Archive for senility

Post #68 – The attempted CON of Ms. Cranky Pants…

Posted in Family, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

As most of you know, my 95-year-old Grandmother/ aka Ms. Cranky Pants (aka Nana Maude), moved in with me, my husband, Charlie, and my son, Max, 18 very LONG months ago. For the 411 on Nana, go to Post #1 – https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/ regarding her migration from Georgia to living with us (in Ohio) after my brother, Danny, fleeced her for approximately $50K.

Otherwise…read on. This week Charlie and I are on vacation…i.e. the photo below of my feet and I soaking up some sunny respite yesterday…

The joy of lounging at our timeshare in Vegas…or are we at the resort in Aruba? Sorry, Merlot-muddled brain isn’t functioning at top capacity… :)..have to ask the husband later…

A couple of weeks prior to our joyous departure, Nana asked me to withdraw some money from her bank account EVERY single time I left the house. First, to buy a few lottery tickets, so I retrieved $20, but she only bought $10 worth.

And the 2nd time, she said, “I want some money to go shopping at the cheap store. Forty dollars, I guess.”

The “cheap store” refers to our favorite thrift store, about a mile from my house. “But they take debit cards,” I reminded her, hoping to save myself another trip to the ATM. I already had a pretty full slate that day, i.e.:  mailing a manuscript back to a client, returning a book to the library, getting a prescription for Nana, and buying a long list of groceries.

“I know, but…” she said, followed by a pregnant pause, as if she were struggling for words. “Cash is just easier.”

I sighed in annoyance. Even though she does have arthritis, Nana has NO TROUBLE whipping out her bank card at Kmart or Walmart.  Why the hell is it suddenly so difficult to pay via debit card at the Thrift Store?

I did as she asked, so she’d quit bugging me, and, big surprise! She bought NOTHING at the “cheap store” during our next visit.

As I was leaving for a doctor’s appointment a few days later…she asked:

“Would you get $20 out for me-?”

“Nana, you’ve got $50. Why do you need more than that?” I asked, once again feeling my blood pressure rising to crimson levels in my face.  I really didn’t want to make another stop since going to the doctor was going to consume half my day as it was, nor did I get this sudden need for greenbacks!

“I wanna take Sarah to lunch at Bob Evans.,” Nana answered.

Sarah is my saint of a mother-in-law who always takes care of Nana in my absence.

“You could buy lunch there for you, Sarah and half the neighborhood for $50. Use your debit card.”

She just looked at me, her eyebrows furrowed. “But I wanna go to the Cheap Store too, while Sarah’s here.”

I groaned. Too fatigued to squabble anymore, I groaned and said, “Okay.”

Her guilt must’ve sprung a leak because she said, “Well, if you have time. I know it’s a long drive to the doctor’s office.”

YES, you demanding old bat, it’s a 50-minute drive round-trip that I have to make because of YOU. I had a huge patch of psoriasis festering on my shin from Nana-induced stress, hence the trip to the dermatologist…

However, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe she wanted to do some Christmas shopping while I was gone. Last year, she complained about having trouble buying anything for me because I always took her shopping, so she gave me a check for $50, which is FINE by me. I’d prefer she save her money for emergencies like long-term medical care, but I wasn’t going to bring that up NOW.

You’d THINK after obtaining $30 more, that’d be the end of Nana’s cash obsession, but you’d be SO wrong. The next day, I didn’t wanna deal with the nightmare of cooking her midday cuisine*, so I decided to go get KFC for her. After I hollered good-bye, Nana called out, “Don’t forget to get some cash out for me. I wanna take Sara to Bob Evans.”

For fuck’s sake? SERIOUSLY? “Nana, you’ve got $80 already.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Yes, you do,” I snapped. My temper was definitely ready to detonate. Aside from packing, I had a lot of cleaning and such before vacation. Arguing with Ms. Cranky Pants was NOT on my list of action items (and if you don’t know what “action items” are, for Chrissakes, go watch FIGHT CLUB already :)).

I marched into Nana’s room, snatched her purse and handed it to her. “See for yourself.”

She opened up her wallet, which contained ONLY $20. YES TWENTY DOLLARS!

“Nana, where’s rest of that money?” I inquired, somewhat panicked.

“What money?” She asked, flat-eyed, and seemingly unconcerned.

“You had EIGHTY dollars yesterday. Remember? I went to the ATM after I saw Dr. Spender. What’d you do with it?”

“Oh, that’s right. I forgot. I don’t know . It’s in a drawer in there somewhere,” she replied with a shrug.

I trotted back into her room, rifled through every drawer and the closet, to no avail. Nothing under the bed and in her hamper either.

“Well, don’t worry about it. I’ll find it later,” she replied, smiling, as if losing $60 was no big deal.

WTF? Last Christmas, she misplaced a $50 gift from her friend, Margaret. She kept saying she’d given me the check to cash for her, but I knew she hadn’t because I couldn’t have cashed it since my name wasn’t on it, which I explained NUMEROUS times.

She fretted about that check for weeks. She finally found it buried in her dresser somewhere in March. But THIS TIME she’d misplaced $60, and she wasn’t upset, AT ALL.

Her attitude completely invalidated my Christmas shopping theory. I assumed that Nana had finally succumbed to the treacherous wasteland of Alzheimer’s, or there was a rat squirming around that ancient brain of hers…

Turns out, it’s the latter. She told Sarah yesterday that she didn’t lose that $60. No, no, no Nana’s been HOARDING money to give to Cousin Cathy, who lives in West Virginia.

Cathy is my 2nd or 3rd cousin, whom I’ve only met once. She doesn’t work, and she milks some mysterious and seemingly nonexistent medical issues as a means to convince everyone, including her shrink, that she can’t work.

However, when I’ve asked about Cathy’s health, her answer is always the same, “Oh, I’ve got all kinds of things wrong with me.”

She’s NEVER more specific than that. The only medical maladies she’s actually talked about is being constipated or having insomnia. And last I checked, neither of those prevent full-time or part-time employment.

Additionally, during a brief period of sobriety, when my brother Danny, lived with Nana, he mentioned Nana giving Cathy a lot of money, including $600 for dental bills, then another $400 while I just happened to be visiting in March of 2010 also supposedly for dental work.

When Cathy called the day before I left Nana’s, I asked, “Are you feeling okay? Nana said you’d been to the dentist?”

“Yeah, I, uh, had a filling replaced.”

EXCUSE ME? “Why would that cost $400?”

“Oh, and I fell on the ice a few weeks ago too and broke a tooth.”

“Good Lord, Cathy, I’d change dentists.That’s way too much for that-”

“Well, um, that’s what he charged.” And it was quite obvious by her tone that she was LYING.

“If your co-pay was over $1000, why bother with dental insurance, which Nana said you have, right?”

“Um, well, can I talk to Maude? I don’t have much time before church.”

But she told Nana she doesn’t go to church, that she hasn’t found a minister that she really likes…

Aside from that, Cathy and her husband, Bobby, are always on the verge of starvation though Bobby has a decent job repairing bulldozers and such for a construction company.

However, one day last fall Cathy told Nana about having only $200 for groceries for an entire month. A week later, a round of violent thunderstorms took out electric service for 50,000 homes, including theirs. Too dumb to put their food in coolers or merely move a lot of it into the freezer, covered in ice, they allegedly lost everything after 36 hours. We lost power for two days once and only lost a couple frozen pizzas…After a lengthy call to Cathy after these storms last October, Nana said, “Oh, my God, I’m so worried about Cathy, I don’t know what to do.”

“Why is that, Nana?”

“She hasn’t eaten in two weeks. I have to send her some money.”

I almost laughed. “No, you don’t. She told you last week she’d spent $200 at Kroger, so she just voluntarily stopped eating PRIOR to the power outage? And if she hadn’t eaten in two weeks, she’d be dead or in the hospital.”

“Well, I don’t know about the dates, but they lost everything.”

“Nana, she just wants you to send her some money.”

“She’s never asked me for any money.”

“Yet, you sent her more than $2,000 last year.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I went through all your bank statements, remember? So, I could figure out how much Danny had stolen from you. I added up the checks to Cathy. I’ll be glad to show you-”

“Well, that may be, but they’re always hard up. Bobby doesn’t make that much money, and they don’t have a thing to eat until he gets paid next week.”

“And that’s their problem that would be solved if Cathy would get a job.”

“Oh, she can’t work.” And Nana says this with SUCH conviction!

“If she can spend for two hours making you peanut butter fudge like that batch she sent last month, and vacuum and mop and all that, cleaning her house top-to bottom like she’s always telling you. Then, she can work as a nurse again, or SOMETHING.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I don’t know what her doctors have told her.”

“It’s all bullshit, Nana. She just doesn’t wanna work. And you cannot afford to give ANYONE any money. Your Social Security check is only $875 a month, which barely covers your expenses, not to mention all those bills Danny never paid when he was managing your finances, like that $300 phone bill.”

Nana stopped asking to send Cathy money until my mother-in-law assumed the helm. Nana thought she could covertly send Cathy some cash for more food allegedly spoiled during a power outage from the thunderstorms 2-3 weeks ago in Ohio and West Virginia.

But Sarah is privy to the scourge of Cathy’s half truths and imaginary hardships. And Nana actually told Sarah that poor Cousin Cathy hadn’t eaten in MONTHS!  GOOD GOD almighty! I can’t believe that my Grandmother who was the Credit Manager for a HOSPITAL in the 80s – is actually believing this load of CA CA.

Thankfully, Nana doesn’t have any stamps, and there’s no way Sarah will mail anything to Cathy.  Nana will likely assume Cathy’s windfall was lost in the mail…

Does it make me EVIL to smile about the END of the cons, both Nana’s and Cathy’s? 🙂 At least for now.

Charlie said it best. “Your Grandmother didn’t learn a thing from her experience with Danny.”

SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT! Not only did Ms. Cranky pants lie about the allegedly lost $60, but she also lied about the need for cash.

I might bad mouth the old curmudgeon, but I ALWAYS pay her bills. I don’t con her into giving me money, and she eats like a Queen, no matter how much she HATES our healthy food with our brown rice and broiled fish and the occasional meal of STEAK and POTATOES… 🙂

TA for now!

Tenacious BITCH and…………………….                                                         her band of soothsaying bullshit QUASHERS!

* To read all about how delightful it is to cook for Nana, see post #66, BALONEY PORN or is it Bologna Porn, or Post #18 – The Oatmeal Incident… 🙂

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Post #62 – Macy’s alleged faux paus

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, nonfiction, relationships, true stories with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by tenaciousbitch

Yes, another dilemma with Nana (my 95-year-old Grandmother). The feather pillow that she brought from Georgia is really worn out, “Flat as a flitter,” she says. And it’s probably 20 years old at least.  So, a couple of months ago, I took her to the mall to buy a new pillow. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a large selection of feather pillows at Macy’s, and the first one we saw was $248.99.

We looked around a bit more, and finally, she found a cheaper one. When the very nice, rather handsome African American clerk rang up her purchase, his eyes seemed to dilate. And he stuttered, “Um, hold on, let me check on… that price can’t…” and his voice trailed off.

The clerk was sans wedding ring, and I immediately recognized the bachelor’s dilemma. He looked to be around 25, and I assumed he’d never been shopping for linens and such with a girlfriend as yet. I smiled and said, “Yes, this pillow really is $70. That’s almost half off.”

“For real?” asked the clerk, looking at me wide-eyed. “Yeah, I see that now,” he mumbled, glancing at the computer, “It was originally $149.99.”

“It’s goose down,” I said.

He stared at me, an abyss of confusion whirling in his dark eyes. “What kind of goose charges this much?” he asked grinning, “Cuz, I’m thinking they’s some pigeons on my street that…” at which point, his jovial mood was shut down by the flat-eyed glare from Nana. I felt so bad for him. He was being so nice, and he had no clue who he was dealing with…

I smiled and looked away.

He cleared his throat and smiled again. “Will there be anything else, today, ladies?”

“No, thank you,” Nana replied in that tethered tone of hers.

After she bought the new pillow, I thought finally, I wouldn’t have to hear about her pillow and all of its uncomfortable glory, but I was SOOO WRONG.  The next morning when I brought Nana her morning medication, I smiled and asked, “How’d you sleep last night on the new pillow?”

“Oh, it was terrible,” she whined, rubbing the back of her neck. “It’s hard as a brick.”

Perplexed, I went over, grabbed the pillow and checked it out. I squeezed the pillow with my hand and said, “Feels pretty soft to me.”

She shook her head, and gave me this disgusted look. She pushed down on the pillow frowning. “See that,” she said, almost snarling. “It’s made with trashy feathers.”

I’m sorry, Nana, but  I’m not familiar with the Trashy-Feathered Goose? Is that the one who lives on the wrong side of the tracks, the one my mother warned me about? The one with tattoos, who dies her feathers pink or purple?

I busted out laughing. I couldn’t help myself, and she looked at me as if I were auditioning for an Alzheimer’s ward.

“Why are you laughing?” Nana asked, obviously annoyed.

“There’s no such thing as trashy feathers.”

“Well…you know what I mean. It’s not real goose down.”

“Nana, they can’t label something as goose down on this tag,” I explained, pulling back the pillow case and showing her the little tag attached to the pillow that did, INDEED, say:

100% goose down.

“If it’s not goose down, that’s fraud. I don’t think Macy’s is going to risk a lawsuit over a pillow.”

Nana merely scowled, emphasized by a “hmpf.”

Therefore, Nana’s diagnosis of her new bargain from Macy’s seemed a little more than inflammatory, given the original cost of the hard as a brick item full of trashy feathers.

“We can take it back if you like,” I offered….while I was thinking—at some point, not anytime soon because every time we go to the mall, she BITCHES and moans the entire way there and back about the traffic because “down home” (in Georgia) they never had any traffic. To-wit, I could only shake my head.

Her house is 20 minutes away from the beach, and the nearest mall is about 6 minutes away. And though it’s not as BIG a tourist attraction as Hilton Head, it can get really congested at times in her little berg. However, she was rarely out and about during rush hour down home.

Plus, driving from my house to the nearest mall to my suburb takes about an hour round trip due to the current construction on I-270 (our beltway), which is beyond my purview to remedy.

And getting her out of the mall after 2-3 hours sometimes requires a bit of trickery—like saying they’re closing 270 for a parade or something. Yes, I’m going to hell for telling falsehoods so that I don’t have to spend 4-5 hours at the damned Mall with Nana. Feel free to prepare the tar and feathers. Just make sure they’re not TRASHY FEATHERS! 🙂

A few days later, she changed her mind, and decided to keep the trashy-feathered pillow!!!

Yes, I have undeniable proof: There is a God…

I felt really bad that Nana’s neck still hurt even with the new pillow. However, at her age, her neck would probably hurt if she were sleeping on CLOUDS.

Over and out from WTF county, somewhere in the Buckeye state…

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, ALL!

~KS/TenaciousB

Blog #40 – Mrs. Simon and her DOG aplenty…

Posted in college, relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

I suddenly recognized the incredibly foul scent of CAT POO* from many pounds of kitty CA CA steeping in sandboxes throughout the house. My eyes started to water from the fumes. I brushed away a blob of tears with the back of my hand when I noticed…

The eyes…three dozen or more sets of curious/suspicious CAT eyes  checking me out: Sizing me up, looking for any HINT of violence or disdain.

The gunfire had temporarily muted my hearing, so I couldn’t hear the cacophony of crying felines for a minute or two. The meowing fur balls were obviously disturbed by the recent throng of bullets.

The cats were perched on EVERY surface about the room. Two dozen at least twittering on the couch. Calicos. Black cats with mesmerizing green eyes. A black and gray cat on an end table. A blue-eyed Himalayan on the piano squirming next to two tabbies and a beautiful beige cat.  A small white cat scratching furiously at the love seat in the corner. A brown cat with a white nose circling my legs, a solid black cat YOWLING on a stool. Short cats. Fat cats. SCRAWNY cats. Mewing bundles of agitated fur consumed her living room.

“Wow, you have A LOT of cats,” I said with awe.

“Twenty-seven to be exact,” she said smiling. “People think I’m crazy, but I just can’t…bear the thought, you know, of them being put down if they don’t find homes for them.”

I nodded.

“So, um, should we call the police?” she asked, scooping up a disoriented black and gray cat on a rocking chair. “Oh, you poor thing, Ms. Nici,” Mrs. Simon said, easing into the rocker. “It’s okay. The bad man’s gone.” Mrs. Simon cooed.

“Yeah. Where’s your phone? I’ll call,” I said.

“In the drawer, as always,” she said, nonchalantly. “I’ll make some coffee,” she chirped disappearing into the kitchen carrying Nici, followed by several of her feline roommates.

The drawer? As “always”? I’ve never been in her house before. Can you say WTF? I gave her a ride to the bus stop once when it was snowing, and except polite hellos now and then, I barely know the crazy old bird, but obviously sans meds (I assume), or totally senile, I’m now her best chum/niece/bff’s sister’s cousin’s wife, or something

Sigh…and before I could ask Mrs. Simon which drawer, a BEAST appeared from the hallway by the front door. A ferocious-looking dog, whose parents could easily have been a Pit Bull and a Polar Bear. His short white fur stiffened at the sight of me. I love dogs. But this?

This pooch ate buckshot and bulldozers for breakfast! His simmering growl was menacing, and black eyes glistened upon his new target as if I were a ten-pound platter of bacon and bones.

All of the cats HISSED, but didn’t move one ligament. Fearfully, they waited for the intruder to pounce.  His growl gave way to a very HARSH round of vicious BARKING, accompanied by a steady stream of slobber dribbling from his huge jowls.

With frantic SQUEALS and hisses, all the cats tumbled off their roosts. They became a mad BLUR of speeding FUR disappearing underneath the tattered love seat while the Bull/Bearish dog, planted his 100-pound chassis at my feet.

“Mrs. Simon!” I screeched. “Mrs. Simon! Get your dog!”

No response from the kitchen for a moment…then, I heard “There, there, Nici, Grace. It’s okay. The bad man’s gone,” Mrs. Simon cooed from the next room in a lulling lisp to the cats who were no doubt catapulting onto the counters/kitchen table in fright.

“Mrs. Simon!” I wailed. Then, trying to sound calm, I said, “Be nice, now, Bruno,” I begged the brute as he CRUNCHED his teeth into my Nike, feverishly grinding into my toes. “Mrs. Simon! HELP ME!” I yanked with all my might against the deathly canine grip to no avail.

“Let go, you fucking MONGREL!” I shouted while ripping my shoe to and fro between the canine’s canines.

Mrs. Simon finally toddled back into the room.  “Georgie, NO!” she lambasted her DEVIL DOG, swatting at him with her hand. “I’ll get the broom. Hold on, honey, hold on!”

As she scuttled into the kitchen again, someone began THRASHING on the front door.

Georgie turned me loose, THANK GOD, re-directing his throaty YAPPING at the front door.

I slumped into the armchair, a slow fountain of blood billowing onto the rug from my shoe.

MORE THUMPING on the door.

“Oh, dear, who could that be at this hour?” Mrs. Simon said, shuffling toward the front door with her broom.

“No!” I managed to croak, “It might be the guy with the gun!”

“What? Who had a gun?” she asked with grave concern.

“Open up! Police!”

Five minutes later, two rookie cops took my statement about the gun-wielding whacko while a very handsome EMT bandaged my ravaged toes and lacerated arm.  I hadn’t noticed my forearm had gotten chafed up quite a bit from the pine trees.

Three hours and 14 stitches later (at the ER), I finally collapsed into bed (with no sign of Mark – MEGA THANK YOU, God/Yahweh/Captain Kangaroo…) darkening my door…

The police never found Mark. Apparently, he had been honorably discharged from the Army some time ago (I know, right?), so the military was no help. And he was never seen in town again, to my knowledge.

The grungy studio apartment he rented downtown near Marshall (University where I was attending school at the time) was relatively barren save for a few boxes of junk, i.e. – old Metallica and Van Halen cassettes, a few tattered car magazines, a few ugly ties, a collection of rusty nails and the like.

Mark had gone to high school with my friend, Anna. After she stopped graveling and apologizing for setting me up w/the ROCK STAR of bad dates, she said the fodder among the rumor mill was that Mark’s discharge was a tad mysterious. He’d come home for Easter a couple of months prior, acting as though he were a very contented member of Uncle Sam’s best but returned in June a brooding mess saying he’d decided not to re-enlist and wouldn’t say why…

And that, as they say, is how the cookie CRUNCHES/barks and bleeds…and who’d have thought a DOG would’ve done more damage to my person than dodging a bucket of bullets…okay, maybe, he only fired 3 or 4 times, but STILL…

As a side note, in 2007, Anna emailed me a link to a story in a Vegas newspaper about Mark’s death in a casino parking lot.  Death by baseball bat at 45. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, n’est-ce pas? I heard he was a compulsive gambler…or an ugly drag queen, one of the two (LOL)…

Over and out from fucked up central…

~KS/tenaciousB

* In Mrs. Simon’s house where I took refuge after, Mark, a crazy ex- Green Beret, took after me with his mini-canon – see Blog #39 – The Psychotic Soldier…and then some…

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.”

“Probably.”

“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…

PEACE OUT FROM SNOOPY DANCE CENTRAL/the Geriatric SWAMP…

~Tenacious bitch/KS

 

 

Post #26 EVICTING THE SQUATTER PART III

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.

OH SHIT!

“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?”

“Yes.”

“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.”

“Yeah?”

“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.

“Yeah…”

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!

~KS

*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 creditreport.com 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.

# 18 – The OATMEAL incident.

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

For those who aren’t aware who just started reading my blog feel free to read the RECAP*. At any rate, I had an accident in my BELOVED Escalade in Georgia, on January 14, whereupon I hit a large truck, etc. (see Post entitled: NOT arriving at my destination…) and almost totaled my car.

Meanwhile, the next week or so was actually pretty peaceful after selling the BMW and everything, not a whole lot to report. But there was one EVENT… I just had to share that I had emailed my brother, Ben, and his wife, Alicia, about…which is below…. ENJOY!

From: Kennedy [mailto:kennedy40@yahoo.com]
Sent: January 28, 2011 7:55 PM
To: ‘Alicia’; ‘Ben’
Subject: The OATMEAL incident!

So, as of NOW, my car is supposed to be repaired and good to go by Monday (January 31). Nana Maude is scheduled to fly home (to MI) on February 2. I’ll be leaving, God willing, on February 1. I won’t get home until very late on February 3, depending on whether I hit any snow or bad traffic. Luckily, my mother-in-law, Sarah, is going to drive out from Cleveland and help take care of Nana until I get home since my husband, Charlie, can’t take off work right now. Sarah will take care of Nana during the day, etc., until I get back.

While Nana LOVES Sarah, I still hate it that Nana will be there w/out me because it’s take ME awhile to figure out/interrupt Nana-speak…much less someone who hasn’t been around Nana that much.

For example, Nana TOLD me to make her oatmeal according to the directions on the box but to please put the butter and the milk in the oatmeal as you cook it. However, when I fixed it for her, I figured out NOT so true…. and I still have yet, FIVE MONTHS later, figured out how to make her oatmeal…. except it HAS to be QUAKER oatmeal b/c she won’t eat ANY other kind.

I don’t eat oatmeal. I don’t like it, never have liked it… NEVER WILL.  That said, I have NO clue what it should LOOK LIKE or taste like. I was a MARTIAN infant making CEREAL for my fussy QUEEN.

I made the oatmeal EXACTLY the way she told me to, and then, I set the bowl down on her lap. She was sitting in her recliner, as always, with the TV on The Today show. I set a glass of milk for her tea on the end table beside her.

“Thank you, honey,” Nana said.

“You’re welcome,” I said smiling while PRAYING she would like the oatmeal. I went back into the kitchen to make my breakfast.

It was only 8 a.m., but it was already 80-degrees outside and 102 in Nana’s kitchen. I snatched a clean dish town, ran it under the tap and applied it to my face… as a gaggle of SWEAT STREAMS started their rapid descent down my back in search of my behind… YEA for me….

I was pouring myself a glass of grape juice when Nana said, “Kennedy, honey, this oatmeal needs a touch more sugar.”

“Okay,” I replied grabbing the sugar bowl from the counter. I went back into the living room AGAIN and handed it to her.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Nana said with a smile.

I smiled and went back into the kitchen AGAIN to heat up my leftover turkey bacon and make myself a piece of whole wheat toast.

A few minutes later, I sat down in the other recliner across from Nana and started to eat my bacon, etc.

“I guess I’m just gonna give up on oatmeal….” Nana lamented with a sigh.

“Oh, why is that?” I asked absent-mindedly watching the weather report on TV, knowing SOMETHING WICKED was going on with the oatmeal, but I just didn’t care. It was now 8,000 degrees in the house, and I was starving and WORN OUT, and it was only 8:20 a.m…. and I just didn’t have the energy to try to FIX the oatmeal problem at this point. I’d also made her a fried egg and some sausage, so she wasn’t going to starve.

“It’s just too mushy,” Nana said.

I look over, and I noticed that she had dumped all the milk in it that I’d given her for her tea, which was about ¾ a cup of liquid! I never know how much milk she wants in her tea, which seems to change day-to-day….but anyway…

Her oatmeal now looked like your average cereal bowl AFTER you’ve eaten all the cereal, and only a few scarce and soggy crumblets from the bottom of the box are left! 🙂 It was now 97% milk. Her face was all pinched as she played with it –  filling up the spoon, then dumping the unappetizing oatmeal DRINK back into the bowl.

Later, Nana told me she cooks her oatmeal for THIRTY MINUTES, but Charlie (who loves oatmeal, btw) says that if you cook it that long, it’ll turn into a rather THICK paste….so who the fuck knows… I give up!

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. She’s like a two-year-old who makes a mud pie and insists on eating it, and then starts crying b/c it’s so awful! 🙂

“What’s so funny?” Nana asked smiling, YES, TOTALLY blank-eyed! Thank heaven!

“Matt Lauer. He just said something funny about Kim Kardashian.”

“Who?”

Uh….. how do I reply now… DIVERSION…..I need a DIVERSION….b/c I do NOT want to discuss reality TV with her-especially regarding a show she doesn’t watch b/c you’ll have to explain it 1,000…not that I watch the Kardasians, but I’m familiar with the premise just from watching the commercials and/or from watching Kathy Griffin, who LOVES to make fun of them… but anyway…

“Matt Lauer. You know he went to Marshall (University) just like Mom and Dad?”

“Really? Isn’t that something? I like him. He wears lovely ties. I like that red one he’s wearing today, very nice, very fashionable.”

“Uh, huh,” I said, almost CHOKING on my juice as I stifled a laugh!

“You forgot my milk for my tea, honey. Would you mind to get me some, sweetheart?” Nana asked, HANDING me the EMPTY glass, that had, IN FACT, held the MILK for her tea that was now drowning her oatmeal. So, I guess she thought the milk she poured into her oatmeal had just fallen from the sky… or she THOUGHT she had asked me to give her a glass of milk in case there wasn’t enough in her oatmeal, but SUCH did NOT happen at least not in my universe….

I smiled, again restraining my laughter, “Sure, Nana, no problem.”

Just had to share, and if I had already told you the oatmeal story, disregard and accept my apologies, and I guess I owe you your co-pay for your next visit to the eye doctor for ALL THE EYE STRAIN from ALL my long emails.

TA!!

Peace out from the OATMEAL swamp…

Kennedy

* THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who plundered Nana Maude’s life savings (Nana Maude = 96-year-old grandmother).  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. Our older brother, Ben, said I could sell it and give the $$ to Nana Maude since all of her utilities were about to be shut off thanks to Danny, who hadn’t bothered to pay any of her bills in 4-5 months. However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?)so to see how THAT turned out, check out Posts 13 and 14, entitled: “The Bait and Switch 1 and 2”

# 12 – The near …TAKEDOWN in Georgia

Posted in Family, humor, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by tenaciousbitch

After the DEVASTATING news about getting Dad’s car inspected*, I sat in my putt-putt (my rented Nissan) thinking. HOW can I motivate Danny to return the beamer without any cash? Hmmm…. I have to think like Danny…so, how does the dark side win? Of course. HE LIES…I could tell him that Everett has the cash in hand, and…. as soon as the car is inspected, I’ll bring him the $1200.

That seemed too simple. But then, again, Danny is always desperate for cash, and that much money would buy a boatload of crack, I’ll bet…assuming CRACK won the battle of WHAT to spend the money on…

Oh, and btw, for the 411 on the nightmare about Dad’s car, check out:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/14/to-sell-the-bmw-or-not/

All right…time to MAN up…I dial Danny’s cell, and I hear that EARSPLITTING sound like the fax machines of yore, and then that blasted computerized voice: “I’m sorry, the number you’re trying to reach has been temporarily disconnected.”

FUCK! FUCK AND DOUBLE FUCK!

The ONLY other number I had for Danny was Connie, the Crack-ho, and he was supposedly living with one of her friends. But I had no CLUE where her CRACK den was except that Connie and all her buddies lived in Rocky Fork. I’ve heard they camouflage their hideouts with branches over the mouth of their caves. But that could just be urban legend.

I took out my I-Phone and clicked on the browser. I tried using reverse look-up to get Connie’s address, but, of course, the reply was in Oxy-Ho-Speak:  ERROR 402358877769 FU*K oFf…

I sighed and turned on my Valium-music, Relapse by Eminem. Yes, I like rap… GET OVER IT…

The last time I texted Connie asking Danny to call me, there was NOT a shout nor a whisper from him until I threatened to call the police and report the beamer stolen. AND we had telephone magic in 67.5 seconds. However, all he did was SCREAM at me in extremely rapid Coke-speak. And, yeah, you guessed it, I don’t speak nor can I translate Coke-speak… skipped that class in high school, opting to solve quadratic equations instead.

Then, he called me a fucking bitch followed by a LOUD, metallic squall of DIAL TONE. Very productive. I never thought it would be possible to actually have a conversation with CRACK cocaine itself…but now I can ADD that experience to my resume as long as I DON’T have to translate for those of us who are not a member of the CRACKHEAD CLUB MED.

I needed to call Everett, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him I’d FAILED again. So, I texted him.

Surprise. Surprise… Everett called me immediately.

“Would you like ME to call Danny about all this?” Everett asked. Maybe, he’d bring the car back, you know… if I talked to him… man-to-man, you know?”

“That would be great, but I don’t have a current phone number for him. But I’m not giving up. I’ll figure this out.”

“Is there anything I can do to help?” Everett asked.

WHAT A GREAT GUY.

“No, but thanks… I really appreciate your patience,” I replied since at this point, he’d been waiting/trying to buy this damned car for about three weeks. We said our goodbyes as I pulled into Nana’s driveway. Then, it hit me like a METEOR shower on a Tuesday!

“The gas station,” I said running into the living room.

“What? Why are you smiling? Oh, God, you didn’t started drinking the Crack too, did you?” Nana’s watery blue eyes held wavers of concern.

“No, Nana,” I said repressing a GIGGLE. “I just figured out how to get a hold of Danny.”

“Yeah, how’s that?” she asked.

“Remember last week when Danny told us that he’s working at a gas station?” She nodded. “He wrote down the phone number for you.”

“Yeah, and I threw it away yesterday. I don’t wanna call that piece of shit, Crank-head-”

“Nana,” I said trying not to laugh since I’d never heard her curse before. “I copied it down on my notebook,” I mumbled, as I started ransacking my PRADA knockoff, “in my purse.”

“He’s not gonna call you back, Kenny-”

“No, I’ll go there,” I replied sitting down cross-legged on the floor. I dumped my wallet, keys, lipstick, Scotch tape, rusty nails, glue gun (don’t ask) out of my purse and onto the floor.

“You’re making a big mess. Why’re you doing that? And what if he got fired already?”

Oh, Nana, PLEASE don’t piss on our ONLY GRAIN of hope!

When I finally laid hands on my bible, THE NOTEPAD that I had used to write down EVERY phone # in the last year AND the sacred phone number, I SHUFFLED, more SHUFFLING, and SCORE! “Here it is, Nana. It’s a Chevron!! I was so afraid I’d thrown it away.”

I began dancing around. I grabbed my I-Phone, clicked on the browser … found the number by the name – and the town, and furiously dialed while promising God that I’ll try to stop swearing so much if HE would just…

“What’re you doing, Kenny? Please tell me you ain’t drinking the crack?” Nana asked so concerned, and just SO WE’RE CLEAR… she’s the ONLY person in the universe who can CALL ME KENNY.

“Reverse look-up. You type in – it’s in Rocky Fork.”

“You’re not making a lick of sense. That’s a bad neighborhood,” Nana said scowling. “You aren’t going there, are you?”

“Nana?”

“Yeah,” she said rather puzzled. “What?”

“Will you be okay if I go to the gas station?”

“Get your carcass outta here. I’m not a child, for heaven’s sake,” she replied waving me out of the room. “Go on, now, and get me a bucket of Pralines and Cream while you’re out and maybe some cashews-”

“Okay.” And with a GOOEY smile, I was out the door.

I was a MILE from the Chevron. I was sitting at a stoplight two BLOCKS from Washington when I SAW DANNY. He walked out of a McDonald’s in this GOD AWFUL orange and green hockey jersey, his dark hair perfectly quaffed. He got in the BMW and sped off down ROUTE 3 in front of me. NEW JOB, MY ASS. I couldn’t move through the intersection. The light was still red.

“God dammit, TURN, LIGHT TURN!” My heart RAGED savagely in my chest as the BMW became smaller and smaller on my horizon, and I began beating my hands against the steering wheel… “Please, GOD, make it GREEN!” I ranted, feeling my face get hot… god, my blood pressure must be… THE LIGHT changed, and I WAS OFF….

I whisked around the Mini-Van in front of me and SLAMMED on the accelerator. An angry HONK from the Van, which I ignored as I sped up past it to around 85MPH… VICTORY! I spotted Danny about 50 feet in front of me when he turned onto REDHAWK DRIVE. The YELLOW light in front of me at the corner of ROUTE THREE and Red Hawk TURNED RED.  SHIT FIRE AND A HOLE IN THE GROUND! Why does EVERYTHING have to be so FUCKING HARD?! But I’m not going to cry! And I’m NOT going to PANIC. I’m TOO fucking pissed to cry! You piece of shit, CRANK-HEAD!

I slammed on my brakes, which SQUEALED into submission an INCH from a motorcycle’s ass in front of me. The driver (on the motorcycle), turned around and gave me a black-gloved MIDDLE finger. I shrugged and mouthed the word SORRY…. he turned back around and revved his engine. Yes, thank you, I needed a reminder that you must be an ALPHA MALE to own a Harley….

And this part sounds like a BULLSHIT story from a tabloid, but I SWEAR to God, this is EXACTLY what happened that fateful day in January 2011. The light turned GREEN. I pounced on the accelerator, in a weak attempt to make the rental POS make AUTOBAHN time when I –

I glanced down Red Hawk Drive, and Danny had DISAPPEARED from view. SHIT! NO…. No, God, please! While digging around in my purse for a Tic-Tac, I tried to remember HOW many streets were off Red Hawk. I popped a Tic-Tac in my mouth and…

I heard a horrible, metallic CRASH from above. I looked up at the I-98 bridge which goes OVER Route three, and a utility truck had slammed into a blue semi-tractor trailer on the bridge.

AND EVERYTHING STOPPED… all traffic, bicycles reeling by… children holding onto their mother’s hands in nearby parking lots…

The blue Semi then crashed through the guard rail and belly flopped off the OVERPASS landing upside DOWN on Route Three about 3/4 of a mile ahead of where I sat…whereupon the cab separated from the tanker and began skidding sideways….it slid across the parking lot of a grade school where it CRASHED into a BRICK wall/window of a small classroom on the end of the long school building. I watched in paralyzed horror as the roof/walls of the classroom collapsed in large tar and cement/drywall CHUNKS onto the (semi) truck in a dusty heap.

Five seconds later, the utility truck WRECKED into a mini-van just beyond the overpass of I-98, and the mini-van collision begot an altercation into a Volkswagen and so on… a TWELVE-CAR pile-up, and I had a FRONT ROW seat…

After my lungs learned how to breathe again a minute later, I started LAUGHING, followed by serious sobbing, my split personality impersonation.  At this point, I felt like ripping the gear shift out of the rental beast and slitting my wrists with its shredded metal shaft…and then… I realized… the kids in the school? I looked at my watch and sighed. It was almost five o’clock…unless the semi just bludgeoned/destroyed a gymnasium during a basketball game or something… perish the thought…

New tears began to fall when my brain re-booted…. that even though, most likely no one in the school had died, I had probably just witnessed the death of two human beings, maybe more. And what painful deaths.

THANK GOD… I found out later, the school was empty except for the wrestling team who WERE in the gym in the BACK of the school.  Save for several computers and a Zenith television purchased in 1978…nothing was damaged that couldn’t be repaired at the school anyway! However, later I saw on the news that unfortunately, I believe, both the truck drivers died…

Sorry, kids, MORE later…. this dog don’t hunt when his/her bladder is full, and the GROUCHY Nana wants GRUB….

Soon, I promise, you will be fed the details of the final FATE of Daddy’s BMW….

Peace out from the Geriatric SWAMP…

With love and cookies,

~Kennedy Smith

Kennedy lives in the Midwest with her husband, 1.5 children, two dogs, 2 garages and a Partridge that REFUSES to live in its Pear tree..Photo by T Logan, circa before the gallon of hooch…

* DISCLAIMER:  Welcome to BLOG 12 where the DOGS do hunt but with dull MACHETES and new hockey jerseys, and the SHEEP are dead… otherwise known as BLOG eleven, and you know that CAN’T be good…

** THE RECAP:  Danny is my 39-year-old crackhead brother who plundered Nana Maude’s life savings (Nana Maude = 96-year-old grandmother).  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.  I had about 48 hours to sell this car before the lights/heat/water at Nana’s house would be shut off… in the MIDDLE of January.  However, Danny SWIPED the beamer via his friend Connie (see blog 6 – What about those bank statements?).

© Tenacious Bitch 2013