Yram woke up early Saturday morning and decided to walk uptown to get a cup of coffee before the book club met. She hasn’t read the book yet, but something tells her it most likely won’t be an issue. She notices the town is pretty quiet. In fact, it’s downright silent…almost eerie. “Where is everybody?” Yram wonders. She has walked almost a block when she wearily sits down on the court house steps. (The book club meets in the court house.) Suddenly, she hears a click, click, click, click (4 clicks). Upon further investigation she decides it’s coming from north of her in the direction of Main Street. Tentatively, Yram gets up and walks toward the clicking sound. Her heart is beating and her pulse is pounding. (Or is it the other way around?)
Before she can see where the clicking is coming from, she hears a loud roar. Well, not really a roar. It sounds more like a truck engine that’s choking on something.
As she walks toward the click and the choking, the subjects of the noise come into view. It’s Lav on a horse and behind her is KK driving a flatbed, and on the flatbed are Windy Lindy and Airy sitting in their broken down airplane.
“wouldn’t it be easier to walk than to sit in your broken down airplane that’s riding on a choking truck?”
Yram looks at Lav and says, “Why are you riding a horse, Lav and where are you going? The book Club meets in five or ten.”
“We’re going on a hay ride,” Lav says. “There won’t be anyone at the book club meeting, Yram. Every letter of the alphabet, even all of the Ha Ha’s are going on the hay ride.”
“You’ve heard of the Ya Ya sisterhood?…We’re the Ha Ha Sisterhood.”
“We’re all going to the funny farm,” says the Ha Ha Sisterhood.
“Willingly?” Yram asks.
“Flying on the ground is spooky, I think,” says Airy Heart. “I sure hope we get our airplane running again. I sure would hate it if I had to change my name. I like being Airy. My name used to be Bleeding Heart. I fainted all the time then.”
We live on the funny farm, but we’re moving. It’s just getting too crazy.
“I made a pineapple upside down cake,” says Patty Cake.
“Perfect,” says Yram. “We’ll all go to the nut house at the funny farm and ride around on hay while we eat upside down cake with the Ha Ha Sisterhood. Sounds like a blast!”
This is Yram Sicnarf. I was asked to report on our Funny Farm experience, so I have written a little piece for the paper. It seems some of the loco locals think the Funny Farm isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I would be willing to bet they are just repeating some insane things they have heard others say and haven’t even darkened the unhinged door of the Nut House. I promise to tell it like it is. After all, they don’t call me a crack up reporter for nothing.
Lav rode her horse, named Loopy. Airy and Windy rode in their airplane which is temporarily grounded. They have it on the back of KK’s flatbed truck, which isn’t running with a full deck either. TC, AI, PG, PC and the Ha Ha Sisterhood, rode on the back of the hay wagon kindly provided by the Nut House. (I pulled it with my 1951 Willys Jeep.)
A day at the Funny Farm, By Yram Sicnarf
It was a barmy day as our group made it’s way to the only certifiable Funny Farm in the state. We figured as long as we were there, we might as well get certified.
Anyway, we made good time and arrived at the gates of the farm shortly before lunchtime. We were greeted at the door by a sweet young lady who said she was Daffy. We assumed Daffy would be the one to register us, but she had us sit in a waiting room and wait for the person who would admit us. That part was a little unpleasant. With the evergrowing Ha Ha sisterhood and all, we’re a pretty large group. One of the Ha Ha’s said she wished they could sit on the nice padded walls instead of the hard old benches. I tell you, those girls drive me bonkers sometimes.
Finally, a very nice looking man came in and said he was there to help us, but he wanted to get to know us first. This upset Lav just a little. She told the nice looking man who said his name was Bizarro, she was worried about getting Loopy. (We had to leave the horse tied up outside,)
Windy, who is an animal lover said she was touched. The nice man told her she was in the right place.
Airy asked when we would get to eat lunch. She said she was so hungry she could even eat Patty Cake’s fruitcake. He didn’t hear her right because he said she really shouldn’t say fruitcake in a Nut House.
The Ha Ha Sisterhood asked if they could have their picture taken. He said he needed a break, so we could go to the building with a sign out front that said, Unstable. We assumed that was where they kept the horses, so we headed that way. We were gratified when we walked in, to see it was full of people eating lunch. We sat down and waited for someone to take our order.
A nice lady came over and said she was Kooky and handed us all some crackers. Airy said she was hungry for something more substantial and Kooky said there were nut cases in the hall.
Nuts sounded pretty good so we left the Unstable and started wandering every hall we could find looking for the nut cases. A I said she was feeling a little weird, so we went outside and sat under a tree and ate Patty Cake’s upside down cake. We had a great afternoon. We were all entertained by the divine secrets of the Ha Ha Sisterhood, and a group of ladies came by and serenaded us with their rendition of Crazy Arms by Ray Price. They were so cute with their arms all tied up.
By this time it was getting time to head back to town, so we went to find Daffy to thank her for everything. We told her we thought the Farm and and The Nut House were better than we had heard, and the only suggestion we had was they should put their nut cases in a place where people could see them.
So off we went with Lav on Loopy, KK driving the flatbed with Windy and Airy on the back in their airplane, and me in the Jeep pulling the hay wagon with all of the Ha Ha Sisterhood, TC, AI, PG and a few squirrels that were hiding in the hay. They must not have been able to find the nuts either.
I will conclude by saying, it’s a great place to clear the cobwebs out of your head and meet people just like you and me. We will be going back soon. We forgot our certificates.
Update: PG called to see if they would mail our certificates. The FF said we weren’t certifiable. We weren’t committed enough.
Hi! This is Yram Sicnarf. I’m filling in for Murdo Girl for a few days. She’s resting. You probably don’t realize this, but I’m quite a bit younger than Murdo Girl. I reside in Texas near Gun Barrel City, where our motto is, “We Shoot Straight.” I’m a traveling crack-up reporter.
I just got to Rapid City. I’m going to the Crazy Horse Monument this morning. I snagged an interview with Crazy Horse, himself. This interview was hard to get, but it will put another feather in my cap, and an arrow in my quill.
The Crazy Horse Monument is far away from the Harold Thune auditorium and the Jerrald Applebee floor, so how much trouble can I get into, right? Can you see Crazy Horse putting a restraining order on me? I don’t even like to ride horses.
We are back at the Crazy Horse Monument where Yram Sicnarf will soon be interviewing Crazy Horse. You know how when the politicians speak, they always have a bunch of people standing behind them? It makes for a good camera shot, so Sherri and Kodak are going to shoot and record the whole thing.
Yram: Good morning all! We are waiting for Crazy Horse to arrive. He is a busy man you know and he travels everywhere on his crazy horse. Oh there he is! I’ll try to get his attention. “YEOEOEOEOEYO!!” I think he heard me.
Yram: Hello Mr. Crazy Horse…Pleased to make your acquaintance. I have read your dossier, so I know everything there is to know about you. Are you new in town?
Crazy Horse: I’ve been through here a couple of times many winters ago. I remember it was cold.
Yram: It says here you are a leader. That’s pretty vague. In what kind of work are you a leader?
Crazy Horse: Well, I’m retired now, but I used to put colorful paint all over my face, then go and scare the Calvary. It was fun, but it didn’t pay much.
Yram: If you’re retired, why haven’t you completed your monument…arthritis?
Crazy Horse: Something like that. What is there to do around here?
Yram: Well Mr. Crazy Horse. Do you mind if I call you Crazy? Have you been to Custer State Park?
Crazy Horse: You’re joking, right?
Yram: Not a park person?
Crazy Horse: A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.
Yram: Just the other day, I was talking to my girlfriend and I said that same thing. I can really relate. Where are you going from here?
Crazy Horse: I’m going to Murdo. Have you ever been there?
Yram: Yes…but not within 500 yards. They don’t want me close to the football games.
Crazy Horse: I can relate.
Yram: So would you mind having your picture taken with me Mr. Horse?
Crazy Horse: That’s my horse’s name. You can call me Crazy. I don’t like having my picture taken.
I thought that was one of my better interviews, and being the tenacious crack up reporter I am, I managed to get that picture.
So the sun sets on another western South Dakota day. I wonder what foolhardy thing tomorrow will bring? How about Mt. Rushmore? That would keep her busy for a while.
Mr. President Washington, is it true you have wooden teeth? Are they hard to floss?
I have never been good with money. It doesn’t matter if I have a lot or just a little, I’m not good with it. There was a period of time, when it was just the boys and me, that I did pretty well. Maybe because I didn’t have time to go out and shop. My brother said my sister-in-law can shop for an hour if they stop at minimart.
As I try to come to terms with my vice, I can look back and see the signs were there. Mom used to say, “If you get $5 .00, you either put it on you or in you.” I would buy clothes… or something to eat. I wrote a children’s book about a little girl who had two problems. She couldn’t get enough “things” and when she did get things, she wasn’t happy with anything because something new and better came into her sights. It ends well, though.
Why would I write a blog on my spending habbits? I have no idea, but I’m into the 3rd paragraph so I’m not going to stop now. I once made really good money, but did you know that good money spends just as easily as bad money?
I think I know what brought this on. I volunteer at the library and for the last couple of days, I have been learning how to check books in and out, fax things, put books back in the right section in alphabetical order by author. We also have a tremendous number of LP, LARGE PRINT, books. I guess you can tell the demographics of the people in a town by going to the library and seeing what kind of books they have. It feels like a real job. They didn’t need all of us so I left. I found myself worrying about getting enough hours in…You don’t get a paycheck, Mary.
I think I blogged about the first time I decided I was going to write about my life. I went to Walmart and bought a tape recorder and a notepad. I had a sales job and I had to do a lot of driving. My idea was to record things as they came to me…that way I wouldn’t forget some good stuff. I even bought one for my brother. He was so excited when I called and told him that I was sending him a tape recorder and we were going to write a book together. I called my good friend Mary, whose wiser head usually prevails, and told her of my plan. Do you know what she said? “Can you take the recorders back to Walmart?”
Billy didn’t act very surprised when I called and told him the plan was off. He said, “Yeah, I usually try to sleep on ideas like that before I act on them.”
I’ve figured it out…I’m not good with money because I’m an impulse buyer. And Mary was wrong. She should have let me have that tape recorder.
Queens have to spend a lot of time in their carriages…
If any of you are wondering if I’m ever going to finish the Rhythm of life series, the answer is yes. I have been spending all of my extra time working on a project for Gus so I have been what ya call…filling in with other things. In the meantime, Gus has accumulated all sorts of great information about his family. I’m anxious to get started on it.
Things have been exciting in our family. My cousin, Lav’s daughter (and Ken’s too), Caitlin, and her husband, Sam recently had a beautiful baby boy. Lav has been in touch with Queen E. to get some grandmothering tips. Sometimes the connection across the pond from the states isn’t very good.
LAV: Hello HRH (short for Her Royal Highness.) What do the grandies call you? I’ve been trying to come up with a unique name for myself that’s not too stuffy.
HRH: Oh they hardly ever call me. You’d think they would ring me up once in a while wouldn’t you? Stuffy’s a pretty good name. I’ll try it out!
“Dear Stuffy, Thank you for whatever you got me for my birthday. It was my favorite gift and I will, wear it, play with it or, in the case of a gift card, spend it on something worthwhile.”
“P.S. Father wants to know if he is still on the King me list.”
LAV: I can’t wait to take the baby to the zoo, Disneyland, and Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard.
HRH: Oh heavens no. I’ve never changed a diaper in my life. I think Princess Kate has, but she’s an overachiever. She even taught George to change himself.
LAV: I wanted to tell you I’m really sorry you lost your beloved Corgi, Vulcan. I have a dog named Nincompoop. We call her Ninnie.
HRH: Prince Andrew got me a new corgi for my 95th birthday. He felt sorry for me after my dorgi died, His name was Fergus.
LAV: What’s a dorgi?
HRH: A cross between a dachshund and a corgi. What is a nocanpoop? I’ve never heard of a dog that can’t poop. Are you going to send me a picture of the baby?
We had been really busy that summer planning our wedding day.
The date that had seemed so far off, was only a month away.
The invitations had all been sent and the Church knew we were coming.
The location of the momentous event was Casper, Wyoming.
We had both been married before… ten years each, to be exact.
With two kids apiece (and three dogs)…our new home would be jam-packed.
Kip called me at work on a day that everything had gone wrong.
He said there was someplace he had to go. Why didn’t I ride along?
“You won’t have a chance to change,” he said. “I’ll pick you up in a few.”
I really didn’t want to go, but there was no good reason not to.
As we drove, we talked about our day. I didn’t ask the destination.
When we pulled up into the driveway, I asked with some consternation,
“What are we doing here? This is where Carolyn (my boss) lives!
Are you doing an appraisal review? Come on…tell me, what gives?”
I knew her house had been for sale and Kip was a real estate banker.
“Does she know we’re coming for dinner? You apologize and I’ll thank her.”
I was laughing as she opened the door. I thought she’d be so surprised.
It turned out, the joke was on me. It was a shower she had organized.
(Carolyn caught this picture as a co-worker, Ann, opened the door.)
Heidi (13) Heather (11) Mason (8) and Craig (3) were all a part of two households. The youngest, Craig is now 40 and Heidi is ten years older. I love the picture of her sleeping at the end of the big day. She still had the baby’s breath in her hair. I joined Heidi, Heather, and Craig who were all asleep on a bed at the Ferguson’s who invited everyone over for a celebration after the ceremony. Mason and Kip were the last to give up. The other photos are of our first home together in Casper, and our first Thanksgiving there with Mom and Gus and Kip’s sister, Karlyce and her husband. (Come on Mary, I’m sure you looked lovely.) The last picture is of me with our first grandchild, Michael, born a few weeks before we moved from Colorado to Texas.
Pearl started putting cornstarch in her Elixerfixer and then called it new and improved. All the women were buying it and losing weight. The cornstarch and hot water thickened in their stomachs and maded them feel full. They were buying that stuff like there was no tomorrow.
Well, our success was short lived. The very day that Pearl doubled her sales, Mack’s Cafe had a roast beef and mashed potatoes with lots of gravy, special. That gravy hit all that cornstarch and hot water in the ladies’ stomachs and they all felt like they’d swallowed twenty pounds of concrete. They feared they’d been poisoned by the beef. The real dramatic ones were sure they were knocking on death’s door. Doc Brown was called to the scene and it wasn’t long before the Doc, followed by twelve sick women came marching over to The Busy Nest. We saw them coming and could tell they all had their knickers in a twist.
Pearl: Why Doc Brown, what an unexpected pleasure, and my goodness, you brought some ladies with you. Welcome to The Busy Nest.
Grace: Pearl, don’t you recognize these ladies? They were just in here to buy new bottles of Elixerfixer.
Doc Brown: So I’ve been told. It seems all of these ladies took their dose of your famous elixer shortly before eating Mack’s Cafe’s special, consisting of roast beef with mashed potatoes and lots of gravy.
Grace: Do they make their gravy with cornstarch?
Pearl: Grace, dear, would you mind going to get the mail?
Doc: I was looking at the very fine print on the back of the label and it just says it’s made with all natural ingredients. Would you mind telling me what they are?
Pearl: Certainly…I travel many miles to purchase the greatly sought after freshly distilled spring water it contains.
Grace: It’s the kind you put in your steam iron so it won’t clog up.
Pearl: Grace, the mail! I add a very carefully measured amount of extract from the endosperm of corn, li’mon juice from a small producer in Arizona, and mother’s apple cider vinegar. Believe me, it’s a very precise combination.
Grace: Can you believe we can get all that stuff in Pierre at The Red Owl Store?
Well, Doc Brown happened to know that extract from the endosperm of corn was cornstarch and concluded, when followed with hot water, it would swell up in the stomach enough without adding a good amount of gravy to it.
Those ladies were bound up for a week and our new and improved Elixerfixer sat on the shelf and thickened.
I’m bringing Pearl the dog back to Pearl the human’s apartment. We had a really long walk. I would rather take a beating than have to deal with Pearl this morning.
You see the value of Pearl’s Elixerfixer sunk like the cornstarch in the stomachs of at least twelve Murdo women. Doc Brown let it be known that though no one was in danger of dying, living wouldn’t be pleasant for the next couple of weeks until the corn starch worked it’s way through their systems. On the good side, they might drop a few more pounds and it did seem to take the edge off of Mint Magnet’s halitosis.
Grace and I both know that it’s just a matter of time before Pearl gets over feeling sorry for herself and has another flash of business brilliance.
“Hi Grace. Pearl the dog and I are back. Where is Pearl?”
Grace: Come over to my apartment, Ellie/Essie. Pearl’s not here. She had another flash of brilliance. A real biggie this time. She said her new business would be a perfect fit for the Busy Nest.
EE: Jeez… I knew she would be back in the game of trying to succeed in the business world, but I thought we’d have a few days of rest first. Listen…here she comes. Isn’t that “Old McDonald had a farm” she’s singing?”
Pearl: “ee eye ee eye oh”
EE: Please don’t tell us you bought a farm, Pearl. Please!!!
Pearl: Oh heaven’s no, Essie. I’m a business woman. I don’t do dirt. I am however, going to invest in some chickens for my chicken bingo business.
Grace: Oh Lord, I feel like I’m going to faint dead away. Ellie/Essie could you get me a glass of water, please?
Pearl: Grace…must you be so dramatic? This is an up and coming entertainment money maker. I read about it in a magazine at the beauty shop.
EE: I don’t think your brilliance is flashing right, Pearl. You ran off the Methodist Church basement cooks and now you’re going to compete with the Catholic Bingo fundraisers. You barely have any customers now. How do you play bingo with chickens. anyway?
Pearl: I haven’t read the whole article yet, but I bought a copy of the magazine at the store downstairs. We have no time to waste girls. The first matter at hand is to get Herman the handyman to make the bingo board while we figure out the details. We don’t even have to change the name. The Busy Nest is perfect for a bunch of chickens.
EE: Do the chickens feel any pain, Pearl?
Pearl: Heaven’s no. Essie. All they have to do is eat and do their business on a number of their choice. The lucky bingoee who purchased the winning number gets the chicken pot. We don’t even get a cut because that would be gambling. We make our money on T-shirts, souvenirs, and snacks.
Grace: I’ll order the T shirts…
“The Busy Nest…
Where chickens do their business“
EE: I’ll get the chance tickets printed up with all the numbers and call Herman and see how soon he can get started on the bingo board.
Pearl: I must go to Pierre and buy some new outfits. What do you suppose chicken bingo entrepreneurs wear?
The pictures above were taken one hour into the first night. The entrepreneur had no idea just how seriously bingo players took their bingo.
One and one half hours into the night!
“BINGO ON 22!! WHAT’S MY PRIZE?”
“WHO GETS THE MONEY WHEN CHICKEN LEGS DOES HER BUSINESS ON THE LINE?”
“NO WAY, GIRL. YOU GOT A NICE BOTTLE OF BUBBLE BATH. ALL I GOT WAS A DRIED UP FRUIT CAKE! ”
“WHERE IS THAT LA TI DA LADY THAT WAS WALKING AROUND. THIS IS ON HER!”
“I GOT A TORN CHANCE CARD. THAT’S GOT TO BE BAD LUCK.”
“HEY! THAT ONE LAYED AN EGG. IS THAT WORTH A DOUBLE POT?”
“THE METHODIST BASEMENT COOKS ARE RIGHT! THIS PLACE SMELLS BAD…REALLY BAD!