Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twenty Seven Heaven

I entitled this blog the name of a show I opened for when I was twenty two years old. It was at the old Dillons. A genius piece about the twenty seven club it was written by my friend and world famous author and filmmaker Ian Halperin. I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with Ian. He was the man who got me saying Chao chao when I signed off a phone conversation. Seeing him in person I realized how much I missed him.
A lot has happened since I was twenty two. I remember getting my little block with May on Last Comic Standing in the cold that year and everyone and their mother in my hometown saw us on network TV. I have been on a few TV shows, pissed off a few censors, have had a few gossip columnists up my ass, managed to get on a reality show, managed to do a press tour, and managed to get a book written that I am currently publishing. Oh and I am a talking head on Adi Sideman is a genius. If you don’t believe me check out the site.
Did I mention I recently dated a celebrity much older than I was? Yes my Sugar Daddy, Dinosaur with Attitude. This past week we played phone tag until finally he didn’t return one of my calls. I didn’t feel like chasing after him. My principals say don’t chase a man in a walker. Needless to say May Wilson has spoken about stealing him. She can have him as he tallies up all the money he spends on me.
Part of me is looking forward to my twenty seventh year. I have worked hard and laid a lot of the ground work to a career that is looking very promising. The other half of me dreads it because I was at this place close to my twenty fourth birthday, everything looking perfect and then nothing happened. I am so freaking terrified of the same thing happening again. I went from going into tape a show to handing out newspapers in the cold outside the building. I was like a princess dropped from another planet back to the dregs of Earth. Maybe God wanted to teach me humility. Well I got the crash course.
There is a part of me who thinks twenty seven will be awesome. The other half of me who is terrified. Of course I am doing well and that terrifies me too in a way. I guess it is the pessimist in me. Everything goes so good what is set to go wrong? The breaks will stop coming in? My phone will stop ringing? I’ll get fat either because of nature or in love I will get knocked up? My book won’t get published? I will be doomed to struggle in obscurity screaming, “I was on the Today Show damnit! Don’t you know me?!?!”
On the other hand I have a lot of good things set to drop soon. The first being my book. The second being Pig Roast with the amazing Otto Petersen and George Dudley. The third being appearances on both Bravo and the Travel Channel. Of course there was that little cameo in the Lionsgate film. Let’s not forget some webseries spots I just filmed. But what if nothing pops? Oh gosh, I am such a worry wart. But I have to be. I can’t have another period of darkness like I had before.
I know in the long run none of that matters. I have a wonderful family and a group of friends so awesome they make me cry sometimes. Of course there are my fans who are unflinchingly loyal who would fearlessly fight for me until the end which makes me very thankful.
So twenty seven, I think we are going to take over the world. I have a good feeling about you. Surprise me like Susan Boyle. Don’t make me cringe like Carrie Prejean. Love April

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Around in Circles

I am going to be twenty seven this Monday. I don’t know what ever the hell that means. Part of me is amazed I have lasted this long on God’s green Earth. The other half of me is dismayed because I thought I would be an icon by now. Then there is a small sliver of me that barely still feels like an adult, that feels better when my mom is there helping me order and organize my life. I know, I am what they call a young adult.
Twenty six was amazing. I was on a reality show that got me tons of new fans and a press tour that multiplied the exposure. I got some nice gigs as a result. I returned to the acting making a horror film that is awesome in my opinion. I made some cool web videos and had fans fly into town to meet me. I had celebrity athletes take fan photos with my puppets. I pitched my book and am in the process of getting it published. I got featured in Chat in the UK. Oh and I am a part of a really neat site called YouNow where I broadcast daily with my puppet children and freestyle rap. I also deliver a lot of singing telegrams and am recording my own music. I have been keeping a one bedroom by myself and am self supporting through my own contributions. I know, superstar!
On the other hand, at twenty seven, there is still so much I feel that I can’t do. One is talk to guys. Until the time I was twenty two I had alcohol to help me mask my shyness. I stopped drinking which was wonderful because you could file me under the category of trouble whenever I engaged in libations. Then I tried the relationship thing and it failed. Now I just find myself wanting to run away every time a guy wants to get close to me. Maybe it was because my ex fiancĂ© was an emotionally and physically abusive prick that tried to take away my puppets, my one and only love. Or maybe its just because I am shy. I was shy before I met Jack Daniels and maybe its starting to come back.
I found myself involved with a man much older than me not long ago. Actually last week. While the age difference was quite remarkable we connected and he is perhaps one of the funniest, most intelligent people I have ever come across. While his eccentricities made my head spin he had a good heart and treated me like a lady. Since he was quite wealthy, he took me out to nice restaurants where we didn’t dine and dash. I heard all these stories about him being a womanizer and maybe he was. However I will admit the dude was growing on me. Then again, here I am with a much older and more wealthy man and I barely make ends meat sometimes. Make that most of the time. I don’t know what it was but I felt like running away. All my friends, especially the gays, wanted me to milk that sugar. But somehow I was too ashamed to even let this dude see the cake. Part of me thinks if he saw the cake he would have given me more ingredients to bake, but still I just began to feel shy. The crazy thing is, he liked the fact I was smart……that is for now. I just started to go crazy and that’s when I decided to end it. I dunno, maybe it was the thought of dating a man that potentially wears a diaper or could in a short time. Either way there is a part of me that misses him.
Still the upside is that he could be a tinge racist and homophobic. I don’t think it was intentional. I just think it was because he was almost eighty. May Wilson wants me to get one that’s ninety five. Then he also kept telling me how much money dinner was. In the words of my good friend Colin McPhee, “Dinosaur with attitude.”
I almost know how to take care of myself these days. I eat well sometimes. Sometimes I eat junk. I am pissed these days that Cheetos are a buck nine. Cheetos are a staple in my diet, that and coffee. Since they raised the price of cheetos I am eating more fruit. Perhaps this is a blessing in disgusise. My place is a filth mess and squalor. Then again all I do is work and I am busy all the time. A mouse just ran by. When I get back from my trip I will purchase traps and call the exterminator. Of course this will be after I clean. Until he meets the glue trap and meets his mouse maker I will call him Zeke. That sounds like a name for a cute little disease carrier.
I am sick. This past week and a half was eventful though. I was part of the launch at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Fran where I was helping to represent YouNow. I also was revising my book yet again. I shot a music video in the woods where I was underdressed. I also took a graduate level writing course at NYU. Then Monday I was McGaga first thing in the morning and then that afternoon I played McGaga in a project directed by a world famous director whos name I will not say.  In between all of that I have been getting blocked hang up calls from the illegitimate daughter and ex paramour of the potential sugar daddy because they are pissed I have him and they don’t. Well they can have their happy little dysfunctional family reunion.
Either way I am sick.
I go home tomorrow to see my family for a few days. I don’t want to demonstrate what an adult I am, becoming financially and artistically savvy as I find success in the big city. Screw that.
I want my mommy to make me chicken soup, put me in front of the TV and to turn on the cartoons damn it. Oh and a little bell would be nice.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On My Own

I have been single for almost three years now. My last relationship was a mistake waiting to happen. Truth was, I got into it in an effort to clean up the proverbial mess that had become my life. I remember everything had fallen apart after the breakup of my engagement. My ex didn’t like the puppets, he didn’t like my friends, he didn’t like my family. I just wanted a guy who wanted April for April. Nine times out of ten I would just settle for someone who wasn’t a junkie, who worked part time and who would offer to pay for dinner even if we had to dine and dash. And if they were a junkie I would still settle if they would look alive and wouldn’t nod off in public.
So when I met the most recent ex it was one of those things where he had a job. Well it was better than a job he was a lawyer. We ate out at nice places, we talked about stupid things, and I hated every second of it. He and the truth were estranged as he tried to impress his stupid trust fund friends. I was being dishonest too, pretending to be happy. In the end it was for the best. I couldn’t stay loyal to a fake anyway. But for once I wanted something or someone to be mine that was worthwhile, even if it was for a minute.
But the truth is, almost three years later, I sort of like being alone. I don’t want a man, I don’t want a relationship. I like being by myself. At first when I was single again out of a relationship second time around, I wanted to rebound with the cutest guys possible because the ex had been so ugly. He was skinny, balding and had backney. So in order to show everyone how hip I was I ended up going with an Ambercrombie model as well as a former Playgirl model. They were both one shot deals. I tried going back to my unemployed ex cons and such. It just wasn’t the same after having a guy with a job. I wanted to rebound with the Playboys like I had before, enjoying the ride and never having a night alone. I wanted the cute guys to pick me up after my set at the comedy clubs. But then I realized now that I had stopped drinking there was one thing that I failed to realize, cute guys don’t hang out at comedy clubs.
I found myself being pursued by an ex con who quoted the Bible and targeted white women because he felt we were stupid. He said he preferred white women but the truth is a black chick would flatten his ass. He didn’t appeal to me. As a matter of fact he seemed a sad sack of shit who would never stop stinking. Then there was the guy technically still married going through a separation blah blah blah. He obviously still loved his wife. Of course there was the other Playgirl model who was married and didn’t tell me. Then there was the quasi-boyfriend who was too clingy.
Something changed between the ages of twenty five and twenty six though. I can’t quite put my finger on it but it happened around the time my friend Roger died. Roger had been my buddy who had a long history of drug abuse. While not strangling Roger had been a large part of being his friend he always made me laugh. I always wondered what made us connect the way he did, this Cuban ball walking queen that he was. We seemed so different. I think the thing that did connect us was that innately, I identified with his need to look fabulous and the weakness of not being able to say no to the wrong men. Often, Roger would give me shit about my choices when most of the time he didn’t even get the names of his. Needless to say, we would exchange an ironic laugh.
Towards the end of Roger’s life we were not on speaking terms. He made his choices and unfortunately he chose the behavior. Much of it was his unwillingness to get his act together and wanting me to be a party to it. I didn’t find out about his passing until after the burial. When I did I remember just losing my mind. I went on this two week rampage where I went out with three ex cons, one guy who may have been married and a pretty boy who wasn’t sure what team he played for. An old part of me was back and ready to rock, and not in a good way. I figured Roger wouldn’t want me to grieve. He would want me to celebrate his life by living the way he did. Having fun. And Roger would be happy to see me having fun right?
However it didn’t feel as good. Actually it sort of sucked. I felt like trash because I was picking my company directly from the gutter. Then it clicked. Roger would have been pissed to see me carrying on the way I was. This was the behavior that had put him in the ground. Often times he would get pissed when he saw me date the so called “cheeseballs” as he called them claiming despite his homosexuality he could still seduce me and please me in ways they never could. Then the white light moment hit me, just as I had buried Roger it was time to bury that part of my life. More than anything, that’s what he would have wanted.
Suddenly the idiots didn’t look so cute as they talked their idiot talk about being arrested, jobless or whatever. They weren’t worth my time and energy and suddenly I felt okay feeling that. When someone was married I suddenly didn’t want their number or fearlessly told them to fuck off. I didn’t believe a lot of the dick driven jive I heard on the street. That’s all it was, dick driven jive. I saw these losers as what they were, disgusting.
My time out of the dating world was worth it. In Roger’s death I found a new life. I appeared on a reality TV show, did the press tour which included the Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Joy Behar, ABC News Now, LAX and several others with my beloved puppet children. I also got fan mail that still amazes me and breaks my heart. Not to mention my pic ended up in the TV Guide. Oh and my pic and story appeared in Chat Magazine in London as well as Gawker here. Not to mention May and I did a dozen or so private events and we were put on the guest lists for several celerity parties. Jenny Krop of the US Women’s Volleyball team took a fan photo with us and May Wilson is still talking about it.
In addition I made lots of new videos and learned how to werq it online. Not to mention I made a killer short film that is being pimped out to festivals. The film was a lot of work to make but it had been forever and a day since I had acted. As a matter of fact it was a surprise I still could even though I went to NYU. I also appeared in a few online commercials. Heck, I was even working as a reenactment actress. From what my mom says I got good face time. The irony of it was I received a lot of air time and don’t even have a TV.  Oh and I also got to work with Otto and George, a ventriloquist duo I so admire.
As for my writing, I wrote a book. I found myself revising it and even pitched it a few times this summer. I am currently in talks with someone. I am very excited about my book. I spent all of last summer writing it and now the dream of publishing it is coming to fruition. I have been a writer my entire life and even won a few awards for it as a kid. Somehow, I don’t know why, I just didn’t write a book until now. It was my mom’s idea but my friend Joe Cannava (RIP) pushed me to write. While Joe didn’t call me at two in the morning like Roger, he still made a difference and would always ask me how my book was and told me I should write more. Hell I miss them both.
Oh and I made music for the first time. I befriended Marcus Yi and started recording songs and making videos. Marcus has quickly become one of my favorite new friends I have made this year. Somehow, he always manages to bring out the best in me and knows how to make me look good on camera. He is my one and only techno gay. I don’t know what I would do without him. Not to mention I am doing more song writing and singing. Ironically, I work as a singing telegram person. You would think I would have done that sooner, right?
And then there is Yes, I am a talking head for the website and love every second of it. I love the friends I have made on there not just because they are so talented but because they always have my back against cyber bullies. I have even a pet city in Italy. I am on younow every day where I rant, freestyle/slam, sing and do routines with my puppet children who are all well rehearsed. I reach large numbers of people and feel good about my work.
As for the standup, I have done a lot less of that this year. Part of it was that after Roger’s death, I felt a sense of purpose and resigned from the club that worked me like a slave as an open mic host and treated me like crap despite the money I made them. I put away some good sets though and got good stage time, but I haven’t chased it like I did years ago. When the doors didn’t open for me the way I wanted I made some peace with that and changed my goals. Sometimes I miss the ideology of the standup dream but other times I know I am farther along because I changed with the tide in my life.
I hadnt had a date for sometime until three weeks ago I was asked out by a well to do and slightly eccentric Jewish man who is old enough to be my grandfather. I went out with him twice and despite what others said he is a cute little guy who makes me laugh and has treated me well. My friends are pushing for me to tap into that pocket, pop that Gucci. Part of me wants to I wont lie. However the other part of me wants to be alone.
Sugar Daddy’s are like Rumplestiltskin. They come to collect eventually or they rub it in and steal your first born. Aside from the steak dinners which I love, I don’t even want a sugar daddy believe it or not. The funny thing is, the potential sugar daddy called me the other day and thought there must be other rich, Jewish guys calling me. I laughed and told him he was the only one I liked calling me which is partially true. However I also wanted to say, “Oh, you think guys who are worthwhile with jobs are attracted to me. Oh you are so cute.” I laughed, gave some line about getting back to him at some point, and hung up the phone. Maybe I will, maybe I wont. But I went out the other night with him and his friends and had steak. What irked me was he had all these questions about the money I made and stuff. It was one of three things. Either one, he was offering to be my sugar daddy. Two, he was asking me for money because he had foolishly lost his and this would be the case knowing my shit luck. Three, he was scoping out whether or not to see if I was a gold digger.
I overheard Sugar Daddy talking to his limo driver about whether or not I was an advantageous gold digger. I wanted to laugh telling him not to flatter himself. I don’t need a man to pay my rent let alone give me validation. I also wanted to tell him to go find one of those Jewish broads he always complains about and go broke over her ass. That’s when I realized I still didn’t want anyone around. I like being by myself.
Today I spoke to my mom in my apartment where I live by myself on the phone. I walked around in my underwear. I went to my fave Ethopian joint on my own, ate and then got home after picking up some money for a gig I did. I thought Sugar Daddy can go choke on his steak dinner with his dentures. I should have been a gold digger. That chauvinist could have choked on his old dick driven agenda. I don’t need him or any man to lord his will power and money over me because I supposedly owe him something. Besides, there would be no angry girl slams or no slams at all because happy girls don’t do slam poetry. Plus Sugar Daddy was a slight homophone. That’s going to be a big problem with my group of friends.
Yes my gay friends who are better than boyfriends and love me regardless. Plus I was kicking ass with and without this potential Sugar Daddy. As I look at myself I feel fine. I am rocking and rolling, working on the entourage that the Joe and Roger would not only want me to have but to be a part of in spirit. I am self reliant which makes me a survivor, a success and beautiful. I don’t need a man to validate me but rather fall at my feet. Call me whatever you want but I am married to my career.
And yes, I am okay. I can make it on my own. I have been for sometime thank you very much. xo

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It was Mother’s Day. Yes, Mother’s Day. In our house that meant for once on Sunday after church my mom could relax and it was my dad at the helm in the kitchen. One thing about my dad was that he worshipped the ground my mom walked on. However, for as kind as he was my dad and the kitchen were strange bedfellows. Actually in the words of my mother, “Put a football or baseball game on please. Anything to keep your father out of the kitchen. When he is there he is trouble.”
“Alright, all hands on deck!” My father called.
We grudgingly came down the stairs. Wendell, unhappy about being tugged away from his video games, moved as if he were a slave in the West Indies fresh off the boat forced to churn molasses into whiskey. Of course there was Skipper, who had the most pep in her step. She connected with our dad the best out of any of us. Skipper never argued with him or tried to test him. Wendell and I would run our mouths or try to defy him from time to time only to lose. On the other hand Skipper was an angel. As for me, I was in the middle of the herd. I was used to having to cook. It didn’t excite me, it was my womanly duty in our home.
As we came to the kitchen my father searched like Stevie Wonder in a dark room for the cooking utensils. Banging around my mother, lounging on the John with a Nora Roberts romance called, “Honey, are you sure you don’t need me to help you?”
“I am fine.” My dad replied.
“Famous last words.” I mumbled to Wendell who nodded in agreement.
“What was that April?” Oh I was already busted.
“Nothing Dad.” I told him.
“April, you cook the eggs.” My dad commanded.
“Okay. Skipper, get me a pan.” I commanded.
Skipper walked over to where he pans were kept. Looking, the inept child found me the appropriate skillet and handed it to me. “When did you change the location of the pans to there?” My dad demanded.
“Don’t worry about it Pops.” I said as I put the pan on the stove. I marched over to he refrigator in order to get the butter needed for this uptaking. As I opened the refrigator, Wendell, who was given the task of setting the table, bumped into me.
“Watch it ass weed.” I said. After all, he had dishes and there could have been a serious accident.
“No, you watch it.” Wendell snapped. “Idiot.” And then delivered a kick to my shin. In retaliation I kicked him back and sure enough, Wendell almost dropped the dishes. With arms like Inspector Gadget he managed to save the good plates, made out of china, only brought out for special occasions, from becoming only a shell of themselves.
“Guys, knock it off.” Skipper said pointing to dad.
I went over, put the butter in the pan, and then turned on the stove. “Eggs Skipper.” I commanded. Being my usual helper Skipper handed me the carton of a dozen eggs. One by one, I began to break them. Suddenly, my dad came over to supervise the task.
“Did you wash your hands?” My dad asked.  One thing about my dad was he was sometimes more or less a complete germophobe.
“Yes.” I said. I always did, especially since the old people always sneezed in their hands. They were notorious for sneezing into their hands during shake of peace. Not to mention the small children were always eating their boogers. Either way, there were probably new and undiscovered bacteriophages running around at the seven thirty mass at our church.
“Wash them again. I saw a program on kitchen safety and you can never be too clean.” My dad demanded. My dad never cooked now he was an authority on kitchen safety. Typical man.
I grudgingly went over to the kitchen sink and washed my hands again for the second time. As I was finished my dad said, “You didn’t dry them. You might get soap in the eggs.”  There was at no present soap on my hand. How this would manage to be I would never know. Either way, I had eggs to finish.
Walking over to the stove I got back to my eggs. Meanwhile my dad was supervising Wendell on the waffle maker. Wendell, who barely ever cooked, had taken a liking to this new toy. At least one Sunday a month for the past three months Wendell made waffles and actually wasn’t half bad as a cook. But waffles were the only thing he cooked. Usually when Wendell used the microwave the food burnt. However, Wendell confessed to liking the taste of burned food. That I could not understand about my brother.
“Wendell, you are not cooking the waffles enough. What if we get salmonella?” My dad demanded.
“Dad, they are cooked perfectly, see?” Wendell said breaking a waffle open.
“No, they are still too soft. How would you feel if your father died from salmonella poisoning? Who would work to support your lazy I play video games all the time ass?” My dad demanded. Skipper and I exchanged a look and began to giggle. Oh this drill again. Then it would be followed by a paper boy story.
“Dad, I don’t play video games all the time. I have soccer in the morning and football at night.” Wendell said.
“I don’t know why you are still wasting your time with that soccer. Football is where America is at.” My dad observed. “Now who would pay for these lessons you get if I died from salmonella son?”
My brother, realizing he wasn’t going to win said, “No one dad. We would have to sell Skipper.”
Skipper, upon hearing this said, “Why do I have to be sold? April’s fat. She can be ground up for food.”
With that I said, “Well Skipper because you are small and ideal for a white slaver. I am getting up there in age.” Skipper, upon hearing this shut up. Oh I would get her later. All week Skipper had been plotting on how to get on the good side with mom and dad in order to do no chores. Monday and Tuesday she had exaggerated an injury. Wednesday she claimed I hit her and therefore had to do her chores for the rest of the week. This gnome was evil. She knew I meant business and would get even later.
“I will sell you all in exchange for street urchins who pickpocket if you don’t start cooking. You thankless children, this is the one day a year to serve your mother and this is how you act.” My dad snapped. Suddenly, in our arguing we didn’t realize there was smoke coming from the waffle machine. The kitchen was now filled with smoke. Oh this was going to taste of disaster.
“You idiot, you burnt the waffles! You were goofing off and look at what happened! You are a jerkoff!” My dad screamed at my brother. Oh great, one of the epic battles with dad versus Wendell. And just with the kitchen filled with smoke.
“I hate you! You make me so mad by calling me a jerkoff when you are the one who wanted me to cook the waffles better.” Wendell snapped.
“And who was going to get the salmonella because you were a jackass who wanted to leave the insides raw? Who was going to support you when the worms eat my stomach? Then again what do you care? You messed my VCR up with your Nintendo you careless brat.” My dad countered.
Now my brother was angry. Oh the epic battle of my father versus the Nintendo. “Well, you screwed up the VCR by pressing the wrong button not me. And you won’t die of salmonella because now you burnt the waffles. Happy?!?!!” My brother said.
Meanwhile I butted in by pointing out, “There is smoke in the kitchen guys. I think we need to stop fighting and open the windows.”
Just then, I left the eggs and opened the sliding glass doors in order to get the smoke out and let some air in. I also instructed Skipper to turn on the fan on the stove. After all, it could make the kitchen a little more breathable as Wendell and Dad squared off. As the kitchen cleared my mom appeared at the door asking, “Are you sure I can’t help?”
Dad and Wendell took a break from Waffle Gate to see my rather concerned mother standing there, her kitchen, her beloved kitchen with wooden cabinets, filled with smoke. “No, we’re fine. Just relax.” My dad said.
“Yup, totally under control Mom. Nothing to worry about” Wendell said backing my father up, reassuring my mother that everything was under control when it was borderline Mutiny on the Bounty. The only difference was that it was waffles, eggs and toast instead of cannibals involved.
“Aye Aye says Skipper.” Skipper replied as I flashed the thumbs up. Lie of the century but we all had to be willing to go with it. We were working together, this was a good sign right? My mom, laughing to herself, left the room.
“Let me know if you need anything.” My mom said upon her exit. I know myself and everyone else wanted to beg her to come back, take over the stove. However that was not to be. We were left alone in the kitchen. This motley crew had my mother the first mate, kvetching about having to cook. Then it had Skipper the one in charge of scrubbing the deck. Of course I guess I was Polly the Parrot. Who knew? But my father was Captain Hook for the moment despite the fact he had two hands and there was no crocodile. My only wish was that breakfast would be edible. Heck, they probably ate better rations in the Korean War.
When my mom left the Titanic began her voyage towards the ice berg again. “Okay, now what are you two doing on those eggs. April, you are not moving fast enough.” My dad commanded.
“I was opening the window because you two were in danger of burning down the house.” I pointed out.
“Enough excuses.” My dad said giving me a gentle shove. “Go butter the toast. Should have known you could handle the eggs.”
I went over to the toaster, putting the pieces of bread in. Skipper meanwhile was trapped with my father who was closer to Wolf Man than Burt Wolf. I looked over, eyeing their progress of lackthereof. I saw my dad crack the eggs and suddenly a huge shell entered the pan. I grimaced in pain. Oh this breakfast was going to make Korean War Food look like gourmet. Wendell and I exchanged a disturbed glance as my dad told Skipper, “The problem with you girls is that you don’t know good use of butter.”
My mother, had she been in the kitchen, would have had a heart attack. A fitness guru, she rarely used butter unless she absolutely had to. When she married my dad she got him eating a healthy diet and to eliminate butter. This had, of course, been a task because my Dad’s mother cooked with straight lard when he was growing up. So of course in subtracting this from my dad’s diet my mother had added a few years to his life, but alas, old habits die hard.
“Mom never puts this much butter in. This is heart attack butter.” Skipper corrected our father. She was always on health watch when it came to the members of the family, especially him.
“Well it tastes better with this much butter and the eggs don’t stick.” My dad told her.
“But what if your arteries clog? Then you won’t be able to work to support us.” Skipper pointed out as my dad began to empty what looked to be a huge vat of butter in the pan.
My dad stopped his artery clogging to examine Skipper’s well thought out argument. “And then you could die in your sleep and rigor would set in before anyone could find you. Imagine how that would ruin mom’s Mother’s Day. A sudden heart attack is no fun.” While this was disturbing as hell to hear this child, whom I sometimes think was switched at birth, talk at length about human bodily functions after death, she was a master manipulator.
“True. That would be a bad thing sweetie.” My dad said giving Skipper a kiss on the head.
My brother Wendell and I exchanged glances. “She’s adopted.” I told him.
“And she would sell poorly on the market.” He agreed.
“I heard that. Dad, they are dissing me.” Skipper said.
“Well Skipper has been the hardest worker out of the three of you.” My dad pointed out giving the little misfit a kiss on the head. Wow, what was this world coming to? The child obsessed with bodily functions got the kiss on the head.
“She talks about dead people and rigor.” I snapped.
“Well I have been reading my medical books before bed in addition to my Bible. I know what happens to my body and soul upon entrance to the after life. Therefore I am not worried.” Skipper said smiling as she helped our dad put the eggs on the plate and joined them on the table.
I rolled my eyes back. “Someone still needs to set.” My dad pointed out eyeing me. I wanted no part in the silver wear or setting. Skipper could do that and dazzle us with her knowledge of dead people and bodily functions after death.
“Skipper will do it.” I said with an evil smile. “She loves to set tables, especially those at her potential funeral.”
“And April will help being my butler.” Skipper said.
“Screw you.” I countered.
“Get to work girls.” My dad commanded.
My helped Skipper with the plates. We set five around and then gave everyone a napkin, a knife, a fork and a spoon. When she was finished I sneered at her, “See you in hell.”
Skipper, being the ultimate manipulator, went to the kitchen. As soon as she saw my dad she said, “April said I was going to hell.”
“Well April needs to do more housework, it would be good for her soul.” My dad said.
“And Skipper can keep me company talking about dead people.” I said laughing.
“Well you’re the one who wanted to publish the story about killing six people for the Lincoln Log.” Wendell snapped jumping in.
“Hey, you ruined the VCR for movie night with your video games.” I sneered.
“Now children, you are being selfish. Go get your mother. Put on some music and put some flowers on the table too.” My dad commanded clapping his hands.
Wendell went and got our mother. That was one job he couldn’t screw up. Skipper and I put some daisies we had picked and put them on the table. Of course this came with me smacking her in the head after she told me when I died all my bodily fluids emptied and therefore I would wake up in a pile of crap. I knew it was true but this was just going too far. That’s when my mother entered and Skipper said, “April hit me.”
“Is this true?” My mother snapped.
“Mom, she was talking about dead people again.” I told her.
“You wanted to publish that disturbing story. Wonder where she got that from.” Wendell snapped.
“Enough, lets say grace.” My dad commanded.
We said grace and then began to dig in. “My, my, this looks delicious.” My mom said. She sounded overexcited. I could tell she was lying. I had known the woman her entire life and she was being nice. She didn’t want to hurt my father’s feelings.
I took some waffles because there was no telling how the eggs would taste. Drenching them in syrup, they were slightly better than petrified wood. As I took a bite I stared directly at Wendell who twisted his face in utter horror. “This tastes awful.” He whisper.
“Oh that’s the understatement of the year.” I whispered back.
“Is everything alright kids?” My dad said giving us the evil eye.
“Yeah, perfect.” I said as Wendell nodded. Oh gosh we were lying.
“This is so delicious.” My mom remarked as she painstakingly took a bite of the burnt something that had now become the retarded brother of the Waffle, once in his majesty and now reduced to just above saw dust. Yes he was like Yackov Smirnov, once a huge star but now reduced to a shell of his former self as he toured the Midwest. Except the poor waffle could only dream of such a gig.
My mother then took a bite of the eggs and a huge, fake grin spread over her face. Just then Skipper helped herself to the eggs. Putting them on her plate, she began to take a bite. “It tastes good.” She said. Then a few seconds later Skipper had a disturbed look on her face. “These eggs are crunchy.”
Just then she spit something out. “Gross. There is a huge shell in my eggs.” Skipper remarked holding up the cooked version of a chicklet fetus condo which housed a would be hen but instead was sacrificed to make the mutation we called our scrambled eggs.
There was an awkward moment of silence. The strange imp who read medical books and knew disgusting faces was the only one brave enough to tell the truth about how much this breakfast sucked. My father, looked at Skipper and commanded, “Shut up and eat it!”
Skipper, who did not do well when she was being yelled at, drew a sad face, pushed the egg particle aside, and then began to eat her eggs. “They do taste better with butter.” Skipper remarked. This was probably a stab at my father who wasn’t supposed to be using the stuff. My mother, who knew there was something different about the eggs, shot my father a look of concernation.
“It’s just a different way of cooking.” I said trying to be peace keeper.
“How about you get your mother your cards kids.” My dad commanded. I had a feeling he would be hearing about the excess of butter later.
One by one we gave our mother our cards and gifts. Wendell gave her a card he had hand made. There were stick figure drawings, one which was supposed to be our mother. On the card, he was handing our stick figure mother flower’s telling her she was the best mother wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day.
Skipper gave my mom a card she had made with her second grade class as well as a packet of sunflower seeds. My mother, who loved to garden, would appreciate those.
Then I went. I gave my mom a card I had hand made as well as a set of chore coupons for things like cleaning off the table, washing the dishes or whatever else she wished.
My father, in his attempt to shop for her, got her a new dress and two new blouses. He got the size right on the dresses but guessed wrong on the blouses which had to be returned. The dress was a white flowered number, perfect for the late spring as well as the summer. With it he got my mother a matching white hat. She went to the bathroom to change and model it for us. When she came out we all awed. One thing about my dad was that, as I said, he worshipped the ground my mama walked on. Perhaps this dress was evidence.
When breakfast was over my mother cashed in on those chore coupons and had us clean off the table and do the dishes. My father, still insistent that my mom not do anything, tried to take the fort. However, my mother, knowing the man better than anyone, told him, “Sweetie, the Pirates are playing in ten minutes. I think you and your son should go watch the game.”
“I think that is a fabulous idea.” Wendell told him. After all, Wendell had lived through the disaster in the kitchen. “Come on Dad.”
“Yes sweetie. You would be a big help to me if you enjoyed the game.” My mom said with an insistent smile.
When my dad and brother were out of site it was time to help our mother wash the dishes and load the dish washer. “Please Mom, do us a favor, never let Dad cook again. Breakfast was awful.” I begged. My sister shook her head in agreement.
“Yeah, those waffles were not even edible. Never let him cook again.” Skipper said echoing my sentiment.
Instead of a promise or a laugh my mom gave us a stern look. She said, “When you girls grow up, you should be so lucky to have a man like your dad.”
Skipper and I looked at each other puzzled as we continued loading the dishes. We both had learned a lesson that day, that it’s not the gift but rather the thought that counts.
With that thought my mom insisted we get Wendy’s Takeout for Dinner.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


When I was ten my father had the most beautiful intern at his law firm. This man had a head of thick, black hair and a tan that could rival that of the Situation from the Jersey Shore. I remember meeting him once when my mom sent me up to my dad’s office with my sister. Apparently, my dad, stressed because he was working on a big case, forgot his wallet. So since it was summer and we were in the middle of our rounds my mom sent us up. We were still wet from swim practice and ready to stuff our face with the TV dinners to watch Skipper and April favorite Brain Donors.
As my sister and I walked into my dad’s office we were greeted by my dad’s then secretary Bonnie. A woman who clearly spent too much time on her hair, when you looked at her you realized why the ozone had a big hole in it. The world’s biggest patron of Aqua Net, Bonnie’s hair was like some bad 80s nightmare. Not to mention it was bottle blonde, number five in the supermarket to be exact. The only reason was that she had told my mother this in a conversation. Her makeup was caked on as usual. She wore some outfit with horrid shoulder pads that made my sister and I almost cringe and of course it was vomit pink. “Hi Bonnie.” We said.
“How are you girls doing?” She asked. “Have you been swimming?”
“How did you know?” Skipper asked.
“Our hair is wet stupid.” I replied. Skipper could be so guillable sometimes.
Just then the tall drink of water walked out. “Hi girls.” He said. Immediately Skipper’s head turned along with mine.
“Hi.” I said stammering. I was only ten. Boys were ceasing to have cooties but I couldn’t be so sure. Looking at him I hoped he didn’t have cooties. Nevermind his cooties. He was much too hot for cooties. He was the Anti-Cootie man.
“Hi. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Skipper said trying to sound more charming although she was failing miserably.
“Do you have a name?” I asked the stud muffin. Of course he had a name. He was walking around my dad’s office in a suit doing things. I was sure he wasn’t a partner. I knew all my dad’s partners and their families so well these guys had the term uncle before their names. He definitely wasn’t a new associate. We would have heard about him from our dad, probably with the term McIdiot at the end. At least we did the last guy.
The stud muffin laughed. “Yes. I am Jake. Nice to meet you girls.” He shook both of our hands. Immediately, both Skipper and I felt goosebumps. We looked at each other. We never had a guy this cute pay attention to us.
“Nice to meet you.” Skipper said taking his hand extra hard and shaking it. It was tough to see which one of us was more smitten. Either way, we wanted to know what he did around my dad’s firm and if my dad could possibly hire clones.
Jake laughed. “And who are you girls? How have you wandered in? You know this is a law firm where grown ups work.”
“We know. Our dad is Mr. Brucker.” I said. As we said that Jake’s face fell slightly. What had we said to this poor good looking hunk to make him suddenly sad.
“Your dad is my boss which means I really should get back to work.” Jake said and then off he went. Skipper and I were now sad. Why had the mere mention of our father’s name driven this man away? My father was being such a joykill and he wasn’t even there.
Just then our dad came trotting out of his office. Dressed from head to toe in suit and tie, his dark brown main was slicked back as usual. He scooped us up in his arms and asked, “How are my two favorite swimmers?”
“Good. Here’s your wallet.” Skipper said handing it to him.
“By the way, Jake’s cute.” I blurted out. Something in me couldn’t help myself.
My dad rolled his eyes back. Apparently his perception of Jake and our differed. Then again, my dad was a straight man and could not appreciate the dreamboat factor that was Jake. “You and all the girls.” My dad replied.
“What does he do around here. He said you were his boss.” Skipper quiered.
“He’s an intern. He’s in his second year of law school and wants to get his feet wet.” My dad explained.
“Oh.” We said. My dad’s firm recently had been rated very highly in the Pittsburgh record. Therefore it was to be expected he had a lot of interns. However, we didn’t expect any of them to be as cute as Jake.
“Can you get more like him?” Skipper asked. My dad laughed. It was usually my mom who was more stern when it came to these things, especially when the year before I announced my ambition to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. However, my mom explained cheerleaders were dumb and I abandoned that right away. Although my dad was more stern in situations like that he usually just told us to shut up. That always ended a stupid thought.
“See you girls later. Love you.” My dad said as he kissed us both.
Running down the hall to the elevator Skipper and I argued over who he liked more. “He liked me more. He smiled at me first.” I reminded her.
“Well he shook my hand longer.” Skipper snapped.
“Oh yeah, well he answered my question first.” I retorted.
“Well wait until I tell him I had the best grades in the first grade. And you got A’s in everything except math.” Skipper said.
“Well you don’t need math to be smart. I read Voyage of the Beagle.” I told her.
 Just then, as we finished our ride we saw our mother. Sitting in her mini van she awaited us. Climbing in we continued the banter. “So does your dad want me to run up?” My mom asked.
“I dunno.” I said.
“What did he say?” My mom asked.
“I dunno.” Skipper replied.
My mom, convinced my dad was busy drove off. “Why don’t you two know what your father said?” My mom demanded, wondering why she had walked into a Marx Brother’s moviesque scenario with her two children, normally intelligent, now turned to morons. She drove along again and asked, “How was your father.”
“Good. He was glad we dropped off his wallet.” I said.
“Ya.” Skipper told her.
“And he has this hot intern named Jake working there.” I shared.
“He liked me better. He shook my hand longer.” Skipper countered.
“Well he said hi to me first.” I snapped.
“Oh yeah, well Jake like me better because he knows I’m smarter.” Skipper told me.
“Maybe you are smarter in school but I am street smart and I made him laugh.” I countered.
My mother, a liberated woman, rolled her eyes. She had been a crusader for women’s rights, going so far as to do a sit in with her college swim team, which she was captain of, in order to get them letter jackets just like their male counterparts had. By the way, in case you are wondering, the sit in was her idea. Upon hearing this she said, “Girls, I want to teach you a very important life lesson. Never fight over a guy. It makes you look stupid. When it’s between you and another girl walk away and let the other girl have him. Because odds are he is probably not worth fighting over.”
As our mother pulled into the driveway we digested this pearl of wisdom. For our stupidity we were both sentenced to take the garbage up. It was Monday and tomorrow the trash man would come. There was nothing like missing garbage day in a family of five. If you did often times the trash got ahead of you. As Skipper and I were taking up the trash she said, “You know April, I was thinking about what mom said. We shouldn’t fight over Jake.”
“I agree.” I told her.
“Now I have an idea, I think we should share Jake.” Skipper suggested.
“How do we share him? This is not Utah.” I snapped.
“What is in Utah?” Skipper asked. While bright she had yet to study Brigham Young and his harem in school. We had this past year in history.
“The Mormons. They always have five or six wives.” I told her.
“Well that can’t be legal.” Skipper said.
“It isn’t. That is why they are always getting in trouble with the law sometimes.” I told her.
“Oh, then maybe we should convert.” Skipper suggested. Yes, April and Skipper become Mormons. Our very Catholic parents would love that.
When I told her as much Skipper scratched her head. She wasn’t one to upset Mom and Dad. “We will figure out a way. We are sister’s forever.” Skipper said. While this child was bright I had a feeling this plan would end in disaster. But still, we were smitten over Jake and there would have to be a joint token of affection.
After coming in from taking out the trash we saw Wendell in his soccer uniform ready to go to his second practice of that day. During this period in his life Wendell was on the fence. He couldn’t decide whether he was going to play soccer or football. So he did the football practice in the morning and the soccer practice in the afternoon. Tired, we saw him drinking an orange mixture.
“What’s that?” Skipper asked bouncing on the couch next to Wendell. “It’s pumpkin orange.”
“Tang.” Wendell replied. “The astronauts used to drink it when they went to space.”
“Why?” Skipper asked.
“Didn’t require much water.” Wendell told her. “Want a taste?” Skipper tried it. She wrinkled her nose in disgust and then spit it out.
“You didn’t like it?” I asked sarcastically.
“No. It’s disgusting. You try it April.” I went over and took a sip. I did have to admit it was sort of bitter. However, I liked it. I really liked it a lot.
“Where is the powder?” I asked Wendell.
“Turn around.” He told me. And then I went to the kitchen and made myself a glass. When I went downstairs I saw my brother and sister watching Sally Jesse Raphael. It was some episode about out of control teens. One girl was on there and she had a nose ring, a tattoo, was fifteen, and had two kids.
“IF that is either one of you at any point I will kill you.” Wendell said as we were watching. “You hear that April?” During this phase of our development Wendell sometimes took on the role of our father. While he meant well it was annoying.
“Why is all this directed at me?” I asked
“Because you’re an idiot.” Wendell replied. “The idiot who wrote the story about killing six people and who wanted to enter it in the Lincoln Log contest. Thank God Mom and Dad put a stop to that.” Yes Ihad written that story. It was about a guy who killed six people and buried them under a floorboard. It was modeled after “The Tell Tale Heart.” My friends loved it but my parents thought it wasn’t appropriate for the school paper. After an argument where I locked myself in my room, I wrote a story about a cat named Krackle and his rivalry with a mouse named Tom. That was published and my dad was so proud of me he told everyone. So it worked out.
Then two minutes later a good looking guy, who was the father of the out of control teen walked across the stage. He was a tall, good looking, drink of water, just like Jake. My sister and I looked at each other and giggled. “Jake!” We exclaimed.
“Jake!” Wendell squealed mocking our girlish tone.
 “The same Jake who can’t send a fax, broke the copy machine, and can’t turn on a computer who expects to go to law school?” My brother asked.
My sister and I exchanged a glance. We didn’t care. That was between Jake and my dad. All we knew was that he was hot. “We don’t care. He has other talents.” I said.
My brother rolled his eyes back. “Dad is always an inch away from getting rid of Jake.” Wendell informed us.
“How do you know?” Skipper asked suspiciously.
“Easy, I hear him talking to Mom in the morning when she fixes his tie.” Wendell replied. He then informed us that when Dad’s firm had won the Best in the South Hills Award, there were many eager students who wanted to intern. However, Jake had been ahead of the bunch because he was the nephew of Judge Ledo. Apparently, Judge Ledo had been very kind to my dad when he was in law school and wrote a letter of recommendation for him that was stellar to get into The Honors Law Society. So to return the favor, the Judge phoned my dad and asked him to take Jake on as an intern. My father, thinking Jake would be like his uncle, took the aspiring legal eagle on.
However, for as intelligent as the Judge was, according to my brother, the brain had skipped that generation. Whatever Jake could screw up he did, and my dad would have given this “lazy ass” the boot but my dad was too indebted to the Judge. Yes the Judge. The Judge who, despite the fact my dad did not come from a long line of lawyers and judges like some of his classmates, recognized his natural intelligence, hard work, and street smarts; something many of his then pedigreed classmates lacked.
My mother, on the other hand, viewed the Judge as an old wind bag, who at parties trotted around with a former beauty queen wife clearly on Prozac as he complained about his yearly prostrate exam. Needless to say my mother, everytime the Judge called would say, “No wonder that woman needs anti-depressants.” Nonetheless, my dad would shush her, scolding her for disrespecting a true blue man who had given my dad a chance. Because the Judge had recognized my dad’s abilities, soon others followed suite. And soon those with the long legal blood lines began to cater to my dad because he was so gifted. Needless to say, in the Dickinsonian terms, he had risen up from the ranks. As a result we got good baskets with plenty of chocolate and liquor around Christmas.
A few minutes later Wendell was off to soccer practice and my sister and I were left with Sally, Tang and thoughts about Jake. “We need to split him.” She said.
“And then lets move to Utah. Pittsburgh is getting boring.” We exchanged a sisterly fist bump and then were called to vacuum. Our break was over and leisure time was the devil’s playground. However, we were in love with Jake. So that made the day all the better.
That evening when our dad came home we sat down for dinner in the Florida room as usual. The windows were open and we could hear the sound of wildlife around us. With my dinner I had my Tang. I knew it would add flavor to the meatloaf my mother made. While I did enjoy her cooking I hated her meatloaf. It was so bland. I considered meatloaf the lowest life form when it came to dinner food. It was the Eric Roberts of dinner food. Tang however was supurb.
“What is that April is drinking?” My dad asked.
“Tang.” My brother said. “You know the astronaut thing.”
“Yes. I remember them selling that when I was a kid. Long time since I saw that anywhere.” My dad replied chomping on his meatloaf.
“It was on sale.” My mom said.
“Dad, what do Mormons believe?” Skipper asked. “April said that they could have more than one wife.”
“This is true. They are infamous for committing polygamy. It is believed that the more wives a man has the more children he has and the closer to heaven he is. But unfortunately, the US Laws don’t see eye to eye with them. The Mormon Church for the most part have done away with it but there are still splinter sects that practice. Then there are women like your mom that have more than one husband.”  My dad said as he took his usual dinner jab at my mom.
“One of you is enough.” My mom countered as she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
“Oh you mean it’s not me and Cement Head?” My dad asked making a reference to a boyfriend my mom had back in the day before she met my dad. Yes the infamous Steve aka Cement Head, who lived on a farm and always had cement in his hair whenever he would arrive on dates with my mom. As a token of his affection he got a cow he named Anne after my mom. This bizarre token of love was enough for my mom to have second thoughts so she ended the relationship. Grieving, Cement Head slaughtered Anne the Cow and made some steaks, or so we heard.
“And they also believe Jesus arrived in a spaceship. They are really weird people who pump a lot of money into commercials too.” Wendell said.
My dad, taking a moment to teach us a daddy lesson said, “The first amendment in this country protects everyone’s freedom of religion. So that’s why you shouldn’t criticize anyone’s beliefs. It’s not right.” My dad had a point. However, Wendell wasn’t done.
“Well they are freaks.” Wendell protested.
“How do you know they don’t think we are freaks Wendell? A lot of people don’t like Catholics. Especially when you go down South.” My dad countered. We were all quiet for a minute as my dad explained, “That is why you should never judge someone on their belief system.”
“Well April and I are thinking of becoming Mormon.” Skipper explained. My dad, now happily chomping on his meatloaf, suddenly looked like he was going to choke. My mom’s mouth dropped open in shock and horror.
“What!?!” My dad yelped.
“ We took Mom’s advice about never fighting over a guy no matter what. That way April and I don’t have to fight anymore and we can both marry Jake.” Skipper explained as if she had thought this out for a whole ten minutes. Wendell, who had been in the dog house moments before, was now enjoying a good laugh.
“I pass the dunce cap to Skipper.” He mumbled taking a huge helping of mashed potatoes. Wendell had a smile on his face, as if he escaped the dog house. After all, he had been living there for the last day and a half when he decided to heat up Chinese food and fry it in the microwave for fifteen minutes. The Chinese food was fried, friend so much that the smoke alarms went off and all the windows were open just as my dad was coming home from a stressful day at work.
“Jake?” My dad said looking at my mom. My mom, who had only given the most sound parental advice on the subject, had never dreamed it would come to his. Sighing, she looked down.
“Yeah, the cute one that works at your office.” I reminded my dad. “You know, Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome? By the way, could you also put in a good word for us, especially me?” I figured what did I have to lose? The worst my dad could do was say no.  
My dad rolled his eyes. “Anne, did you know anything about this?”
“No. Girls, Jake is a lady’s man, he has a girl in every port.” My mom explained.

We didn’t care. We loved Jake and that’s what we had decided. Either way, as we cleared off the table I heard my dad say, “What has gotten into the girls? Do they not know what an idiot Jake is? I would expect this nonsense from April but what has gotten into Skipper?”
“It’s young girls being girls.” My mom said.
“He has other attributes.” I told my dad over hearing this. My dad shook his head and walked away. So much for trying to talk sense into the boss man. If I were to wager a guess I would say my dad wasn’t putting in a good word for me.
The next day my parents announced that we were having a summer BBQ and all of my dad’s friends were invited. It was in part because the deck had been refinished, yes we were the indentured workers on that project. Not to mention my mother’s flowers looked better than ever. In order to prepare we had to spend the week cleaning. “This is so stupid.” Wendell grumbled as he crashed in front of the television.
“Tell me about it.” I said drinking my Tang. The Tang and I had not gone our separate ways since meeting. Being the copycat she could be, Skipper had started drinking it as well.
“I know.” Skipper told me. As usual, we were glued to a trashy talk show. Of course when my dad entered the room we knew it was time to clean.
“Shucks.” Skipper said downing her Tang.
“Say what you want but Jake will be at the party girls.” My mother called as she ran down the stairs.
“Is this before or after he breaks another one of my copy machines?” My dad grumbled.
“Now Bill, he is good with people and there has to be something said for that.” My mom told him. “Plus April and Skipper like him. And you know April doesn’t like anybody.”
“Why am I always the mean one?” I asked.
“Because you are an asshole.” Wendell said.
“Screw you.” I snapped. I had not said one mean thing in some time. However, my judgment of people was usually on the mark. With that I smacked Wendell who promptly smacked me back.
“Knock it off you both. Or else you will do yard work and cleaning for the party in addition to the dishes.” My mom said.

The day of the party came and the guests arrived in a timely fashion. The three of us were to stay poised at the front door greeting people with smiles glued on our faces. As usual, there had been the pre-party fight where my dad and I squared off because apparently I wasn’t cleaning fast enough. Of course this had been after my pre-party fight with Wendell because he was playing video games instead of cleaning the bathroom and I had to clean the bathroom in addition to vacuuming the hall therefore we were behind. Not to mention after I was tired I sat down and Skipper did one of my chores as payment for a glass of Tang. My mom caught me sitting down and all hell broke loose. She said, “I am not sitting down. Why are you sitting down?”
Then she gave me another chore, washing the dishes, and I was not happy. So I took my good old time dreaming of Jake and then my dad screamed, “The party is in two hours. Knowing some of these people they are going to be here early! Go faster, now!” As if I was a sled dog I was forced to mush. Oh gosh I hated those Goddamn backyard parties. Well, I liked the parties but hated the cleaning.
The guests arrived one by one. Our Uncle Edward and Aunt Essie came. Their daughters, Hannah and Wendy were in toe. Hannah was tall with dark brown hair and glasses. Even at a young age, she probably had rescued her clothes from the nearest hamper. Wendy on the other hand was a total girly girl and we could smell her lip gloss from a mile away. Both between the ages of five and eight, they were automatic playmates. Edward had known my dad since grade school and now they were both lawyers together. Known for his high strung ways, Edward was notorious into getting anyone to say what he wanted them to on the witness stand just because he was so intense. Essie, on the other hand, was obsessed with ballroom dancing.
“Hi girls.” She said.
“Hi.” We said. We hoped they would hurry up and Jake would get here pronto. That way we wouldn’t be trapped too long with Hannah and Wendy.
Just then, Jake arrived. Every inch the tall, drink of water that he had been in the office my sister and I were swooning. Sure he wasn’t Brad Pitt or Elvis but he was just as good.
“HI!” I said. Oh gosh, I had blown it.
“Hi Jake.” Skipper said trying to be a mini Marilyn Monroe.
“Would you like a drink?” I asked.
“Sure. Whatever you have.” Jake chuckled. Did this older man know he was playing with our heart strings the way he was? Oh what tangled webs we weave.
“Where are you two going?” Hannah asked.
“To get Jake a drink. He’s our future husband.” Skipper explained.
“I heard that dufus can’t send a fax.” Hannah said. “My dad told me he is the stupidest intern in the history of the firm. It’s a miracle he can breathe so he probably won’t pass the bar.”
“We can’t all be perfect.” I informed her. Hannah wasn’t much of a looker and would later elect not to shave her arm pits and to take up women’s field hockey. So I guess even then she was headed in that general direction.
“He is nice looking.” Wendy said smiling. Hey, even she could appreciate a nice looking guy. As a matter of fact when she got older she appreciated them too much. As a matter of fact they called her “Bleachers” in high school and not because she was cleaning them with the National Honor Society.
As we disappeared I asked her, “What drink are we getting him?”
“Tang. We are making him Tang.” Skipper explained.
“He’s an adult. He’s gonna want something with booze.” I told her.
“He can add it later. Mom and Dad will kill us.” Skipper told me.
We went to the kitchen, put water in the cup and put the Tang in. “Which one of us is going to give it to him?” I asked.
“No me.”
“ME!” Skipper screamed.
“Fine, paper, rock, scissors.”  I suggested.
We did the paper, rock, scissors and I had won. Skipper the Mini Magician had been dethroned. Looking dejected, we approached Jake. Upon seeing us he asked, “What are you guys holding?”
“Tang. We made it just for you.” I explained.
Just then we heard a laugh. We were so blinded by our mission that we didn’t realize that standing next to him was a woman. She was tall, gorgeous and had thick black hair and olive skin. She wore a white summer dress that clung to her curvaceous body. With full lips, she smiled and asked, “And who are you girls.”
“I’m April and this is my sister Skipper. And we made Mike some Tang.” I explained. This time the woman laughed even harder.
“Wow.” She said.
“Mr. Brucker’s kids. He’s my boss.” Jake said.
“And who is she?” I asked Jake. I was doing a hard time hiding my suspicion of this strumpet here to spirit Jake away.
“Oh girls, this is my girlfriend Gina.” Jake said as he took his Tang.
“Nice to meet you.” Skipper said barely able to hide the fact that she was dejected. After all this planning, all these ideas about converting to Mormonism, now they were all squashed. His very beautiful, age appropriate girlfriend had shown up. Damn her for being so good looking.
“Nice to meet you too. You girls are adorable.” Gina said.
Adorable. Then I remembered I was ten, Skipper was seven. Mike and Gina were twenty something. Adorable was the appropriate word.
“I think Mom needs us to help her.” I told Skipper. I figured I might as well end this all before it starts.
As we walked away I heard Gina say, “Man, those kids have it bad for you.”
Jake laughed, “They have since day one baby. Everyone does.”
To which Gina asked, “Are you going to drink that? I think it’s supposed to go with milk.”
I heard Jake laugh nervously and say, “No. They are cute kids but no. I have done plenty of things in my mind but go to jail for being into kids is never one baby.”
And then they kissed. I had to turn away and take Skipper with me. God were we going to die from the heartbreak. “Not fair.” Skipper said as we walked away.
“That’s life kid.” I replied.
“April, I don’t want to become a Mormon anymore to marry Jake.” Skipper said. With that I slapped my sister a five in agreement.
Two weeks later, Jake’s internship was up. Apparently he had screwed up the fax machine and broken the copy machine again. Not only was my dad relieved to see him go, but even more relieved to see that Skipper and I were no longer love struck with the dumbest, most lazy intern in the history of the firm. Plus my parents were equally as thrilled to see that we gave up Tang.
Jake somehow finished law school but was never quite able to pass the Bar. As a result, he gave up law and is now selling used cars. Gina dumped him for some other guy who has a big house.
In the words of Judge Judy, “Beauty fades, dumb is forever.”