“I lost mine…”
Not very long ago
In a neighborhood relatively nearby…
~ Created by Tom BetGeorge
Imagine, if you will, the utter joy of waking up one morning to find that a White Castle Sign had blossomed in front of your house overnight.
It almost happened, you know.
Every now and then, Sister Madly has a birthday; and while some pass quietly into the void, others arrive at the insistence of certain friends and family members who wish to observe the day in the most average way possible, such as the time her Ex surprised her by taking her to the skeletal remains of the last White Castle in the state.*
Oh, how you spoil her!
*18th birthday. Possibly even 19th. But definitely not 20.
Surely here was a place of romance, with its crack pipes and graffitied walls; no doubt many a young couple met fate here in the form of the Zodiac Killer. A leisurely walk through the overgrown parking lot proved to be the highlight of the evening as it led them to where the White Castle Sign lay broken and abandoned amidst the prairie grass.
“And that, Sister Madly, is for you!”
This her Ex said proudly, as though he, himself, had hunted down the elusive White Castle Sign while on safari. Yes, this dedicated young man whom Sister Madly was dating, who stood victorious over that shattered carcass, was nothing more than a Big Game Fast Food poacher at heart.
“The Sign is your present! Happy Birthday!”
Surely her parents would find no fault with this! They were rational individuals after all, of logic and sound mind; that’s why the gargoyle was banished from the house.
See, this was not the first such gift from her Ex. Over Christmas, he presented her with a dismal little gargoyle, the sight of which brought about a fit of laughter from her mother upon encountering it the following morning. Things took a dark turn, however, when her mother decided that the little beast was straight from the devil- things had a habit of becoming evil once her mother had time to think it over. Oh, but Sister Madly could keep the gargoyle- she just couldn’t keep it in the house.
So the winged Yoda was banished to the outdoors, where he would reside under the porch (thus meeting her mother’s ‘out of sight’ requirement) for the next several years.*
*The gargoyle would make a lovely comeback later in life, in which he would be painted gold and used as a trophy for a Murder Mystery in a Box Game.
Her Ex sincerely apologized for having to bring Sister Madly to the White Castle Sign, instead of surprising her with it when he picked her up earlier that evening. In fact, the only reason her Ex did not bring the gift over to her house was that he could not come up with the means to transport such a large Sign at short notice.
But what was more important to her Ex than the gifts themselves was the method with which they were obtained; he believed that the story and heroics therein made the gift all the more valuable. His original intention was to steal a gargoyle, but the gardens around town were mostly populated with gnomes and those critters scared him silly; now he was stealing for her a White Castle Sign.* Her Ex was certainly generous with things that did not belong to him.
*Sister Madly is aware that pointing to an object and declaring ‘Mine!’ isn’t technically stealing, not until said object is illegally removed. She does some understanding of the law.
Now Sister Madly doesn’t mean to sound ungrateful- make no mistake, somewhere deep inside that psychotic little snickerdoodle was a sense of wonder at these shameless attempts of deluded grandeur. She sees no harm in re-gifting a present if you believe someone would truly enjoy the gift, but one does not typically re-gift someone else’s property.
But more importantly-
WHY WOULD SISTER MADLY WANT A WHITE CASTLE SIGN?!?!
“Because you like Medieval things.”
Okay… Sister Madly understands that Medieval history is not everyone’s pint of cider, thus not everyone is attuned to the finer nuances of the Era. However, just as one can’t put wings on Yoda and call him demonic, one can’t write the word ‘castle’ on a post-it note and call it Medieval poetry!
Yet, he was so proud…
And so Sister Madly declined the gift, saying there was no place at the house to put the Sign and her parents would outright murder her if she tried. But she did promise to visit the Sign whenever she got the chance, perhaps even pack it a lovely picnic lunch of Pop Rocks and Pixy Sticks.*
*About 3 weeks later, her Ex informed her that someone had removed her White Castle Sign, which “wouldn’t have happened if you had taken it home.”
Amazingly, this relationship did not work out.
They both savored the strange warm glow of being much more ignorant than ordinary people, who were only ignorant of ordinary things ~ Terry Pratchett
“It’s not his hobby, Sister Madly.”
He just said that he loves his job, Professor, and when you love your job, you don’t work a day in your life. By this definition, it IS his hobby.
Now, Sister Madly has always been wary of anyone the Professors call a ‘friend’ and this time, she had good reason to be: he was chatty and he was happy. Too happy. Frolicking with the tumbleweed happy- and all without a nip of cider. That’s what makes it sinister- that, and the maniacal good cheer with which he announced that he was a phlebotomist.*
*In layman’s terms, a giant mosquito.
Then again, perhaps that is the secret to his sinister happiness: draining a large portion of his blood to the point of mental absurdity in the name of good times. Or perhaps he gets his jollies by mixing blood types like some gruesome, vascular cocktail. Whatever his secret, this psychotic bliss was reinforced later that night simply by coming upon Sister Madly’s copy of Maugham’s Of Human Bondage.
“You like this sort of thing, do you?”
She couldn’t help but wonder what, exactly, the Happy Phlebotomist meant by ‘this sort of thing.’ True, it wasn’t the sort of book her mother would read to a young Sister Madly while they shared a bottle of TAB, but her mother wasn’t one to read her The Runaway Bunny either. Perhaps the Happy Phlebotomist didn’t much care for the author, or perhaps it was the implication that Sister Madly likes to read books out of season. Of Human Bondage always seemed like a book one reads in the winter.
Of course it is possible to read any book at any time of the year, but unless you are some sort of literary rogue, here is a small sample of the appropriate seasonal fare:
– A Confederacy of Dunces
– Bonjour Tristesse
– The Magus
– The Picture of Dorian Gray
– Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky
– The Moon and Sixpence
– Three Men in a Boat
While the Happy Phlebotomist found this ‘seasonal reading’ slightly baffling, he was a sight more tolerant than the Professors were upon learning that Sister Madly arranges her DVDs according to ambiance instead of alphabetically. She doesn’t understand all the fuss- after all, she knows where to find everything. That’s all that really matters.*
*There are also many people who listen to music according to season- her neighbors, for example. They always listen to Christmas music in the winter. Loudly.
Not that the Professors should cast any stones. Sister Madly has not only seen them eat lettuce, she has seen them enjoy the process– a sure sign that something is not quite right in the head.
Now over the course of her acquaintance with the Professors, they have taken it upon themselves to lend her books that they think she should read, rather than books they think she would enjoy. So it was something of a shock when the Happy Phlebotomist approached her with a copy of The Story of O, for no reason other than “you seem to like this sort of thing.”
And by ‘this sort of thing,’ the Happy Phlebotomist meant erotic literature.
“Since you were reading that book on human bondage…”
Perhaps Sister Madly is just naïve- or perhaps it’s because her hobby isn’t the gleeful draining of blood out of living individuals- but the possibility of Of Human Bondage being some sort of literary porn never once crossed her mind the day she found it in the bookstore. She was just intrigued by a book whose title started with the word ‘Of.’
According to the obligatory new book flip-thru (and later confirmed through the internet) The Story of O was originally published in the 1950‘s and was somewhat influenced by the works of the Marquis de Sade- which is a far, far cry from the themes found in Of Human Bondage.
You see, the title Of Human Bondage is taken from Part IV of Spinoza’s Ethics, entitled “Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of Emotions” in which Spinoza speaks of people’s inability to control their emotions (the emotions themselves, not one’s conscious response to them) which constitutes bondage. The crux of Maugham’s story is the unrequited love of Philip Carey, which binds him to a rather disagreeable* woman- soul ties, and all that.
*Status-seeking, social-climbing, cold-hearted, unfaithful waitress-turned-mistress-turned-hooker-who-contracts-an-STD-most-likely-syphilis type of disagreeable.
Also, she was rude.
“So it’s about human trafficking?”
Perhaps it was fatigue from reading veins all day, or perhaps it was too much vascular cocktail, but it was obvious that the Happy Phlebotomist was determined not to understand a single word of their conversation. No wonder the Professors were so fond of him.
And so she was about to suggest a book that would do away with his starry-eyed disposition, The Runaway Bunny, as even adults have been known to cry at that story…
… when the Professors interrupted by sending a drink over to her table.
A Bloody Mary.
THEME SONG: Sunday Bloody Sunday, U2
When it comes to the general public, the most dangerous plant on the face of the Earth is not a mutated Venus Flytrap, nor is it Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, or a Cactus.
No, it is this thing:
Because those compelled to obey the Mistletoe are never the ones you want to heed the call.
And because you never know where the Mistletoe is going to turn up, like in a Quonset-Hut-turned-Chinese-Bar at the annual gathering of The Creepiest People on the Planet; or at the Blue Moon, where Sister Madly once danced with South American, or at the Professors’ Chanukah/Solstice/Christmas Fusion Party. As to which holiday was being celebrated at said party, that all depended upon to whom that question was directed.
So it was with the usual desperate holiday cheer that the Professors blasted Sister Madly from her lovely, toasty, velvet cocoon of a bed that morning, with a message informing her (or as they insisted, reminding her) of the aforementioned party a mere 30 minutes before Sister Madly was expected to be there- with a smile, hopefully, but that part was negotiable.
Due to the Professors’ unease of her questionable culinary skills- specifically, her penchant for blue mushrooms and purple potatoes- it was determined long before Sister Madly even knew there was a party that she would be in charge of the decorations thus eternally banished from the kitchen. Any and all pre-party snacks were to be slipped to her beneath the door for the duration of the pre-party preparations; those treats that were lost to the cats in the process were regarded as inevitable sacrifices to the cause.*
* That last part made sense to her at the time.
It was also requested that she not set fire to the German Pinwheel thingy this time around.
Thus Sister Madly arrived on the Professors’ doorstep as requested, all big-haired and bleary-eyed, armed with cider, Mistletoe, and not one blue mushroom or purple potato. She even went so far as to tuck away her German Pinwheel Pyromania in the back of her car- out of arm’s reach, surely, but still within the vicinity should the night call for it.
Now there are times in which Sister Madly feels that, amongst the Professors, her presence goes largely unnoticed while her absence is never quite forgiven. Perhaps this is why her unladylike thundering about was overlooked that day as she proceeded to hang Mistletoe in every doorway, in every non-doorway, over every available chair, over the designated snack table (which she quickly removed, as Sister Madly wanted unrestricted access to this location) over the bar, even over the most strategic location in the bathroom.
Her Mistletoe masterpiece, however, was reserved for the basement:
So while the Professors were upstairs blissfully drinking and cooking (but mostly drinking) amongst the cupboards of painted birds, Sister Madly was gleefully transforming the Enchanted Forest of Happy Little Trees below into a Magical Wonderland of Latent Kisses. Yes, shrubbery… shrubbery everywhere.
Why Mistletoe, you may ask. To begin with, one must understand the mistletoe folklore in Western Culture: while a man is permitted to kiss any woman standing beneath the mistletoe, bad luck would befall any woman who refuses his kiss- which is why Sister Madly will be hanging out on the front porch with a case of cider. Alone.
Mistletoe is also associated with fertility- another reason you’ll find Sister Madly out on the front porch with the cider. Alone.
So why mistletoe?
Because everyone deserves a chance to be kissed.
Because everyone deserves a moment of magic.
Because it was quarter to 11 in the morning and a grumpy, sleepy-eyed Sister Madly was in need of holiday decorations pronto.
It was just after 6 when the Professors, with their mulled wine and their wassail and cheese cubes on a stick, first found themselves gazing upon the Magical Wonderland of Latent Kisses, with looks of either awe or utter horror at the fact that, no matter where they stood in that basement, they were within a few inches of a kiss.*
* It was horror, no question about it.
This work of art Sister Madly likes to call A Thousand Kisses Deep.
And that was when the first group of guests began to arrive.
THEME SONG: A Thousand Kisses Deep, Leonard Cohen
There are those who, when bored, will do whatever possible to see that they are entertained- even if it means arranging the misadventures of a friend. It’s like how a mother will dress her child in a heavy sweater because the mother, herself, is cold.
That is how Sister Madly found herself fleeing the Dodo amidst a flurry of baguettes and day-old cupcakes (they weren’t called the Dark Ages for nothing!) in the hopes of seeking sanctuary in what she thought was the Tower.
“No Pearls in the Citadel!”
So it was a Citadel, for what difference it makes; as for that bit about the pearls- those things are just plain creepy. A pearl is a small, lustrous piece of calcium carbonate that forms around a foreign object- such as a grain of sand or a broken bit of shell- inside a living mollusk. Living. Liv-ing. Face it, folks: wearing a pearl ring is like wearing a kidney stone.
So imagine a young Sister Madly’s disappointment the day she learned that a grain of sand heartlessly shoved into a living creature in the hopes that it produces a bead- and not even a sparkly bead at that- was her birthstone. Had she known this, she would have campaigned her way out of the womb a few days earlier, and settled for an emerald.
“No Pearls in the Citadel!”
There’s also no bat-crazy corpse-bird brandishing medieval pastries in a threatening manner, sir, and right now that’s all she cares about.
But this garnered no sympathy whatsoever from the Guardian of the Pearl (that apparently was not in the Citadel.) No one ever seemed particularly sympathetic to Sister Madly’s plight when it involved the Dodo- true, she made it through those plights without much damage to body and soul, but this was largely due to her own incompetence rather than ability.
You see, Sister Madly was conscripted into the Battle of the Baked Goods by people she called friends, O-Guardian-of-the-Pearl-that-is-Not-in-the-Citadel. And while it’s true that she is currently dodging this draft- and not discreetly- she has a very good reason for doing so: gluten intolerance. Not since the Inquisition has Sister Madly seen such flagrant bigotry- bashing people about the head with loaves of French bread is a terrible mistreatment of gluten.
But more importantly, deep down inside of her shoe, her sock is slipping off.
With this the Guardian of the Citadel sans Pearl sympathized, as he himself must have once suffered the agony of a sock bunching up around the toes. It wasn’t enough to let her into the Citadel, however; that was accomplished by a horrifying tantrum, the likes of which even Sister Madly was unaware that she could achieve.
As she attempted to fix her sock in the safety of the Citadel, she thought back upon the events concerning the Baguettes and the Bird, and wondered if the source of her most spectacular problems were not her enemies, but her friends.*
*It was at this moment that Sister Madly, in her attempt to shake out the knotted-up sock, launched the paisley missile straight out the window.
Just as it was no accident that she was drafted into battle, it was no coincidence that she found herself facing the Dodo on that field wielding a rosemary garlic baguette in a brilliant display of Baked Good Justice. Sister Madly, on the other hand… all she had was a little cocktail umbrella some medieval tart had stuck behind her ear-
No throwing socks out of the Citadel!
If a sock wanders off, sir, it is not for Sister Madly to ask it why. Losing a sock to the wild unknown is what being human is all about and that was the Dodo, wasn’t it?
Of course that was the Dodo, Sister Madly- who else would it be? And it was not due to the magic of the universe, coincidence, or synchronicity that he showed up outside your window, but as a result of the prevailing boredom of your very capable ‘friends.’
But don’t rule out the fact that the Dodo was all-too willing to comply.
Laugh it up, Chuckles, but paisley is chic! Besides, no one was suppose to see her socks.
Now, one might expect some clever repartee to ensue, perhaps even to the point of threatening future retribution. But no; instead, she watched the Dodo silently walked away with her paisley sock!!!
Well of all the cheek! Your friends may very-well be the source of your problems, Sister Madly, but your enemies are certainly the backup power unit.
“He’s just contributing to your humanity,” said the Guardian of the Nonexistent Pearl.
… Enemies whose number is ever-growing, and whom Sister Madly informed that until she once again had her sock- or a viable substitute- she would not be leaving the precious Citadel.
That is when a purple Crown Royal bag came flying through the window.
Let‘s face it, Sister Madly: the source of all your problems is you.
*Sister Madly still has no idea what the deal was with the Pearls, other than the fact that there weren’t any in the Citadel.
THEME SONG: Like a Friend, Pulp
2) Christopher Lovell
4) Elise Marie Syvertsen
The trouble with being a god is that you’ve got no one to pray to ~ Terry Pratchett
It was a day like any other when Yanni came to town. At Utopia, three employees had emerged from their usual Wednesday night hangovers, Victor had fallen victim to the oil and muck puddle as he took out the trash, and the resident cat – Sinner – was having trouble hacking up his weekly hairball.
To the envy of all, Sister Madly had arrived sober, clean, and hairball free- but this, too, would not last. She was selected for the Wearing of the Green, that all too important job of trying on rings and bracelets to see how long it would take to look like Swamp Thing. Some nights she would come home with so much green around her wrists it looked like she spent the day chained up in the basement with Igor- which of course wasn’t true. Igor was fired months ago.
The point of the Wearing of the Green was to see whether or not the most recent merchandise was truly sterling.* Sterling Silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal, which makes the silver suitable for daily wear and is indicated by the number .925 engraved somewhere on the piece. Fine Silver (99.9%) is much too soft for jewelry, and often results in unhappy customers demanding something called a ‘refund’ – loudly.
*Green is the result of a chemical reaction between copper and the acid in sweat, which forms salts that leave a residue on the skin- the only alchemy of which Sister Madly is capable.
When dealing with reputable vendors, this low-budget test method is not necessary; but when one’s dealing with independent peddlers who sell things out of their trench coats in the back alley (a common Utopian practice) one just might wind up with merchandise that is merely sterling-plated.
In no time, Sister Madly looked as though she had been luxuriating in the local bayou, the sight of which prompted Management to make a cheeky reference to the employees being the latest rejects of Fraggle Rock. This, naturally, would have made no difference to Management had they not been made aware of one Yanni arriving in town.
Now Sister Madly had heard of this Yanni, thanks to the ill-gotten Pure Moods CD’s of her teens. She also remembers not being too impressed with whatever song was on said CD, thus not giving him a second thought- which, it would turn out, is more thought than most of her coworkers had ever given him.
However, it seemed that membership was down in Club Yanni, thus his accompanists took to the streets to recruit disciples by giving away free tickets. Management was particularly susceptible to this type of evangelism, and were not only immediate converts, but immediate authorities on the man they hadn’t heard of a mere hour before.
And as new glow of euphoric propaganda coursed through their veins, Management began to wonder if Yanni, himself, would show up at Utopia… because shopping for incense and fertility gods is exactly what Yanni would do less than 90 minutes before show time. Management went on to demanded that they be informed the moment Yanni stopped by the store.
There was some concern amongst certain Utopians regarding this request, as they did not know what the Man Known as Yanni looked like. But Management graciously responded with this all-too-detailed description:
“Just be on the look out for someone who looks like Jesus!”
“Jesus? Like the guy who sells melons on the corner?”
“That’s pronounced Jesús, Victor, and those are mangoes.”*
*It was well-known to everyone but Victor that the man behind Mangoes by Jesús was in fact an Italian named Giuseppe, who drove a vintage Mustang and spoke better English than the lot of them. But then, Victor smoked a lot of illegal plant-life.
It was a few moments before closing time when it happened: that beam of light that broke through the clouds, and the angelic choir that accompanied the silhouette that stood majestically in the doorframe…
…which was the precise moment that Sinner, in a spectacular display of vaudevillian theatrics, not only coughed up his mutant hairball, but proceeded to basked in the glory of his regurgitated masterpiece- all at the feet of the Man Who Could Have Been Yanni…
But alas, the silhouette was merely the pizza boy.
THEME SONG: Anything by Yanni, as long as it’s interesting (Good Luck)
The following are excerpts from actual emails received at a local news station:
Their is A store on XXXX Rd the people are not being nice to me. I hope you Can help me to stop them to start being nice to me.
Sometimes people are not nice to Sister Madly, either. It took her a while to realize that not everyone likes 80’s Power Ballads played at full volume at 3AM on a Tuesday, and that, just perhaps, there was a connection.
I got an email today claiming they were the FBI and that I had won the lottery. Its another scam I am sure just like the IRS one. I can send it to you if you want. It does not even have the FBI logo in the email.
You forgot to put the logo on the email, Sister Madly! That was the same problem you faced when posing as the Illuminati at the gun show- but then, those militia are always sticklers for ID. Fortunately, your claim of Nigerian Royalty in all those lonely heart magazines continues to go unchallenged despite the fact your photo depicts you as a chicken.
I have a request. I’m keeping my babies sex a surprise and don’t know what I’m having. I want to find out in a really fun and unique way. Is there any way that I could send u the ultrasound results ans on the show have it announced while me and my family and friends wait in anticipation at a party at home? This would be a dream come true.
Even if it’s for love, it is best that your babies refrain from sex until they have completed the proper education by carrying around an egg for a couple of weeks. But seriously: keeping your babies sex a secret is one thing- we all have skeletons in the closet; but keeping it a surprise- and wishing to let the entire city know of their, shall we say, practices at a designated time on the air- is disturbed.
(Common decency urges Sister Madly to refrain from posting a photo depicting the above excerpt. So here is Fizzgig.)
Why haven’t you come out against the nude bicycling in downtown ????????????? For Gods sake………. Indecent exposure in public is against the law, and I certainly don’t want my children exposed to this kind of nonsense. Let’s try to use some good common sense. These people look like idiots and your news channel doesn’t seem to object. Let’s put a stop to this ?????????????????????????????
As Terry Pratchett once said, “Multiple exclamation points are a sure sign of a mind diseased.” In light of this statement, Sister Madly sees no reason to address the above complaint.
(Once again decency reigns, so here is a moose.)
A couple of nights ago your pint-sized weatherman and his wide-eyed anchor friend pretended that they knew nothing about Duck Dynasty. Please – they should keep their preppy and moronic commemts to themselves. Maybe this pretense is typical of the new vacuous faux thinkers?
To be fair, that particular Dynasty is relatively unknown amongst those who express a distaste of MSG. Located somewhere between the Tang and Ming Dynasties, its duration upon one acre of land at the bottom of a river was tragically short-lived, lasting for a mere 24 hours before its collapse. It is in honor of this rather fleeting Dynasty that many Chinese Restaurants have implemented the 24 hr advanced notice requirement for the Peking Duck. *
* There may be some errors in this clarification.
I would appreciate it if your station would refer to the column that is in Astoria, and shown as one of your regular morning weather cams, as the Astor Column and not the Astoria Column. It is named after John Jacob Astor. Every morning on the news your weathermen refer to it as the Astoria Column, and that is the identifier under the picture of the column. I’ll be watching every morning to see if you change it.
Sister Madly understands your pain, as her own name is often mispronounced, misspelled, or just plain ignored in favor of inanimate objects (I.e., ‘Now see here, Kumquat…) In the spirit of camaraderie, Sister Madly went to bat for you and for the late John Jacob Astor, and won: it is now called the Astoria Column.
It is a little known fact that Sister Madly has a conduit into the local media scene. It would be unfair to say that she has not benefited from this liaison- indeed, with each passing day it becomes evident that it is not her own sanity that the world must question. She has provided you excerpts from actual emails received to support this claim.
~ ON ETIQUETTE ~
… the culprit is XXXX and his obnoxious, loud behavior and general lack of decorum. In a recent show, he drank from a soup plate, which he referred to as a “bowl”. The rim of a soup plate specifically discourages a faux pas like the above mentioned. Please consider that what you show on your station- correct or not- gives the general public license to be crass in their own lives & we surely do not need more of that.
Since the lifting of the soup plate from the soup plate’s plate is an act most barbaric, Sister Madly has decided to address the issue so that she might single-handedly postpone mankind’s descent into the cultural abyss: Use a Spoon.
And always make certain that the clams in your bouillabaisse are Free Range.
~ ON PHOTO SUBMISSION ~
Is there not a category for legit paranormal pics? why not you guys post every other stupid pic in the world! is sent 2 amazing ghost pics to you guys took me almost a year and over 10k pics to get 2 real legit pics!
A legitimate request, this one; Sister Madly herself has a file for paranormal pictures and has for years. It is empty.
~ ON PROPER TERMINOLOGY ~
I watched your segment on Comic Con this weekend and they mentioned the people playing “Dress up.” It is not called dress up, it is cosplay. Referring it to dress up like what children do, which is what the segment appeared to be about, is not the basis of cosplay. (Being a child)
When Sister Madly dressed up for the Renaissance Faire, she and everyone else called it ‘Role Play.’ Themed weekends did not include Steampunk, Star Wars, or Anime in those days- there was the Highland Fling, during which Sister Madly & Co. donned picnic blankets in an attempt to pass them off as tartans. They were unsuccessful, although they did manage to anger some Vikings.
~ ON HEAVEN-KNOWS WHAT ~
HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS! MINE FROOZED LAST NIGHT! I HAVE A PLASTIC ON, PUT IT IN THE MIRCO TO THAW-OUT. THE LITTLE HUMMERS WHERE VERY HAPPY AND HUNGER!!
Nothing soothes the Madly Soul more than a Hummer at a feeder. Nothing.
~ ON SYMPATHY ~
i feel sorry for XXXX.. every day he gives out the word of the day for the car contest, he’s wearing the same pair of pants. Should i start a facebook page “help XXXX get a new pair of pants?”
Perhaps they’re comfy. Perhaps they’re lucky. Or perhaps he films the week’s Word of the Day segments all at once, which does not require the changing of pants.
~ ON CHILD REARING ~
I realize the story about those people that set themselves on fire in Cleveland was a great cause done for charity, but don’t you think you guys should have put a phrase in front of the story telling people “to not try this at home” due to the young viewers that might be watching this at home. I have alot of small children in my family that watch the news with us grown ups & they had alot of questions I had to explain.
Sister Madly finds this suggestion a most sensible one- provided your children are the type who need to be advised not to set themselves on fire.
~ ON THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS ~
Please ask XXXX what size his waist size is, as I am making a Tutu for his next race.
P.S. It takes a real man to wear a Tutu in public, so I will be kind and make it in Blue!
It was blue. And a lovely shade at that.
Do keep in mind that, should you contact your local media, someone is on hand to screen the calls and emails.
And it is just possible that someone knows Sister Madly.
For a brief period in her youth, Sister Madly attended an extremely conservative, Baptist-as-hell institution commonly referred to as ‘High School.’ Tales that emerge from this gloomy asylum range from questionable to legendary, including the method in which the joys of parenthood were taught by having the girls carry an egg around for a two-week stretch.
It is fortunate for mankind that Sister Madly never took this class. No doubt she would have grown up suppressing the urge to dye all the little children pastel colors every Easter- if she suppressed it at all. It is also a good thing that she does not have children of her own.
While some girls simply carried an egg around on a napkin, others took the task to heart, dressing up their eggs in cutesy little outfits and giving them names, such as in the case of an egg called Jessy.
Now, Jessy was the surrogate offspring of Lisa, who was from one of the founding families of the asylum. It wasn’t long before a couple of Sister Madly’s classmates discovered the unthinkable: Lisa was leaving her child unsupervised in her locker for the first two hours- even worse, she was getting away with it.
On Thursday, however, Lisa opened up her locker between classes and was confronted not by Jessy in his knitted hat, but by a plate of scrambled eggs.
It was during study hall the day before that Sister Madly overheard Scott’s and David’s bickering about Lisa’s cheating. Quite frankly, Sister Madly felt that their protests were a bit unwarranted, since only the girls were required to carry the eggs around as boys, apparently, did not need to learn the joys of parenting.* And she might have said so, had she not been blinded by the delightful vision of Lisa thinking that someone had scrambled Jessy.
*However, this could have been on the request of the janitor.
The beauty of this plan is that Lisa would not be able to report this crime without admitting that she had been cheating. For the boys, this wasn’t about retribution; this was about justice. For Sister Madly, it just sounded like fun. This was to be her first taste as an Evil Overlord, where she could just sit back and watch her henchmen carry out the deed.
However, being the mastermind meant that Sister Madly would not be involved in the action, and that kind of takes the joy out of things. She would also learn that if you want your evil plan to run smoothly and efficiently, you have to do it yourself- and even then, it’s no guarantee.
Her first indication of this was Thursday morning, when Scott slipped back into study hall with an illegally acquired, hard-boiled egg.
Now, the Egg-As-Offspring Project had several rules, the main one being that you couldn’t hard-boil your children. This is one of the few practical lessons the students could take away from this class, if not from the school, itself.
But even if Lisa had hard-boiled her child, this particular egg was faceless and naked, lacking the obnoxiously cute little knitted hat for which Jessy was known. Also, he had not been retrieved from the obnoxiously cute little egg bassinet her Papa had made, but from a paper bag-
Salt and Cabbages, Scott! You didn’t steal Lisa’s child; you stole her lunch!
The problem with Evil Overlording in a Baptist Institution is that the local criminal element tends to lack certain qualities essential for the overall effect: common sense, IQ points, stealth, experience, etc. Also, they were wearing penny-loafers.
Part 2 of this scheme belonged to David. He had decided to forgo completing his geometry assignment the night before to create a Hollywood-style ransom note of letters cut from magazines, requesting payment of candy bars (teenagers know what’s important) in exchange for the safe return of her child. If they did not receive payment by the end of lunch break, they would scramble Jessy.
Unfortunately, this note was slipped into the wrong locker. Penny Loafers.
So, Sister Madly, perhaps you should have taken your cue from all those Bond films: that employing penny-loafer henchmen to do your dirty work is all but guaranteed failure. But as always, things just don’t ring true until you have experienced it yourself. You’re still finding that out.
That was the last time she aided the local criminal element. Besides, Sister Madly prefers active duty. Relying on henchmen is really nothing more than co-dependence.*
*Jessy was returned unharmed, without the ransom being paid, and without his hat. No one knows what happened to it. Penny Loafers.
POST’S THEME SONG: Jessie’s Girl, Rick Springfield
Sister Madly has taken to entertaining long, lovely thoughts of the universe, butcher knives and Formica coffee tables in an effort to get the song It Came Upon a Midnight Clear out of her head.
She has the Professors to blame for this: they had embraced the holiday spirit much too early for their own good, singing carols and hanging up twinkling lights long before Thanksgiving materialized. Sister Madly retaliated with a threat to purchase their gifts out of Sky Mall Magazine, which successfully put an end to their musical twaddle.
But not to the music in her head.
There was a time that Sister Madly took these songs for granted, singing along without a thought as to what she was saying. It was upon being stumped by the second line of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear that she began to consider other songs of the season:
LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
What mother wouldn’t be thrilled to have an obnoxious little brat honor her newborn with the gentle whisperings of a snare drum? As much as a young Sister Madly would have loved to recreate this scenario in the neonatal unit at the local hospital, she didn’t see her mother supporting the idea.
Fortunately, Sister Madly has long-since reached the age of majority, so it no longer matters whether or not she has her mother’s approval.
WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
Sister Madly sees nothing wrong with this salutation; even stopping by one’s house to do so is something to be admired depending on the time of day (she, herself, prefers the 1-4AM slot when personally trespassing in the name of generosity.) However, the subsequent demand for figgy pudding in verse two, followed by the refusal to leave until said pudding is obtained in verse three, sheds light on just how ill-equipped she is for this holiday. Apparently, it is standard procedure to procure an arsenal of figgy puddings in the event one is ambushed by a group of caroling bandits.
Should you find yourself singing this tune outside Sister Madly’s door- while properly armed with a machete and some duct tape- the best she can do at the moment is offer you some mystery mince (it might be Alpaca) and half a bottle of Two Towns Nice & Naughty Cider (which she loves and has no intention of sharing with you pudding-demanding degenerates.)
WE THREE KINGS
Sister Madly can’t even begin to tell you how long that she, as a wide-eyed, little ingénue, thought the Far East was the ever-so mysterious Orient-R. It was only after she came to realize that the gifts were not, in fact, Gold, Frankenstein, and Murder, that she began to entertain the possibility that she was mistaken about other words in the song as well.
THE BOAR’S HEAD CAROL
Who hasn’t looked upon a severed pig’s head and been inspired to hang up the holly and mistletoe?
Come on, now- Sister Madly can’t be the only one! Why, the very image of this creature with an apple wedged in its mouth triggers that wistful, Sister Madly Smile at the memories of old acquaintances, whose sudden departure from her life was as swift and as clean as their arrival. In fact, Sister Madly, the time has come once again for you to leave them all flowers.
THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Contrary to popular belief, the problem here is not the cost; the problem here is the horde of birds and human creatures leaping, piping, singing and squawking in Sister Madly’s 300ft² apartment. There’s also the small matter of a pear tree chillin‘ out on the fire escape (which she has 24 hours to remove per the Fire Marshal’s order.) Taking this into account, the grand total of her True Love’s Shopping Extravaganza is:
- 50 humans
- 23 birds
- 5 gold rings
- 1 fruit-bearing tree
But upon further contemplation, Sister Madly finds this figure to be inaccurate. Take, for instance, the Maid’s A-Milking: should they be a-milking at the time of the gift exchange, it means that the cows were included. This brings the total to:
- 50 humans
- 23 birds
- 8 cows
- 5 gold rings
- 1 fruit-bearing tree
Of course, she can’t forget the Geese A-Laying: should they be particularly fertile fowl- with each one laying an egg on the day of their arrival (day 6) up to and including the day Sister Madly sets fire to her apartment (day 12)- the revised total would be:
- 50 humans
- 42 eggs
- 23 birds
- 8 cows
- 5 gold rings
- 1 fruit-bearing tree
…and just in what, exactly, are the 7 Swans A-Swimming?
Sister Madly is already planning a nasty break-up with her True Love- and she hasn’t even met him yet. The fact that she lets this nonsense continue for 12 days shows an inhuman amount of patience, most likely because these gifts* are from her True Love and she wants to give the miscreant every opportunity to explain himself.
As it turns out, staring off into space isn’t as relaxing as she thought it would be.
It came upon a midnight clear…
… but then it went away…
*The 5 golden rings would turn up missing on day 11. It would later be discovered that one of the Leaping Lords had light fingers and was courting Dancing Lady #6. The charges were dropped, as Sister Madly prefers silver when it comes to jewelry. Her True Love should have known this.
When Sister Madly arrived at the prearranged place of pints and darts, she was immediately apprehensive at the amount of teeth being displayed. Nobody smiles that much unless they want something.
And oh, the Professors wanted something: they wanted to play golf.
Now, Sister Madly does not play golf. She tried once, and afterwards the green looked as though she had personally detonated a field of land mines. She also had no idea that it was possible for the ball to sail backwards after a forward swing- or straight up at her face. While Sister Madly will gladly dismember every affiliate of the local Stop/Slow Sign Spinners Chapter and weave a trellis out of what’s left of their corpses (she has yet to do so, but if she ever does, it will be done gladly) she will not participate in this method of personal torture without a fight.
Golf. They wanted to play golf. Please say the only reason you want Sister Madly to come along is so that she can drive the cart. She is already entertaining fantasies of ditching you at the farthest possible tee- the least you could do is make this dream come true.
As with all good horror stories, the day dawned gloomy, damp, and shrouded in a fog worthy of Vincent Price. In other words, the perfect weather for contemplating suicide- or homicide, depending on how things go. Seeing as they had wasted 15 minutes of their ever-shortening lives to drive out to the golf course, the Professors decided- with a smile- to take their chances on the driving range.
That is when things started to go wrong. A practice swing by Sister Madly toppled the bucket and sent 300 golf balls scattering willy-nilly (Sister Madly says 300, but they may have only been 40. She did not count them.) This, of course, was followed by the inaugural swing that missed the ball completely, which was followed by the one that sliced the tee in half and sent the ball straight into her shin.
Instead of fast-forwarding to the part where Sister Madly ditches them at the most distant tee before joyriding through the daisies, the Professors smiled through a long dissertation on how golf was, in its own way, a wonderful form of meditation.
Meditation? In your La-La Dreams, chowder-head. Sister Madly knows that inner peace is achieved by exercising machete justice upon unsuspecting rutabagas, and not in a golf swing. Seriously- when was the last time you encountered a Zen Garden with a statue of Buddha teeing off?
The least you can do is concentrate, Sister Madly.
Oh yes, another piece of advice all in vain: concentrating on hitting the ball did absolutely nothing for her swing. But when Sister Madly shifted her focus from her game to the method of revenge she would unleashing upon the smiling Professors later that evening, she began hacking away at the ball with a degree of violence so unnecessary that the Professors actually frowned and called for a time-out.
After a lengthy sit-down, the Professors attempted to show her the proper form for meditating, finishing off with a swing so lovely, it was the inspiration of Poe’s Pendulum.* Sister Madly’s subsequent meditation attempt sent her club sailing off into the driving range and left the Professors wondering how things could go so wrong so fast.
Gee, this is a fun sport!
*He came up with the ‘Pit’ part from watching Sister Madly.
(Un)fortunately, one of the smiling Professors had another club, which was handed over with the strict instructions not to let go this time. After yet another round of ill-received advice, it was decided that the best way for Sister Madly to learn how to meditate was in her own gentle, self-destructive way. It wasn’t long before her tantrums settled down, which led the Professors to believe that she might actually be enjoying herself- until they realized that Sister Madly was just throwing the balls out into the driving range, for the sooner that bucket was empty, the sooner she could realize her dream of ditching those smiles at the farthest tee.
Sister Madly, you see, does not consider herself bound by the rules of fair play.
Nor by the Laws of the Hollow Smile.
POST’S THEME SONG: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), Ella Fitzgerald
They say that Marlene Dietrich’s favorite meal was hot dogs and champagne.
Sister Madly saw this as a challenge.
It happened some years ago, when all that Sister Madly really knew about the elite was what classic Hollywood had glamorized. Apparently, this required pairing junk food with fancy spirits which, in Sister Madly’s mind, was limited to brandy, scotch, port and bourbon. What can you expect from a wide-eyed little ingénue who grew up in a place where the state flower is the highway cone?
Well, Madame Dietrich: challenge accepted.
Hot dogs and champagne, you say?
Well, Sister Madly can deal you one better:
And French Fries.
The Modernized Dietrich.
And the bartender didn’t even bat an eye.
While no one has ever paired Port with French Fries in the golden years of Hollywood, Sister Madly just assumed that was an oversight on their part. She may never achieve the status of Madame Dietrich, she may never attain her glory, but there’s no reason that Sister Madly couldn’t be a legend in her own little world.
Yes, Sister Madly: Sophisticate.
Of course, the real thing turned out to be nothing like she expected, much like that one summer on Mackinac Island, when she and Tallulah decided to try the god-awful tandem thing. Actually, the tandem thing was all right as long as only one person was riding it. With all the speed and enthusiasm of continental drift, Sister Madly looked over her shoulder to find an empty bike seat and no Tallulah.
That is also when Sister Madly discovered the incredible stopping power of a picket fence.
While Sister Madly can’t tell you what, exactly, her expectations were of the Modernized Dietrich, she was still surprised by the ostentatious presentation of the purple-filled thimble. In all the great fairy tales, these tiny goblets contain either a sleeping potion, the blood of a virgin, or some other poison evident to everyone but the ill-fated victim. But while the bartender was, indeed, a shifty sort of fellow, he lacked the imagination- certainly the humor- to carry out such a prank.
So tell us, Sister Madly- what were you expecting? Sure, you’ve had bigger shots of cough syrup, but this is the cultured life: the way of the sophisticate, flaunting feathered boas and paying a fortune for a single string bean and a chicken nibblet in all of your finer French restaurants. This is what they call class, and lord knows, you could use some.
Besides, any libation with that sinister character on the bottle can’t be all bad. Who wouldn’t want to run into a caped marauder some lonely night during a bout of selective nocturnalness? *
*On the street, that is; not in the apartment.
Then came another surprise: Port, it turns out, is a fortified wine, and Sister Madly did not drink wine in those days. Had she known this, she would have tried a bit of scotch, which might have paired better with the French Fries. She certainly wasn’t thinking that Port was a wine- nature does not embed that knowledge into the human DNA anymore than it dictates that all cats should respond to the Here Kitty, Kitty gesture.
Fortified wine- fortified with what? Doesn‘t fortify mean to make something stronger? Perhaps the wine had just completed an Olympic training course, or attended a week-long motivational seminar; perhaps it has been armed with battle axes and spiky helmets in anticipation of facing the ultimate foe that is Sister Madly.
But this one thing is for certain: Port is chock-full of anti-French Fry compatible enzymes and all things sticky-purple. In other words, Port and French Fries do not mix.
The Modernized Dietrich was a failure.
(No doubt, most of you knew this without having to sample the delicacy, with the wiser amongst you knowing that any such warning to Sister Madly would have been met with a squirt of mustard to the face. You see, sometimes things just aren’t true until you prove them to yourself.)
Port and French Fries, hereafter known as The Bastardized Dietrich.
Just face it, Sister Madly: this sophistication stuff is for the birds.
MUSHROOM BRIE SOUP
- 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 8 oz brie cheese, cubed, rind removed
- 1 lg onion, chopped
- 2/3 c dry white wine
- 4 c chicken/vegetable broth
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
Sauté mushrooms, garlic and shallot in butter/oil, until fragrant. Set aside.
In large saucepan, sauté onion in butter/oil until translucent- 5 minutes or so
Add wine and simmer about 5 minutes
Stir in broth, brie, and spices.
Stir in sautéed mushrooms.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes- do not boil.
POST’S THEME SONG: Lili Marlene, Marlene Dietrich
Real children do not go hoppity-skip unless they are on drugs. ~ Terry Pratchett
There was a time when a young Sister Madly ventured to the fringes of the underworld and lived to tell the tale- which is what she’s doing now, in fact.
By the time she was 7, Sister Madly had been exposed to a variety of anti-drug campaigns, including the famous Just Say No movement, which had led Sister Madly to believe that she would be pressured into experimenting with drugs more often than she actually was- that is to say, at all. In fact, all she really knew about drugs was that they were bad for one’s well-being which, by this definition, included the cancer, nuclear war, and the guillotine.
One warning she frequently encountered was the poster of an egg in a frying pan, but this Sister Madly did not understand. Eggs were those things she dyed for Easter, or sometimes threw at a target in Serafina’s garage* or that strange families ate for breakfast. Eggs were also used in anti-smoking ads, where some dirty cigarette was violently snuffed out in the yolk. This could only mean one thing: eggs were as bad for her as drugs, smoking and the guillotine. Her brain might even turn into an egg while on drugs, albeit temporarily, and that was something Sister Madly could do without.
*Sister Madly never threw eggs at passing cars or at other people; that is why nature gave us crab apples.
Then one day, her curiosity broke. You see, any magazine that dared to portray the graphic nature of drugs often depicted these things as brightly-colored candy pills. If this was society‘s way of protecting Sister Madly from the evils of narcotics, they were going about it entirely the wrong way. Sister Madly liked candy as long it didn’t tasted like red.
She remembered once hearing something about shoes hanging from the power lines, and that was about all she had to go on. So Sister Madly and Serafina went about this the only way they knew how, roaming the neighborhood until they found a pair of sneakers dangling overhead. They had a whole system worked out: sandals to score acid; for coke, a pair of stilettos, because all fashion models were on coke; sneakers, being generally nondescript, were the source of the nondescript candy-colored pills. As for heroin… probably a pair of nurse’s regulations, Serafina said, since it involved needles- which scared Sister Madly so it was decided to avoid those at all costs.
It wasn’t that Sister Madly necessarily wanted to try any of these things- she just wanted to see them; she just wanted to hold, perhaps even own, one little candy-colored pill. Something she could hide in the water pipes in her closet and play with every now and then, and be happy that she owned something that no one else did.
Thanks to her parents, Sister Madly learned at an early age that one did not often get something for nothing, so Sister Madly brought along a handful of gumdrops. She did not like gumdrops (she must have a discussion with Serafina about the candy the girl kept around her house) so this wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice. Still, she knew better than to admit this, because if the gumdrops did not seem all that valuable to Sister Madly, the dealer might demand something else. Like money.
Of course, for their own protection, the girls were accompanied by Serafina’s imaginary dog, Sambo.
And so Sister Madly spent the next few hours standing, twirling or hopscotching in the middle of the street under a pair of sneakers, running to the curb every time a car passed by (even Sambo couldn’t save her from the oncoming cars and mopeds.) She went over what her parents had said about playing in the street and wondered if she was violating this order (she was) but it was the only way she knew how to contact the local demimonde. Obviously, her parents didn‘t want her to play in the street for fear that Sister Madly might be mistaken for an addict and give all her gumdrops away.
It wasn’t long before the girls abandoned this particular venture and made their way down to the liquor store on the corner, where Sister Madly bought some candy cigarettes. No doubt the local demimonde had been frighten away by Serafina’s imaginary dog, Sambo.
Next time, they will leave Sambo at home.
POST’S THEME SONG: Sugar Town, Nancy Sinatra
Last year, Sister Madly spent Halloween with Tallulah and (the now) Mr. Tallulah watching Disney propaganda films, the highlight of these being Der Fuehrer’s Face: a peculiar little picture chock-full of Nazi ridicule and an unfortunately catchy tune- so catchy, in fact, that Sister Madly had to forcibly stop herself from singing it in public.
This year, the Professors have decided that not only should Sister Madly accompany their group to the party of a colleague, but that they should all attend said soiree dressed in a similar fashion- in this case, Día de los Muertos.
This, for your FYI, was decided without the consent of Sister Madly, as these things usually are. Six weeks worth of protests have been met with the usual disregard as plans were made in her absence, which included elaborate costuming and makeup, with the finishing details to be outlined in temporary tattoo.
Sister Madly sees no way in which this last one could possibly go wrong.
While never having made herself up in this grotesquely festive nature, Sister Madly is well aware of the drawbacks of unfamiliar cosmetic mediums, which stems from an incident that occurred well over 5 years ago.
It happened when Sister Madly was 6 years-old, when she was still under the blissful delusion that there was no way in heaven and earth that she could possibly make a mistake. Her friend, Serafina, had invited her to a church party thrown as a ‘safe alternative’ to the usual Halloween festivities, which Sister Madly didn’t quite understand but decided to overlook as there was still the promise of candy. But with this promise came the gentle reminder that since the party was to be held at a church- and a strict, unfun denomination at that- their costumes had to be biblical in nature.
It wasn’t long before Serafina was announcing that she would be dressing up as an angel, which was not surprising. Serafina always had a fondness for silver linings and all things pink and fluffy, offsetting Sister Madly’s healthy skepticism of the bright side of things. While in many ways they were complete opposites, somehow it worked for them (i.e., Serafina ate all the black jelly beans, and Sister Madly… well, gave them to her.)
So Serafina was going to be a pink, fluffy angel.
And Sister Madly? She settled on the Devil. The Devil is biblical.
But what, exactly, does the Devil look like? This was not something one covered in Sunday School, it turned out, as Serafina balked at the question. What they did know of the Devil was gleaned from the usual media outlets: red, naturally, as most depictions agree on this, with horns, a tail, maybe some fangs, and occasionally brandishing a pitchfork.
While a 6 year-old’s standards aren’t very high, Sister Madly was disappointed at what was guaranteed to be her lack of authenticity. She would have to forgo any and all genetic mutations, and as for that pitchfork thing- that was just out of the question. No; if Sister Madly wanted to be the Devil, she would have to make do by simply being red.
Unlike the other features, being red was something she could achieve. One Christmas not too long before, she received an inkpad and a stamp of her name surrounded by hearts (there was a time her parents thought it was a good idea for Sister Madly to possess such an instrument of destruction.) There had been some rules laid out at the onset, such as no stamping the walls or the carpet or the dog, but nowhere in these unwritten bylaws was the stipulation that Sister Madly could not stamp her own person if she so desired (nor, incidentally, the inside of the closet door… or the nightstand drawer… or the underside of her desk… or the swing set.) Not that Sister Madly always did what she was told, but she rather liked the stamp at that time and didn’t want it to be taken from her.
And so Sister Madly made herself red by stamping her name all over her face.
But mostly her face.
In the end, it was all in vain; Sister Madly never went to this Safe Alternative Halloween Party, and by all accounts doesn’t remember being all that upset about it. And while Sister Madly wandered around with the subtle imprint of her name all over her face for days after, no one ever thought to ask what impulse brought about this latest act of personal vandalism. It was merely chalked up as one of those things a young Sister Madly thought was a good idea at the time.
POST’S THEME SONG: Red Right Hand, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
The Professors seem to be under the impression that Sister Madly is constantly wandering off, getting lost, getting into trouble, or getting mixed up with psychopaths- in other words, completely incapable of taking care of herself. This is patently untrue; Sister Madly never wanders off- it is always deliberate.
She had a good reason this time: she dropped her keys in the toothpaste bush*, and wasted a few precious moments in their recovery.
*A bush that has an overbearing scent of mint and rosemary, despite the fact that it is made up of neither mint nor rosemary.
Well, they said. That was weird.
Oh, no. Nothing good ever seems to come from that phrase when these turkeys are involved. Unfortunately, Sister Madly couldn’t come up of anything that would be considered unusual even by the Professors’ standards- except that she was running. A typical Sister Madly does not run unless there is something running after her. Or if she just left some zucchini- or some other luxury- on your front porch. ***
(**For your FYI: October 9th was Moldy Cheese Day, in case you were curious about those other ‘luxuries.’ Just be glad that Sister Madly doesn’t know your address.**)
After a quick assessment of the last few minutes, Sister Madly came to the conclusion that this comment had nothing to do with her whatsoever.
But it always does.
What do you mean, what’s weird? Three streetlamps, in a row, went dark just as you approached them- didn’t you notice?
Well, of course she noticed! It’s next to impossible to be anything but aware of the fact that the world has plunged into complete darkness at the exact moment you drop your keys into the toothpaste bush. Sister Madly would have to have been an absolute idiot ten months dead to not have noticed that.
However, what she did not say was that this incident was not her first; in fact, it is something she has experienced now and again throughout her life. And just as she’s about to chalk it up to coincidence, some pattern will emerge that leaves her in awe, such as the time 6 in a row went dark, or the time it was every other light; then, of course, her favorite: a zigzag design down the highway. These were streetlights for the most part, but there has been others here and there- most of which, like the streetlights, turn on automatically once it gets dark and off again with the light.
Therefore, the explanation is a simple one: Sister Madly, at random and without realizing it, turns into a big ball of light.
The question has been broached as to what the
white flibbertigibbet in the above picture is.
Given the aforementioned explanation,
it could very well be Sister Madly.
While not a satisfactory answer, it was the best she could come up with at a moment’s notice. She would like to claim superpowers as much as anyone, but the fact of the matter is that this is not something that Sister Madly can do at will- that, and she’s seen it happen to many other people over the years, including a family member or two. It would be no fun having a superpower that is neither exclusive nor manageable.
Besides, such a talent would be wasted on Sister Madly. She sees no advantage in engulfing the city with momentary darkness one block at a time, not to mention the impractically of having to walk and/or drive past each streetlight in order to carry out this deed. And while it makes sense that she would make the world dark in order to seek vengeance upon the toothpaste bush, up until the moment she lost her keys Sister Madly harbored no ill-will towards the shrubbery.
In the end, that night had little to do with streetlights or the toothpaste bush and more with the fact that Sister Madly could use a narrator in her life, one of those all-knowing, disembodied voices who only meddles when called upon. You see, Sister Madly lives inside her head most of the time, so when she chooses to be out with her friends, goofy though they may be, it’s because she wants a break from herself. She doesn’t want anyone trying to get back in her head after she’s worked so hard to get out. A narrator could save her a whole lot of annoyance, and possibly even be able to explain the streetlight occurrence, which would be a bonus.
Of course, this isn’t always the case; there are moments when Sister Madly engages in meaningful conversation and actually enjoys people; this was just not one of those times.
POST’S THEME SONG: Where the Lights Won’t Shine, Psyched Up Janis
Perhaps it is narrow-minded assumption, but Sister Madly is of the opinion that a café which claims to be ‘Classic Americana’ should not be known for its Borscht.
Nor should it be called EAT.
Over the weekend, Sister Madly and the Professors ventured out to the countryside where the alpacas and wheat threshers freely roam, all in an attempt to find some color, maybe a waterfall, something that proved their autumn was to be more than a plague of stink bugs. Somewhere along the way, the Professors decided that they wanted iced tea- which, by the way, is code for wanting to play video poker, although they have yet to admit this. While the Professors have gotten Sister Madly to admit to a great deal of awkwardness, she has yet to achieve this same level of federal interrogation. Probably because she already knows the answer- or just doesn’t care.
But of all the Borscht joints, in all the towns, in all the world…
It wasn’t long after that the caravan happened upon a little shanty that looked as though it had been recently regurgitated- in fact, it looked like a lovely place to be murdered. If only it had a different name, as it would be terribly disappointing to be found murdered at a place called EAT. What grease is spared on the food was used to shine the floor, and approaching the counter was achieved through a painstaking ritual of geisha-shuffling and the occasional acrobatics. Sister Madly should have been amused by the fact that she could trace her name into the countertop.
You’re going to die here, aren’t you, Sister Madly? The Professors brought you here to die. This whole iced tea thing was a ruse- they brought here to die because you didn’t want to play Settlers of Catan last week. They brought you here to die because you refused to partake in their latest SEES Experiment, going so far as to slip out the back door when they weren’t looking. They didn’t like that very much.
At the counter was a surly ol‘ fella, looking as though they had just interrupted a fabulous coronary. His employer, no doubt, was of a most progressive mindset, as smiling appeared to be the only requirement for employment at EAT- whether or not you have teeth.
“Pick your poison.”
There‘s your proof, Sister Madly; at least you get to choose your method of involuntary disposal, even though it is cleverly disguised as customer service. He only has a spatula within reach, so if he‘s going to take you out with violence, it‘s not going to be for a few minutes anyhow. Might as well extend what’s left of your life by not consuming anything here at EAT, and who knows? You just might make it out alive. Should you get thirsty, there is that puddle out in the parking lot. At least it has a pretty rainbow from the oil slick.
The Professors, however, didn’t seem to mind the squalid conditions of EAT, nor did they seem to be in any hurry to leave- and perhaps none of this would have mattered, had not one of the Professors sat at the table ahead of the rest. You see, Sister Madly is quite use to sitting with her right side to the wall- the universe makes a little more sense when she does: there is peace, harmony, serenity and other beautiful words, all of which she is willing to embrace when her right side is to the wall.
So when the Professor took that place first, Sister Madly was at a total loss.
Instead of trying to explain the particulars of this latest cosmic rift- and having just doodled her name in the grease on the tabletop- Sister Madly decided to liven things up by washing her hands. Besides, if she was going to die in this place, she’d rather it be by a method that inspires sonnets, such as hideous dismemberment or strangulation, not by spontaneously combusting due to sitting with her left side to the wall.
Now, Sister Madly has been wrong a few times in her life, you all know that, but she was fairly certain that things couldn’t get much worse at EAT than what she had already encountered. That was before the washroom, and the less said about that, the better. Let’s just say, she knows where all the slaughtering takes place.
During her attempt to wash her hands without touching anything, which was no small feat, Sister Madly almost missed this little gem written across the mirror:
Forget the rules, if it makes you happy.
If that just doesn’t give every Mobile Slaughterer permission to carry out his trade.
Then again, who is Sister Madly to argue with the wisdom of lipstick poetry?
And who is Sister Madly not to have the last laugh if she can help it?
Le Sourire Mort Pour Toujours
If she’s going to die in that washroom, she wants every Mobile Slaughterer to know that her smile will be haunting them ever after.
She wants you to know that, too.
POST’S THEME SONG: Mack the Knife, Nick Cave
Sister Madly, with an axe
Gave the pumpkin several hacks
And when she had her fill of fun
She took a nap
Ah, Autumn, the season of jumping into a pile of newly raked leaves and engaging in the ever-so seductive I-Just-Walked-Through-A-Spider‘s-Web Dance; the season of heavy rains that is the start of the monthly Is-That-Moss-Growing-On-My-Car? inquiry which lasts through the spring. Of course, with autumn comes the re-awakening of the Radiator Banshee, but all sunshine makes a desert, as they say- which Sister Madly doesn’t understand, really, because she likes the desert and they say this like it’s a bad thing.
Still, Sister Madly was determined to embrace the new season with her usual festivity, so last week she went out and bought herself an apartment-sized pumpkin.
This, however, seems to have violated several Statutory Laws of Universal Order. Things have been a bit off ever since. A lot off. In fact, a week hasn’t been this off since the time her computer gave her this cryptic, Good Morning, Sister Madly! message:
It just went downhill from there. Maybe she’ll tell you about it sometime.
Off weeks don‘t have to involve any major misfortune when every little nuisance adds up: landscapers before 7 AM, a nightly invasion of stink bugs, knocks on her door only to find nobody there, the Meter Reader humming The Ride of the Valkyries* outside her window, and what’s up with the crows that keep on dropping walnuts and apples on her car? To top it all off, her watch battery died. Again. After only two weeks this time. Usually, it’s every 3 months, which would have taken her through December- just long enough for Sister Madly to grow bored with the watch and move on to some other fashion accessory, like duct tape or teeth marks from the neighborhood cat. But no. Two weeks. Two.
(*Also known as ‘Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit‘ in certain circles.)
But it wasn’t until after her Watch Battery Died Again Tantrum had subsided that she noticed this peculiarity:
Yes, 2:20- the exact time Sister Madly’s
Selective Nocturnalness has been kicking in.
You know what this means, don’t you? Neither does Sister Madly.
While generally cool with coincidence, this one was ‘off’ enough to make Sister Madly take notice. 2:20 is about the only time she has been aware of these last few weeks; she doesn’t know what its agenda is, or why it’s always there when she wakes up at night- perhaps the whole 666 thing has become too gimmicky for agents of the underworld. So after a one-sided debate, Sister Madly did what any lucid, self-respecting Chicken Little would do in her situation: she threw the watch in the refrigerator and went to the park. She finds comfort in making the ducks go berserk.
But even in the park, things were off: twice Sister Madly had to dodge an errant Frisbee, the ducks steadfastly refused to be berserked, and the hoi polloi were all sitting on their benches, mocking her with their working watches while patiently waiting for Cthulhu to emerge from R’lyeh at 2:20 that afternoon. It seemed as though everyone was rather content with the way autumn waltzed on in and wreck havoc on Sister Madly’s little world with its Death by a Thousand Cuts.
You know, it’s not like you don’t have options, Sister Madly. It’s spring down in the Southern Hemisphere; you can move, find a job, maybe take up a little gardening- if you can cultivate mold on a cheese, then surely you should be able to conquer a dandelion or some other invasive species. You could very well end up a recluse in silk pajamas with a hothouse full of carnivorous plants, and perhaps die a legend.
But even in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s 2:20 every now and then.
Let’s face it: this whole autumn thing just isn’t working out. It‘s only going to get worse from here if Sister Madly doesn’t put a stop to it. And as moving to parts unknown is currently out of the question, she decided that it was time to take matters into her own hands and restore order to her life.
There. There now.
Or maybe all she really wanted to do was mutilate a pumpkin.
POST’S THEME SONG: The Ride of the Valkyries, Wagner
Sister Madly does not need to be baptized- she needs to be exorcised.
It was a day like any other when a benevolent Sister Madly volunteered to participate in the ‘Drench a Wench/Soak a Bloke’ charity event at the Faire; she is, after all, in full support of finding a cure for cancer… or rescuing cats from the streets… or marketing a new potato salad… Whatever charity was to benefit from the event, she was probably in full support of it. Probably.
The rules were simple: for $5 a charitable fella received 5 sponges to fling at a group of women, and those hit by the sponge bestowed upon the charitable fella his choice of either a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. Take a guess which one the charitable fellas were more inclined to choose.
Fortunately, Sister Madly was supplied with lipstick so bright it could be seen from another planet.
After the novelty of bestowing kisses upon those who threw sponges at her face wore off, Sister Madly began planning her exit. There were enough women remaining who enjoyed this type of abuse that her absence would probably go unnoticed- or so she thought. What she hadn’t anticipated was the new crowd now gathering at the foot of the stage, a crowd that was too familiar for comfort. Suddenly, Sister Madly remembered how the word retribution had been uttered to her after having the Dodo arrested…
And to think that only a moment ago, she hadn’t a care in the world.
It wasn’t long after that the bailiff announced that he had a warrant for her arrest for the Distribution of a Controlled Substance. Yes, Sister Madly had been caught trafficking Dum Dums- and to a minor, no less.
Earlier that day, Sister Madly had endured the usual Dum Dum assault, which Skeksis seemed to relish more so than normal. This all took place in front of a young Viking Tot who, upon seeing the candy but unable to reach it, began to cry. No, bawl. Wail. Wail as no barbarian has ever wailed before. A wail that summoned every available Orca to the nearest shoreline. A wail that left no doubt in anyone’s mind that Sister Madly was a greedy little vixen who had stolen the Viking Tot’s candy.
Take the Dum Dum, kid- take it! Take them all!
Oh, Skeksis- you planned this whole thing, didn’t you? You set her up.
And with that revelation, Sister Madly lunged at the Dodo, taking a flying leap from the stage- and into a pile of soggy, spent tomatoes.*
(*From Tomato Justice, where you pay money for some cheeky creature to insult you, and you seek justice by throwing tomatoes at him.)
At least it’s not Riverdance —
You’re right, Sister Madly: that wasn’t Riverdance. By a long shot.
And now you’re charged with assault as well.
Her response was typical of the situation, grunting like a primordial beast on the verge of discovering fire; even the tomato she tried to throw in his direction merely hung in mid-air before landing on her shoulder and splattering across her cheek. Face it, Lady Marinara: the only thing you have ever successfully thrown was a tantrum.
Doing her best to appear undaunted after her whole ‘Face in the Compost Pile’ incident, Sister Madly crawled out of the tomato heap and, much to their surprise, took off running. The arresting officers did nothing but stare after her, as apparently ‘Resisting Arrest’ had not been invented yet.
It wasn’t until few hours and a pint of something later that Sister Madly was able to track down the Dodo. After a liberal application of atomic lipstick, she lunged at him once again with the same ol’ battle cry:
At least it’s not Riverdance —
And Sister Madly plowed right on past the Old Bird and into a bush.
The gods do not approve of this inept revenge sequence, Sister Madly. Nor do they offer you any sympathy. You do realize, don’t you, that you started this whole thing with your appalling lack of knowledge concerning certain events of the Medieval era? Karma, Sister Madly, karma: first, you belly-flop off a stage in front of hundreds of people, then you throw a tomato at yourself, then you round out the attack by torpedoing right past the Dodo and into a bush.
Perhaps your stealth is not what you assume it to be.
POST’S THEME SONG: Kiss Them for Me, Siouxsie and the Banshees
I don’t know why it should be, I am sure; but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up, maddens me ~ Jerome K. Jerome
They say that knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Sister Madly says that knowledge is knowing that you have a panic button on your key chain; wisdom is not setting it off at 3 AM.
Well, she had a good reason: she wanted to know what it sounded like, and Sister Madly never claimed to be wise.
For the past week or so, Sister Madly has been waking up at precisely 2:20 every morning, and staying awake until after 7 (except on Sunday, when she stayed up until 4 AM- while she may not be wise, she’s been known to outsmart herself on occasion.) A Sister Madly of very little sleep often results in a serious of misfortunes, some of them major, which can be difficult to remedy as naps on comfy department store display beds are generally frowned upon.
On the bright side, it is an improvement over her recent nighttime adventures in sleep paralysis. These always begin with the sound- or rather, the impression of a sound- of something running through the apartment, which would then rudely land on the bed down at her feet. The moment she remembers that she has neither a pet nor a roommate is the moment things start to go down hill. Fast.
Yes, everything is nice and paranormal here.
So it was after several encounters with the Rambunctious Shadow Kitty that Sister Madly decided, albeit unconsciously, that the best way to combat these episodes was to become nocturnal. Rambunctious Shadow Kitty never seems to show up during the day.
Well, you got your wish, Sister Madly. Now what? Late nights were all the rage in your teens, but now that you‘re at the tender age of Over 25- not so much. It was fun to stay up until sunrise in those days, or to sneak in past curfew; but now the most depressing sound in the world is the sound of those birds who start singing outside your window at the crack of dawn. So consider this: is it better to risk sleeping in the dark, or to be awake and wonder what’s inside of it? We all know the the logic that runs through your head at 3 AM.
While a Benadryl/Liquor cocktail has proven to be most effective in the past, Sister Madly all too often wakes up to bizarre scenarios and post-it notes scattered about the apartment, leaving her with many questions about the night before. Once, she had turned all her pictures upside down in their frames and hung them back on the wall (at least, she assumes that was her doing.) How different things are from the midnight adventures of her youth, such as the time Sister Madly & Company terrorized the hotel with a video camera and a lampshade.
Upon finding internal lectures on the evils of nocturnalness to be counterproductive, Sister Madly decided to take herself for a walk. She had somehow convinced herself that she would see the Northern Lights, or hear a late summer cicada, but Mother Nature had other plans- even Praline, the neighborhood cat who always approaches her for tummy rubs had called it a night. It was so unfair.
And there it was: her car, like the rest of the world, asleep and ridiculously happy in the moonlight. She didn’t want her car to be happy; its blissful dreams of winding mountain roads were mocking her, she could feel it- everyone was mocking her with their blatant sleeping. Why can’t Rambunctious Shadow Kitty visit them on occasion?
That’s when it occurred to Sister Madly that she had never in her life hit the panic button on her key chain. She didn’t know what it sounded like, and who knows? She may never get a legitimate reason to find out.* Besides, if Sister Madly’s going to be awake at 3 AM, she’s going to make sure the rest of the world is as well.
(*Again, Sister Madly never claimed to be wise. Also, it was 3 AM, the time when the Rationale sets in.)
And no, it’s not insomnia; Sister Madly is just selectively nocturnal.
POST’S THEME SONG: Curse the Night, the Raveonettes