Archive for the ‘Aunt April’ Category

Gnome, gnome on the range

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

By Tiber

Since we‘re now all thinking that maybe we can make some extra money by doing something here on the estate, somebody came up with the idea of charging admission to a Garden Gnome Village.

You’ll recall that we discovered about a hundred of those gnomes up in one of the attic rooms since it turned out that Aunt April has been stealing them out of strangers’ yards for decades.

My mother’s shoulders fell. “Those gnomes don’t belong to us!”

“Yeah, but they’re just sitting up there!”

“And we should be calling the police about them!”

“Come on, Gwen,” my father said, “They’d never find all of the owners anyway. April’s clearly been stealing them for years!”

“The police don’t let people off just for persistence!”

She’s right, of course, but since nobody here is going to call the police, poor Mom stuck to what morals she could.

“Well, we shouldn’t make the gnomes an attraction. It wouldn’t be right to profit off of them.”

Erin suggested, “We can arrange them outside of the front gate! They can be what catches people’s attention and draws them in to see something else!”

Iris Nell looked concerned, “But somebody could steal them!”

Kru leaped in, “People can be such bastards!”

Mom soon did her patented drifting away to another room as if she’d inadvertently intruded on the wrong family.

There’s no doubt that she is our moral compass. It’s just that the rest of us are ferrous metal and we keep knocking her off-course.

In April showers, Aunt April cowers

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

By Tiber

As you know, we think there’s a runaway monkey from that nearby animal park loose somewhere in the house.

But my parents’ house covers about an acre and everybody has snacks stashed everywhere (why do you think I moved back in?) so the monkey’s never been in one place long enough to catch him.

Everyone agrees, though, that Aunt April probably saw him today.

Normally reclusive, she bolted out of her third-floor room, screaming.

Bo, one of the triplets, was coming up to ask me something and he was carrying his skateboard, when his great-aunt suddenly grabbed it and careened down the hall, riding the skateboard to get away as fast as she could, her long, white hair streaming out behind her.

She hit the main staircase and even though it’s a switchback, she kept riding that skateboard all the way down.

It’s going to be a lot harder now to keep the triplets from trying it, especially since Mom told them it wasn’t just banned but that it was impossible.

Evidently not.

No monkey turned up back in her bedroom, but as I always say, since it happens so rarely, it was nice to see Aunt April.

Riddle me this

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

I came home very late last night and ran into our reclusive Aunt April, roaming the third floor halls. We think she’s still pining for Jasper, that renter we had here for awhile but honestly, we know very little about Aunt April at all.

We do agree that one key to her life, pre-recluse, is “the black thing on her nightstand.” It clearly holds a place of importance. No one knows what it is but when we were kids, we each had our own theory.

Vanessa decided Aunt April had been left at the altar so she’d then “empowered herself and cut off the man’s penis.” I don’t think the word I‘d use would be “empowered.” “Excessive” would be more like it.

Iris Nell believes the thing is an Olympic silver medal, cried over for so many years for not being gold that it’s now grown black with mold.

Kru decided it was the final dropping from a much-loved pet. When Duncan informed him that crap would have disintegrated by now, Kru just insisted that she’d had it shellacked.

Erin thinks it’s part of a favorite childhood doll that Dad torched when they were both kids themselves.

And I’ve always maintained that Aunt April had once been the “Twinkie-Queen-of-New-Orleans.” But she’d lost the business in a poker game and this was all that was left of her stock.

Duncan claims it’s one of Aunt April’s own fingers – that she’d been a famous concert pianist until one day when a crucial digit had just fallen off. He always told us it was genetic and would soon be happening to us too.

Aunt April used to tell Dad we all lacked self-confidence, since we kept looking down so much. The truth was, we were just trying to figure out which one of her fingers was fake.

Gnomes, phone home

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

By Tiber 

Dad hates confronting women and here he’s had to do it twice in one week. He finally accepted that he really had no choice but to confront his own sister, our Aunt April, about the sea of other peoples’ garden gnomes we’d discovered up in the attic.

He flat-out asked her, “April, did you steal those garden gnomes?”

She tried to finesse it by retorting, “Completely insane people would do that!!!”

But Dad came back with, “Anybody can steal a roomful of garden gnomes but in this case, was it you?”

This left her nowhere to go so she confessed but, of course, that was quickly followed by “But wait! It’s not what you think!”

I have always said that someday we will find our family crest. And when we translate the Latin motto below it, it will undoubtedly read, “But, Wait! It’s Not What You Think!”

“Jack, I would never steal something just because I coveted it.”

This was a relief to Dad until she continued, “But I have no problem with removing someone’s family member if I feel it’s being mistreated,” sending Dad’s relief right out the window.

“Okay, maybe I took too many,” Aunt April admitted,  “but once you see the need in one set of eyes, you see it in all of them.”
So this is where my “save-the-world” sister, Iris Nell, gets this gene! Dad, however, does not have this gene.

“Their eyes are not needy because they’d need actual eyes to express the need that they need you because they’re needy!!!”

Clearly, Dad was losing it too.

“All right, April, what would you say about returning the gnomes?”

“I’d say. ‘no.’”

“You’re returning the gnomes!!!”

“All right!!!”

He won’t make her go up to anybody’s door so I can already see that this will involve lobbing gnomes back over garden walls and someone will be hit and die. The tabloids will excitedly pick this up as, “Will the Gnome Killer Strike Again?!?”

And then, my “save-the world” sister, Iris Nell, will hear about this, think that someone is killing garden gnomes, decide the gnomes should then all be put into protective custody somewhere, somewhere like an attic, say – and we’ll all end up right back where we started.

Gnome, Sweet Gnome

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

By Tiber

Ever since Mom had the sighting of that unknown older woman up in the attics, everyone’s afraid to go up there. Iris Nell was looking for Amadeus, her new cat, though, so she braved it.

And sure enough, she saw an older woman scurrying away. Surprisingly, it was not the unknown old woman. It was our older woman, Aunt April.

As you know, Aunt April has developed sort of a crush on Jasper, our renter, and, to his horror, she sometimes lurks outside his door. But generally, she’s rarely spotted out of her rooms up here on the third floor.

Iris Nell was therefore curious as to what Aunt April might be doing up on the attic floor and she peeked into the room she’d just vacated.

And there, instead of the emptiness Iris Nell had expected, was a sea of garden gnomes.

It looked like a Swedish little people’s cocktail party.
It looked like a hobbit haberdasher’s convention.

It looked like a room full of hot loot all pointing towards a felony.

So Iris Nell came and kindly inflicted this information on me. One of the phrases that’s constantly used by my family is, “It’s not what you think.” But here, we know it’s exactly what we think, which brought up another common phrase heard around here, “Now what do we do?”

Some of the gnomes were new but you could tell by the attire and condition that some of them went back decades. It seems sort of rotten to squeal on Aunt April to Dad, her own brother. And as for telling the police, I don’t think they give you a discount jail term just because you “shop” in volume.

How the hell is Aunt April pulling this off? She hasn’t driven in years. Is she hiring a taxi and paying off the driver to look the other way? Is she booking 1-800-Gnome-Van?

Most people only have to return their aunt’s ugly gift gloves. But if we end up having to return all of these, we’re going to be on troll patrol forever.

Belgian Catnip

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

By Tiber

As you know, for a little extra cash, my father has rented a room up here on the third floor of the house to a business associate of a friend, a Belgian man named Jasper. You also know that the first night the slight and polite Jasper was here, he was mistaken for an intruder by Aunt April, who attacked him with a pitchfork.

Thereafter avoiding dining with us, he then was almost carried off into the forest by the dogs, who discovered he had some snack food in his pockets.

Dad keeps reducing the price of the room, however, and brave Jasper keeps staying on.

This week, Dad even managed to entice Jasper to join us once more for dinner since Cook’s food is so good. But even here, Jasper’s path is not all smooth. For some reason, from the beginning, Cook has taken a liking to him and she keeps pressing large amounts of Brussels sprouts on him. (“In case he’s homesick!“) I can only hope he doesn’t loathe them the way I do, because now there’s no way to avoid them, The only thing worse than having Cook like you is having Cook not like you.

Jasper did get a food offering that he enjoyed, however, when an older woman seen disappearing up the back stairs left a little package of Belgian chocolates outside his bedroom door.

He told Dad to please thank Aunt April for her peace offering but it turned out the “love chocolates” were not from Aunt April at all. They must have been left by the unknown woman Mom spotted one day, who may be living on her own somewhere up in the attics.

Hearing about this woman’s amorous interest as well as Cook’s must have lit a competitive fire in Aunt April and since she has no food to give Jasper, she’s been making rare appearances outside of her suite every night, to stand outside of his bedroom door and serenade him with her recorder.

The key here, I think, is the fact that Jasper has no romantic interest whatsoever in any of these females, which, of course, in the weird and wonderful world of women, makes him Belgian catnip.

I always remember how in the original version of the movie “Bedazzled,” the girl is mesmerized when Peter Cook, playing the famous singer, intones, “You fill me with inertia.”

And she was hooked.

The more genuinely uninterested a man can be, to the point of actually spurning any of a woman’s advances, the more the woman will pick him as her one and only and discard everyone else.

When you really stop and think about it, it’s a wonder that human beings ever get manufactured at all. 

The song remains the same

Monday, April 19th, 2010

By Tiber

As I’ve mentioned before, my very reclusive Aunt April stays full-time in her own small suite of rooms up on the third floor and we hardly ever see her.

 Of course, last month, we did have a brief sighting.

As I wrote about in my older post, “Not in Bruges,” Dad forgot to tell Aunt April that we now have a Belgian man named Jasper renting a room up on the third floor and when she spotted him padding to the bathroom in the dead of night, she went after him with a pitchfork. I guess she could have pretty much anything in her rooms but now, since Dad took it away, we all know she’s at least down one pitchfork.

Anyway, she suddenly appeared again last night, long white hair askew, this time in the living room, where a number of us were watching TV. It was comforting to be in a group right then because, as with a ghost, you sort of wanted to confirm that everybody else was actually seeing the same thing.

And then she spoke. “You all like different music!!!”

Okay. Point taken. And yet…? Thankfully, she went on.

 “I don’t know which one of you is doing it! But YOU know!!!”

Uh, no. Still very unclear.

“What I MEAN is, whoever’s playing that same song over and over and over and over again, just because YOU like it, should remember that NOT EVERYBODY AGREES!!!”

Our frozen, perplexed looks continued until, at last, there was a small, “Oh, dear,” from Mom.

Aunt April’s contorted gaze whipped around towards her and Mom then said, “It’s been very windy today.”

What the hell did that mean?!? It sounded as if the two of them had suddenly become World War II spies and were communicating in code.

But Mom explained… “Remember, April, we put that musical greeting card I bought you for your birthday on your windowsill. Do you think the wind might be setting off that funny little song over and over again?”

Our accuser held her ground for a good three seconds before she stormed off.

Well, at least we got to see Aunt April.  And it’s always especially nice when she’s unarmed.

Not in Bruges

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


By Tiber

Since Dad’s looking for some extra income, one of his friends suggested renting out a room here. The house is so big and Dad’s friend even had a renter in the form of a Belgian man who has come to work for him for the next few months. Mom was none too thrilled but Dad said we could put him on the third floor and, except for meals, Mom would hardly even know he was here.

So, Jasper from Belgium arrived in a shattering rain storm. He stepped inside and said how much better it was to be with us than to be outside in a deluge. Good thing only Dad was there to greet him, as any of the rest of the family would quickly have cast doubt on that.

Anyway, Dad got Jasper settled into his room up here and soon we all were asleep.

Unfortunately, since Aunt April rarely comes out of her own rooms during the day, everybody forgot to tell her that a new man was in residence. Even more unfortunately, Aunt April does sometimes roam the halls in the dead of night and this is where she encountered Jasper, padding his way to the bathroom.

Speeding into action, Aunt April raced back to her room and then flew out wielding, honest to God, a pitchfork. How many people have a pitchfork in their bedroom?!? How many people even have a pitchfork in their garage?!? Poor Jasper ran but he doesn’t yet know the house that well and he ended up just going round and round in the halls, with this white-haired, pitchfork-charging demon in screaming pursuit.

Clearly, Jasper thought that by making one small wrong turn to the bathroom, he’d instead descended into one of Dante’s concentric circles of hell. Everybody woke up and it soon was all sorted out but Jasper, who’s sort of slight and polite, still looked a little shaky.

Cook, of all people, took pity on him and on her own initiative made him some Belgian waffles with Brussels sprouts, to “make him feel at home.” If there is a worse combination of any two foods, I don’t know what it is but no one wanted to say anything because, come on, it was Cook! Cook was actually being nice to somebody!

So Jasper, seeing all of us looking so pleased, went ahead and ate all of his “sproutaffles”, which I think may be guaranteed to elicit another trip to the bathroom later on. Dad did assure him, however, that he’d confiscated the pitchfork. Hey, it was the least we could do.

If Aunt April’s making haystacks in her bedroom, from now on, she’s just going to have to use her comb.