Archive for August, 2011

BLOG #30 – An ODE to Barboursville and the days of yore…

Posted in Family, family battles, friends, humor, nonfiction, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

As there are no new crimes to report from Danny’s Crackland*, that I know of, I thought I’d share some war stories from the shadowy days of my youth.

This particular event occurred in the ancient times of the 1980s on New Year’s Eve – when I was but a child of 17…when teenagers frequently met their soul mate through friends or at a party where actual LIVING, breathing/two-dimensional people gathered instead of hooking up on or Facebook.

WE set out to buy beer, of course. My partners in crime included: me, Danny, my cousin Shauna, and our friend Prissy, whose last name I cannot utter because:

1) She’s a 2nd generation witch (possibly 3rd gen).

2) She might SHOUT one of her incantations, turning us into frogs whereupon we’ll die by becoming large smears of roadkill on some unknown highway … or we’ll transform into large blobs of hamburger that she’ll feed to her dog.

However, I digress. We took off that night in my mother’s Monte Carlo with Heart Bebe LeStrange roaring from the 8-track player, and if you don’t know what that is…perhaps, you’re too young to be reading this ☺…

I drove to Save Mart, a convenience store in Barboursville, West by-God Virginia, a town of 15,000 or so, which was round the bend from the town of my birth. And if you ask me if I wore shoes growing up, I will HUNT you down in cyberspace and send you MANY computer viruses, or, perhaps, unleash PRISSY on you…

Upon arriving at Save Mart, I started rummaging through my purse.

“What’re you doing?” Shauna asked.

“Looking for my OTHER i.d.”

“I thought Watkins TOOK your fake i.d.?” Danny asked.

“Principal Watkins?” Prissy asked with an overly dramatic GASP. “Oh, my God!” Prissy shrieked, “How’d THAT happen?”

“Some asshole stole my purse and $20 in tip money out of my gym locker. Then, somebody found it in a trashcan and gave it to…”

“Holy shit, what’d you say to him about Natalie’s i.d?” Prissy shrieked from the backseat.

I shrugged, ignoring Prissy’s hysterics in lieu of finding my precious PASSPORT to beer until she got louder, “Did he call the cops or what?!”

“No, I said she left it in my car. So, he-” I had been using my friend Natalie’s license AFTER she turned 18 and got her OPERATOR’S, which is plastic while the JUNIOR OPERATOR’S is cardboard. And back THEN, the drinking age was 18 in WV.

“Found it,” I said, grinning as I showed Danny my altered documentation.

“What the fuck? It says you were born in 63?” he said laughing.

“How’d you do that?” Prissy asked leaning up to take a gander at my artwork.

“I erased my birthday with a pencil and typed in the 63, and POOF, I’m 18,” I said grinning.

“Are you fucking serious?” Danny asked laughing.


“You’ll get arrested for forgery!” Danny said urgently.

Yes, he ACTUALLY said that…incredible irony, NO?

“No, I won’t. I said I’d lost my license. The DMV printed up…this one”, I said, plucking my SECOND/re-issued license from my wallet with my correct birthday on it . “If I ever get stopped for speeding or whatever, I’ll give the cop this one,” I explained flashing my REAL i.d. for him and Prissy to see.

“Oh, so you changed the LOST i.d., I get it, way cool…” Danny said smiling.

“Okay, okay, can we move along now? I wanna drink this damned beer not TALK about buying it all night,” Shauna said with a good-natured laugh.

When I plunked down three 6-packs of Rolling Rock onto the counter, the Save Mart Clerk with seriously bad acne said,“That’ll be $11.56.”

I flashed my best pseudo-supermodel smile at the rather unattractive cashier, “I’m surprised you’re not busier with the holiday and all,” I said in my BEST Southern drawl as I handed him a 20-dollar bill.

He gave me my change with a goofy smile, his eyes cutting to my signature, low-cut, black lace/quasi lingerie top with my cleavage bulging (with the help of a really padded super underwired bra). And, yes, no matter HOW COLD it was, I always made sure SAID black blouse was visible.

“Yeah,” the Clerk mumbled with a goofy grin. “Have a good, um thank…you,” he said awkwardly struggling to bag my beer.

“Thank you. Have a good New Year,” I said sashaying out of the store. Yeah, after ALL that, he didn’t even card me.

As I got back in the Monte Carlo, I handed our treasured contraband to Danny and pulled out onto Route 60. Not a minute later, I saw the FLASHING RED LIGHTS of a Barboursville Rent-A Cop followed by that DREADED siren.

“Fuck!” I yelled. “Danny, put the beer under the goddamned seat!”

“They won’t fit.”

“Then, take them out of the carton” I barked, driving onto to the side of the road.

But, of course, the cop was at my window just as DANNY was trying to stash our beloved Rolling Rock out of sight. The officer’s KNOCKING startled Danny, and he sat straight up with a beer in hand. FUCK. FUCK. AND DOUBLE FUCK…

When I rolled down the window, the cop/Officer Jones said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, sir, I don’t,” I replied as Jones’ eyes lit upon our ill-gotten liquid booty.

“You pulled out onto a four-lane highway without your lights on.”

I GLARED at Danny who shrank back against the seat and looked away. I left the car running ON PURPOSE. Why the hell did he NIX the lights? This was NOT his first beer heist with me! An AWESOME getaway driver he’d make…

An hour and FOUR cops later …yes, FOUR cops to arrest four harmless, wanna-be-drunk teenagers! WTF? Was Krispy Kreme closed for the holiday? Danny and I were escorted to Jones’s cruiser sans handcuffs, which kind of surprised me. Rather antic-climatic after sending FOUR of Barboursville’s finest after such a sought-after repeat but heretofore UN-CAUGHT offenders, don’t you think?

And NOW, those FOUR WORDS we usually HATE to see flash upon our consciousness…

(to be continued)…

… RE: Our visit to that PILLAR of law enforcement, the office of the BARBOURSVILLE Po-Po…

With Love and MadDog/Boones Farm/Merlot in hand,


*Danny, my 36-year-old brother, unfortunately, is a drug addict. About two years ago, he convinced our 94-year-old Grandmother that he’d found God, and he volunteered to take care of her after our Dad died. But, apparently, finding religion and quitting drugs also meant slowly draining Nana’s bank accounts to the tune of over $40K…see Posts #1-10 on…for (most) of the full story! 🙂


BLOG #29 – The PRICK, the proctologist and PIGIN English…

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, heroin, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

HELLO ALL….so here’s the latest on life in CRACKLAND….

My cell woke me up at around 9:30 a couple of nights ago. No LAUGHING….yes, I was asleep at 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. SHUT UP…remember, Nana Maude is NOT an old fart for the weak of heart, i.e., being her HAMSTER on a neverending wheel is very taxing. When Danny was Nana’s caretaker, he usually didn’t make it much past 7:30, which I CAN VERIFY having visited them while he was the chief cook and bottle washer for Nana….Anyway, it was Jack, who woke me from my slumber. And he had an interesting report. shall we say, about Danny.

Apparently, Danny called HIM (Jack) three times that morning. He woke HIM up at 5:22 a.m., 5:28 a.m. and finally at 5:33 a.m. before Jack finally answered the phone. Can you say…TWEAKER….been up all night slurping COCAINE?  And, according to Jack, the conversation went something like this:

Jack began the conversation with, “Hey, dude, how’s it goin’?

DANNY: Pretty shitty, man. I’m piss fucking broke.

JACK: Sorry to hear that. No luck finding a job-?

DANNY: Look, Jack, I…uh, need to…could I borrow $100?

JACK: I don’t have $100. With this damned heat, my electric bill was $280, which I just paid as well as the payment to the mortgage slumlord, and Laura asked for her fucking child support early AGAIN.

DANNY: Fucking bitch. Why don’t you just say no and give it to her next-?

JACK: Look, um, Danny, I’ve gotta get ready for work, so –

DANNY: You still have that Visa, the one through Bank of America?

JACK: Yeah, why?

DANNY: You know your pin?

JACK: No. Why?

DANNY: You know, you can call them to get your pin or apply to get one.

JACK: No, I’m NOT calling them.

DANNY: Why, is it maxed out?

JACK: No, but I’m not-

DANNY: Look, asshole, you owe me! If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t even HAVE that Visa!

JACK: What the fuck’re you talking about?

DANNY: I got you that Visa, remember? When you were in the hospital?

JACK: Danny, all you did was fill out the online app for me because I couldn’t use a computer for a month after breaking my arm. Plus, my neck hurt so fucking much I couldn’t concentrate – especially with the pain pills. And my bills-

DANNY: And you couldn’t work for a month, and Laura was threatening to put your ass in jail the minute you got out of the hospital cuz you were behind on your child support already when you totaled your Jeep, and –

JACK: So? It’s still my fucking card, Danny, not yours. I pay the goddamned bill. When was the last time YOU paid your own fucking bills, Danny, like 87? And why don’t you just get a job instead of calling-?

DANNY: I don’t have any transportation, remember? My sister stole my fucking car!

(At this point, Jack said he had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing since he KNOWS the whole story about selling the BMW – see posts #10-15).

JACK:  What? They don’t have buses in Wilmington?

DANNY: No, I’m in Myrtle Beach. Nate moved outta Wilmington a couple years ago. We’re like three blocks from the beach.

JACK:  There were a shit ton of restaurants right on the beach, Danny, when I visited you and Belinda 4/5 years ago. With your work history, why can’t you get a job at Denny’s or somewhere?

DANNY: I’m nowhere near Denny’s. And like I said, I DON’T HAVE A CAR!

JACK:  (laughs) So? You’re telling me there’s no McDonald’s nearby or a –

DANNY: (SCREAMING) I’m not working at a fucking McDonald’s, Jack!

JACK: Oh, I see. You’re too good to work at McDonald’s, but you’re not too good to beg your friends for money.

DANNY: I’m not asking for that much, Jack! Not considering what YOU make a year!

JACK: Yeah, what I MAKE, what I EARN getting up every day and going to WORK, something you seem to be allergic to –

DANNY: LOOK, you fucking prick-

JACK: So, tell me, Danny, you got any pots and pans?

DANNY: What the hell -? Yeah? Why?

JACK:  I’ve heard panhandlers can make $200 to $300/day, sometimes more. And I’ve heard the best place is at the corner DESPERATE and DUMBASS LANE –

DANNY: Fuck you, you piece of shit!  Where do you get off talking to me like that after all I’ve done for you!

JACK: Really? And what exactly have you done besides spending 10 minutes on a credit card application? What noble deeds have you done, Danny?? Have you lent me money?

DANNY: ….(pause)….No, but I –

JACK: And you haven’t exactly paid me back for that $1400 I gave you to pay the lawyer when you and Belinda split up-

DANNY: But I will! And you know it!

JACK: Uh, huh, yeah, whatever. Did you sell me a stolen TV ?

DANNY: What? That TV wasn’t stolen (see Blog 23)! I bought it with Dad’s Sears card -!

JACK: Really? What happened to that GUY you bought it from who was going through a divorce and needed to sell it dirt cheap? You pay HIM with a Sears card?

(See told ya, there’s always A GUY…. see blog 27)…

DANNY: Fuck you, you fucking prick! I, uh… My dad died remember, dumb ass?

JACK: Making that Sears payment, are ya?

DANNY: What the fuck, JACK. He’s DEAD, and I don’t have enough fucking money to buy a cup of coffee much less pay Sears! And why would I-

JACK: So, if the TV hasn’t been paid for, how EXACTLY is that NOT stealing?

DANNY: That’s BULLSHIT, and that doesn’t change the fact that you’re refusing to help ME, your best friend, you no-good mother-fucker!

JACK: Yeah, you’re right. I’M the fucking asshole, the worst fucking person on the planet, the tight-fisted son of a bitch who won’t give you a fucking dime. Feel free to remember that the next time you think about calling ME asking for money.

DANNY: What?


YES, Jack hung up on his BEST friend, Danny….and he was giggling like a school girl when the connection was SEVERED.

“Oh, my God,” I said laughing after Jack ENLIGHTENED me as to the substance/minute- by-minute description of his conversation with Danny. “That’s great. I can’t believe you said that!”


“I get so mad at him, I can’t think of anything that clever.”

“What? You mean to tell me that MOI, that yours truly thinks faster on his size 13 feet than the EDITOR/former professor? I’m honored, Dr. Smith.”

A large exhalation of laughter from me. “Please don’t call me Dr. Smith. That was the name of my dad’s proctologist.”

A LOUD belt of LAUGHTER from Jack, and then, he said, “Are you serious? Your dad, Mr. Jonathan Smith, went to a proctologist named Dr. Smith?”

“Yeah, I know right? And, no, the guy wasn’t a relative.”

“Still, too fucking weird,” Jack said. Then, his tone darkened, “Oh, shit.”


“Yet ANOTHER text from Danny.”

“Are you serious?” I asked.

“Yeah, listen to this (reading Danny’s text): You a dead man, Jack, dont step near myrtle – (and he spelled it mrtle) beach cuz yo won cross you come hom in body bad….

“Jesus, H,” I chuckled, “he’s starting to sound like he’s writing Pidgin English, like your average Asian or something. And he’s not even making up original threats. He’s recycling them.”

Jack coughed up a half-smothered laugh on that one. “Oh, yeah, forgot about YOUR death threats. You sound pretty good for a corpse.”

“Thanks, though I don’t doubt that IF Danny could get to Ohio, he would, and he’d gladly beat the shit out of me, but since the government isn’t giving out free cars or anything, I’m not really worried about him showing up on my doorstep, brass knuckles in-hand. I just have to pray he doesn’t win the lottery.”

“Don’t give me new nightmares, there, Kennedy.”

“I think Danny’s the one trying to pull a Freddie Kruger.”

“True. And get this, after getting like TWELVE texts from him that morning, I finally called him back, and Nate answered. And he actually told me to fuck off. What’s up with that? Nate and I were never best friends, but -”

“Ya gotta remember how Danny is. Who knows what the FUCK he said about you to Nate. For all you know, Danny told Nate that Bank of America credit card is in HIS name, as in – in Danny’s name, and you’ve maxed it out, and that’s WHY he can’t use that card or God knows what.”

“Yeah, it’s not like Nate would ask to actually SEE the card.”

Jack and I shared a few more laughs at Danny’s expense and said our goodbyes. Although, I have to admit that I’m worried WHAT Danny will do when his balls are REALLY against the wall. I pray EVERY night he won’t buy a gun and start robbing little old ladies or liquor stores or start dealing drugs. But at least since Jack isn’t ENABLING him with cash….maybe his refusal to fund Danny’s lifestyle of sloth and sin, maybe, that will stave off the purchase of a 38 special. On the other hand, I fear nothing will prevent him from dealing drugs if the opportunity presents itself.

So, those of you who DO believe, say a prayer that idle threats are as close as Danny gets to any REAL crimes…TA for now…

Oh, and btw, about the ISSUES with Max…after spending THREE nights sleeping in his FORD PROBE (yeah, SO comfy for Max’s 6’4″ frame), Max texted me asking if he and Sienna could come over and take a shower b/c he had a job interview. An hour after he showered/donned fresh clothes, etc., he and I had a long conversation about drugs and his future. With tears milling about his tired green eyes, he said, “I swear on a stack of bibles, I quit. No more weed, I promise…if I can just come home, please?”

And come home he did. However, the shenanigans which have transpired in the last 22 days since that long discourse – will be food for future posts since he’ll probably be snoring in his car again pretty soon….

For now, on a laugh and a prayer….eternally yours, KENNEDY, the kill joy/DIRECTOR of CHEECH and CHONG’S worst nightmare…

~Tenacious bitch/KS and her bag of tricks… 🙂

Post #28…the devil and the CONTRABAND…

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

AFTER a week or so, I still hadn’t heard from Bridget, so I decided to email Nate, the guy that Danny was supposedly living with. And I got this reply:

NATE: Danny is fine. I heard he left Georgia. Good to hear from you, Kennedy, how are you?

KENNEDY: Well, it’s a long story…at which point, I elaborated on all of Danny’s multitude of sins…

NATE: I had NO idea. Wow, sorry to hear about all that…

Yeah, Nate, a former Marine, has NO CLUE what he’s getting into! I couldn’t tell by his reply if Danny was, in fact, staying with him. The odds were 50/50. Nate could’ve said he heard Danny left GA because he IS still in Georgia, and Danny TOLD Nate to say that so as to throw me off-track. Alternatively, Danny could be there, but he told Nate NOT to tell anyone he was staying with Nate for fear a cop would show up at the door with a warrant for his arrest for stealing the fridge and Nana’s bed.

After another couple of days, and I still hadn’t heard from Bridget, I decided to call Jack.

“Well,” Jack said. “I think he really did go to North Carolina.”

“What makes you so sure?” I asked.

“He kept calling me that night and left like five messages, and he texted me a couple of times. And there was all kinds of noise in the background, and two different times he said he was on a layover somewhere.”

”I didn’t know buses had layovers,” I said.

“Yeah, I didn’t either, but I’ve never ridden a bus like that before. Anyway, finally I answered about midnight – hoping to, you know, keep him from calling back, and he was talking about all the people sleeping on benches and how the terminals smelled really bad. But he was there were TVs, and I heard someone over a loud speaker, but I couldn’t tell what they were saying.”

“So, it sounds like he went SOMEWHERE anyway.”

“Yeah, I think so,”

“Well, thanks, Jack, I appreciate it. And, btw, what night was it that he kept calling you?”

“I don’t remember. I’d have to look at my texts. Hold on.”

I waited, hearing a couple of beeps as Jack scrolled through his texts.

“The last text I got was on Monday at 9:17 p.m.”

“Well, that’s good because the postal worker who is a friend of Nana’s said she saw him during the day. So, that kind of solidifies the timeline.”

“Yeah, he could easily have been riding around on his bike sometime before like 3 or 4 that afternoon, depending on where the bus terminal is in Georgia because the first call I got from him was at 5:20 pm.”

“The bus terminal is downtown, and that’s like 20-25 minutes from Nana’s house, which makes me feel SO much better.”

Jack and I said our goodbyes, but EVEN still, until someone tells me they’ve actually SEEN Danny in Wilmington, I won’t feel completely CERTAIN that he’s in NC.

MEANWHILE, once again, as I’m WAITING to see what Danny’s going to do/has done….we had a good bit of OTHER family drama!

One morning in early July, I found a bong on the picnic table on my back porch. So, my son, Max, who is 18, and I had a come to Jesus discussion that if I found any more weed or paraphernalia, that, he would, in fact be living in his car. And since the boy is looking for a JOB, I reminded him that smoking pot is the DUMBEST thing he could be doing right now since he’ll pop positive for the next MONTH.

However, about a week later, I went into Max’s room b/c he’d left his computer on after he and the new girlfriend, Sienna, left to go see a friend of hers. After shutting off his PC, I saw TWO “bowls” full of the stink weed in his nightstand…AND, get this, an ashtray FULL OF CIGARETTES and a lighter! SIENNA smokes, so I assumed SHE had been smoking in Max’s room! And I found two bowls with a little bit of weed in each.

I was absolutely LIVID! Aside from the fact that he probably purchased the weed with some of the gas $$ I’d given him so that he could allegedly put in job applications, Sienna is WELL-AWARE of my SEVERE allergy to cigarette smoke! I wondered WHY I could smell cigarette smoke when I got halfway up the stairs (and Max’s room is at the top of the stairs). And I wondered WHY I’d been getting these really bad sinus headaches lately! FUCKING BITCH!

And that goddamned ashtray was FULL to the fucking brim, but she put on a good show, occasionally, going out to the porch out back to smoke.

So, I confiscated everything. And when Charlie got back from band practice around 9, I showed him where I’d seen the illegal loot in the nightstand b/c it wasn’t really hidden. At which point, Charlie found this GIGANTIC bong beside Max’s bed I didn’t see it b/c it was partially hidden by Max’s trash can. And when I say huge, I mean – it’s almost THREE FEET TALL.

And that, my friend, was the BONG that broke the camel’s back. I called Max and told him to come home IMMEDIATELY, and then I hung up on him. He called back 10 seconds later, and all I said was, “I’m not discussing it on the phone. Come home NOW.”

When he got home ten minutes later, I showed him my illegal find and told him he had ONE HOUR to pack his shit and go, or I’d call the cops, and they’d be hauling him and Sienna off to the POKEY for possession. And I let Sienna HAVE IT about the cigarettes. She looked completely shocked. Why? I don’t know….I guess because I’ve always been so nice, especially since she’s practically been living here for the last month. I like her, but sorry, BITCH, hit the FUCKING road! And I told her that no matter what happened, she’d NEVER stay the night here again.

And Max tried to tell me the GIGANTIC bong belongs to his friend, Martin, who hasn’t been here since early June at least. I had a difficult time believing he would cart that thing to our house and leave it, but whatever….doesn’t matter now. I told Max if he got a job, MAYBE, I’d let him come back home. And he actually asked, “Where do I go?”

I said, “I don’t know. That’s your problem, should’ve thought of that before you broke the FUCKING rules…” and I walked out shaking like a leaf b/c I was so PISSED!

I watched him drive away about 30 minutes later, and he immediately pulled over and parked about a block down the street. I almost laughed thinking – What’re they gonna do, sleep in the car like 20 feet from the house? Charlie, apparently, was watching from our bedroom window, and he said Max came back in, got something from his room and went back out, then drove off. I went to the bar in our dining room and poured myself a large glass of Merlot at that point, so I was unaware…

A few minutes later, I texted Max that he had a choice to make – either to do drugs or live here, and when he was really READY to give up smoking pot, to call me, and we’d talk about him coming back home. No response.

I don’t know where Max and Sienna stayed that night, but I heard him on the phone just before they left asking someone if he and Sienna could come over and hang out when I walked in to give him his social security card, which he will need if he EVER finds a job. He texted me at 8:39 the next morning asking if he could come home and get his contact stuff, which I said was fine, of course, but he didn’t show up until around 8:30 that night, and as soon as he and Sienna got here, the electric went out. Joy, angry, exhausted teenagers, a terrified old lady (yes, Nana), and NO AC…such a fun Friday night that was! Apparently, SEVERAL transformers got hit by lightening, and they didn’t restore our AC until around 3:30 the next day.

When Max walked in, he looked rather haggardly and so did she. After grabbing some more clothes and his contacts, a rather sad-eyed Max took off into the mean city streets again.

…UNTIL next time, boys and girls…

Peace out from CHEECH AND CHONG’s WORST nightmare CENTRAL….

KENNEDY/Tenacious Bitch

Post #27 In the wake of DANNY…

Posted in Family, family battles, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

That Sunday after the eviction was granted, I got a text from Jack that said:

Danny put the keys to G’ma’s house in the mailbox.

I replied to Jack’s text:

KS: So, did he REALLY go to NC?

JACK: He’s on the bus now.

I couldn’t stand it. I had to know the DETAILS…so, I called Jack. He answered on the third ring.

“What exactly prompted him to move out of state?”

“He said that he hadn’t really been able to find a good job down in Georgia, said the job market was better close to Myrtle Beach or Wilmington.”

“Uh, huh,” I replied.

“He said he was going to stay with Nate Taylor, remember him?”

“Yeah,” I said, nodding, “I do. But I thought he was in the Marines?”

“He was. He decided not to re-enlist after his last tour in Iraq, got out like six, eight months ago.”

“He’s such a nice guy. He has NO idea what he’s getting into with Danny.”

“I know. I feel like I should call him and tell him to lock up anything worth more than $20.”

“Yeah, so WHEN exactly, did Danny have this change of heart that motivated him to move out of state?”

“Um, it would’ve been Wednesday or Thursday of last week when he called me.”

“Ah, ha, according to the Post Office tracking, on Wednesday, he received his copy of my novelette of official mud slinging that I had forwarded to the court.”

“Yeah, that’s what I figured. He realized the jig was up after that,” Jack said with a chuckle.

I couldn’t help but smile. After that, he talked about his family for a minute. HIS Grandmother, Nina, who is in her late 80s, fell last week, and he’s really worried about her. He thinks she has Alzheimers. She wandered out into the yard around midnight recently and fell into a rose bush before anyone realized she was out of the house. She’s okay, but she scared the Bjesus out of everyone. He lives next door to Nina, and he helps his Mom take care of his Grandmother, so he and I have a lot in common.

However, of course, my ELATION about Danny leaving Georgia was brief. Two or three days later, I walked out of mine and Charlie’s bathroom, and I heard Nana shouting over the monitor in my office. “Kennedy! Kennedy, where are you?” And then a breathless, “I need…to…I need…” she said before lapsing into a coughing fit, which was followed by SILENCE.

I ran downstairs to the family room expecting to find a bloody, severed limb or a pack of angry rats encircling Nana’s chair. But, no, just a red-faced Nana, sitting in her recliner, the Food Channel accosting my ears.

Her eyes were hardened marbles – deepened to a shade akin to navy blue. And her tiny fists were balled up so tight that her fingernails were turning a dark purplish blue.

“That piece of shit brother of yours! I wish I could string him up by his feet and beat him senseless with a crow bar!”

I sighed, relieved that Nana wasn’t in DIRE circumstances as I sat down across from her on the couch. “Nana, take a deep breath. What happened?”

“Well, Margaret and Sally, my cleaning lady, went to my house to clean, and, apparently, Danny had a dog. And it pooped on the carpet, and that ASSHOLE just left it there! Can you imagine how horrible that smelled since the house has been closed up for several days? AND the air conditioning isn’t working. So, Sally called Keith, the guy who takes care of the furnace and the air conditioning, and he’s coming over tomorrow to look at it. So, more money I’m going to have to shell out. And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, Lucinda, you remember her, the mail lady?”

“Yeah,” I answered. “I remember, tall, thin, blonde woman.”

“Yeah, she told Margaret that she saw Danny on his bike on Monday – on MY street. I thought he left on Sunday?”

“That’s what Jack said, but maybe, he got the dates confused.”

“Or maybe, he didn’t really leave, and he’s still in Georgia, maybe, living with Matt, down the street. And maybe, he’ll break into my house again! This is awful! Just awful!” Nana said, her already flushed face turning a dangerous shade of crimson.

“Calm down, Nana. I’ll find out where he really is. I’ll call Jack. He’ll know. And…” I said “Maybe…” I replied, thinking about how I might verify WHERE exactly Danny was living. “And I’ll email Bridget.”

“Who?” Nana asked.

“Bridget, Danny’s stepdaughter, you know the one who’s been going to school in Chapel Hill?” Nana nodded, and I disappeared into Nana’s room to get her blood pressure monitor.

“What’re you doing?” Nana called from the next room.

“Nana, you need to relax. Okay?” I said returning with the blood pressure monitor. “I’ll get to the bottom of this.” I took her blood pressure, which was was up to 179/85.

“You need to rest. Your blood pressure-”

“I can’t rest. I’m too upset.”

“I know. I know. I’ll get you some tea. That’ll help.”

Nana nodded. “And maybe one of those chocolate cookies, too?”

“You mean the Little Debbie’s? The Swiss rolls?”

“Yeah, that’s what I said, one of them cupcakes.” I disappeared into the kitchen and put a small shot of bourbon into Nana’s tea and a little more sugar than usual to hide the liquor. Yeah, I know, I shouldn’t do that, but her doctor said it was okay…yeah, I pretended that I’d dropped my car keys at her last visit to her primary physician’s office in Georgia. And I snuck back and talked to Dr. McCan about it.

“Oh, sure, since she won’t take sleeping pills or any anti-anxiety medication, she can have a shot of bourbon or a glass of wine, but no more than that, and red wine is better than white if she can’t sleep or gets really upset.”

I just didn’t mention that I might not ASK my Pentecostal Grandmother if she WANTED a shot of bourbon in her tea. Sometimes, you just have to treat her like a kid who won’t take some much-needed “medicine” unless you hide it in her favorite drink/her tea! 🙂

I sat with Nana for a few minutes listening to Nana RAGE on about how she hates Danny and the horrible state of her house post Danny while she drank her tea and ate her cupcake. A few minutes later, her eyelids began to droop, and then in a slurry voice, she said – “I don’t understand how…” and off she went to la la land. Yes, she fell asleep in mid-sentence and started snoring before I could make it to the doorway.

As soon as I got to my office, my cell phone rang. It was Margaret.

“I didn’t want to tell your Grandmother this because I didn’t want to upset her, but one of the refrigerators is missing, and so is your Grandmother’s bed,” Margaret said in an agonized tone.

“What? Oh, my God, what an asshole!”

“I know. It’s terrible.”

“Which fridge?” I asked.

“The spare one that was in the laundry room. And I think his roommate took it.”

“What roommate?”

“You know the black guy, Reggie, who lived next door?”

“Yeah, I met him once or twice when I took out the trash or when I was walking out to my car.”

“Well, Reggie has been at the house several times when I stopped by to check on the mail, and Danny WASN’T there at the time.”

“Really? Instant roommate. How awesome.”

“I was at Publix yesterday, and I ran into Jerry, the guy who originally rented that house, and he said that Reggie moved in with Danny in late March when Jerry moved out. I guess he’s renting a house with his girlfriend in Clearview. Jerry, I mean.”

“I see. Well, why don’t we ask Nana if she wants you to have that bed moved over to your house since we’re not certain that Danny is really gone? Maybe, tell her that Lucinda and her husband could help you move it.”

“That’s a good idea. I didn’t want to tell Maude any of this. I figured I’d leave that up to you. She’s already so upset about all this, and there’s nothing she can do. Oh, and her favorite mirror in the hallway is missing, and the living room curtains are gone.”

“The curtains? Good Lord. Why do you think it was the guy next door who took the fridge and everything?”

“I went next door to ask them if they knew anything about the missing furniture, and another guy I’ve never met, Todd somebody, said that Reggie wasn’t home. And when I asked if I could come in and look around, in case maybe, Reggie had taken the bed or whatever by mistake-”

“By mistake?” I asked laughing.

“You know, I said that maybe Danny didn’t realize that your Grandmother had promised me that bed in her Will, and maybe, Danny had sold it to Reggie.”

“Oh, okay. That makes sense even though Danny KNEW you were getting Nana’s bed.”

“But they wouldn’t let me in.”

“Of course, they didn’t because all of it is probably next door.”


“And then, Reggie came home, and he said that maybe Danny had taken the fridge and the bed with him.”

“On a bus?” I said laughing.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

“Oh, and the keys weren’t in the mailbox.”

“They weren’t? How’d you get in?”

“The back door, the one with the gaping hole.”

“Oh, yeah, forgot about that. You’re a brave woman, Margaret. I don’t think I would’ve had the nerve to go over there and interrogate the neighbors.”

“It wasn’t exactly an interrogation,” Margaret said with a hefty belt of laughter.

“Well, knowing that Reggie had been living with Danny and probably does drugs too, I wouldn’t have felt all that comfortable asking those guys about any missing furniture.”

“I’m not afraid of those clowns,” Margaret replied.

After a few minutes of small talk, we said our goodbyes. And then, I left a message for Jack, but by 9:00 that night, he hadn’t gotten back to me. So, I went on Facebook, and I emailed Bridget, who apparently, had moved back to Wilmington permanently, according to her FB info.

If Danny’s in Wilmington, I’m sure he’s called Bridget or her sister, Carrie, who is 19. Bridget is 23, close to my son Tim’s age, and she and Danny NEVER got along when Danny was married to her mother, Belinda.  I didn’t want to email Carrie because she and Danny have always been close…didn’t want to tip Danny’s hand since Carrie’s TRUE loyalties lie in enemy territory.

I poured a glass of Merlot, laid down on my bed and listened to Recovery, an Eminem CD, on my I-Phone just trying to relax before Charlie got home. Dreading the hours, days, possibly weeks before Bridget might reply to my email. After all, she’s a college kid, and even though they LIVE on Facebook, she’s working two jobs this summer, and from the photos on her FB page, it looks like she’s as busy partying as much as she is working.

I heard the rumble of thunder, so I decided to take my Merlot outside…to my SECOND favorite place next to lying on the beach…our hot tub where I drank another glass of Merlot while watching a brilliant thunderstorm from our screened in porch out back…

So, STAY TUNED, GUYS AND GALS, b/c the fat lady STILL hasn’t sung yet…though she’s ITCHING to hit that high note…


~Tenacious bitch/KS




Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, siblings, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

The day after mailing out the 100 pages of documentation in rebuttal of Danny’s handwritten Answer to the Eviction Complaint, I was sitting at my desk trying to tackle an editing project that was FROUGHT with grammatical errors when I received a call from Judge McCallister’s Assistant, Holly Stone.

“I need some additional information in order to move forward in the Eviction case you filed against Danny Smith,” Holly said.

“Okay, what kind of information?” I asked.

“Well, there was no lease included with your original paperwork.”

“There is no lease. Danny is my brother. We didn’t think it was necessary.”

“Okay, well, we’ll need to schedule a hearing then,” Holly replied.


“Really?” I asked my heart GRINDING in my chest. Scramble brain – must find a good reason to delay and/or quash said HEARING. “Well, my Grandmother, Maude Miller, the Plaintiff, she’s 94, and she’s really not well enough to travel right now. And, to be quite honest, Danny is a drug addict, and he’s threatened me physically more than once, and he also stalked me at one point*, so I’d rather not have to face him in court any-”

“Yes, I see, you live out of state, Ohio, right?”


“Well, we can arrange for you and your Grandmother to attend by phone.”

A Fort Knox-sized weight drifted off my shoulders. “Thank you. I really appreciate that.”

“No problem, but we’ll have the defendant appear in person.”

A WIDE grin snaked its way across my face. I was really beginning to LIKE this Holly person!!!

“I’ll schedule it for June 24th at 9:00. Can you and Ms. Miller be available then?”

“Sure, that’s fine,” I said as anxiety bubbled in my stomach thinking about what kind of impression my DAFFY Nana would make. Plus, she has a lot of trouble hearing people on the phone.

“Do you have a current telephone number for Danny?”

“No, not really,” I replied. “The one I have has been disconnected, but, oh, I forgot – he did list a phone number on his Answer to the Complaint, which, btw, I just received yesterday.”

“Uh, huh,” Holly replied absentmindedly as I heard the shuffling of paper. “Yes, here it is. I found his phone number. A week will be plenty of time for me to get in touch with him.”

“Okay, and I just sent about 100 pages of documentation in response to his answer. For some strange reason, my address was scratched out on the envelope, and it was sent to my Grandmother’s house in Georgia, so it’s been floating around the postal system for a month, and I just got his Answer yesterday.”

“I see,” Holly said in a icy tone that made me think she suspected foul play.

“So, I apologize that the judge is getting everything so late. Will he have time to read all of that before the hearing? I just overnighted it yesterday, and according to the Post Office’s tracking information, it was signed for by the Clerk’s office about an hour ago.”

“I’ll call the Clerk’s office to make sure they forward it sometime today, and not to worry, the judge will have time to review it all.”

“Great, thanks.” And with that, she gave me the phone number for the judge’s chambers and told me call, promptly at 9:00.

That next week was WORSE than the week before I went into labor with Tim or Max, and the pain in my shoulders every morning from the stress was ALMOST as bad as labor pains as well. I felt rather STRONGLY that once Danny read through my Reply and saw all his DIRT that I was going to broadcast in open court, that he wouldn’t show up for the hearing. But he’s a CRACKHEAD, and LOGIC frequently does NOT penetrate what gray matter they have left. However, I was HOPING the double whammy of paranoia stirring within the heart of said Crackhead would be stronger than his ego and his dominant DELUSION that he can do ANYTHING he wants w/out fear of recrimination.

To calm my nerves, I called Jack. I told him about the hearing, and he offered to call Danny to see which direction his wee foggy brain was churning. Jack called a couple of hours later saying that Danny was FURIOUS about the hearing And, once again, Danny said that IF Nana and I crossed the GA state line, that I would not be returning. Jack tried to bludgeon the bull with the idea that offing “your sister” was a bad idea, and that going to jail was NOT the life of leisure that Danny preferred.

To-wit Danny made some allusion that he knew people – that he could get it done w/out serving time. Yeah, whatever…my brother’s got connections…he always knows a GUY whenever he’s trying to refute someone else’s argument. We never hear the NAME of said GUY, but there’s always A GUY at Danny’s beck and call who will assist him like the GUY at the bank who has the IMAGINARY video of Ben and Alicia opening Dad’s safety deposit box. AHEM…need I say more about THE GUY….

However, in listening to Danny’s drug-mauled comments, I realized he had NOT gotten a copy of my Reply with its 100 pages of evidence YET with its 70 pages of data that was fodder for SERIOUS jail time had Nana not signed a Power of Attorney.

I thanked Jack for being my spy on-call, and I knocked myself out with three glasses of Merlot and a couple Melatonin tablets that night. I also PRAYED that paranoia would win the tide of psychotic emotions swimming within the crackbrain.

That Friday morning (June 24th), I called the judge’s chambers at 8:59 am. The judge was still busy with his first case, and his assistant told me to call back in ten minutes. Nana and I sat in the kitchen waiting as I unloaded the dishwasher. Then, 9.4 minutes later, I handed Nana the portable phone, and I called the Judge’s Chambers again. The assistant put us on hold again, and a minute later, she said to call back in TEN minutes. I thanked her and hung up, my hand so sweaty I almost dropped the phone. I called a SECOND time, and the Judge was still tied up. So, Holly said she’d call us back when the judge’s first hearing was finally over, which she thought would be in 10 or 15 minutes.

Butterflies with LARGE knives needled at my gut as I made small talk with Nana and continued unloading the dishwasher. I couldn’t just sit there. I HAD to do something. After unloading and loading the dishwasher, I began alphabetizing our spices.

FINALLY, at 9:34 AM, Holly, the judge’s assistant called back. I handed Nana the phone and raced over to the wall phone in the kitchen.

“Well, this is going to be easy,” Holly said. “The other party didn’t show up. The judge doesn’t need to talk to you or anything. He’s going to sign the Motion for Default Judgment, and you’ll get a copy of it in the mail. And we’ll forward the Writ of Possession to the Sheriff’s office sometime this afternoon, Monday at the latest.”

“Thank you so much. You have a good weekend.”

“You too.” AND WITH THAT, the DEVIL HAD LEGALLY BEEN PUNTED from Nana’s house.

I DANCED around the kitchen, in the guise of a SNOOPY dance hearing that little tune from the Charles Schwartz cartoon in my head. Nana smiled, looking a little confused. She didn’t seem to understand that it was over.

“You mean the judge doesn’t need to talk to us?”

“No, Nana, he doesn’t. Danny didn’t show up.”

“Oh…well, that’s good, I guess,” she said sounding a little disappointed. She toddled out of the kitchen and back to her room to watch the Food Channel.

I think she had really longed for the opportunity to tell Danny to GO TO HELL and to ANNOUNCE his crimes in Court would’ve given her a great sense of closure. So, even though it was over, she didn’t get her 15 minutes to spew some hatred Danny’s way, which she was totally entitled to do, in my opinion, but now that chance had been usurped by Danny’s absence.

Before the incredible euphoria had really taken root within me, my cell rang. It was Jack.

“Hi, Jack, great timing.”


“Danny didn’t show up for the hearing, so the judge granted the EVICTION, and the Sheriff’s office will be putting a 24-hour notice for Danny to FINALLY get the fuck out on Monday or Tuesday next week.”

“Yeah, I didn’t figure he’d show up,” Jack said in a somber voice, “Especially not after I talked to him yesterday.”

“Yeah, why’s that?”

“Danny may be moving back to North Carolina.”

“Or he just said that to you as a ruse to get me to not show up this morning.”

“Maybe, or he’s going to stay somewhere else in Georgia but wants you to THINK he’s moving out of state.


And THERE YOU HAVE IT, ladies and gentleman, on June 24, 2011, without the benefit of counsel, I EVICTED the Squatter….and you’d think the story ends here….ah, but you would be so WRONG…

Peace out from the victory/SNOOPY DANCE HEADQUARTERS!


*About a year before Dad died, when he first became aware that Danny had opened credit cards in his name, he asked me to request a Credit Report from b/c he didn’t have a computer nor did he know how to use one. He wanted to know who he owed what because Danny was constantly stealing the mail, so Dad didn’t know about any of the charges until collection agencies started calling. And Dad couldn’t call Equifax or anyone b/c Danny would just steal the damned report out of the mail. So, once Danny found out I was trying to uncover his transgressions, he STALKED me Thanksgiving weekend. I drove down to WV for the holiday, but I had to stay in a hotel b/c I just didn’t want to stay at Dad’s for fear Danny would attack me in my sleep or something. Anyway, he went so far as to follow me to a bar on campus where I met some friends. I didn’t see him right off when I got to the Hampton Inn, but I knew he’d followed me from the bar. I saw him in Dad’s BMW in my rearview mirror, so I parked right next to the office. As soon as I got out of the car, I heard him yelling – HEY, BITCH from behind me. And we got into a screaming match in the middle of the parking lot. Then, I walked inside the hotel office and explained my situation to the night manager, who was very kind. She saw Danny driving away, so she walked with me to my room and told me that she’d call me immediately if she saw him or Dad’s car again.