Sunday, September 28, 2008 


This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


Tired of being tired

I'm tired of waking up at 3:00 a.m. to pee, then not being able to fall back asleep until 5:00. A coworker swears that this means the baby will be up during those hours once he's born. I have noticed that he's wiggling around a lot during these two hour middle of the night insomnia fests, but I hope my coworker is wrong. I mean, if I have to get up to feed him, that's fine. I've mentally prepared myself for that. But should he be up for 2 hours? C'mon. How long does it take to change a diaper, suck some milk out of, you know, something, and fall back asleep? An hour max, right? Right??

I'm tired of complaining. I mean, you know you've been complaining a lot when YOU are tired of YOUR complaining.

I wish I had a lawn chair, a cooler of ice, a twelve pack of beer, and no responsibilities whatsoever. I guess those days are over. Oh well. It's not like I didn't have more than my fair share of them.


I hate everyone.

That's it. I hate the fucking world.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 

Ann Busts a Gut

I have a freakin' hernia. I knew something wasn't right when I pulled myself to an upright position from lying down and saw a softball sized and shaped wad of something poke out of the center of my belly. Another clue was that it hurt like hell, and that it got worse when I would walk, even for short distances sometimes.

Knowing that freakish things happen to pregnant bodies, I didn't worry too much. I asked the doctor about it today. He had me lie down then sit up while he pushed on my belly and asked if it hurt. Um, yes, it hurt. He said it's really common to have a hernia during pregnancy because the abdominal muscles are pulled apart anyway, and that there's really no need to worry. It'll probably "fix itself" after I have the baby, and there's no reason to do anything to fix it before then.

Okay. If he says so. But I have to say, I'm just as skeptical that my guts are going to magically un-protrude from my abdominal wall as I am that all the pushing of labor isn't going to make it worse. I'll keep my mouth shut for now and assume medical school taught him something, even though my recent experiences with medical professionals have knocked a major dent in my confidence in them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 

Overheard in the Junior High

I don't know if this qualifies for Overheard in the Junior High, since it was said to me, but I haven't done an Overheard post in a long time, so whatever.

A more appropriate title for this one might be "Things Students Say That Make Their Teacher's Heads Nearly Explode."

Student: Mrs. Ann, do you know yo baby daddy?
Me: How could I not know him? I'm having a baby with him, aren't I?
Student: Well you could not know him cause my auntie have twins by a man and she don't even know his name cause he up and runned off and left her and she raisin' dem by hahsef now dat a real independent woman right der!

I wanted to say, "Well maybe your aunt shouldn't f*ck people whose names she does not know." But that would've been at least as inappropriate as what the student said, so I bit my tongue. I didn't respond at all. I didn't even bash my head into the wall. I just made a mental note to move "prepare the handbaskets" up a few spaces on my to-do list.



No rest for the pregnant

I have been in the worst mood for the last two days. I think it's because I'm never comfortable anymore. Most nights, I wake up 1 or 2 times to pee. The other night I woke up 6 times. SIX TIMES, people! Last night (and every other night in recent memory) I have been waking up throughout the night not to pee, but to find a more comfortable position. One that doesn't exist, apparently.

During the day, my back aches constantly. Sometimes I get this shooting pain down my right leg that could almost take me to the ground. It starts in my back above my butt, goes through my butt, and down my leg. I have been told this is the result of the baby being on something called the sciatic nerve. It's a bitch, I tell you.

Don't get me started on how big my belly has gotten, the never ending heartburn that continues to get worse and worse, the feet that never stop hurting, or-- this is my favorite-- the fact that now when I stand up it feels like something is about to fall out of my lower regions. That's got to be one of the most disturbing sensations. Not painful, necessarily, just disturbing. Yesterday I called the doctor's office to ask about it, and the nurse told me to get used to it. They more or less said there's nothing for me to worry about as long as I'm not having contractions less than 5 minutes apart and as long as the baby is moving. And he's moving, believe me. Sometimes it looks like I've got a gerbil in my shirt.

I'm just ready for him to come out here so I can pass him off to his daddy and go take a nap see his beautiful face.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 

Forrest General is Trying to Kill My Husband

All this started with a head cold. Next thing you know, they're telling Tim he's had a recent heart attack and failed to notice it. Seven hours later he was being admitted to the hospital, having spent 5 hours in the ER WHERE HE WAS GIVEN THE WRONG MEDICATION and then diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. Two days and a shit ton of tests later, they reveal that either this embolism magically disintegrated within 24 hours or was never there to begin with. Guess which one I'm leaning towards?

They finally discharged him after around 48 hours in the hospital, after deciding that it was all for nothing to begin with, and told him he'd still need to have something called a cardiac cta done a week later because they still didn't know what was causing the blip on his EKG. In other words, they sent him home with a big question to ponder: Is there something wrong with your heart, or is it just another one of our fuckups? So he spent five days obsessing over this, wondering if something's wrong with his heart, and wishing they could hurry up and get this shit explained already-- preferably without misdiagnosing him or giving him the wrong medicine again.

So Friday finally rolls around, and Tim goes in for this heart test. First, they spent a long, long time trying to find a good enough vein to inject the dye. This apparently has to be done through a vein really, really close to the heart, but nobody can ever find a vein on Tim, especially in places where they'd be hard to find on anyone, like the top of the arm. So after he'd been there a couple of hours and they grew weary of sticking him, they called in a guy with an ultrasound machine to find a vein deep in his arm. They numbed him with lidocaine and did something called a micropuncture, which is where they stick a gigantic needle in you to find a vein that's really deep, then stick a catheter into it. I wasn't there to see it, but it sounded more like a medieval torture practice than something you'd expect to encounter in a 21st century hospital just to inject some freaking dye for a CT.

So they finally get this big ass thing stuck in him, then decide that his heart rate is too high. Mine would be too after all that, I'm sure. Then-- THEN the nurse decides to ask the question, "Have you had any caffeine in the last 12 hours?" Nobody had told Tim NOT to drink any caffeine, and he didn't think about it, so of course he drank his customary Diet Coke that morning. Because of that, they told him they couldn't do the test that day. So three hours after arriving-- after being poked and stuck and numbed and stuck some more-- they decide to ask the question they should've asked before he ever made it past the front desk, and end up pulling the giant needle out of him and sending him home to wait for FIVE MORE DAYS.

Oh yeah, they did give him a $10 gift certificate to the hospital canteen for his inconvenience. As Tim said, "I guess I won't be buying any cokes with it."

Bastards. Incompetent, piece of shit, bastard coated bastards with bastard filling.

Friday, September 19, 2008 

Ann wakes up grumpy, with a vision to save the world.

When did adults start letting children make major decisions, or asking for the children's permission to make one for them? This boggles my wee little brain.

Yesterday I spent an hour in a conference with a parent, her daughter, the counselor, all the kid's other teachers, and the SPED advisor. The child transferred into our school this year, and because her records were late in arriving the counselor didn't realize she was SPED and required special services. So she put her into our pod, which is an accelerated pod. There are general classes in our pod, but no inclusion teachers, and for you non-teachers, when a kid has an IEP like this kid does, we are legally obligated to provide certain services according to whatever her plan says. For example, someone is supposed to read the test questions aloud to this kid, we have to modify tests for her to make them shorter, she needs modified classroom assignments, etc. Well, in our pod we don't have inclusion teachers to do all that stuff, so it would fall to the regular classroom teachers and she would be the only kid in the entire pod receiving the services. It would really, really be difficult to pull it off. And of course I can be sued if I fail to document how I did these things, so you can see why I might want them to send the kid to a class where there's someone on staff specifically to do this kind of thing.

When the counselor found her mistake and tried to move the kid to where she needed to be, the kid threw a fit, and the mother hesitated as a result. So we spent an hour yesterday all huddled around these two, explaining why this is important, and trying to get the parent to agree to do it. But the parent was looking to the kid, as if for permission, every time she wanted to open her mouth and speak. It was maddening.

After half an hour of resistance on the child/mother's part (they seemed to be one in the same, after all), the other teachers started backing off and giving in. I could tell that's where they were headed because they started saying things like, "You COULD make it over here, but you'd have to really reach deep inside yourself and work hard." They were telling her she'd have to go home and spend extra time working, etc.

I called bullshit. I'm sorry, but even the most optimistic part of me can't believe she could make it. She reads on an elementary level-- a low elementary level. And she's supposed to "reach deep inside" and overcome that? Really? Then why didn't she just "reach deep inside" and learn to read when she was in 3rd grade??? We could talk all day about how she could go home and work extra hard, but the facts are that: A) extra work doesn't overcome a learning disability, especially extra work at home with a mother who is no more educated than the child, and B) so far she's failed to turn in a single regular assignment-- so forget doing anything above and beyond.

She has a learning disability. It's not her fault, but this feel good bullshit isn't going to address the problem. And if I seemed like a cold hard bitch for pissing on everyone's nipple rubbing party, I'm sorry, but you can't expect me to pretend that this was the answer. Not in a world where I am held more accountable for the child's progress than she is. Not in a world where my name is printed next to her test score and then published in the newspaper and everywhere else for the world to use as a measuring stick of my skills as a teacher. NnnnO. So I told her I that I understood how hard it was going to be for her to change classes, but that making this difficult decision now was going to prevent her some pain in the near future. I told her that if she could get up the courage to take this painful step now, it would show a lot of maturity because it's what's best for her, blah blah blah. The parent finally said, "She's gonna hafta go over there then."

THANK YOU. And again I ask you: When did adults stop making decisions about what's best for their kids? When did we start leaving that to the kids themselves? When did we start asking for their permission? COME ON. If this had been when I was in school, I wouldn't have been consulted! My ass would've shown up to school one day and been handed a new schedule, and that would've been the end of it! No conference necessary! I'm not saying I wouldn't have thrown a fit, or that my mother wouldn't have felt bad. I would've raised hell, and my mother would've been upset-- probably with the school for making the mistake in the first place as well as just being upset at watching me go through something that sucked. But it is what it is. I guess the parent finally came around to that, but it sure took a lot of steering.

This incident is just a snapshot of the big picture of what's happening in our schools. We're expected to "raise the standards" and "expect more of the kids" and all that crap. We're supposed to be getting them onto grade level, etc., but we can't do anything that upsets the children because we might injure their fragile self esteem. We need to cut the bullsh*t and do what's best for these kids whether it feels good or not.

A lot of people would strongly disagree with me on this, and some of them would say that I don't believe in the kids. I say they don't believe in them. They're thinking short-term; I'm thinking long-term. I don't think we give them enough credit. Kids are resilient. Past generations have withstood everything these kids have to deal with and then some, and came out just fine if not better. I personally know people who grew up sh*t poor with no daddy and became very strong, successful adults, so you can't tell me that being sh*t poor with no daddy invariably leads to a life of welfare or crime or misery. The only difference is that they don't feel sorry for themselves for the cards they were dealt, and I think the only problem with today's kids is that we feel sorry for them. They don't have good families, or they don't have any money or whatever, or some other part of their life is less than perfect. We see that and instantly want to make another part of their life as easy as possible. We cushion it for them, and in doing so we fail to help them gain strength. We give them excuses that allow them to not try.

We're doing them a disservice.

Rant over. I have to go make some copies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 

Did I mention that my head hurts?

What a horrible week so far. I didn't write lesson plans this weekend because I was at the hospital with Tim the whole time, so I have been coming up with plans early every morning. Something about winging it-- or coming up with a definite plan at 5 in the morning-- makes for long days.

My seventh period has been f*cking horrible. I really underestimated their evilness before. Yesterday when I took up homework, only 4 kids had it. I later discovered that two of them cheated on it, so I gave them zeros. But that came later. When I saw that only 4 kids had the work, I let those 4 use the class period to work on yet another assignment that was due TODAY, and I spent the class period doing the not-done-homework with the other 20 slackers. Then today when I asked them to turn in the second assignment, the very ones I gave the materials and time to work on it yesterday gave me excuses that said, "I didn't have time," and "I wasn't here." What the fuck? You weren't here? No shit, Sherlock! Your ass was in the library- where I sent you with materials to do THIS PROJECT.

My head damn near exploded. I mean, seriously, I felt it get close to exploding.

Yesterday I stayed at work until 6:00 just calling parents of kids in that class and putting their many, many zeros into the gradebook and documenting every phone call, email, etc. Then after none of them had the assignment today, I almost lost it-- specifically on the two cheaters who I unwittingly rewarded for cheating only to have them slap me in the face with "I didn't have time" when I asked for the assignment I gave them time to do.

God. My head hurts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008 

Long Weekend

Tim called in to work Friday, which he has never done in the 20 years that he's been employed. He had a bad cold, so he wanted to get some medicine. He also needed to see a doc to get some old rx's refilled, and he may or may not have been planning to go purchase a certain motorcycle after going to the doc.

He didn't make it that far. Once he got to the doctor, everything went downhill fast. His BP was higher than normal, so the doc wanted to do an EKG, just as a precaution, and it showed something abnormal. So they took some blood to check his heart enzymes, and that showed something abnormal too. So thinking that he'd either recently had a heart attack or may have been having a mild one right then, they sent him to the ER.

He got to the ER at 3:00, and I showed up at 4:00, as soon as I got off work. They pulled the same enzymes again and checked his BP, which was still high. The doctor ordered a shot of a drug to bring down his BP. In the meantime, he said he didn't think Tim was having a heart attack right then but they wanted to wait to see the enzymes and try to figure out why his EKG was weird. We waited for the shot for his BP, and about an hour later a nurse came in and said she was giving him a shot of Lovonox. This is a strong blood thinner that is normally only given to heart attack patients or pulmonary embolism patients, so Tim asked the nurse why he was getting it. She said, "I don't know, I guess they're just being careful."

Another forty five minutes passed, and in walked a different RN and the doctor. The RN introduced herself and said, "We need to talk." She had some paperwork in her hand. She told us that the doctor had ordered a drug to bring down his BP and that the nurse had misread the order and given him the Lovonox as an error. This nurse was the head nurse or whatever, and she was there to do damage control. Well, Tim wasn't upset about it because he knew that one dose of the drug wasn't going to hurt him. My only comment was that as long as it wasn't going to hurt him, nothing would be said about it unless it showed up on a bill.

The doctor went on to say that the cardiac enzymes were closer to normal now and that they were going to send Tim home and have him follow up with a cardiologist. I said, "What about that EKG reading? Has he had a heart attack at some point in the past and we didn't know?" The doc flipped back to it and decided that something was wrong with it, then said, "What if we just do a CT of your chest just in case there's a clot causing this?" We agreed, and they did the CT.

Another hour later (we're on about hour 8 now, if you're wondering) the doctor came in, shut the door, and said, "God does exist." Umkay. We just stared at him. It was late. We were tired. Get to the point, doc. He then said, "You have a blood clot in your lung. Fortunately, you've already gotten the first shot of Lovonox to treat it." He went on to say that they would admit him and dissolve the clot slowly, etc.

We sat there for a while, reeling from what he'd just told us. A pulmonary embolism, as Tim pointed out, is rarely found in time to save someone's life. It's usually found during an autopsy. It was bizarre that he had one and hadn't had any severe shortness of breath or similar symptoms. But even more bizarre was the fact that he had been given the drug to treat it more than 3 hours before anyone knew he had a clot by accident.

The next day the pulmonologist came in and said that the clot was small and "in a good place." They started doing a bunch of other tests which took all of yesterday and this morning, and a second scan of his lungs showed that there was no PE present as of yesterday afternoon. The pulmonologist came back and said that it was definitely not there now and that it had either been dissolved by the Lovonox and other blood thinners, or had been misdiagnosed in the first place, possibly as a result of the dye not spreading evenly through his lungs before the first CT. So either there really was a miracle, or the people at the hospital are incompetent beyond belief. Either way, we're choosing to take it as a wake-up call to make some lifestyle and attitude changes. The timing couldn't be better for that, what with our baby being 5 weeks away from arriving.

Tim was discharged around lunch time today, and has to go back to a doc later this week because they never figured out why that EKG was abnormal to begin with. Hopefully when he goes, they won't diagnose him with having a brain aneurysm and send him to the hospital for three days.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 


This is the stupidest word ever, and if I hear it/see it one more time, I'm going to speak up against the stupidity. Shit, people! Just call it a vagina!


Sunday, September 07, 2008 

Three-fer: Childbirth class. Aunt C Update. Mom's a Biker.

The childbirth class wasn't as blog worthy as I had hoped. The lady who taught it was likeable, and the subject matter-- and even the way it was presented-- was entirely predictable. (Drugs are good, epidurals are your friend, absolutely nothing unsafe ever takes place in a maternity ward, let the nurse do her job, and remember that doctors know best.) The only things that stood out were a few other students, and even they weren't really anything special. We did watch an entertaining video, and a big, tough-looking black dude seated next to us took a break from texting on his cell phone long enough to gag at the part when the woman in the video pushed out the placenta. (It was nasty.)

Probably the most memorable moment was the look on Tim's face when the lady said, "It's time for you to be packing your bag for the hospital." Kinda hit home, I guess.

After the class was over, we got the tour of their maternity ward, which consisted of being lead to a birthing room where we stood around and looked for about five minutes. Everything takes place in one room from the minute you arrive to the time you leave with your bundle of screaming joy. They even do all the medical procedures on the baby right there in your room-- everything except circumcision. There is no nursery; there is a "baby lounge," where the baby can be taken if you need a break.

The room is pretty big, but Tim pointed out that they listed off about 10 different people who will be present with trays of equipment when the big moment comes, so it may get crowded for a while. The bed I'm supposed to sleep in looks uncomfortable as hell. I can only hope they keep the dope flowing freely enough after the birth for me to be able to sleep. Tim's got to sleep in a chair. Ha! I may grant him permission to go home and nap if he's good. After all, one of us should probably be well rested when we get home with the baby. There's a big jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. They say that's nice to soak in after the event, but I don't know if I can ever be convinced that it's clean enough for me to put my naked, bleeding ass in.

After we left, we decided it was time to go buy a crib, finally. We had found one at Wal Mart that we thought would do the trick, and all we needed to do was go get it and put it together, right? Wrong. The only cribs they had in stock at any of the three Wal Marts was the cheapest crib you can imagine. I wouldn't put my kid's teddy bear to sleep in something so flimsy. After looking online at several websites recommended to me by a friend, I realized that non-Wal-Mart cribs are insanely overpriced, and Wal Mart has tons that are really cute and affordable. They will also ship most of them to the store for free. So today I'm going to narrow it down to three to five options. Maybe we will have a poll on which one I should get. Let the people decide, I say.

In other news, Aunt C is continuing her latest campaign in c*ntdom. Her latest move was to remove everyone else in the family from the list of people who are allowed to use those airline tickets. You know, the ones my grandmother gets for free because my grandfather retired from American forty years ago. It's a super shitty move on her part, especially since they're not hers to withhold, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let her know I care. The only reason she did it is because that is the ONLY thing she could use as a power play. Everyone else in the family has basically refused to bail her out of her latest predicament, which makes us all assholes from her point of view. If people decide to make a big deal out of her latest move, I say she wins. I say we ignore her. Having someone like Aunt C in the family is like having herpes. It can stay quiet for so long that you forget it's there, but every once in a while it flares up and becomes a giant pain in the ass. Oh, and there's no cure. Not that I have herpes, mind you. But Aunt C might.

In still other news, my mother, who just turned 58 on Monday, broke a rib and tore a gigantic chunk of meat out of her leg yesterday. She was riding a motorcycle. I don't know if I have mentioned this before or not, but my dad bought himself and my mother each motorcycles recently. Mom has no desire to ride, but since Dad's suddenly into it she's giving it a shot. This is the second time she's turned hers over; she just got scraped up a little the first time. I'm not real keen on the idea of my mom getting killed on a motorcycle that she didn't care to ride in the first place, so I'm hoping this injury will mark the end of her biker days.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 

Nothin' like the real thing

No substitute can do my job the way I can do my job. When I walked into my room this morning, it took me about two seconds of looking around to get good and pissed off. A poster was torn off the wall, books were in the floor, chairs were turned over, some magazines were missing, some things that were stored in boxes on private shelves were strewn about the room, English binders that are supposed to be stored in specific containers were everywhere, papers on the floor, a garbage can was overturned....

How shitty of a sub do you have to be, really? I mean exactly how little control does a person have over a class when they're tearing posters off the walls and turning over trash cans!? There have been days in my teaching career-- especially that unforgettable first year-- when I came closer to being duct taped to a chair than I care to admit. I've had lots of days that end with them running out of the room and me standing around staring at destruction but being too busy thanking God they were gone to bother pushing the chairs back up to the tables. Hell, the little f*ckers locked me out of the room TWICE on my third day of being a teacher. So yeah, my classes have been out of control. Yet I've never had a poster torn off the wall in my presence, nor have I ever had a child turn over the garbage can into the floor.

If this had happened in the Delta, it wouldn't have surprised me. In fact it did happen every time I was absent. If this had happened last year, it wouldn't have surprised me. I would've been disappointed, but I could see it happening. But this group is better than that. Even though my 7th period class (who was the last one to leave yesterday and no doubt created most of the mess) is the worst one I have, they're still better than that.

Everyone I saw today commented on how out of control the class was yesterday. The teacher next door said they were insanely loud, and that he had peeked through the window to see kids throwing sunflower seeds and going wild. A teacher in another adjoining room said they were so loud she had to come in twice. It was no surprise that the teachers who work nearby heard the chaos, but get this-- the freakin' SECRETARY told me how horrible they were! The SECRETARY! She apparently called down there and the phone was answered by a student (major no-no) who wouldn't put the teacher on the phone.


It was a male sub, too, and everyone always thinks that men will have more control. HA!

I emailed detailed instructions on classwork for them to do yesterday, along with a homework assignment. The sub was supposed to take the work up. There's a pile of something there, but I have yet to look through it to see who actually did it. I will. And they will be graded. Oh yes, they will be graded! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!




Sarah Palin kicks ass.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 


Today I skipped out on work because I was up all night with the Tijuana Trots and a backache from hell. Too much information for you? Okay, I'll tell you about my baby shower instead.

First of all, it rocked that so many people showed up. Most of my aunts (the cool ones, not the c*nty one) showed up along with a few close family friends. There were probably as many people at the shower as there were at my wedding, which is either really cool or really depressing, depending on how you look at it. I'm still a little bitter about the whole nobody showing up to the wedding thing. Assholes. I could've saved my money and had the same end result at the courthouse.

Anyway, back to the shower. Lots of people showed up, everyone had fun, and they showered me with lots and lots and lots of gifts. It rocked. We already have more stuff than we need (or at least I think we do) and there are still at least 2 more showers in the near future-- one at work, and one with Tim's side of the family.

I already had most of the big items, like a high chair, a bouncy thingie, a walker thingie, a mat for the floor where you let them play thingie, a bassinet, car seats, etc. One of my friends gave me tons of stuff that is still practically new, and another friend sold me lots of other stuff on the low low. So I already had a high chair but one of my aunts gave me a new one. I think I'm going to take it back to Wal Mart and trade it for diapers or something. Another aunt also gave me a bouncy thingie. I don't know what we're going to do with that yet, but I think I already have a similar bouncy thingie. I don't know WHAT I have, to be honest. Two rooms of my house are filled with stuff. Stuff that I can't even identify.

This Saturday is our childbirth class. I can barely even type that without giggling, because I'm sure it's going to yield some blogging material. Anyway, after we learn about whatever we're going to learn about, we're finally going to buy the crib, and I'll spend the rest of the weekend setting up the nursery, washing baby clothes, and trying to figure out what the various multi colored plastic doo dads are for.

Between now and then I guess I'll have to go back to work, assuming the trots don't come back.

Monday, September 01, 2008 

Found it.

This is what I was talking about. Maybe it's only entertaining if you share my hatred.

[DeadpanAnn] A Work of Fiction. Very disturbing fiction. 11/6/06

Once upon a time in Mississippi there lived an ugly old hag who was known to her family members as Aunt C*nt. Fifty-nine years of life had done Aunt C's body no favors. Her face was wrinkled and saggy, and her lips were creased from many years of chain smoking. Her dentures were yellow-- not the kind of yellow teeth that you'd see on your average unhygienic redneck, but bright yellow, like the warning lights that flash in front of school zones on the highway. Her poorly managed diabetes had left her corpse-colored legs scabbed and scarred. Aunt C's many years of carrying around lots of extra weight left her belly saggy and soft, like her old, neglected breasts-- breasts that had not been touched by a man since 1978, when she divorced her second husband of six months after learning that he had given her herpes.

Aunt C's mother, "Gramma," lived to be very old, and Aunt C lived with her in a little shack. She also had a brother named Grant, a daughter named Manipulatina, or "Tina" for short, and two nieces, Payback Patty and Karma. Gramma's husband, Grandpa, died in 1987, and left Gramma a large sum of life insurance money. Grandpa had been a heavy drinker and an abusive asshole, but he at least had the wisdom and foresight to know that Aunt C would try to take the money from Gramma, and one of the last things he said to Grant was that he wanted him to make sure that didn't happen, and that Aunt C didn't manipulate Gramma into supporting her for the rest of her life. But shortly after Grandpa's death, Gramma told Grant to mind his own business. Grant had done all he could to keep his promise to his dad, but without his mother's cooperation he could do nothing to help her, so he stopped trying.

Gramma had never been a very smart woman, and now in her seventh decade of life she was even less equipped to protect herself from her predatory daughter. Within just a couple of years, Aunt C had taken most of Gramma's money. She invested some on a house in the Memphis ghetto, then took some more to buy it out of foreclosure two times. She also purchased a string of bunk used cars from a guy named Walley, and spent lots of money on fine dining at such sophisticated establishments as Danver's and Poncho's.

Aunt C and Gramma occasionally asked Grant for financial advice, but never did anything he suggested. When Gramma was 80 years old, she placed a large amount of what was left of her money a 10-year cd, against his advice. Grant knew that the 80 year old woman would never live to see the money again, and he tried to tell Aunt C that but Aunt C told Gramma to ignore Grant's advice. She knew that if Gramma never spent the money she might have the chance to spend it herself. That day, while they were talking about finances, Gramma decided that she should reassure Grant that she still had something put away for him. Gramma told him that her little shack house would be his one day. Grant was not excited, but figured at least Aunt C wouldn't be able to get the house and trade it for tickets to mid-south wrestling, as she had done with her father's gold watch. That had been just one of her atrocious acts.

One day when Payback Patty was 14 years old, she and Aunt C had a huge argument. Patty’s parents had left her there for the weekend, and Aunt C refused to take her to her softball game as she had promised Patty’s parents she would. They argued in the front yard until Aunt C grabbed the girl by her hair and beat her in the face until her metal braces were entangled in the flesh of her cheeks and her mouth filled with blood. Since that day, Patty had longed for the opportunity to bitch-slap the old hag. She had never forgotten the cruelty in Aunt C's eyes, or the smell of decay from her clenched yellow teeth.

The beating had exposed a layer of Patty that nobody had seen before. She was now capable of revenge for its own sake. Seeing the emerging dark side in his daughter, Grant warned her to keep her temper, and not to even think about revenge, but Patty knew that one day she would have it. One day she'd be an adult, and Grant's warning would mean nothing. Also, Gramma wouldn't be there to be ashamed of her little grand daughter. Payback Patty knew that Aunt C's outrageous behavior would one day provide her with the one thing she needed--- justification.
The years passed, and Gramma aged. All of her money was gone, and Aunt C had long ago lost her house in the ghetto and moved back in with her under the pretense of providing care. In reality, Aunt C was only serving herself. Aunt C ran a puppy mill, breeding Pomeranians and selling them for $300 each to stupid people in front of Wal-Mart. She brought her many dogs with her, despite Gramma's severe allergies. She even made the old woman move out of the room she had slept in for so many years and into the smaller of the two bedrooms, so that Aunt C could have a room big enough to accommodate the California king size bed she had just rented from Rent-A-Room.

With Gramma's social security checks, payments from her dead husband's pension, Aunt C's retirement, and a paid-for house, life should've been gravy, but it was not. Aunt C frequently asked Grant for financial help. She even tried to get him to give her some land he had owned for a long time, claiming that this one last favor would solve all of her financial problems and be the last thing she ever asked for. Grant's wife, Vicious V, would not allow it.

One night Aunt C was asleep in her big bed, surrounded by Pomeranians. Her flabby neck was partially blocking her airway, and she was snoring loudly. The smell of stale cigarette smoke and dog crap filled the air. Aunt C was dreaming about winning a lifetime supply of cigarettes when her peace was suddenly interrupted by the subconscious realization that Gramma would very soon die. She suddenly sat straight up in her giant bed, covered in sweat and herpes ointment, and started calculating as she had done so many nights before. The old hag knew that she would be in trouble when the old lady was gone. Having squandered her own inheritance and most of her brother's, and having lost her own house, she had nothing left. The very house she was living in had been promised to Grant, who she felt certain would not be very charitable towards her in her time of need. In the dark, Aunt C stroked the matted fur of a black Pomeranian, and began to scheme.

By morning, the hag had devised her newest plan. It was a classic redneck plan. Aunt C's daughter, Manipula Tina, lived with her husband and kids in a house out in the country. Even though her husband didn't like Aunt C, she convinced him that she needed to be nearer to them so that they could help her care for Gramma, who was becoming more of a burden every day. Tina and her husband were persuaded to allow her to put a trailer on their land about 100 yards away from their house. Aunt C and Gramma would live in the trailer for the rest of Gramma's days, and Aunt C's heavy burden would be lifted by all the help Tina would be able to provide. She would also have a place to live after the old woman's death.

To make it work, Aunt C would need Grant's blessing, because the shack had been promised to him. She told him that he would get half of the profits from the sale of the shack. Grant knew he was getting the shaft, but he had never wanted to argue over what his still-living mother would give him as inheritance. The shack wasn't worth any money, but it was on several acres of land in a desirable location.

One day an old man made Gramma an offer for the house she had lived in, raised her kids in, and gone senile in. She accepted. Grant thought this was going to be a good thing because Gramma really seemed to want to move. She liked the idea of being near Tina and two of her great grandchildren. Also, at this point in his life, having perhaps granted one wish too many, Grant could use the money. Things were falling into place. Aunt C had acquired a trailer and made arrangements for it to be moved, and other preparations for moving day were underway. But before the sale could be completed, the buyer was suddenly killed in a tragic car accident.
It was months later before another buyer came along. Gramma's Alzheimer's worsened, and so did the selfishness of Aunt C's scheme. Why should she settle for half when she could have the whole? She spent the next several weeks telling Gramma that it would be best to let her handle the money from the sale, including Grant's half. The senile old woman put up little resistance. One day very near the closing date of the property sale, Aunt C was on the phone with Karma, who she told about the new deal. Karma expressed satisfaction, and said that she thought her father would also be happy. "Oh," Aunt C*nt interjected, "now I don't know what Gramma is planning to do with the money. I don't know that he's going to get half now, or if she's made other plans. You know, she's so stubborn I can't talk her into doing anything rational." During the long pause that followed, Karma recalled the many cynical comments of her mother and her sister, and realized that they had been exactly right. There was no good in Aunt C, as she had wanted to believe. She was actually going to suck the old lady bone dry, no matter who she had to lie to or screw over in the process. Finally, Karma replied with a flat "Okay." Sensing her disgust, Aunt C told her that she had better not say anything to Grant, or else she would "get slapped."

At that very moment, somewhere far away, Payback Patty's ear lobes turned hot pink. She knew instinctively that Aunt C had finally crossed the line she'd wanted the old hag to cross for so very long. It was time.

Two hours later, Patty pulled into the driveway in front of the new trailer and parked her car next to a white pickup truck. The tailgate of the truck was open, and on it there were a few tools, some duct tape, and a pet taxi. She picked up a large, rusty flathead screwdriver and clenched it tightly in her right hand. Aunt C was inside alone setting up dog crates in the living room, and was startled by the sound of footsteps on the wooden steps that lead to the trailer's doorway until she saw that it was only Patty, who was always showing up unannounced to visit Gramma. "Hey there, darlin’!" the fake old bitch exclaimed. "How's it goin?" Payback Patty said, and Aunt C turned back around to face the stack of crates. "Just fixin' my sweeties a place to sleep."
Payback Patty raised the screwdriver above her head and with all of her might she brought it down into the old hag's back. Aunt C fell forward, sending the stack of dog crates crashing to the linoleum floor. A dozen Pomeranians scattered out of the trailer. The hag grunted and then gasped. Patty pulled the bloody screwdriver out, and blood trickled from the wound. She pounded it into her again, between the shoulder blades this time, and then let go. The old hag screamed once, but her scream didn't express pain so much as it did pure surprise. Patty grabbed her slumped body by the shoulders and violently pulled her around so she could see her face. Aunt C's body slowly slid down until she was on the floor with her back against the wall. The red tip of the screwdriver protruded from her chest, and she looked down at it in horror, and then looked back to her niece. The old hag's mouth was gaping open; her false teeth had come loose and were sliding down her chin in a stream of bloody saliva.

"I know an orthodontist who'll fix that," Patty said, and wiped her bloody hand on her jeans. Aunt C's glasses were on her chest, and her eyes were filled with fear and shock, just as Patty's had been while the old hag held her by the hair and pounded her face again and again, fourteen years earlier. The hag gasped, and then let out a short, loud, half-scream half-grunt, like a person might make if they were punched in the stomach. Patty looked around the room for another weapon, and found an old wooden chair. She lifted it with both hands and pulled it back to the side like a baseball bat, steadied herself with her left foot and then bashed the old lady in the head with it, knocking her face down onto the floor, unconscious and bleeding even more profusely now.

Payback Patty dropped what was left of the chair. She leaned against the wall across from the hag, watching her back rise and fall. She noticed three skinny red Pomeranians standing in the doorway, one behind the other. The tallest one tentatively entered the room and approached the pile of dying flesh on the floor. He began sniffing the pool of blood around Aunt C's head, and then began to quickly lap it up with his little pink tongue. The other two dogs soon came to his side, and began to search the scene for signs of food. Aunt C's back had stopped rising and falling, and the pool of blood around her head had finally stopped getting bigger. A dog crawled onto her back, and began to tug at the flesh around one of the large holes the screwdriver had made. "What sweeties."

Karma became a real estate agent, and sold Gramma's property for twice the original offer. Grant received all of the money that was left. He paid off his debts and used the rest to put Gramma into a posh retirement home, where she spent the rest of her days knitting sweaters and believing herself to be the Queen of England before she died peacefully one night in her sleep. Payback Patty was questioned by police, but never arrested. She developed a strange phobia of dogs and now lives with her true love somewhere in Mississippi.


Drama at my Momma's

After calling the Mississippi Highway Patrol and being informed that both sides of I-55 were flowing northbound, I decided to stay up here. After all, going home sorta requires me to use the southbound lane.

So I was fortunate enough to still be around when some new family drama unfolded. It's about Aunt C. You know. My favorite aunt. For those of you not familiar with the history here, C stands for C*nt, and I have a lifetime of reasons for hating her. I once wrote a little short story about her and published it here on the blog, but I can't find it right now. I can't remember the title of the post or when it was written, and it may even have been on a previous blog. I've had several, and the old ones are floating out there in cyberspace somewhere. Anyway, the story ends with me murdering her with a screwdriver, and then her nine thousand pet Pomeranians eat her corpse. Real highbrow fiction. Some of my best work ever.

To sum up the Aunt C drama, she lied and said that their house caught fire and they were kicked out by the fire department. (She's been trying to find a way to move out of there for two years now, but apparently nobody wants to buy a house that is saturated with dog piss. Who knew?) So she and Gramma moved into Aunt C's daughter's house with her, her two kids, and her husband. And I'm sure that from the moment they moved in, Aunt C started with her usual insufferable bullshit. Her son in law happened to be off work because of an injury, and after tolerating her for about a month, he kicked her ass out earlier this week! Hahahahahaaah! So we just found out about it a couple of days ago, and now Aunt C and Gramma are back in the house that was never really uninhabitable to begin with (or at least no less inhabitable than it has been for the last 20 years), and she started calling people and trying to put them on guilt trips, claiming that they had no food, no electricity, etc. Well, my sister and I went over there Saturday evening to take them some food. We stopped and got them two big barbecue plates. When we got there, they were fine. Some wires in the kitchen apparently did start smoking, and there's currently no power in that one room, but they've got one of those larger mini fridges, and it's packed full of drinks and food. Aunt C sure as hell has her pc set up in the bedroom that she kicked my gramma out of, so they're doing well enough to have a phone line and internet service. There's a lot more to the back story than what I've described, but there's not space enough on the web for me to outline the details of all Aunt C's mistakes. One key detail is that she arranged her retirement payout so that she got a lot of money up front, and the amount she gets per month went way, way down when she turned 62, which just happened a month or so ago. So now she has only a few hundred dollars coming in every month. (Yeah, and meanwhile she's trying to sell my grandmother's house and take on a payment on a trailer?? WTF?)

Today when my dad and mom went over there to check on them, she went into drama queen mode and basically put on a childish little act. She's painted herself into a corner and now that she's stuck there, she's lashing out at everyone. It's everyone's fault, you see. It all goes back to her feeling sorry for herself, and she's furious that nobody else will play along. She's been screwing my grandmother over for years (squandered thousands upon thousands of dollars etc.) and everything about her life that sucks only sucks because she worked very hard and put in some serious effort towards MAKING it suck. My family members have been sitting around discussing "what to do with the situation." I say f*ck 'em. They made this bed themselves. They didn't see anything wrong with it until the sun started to set. Now I say sleep tight, dumbass. Their argument is that you can't let my grandmother suffer because of my aunt. There's some truth to that, of course, but my grandmother has been a willing participant in this clusterf*ck as long as it's been going on, so I don't even have that much sympathy for her. Still, she IS 86 years old, and unlike Aunt C she's not able bodied enough to go get a job and take care of herself. So I'd be happy to help her, and I will help her if I have the opportunity. But Aunt C? That bitch can go hungry, and I won't lose any sleep over it. If I'm lying awake at night thinking about her, you can bet your ass the only thought going through my mind is, Should I have used the chainsaw instead of the screwdriver?

If anyone remembers the title of that post, let me know. I know it's out there somewhere.

I'm going home tomorrow morning, and I'll spend the rest of the day throwing together lesson plans and scrambling to get my FMLA forms filled out by the doctor.

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