Roweena Patina was late for tea. Her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff, invited her three days ago and yet, somehow, Roweena didn’t know how, she completely forgot!
Now Roweena found herself racing through the streets of Van Schmoodenfloffen, at such a furious pace that one of her wooden shoes flung itself off just as she was passing the Van Windenflooffen Bakery.
And even though Roweena felt her shoe fly off — she was in such a tizzy, she didn’t even bother stopping to retrieve it — despite the aroma of Van Boozlephaffen Pie tempting her . . . tempting her . . . tempting her!
For you see, Roweena, had managed to pile on fifty-three pounds during the annual Glockenflockenfluff Fish Festival to the mighty chagrin of her mother-in-law, Tulip Aarff.
In fact, Tulip Aarff found Roweena Patina lacking discipline in every respect — both as a human being, in general, and as a daughter-in-law in particular. Now, Tulip Aarff could add “fat” to her myriad list of Roweena Patina complaints.
For Tulip Aarff made it her hobby to find fault in the tiniest imperfections of her daughter-in-law’s personage. And today, Tulip Aarff was about to hit the jackpot when it came to her favorite amusement.
When at last Roweena arrived at the double Dutch door of her mother-in-law’s cottage, she said a prayer for protection, then knocked.
“Enter this instant!” commanded Tulip Aarff. “For the cold herring is getting warm and the warm tea is getting cold!”
When Roweena stepped inside with her shoeless foot, her disheveled apron and her bonnet hopelessly askew, Tulip Aarff gasped the Great Mother-in-Law Gasp of the Ages.
“You’re late as usual!” Tulip Aarff barked.
With a hollow smile and a sugary, sweet voice, Roweena said, “I’m only late, my dearest mother-in-law, because I was baking you this “special” Hagleslagen Cuppencaken!
When Roweena finished her tea, she bid Tulip Aarff a cheerful adieu. A cheerful adieu that Tulip Aarff failed to acknowledge, however, what with her being dead and all.
” We want a real account of a period in your life that can be clearly identified by (wait for it) the number three.”
How I Managed to Stick My Finger Up Steve McQueen’s Nose
When I was 17, I got a job working at The Iceburg Drive-in, a family-owned hamburger stand. Everything was rather make shift and, in the hot weather, we had a lot of trouble keeping flies from coming in.
There was a window in the front where people would walk up and place their orders.
To complete a transaction without flies getting inside, you had to push the screen open from the inside, take the person’s money and then quickly reach outside and curl your hand up and around the outside wood base of the screen to pull it back down again –a task we performed all day long.
Now I know it’s unbelievablebut one of our regular customers was a guy who looked exactly like Steve McQueen. Naturally whenever we would see him coming, we girls would practically shove each other out of the way to get to be the one who took his order.
The first two times Iwas too slow and someone else beat me to the punch. But the third time Steve McQueen showed up I was ready, and positioned myself at the window with pad and pencil at the ready.
I carefully wrote down deluxe hamburger, side of fries and large Coke in my best handwriting, just in case he might have been impressed with that kind of thing, you know.
Then I opened the screen, took his money, made change and handed it back to him, imagining all the while there was a one in a million chance he might even be the actual real Steve McQueen!
But when I reached outto curl my hand around the base of the screen to close it, I accidentally, somehow — and god only knows how — managed to stick my finger up Steve McQueen’s nose!
It all happened so fast. We were both utterly stunned.
After that, whenever Steve McQueen showed up, and the girls would jockey for positon at the front window, I would quickly maneuver myself to the back room.