“Dearly beloved…first of all, do any of you know where the bride and groom are?”

September 23rd, 2011

By Tiber 

My sister, Iris Nell, got a quick job I had never even heard of. She was hired out as a bridesmaid for a big wedding where the bride didn’t have enough close friends to match the number of groomsmen.

Iris Nell seems like a wonderful choice. She’s pretty, she’s empathetic, she can fit into that extra dress.

Uh…let’s go back to the empathetic part, shall we? The ever-romantic Iris Nell really got into the couples’ back story.

She was fascinated by how they had dated for so long, broken up three times but had always gotten back together again. And this time it was for keeps! It was true love! She teared up and babbled on.

Iris Nell said this was the kind of love we all seek since, in spite of their difficulties, these two were destiny-fated-soul-mates, propelled back once again into each others’ tree-like arms in a tight and clinging embrace that now would never break but instead would super-glue their entwined bodies together until the end of time.

Frankly, I think a number of people might find Iris Nell’s idea of an eternal love bond similar to being exiled to Elba shackled to a fire alarm.

And guess what? These two people were in that group, yelling “Dear God, get us out of this!”

Nothing else could rip this couple apart but Iris Nell‘s romantic love-gush did.

The last I heard, even the groom’s parents were splitting up. And by all accounts, they had always been happy. 

How much for the garage at the garage sale?

September 19th, 2011

By Tiber

Dad decided we could make some money by having a garage sale – not exactly a common event here on the estate.

Mom agreed to it but worried that the cars would rust. Someone finally thought to explain to her that a garage sale did not actually mean selling the garages.

Dad contributed his “Complete Book of Medieval Maces,” to sell, not because he didn’t want it but because “I’ve read it so many times, let’s let someone else enjoy it.”

Iris Nell donated her Kitty Xylophone. She’d decided as a child that animals needed to make music too and while you’re probably thinking that no cat ever actually played the Kitty Xylophone, it turned out that one cat loved leaping on it so much that Dad finally stomped on it and broke it.

Duncan and Honor decided to part with the old “candy dispenser.” When the triplets were little, Duncan made this thing that looks sort of like a three-lined fishing pole. You could tie candy bars to the lines and dangle them from a distance. This way, you could treat the kids without having to get too close to them and risk losing a finger.

The triplets are just as vicious now but since they’re older, you can just throw food at them and they can snag it in mid-air with their teeth.

Our sales were slow.

It was warm out and Erin’s skull-shaped snack holder kept oozing fruit roll-ups out of its mouth like a bloody, lacerated tongue.

The only thing we sold was one of Mom’s vermouth misters from an old martini set.

The girl who bought it spritzed it on her head, evidently thinking it was hairspray or something. I almost stopped her but, hey, she may get more dates this way and frankly, we needed the money.

The “I Can Live With That Dating Service”

September 15th, 2011

By Tiber

Quite awhile ago, I wrote about how my idiot brother, Duncan, and his wife, Honor, had somehow come up with a good money-making idea.

They’ve started the “I Can Live With That Dating Service” where prospective daters just reveal everything wrong with themselves instead of what’s right.

This is actually working because, when you think about it, coexisting with other humans is really much more about what you can stand as opposed to what you can share.

And it looks as if they’re having their first marriage between two clients.

Duncan and Honor, weighing all of the couple’s flaws, have put together a perfect match.

He leaves up the toilet seat…But she’s a compulsive cleaner who’s happy not to touch the lid.

She cracks her right hand knuckles…But he’s deaf in his left ear.

He wakes up hungry at 3AM…But she’s a lonely insomniac, who now has someone to cook for.

She bites her nails…But he has a phobia of pointy things.

He hogs the remote…But she thinks TV is evil and she lets him.

Most horrifying of all, both of them, when stressed, compulsively hum, “I Love You. You Love Me” from that Barney children’s show.

So now, they can sincerely sing it to each other, never plunging again into the dating pool, making it a win-win for them and the world.

See the pretty Choo Choo

September 11th, 2011

By Tiber

Well, it’s the official end of summer. This is not because of Labor Day. It’s  because Cax, our dog, has decided to finally put away his sunglasses for the year.

You’ll remember how last year, when Cax had some eye medication put in and Dad had jokingly placed his own sunglasses on him, the dog loved them so much, he wouldn’t leave without them.

Well, this summer was no different.

It’s just that when Dad balked about loaning the dog his own shades again, one of Mom’s insane, animal-loving friends bought Cax his own pair of Jimmy Choo glasses.

These probably cost more than my entire wardrobe and clearly Brendan, our other dog, has been none too pleased about them.

I think he mostly thinks Cax just looks like an ass in general. But I also think that the price of anything Jimmy Choo has seeped down even into the canine world and we clearly have some jealousy involved.

It’s a good thing Cax decided at last to leave off the shades on his own.

I could see that soon, Brendan was going to start refusing to eat…unless we got him his own Louis XIV golden bowl.

It’s the cat’s meow

September 6th, 2011

By Tiber 

As you know, my brother, Kru, has his own cat sand home delivery service, which earns him more than you might think.

This summer has been slow, though, and only this week has it picked up. I always wonder about facts like these. Cats have to relieve themselves all year round. Why would it be less in the summer?

Of course, the way my mind works, I start envisioning them being so hot, they’d pooled their money, rented cat busses and hightailed it to the beach. Then, on arrival, they had just used the sand there. Frankly, I wish my mind did not work this way. Still, I would advise all of you to avoid that beach.

Anyway, I rode along on Kru’s route today and once again, he has some female customers who like him a lot.

One of them even made us stay and listen to her cat, Tobey, because she claimed she had taught Tobey to say Kru’s name. And after about 10 minutes of…

“Tobey! Come on! Say it! Kru’s here now! Say it for him! Come on, Tobey! Be a good boy! Say Kru! Say Kru! Come on! Tobey! Say it”

…finally, Tobey said it.

Well, I thought he said “Myou.”

But the woman insisted, “There! He said ‘Kru!’ Did you hear it? Isn’t that adorable?”

And my brother said it was.

And then the cat said something like “Meow! Myou-sah.”

So this time, I “interpreted” with,

“Did you hear that?! This time Tobey said, “Wow! Kru is hot!”

I have to quit joking. My brother was mad. The customer was mad. And to be honest with you, even Tobey didn’t look all that pleased. 

How to get a head in life

September 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

A neighbor actually returned something we had lost in the flooding. It was the topiary in a pot that Nestor, our gardener, had trimmed to look like Dad‘s face and head.

 It doesn’t look much like Dad now.

Of course, Dad never recognized himself in it anyway. Afraid that Nestor might be let go in the financial pinch, Mrs. Brunty, our ever-wise housekeeper, had suggested cutting a topiary to look like Dad.

She didn’t think that Dad would recognize himself in it but that he’d fall in love with Nestor’s work because of a subconscious connection to his own head. And then he wouldn’t fire him. And she was right!

Dad is crazy about that topiary, the “art” one, he calls it.

And now, with it so damaged, he was so afraid that Nestor would not be able to remember such an original piece and be able to reproduce his masterpiece exactly.

Nestor, of course, just took another quick look at Dad’s head and has whipped out another one.

We all get a laugh. Dad is thrilled. And I don’t think Nestor will ever be fired now. Even if the house goes.

Water, water everywhere

August 29th, 2011

By Tiber

We’ve had some flooding. Water can be so serene and beautiful but when it surges through like this, what a mess.

Nestor, the one remaining gardener, certainly can’t clean the whole estate by himself. So Dad has recruited all of us to help. And everybody’s okay with that since we want the place back to the way it was before.

We’ve had a little flooding in the past and the interesting thing to me is all of the unknown items that end up with you. (While some of your own possessions have floated away.)

Dad said we should make a real effort to return the items we find. But then we found a squash racquet. And nearby, there was an actual squash. There was a cantaloupe too so they probably came from a fruit stand or something but Dad thought someone might have actually been trying to play squash with a squash so he’s keeping the racquet “to keep his I.Q. from dropping any lower.”

We also ended up with somebody else’s lawn furniture. And our own was gone. Dad said in that case, why not just let everybody go with what they have? Mom likes ours a lot better, though, so I can already see us forced to be weird little Oliver Twists, roaming the neighborhood going,

“Please, sir, do you ‘ave our ‘litul’ French wrought-iron table?”

The one thing we thought we’d have no trouble returning was a large plastic tub filled with chopsticks. There’s s Chinese restaurant in the village so…but then we saw written on the side of the tub, “Property of Luigi.”

I knew right then, this is all going to be a lot harder than I’d thought.

“Patience, grasshopper.”

August 25th, 2011

By Tiber

As the sun is guaranteed to rise in the east, our maid, Taffy, has had another “unfortunate event,” as Mrs. Brunty, the housekeeper, calls them.

We all know, of course, that Taffy is just one of those people out of sync with the Universe.

Remember when she got her foot stuck in her mouth?

Remember when that fish fell out of the sky and shattered her windshield? It’s true that a bird could have dropped the fish on Taffy but I still maintain that God may have just thrown it at her.

She’s seems really nice to me but who knows how these things work. The reality is that all bad things happen to Taffy.

This time, she was attacked by a fighting grasshopper.


Of course, Taffy did most of the work for him. He just kept throwing himself at her face and her hair and she then threw herself into a tree trunk, a lawn chair and the ground, trying to swat him away.

The question remains, however, why would any normally peaceful little grasshopper come at her at all? Why do any of these weird-ass things happen to Taffy?

If I’d known about this particular “unfortunate event” in advance, I would have spoken to the grasshopper beforehand and told him to forget it, that he didn’t have to fight so far out of his weight class.

He’s probably glad now that I didn’t. He’ll be out there forever, wherever grasshoppers congregate, bragging over and over again, about the day when he took down a one hundred and ten pounder.