It all started one sad, lonely, rainy, cloudy Sunday.
Not a Pleasant Valley Sunday, either.
Maybe a Peasant Valley Sunday.
But that's beside the point.
It shouldn't have been sad. It was just
the beginning of Spring Break. And yet, it was sad. I don't know why.
It was Love knocking at my door. <sigh>
Maybe not love exactly, but it was Davy Jones. I don't mean the 52 year old man he's become. I'm talking Davy in the 60's-- that foggy time before I was born.
I was very confused, naturally... why was Davy here, at my back door, young, now, and why was I wearing this shirt?!
Was this a dream? It had to be.
So I pinched myself. "OW!!" I shrieked as quietly as I could, because I didn't want my parents to wake up.
I walked over to the back door and opened it.
"'Ello, luv!" he greeted me in a ridiculously peppy voice for 11pm.
"Uhh..." I said intelligently. "Come in... but please try and be quiet."
He walked inside. "Groovy pad you 'ave heah." He said in a reasonably quiet voice.
"Thanks." I was trying to keep my head... it's not every day someone walks into your living room from thirty years ago. "Need a drink? We've got water, milk, orange juice, sodas, rum..."
"I mean, Rumba!! Let's dance!"
My little sister Lobelia (she's 13) walked out just then... dressed to the nines in a huge white nightgown with frogs that go hippity-hop all over it. As opposed to the hip-hoppity frog on her notebook.
"Hi, Lobelia, meet... uhh... didn't quite catch your name..." I said to Davy.
"David Ahmstrong-Jones." He said.
"Don't let him drink the good rum," Lobelia said, eyeing Davy suspiciously.
"Don't worry. I used the good rum for culture day at school." I reassured my darling younger sibling, who nodded and took a lick at her all-day sucker.
"Wanna watch TV?" I asked.
Davy and Lobelia nodded solemnly.
The hamster, Huey piped up at this point.
"I don't have a hamster!" I protested.
"Let's watch Captain Crocodile!" Huey said in an amazingly realistic hamster voice.
"But there is no Huey!!!!!" I frowned.
"Sheesh." Lobelia shrugged and turned on the TV.
"Buh... buh..." I started stuttering like an insane fool.
Davy and Lobelia just turned and looked at me.
I shrugged, laughed, tried to play it off. "I... Uh... spent too much time in that black box." I offered.
Lobelia laughed an evil little laugh. "Intermission's over, kids." She sounded like the Joker. "Get BACK IN THE BOX."
I dived to the ground and covered my head. I don't think any of us will ever get over that.
I don't know quite how long I was paralyzed by that remembrance... when I came to, Lobelia, Davy, and Huey were laughing hysterically at the Captain Crocodile eppy.
I looked around.
I stood up.
I went to the kitchen and got myself a glass of water. "You guys want?" I offered charitably. Lobelia shook her head. Davy nodded. Huey laughed.
I got a glass of water for Davy. And then I punched Huey. "GO AWAY, stinkin' hamster!! You don't even exist!!!!!!!"
Before I knew it, all these animal rights activists were all over me. "Lay off!!" I said. "You're mussing my wet nail polish!"
Wet nail polish?! When did I paint my nails?!
The whole thing was just getting stranger and stranger.
They slapped some handcuffs on me and dragged me off to prison.
"Guys..." I tried to defend myself, "It's not what you think!! That hamster never even existed!!"
"Suuuuuuuure." Said someone. I don't know who.
I got to thinking when I was in jail.
I got jealous. Why couldn't I be Lobelia, back at home with Davy and and all-day sucker? Why couldn't I have gone to bed at 10:30 and avoided the whole mess? Why did that stinkin' hamster have to go and appear from nowhere?
I got lonely, too.
"Hey, cheer up. Someone will be by to pay the bail."
TEN DAYS?! That's not soon!
"THIS WAR HAS LASTED MY WHOLE LIFE! Ten days is SOON."
I tried to just relax, close my eyes... see myself somewhere else.
I couldn't. Wait... who was I just talking to??
Solitary confinement is the pits.
I put down a Queen. W.P. put down a King.
"DRAT!" I cursed.
W.P. just smirked at me, and put down a three.
"I have you now, White Paws!" I put down a two.
"AAAAAAAAAAH!!!" I screamed. I banged my head on the ground.
"I win," The cat said.
"You can't win!! YOU'LL NEVER WIN!!!!!!! YOU STINK, CORDOVA!!!"
Cordova spat. "We will see. You try and stop me."
I looked around. It looked bleak. I talked to no one in particular. "What am I gonna do!?"
Yoda's carbonated voice came to me. "Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try."
With new courage, I marched right up to Cordova. "I won't try and stop you, Cordova." I looked up to him. He seemed really really tall at 5'10". Mexicans are a short people.
"You will not try?"
"No, I won't try. I WILL stop you!"
He laughed at me. Laughed!! "¡Ja ja ja!"
I stepped hard on his big toe. I know for a fact he has bunion problems.
That's when I knew for a fact he had a gun.
He pulled the trigger.
We both turned to look at the minefield that Peter was crossing. He had dropped a book on one of the mines.
"Peter!" I shouted. "Help me!"
Cordova looked over. "Huh?" Says he.
Peter's eyes met Cordova's.
I watched the whole stare-down... holding my breath, fearful of what would happen.
Cordova blinked. "NO!!!" He shouted, "I CAN'T LOSE!!!!" I watched him melt into a puddle of Cordova-goo.
"Peter, thank you!!!" I ran over and hugged my hero.
"Aww, it was nothing," He grinned that adorable Peter grin.
"Young man," said the president, "How can you say it was nothing? You single-handedly saved the whole corporation!"
I looked at the president. Gray suit, brown shoes. I'd seen that combination elsewhere.
"Do you know where shuttle to hotel is?" They nice Japanese businessmen in grey suits and brown shoes asked me.
"Yes, right over there, past the Alamo rental car shuttle." I pointed.
"Thank you!" They had said as they walked away.
Lobelia looked at me. "If the weirdos at Disneyland in the big costumes try to attack us, what are we gonna do?"
"What?!" I said, with my usual air of under-reactment. I take after my dad. "They're gonna attack us?!"
"I was just wondering," She said, "In case they do."
We left LAX and headed to our hotel. The Jolly Roger.
"Gee." I said, in my naive fifth grader's voice. "Do you think it's okay to stay at a hotel called the Jolly Roger?"
"Why wouldn't it be?" Lobelia asked me.
"Well... I don't know. What if, because of this, three or four years from now I'm obsessed with pirates?! Who knows what sort of horrendous implications there could be?! What if this place stunts my growth and I never get any taller than I am now?!"
"You're nuts, Ange." Mom said, to reassure me.
"I guess you're right. How likely is all of that, anyway?"
I turned off my CD--Piracy's Greatest Hits--and got dressed for the day. I wore the same pants I'd worn three and a half years before to Disneyland. They still fit perfectly--not too short or anything. "Hey, Lobelia, I wonder what we'll get to color in High School today!" I taunted her, as she looked up from her calculus.
You're lucky you didn't go to seventh grade." She glared at me.
BEEP BEEP went the horn outside.
"Oh! My ride's here!" I said. I grabbed my backpack and ran out the front door. "SEE YA!"
I hopped into the back seat of the Monkeemobile. "You cut your hair!" Micky noticed.
"Yeah, you like it?" I grinned.
"You look different."
"Yeah... well.. all those times Valleri and my mom would say, 'Why don't you cut your hair?' were starting to get to me." I shrugged.
Micky nodded understandingly.
We got to the high school I should have gone to. "Bye, Micky!" I waved. Two other kids in the carpool headed to band practice or wherever it is they went in the early mornings. I headed to a big yellow bus.
I stepped onto it.
Banana peels were flying everywhere. Inhuman shrieks from all directions. The busdriver eyed me. "You go to ISA or NESA?" She raised a skeptical eyebrow.
"Yes, ma'am." I said respectfully.
"You don't look like the rest of them. You look like a nice kid."
I made my way to a seat near the front--in case I had to make a break for it.
The drive from the one school to the other wasn't long, really. The noise kept going on the whole ride, though. I got smacked in the back of the head by two banana peels.
A couple of Secret Service agents and Huey met me in the hall. "Ms. President," one of them began, "We need to discuss this very real threat." He thrust a document into my hands.
"Can this wait? I have to get to my locker, and biology starts in what, two minutes?!"
"This is VERY important," he said.
I opened my locker, and about fourteen Diet Coke cans fell out. "What can be SO important it can't wait till 9:40?" I asked.
"THE ALIENS!!!!" screeched Huey, "They're AFTER YOU!!!"
"Don't be ridiculous," I tried to pile cans back into the locker and slam the door. "Why would they be?" I heard the two minute warning bell as I walked down the hall to Biology.
A single light bulb lit the room. "That's what we wanted to talk to you about, Ms. President."
"And stop calling me that!!" I yelled at one of the sunglassed men interrogating me. "I'm NOT the president of ANYTHING, and I wasn't even BORN here!!!"
"This is going to start a huge controversy, you know," Mr. Business suit informed me.
"I don't want to know," I turned away. "When's my court date?"
My lawyer, Micky, stood up to walk out of my cell. "Tomorrow," He said.
"When is someone coming to pay my bail? This cell stinks."
I yawned, actually. "Golly I'm tired." I told myself. "I guess I'll take a nap." I fell asleep about five minutes later, if that.
6:00 a.m. the next morning my alarm went off.
"What number is this, Chip?"
I woke up to Daydream Believer. How awfully cute.
"TURN THAT STUPID ALARM OFF!!!!" Dad yelled, angrily.
"Mmm'mm MMmmp!!!" I shouted at him, in my usualy early morning drunk voice. I meant, of course, to say that I was up...
It was all a blur... I remember only one thing about being in court. The judge, the Honorable Michael Nesmith, kept chewing on his wig and saying "Guilty." I don't know why; I was acquitted. Ay!*
I walked back to my seat on the plane with a smug grin on my face. The large woman next to me, complete with B.O. and screaming baby, looked at me like I was some freak. "What do you think YOU'RE doing?" She screeched.
"Sitting? This is my seat, lady." I said, ever so respectfully.
"That's it." The admiral admonished me. "You're OUT of the navy!"
"Yessir." I said... my last words as
a naval officer.
*the word "Ay" is used in place of "yay" by order of the queen of England.