Archive for the ‘my sister Iris Nell’ Category

Hats on to you

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

By Tiber

My sister, Iris Nell, has gotten even more depressed that she didn’t pick up more holiday customers for her online “custom-made, all-weather gear for other animals” business.

I stopped by her room today and she sighed as she looked at all of those unsold mice macs and sugar-glider sweaters.

“They just look so sad since they’re not being used!”

I feel bad about telling her recently that maybe she ought to branch out into things like unitards for unicorns so tonight I went and talked to Dad.

And when Iris Nell dragged her depressed self in for dinner tonight, the rest of us continued our conversation but my sister saw instantly, that we all were wearing her tiny hamster hats.

Kru, who thinks he’s a superhero anyway, was also sporting one of the little iguana capes.

We looked like idiots but this time at least, we were being idiots for a cause.

And not only did my sister laugh out loud but, being Iris Nell, she also then sobbed for an hour because we’d been good enough to make her so happy.

When the shop around the corner is “Larry’s Discount Occult”

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

By Tiber 

I swung by Larry’s Discount Occult (“Sure You Want To Hex Them But Why Pay Full Price?”) where my sister, Erin, works as a salesperson after school.

She’s doing pretty well there in spite of Larry‘s new ban on texting during working hours. This initially drove Erin berserk and when she couldn’t stop wiggling her newly idle fingers and some of the customers thought she was about to strangle them, Larry knew he had to act.

So, besides doing sales, he gave Erin the creative job of decorating the shop window. And this she likes.

 Of course, Erin’s at that teenage stage where her personality constantly flips back and forth from the morbid to the cute so the occult window is now sending out kind of mixed messages.

Erin still has the witch’s “cauldron of blood” but she’s using it to advertise the strawberry tea.

The zombie figures, who, formerly, had been staggering, open-mouthed, towards the villagers to eat their brains, still have their lips contorted but now it’s because they’re all playing soccer and the zombies have scored their first goal.

And the skeleton, rising from a grave, is currently performing a dance step.  Erin even had Iris Nell make a little tuxedo and top hat for it which frankly, I think, makes it look disconcertingly like Fred Astaire.

At first, I thought Larry would object, since the window seems to be pulling in so many different directions. But then I remembered that, above all, Larry is a shrew businessman and Erin has probably given him a whole new sales demographic.

And a unitard for your unicorn

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

By Tiber 

Because of the money situation right now, we had a pretty scaled-down Christmas this year. And maybe that’s not so bad. We used to buy each other so much stuff that was never even used but, this year, with fewer gifts exchanged, we had to think hard about what people would really want.

My sister, Iris Nell, had been hoping she would have more money to spend, since she started her online business creating custom-made, all-weather gear for small pets other than cats and dogs. But it has proved a slow starter. I guess a lot of people are short of cash right now and maybe a raincoat for your gerbil is not at the top of your Santa list.

I told Iris Nell that she needed to branch out into other animals. And I would even write the ad copy for her!

She could make “Croc Mocs!” – “The softest shoes for your alligator’s rough feet!”

Or how about “Udder Cozies?”

“They’ll keep your cow’s unmentionables toasty on even her chilliest mornings!”

And don’t forget “Boas for Boa Constrictors!”

“Let her look sexy for her own special snake! (With added shoulder attachments to prevent slippage!)”

Iris Nell literally stamped her foot and said I wasn’t taking her business seriously.

I take all businesses seriously and I guarantee you, if anyone who has a snake, a croc or a cow ever contacts her, she’s going to trot out these suggestions and do everything she can to sell them.

I just want my royalties.

There will be no dancing at the wrecking ball

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


By Tiber

As you know, my sister, Iris Nell, does not cope well in the real world but she wants to bring in more money too so when one of the nearby little villages decided to do some town tours to drum up tourism, Iris Nell went over and got the job. She loves history and anything old.

The problem is, there’s not much left that‘s old or interesting in this little town so her planned “Local Architectural Jewels” segment really was more of a “They Destroyed That for This?!?”

At the new sewage plant, all Iris Nell could do was pass around a picture of the beautiful little Victorian hotel that had stood there before.

At the current “Bonanza Pete’s Dented Cans Discount Store,” she showed her group a photo of the Palladian-styled library that had been wrecking balled for it.

“It‘s such a shame,” Iris Nell lamented so a group member tried to cheer her up. “Those dented cans are a real bargain, though!“

Things picked up slightly in passing a local bar, where the tour group knew the most memorable town moment all by themselves.

“Hey, when they shot that movie here, isn’t this where that starlet got hammered and threw up on the mayor?”

Iris Nell wasn’t going to mention that bit of town lore but the group was more excited than it had been all evening so she finally nodded and pics were gleefully taken of the pavement.

She finished up her tour at the town cemetery. At least there are still old things there and the people are the same.

Our much youngest sister, Erin, who’d come along for a laugh, thought the tour was dying even here, so she grabbed a white skirt from her car and went floating around the graves in the distance. That got everyone’s riveted attention – especially when the “ghost” took a header over a marker and smashed into the ground.

There was a pause. “That ghost just fell over a tombstone. Can’t they go through things?”

Furious that she could lose her job, Iris Nell ran after the “ghost” who quickly leaped up and pirouetted off into the woods.

“My God, you’re brave!,” the group told Iris Nell. “You just chased off a ghost!” But she waved off the praise.

“I happen to know that particular ghost and though it won’t stay grounded in the graveyard, I have ways of getting it grounded somewhere else.

Arachnifun…when you’re photobombed by a spider

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

By Tiber

My sister, Iris Nell, is upset again today. And, this time, I guess it’s partly my fault.

I’ve been helping her out in our new vegetable garden, mainly because I’m just grateful that Dad has abandoned his other money-making scheme which was having me make goat cheese. Duncan’s still pushing for Dad’s backup idea for me, which is giving children rides in little carts pulled by the goats because Duncan is determined to see me in a little Alpine outfit, complete with a flowered hat.

He told Dad he’d even found a man who could teach me yodeling. Thank God the guy charged for it because Dad was actually considering it.

So you can see how working in the new vegetable garden is a big step up.

Iris Nell is very proud of what we’re growing and she asked me to take a picture of the two of us out there. I set the timer and hurried over.

And we both posed.

And we both smiled.

And we both got photobombed by a spider.

I felt you couldn’t help but like him. He actually had a sort of party-guy look on his face. Plus, he was so close to the camera, all three of us appeared to be about the same size.  And with one of the spider’s many legs crooked up, it really seemed as if he was about to wrap it – in a companionable way – around Iris Nell’s shoulder.

I thought we looked sort of like three old friends at a high school reunion, where you had to admit, maybe one of us hadn’t ended up being quite as attractive as the other two but, hey, with his personality, you were still BFFs anyway.

Iris Nell felt otherwise.

And, yes, Iris Nell, the self-professed great lover of all the world’s creatures, saw this picture and went spinning off into barking mad, freaking-loonbat meltdown mode.

And all over a tiny and I think very pleasant-seeming arachnid who, granted, for that one moment, looked big enough to devour her skull.

Picky. Picky.

To win me? Two skunks and an elderly warthog

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

By Tiber

Ever since my sister, Iris Nell, read somewhere that former U.S. president Bill Clinton was once offered 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter’s hand in marriage by a foreign suitor, she’s been obsessed with figuring out how many animals she would be worth.

I finally said to look online at the currency converters and maybe besides pesos to pounds, they also converted chicks to camels. Iris Nell just got pissy and said I wasn’t taking this seriously enough.

Yes! This is true.

When Kru heard us talking about it, he asked if Iris Nell thought she was going to be snapped up right away or would she still be on the market in a future post-apocalyptic world. If the latter, he reasoned, there would be considerably fewer goats or cows or anything else around, so being offered even one would actually be worth a lot more.

This annoyed Iris Nell too. But when Erin wandered by, she simply said that her sister would easily be worth 40 lions and a hippo and finally Iris Nell was happy.

This is why I will never understand women. One of the few rules I thought I had mastered was that under no comparative circumstances, whatsoever, were you ever to bring up the word ‘hippo.’

Don’t Be Blue

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

By Tiber

Now I feel sorry for my brother, Kru. Through his cat sand delivery business, he met a girl he liked named Pippy and he invited her over here for dinner.

Kru’s nothing if not brave. I mean…he invited Pippy over here for dinner.

Amazingly enough, everything with us went well. My sister, Iris Nell, didn’t grill her on whether or not she swats flies who get into the house or escorts them out “properly,” wearing pastel-colored cotton gloves.

Duncan’s triplets, who must have a fever or something, never once made their eyes glow red or levitated over the table.

And even Brunty, the butler, didn’t drop a soup tureen on her head.

So Kru was on his way to a second date…until we forgot about the peacock.

As I’ve written before, Mom brought home a pair of peacocks who needed a home, which was a great gesture but a bad reality. The peahen is, to put it nicely, homely, so the frustrated male tried to have a relationship instead with a blue Porsche that belonged to one of my father’s business contacts. Twice.

Ever since then, Dad’s been after Iris Nell to find the peacock a new home but, unsurprisingly, she hasn’t been successful. We should have remembered about the blue car, though. Every blue car. A blue car like the one that Pippy had driven here.

As she started to leave, we all heard that unmistakable, shrieking and peeling back of a 2 ton sardine-can lid noise and we realized that the peacock was having a “special moment” with Pippy’s car. The difference this time, though, was that Pippy was in it.

“Oh, my God!” yelled Erin. “She’s the chewy nougat center!”

Everybody raced outside to try to yank the bird off the roof of the car, all the while with Iris Nell screaming not to hurt him.

Pippy must have felt not only assaulted by another lovelorn species but that it was all happening in the middle of a soccer riot.

Dad’s obviously going to have to pay for the damage to Pippy’s car so, once again, the money will be flowing in the wrong direction.

Since Iris Nell is already working on her pet clothing business, Dad said she’d damn well better make the peacock a little Salvation Army uniform to wear and then go and sit with him on a street corner with a tin cup.  And in front of that, she should have a big sign that reads, “Please! Give Generously to the ‘Save A Peacock Foundation.’”

“You say tomato and I say, ‘It’s alive! It’s alive!'”

Sunday, June 20th, 2010


By Tiber

Dad’s still toying with the insane idea of saving money by having me make goat cheese for the family. My guess is, the only reason for the delay is that since the goats he brought home now know me, they’re trying to take him to court.

In the meantime, Dad has chosen  my sister, Iris Nell, to grow some more of our food. I don’t mean like cattle or wheat, though for all I know, those may be next. He’s had her plant a kitchen garden, where she’s growing herbs and vegetables.

Of course, you always have to take Iris Nell’s personality quirks into account, as you do with all of us, since our quirks are the kind that can suddenly leap out, block your path and taunt you by stripping off their underwear and throwing it in your face, blinding you to the location of the exit. Or maybe that’s just me. Actually, let’s pray that’s just me.

Iris Nell has, at least,  had a little experience with growing tomatoes. When she was a kid, somebody gave her a little plant in a pot. She took good care of it and it began to produce, yes, actual, real tomatoes! This blew Iris Nell away. She’d sit there and stare at the produce on the vines, marveling,

“I made these!”

I think it made her feel sort of like a god. And my parents let it go, thereby setting her up for a lifetime of disappointment when she couldn’t also flick lightning bolts to zap the unkind.

The thing was, though, she could never bring herself to actually eat the perfect little tomatoes, which sort of defeated the purpose. She may have had them bronzed for all I know, so we can only hope that she’s moved along from that stage.

In a way, I understood her feelings. When you’re a kid, you just don’t expect to see some item they sell in a store suddenly appear in your own backyard just because you watered it.

It’s almost like creating your own cat just because you buried a flea collar.