Posts Tagged ‘my sister Iris Nell’

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.

Feline Beeline……………..tales of the cat underground railroad

Monday, September 20th, 2010

By Tiber

Everybody here loves animals but nobody more than my sister, Iris Nell. And it’s because of Iris Nell that we are a part of the cat underground railroad and cats in need of shelter simply show up.

My parents had had our cat, Pogonip, for ten years when Iris Nell was born but it was clear soon after, that she was her cat.

So not long after Pogonip died, Mumbles just appeared. (Mumbles got his name because he had a soft but very insistent voice. You were always bending down, trying to catch what he was saying, as if he had breaking news. He rarely did.)

In any event, soon after Mumbles went on to his kitty reward, Edward the cat appeared. Edward lived to be 18 and was loved by all, an undeniably good soul, even-keeled and tolerant, a far better man than I.

And a little less than a year ago, when Edward passed away, we all, needless to say, were very sorrowful. And yet, I knew that without our having to do anything at all, in a short time, another feline in need would simply arrive and join us and the triplets’ cat, Paracelsus.

I was right. I caught sight of Amadeus tonight for the first time. It turns out he showed up awhile ago but he’s been spending a lot of time in Iris Nell’s room.

He has some curly white fur on top of his head, like an 18th century wig, which is why Iris Nell named him Amadeus. (Well, that and the fact that he writes concertos and plays the harpsichord, so what else are you going to call him?)

As with any underground railroad, I always wonder how the participants communicate? Now, whenever I see a couple of cats together, I imagine that they’re weighing where exactly to direct that next feline in need, sort of like parents in Manhattan angling to get their kids into the best pre-school.

“Which home has the best napping arrangements? Are there ample snacks?”

Or maybe executive cats are just hanging around behind vets’ offices waiting for the workers to leave at night so they can sneak in and hack the medical files.

“Okay, it looks like old Roscoe’s not doing so well. This means a spot’s about to open up over on Elm Street. Hit it!”

Hell Toad………………..Beelzebub frogs that once frightened T-Rex

Friday, September 17th, 2010

By Tiber

My sister, Iris Nell, is a “look-on-the-bright-side” kind of person while I’m more of a…oh, I don’t know,…more of a “look-on-the-stench-filled-shrieking-an-inch-from-the-abyss” kind of guy.

I was  a little depressed again today, which I think being unemployed and alone I have every right to be, when Iris Nell pointed out that at least we don’t have Beelzebub frogs anymore.

‘Yeah, but I-what?’
She had just read where scientists have discovered fossils of a demonic prehistoric 10 lb. frog that had terrorized even the dinosaurs. So wasn’t I glad that it was extinct?

She did have a point. It is good that today, I can confidently walk past a pond without worrying that one of the residents is suddenly going to leap out and make off with my nose.

And I did stop feeling sorry for myself –  for a good thirty seconds.

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.’

“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.

And a beanie for your bunny

Saturday, May 29th, 2010


By Tiber

As I wrote about in my April 2010 post, “So Tell Us, Who Is Your Rat Wearing?“ my sister, Iris Nell, has been putting together a website to sell her own custom-made all-weather gear for pets other than cats and dogs.

And to my amazement, anyway, she’s actually gotten some orders. Mom, who to everyone’s amazement, is helping her sew, and Iris Nell keep going on and on about how cute all of this tiny attire is.  But frankly, it’s just creeping me out.

Besides the “mice macs and bunny breeches” she said she was making, Iris Nell has also made these little head scarves for iguanas. She tied one on her stuffed iguana mannequin to get a feel for it and when she whipped that babushka-sporting thing around for me to look at, all I could think was, “Contest winner for ‘World’s Ugliest Grandma!’”

Next up were her hamster capes. I actually dreamed about those and it was not pleasant. Suddenly, the caped hamsters were the Spartans in “300” if the Spartans were four inches tall and considerably more furry. And they were kicking my butt!

Now granted, I’ve never claimed to live a Spartan existence but still, these were Spartan hamsters! With pickle-jar lids for shields! Of course, they did have abs- even if those abs were about the size of M & M’s. And yes, okay, even candy-sized, they were still more rock-hard than mine.

I woke up sweating and trying to hide my stomach. I’ve heard of people having phobias about a lot of things. But no therapist in the country is going to treat me if I start getting panic attacks over tiny clothing.