Howdy-dowdy-dipsy-doodle-doo! Land sakes, has it been almost two months? I've spent much of the intervening weeks making preparations for the end of days (packing a rapture go-bag, vacuuming my Buick, euthanizing neighborhood pets, etc.). The Book of Revelations warns us of recent events; Saint John hallucinated a seven-headed, ten-horned beast emerging from the sea. Although the Obamas have four heads, no visible horns and emerged from Chicago, your Aunt Betsy considers the eerie similarities too close for comfort.
Which reminds me of a curious incident that occurred at last Saturday's meeting of the Yahtzee League. I had been rushing about, aggressively scrubbing Aunt-Betsy-stan (my split-level Christian theocracy) to a glorious House-Beautiful shine, and the fumes of the various household chemicals had a bizarre effect on my senses. I looked over at Bipsy Dreck (the suspiciously cheerful Presbyterian with chronic dandruff and a lazy eye) and suddenly she appeared to have a lizard tongue and bat wings. Thinking quickly, I shouted a passage from Deuteronomy, shoved a cheese log into her mouth and doused her with Diet Sprite (alas, I don't keep holy water on-hand). It worked like a charm; Bipsy soon returned to her insufferable self, though noticeably less cheerful for the remainder of the meeting.
Over the holidays, I made the trip to Peducah Kentucky to visit my niece Jeannie Bladdersham, a godly (though flatulent) young woman tediously devoted to her dead ferret Lady Hildegarde Hoparound. Tired of receiving phone calls in the wee hours so Jeannie could recite her latest poem to the deceased creature (that she herself decapitated with a leaf blower), I'd finally had enough. I purchased a jittery replacement ferret (actually a feral Egyptian mongoose, but no one's the wiser) and delivered the foul creature to my pitiful, maladjusted niece just prior to Christmas.
Which brings me to the topic of today's column. Aunt Betsy understands better than anyone how charming animals can be. My kitty cat Mr. Sillypants is a constant source of joy. And when I kidnapped Charo (my homosexual neighbors' loathsome Shih-Tzu) and whipped up a batch of Korean dog sausage, well the way they reacted you'd think I committed a crime! It's not as if I didn't offer them any. Where was I? Oh yes. Animals! Today, Aunt Betsy turns her thoughtful gaze at desperate letters about our furry friends (no, not Iraqis, silly!).
Dear Aunt Betsy: Me name be Lola Spreadem and I'm a bird wot works as a nurse in da local Hospy 'ere in Durham. Durham be the burg where a bird call Emma Modrate be hooverin trouser snakes all out in pubbo-like. Lates, da squirrels of Durham be off they bloomin gourds, springin all daft-like from da treez and attackin all da nursie birds wot I work wif. They hop on our gullivers and act all bitey. Wot's a bird to do, Bets? What do da squirrelies got gainst da nursie birds? I'm deffo all up in a snizzle-snit 'bout dis. Signed: Crikes! Howz A Very Eager Toots To Escape?
Dear CHAVETTE: How I do wish you Brits would learn to talk American. Bipsy Dreck, fellow Yahtzee hobbyist and sometime thespian, once played Eliza Doolittle in a local production of Hello, Dolly! and is therefore an expert in deciphering the cryptic language of the toothless English working class. According to Bipsy, your letter states that squirrels have been attacking the nurses of Durham. We all know squirrels are cute and timid creatures who are unlikely to target nurses, unless provoked. Do your nurses tease or ridicule the squirrels? Do you roam about in all-nurse gangs filming brutal nurse-on-squirrel "happy slap" attacks? Perhaps you're packing nuts. Regardless, I've ceased to care. Toodle-pip.
Dear Aunt Betsy: My name is Monique and I live in Paris. I wear tight sweaters, eat cheese, and smoke. I find your column boring and bourgeois, but nevertheless I write because our former president, Jacques Chirac, was recently attacked by a depressed poodle. Now I am despondent and filled with ennui. Here in France, we act rude and superior in the knowledge that your ex-president is more of an embarrassing retard that ours. And now...now...nevermind. This topic has grown tiresome and I'm already bored by your response. Au revoir! Signed: Forget Responding, Old Grandma.
Dear FROG: Ah...I remember seeing the Eiffel Tower...the Arc de Triumph. It was magical! It was also in Las Vegas, so I was spared the perdition of riding the metro in close proximity to five hundred malodorous mimes. I was also able to eat normal food (i.e., hot pockets, double whoppers) instead of frog/rabbit/squid/snail or whatever you scrape off your shoes, toss on a plate and call an entree. While it may be true that our recently de-throned president has an IQ only slightly higher than a potted fern, at least he's capable of fending off attacks from Barney (the terrier, not Frank). If you're suggesting we should have intervened, storming your beaches once again to defend your pitiful nation against moody lap dogs, you really should have been less uppity when we shocked and awed Iraq by dropping bunker busters on Baghdad kindergartens. C'est la vie!
Dear Aunt Betsy: OMG, my chihuahuas keep disappearing! Okay I tossed that one out my limo when it barfed on my Ferragamos, but after four of them were devoured by a gross coyote and three of them croaked when Brandon sat on them, I'm starting to get creeped out! I totally charged ten more chihuahuas on my platinum, but since then they keep croaking or running away! Gawd, it's making me all mental and stuff! Signed, Please Advise, Really I'm So Hott It's Lapdogs Today Over Nicky
Dear PARISHILTON: Apologies for the delayed response. Your charming letter caused Aunt Betsy to boil her computer and it took ages to dry. Perhaps the answer is to find another outlet for your deeply unfulfilling existence, other than spreading herpes on film and presiding over the demise of a legion of doomed toy purebreds. Aunt Betsy suggests that if you climb into a soothing bath with a plug-in radio set to your favorite station, you'll soon be reunited with your many lost puppy dogs. The sooner the better, dear.