

Monday, October 3, 2011

AS THE JANE AUSTEN WORLD TURNS


AS THE JANE AUSTEN WORLD TURNS
Episode 33
***


In the sleepy town of Meryton, a suburb of the great throbbing metropolis that is known as London, live several families.

This is their story.


pemberley1





Pemberley Mansion
***


It is late in the evening at the Pemberley Mansion.  Fitzwilliam Darcy - handsome, tall, wealthy, pompous, arrogant, stuffy - has just returned home from a combination bird watching tour and leaf buying expedition, only to discover an orgy in progress - in his three month absence his young ward, Charles "Don Juan" Bingley, has turned the once respectable and staid Pemberley Estate into a den of sin and iniquity.  With a Starbucks. 

It is now known far and wide as the Pemberley Playboy Mansion




Everyone young and nubile from Meryton is in attendance - those famously loose women of THE PEAKS, the bit o'muslin, the demimonde, the round heeled - including, but not necessarily restricted to, the following:



 Those Bawdy Bennet sisters - Coo Coo Kitty and Loosey Goosey Lydia,


the perennially desperate Dr. Charlotte Collins, Proctologist to the  Stars,


and Caroline the Contortionist Bingley as the Beaver!  

It was quite the plethora of pulchritude.




Fitzwilliam Darcy:  I say.  Charles old man.  I wonder if I might have a word with you?

Charles Bingley:  Good god how did you get in here and why?

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Well it is...after all...my home.  Charles who are all of these people and where are their clothes?  This cannot be in the least bit sanitary and why does this short person keep placing her hands in my pocket?  I've no change, young woman, none whatsoever, and no, to answer your ridiculous and repeated question, I do not have a gun in my pocket.  How truly bizarre you are.

Charles Bingley:  These are school chums of mine.  It's a study group. 

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  With sheep?

Charles Bingley:  I never claimed it was a particularly good study group.






Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Well, you must ask them to leave.  Enough!  Please young woman, you are beginning to try my nerves!  I know nothing about your pole dancing skills, nor do I wish to...unless, of course, you are speaking of a type of Slavic folk dance perhaps...no?  Pardon me madame - if I could just step over you and your small farm animal companion - Charles! what are those ladies doing to your breeches!

Charles Bingley:  They are seamstresses.  They are taking my inseam.



Firtzwilliam Darcy:  With their teeth?

Charles Bingley:  Ummm...both are extremely nearsighted.

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  I have never seen such odd things in my entire life.  I passed a couple on my way into the room who were physically forming the number four. 

Charles Bingley:  Darcy why don't you run on upstairs and color sort your socks.  It would really be bad form if you were here when Wickham arrives.  He frankly finds you a bit dim.

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Never tell me that bounder has anything to do with this!

Charles Bingley:  Well, rather.  He is what they call in America the boss.  The Godfather.  The grand cherokee.  The Donald.  He runs things around here - everything.  He decides who lives, who dies, who...



Fitzwilliam Darcy:  What are you trying to tell me, Charles?

Charles Bingley:  Good lord but you're obtuse!  He owns the place Darcy my boy.  He purchased Pemberley from me for nice bottle of chianti, some shiny beads and a neck nibble.

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  How?  How is this possible?  I trusted you with my most precious possession!   Oh heavens - didn't I leave my sister Georgiana here also?

Charles Bingley:  Oops.

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Good god, man!  What were you thinking?  Whatever could be worth giving up Pemberley?  Georgiana I can see but...Pemberley!

Charles Bingley:  He has promised us all immortality!  All of Meryton!

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  What does he think he is?  German?

Charles Bingley:  Don't be ridiculous.  He's French.  Of course, you must allow him, or one of his followers, to gnaw on your neck, just a tad.  Charlotte Collins brought me on board - it was too too odd to think of my sister Caroline doing it, you know, incest and all that.

Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Why Charles, I am seriously considering becoming quite vexed with you!  Quite!  I could even, possibly, become irked.




Charles Bingley:   Now if you will excuse me, Darcy, as you can see I am busy at the moment - wouldn't want a wardrobe malfunction so to speak.  A little to the left my darlings...









Just then the front doors of the Pemberley Playboy Mansion are thrown open and Dr. George Wickham, Amateur Gynecologist, Polo Player, and Phlebotomist enters, wearing striped pajamas and smoking a pipe.  On each arm is a beautiful young woman.

-
Charles Bingley:  Oh joy!  Oh Rapture!  I have fallen in love - at first sight!  No, no, no my darling...of course that doesn't mean you must stop!  Heavens no. That's very good, only please try not to cough quite so much...
-
Fitzwilliam Darcy:  Charles who is she - that vision of grace and charm on his left?
-
Charles Bingley:  A blonde goddess - my Helen of Troy!  I believe she is the eldest Bennet sister, Jane...


Fitzwilliam Darcy:  No, not her - his other left - the brunette.  Who is she?
-
Charles Bingley:  Oh lord, another Bennet sister.  They breed like rabbits.  She is ELIZABETH!


***TO BE CONTINUED***