Archive for May, 2011

Post 17 – And along came an URN…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

So, first, my apologies that I’ve been AWOL. Between my son Max’s birthday last week, buying him a new car for graduation, and graduation THIS WEEKEND, I’ve had to schedule/reschedule my own bathroom breaks.

And this post is not a short TALE, so grab your Red Bull, and put your feet up cuz it’ll be a LONG RIDE down a really fucked up rabbit hole…and… Today, I’m going to divulge a little backstory, which ignited Danny’s wrath and/or loathing of yours truly.

It all started when our dad died in November 2009. My brother, Ben, his wife, Alicia, my friend, Calista, Danny and I went to a funeral home in Virginia where we all grew up (well, not Alicia…she’s from Chicago, but anyway) to make arrangements for Dad’s funeral/burial. Btw, Calista has been one of my best friends since high school, which is why I asked her to go with me/us, and she WAS a good friend of Danny’s, but that is NO MORE…

THEN, Alicia, Ben and I went to the cemetery where Mom was buried. Danny and Calista didn’t go with us, most likely because Danny KNEW the cemetery folks would ask for CASH up front, and Danny, of course, was once again, unemployed.

As soon as we sat down with Beth, the manager of the cemetery, she said, “It’s my understanding that your father wanted to be cremated.”

We were all rather shocked to hear this because Dad was a devout Catholic, and the Catholic Church REALLY frowns upon cremation.

However, I assumed he changed his mind because Mom’s funeral in ‘07 cost over $11,000. She had NO life insurance. Dad emptied his savings account and sold the last of his stock portfolio to come up with around $3,000, which broke my heart b/c his stocks were worth around $200K when he retired in ‘97. Anyway, Ben and I paid the remainder of the fees. Luckily, Charlie and I had gotten an awesome tax refund that year, so it was no problem to help out.

I’m sure the cost of Mom’s funeral influenced Dad’s decision to be cremated. PLUS, Beth also told us, “All of the plots around your mother’s grave were sold years before she died. I have notes on my computer where he called me right after she died, and he left explicit instructions that he WANTED to be buried with her.”

At that point, we altered our plans. Ben and Alicia, Danny, Calista and I went back to the funeral home the NEXT day and chose another casket since the green one we’d previously chosen was not one they could use for cremation.

Danny seemed unhappy about buying a cheaper casket, but Ben and I felt it was ridiculous to spend mega cash on a box that was GOING TO BE BURNED. However, Mom and Dad both went to Marshall University, and were both FANATIC fans of MU’s football team, so we draped a Marshall blanket over the casket, and you really couldn’t see much of it during the visitation. Despite Danny’s grumblings, he finally agreed, and he, Ben, and I all signed the contract to have Dad cremated.

So, why am I telling you ALL of this? Am I EVER going to get to the point? Yes, and here it is.

Six months later, Danny emailed me asking when the closing was going to be to sell Mom and Dad’s house. I explained that Dad owed around $115K on the house b/c of the liens from the $40,000+ in credit card debt (and Danny fraudulently racked up about $33,000 of that), the two mortgages from Danny’s damned trailers (see Blog #4), which were around $65K.

The prospective buyers had agreed to a $72,000 price tag, and they’d obtained a home equity loan of $20,000 to repair the foundation. So, when you add in the real-tor fee of $5000 (the usual 7%) thereabouts…the closing obviously had to be canceled because the house had only been appraised for $69,500. Do the math: the total loan amount of $97K wasn’t enough to cover $115K in debt.

An hour later…ON the two-year anniversary of Mom’s death and coincidentally on the day BEFORE the closing had been scheduled, CRACK BRAIN replied:

From: danny smith []
Sent: Sunday, XXX, 2010 9:13 PM
To: kennedy
Subject: RE: Sale of dad’s house…


After I read this fabricated load of CA CA, I was completely stunned. Then, I started crying, then sobbing LOUDLY. I was at Mom/Dad’s house in Virginia gathering up the last few boxes of their junk, and still desperately trying to cope with the fact that we couldn’t sell our childhood home.

Then, I did what ALL the women in my family do to alleviate their misery. I went SHOPPING, and I bought 2-shirts I didn’t need, the movie: Sixteen Candles (LOVE John Hughes), a gallon of vanilla bean ice cream and ate almost half of it with chocolate syrup.

Then, I spent a good bit of time THINKING. First of all, Danny SIGNED the contract to cremate Dad, so WHY were me and Ben in the hot seat? We didn’t COERCE him. He didn’t say ONE WORD at the time. If he had objected, maybe, we would’ve buried him, but WHERE? He wanted to be buried with MOM. And we didn’t tell him AT the funeral home. We told him AT Dad’s house, so obviously, his memory is a tad skewed.

Secondly, Calista did NOT confront me. And I NEVER told her that we couldn’t afford to bury Dad. Danny twisted what I said, and Calista actually TRIED to explain to Danny that he was WRONG, but he wouldn’t LISTEN.

On the MORNING Dad died, I told Calista that I was concerned that the cost of a full burial would preclude us from repairing the foundation at Mom/Dad’s house, which had been sinking for years. And with the two mortgages on the house, I was afraid my childhood home would go into foreclosure because I knew Ben and I couldn’t pay two mortgages forever. There was enough in Dad’s savings and checking to pay the mortgages for about two months.

And after that…the truth was we really STRUGGLED to pay the mortgage and utilities until it sold. I remember Ben being ETERNALLY grateful that I, unlike Danny, am an HONEST person, and I sent him $800 from the estate sale I had a month after Dad died to pay the mortgages, etc. I only kept enough to cover the cost of advertising and my gas down to Virginia and back. So, why would I have lied to save the $2010.49 by cremating Dad, which came out to around $670 each?

My Dad’s last wishes are worth a HELLUVA lot more to me than $670. And Charlie and I make good money. It takes him about 11 hours to make that, so Danny can just FUCK OFF.

Aside from that, I didn’t know you could buy a house “as is”. When I was in junior high, I remember Mom saying that no bank would approve a loan from a perspective buyer unless we fixed the basement. Mom wanted to move, but Dad refused, so the basement continued to descend into the earth.

However, TODAY with the current foreclosure mess, obviously a house in need of structural repairs doesn’t bar anyone from getting a loan because a very nice man who owned two insurance agencies got approved to buy my parents’ house.

And correction, COKE JERK, Dad did NOT have “A LOT” of life insurance. He had a grand total of $20,000. Maybe, if you’re homeless/mooching off your family, that’s A LOT of money, but the almost $4K we received after the funeral costs were paid just barely covered our vacation to Pensacola in June last year. So, GET A LIFE, you COKE-ASSED MORON!

Now, there are those who might think that, perhaps, I was mistaken, that Beth didn’t say that Dad wanted to be cremated. After all, grief can definitely color your perception of things.

However, since Ben and Alicia live in California, Alicia had only met my Dad THREE times, so she wasn’t going through any grief really. Not that she wasn’t saddened by Dad’s passing because she liked him. Everybody did. And Alicia also contends that Beth stated unequivocally that my Dad led her to believe that he wanted to be cremated!

And wouldn’t you know it… I found a BROCHURE from the funeral home in Dad’s closet at Nana’s house when I boxing up the remainder of his clothes, etc., to bring home when Nana moved in with me and Charlie… and INSIDE the brochure were notes on letterhead STATIONARY from the funeral home with price quotes for cremation and various URNS…I thought about sending it to Danny, but I didn’t know where he was living, and he’d probably just tell himself/anyone who would listen that I’d somehow faked it…

I also called Beth and explained Danny’s delusional email, and she said they have to LOG all calls b/c of this kind of issue, and that DANNY had NOT called. So, that was yet ANOTHER example of Danny spewing BULLSHIT.

That said, CONSIDER THIS, the cemetery lost around $2K by cremating dad. So, WHY would Beth tell us Dad wanted to be cremated if he didn’t?

Aside from that, during one of his BRIEF stints of sobriety, Danny told Calista that if “his lips were moving while he’s using, then he’s LYING.” So, there ya go…I found out later from one of his friends that he drank a case of beer the day he wrote that email b/c he DRUNK-dialed him (our mutual friend). Later, Danny told this same friend that he also bought an 8-ball of Coke that SAME day, and stated that it wasn’t the “best blow” he’d ever had… so THERE YA GO…..

THEREFORE, we didn’t cremate Dad against his WILL. And I feel no GUILT for his cremation, and IF Beth was mistaken about Dad’s intentions, or we did misinterpret what she said, it was an HONEST mistake. And he would have FORGIVEN us.

However, shortly after Dad’s funeral, I remembered that Dad had said that we could, “bury him in a coffee can for all I care” as we were leaving the funeral home the day we bought Mom’s casket. I had COMPLETELY forgotten he’d said that.

At the time, I thought Dad was joking, and Ben even remembered my TELLING him about the coffee can comment. I also remembered Dad saying that since Mom had no life insurance, he would’ve had her cremated because he KNEW she wouldn’t care and would’ve hated the financial burden her funeral put on all of us. Mom and Dad were married for 49 YEARS. I think Dad knew her pretty well!

And Mom was a science teacher, and despite the fact that she was also Catholic, she was a little weird, and I remember her telling me how she got into mega trouble when she was 10 or 11 when Nana Maude came home from work to find her kitchen was lightly salted with sawdust. And she found bird guts in one side of the sink and some UGLY stuffed crow in the other. So, I’m thinking anyone who was into taxidermy in junior high probably wouldn’t care the least about cremation.

That said, the last thing Dad EVER said about possibly cremating Mom was, “But your Nana Maude wouldn’t HEAR of it.” I guess folks in the Pentecostal church don’t COTTON to cremation either… hard to say…

And that whole accusatory tone in Danny’s email regarding money is a defense mechanism. I think it’s his crackbrained way of directing the rage on me and Ben instead of being angry at himself for all his SINS.

I was so hurt by Danny’s brain-mushed theory from the COKE dimension that I couldn’t work for two days. If I hadn’t mentioned it, I’m an editor, and I occasionally do script consulting, both of which requires a good bit of focus to make sure you’re catching ALL of people’s errors in their work, etc.

Therefore, you can imagine since Danny has been riding this crazy cremation train for almost two years that he really wanted to strangle me after I allegedly STOLE his car and sold it, and I’m sure he tells people I just bought lots of Dom Perignon and new clothes and God knows WHAT else with the profits from selling the BMW (see Blog #15-The Money Drop) instead of paying all the debts left in his wake of chaos.

And that’s my $670’s worth…and for those who AREN’T aware, all the EVENTS in my posts are TRUE, but everyone’s names have been CHANGED to protect the innocent from the CRACKHEADS… 🙂

OVER AND OUT from the Geriatric SWAMP…



# 16 – Like a REALLY bad sit-com…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

So, after all the chaos that had occurred prior to selling Dad’s car, the following incident was one of those days…that really made me wanna just guzzle a gallon of hemlock tea and be done with it. Okay, not really, but DAMMIT…I would kill for an ordinary day where the worst thing that happened was getting a speeding ticket or sitting with Nana at a doctor’s appointment and realizing my socks didn’t match.. :)!!

WARNING: THE STORY BELOW IS NOT G-RATED… nor is it SUITABLE FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR ANYONE WHO’S JUST EATEN! 🙂 For those who are late to the party, this incident occurred when I was staying with my Grandmother in Georgia while helping her to pack up her stuff and move up to Ohio to live with me, my husband, and my 18-year-old son, Max.

Nana’s toilet got clogged up sometime late Friday due to her obsession with using bundles of toilet paper. Her neighbor, Ernie, was supposed to come over with a friend who had a drain snake, but they never showed. So, we both just used the bathroom off the guest room where I was sleeping.

So, at 10:30 last night (Saturday), I flushed the toilet in the guest bathroom, and the sewer swill made its appearance! Apparently, Nana hadn’t been flushing that toilet AT ALL since hers had become inoperable, which she didn’t mention yesterday. So, I decided it would be best to flush it before we went to bed so that if it did start to overflow I’d be RIGHT there to shut off the water…instead of her freaking out in the wee hours, scaring the crap out of me (no pun intended) and having to run down the hall before the muck/poo water could crest upon the carpet.

I’d been feeding her toilet Drano and Clorox, which is always my magic formula at home that usually does the trick when Max accidentally drops a paper towel in the toilet (don’t ask) or something…but anyway…sure enough, when I flushed it, the poo water came CRASHING onto the linoleum before I could get the water shut off! The valve was stripped or something! ACK! I turned it as hard as I could, and it would NOT budge.

Meanwhile, nasty sewer water was swirling around my ankles. So, I ran out to the utility room, threw on a pair of plastic gloves, grabbed a bucket and started scooping out buckets of poo water from her toilet. I didn’t wanna pour it into the other toilet for fear it might overflow as well… so I felt very VICTORIAN/FRENCH tossing the shit water onto the lawn, which I washed away with the hose this morning..

I ran back and forth in my bare feet (in my pj’s, no less) scooping and dumping out poo water until the bowl was down to half full, which took a good 5-6 minutes – while Nana tried to get in touch with Ernie, once again. Turned out, his cell was dead, but Nana kept calling hoping he’d pick up.

Once I removed a good bit of the gross water, I found a pair of pliers and tried, once again, to shut off the water because there was still water spewing out from the back of the toilet where the base of the commode meets the tank.  Again, all the while, I’ve got shit water bathing my feet!

Nana went through the Yellow Pages and found a nearby plumber, and, luckily, someone answered, a miracle at 10:40 p.m. on a Saturday! She was explaining our dilemma to the plumber’s assistant just as…

Just like a BAD SIT-COM, the shut off valve came off in my hand!  So, for the first time ever, Nana heard me groan–FUCK!…but God love her, she acted completely oblivious to my cursing.

Totally stunned, I stared at the value for five seconds or so while every hair on my head stood straight up like long stalks of brownish wheat, which then turned gray and FELL OFF (take up donations for my wig, will ya?)… but, of course, I jest… anyway, I managed to wiggle the valve back onto the pipe, cranked it as hard as I could, and BINGO, PRESTO, the poo water finally stopped flowing!

At this point, I thought I should audition for Survivor in the Jungle because surely whatever nonsense they could dream up, could SURELY not be as bad as this!

I, then, found a towel and tried to mop up some of the poo swamp, and an HOUR later the plumber arrived – after getting lost and arguing with me that North Shore Drive does NOT connect to SOUTH SHORE DRIVE where Nana lives. Good Lord, Dude, I’ve been visiting her here since the 70s! I think I know the damned neighborhood! That said, I managed to directe the Gomer Pyle-ish plumber to the house. He fixed the toilet in 15 minutes and charged Nana $298, which I didn’t think was too bad for emergency service. The plumber said he’d need to come back and install a new shut off valve, but that it wasn’t urgent, THANK GOD…

And Nana’s toilet now flushes on command without watering the linoleum with a river of water excrement, and I am now successfully procrastinating the  sanitizing of explosive toilet and the floor by writing upon these hallowed cyber walls… but I can’t put it off any longer.  It actually doesn’t look all that bad. Mopping it up with towels really absorbed most of the nasty river that had been on the floor…and the plumber actually mopped up some with a rag I found in the laundry room. Yeah, WHAT A GUY!

I cleaned it up somewhat with Clorox last night, and I went to Walmart to get some Lysol cleaner earlier today…

ANYWHO… I know you’re jealous you missed the party last night)… maybe next time! Poor Nana didn’t get in bed until around 12:30, and she’s been sleeping on/off all day.

After the plumber left and Nana went to bed, I took another shower, cracked open a new bottle of Merlot that’s been hiding under my sink for three days (because Nana is Pentecostal and would have a cow if she knew about my liquor stash…:)). However, I figured I’ve earned the right to imbibe and to hell with the carbs now nestled on my ass since I drank TWO GLASSES (I know… I’m shameless!)…

And after I finish cleaning Nana’s bathroom and the carpet as best I can, there’s still more packing to do…JOY!

So, when I say that things have been really SHITTY lately… yeah… I mean that literally at this point!


Tenacious Bitch~



# 15 – The MONEY drop…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

You’d think that giving Danny his 1200 I allegedly owed him would be child’s play, yes?  (For those who are new to my Crazytown, feel free to see the recap*). However, I had this overwhelming feeling I had to STIFF the bastard for Nana’s sake to make sure ALL her bills were paid… and considering the interest added to my already OBESE credit card after feeding it more than $1900 to pay all Nana’s bills and/or buying groceries instead of living off ketchup packets and all the crackers I could steal at 7-11 (without getting caught).

Anyway, I made a decision. I was going to do what was BEST for everyone concerned. After dinner on Monday night, I sat down at my laptop and typed a 3-page note to Danny. What did it say? Well, I’ll get to that later… 🙂

That said, I stalled Danny as best I could that night, and though he called my cell 17 times… at least he had the decency to ONLY call Nana’s house phone three times. The last time was at midnight, and he sounded as EXHAUSTED as I was.

“What the fuck, Kennedy? I’ve called you a dozen times tonight. Don’t even THINK about welching on me!”

“I’m not. Nana got sick,” I lied.

“What? Is she okay?” Wow… he actually sounded like he cared.

“She had a migraine, but she’s better now. My phone died, and I didn’t realize it because I was busy helping her take a shower after she threw up all over her new pink robe.”

“Oh, yeah, she always has to yak before… well, so, tomorrow night meet at CVS at 6:00, okay? Cash in HAND, got it?”

So much for his concern for Nana.

At exactly 6 p.m., I pulled into the parking lot of CVS. But there was no sign of Danny. I waited and waited and waited. Finally, at 6:34, I started my car and was about to take off with a BIG smile on my face and a MUCH heavier wallet when, of course, Danny called.

“I can’t get to CVS,” he said hurriedly. Translation, I’m a bum who doesn’t have a car, so…. “Can you come to the Shell Station?” (i.e., the Shell Station where Danny works)…

“Yeah, I’ll be right there.”

And OFF I went. When I arrived, Danny walked over wearing YET another GOD awful-looking jersey, a hockey jersey, I think. It was aqua blue/green and ORANGE. It was hideous.

He came to the driver’s side window, and I handed him an envelope full of cash and the carefully-worded note I’d written the night before. He snatched the envelope, and I put the car in drive when suddenly he walked in front of my car, and..

“What’re you doing? I almost hit you,” I snapped out my open window when he suddenly opened the passenger-side door. “What’re you doing?”

“I need my Sharpie,” he said.


He reached down under the seat where he did, indeed, find a rather large Sharpie pen.

“What do you need that for?” I asked.

No answer. He was now squatting down beside the car, counting the money in the envelope.


“Get out of the car, Danny. I’ve gotta go get Nana some soup from Denny’s.”

“Wait a minute,” he said, continuing to count the cash.

I looked at my watch. “C’mon, it’s almost 7:00. She’s already called me five times. She’s starv-”

“Hold on. I’m not leaving until I count it.”

“GET OUT, Danny!” I barked.

“She can wait a few minutes. Is it all here?”

“No, it’s not. The terms have been changed,” I said in the COLDEST BITCH tone I could cough up.

He glared at me. “Uh, no they haven’t!” he shouted.

“Get the FUCK out of my car!” I yelled putting the car in park again. I hopped out of the driver’s seat and RAN around to the passenger side where he was now sitting, still counting the money.

“I have to go. Get OUT of my car,” I said, “Or, I’ll call the cops.”

“No, you won’t,” he scoffed with a chuckle.

I punched in 911 on my phone.”Watch me,” I said. I held up my cell, so he could see the screen. “Get the fuck away from me, and DON’T ever contact me or Nana EVER again. Got it?”

“What do you think you’re doing, Kennedy?” he asked in a rather chilly yet calm tone, very Charles’ Manson-ish.

“Read the note,” I said. “It’ll explain everything.”

“Really?” he said, standing up, towering over me so close I could smell the stale stench of last night’s Old Milwaukee on his breath.

“You need to go to a meeting,” I said smiling.

“Fuck you, Kennedy. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Shall I hit send?” I asked, nodding to my phone.

He slammed the passenger side door SO HARD the rearview mirror crackled into a hundred tiny slivers of glass. Great. Great. More money for the insurance deductible. “You owe me 50 bucks.” He didn’t even blink.

No, I don’t.” We stood with glassy-eyed glares for a long ten seconds, and I was beginning to think he was never going to go away…

“Checkmate, asshole. You got your money. Now, go.”

“I don’t think so,” he said, grabbing my arm as I rushed toward the driver’s side.

“Let go of me, you PIECE OF SHIT!” I could feel the blood curdling, the vessels breaking into purple globs of bruises. “Let go!”

And DAMN he was smart. He grabbed my right arm… holding it so tightly he was paralyzing my right hand, which TINGLED with a million thorns and needles, and I couldn’t hit SEND (on my phone). I reached for my cell with my left hand when…

A Short Man in a well-tailored suit stepped out of his Audi at Pump #3, walked over and stood between me and Danny. “Is there a problem here? The lady said to let her go, there King Kong,” said Short Man.

Danny gave SHORT MAN a death glare, but he didn’t flinch… gotta love a man in a suit worth TWO GRAND who actually has a set of steel balls supporting the luxurious fabric.

“This isn’t over,” Danny said, and he finally let go of my arm and STOMPED away.

I smiled, “Yeah, okay, whatever.”

Danny stopped walking for a second, gave me what should’ve been an icy and intimidating glare, but I KNEW there was nothing he could do. He couldn’t report a car officially STOLEN that he’d never owned.

So, he could do what he wants to me. Nana’s house is no longer in danger of being put up for auction (which could’ve happened if I hadn’t paid her property taxes that morning), and that’s all that mattered to me.

“Are you all right?” Short Man asked.

“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

Short Man looked over at Danny, who disappeared into the Shell store. “Please tell me he’s NOT your husband?”

I laughed, “No, he and I have the same parents, but I don’t actually think of him as my brother.”

Short Man nodded, “I have one of those. Only mine wears dresses.”

“Your sister is just as bad, huh?”

“No my brother is a real PRICK, and he’d never back down like that. And the DRESSES are damned ugly,” he said smiling. “He wears them on holidays just to piss off our dad.”

I smiled nodding. “Pretty extreme.”

With that, we said goodbye, and I collapsed into a quivering mess in my rental car. I drove back toward Nana’s. But I had to make a pit stop at the Liquor Store. Though, Nana, of course, is Pentecostal and would horse whip me if she knew I entered her house with half a liter of rather pricey Merlot hidden in my purse, I didn’t really care. What she doesn’t know in this instance, DEFINITELY wouldn’t kill her.

So, how much money was in the envelope? $500 dollars’ worth of payola. And what did the note say? Well, let’s just say I threatened to contact the FBI about his fraudulent credit card purchases in Dad’s name if he DIDN’T leave me and Nana alone. And I even listed the name of a couple of FBI agents I’d spoken to…

I slept well that night for the first time in awhile even though Danny could’ve climbed through my window and strangled me at any moment. But somehow… I just knew he wouldn’t.

Peace out from the Geriatric Swamp…

And just in case you’re curious… this is NOT the end of this LONG and convoluted tale…but things were definitely better now with the lights on and hot water, et. al.


* THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who STOLE our Nana Maude’s life savings (our 96-year-old grandmother), which totaled around $50K.  After our Dad died in 2009, Danny started driving his BMW, but he didn’t register it in his name nor did he insure it. And IF he had an accident/ killed someone, Dad’s estate would be liable. When I arrived in Georgia AFTER he stole all Nana’s money, I discovered I had about 48 hours to sell this car before the men in orange trucks would arrive to SHUT off the lights/heat/water at Nana’s house… in the MIDDLE of January.  However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?), and I was finally able to get it back by promising him I’d give him $1200 from the profits of selling Dad’s car….


#14 – BAIT and switch… PART 2

Posted in Family, nonfiction, relationships, thrillers, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

Believe it or not, below I have detailed THE END of the trail of bread crumbs leading to the sale/non-sale of the BMW…So, after I’d tossed my brain in the closet and let Danny borrow my rental car, I realized we were damned lucky Everett didn’t think we were going to take the 1200 Danny asked Everett give him BEFORE actually selling him Dad’s wheels and run off to hemispheres unknown.

For those just joining my Crazy Town, feel free to check out:  and and/or

for info about my brother Danny and this post:    …. all about selling my Dad’s car.

ANYWHO…After much thought, I decided to avoid CHECKMATE (no rental to return) and/or….how to induce the return of the Nissan before it became a fiberglass blob on wheels ….whereupon I called DARTH (Danny) at work and told him Everett would have the cash on MONDAY (to buy the car)… though in reality, Everett wouldn’t get the loan check until Tuesday. In order to substantiate this fabrication, I asked Nana’s best friend, Nancy, if we could HIDE the BMW in her garage, so Danny wouldn’t see it when he brought back the rental.

As I drove over to Nancy’s on Monday, my cell rang. I knew it was Danny even though I didn’t recognize the number. That familiar dread curdled in my empty stomach.

“Hello,” I said in as FLAT a tone as any Oscar-winning actress could muster.

“Do you have the check yet?”…yes, it was Danny.

“Yes,” I lied with my FINGERS crossed

“Good, meet me at Citibank in an hour.”

“What? Why?” I asked scrambling for yet another Tic Tac in my purse…

“To deposit the check,” he replied with the word DUMB ASS implied in his voice.

OMG… Next, he was going to casually suggest that I drop the ENTIRE $6300 into HIS account, and he’d write me a check for $5100. And then, he’d go withdraw as much as possible from every ATM within walking distance of Chez CRACK HUT, and/or write checks to his drug dealer buddies for future ENTREES…and, the faux-ish check to me would bounce from here to Pluto. Except for one pesky problem that Crack Brain didn’t realize:

“The car’s in MY name, Danny. The check was written out to me. I already deposited it this morning.”

“Oh,” he said….”I thought it’d be made out to me…” he muttered…as I heard the faint rumble of his drug-marred membranes trying to think of ways to circumvent this obstacle. “Then, you can write me a check out of your account.”

“I don’t have any checks with me. I wasn’t planning to be down here for more than a week, didn’t think I’d need ’em.”

Then, of course, he asked me to go to an ATM. “I can’t. The check hasn’t cleared-”

“But it’s a cashier’s check!” he bellowed. “Don’t fuck with me! I need this goddamned money! I don’t have a rich husband-”

His gall and contempt fueled my UBER-BITCHY tone, “My account was at ZERO after buying Nana’s prescriptions, and all the teller would give me was $50.” I sucked down yet another tiny mint while begging God to PLEASE let him believe me. I’ll go to church with Nana on Sunday and EVERYTHING! 🙂

“You are SO full of shit!”

“Banks will do anything to hold onto your money these days, Danny. Have you NOT heard of the credit crunch, you fucking moron! Call Star Bank, ask them about-”

“Whatever. I’ll bring the rental car back in the morning.”

“What? Why?”

“I’m at work.”

“You are NOT! Then, how were you going to meet me-?”

“See you tomorrow around noon.”


Have I mentioned that I HATE my brother??? Does he think I’m retarded? No offense to the mentally impaired who are 10,000 brain cells smarter than Danny.  Jesus H…

Then, when I walked back from Nancy’s, Nana decided to get all righteous on me. “When you sell your Daddy’s car, I don’t want you giving DANNY anything. Pay yourself back, and then-”

“Nana, you certainly don’t owe Danny ANYTHING, but if I don’t give him something, he’ll never leave us alone.”

“What about my Macy’s bill? I said he could buy ONE outfit for an interview, and he charged over $2,000 on my card. I can barely make the minimum payment…” she said as the tears began gliding past her whitish-blonde eye lashes and onto her pale, almost translucent skin.  She laid her apple pie aside, which I hated to see her do. She lost 27 pounds while she was in New Haven from stress and the less than Alpo quality of the food.

“By the way, the pie’s delicious. Thanks for making it for me,” she said, trying so hard not to start sobbing.

“You’re welcome,” I said, trying to smile. But the look on my face, made it obvious I was still vying to pay Danny SOMETHING.

“He’s ruined my life, Kenny! I’m leavin’ my house because of him, and, you know how I hate the cold. I HATE IT,” she wailed, “So, why-”

“I know, Nana,” I said swallowing back the tears. “You certainly don’t OWE Danny a dime. But I think it’s worth it, for our piece of mind to give him some money. Think of it as hush money.”

She frowned, wiping a thick row of tears from her eyes. Silence crept between us for a moment. Then, with a sigh she said, “Okay, if you think that’s best.”

And, believe it or not, Danny arrived at 1:00 the next day WITH the Nissan. However, listening to Danny babble on as I drove him back to work as if we were just the best of buddies was just about UNBEARABLE.

“So, this buddy of mine from AA,” Danny said as I turned onto Route One… and btw, it’s ALWAYS a buddy from Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization I’m sure he has NO affiliation with other than owning one of their books FOR SHOW.

“He said he could get me a job at UPS working nightshift.”

“What about your job at the gas station?”

“I’ll do both, and I’ll be raking in 6-700 a week,” he said all excited. In reality, I give him another week at the gas station, and the UPS job will never be mentioned again if Danny is true to Danny.

“That’s nice,” I said, SOOO relieved to finally pull into the Shell Station.

“I’ll meet you tomorrow at 4:00 at CVS to get the 1200 you owe me,” he said getting out of the car. and without another word he walked into the Shell station’s store, without even asking if I COULD meet him at 4:00 tomorrow. What if Nana had a doctor’s appointment at 3:30 or something?

And I love the “you owe me part”… yeah, after YOU PAY ME for the $600 it cost me to drive the BMW down here for YOU…. and the $1972 I charged on my Visa paying all of Nana’s bills you neglected and groceries the last three weeks….

After my joyous ride to the Shell station, I went to Nancy’s to retrieve the BMW, and Everett called not TWO minutes later saying he had the loan check IN HAND!!!!

Shortly after, I heard a door slam. I looked out the dining room window, and a 20ish black guy in a white uniform shirt, holding a clipboard was walking toward the front door, and I just KNEW he wasn’t Everett. Before he could knock, I opened the door, and then, I saw it… the truck from Appalachian Gas parked on the street in front of Nana’s house.

“Can I help you?” I said to the nice black man in uniform.

“I’m here to shut off the gas.” Talk about embarrassing… just as…

A black Mercedes pulled into the driveway behind the BMW. A handsome black man in an Armani suit got out of the Mercedes followed by another black guy in jeans and a t-shirt, who looked to be about 21.

“Can you wait just a minute, and I’ll write you a check?”

“Yeah, sure,” said Mr. Uniform with a wide smile.

“Okay, be right with you,” I said rushing past him. “You must be Everett,” I said extending my hand to the Armani-clad man.

“Nice to meet you, Kennedy,” Everett said smiling, “And this is my son, Arden.” After a couple of handshakes and a bit of idle small talk, we both signed the bill of sale I had drafted, and I GLADLY accepted the check for the HARD-EARNED $6300. A check btw, that DIDN’T clear for 24 hours AFTER I deposited it! So… that part at least was NOT a lie…

Then, of course, I gave Mr. Uniform a check for the gas, and he took off for the next cash-depleted home.

And with that, Nana and I got take out from Red Lobster to celebrate, since, believe it or not, Danny SPENT the Red Lobster gift card I’d sent Nana for Christmas… yeah, I found the receipt on the dining room table. It was IMMEDIATELY obvious that Danny had spent the $25.00 card because he ordered a BUD-LIGHT with his Admiral’s Feast. Nana goes to the Pentecostal Church. The only SIN worse than drinking is being a murderous pedophile in their canon of ethics….

After our momentary bliss, I was finally ready to face the last CHALLENGE to my Georgia state of mind….. making THE MONEY DROP… giving Danny what he THOUGHT he was owed…. but I shall save that meaty tidbit for next time!

Peace out….

Love and Haagen-Dazs,