The Avenue of the Toothpaste Bush

It was a listless Friday night at the pub, with Sister Madly combating her boredom by playing ring toss with the Professors’ onion rings (they did not like this much) spiking their pints with Tabasco Sauce (they liked this even less) then by taking herself for a walk (they liked this option the best.) If reincarnation is real, Sister Madly will be returning as a housefly destined to be the lunch of a particularly diabolical Venus Fly-Trap.

venus laughing

And so it came to pass that Sister Madly found herself wandering down the Avenue of the Toothpaste Bush.

The Toothpaste Bush, you see, is no ordinary shrubbery; it’s magic. It has a scent of mint and rosemary despite consisting of neither mint nor rosemary, and apparently is more anti-social than Sister Madly by being fragrant only when it wants to be.

“I can‘t smell anything, Sister Madly. I think it‘s time you went to bed…” Then, upon seeing the look of defeat on Sister Madly’s face, adding “But then, you always had the nose of a vulture.”

Apparently, comparing Sister Madly to an ugly, bald-headed bird is suppose to give her a warm fuzzy all over. Can vultures even smell? What’s wrong with an old-fashion bloodhound? Why are these people your friends again? Someone has an extra dose of Tabasco love coming his way. Stupid Toothpaste Bush.


But it‘s difficult to stay mad at the Toothpaste Bush for long: the fragrance is chock full of meaning. Someone once told her that Rosemary is for remembrance, and Sister Madly is nothing if not nostalgic; and Mint is that herb they put in certain ice creams to safeguard it against consumption by her peers, to which Sister Madly is happily immune. There is no doubt in her mind that this magical shrubbery is the one requested by the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’ in some lesser known interpretations of the Arthurian Legend.

Like most of the human race, Sister Madly does not see well in the dark. The Avenue of the Toothpaste Bush is badly lit, and the streetlights were throwing a surprise I’m-not-going-to-shine-for-you-tonight-Sister-Madly block party- most unfortunate for she who trips over nothing in particular. She soon found herself in the presence of the Toothpaste Bush, itself, but that was of no surprise: the Toothpaste Bush summons you when it wants you, and shuns you just the same. That is why it is anti-social.


It was here that Sister Madly noticed the vague shape of a puppy heading her way (NOTE: to Sister Madly, ‘puppy’ refers to any member the canine family regardless of age, from birth to 100 year-old rotting corpse.) Judging by the size of the puppy and its jolly nature, she was confident that she was not about to repeat the Here Kitty, Kitty incident of yesteryear.

And like a good puppy-shaped creature, it trotted up to Sister Madly and took a moment to rub its head against her knee (which, of course, means that the puppy now belongs to Sister Madly and don’t you dare try telling her otherwise) before continuing on down the sidewalk.

This was unacceptable: the puppy claimed Sister Madly as its own, they now belong to each other- he can’t just take off like that. There were road trips in their future and adventures to be had; he would fetch Frisbees in the park, and eat up all the weird, experimental ‘treats’ the Professors have been presenting to her with suspicious smiles. They would frolic in breezy meadows and watch the sunset from the beach, and for heaven’s sake- she needs something to snuggle with at night.

fox flower

So like any enchanted wanderer, Sister Madly went after her puppy. And just when she was about to catch up with her new best friend, a porch light revealed that the puppy she was cheerfully following with the hopes of domesticating was, rather, a fox.

Sister Madly has always wanted a pet fox- well, maybe not always, but for the last several days at least.* There was no reason why they couldn’t do all that she dreamed of when she was following a simple puppy. She wants to take him along mountain trails and watch him frolic and hunt and play in the stream…

*She also wants a pet Toucan.

Nearly a week has passed, and while she has returned to the Avenue of the Toothpaste Bush, she has not seen the fox since.

Nor has the bush been fragrant.

But perhaps that is a coincidence.


Sister Madly has found herself in similar predicaments
but that is the result of exercising poor judgment.*

*Whether she means this metaphorically or literally, Sister Madly will never say.

POST’S THEME SONG: Magical World, Ian McCulloch


13 responses

  1. Hmm, a toothpaste bush, never heard of such a thing. I have fallen into a rosemary bush before, in which case everyone accused me of smelling like a turkey, something that completely baffled me until I realized, some people really do go heavy on the rosemary when cooking a turkey.


    December 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    • Sister Madly

      That would baffle me, too! The people I know tend to go a little onion-happy and all that does is make me cry. Maybe I will suggest rosemary next time. Change their evil ways.


      December 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

  2. Perhaps SM’s reunion with the fox is awaiting the ransom of… a shrubbery!


    December 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    • Sister Madly

      They told me they’ve already got one!

      Liked by 1 person

      December 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM

  3. Sunshine Jansen

    Alas, here I was hoping this was the fox of ‘The Little Prince’ who wanted so passionately to be tamed but finding the Prince unstable company (always flying off to other planets) sought out Sister Madly instead… Maybe he just wants to make sure first that your feet are going to stay firmly on the ground?


    December 19, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    • Sister Madly

      HA! Perhaps I should leave a message with the bush telling the fox that I don’t just take off to other planets on a whim- also, we’d live in my tiny apartment. Can’t get much more tame than that.

      Liked by 1 person

      December 19, 2014 at 12:31 PM

  4. ha ha haha heeheehee …. light and darkness … positive and negative …. serious and comical …. meet once again in the dreams of the mad sis .,… you’re so funny … ! ks


    December 21, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    • Sister Madly

      I’ll take that as a compliment. 😀 Thanks!


      December 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      • wull … yeah …… ks


        December 21, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      • the avenue of the toothpaste bush … !? the title alone !! i tend to be overanalytic …. i don’t even want to get started on this piece …. very, very funny … i appreciate your humor … find it strangely like mine in some ways …. maybe the key word here is strange … ? in any case …. wull …. ok ….. ks


        December 21, 2014 at 8:53 PM

  5. locksley2010

    Ah, you were blessed by a fox that, for a moment, sought Human contact. You lucky girl you. And did you know that any traditional Yuletide celebrations (basically any form of celebration from December til the end of January) are about mischief and misrule? Glad to see you were taking part and using the Professors as your target. 😉


    December 21, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    • Sister Madly

      I had no idea about mischievous Yuletide festivities- but I am most grateful to you for informing me that I have until the end of January to carry out these most humble celebrations. I sense a kindred spirit.

      And the Professor’s be damn- they have a lot coming to them. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

      December 21, 2014 at 10:54 PM

  6. locksley2010

    Indeed there are… and in some, dressing up as a beast is a must! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    December 22, 2014 at 12:01 AM

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