Home sweet theme park

By Tiber

I knew I was feeling an ill-defined urge to flee when Dad, suddenly, called us all outside for a family meeting.

He said that to bring in some extra income, maybe we could do what some British families, who also live in big country houses, do – open up part of the house and grounds to the public.

“The tickets would be much less than people would have to pay if they went to a big amusement park.”

“And with good reason,” Vanessa observed.

Undaunted, Dad continued. “Well, obviously, my wonderful children, we’ll have to put in some attractions. And all of you can contribute, depending on how much free time you have.”

I knew he was looking right at the now-downsized king of free time. Me.

“We could do a haunted woods attraction,” my sister, Erin, volunteered.

“That’s very good! What sort of scary thing could we put in there?”

“How about Duncan’s triplets, just sitting on little chairs?”

Dad started to write this down before he realized what she’d said.

“…No! That’s not funny!”

Duncan made a face at Erin but she does better ones right back and he recoiled.

My sister-in-law, Honor, reminded me of my pending nightmare.

“Maybe guests could observe when Tiber starts making our goat cheese.”

Duncan guffawed. “Plus, when so much of it goes bad, we can build a Disneyland Matterhorn out of it!”

“Oh, yeah?” I retorted, “Well, we can also do ‘It’s a Small World’ if you’ll just flash your-”

Duncan jumped me at that point and we soon were rolling around all over the ground. Unfortunately, the goats had gotten there first and the rising smell gave most of the family a valid excuse to run away.

“Stop it! Both of you! Get up!” Dad yelled.

“And in any event,“ he said, “I’ve decided not to have Tiber learn to make goat cheese, after all.”

That was the best news I’ve ever had since, I don’t know, birth.

But Dad just had to go on.

“No, I’m thinking instead, since we still have the goats…that maybe we can make some painted goat carts, you know, with cute little flowers on them and bells. And Tiber can start giving people rides in them, all over the grounds.”

I’ve fallen into hell. And that’s the tricky thing about hell. When you fall there, you just keep right on going.


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