Saturday, February 18, 2017

Who's Your Daddy...The Conclusion

James Bond was feeling defeated. After months of networking, following leads to dead ends and numerous sophmoric pranks he was no closer to cracking the C.O.B. code. He was ready to give up when M called to tell him they had a solid lead. "Meet me in my office in half an hour," she instructed.

James hung up the phone and trudged out of his apartment to the street below where he slid behind the wheel of a beat up Volkswagen bug, the only vehicle available to him now. After every other car had malfunctioned in some inconceivable way, M had decided the bug was more cost efficient to the agency.

The bug coughed and sputtered in protest as James started the engine before it finally relented and reluctantly came to life. The alignment on the vehicle was pitiful and James had to keep a firm hold on the wheel to keep the car from drifting to the right. He cursed his luck as he jerked the wheel to the left to make a turn when another car came barreling down the street coming straight for him.

He was knocked unconscious in the collision and when he awoke he found himself bound to a chair in a dark theater. "Good of you to join us," a smooth feminine voice declared from the shadows. James lifted his head from his chest and looked around.

"Where am I," he demanded though his head throbbed in pain. He heard a light laugh and soft footfalls as she approached from the left.

"You may call me Serena," the woman declared. The theater was abruptly bathed in light and James blinked rapidly as his eyes adjusted. He looked to the place where he'd last heard the voice and was astonished at the ravishing young woman standing there. Her bright eyes shone beneath the longest eyelashes he had ever seen and her full lipped smile took his breath away.

"Is there no end to your lasciviousness, you filthy dog," she asked when she saw the way he looked at her.

"What am I doing here?" he demanded mustering up the last bits of bravado left to him. Serena's smile widened.

"I've heard you were looking for us," she replied. She walked to the front of the theater and took a seat in a familiar worn recliner. "Do you like it?" she asked as he eyed the chair.

"It looks like a chair I used to own," he replied. Serena chuckled lightly.

"That's because it is the chair you once owned," she said. "I rescued it from the dump." She leaned back in the chair and and the foot rest popped up. She placed her feet on the rest and crossed her ankles. "It really is quite comfortable," she admitted with a sigh.

"Why am I here?" James repeated impatiently. Serena sighed again and pushed the chair back to the upright position."

"You are here, Mr. Bond, because we grew tired of waiting," she replied as she got to her feet. "We have been waiting a long time to meet you." The room was suddenly alive with footfalls and James was surrounded by more than forty men, each clad in a familiar suit.

"They're wearing my clothes," he angrily erupted and Serena was clearly amused.

"That they are," she agreed. "They fit my brothers nicely don't you think?" Jame struggled furiously against the ropes keeping him tied to the chair.

"What kind of sick game are you playing here," James demanded. The men's faces broke into Cheshire cat smiles and James felt a surge of unease. His attention returned to Serena who held a familiar notebook in her hands. "Where did you get that?" he barked as she glanced at the pages.

"Did you ever think about them again," she asked as she turned the page.

"Who?" James asked and for the first time Serena's smile broke.

"The women in these pages!" she snapped. "Did you ever think about Solitaire or Jinx or Ann?" James frowned uncertainly.

"I don't recall an Ann," he replied with a puzzled look.

"She changed her name to something more dignified," Serena replied. "Her last name was Galore." James snickered as he remembered the woman's first name and Serena frowned. "I'll take that as a no," she decided. She handed the notebook to one of the men standing closest. "We thought about these woman every day of our lives," she declared as she strolled around the room. "We knew them well. We called them 'mother'." James' jaw dropped in awe.

"You are all children of my former lovers?" James sounded incredulous as Serena nodded. "They are lost," he continued. "My mission is to find them." Serena laughed out loud.

"They are not lost to us, Mr. Bond," she explained. "They never were."

"But M...." James fell silent as M passed through the group of men and stood beside Serena. He looked from one woman to the other in astonishment. "You knew?" he choked.

"I helped," M admitted.

"But why?" James asked feeling hurt. M took the notebook from the man holding it and flipped to a certain page.

"Woman tending hotel desk," she read. "Also known as my daughter." James eyes almost popped from his head.

"I had no idea!" he sputtered and M pursed her lips.

"Perhaps a minute of conversation would have cleared that up," M growled. Serena placed a calming hand on M's shoulder.

"It's okay, Grandmother," she soothed as James eyes grew impossibly larger.

"Grandmother," he repeated as his face paled. M moved closer and leaned into his face.

"Every one of these women, my daughter," she began. "Her name is Janine, by the way. You used them and threw them away."

"Do you expect me to apologize?" James sneered suddenly remembering who he was. M shook her head as she reached into the purse hanging at her side.

"No, Mr Bond," she replied placing a thick folded document on his lap. "I expect you to pay child support." James was speechless.

"Child support," he repeated.

"Yes," Serena shouted. "For we are C.O.B.! Children of Bond!!!" The men erupted in maniacal laughter as M shoved a pen into James hand cinched at his side.



Conclusion

James Bond sits in the recliner reclaimed by Serena that fateful day. His retirement fund was depleted after paying back child support to his fifty one baby mamas. With no place to stay Serena agreed to let him live, rent free, in her basement. James glanced at the toys strewn about the family room with a look of pride and sadness as four rambunctious children spilled through the door. "Grampa!" they squealed in delight. James knelt on the floor as they threw themselves into his arms and the five of them fell back into a pile of stuffed animals. James sighed as he looked to the ceiling. This was James Bonds life.


Friday, February 17, 2017

It's the Little Things...

Babe has been telling me for years that his dentist keeps telling him he needs an electric toothbrush and I've always answered, "your hands work just fine. They grip and everything. Also, opposable thumbs. You ain't got to have no 'lectric toothbrush." I'm a bumpkin, 'member.

He purchased a "cheap" one for himself a few years back, but only used it for a short time because "it rattled his brain too much." I could see that being a problem, but my thought is a more expensive one would still rattle your brain, it would just cost more to do it.

I'm also in touch with my cheap gene. Got it from my dad. All my brothers have it, too, but I digress.

Babe got a bonus last week and asked if I'd be willing to halfsies on a set of electric toothbrushes. I made a face and had my scoff locked and loaded when I abruptly changed my mind. It was a surprise to me, too. So, he runs out to Costco to get those toothbrushes before I can change my mind, which I do on occasion.

He plugged them in to charge, but then had to leave for a Scout camp trip. So, he didn't even get to use his new toy. That night as I was preparing for bed, I approached my electric toothbrush with caution. Babe had left the directions for me on our bed. If a toothbrush needs directions that's a bad sign. I turned it on and quickly off again. The speed of this thing was worrisome. What if it slipped and hit my cheek? Would the bristles destroy the tender flesh before I could react? I took a calming breath as I placed toothpaste on the end and turned it on again.

My toothpaste disappeared! Had it eaten it? I found it on the back wall after a minute of searching and decided next time to wait until the brush was in my mouth before I turned it on.

After a second application of toothpaste, the brush went into my mouth and I turned it on. There was a rattling sensation in my brain, but after a moment it wasn't too bad. I actually kinda liked it. I moved the brush from side to side, up and down without over taxing my thumbs and when the brush turned off two minutes later (yes, it turns itself off) my mouth felt so clean. I smiled in the mirror and was blinded by the brilliant shine of my chompers. I heard a choir of angels sing "sparkle, sparkle" from the heavens. My eyes have been opened to a world I never knew existed. I have seen the bright light of shiny enamel. I will never go back to the hand powered toothbrush ever again.

When Babe got home after noon the next day, I asked him, after an hour of being home, if he'd used his toothbrush yet. His reply, "I just got home." I was practically dancing from foot to foot in anticipation of his first glorious tooth-brushing experience. I've been married to this man for almost eighteen years. You'd think I would know better than to expect any kind of emoting from him. Yet, there I was again crushed to my soul when, after I asked what he thought, he replied, "it works good."

I wonder how he would react during a tornado.

P.S. Does anyone else find it appalling how much oil and other yuck collects on the screen of your cellphone? I'm constantly taking Windex to that thing and yet...Ew, just ew.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Who's Your Daddy...Pt. 3

One night James Bond returned home after a long day of secret agent-ing to find his apartment had been broken into. His living room was a shambles and there was a strange smell in the air. All of his Al Green records had been broken in half, the kitchen floor was littered with empty liquor bottles. Someone had poured his precious spirits down the drain! He spied (pun intended) a trail of muddy footprints leading to his room.

He followed the path and gasped in horror to find his silken sheets covered in mud and suspicious yellow spots. He dashed to his closet. It was empty! Every one of his tailor made suits had disappeared. He glanced down at his shoe rack and sighed in relief. At least he still had his high end shoes. He frowned in curiosity at the single pair of worn out sneakers at the end of the row. James Bond doesn't wear sneakers, he thought.

His eyes were red and swollen as he mournfully sniffed each empty liquor bottle before placing it in a garbage bag, and cleaned up the remnants of his Songs to Get Busy By collection. He decided to let the housekeeper clean up the mud and opted to sleep on the couch. When he went to put on his silken pajamas all he could find was a pair of plaid boxer shorts. He shrugged unhappily and laid down on the couch which suspiciously smelled like cat urine. James Bond doesn't have a cat, he thought as he closed his weary eyes.

The next morning James stepped into the shower hoping to wash away yesterday's cares. As he washed his hair, he realized his scalp was tingling! Too late he realized his toiletries had been tampered with. He did his best to wash out the substance, but as he looked in the mirror, after he'd toweled off, all he could do was stare in disbelief at the bald patches scattered atop his head. He searched through every drawer for something clean to wear, but all he could find were two pairs of worn jeans and a holey Van Halen T-shirt. "C.O.B. will feel my wrath," he vowed as he quickly dressed and then shoved his feet into a pair of black dress shoes only to abruptly withdraw them again. He had found the source of the smell. "C.OOOOO.BBBB!!" he yelled to the heavens as he dropped the shoe, filled with dog poo, to the floor.

To Be Continued...Again

The Timothy Tree...

Once upon a time, I was a kid. My childhood had some interesting twists and turns which make me an onion, apparently. My friend told me the other day that I was an onion after I told her that our house had a parachute roof. True story.

As I was saying, I was a kid. I have three sisters in law (amazing women all three) who have heard the tales of our youth and one of them declared that we were a breed known as bumpkins. I truly had no idea. I knew other peoples houses had solid walls and they pooped indoors, and we didn't, but it never occurred to me that I was a bumpkin. It made perfect sense after she said it.

Anyway, we lived for a time on a ten acre piece of property we called The Farm. We raised cats. To put a finer point on it, we had two male cats and one female cat who had never been to the vet. Our girl cat, Patches, was constantly pregnant and was, at the first, a wonderful mother. Until about the tenth litter when she'd finally grown so weary she'd just drop the litter and walk away. It was very sad.

In every litter there was at least one white kitten and one orange one. My middle brother always claimed the white one and ALWAYS named it Timothy. Every. Single. Time. Unfortunately Timothy always died. Every. Single. Time. There was a tree on the property where he would bury his Timothys (Timothies?). All around the circumference of the tree were little popsicle stick crosses.

By the time my mom took us away from the Farm, Patches and Bartholomew, had disappeared. Bartholomew had always been somewhat feral. The other cat, Nameless, probably died of old age. They were left to run wild at the Farm. I think back to those days and I'm saddened by the lack of care given to those animals. Now, as an adult with pets, I make sure we take care of our four-legged friends. Sometimes they give me a rash, especially the Idiot Twins, but my aim is to do better than the ones who came before.

Which is why my children live in a house with real walls and indoor plumbing. Nothing is too good for my babies!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Who's Your Daddy...Pt. 2

After three days of labor intensive writing, James Bond finally completed his list of former flames and handed the Comprehensive Guide of James Bond Conquests over to M who immediately sent a passel of agents into the field to track down every woman from the multitudinous list.

After several unsuccessful days M called 007 back into her office. "James," she began as she paced the floor behind her desk, "we have been absolutely unable to find even one woman from your list. It's like they've all disappeared from the planet. We are at a loss."

James was intensely studying his fingernails with a dark frown. "I'm sorry M," he finally replied. "Were you speaking to me?" M pursed her lips as she planted her hands on her desk.

"It troubles me that you seem so uninterested in this mission," M scolded. "I do wish you would show more concern. These women are being targeted and you are to blame!" James placed his hands on his knees and shot M a petulant look.

"What would you like me to do?" he sniffed. "I never bothered to get half of their names."

"Yes," M nodded. "I can see that." She took the guide from her desk and flipped to a random page. "Stewardess on flight from England," she read. "The woman from the theater...Really James," she snapped as she dropped the book on her desk. "Must Q create a lock for your trouser's zipper?" James chuckled lightly and M shook her head as she took a file from the credenza behind her desk.

"They call themselves C.O.B," she read as she sat lightly in her chair. James frowned.

"That is a terrible name," he quipped. "What does it mean?" M shook her head.

"We have not, as yet been able to learn the meaning behind the acronym," she admitted, "but they've already burned down the Astin Martin dealership where Q purchases your replacement automobiles, and every case of gin and vermouth in the country has been found to be contaminated." James face was suddenly ashen and he leaped from his chair.

"Those monsters!" he roared. "I will bring them down!"

"These attacks seem to have been personalized for you James," M continued ignoring his outburst. "but the rest of the country is being affected. C.O.B. must be stopped!" A childish giggle escaped James' lips. "How very unseemly," M scolded as he gathered his composure and straitened his suit.

"I apologize for my lapse in behavior," Jame declared as he straightened his jacket. "I will see Q directly to pick up the tools he has prepared."

"James," M snapped. "There are no gadgets! Q has been kidnapped and the lab destroyed. I'm afraid your wits are all that are available to you now." James squared his shoulders and resolutely walked to the door.

"No worries M," he declared as he pulled the door open. "I haven't used even half of my wit."

"Yes, I know," M muttered under her breath as he closed the door behind him.


To Be Continued...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Names are a funny thing. We don't get to choose them ourselves (normally) thus we are stuck with whatever nonsense our parents pin on us and then we turn around and do it to our own offspring. There are so many things to consider when choosing a name. Do you want traditional or unique? How about spelling? Do you want Tiffany, Tiffani or Tiffanee?  Is the name you are considering one that will grow with the child? Will KiKi work not only for your four year old but also when she eighty? Or should she be saddled with Ethel from birth? Will the name you give her today compliment a married name or will she end up a Stormy Weather or a Golden Graham?

Or what if you marry a man named Joshua and you have a brother named Joshua? I did that, and after I married my Josh I started calling my brother by his first and middle name. To differentiate, see? One afternoon, ten years into this arrangement my brother and I were having a lively discussion when, after using his old/new moniker he tells me, "I hate it when you call me that!? Why do you call me that?"

Uh, cause I sleep with  Joshua.

What if your mother's name is Dianne and you marry a Diana? My husband did that. It has always been mildly annoying when people call me Diane, but after I married Babe, it was downright conflicting.

"I am Diana Davidson."

"Dianne Davidson?"

"No, Diana. Dianne is my mother in law."

"So, Dianne with two n's?"

"No, Diana with two a's."

"Dianne."

"Di-an-ahhhh. Diana."

Little did I realize, when I named my oldest, what a debacle I was creating for her. It wasn't until she was four months old that I realized there might be a problem. Her name is Jacey. My cousin asked if she could hold my baby, P.J. Oh snap! I didn't see that one coming.

Nor did I realize how hard it would be to spell. I've seen:

Jacie (almost right)

Jaycee (not quite right)

J.C. (wrong)

Then there's the difficulty people have when saying it.

"Jay-cee."

"Jacey. Like Stacey."

"J...C..."

"Like Stacey."

"Jay-cee."

One of her friends helped clear up the confusion when she told her mother, "you don't say Dar-by, you say Darby." That cleared it up better than I anything I'd tried.

Here's another. My youngest daughter is names after a song. My mother in law asked me no less than ten times how her name was said. Ten. Times. Her middle name is Merai. This child told me a few years ago that she thought I just didn't know how to spell Marie.

I should have named all of them Ann.

007: Who's Your Daddy...

When last we heard from our illustrious spy, he was mourning the one who got away. After some years, his bottom has melded to the leather of his recliner and he hasn't seen the inside of a shower for over a month when M calls him directly.

"We have a job," M declares. "A new organization has appeared on our radar and it is more deadly than both Spectre and Blofeld combined. We need you James Bond." Remembering there was more to his job than just chasing skirts, he pries himself from his chair and a training montage begins. He tosses his soap opera magazines in the trash, and spends quality time at the gym. Within five minutes, clean shaven and smartly dressed, we find him standing in M's office armed with his trademark smarmy self-assurance.

"So, M," he begins. "Tell me about this new organization." M holds a file folder in her (or his, its up to you) hands and refers to it frequently as she gives Bond the general rundown.

"The organization," she explains. "Is targeting your former lovers." James' slick smile fades ever so slightly. "We need a detailed list of every woman, still living, with whom you have had a relationship." James stares at the bottom of his empty glass.

"It's a long list," he admits. M purses her lips.

"I am aware," she replies, "but these woman are all in danger. You owe it to them. Give us the names and we will protect them until you are able to close down this villainous group." James gives a decisive nod.

"Get me some paper," he instructs as he sits in a chair in front of M's desk. M hands him a sheet of college ruled notebook paper. "I'll need more than that," he says as he takes the paper and begins to write.

"How much more?" M asks.

"Better make it a notebook," he replies as he scribbles across the page at a furious pace.



To Be Continued...