Wait, Madam! There is comedy in your purse

Spread the word! Rich wears women's underwear (No, not THAT word!) What I meant was, spread the word that this BLOG makes polio string cheese come out all of your orafices. And if it doesn't, lie to your friends and say it does. Rich is tired of sucking scrotum to get ahead, and he wants a real job, one that pays. So come on in! I have Hot Pockets in the fridge

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thee ende of chapter tres

The weather outside was much harsher than it appeared from inside the hospital, and Margaret thought that the hospital must have put up some kind of sunscreen in the window since it wasn’t sunny at all anymore but rather dark and dreary, which suited her personality. This made Margaret consider her current predicament.

She knew she only had about six more days to make the money she needed, but she didn’t know how to make it. Plus, as if things couldn’t get any worse, she also had an elderly partner to worry about, too. The day was already starting off with excess, useless baggage, and she didn’t like it.

Still, the first thing Margaret wanted to do now was give her new sidekick a new name as Margaret liked naming things and didn’t want to call her Old Margaret anymore.

And she thought about this new name as she was crossing the street, stepping in between the diagonal white lines that made up the crosswalk without even looking to see if there was traffic coming. Old Margaret grabbed Margaret by the shoulder and pulled her back just in the nick of time before a Nissan Pathfinder almost ran her over; Old Margaret scalded Margaret as if she were the mother Margaret never had.

“Hey, weren’t you lookin’ there, toots? You almost got yourself crushed!” But just then, for reasons unknown, the voice at the roof of Margaret’s mouth said, “Estoban” and that was it, Margaret had a new name for her sidekick.

And while no, Old Margaret didn’t exactly look like an Estoban, by this point, after being beaten up by a martial arts master in a supermarket (twice) getting kicked out of her house, getting arrested, and breaking out of a hospital with a geriatric cancer patient, Margaret was pretty much willing to accept anything. So as Old Margaret scalded her, Margaret shouted out “Shut up, Estoban!” to get her to keep quite, leaving the two people standing at the crosswalk beside them to wonder if she was mistaking them for somebody else.

She wasn’t, though, and was in fact talking to Old Margaret, who stood aback and stared at Margaret with questioning blue eyes. She was still wearing the old fart’s pajamas, and Margaret was still wearing the Lucille Ball get-up, so they both looked out of place, meaning, that calling an old woman Estoban in public clearly wasn’t the best move if they wanted to avoid suspicion of inanity.

“What do you mean, Estoban?” Old Margaret barked, the two people at the crosswalk hurriedly walking away from these lunatics. When they left, Old Margaret used her hands to emphasize her dislike at all this randomness coming out of Margaret’s mouth.

“One minute I’m telling you not to cross the street without looking, the next you yell out ‘Estoban?’ What’s with you, Toots? You got a screw loose or somethin’?” and Old Margaret asked while spinning her pointy index finger by her ear in circles as she crossed the street with Margaret. Once across, and while they passed a French Connection, the neon lights bouncing off her cheek and painting it leopard yellow, Margaret explained to her:

“There can’t be two Margaret’s, you see.” she said matter of factly, the legs beneath now her carrying her to the subway. “Either I’m Margaret, or you’re Margaret, but we BOTH can’t be Margaret.”

“So why can’t I be Margaret then?” Old Margaret asked impatiently, her face turned while she ogled the clothes that lay within this delightfully tacky store. Margaret shook her head with closed eyes. “No way, man, I’m the leader here, so I get cool the name. You have to change yours.”

Old Margaret, staring away from the clothes for a second, thought about it for a moment, coughed, and then looked up at the encroaching rain clouds in the sky. She let the matter go. She didn’t feel like arguing

“Fiiiiiine, you can be Margaret,” Old Margaret said, nonchalantly, flicking her wrist in the air as if disavowing the name to the wind. “I’m too old to bother arguing, and I never liked it anyway, so take it. But I don’t want to be Estoban, either, that’s a boy’s name.”

The slow moving black parade in the sky that was the clouds began to shift and slowly march from in front of the sun, changing the dismal dark air into a pleasant blue skyline. Margaret didn’t like it.

“Then what DO you want to be called then?” Margaret asked, aggravated.

“Gertrude,” she said, her eyes dazzling, “I’ve wanted that name since I was a child and I think it fits me well, don’t you?”

Margaret agreed, it DID fit her well. Gertrude was such an old people name, and Old Margaret was certainly and old people, er, person, and so Margaret had nothing to argue about, Gertrude it was. Margaret was happy with the decision going so well without fisticuffs and she spat into her own hand to solidify the deal. Old Margaret shook it. She was happy with the name change, too. It was like starting a new life.

After their hands slid apart from the spit, Margaret then turned around quickly and continued to trudge forward without even thinking about Old Mar…er, Gertrude catching up her. “Hey wait a minute.” Old Margaret, er Gertrude said (Sorry, this may take a little while to get used to). “Where are we headed now?”

“To my job, it’s Wednesday,” Margaret answered, and with that, Margaret continued to walk on hastily, forgetting all the while that she couldn’t show up to work dressed like THAT anyway. And then she had this old woman to deal with, too, making her believe again that maybe breaking out with her wasn’t such a great idea after all, the voices at the roof of her mouth complained and was all scratchy and gritty. “Why’d you have to take her along anyway, Margaret?” The voice growled.

Margaret told the voice, “Shut up, voice,” as she sped walked and told her why she was justified in saying that, “She helped me out, and I owe her my gratitude.” The voice agreed by staying quiet, this WAS indeed a noble cause.

Gertrude, only a few steps behind, didn’t quite know who Margaret was talking to, but as long as wasn’t she wasn’t calling her foreign names like Estoban anymore, Gertrude (there we go, got it!) really didn’t mind. She had nowhere else to go, anyway, so it was either follow this maniac to hell or go back to the machines that breathe for her in the hospital. Gertrude chose the maniac and hell.

Margaret really didn’t have to walk that many more steps before she would eventually be spotted by one of her biggest fans. But before that reveal, let’s get into a little back story during the commercial break, shall we? In all truths, when Margaret was placed in the hospital, not carrying a wallet or any form of identification, she was lucky that a woman like the bear lady existed.

For it was she who paid for everything on her husband’s salary, which made her find that morning in the hospital even more soul crushing. “What do you mean she escaped?!” the bear lady yelled as she grabbed the man in blue behind the counter and shook him violently; the two orderlies from before rushing to restrain her. She then ran to the door, cursing the entire hospital floor with some mystical incantation that didn’t mean anything, and then hopped back into her van that was waiting outside, the engine still running. She was going to find Margaret today if it was the last thing she did. But little did she know that today was also the day that she would also find her next specimen of interest in Gertrude. The bear lady’s luck looked like it was turning up gardenias.

Margaret pondered what exactly she was going to say to Karen once she finally got to the PETORIUM, which she would need to get to soon since she was late. She really needed the money, like, now, but knew that she couldn’t argue with Karen, it wouldn’t do a lick of good. She also knew that her normal approach, vicious violence, wouldn’t work on Karen, either, so that was out of the question, too. And besides, vicious violence didn’t seem to be going over too well for her, anyway, what with her bruised ribs and missing teeth as a visible example.

But she couldn’t just sit on this hot button topic of “what the hell do I do now” forever as this was a matter of life (Nickels’) and death (Karen’s), if she didn’t get the money she needed soon, so Margaret continued to walk to the subway to get to work and considered that if she couldn’t garner the money she needed by the end of the week, she would actually go back to the police station and tear it down with her bear hands. But that was only if worst came to worst. She wouldn’t make a move that desperate if things seriously weren’t rock, rock bottom.

It was on 6th Street that Margaret was finally found speed walking. The bear lady spotted her only a few blocks away from the subway that she was so hurriedly rushing to descend into. Ever since she got punched in the face by her, the bear lady had been highly interested in how this strange, lost woman operated, and after she woke up the first day upon meeting her, she rushed to the store the very next day to see if she could possibly get her on her show, Extreme Elderly, perhaps as a commentator or something else with a loud, booming voice and a little bit of sex (but not too much!) appeal. Margaret seemed poifect for the job. Just poifect.

But what did we have here? The bear lady spotted Margaret, looking like she just left Ricky Ricardo for Fred, but also saw another woman who seemed to be hopping up and down behind her like she was riding one of those sticks with the horse heads at the end, and by the looks of things, it looked like she was trying to catch up to Margaret, too.

Could this woman possibly be her sidekick? The bear woman pounded on her driver’s shoulder, a young Filipino from the Bronx who was a Grenada war veteran that didn’t like being pounded on his shoulders, and he sped up, not saying a word aloud but cursing under his breath in Tagalog. One day, he was going to strangle that wench.

But before that day, more back story: Right when the incident in the supermarket happened, the bear lady instantly began henpecking on her cell phone, dropping and breaking it, and then borrowing somebody else’s, just to dial 911. She called that number to get an ambulance to come rescue this woman who she was already considering her new star for her show. But let’s stop calling her the bear lady, okay? That name’s getting old, fast.

Her real name was Laura Pascarelli, but her husband, thinking an ethnic name like that wouldn’t fly in the big leagues, had it shortened to just plain, ‘ol, Pascal. So the bear lady’s name was really Laura Pascal. Her husband’s name was Arthur, making him Arthur Pascal. Hopefully, that clears some questions up for you.

So Mrs. Pascal, who was married to Arthur Pascal, who was a corporate exec at Digivision, the largest, multi-distributed company in the tri-state area, was given the right to make her own show just to keep his wife away from him so he could spend some quality time with his Canadian mistress. He thought, what the hell, I’ll give her a show to keep her busy, and why not? It’ll probably be taken off the air in less than a week.

But the truth was, Laura knew all about her husband’s affair and she didn’t care. Arthur was a puny bo boony anyway and she had her eyes on another man, anyway, and his name was Donald Trump (You may have heard of him). Her plan was to surpass his enormous wealth (and Oprah’s), before she hit 50, making a ditzy red head from Alberta, Canada the LEAST of her worries.

And it just so happened that when Margaret was swept to the floor with a flying kick that actually sent two of her teeth to the back of her throat, Mrs. Pascal had fallen in love all over again. She dropped everything and ran to the stubby woman’s aid as the mustache martial arts expert threw up his ninjitsu stained fists and the crowd cheered uproariously, hefting him up on the shoulders and taking him to Applebee’s.

Mrs. Pascal didn’t go with the flow, though. She was too busy taking a knee by the poor girl’s side and rubbing her face, saying soothing things like, “There, there, precious” and “The world might not get you, darling, but I’ll try.” All Margaret could hear in her stupor of unconsciousness was a loud, fog horn like noise. Mrs. Pascal sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown in her head.

And as the white van rounded itself around the corner, Margaret and Gertrude were flowing seamlessly into the darkness that was the subway terminal below. When they disappeared, Mrs. Pascal hit her chauffeur hard in the shoulder and put a nasty incantation on him, too. The chauffeur didn’t much believe in her incantation, but he listened to it all the same. It was the least he could do to take his mind off things, because if he had his mind on what he wanted to do, which was bring Mrs. Pascal’s face right into the windshield, he’d probably be chucked in jail. So he listened to the “Maguumba’s” and the “Bachingo’s” as she said them, it was the safest thing he could do in the circumstance he was in.


Margaret rushed to take the A train uptown, and Gertrude followed close behind, doing a duck walk as she traveled as it was the fastest way she could walk. But as Margaret rushed on past the yellow teeth colored tiles down below, she ran into a bit of a problem. She didn’t know what train she had to catch.

She knew that she had to catch an F train, but she wasn’t even sure if this station HAD an F train. She just knew she had to take an F train as that was the one she used always to take from her house. And since she never imagined she’d ever be kicked out of her apartment, she never learned to read the rest of the signs, making her F-U-C-K-E-D, fook-ed. So when Gertrude asked, “Where are we going now?” her voice swallowed up by a passing train, Margaret didn’t answer her, she really didn’t know.

Even so, Margaret darted over the turnstile without paying a dime, ran towards the train that just stopped, and leapt into it, hoping to God that it would take her to where she needed to be. Gertrude, close behind, just made it in herself before a police officer, who saw what they did, ran to the train and began banging on the scratched up window with his fists, his hard thuds waking up a Jamaican woman in nurse clothes dozing off every few seconds.

“Hey, what the bumboclot?!” she yelled and brandished a syringe from her purse, ready to poke whoever got in her path. Eventually, she calmed back down again and went to sleep, but Gertrude had her fists up ready to sock her one. She didn’t want to see another syringe for the rest of her life.

Margaret peaceably let out a sigh of relief and walked over to the map on the side of the train, bumping into businessmen and teenagers with iPods, just to get to it. If she couldn’t read a map before, she better learn now, as the train was heading somewhere, and she had no idea where. She also was determined to learn because she had a feeling that if things didn’t go right today, she might end up sleeping in one of these tin can thingies tonight. And while a park bench was one thing, a subway car was a whole ‘nother golf match, as sleeping on a subway train was even worse than poverty. So much worse than poverty, that it would have to take upon a new word, and we’ll just call that word bacapabapapa. There, that works just fine.

But, surprisingly enough, according to the map, she WAS actually heading in the right direction, but it was one of the last stops on the chart and she only had 5 more minutes to get to work. And Margaret knew the time, which was 2:25, because she could see it glinting off the oversized novelty clock of a backpack wearing B Boy’s chest. The clock was draped around his neck like Flava Flav’s. Gertrude tugged on Margaret’s shirt incessantly and tried to get her attention. She had to pee. “Margaret?” she asked.

“What?” Margaret asked angrily, she was already growing sick of this old bag in the pajamas and she desperately wanted to kick her like she would kick her beloved cat, Nickels. Maybe later, Margaret thought, but Gertrude continued to tug, she didn’t hear Margaret over the scraping of the rollicking subway’s screech.

“Margaret?” She asked.

“What?” Margaret asked again angrily, still eyeing the map as if doing so would make the train skip some stops and go faster for her. But Gertrude kept tugging.

“What?!” Margaret shouted, turning around with her fist up this time. Joke’s on her, though. When she turned around this time, she wound up facing the aforementioned B-Boy with the clock around his neck. When he saw her fist, he backed up for a second with his hands up, but then realized what time it was—it was CLOBBERING time! So he punched her right in the nose, her head flying back.

Just getting off of work at a bowling alley, the B-Boy had a lot of pent up energy, and he didn’t want to be bothered. He just wanted to listen to Mos Def.

When he punched her in the nose, it made her head go flying back into a pole. But here’s the strange thing. The curved metal of the pole bounced her head off its spine like a pinball and sprung it back forward, making her head butt the B-Boy in one efficiently snapping motion. He went tumbling down backwards into the rattling doors with a broken nose. He was unconscious.

Gertrude looked scared out of her wits, as did everybody else on the train. Lucille Ball just kicked Flava Flav’s ass! Gertrude refrained from asking Margaret the question she had on her mind, which was “do they have bathrooms on these pieces of tin?” and just kept quiet, holding in the pee.

Margaret grabbed Gertrude by the bony wrist tightly. Her head was throbbing (front and back) but her lust for blood was now increasing. That head butt really gave her back that loving feeling, as the goon with the clock laid slumped back against the rattling door unconscious. The crowd around him backed away as Margaret pushed her way through, with an old woman in pajamas in tow, to the front of the train. Margaret needed to get to work, and she needed to be there NOW. Getting there late certainly wasn’t going to improve her situation or get her a raise.

On each train car, she got stunned looks of fear and warning. Margaret didn’t know it, but her forehead was completely red and her mouth was bleeding profusely, she looked like she just got in the face with a chair. Gertrude didn’t say a word about it, though; she just followed on with her wrist tightly ensnared by Margaret’s hand. In all truths, this really was the most fun she had in a long time, and as soon as Margaret’s temper went down, Gertrude was going to ask her if they could go skydiving next.

When Margaret finally made it up to the front, she pushed the button on the side of the door and it slid open. She found the driver of the train. He was completely naked. The driver quickly released the lever, pushed his penis between his legs, and barked at Margaret, asking her what the hell she was doing up there. Margaret wasn’t paying attention to what he said as the voice at the roof of her mouth was humming a Louie Armstrong song, and this made Margaret pass the point of infuriation. She didn’t even notice that the man at the helm of the train had his Johnson dangling out. Gertrude did though; she thought the driver could stand to lose some weight.

“Hey, Mr., I need you to take me to 17th Street, now.

The naked driver turned his head back, slightly embarrassed to be caught unaware, the glow of the lights on the monitor turning his pallid, white flesh blue, but then he continued to stare ahead.

“Hey, lady,” he said, not noticing the old woman staring at the snaking trail of freckles on his shoulders, “I don’t know where you came from, but this is a subway, not a taxi service. We make all the stops.”

Margaret smiled, but not in a jovial way, but more in a, “I am prepared to hurt you,” kind of way.

“No, no, no, no, no, you don’t understand,” she said calmly, “I’m not requesting it.”

“What, are you threatening me, lady?” He asked, his eyes directed at his crotch as it began to peak through his thighs as the seat beneath him began to hop and bop.

Margaret’s smile dissipated into sort of a frown. She really didn’t feel like hitting anybody anymore today.

“Threatening you?” she asked, his face still not looking at her. She was going to have to get his attention the hard way, it seemed.

“Well, is this a form of threatening you?” She asked as her fist flew so fast into the back of his head that he wasn’t sure if a fist hit him or a jai aliah ball. It connected with such a great force that the driver was knocked straight forward and accidentally into the control stick by his…um, hips…causing the subway to spring forward, making it shoot sparks out of its side against the heavily graffiti laden wall (And how anyone could scribble these elaborate designs on the walls without being hit by an oncoming train is still one of life’s greatest mysteries next to whether God exists and why hot dog buns come in packages of 8, while hot dogs come in packages of 10).

All the passengers, including the dozing Jamaican woman and Gertrude, went hurdling forward off their seats and fell over with the motion. The driver slid onto the floor, his fleshy body fully exposed.

At this point, a man wearing a jumpsuit, ran up to the front of the train in a world of panic. He wanted to know what the hell was going on.

“Hey, what the hell are you doing up here?” He asked, the chest hairs just edging their way over his zipper. “You’re not allowed in here! Are you?”

At this point, Margaret was holding the driver’s head up, and wiping the blood out of his eyes. She didn’t know he would go down THAT hard.

“Wuh?” He kept saying, as Margaret kept patting him on the head. Gertrude took the wheel. She had never done it before, but hey, you only live once, right? The future sped past her eyes at a blinding rate, and on her right, the world was yellow and brown. She had just passed by two stops in less than a minute.

“Sir?” The jumpsuit man said, stepping forward cautiously at the swaying of the speeding train. “Can you get up?”

“Wuh?” said the naked driver again, his vision blurry. Jumpsuit man didn’t even pay attention either to the fact that the driver was completely naked (Was NOBODY surprised by this?)
Margaret paid no mind to the jumpsuit man, and just kept trying to budge this naked lummox as best she could. Gertrude wasn’t doing such a great job of riding this train to victory after all.
“Margaret, my wrist hurts,” she moaned like a six year old, “take over,” The train was now careening across the rails at a crisp and cool 140 MPH, much, much faster than the speed of safety.

“Wuh?” said the driver again. And as if out of a daze, the driver began to stand up wearily, holding his head all the while and shuffling as if he was just getting out of bed.

With Margaret and jumpsuit man’s eyes glaring up at his bad posture as he stumbled with the rollicking of the train, they saw him push Gertrude aside with the back of his hand politely and plop back down into his cool seat, his chapped ass receiving a quick sensation right down his spine.

And as he pressed down on the break with his bare foot with a stomp, his lips slapping together and his other hand wiping off the drool from his mouth, the train stopped abruptly, which caused all the passengers on board, some clinging on for their lives, to fly forward wherever they may have been sitting or standing. And, (what kind of strange luck was THIS?!) The train just so happened to stop at the exact spot where Margaret needed get off.

Lucky for her! Unlucky for everybody else.

At the stop, Margaret patted the driver on his tired head, and walked out holding Gertrude’s hand like a good chaperone should. The jumpsuit guy wrapped his arms around the driver’s neck and held him as tight as he could. The naked driver didn’t really see what the big deal was. All he did was get up and go to work. But then he started to look around startled. How’d he get here? The konk on the head made him forget that he left his house that morning.

The mall was packed, and the parking lot, with floors upon floors upon floors of yellow and white lined parking spots, was all filled up. This was the biggest mall in all New York. It was also where Margaret worked. And when she finally reached the PETORIUM, where, with only a half mile of territory of space, was the smallest store in the mall, Margaret felt fortunate she was working in such a small location, it really made her feel at home with her environment.

While she passed by the many stores she always passed, Gertrude was left with her mouth wide open. This place was GYNORMOUS! And for a woman who hadn’t been shopping for over 25 years, this was a big deal for her. Her shriveled heart did a little somersault.

But why 25 years, you ask? Well, while he was alive, let’s just say that her husband wasn’t the type of man who would let his wife spend the entire day shopping with two out of his three major credit cards. Her husband, may he rest in pee, was the old school type who would actually make her mend her OWN clothes. So you can imagine what the sight of not one, but TWO stores selling Gucci bags and accessories, would do to a woman like Gertrude. She felt like a young, budding boy who just stumbled upon his papa’s porno collection. Joy!

“Can I go over there?” Gertrude asked while pointing at a neon red Timex store, her bony, pajama covered legs already moving in that direction.

“Yeah, sure, knock yourself out,” Margaret said, barely listening.

“Where should we meet up again?” Gertrude asked, her body almost two steps away from the store already.

“I’ll be at the PETORIUM,” and they were both separated. But after she said it, Margaret wished she had been thinking before she spoke, the voice at the roof of Margaret’s mouth was already telling her, “Stupid, stupid, stupid,” with each step Margaret took. And the voice was right, too. Margaret should have lied. She could have gotten rid of that old tea bag once and for all.

Oh, well, there was nothing she could do about it now. What’s done is done.

When Margaret finally bypassed the Journeys and the Sam Goody that led to her store, there stood Karen at the front counter tapping her KEDS against the carpet and staring at her watch with a “You’re late,” expression beneath her eyebrows.

Margaret knew she was late, but what could she do about it now? She tried her best to get there on time, but she couldn’t. The fat bitch in the KEDS should respect that.

Today also didn’t seem like the best day to ask upper management for a raise, either, but she knew she had to ask it, and if that didn’t work, demand it.

But before Margaret could get what she felt she deserved, Karen stopped her abruptly with an upraised hand. “What the hell are you wearing? That’s not store regulation.” Her fat, badly covered lips were drenched in splotchy red lipstick and wouldn’t stop yap yap yapping at Margaret now, leaving her with little to no time at all to ask for the raise and get out of here. Margaret didn’t much feel like working today.

“You can’t just step in here looking like Lucille Ball and think you can get off THAT easily, do you? You know we don’t have any extra shirts in back.” Karen had a lot of power in the PETORIUM, she was the assistant manager to the assistant manager, while Margaret was only the assistant manager to the assistant manager to the assistant manager, which meant the only power she had was to choose the color of the scoop she would use to clean up after the Lapso Apso’s.

That’s why Margaret had to be on her very BEST behavior around Karen all the time. Not because Karen could promote her or anything like that, no ho ho, fat chance, Karen didn’t have any sort of super power like that. But with all the cameras in the store, Margaret hoped that if she worked diligently enough, she might just get her that promotion she so desperately felt she needed.

The joke, though, was that there wasn’t even any footage in those cameras. They just sat there idly in the corner, waiting for someone to wave to it so it could turn its head and never wave back ever.

So Margaret, being on her best behavior, did a little curtsy and walked in back without saying a scathing word. But just then, Karen, her mountainous body bobbing up and down lumbered over to her and grabbed her shoulder.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing” Margaret asked as she got the shove from behind.

“Un huh huh,” Karen said, wagging her finger and pointing to the worthless camera in the corner she knew Margaret feared. “Don’t start that nonsense with ME, young lady (Margaret was 15 years older than her) YOU know that if you make any false moves, you know how fast I’ll get you fired.”

“But,” Margaret began. Karen stopped her.

But it was at that moment that Karen noticed had messed up and bruised Margaret was. Plus, she also saw that Margaret was also missing some teeth in the back of her mouth, Karen grabbed Margaret by the jaw and turned her face left and right, the voice at the roof of Margaret’s mouth was subdued and couldn’t make a peep, and mostly sounded like “mwo moo mwo moo.”

“What the hell HAPPENED to you?” Karen asked sympathetically, she may have hated Margaret, but not enough to wish any sort of harm on her. Margaret just turned around and began to head in back for the mop, her heels rising and falling like Peggy Bundy’s. “It’s nothing, leave me alone,” Margaret said just as she passed the cat display and the tarantula under the purple lid that was marked down because it was missing a single hair follicle on its third left leg. But when Karen cleared her throat, Margaret stopped, she didn’t know why.

“Yes, Karen?” Margaret groaned, her eyes already rolled to the ceiling before Karen could say a word.

“Seriously, Margaret, what the hell happened to you? Are you okay?”

Margaret kept on walking, and said, “I’m fine,” as she went on in the back, her heels clickity, clickity, clacking. Karen followed her for just a couple of steps when a man and a woman walked into the store. It was a black guy wearing a white Kangol hat backwards and an Asian woman in a nurses’ outfit who had her arm wrapped snuggly around his. It was Rona, the nurse from the hospital. She had a big lump on her forehead.

“Can we just look at the puppy faces for awhile?” She asked, her voice lilting as they stepped into the store.

“Of course, honey,” the man said, his voice supportive and strong, “anything for my snufflelovetokiss, especially after that fall today, does your ass still hurt?”

Rona didn’t answer, her body was already bent forward, she was staring at a baby Pug knocking another Pug over and around in confetti.

Once in back, Margaret took off her shirt and put on a smock that was hanging by the desk, Karen followed.

“Hey, you lied,” Margaret said, “there WAS an extra shirt back here.”

“That’s a smock.”

“Same difference,” Margaret said as she slung it around her neck and wore it proudly, the green stripes of it lingering down her bare flesh.

“Hey! You can’t just wear THAT!” Karen scolded.

“I know, I know, hold on,” and off Margaret went walking over to the corner and picking up a sandwich board that had been lying on the floor, folded up end over end. Margaret once had to wear it to advertise for the store, as it said, “PETORIUM, WE PUT THE PET IN ORIUM” whatever that meant.

Margaret put it over her body and it covered her smock. “What does it matter, I’m just going to be cleaning up crap all the day anyway, right?” she said. And then she walked out the room, turning to the side to get out the small doorway and went in the backroom with the animals, her backside banging and scraping across the glass. When Karen saw the customers outside, she gave one last angry look at Margaret, and shuffled out to greet them. Margaret was going to ask for her raise after she finished cleaning. It only seemed fair.

Rona was still dressed in her work clothes when she walked into the shop with her boyfriend, Richard, a jobless bum wearing a Pink Flamingoes t-shirt and ketchup stained sweatpants. He had called her to relieve some of his stress from writing. He was a freelance journalist and a wannabe novelist, and he claimed that he needed some outside time, his typing fingers giving him problems. Rona was happy to oblige, and she even put on some perfume she had stored away in her medical bag. ANYTHING would be better than reliving the catastrophe in the hospital.

When the couple walked in, Karen scooted over to them like she was wearing a kimono, her feet were twittering so close together. Rona and Richard were staring at some chew toys for her pet dog, Belle.

“Can I help you two with anything?” Karen asked, her cheeks rosy red.

“No,” Richard said, his hand already gripping for his wallet, protecting it from a sale.

“Richard,” Rona snarled, “I can speak for myself, now how much is this chew toy? There isn’t a price on it.”

“Oh, that’s just fourteen dollars, and you get a discount if you buy six of them,” Karen said, Richard’s heart leapfrogged seven beats.

Rona looked interested in the sale. Oh, snap, Karen looked like she might just sell something, but when Karen saw behind Rona’s back the mess Margaret was making in the animal room, knocking over cages whenever she turned around, she tried to divert the two customer’s attention. Couldn’t Margaret EVER do anything right?

But it was too late, Rona had already seen her. She squinted at first, but then her eyes grew wide with fear.

“That’s her!” she shouted as one shaking hand pointed, while the other leapt to her horrified mouth.

“Oh, no,” Karen muttered.

“Oh, yes!” Rona stammered.

“Who’s her?” Richard asked, startled by his girlfriend’s paleness.

“That’s her, the woman at the”

But before she could say a word, Gertrude came running into the store wearing a pair of stolen sunglasses with the price tag still on them, a new straw hat, and a dress from Coco Chanel. All the clothes were stolen, of course, and just down the way was a surly woman with fists of fury.

“Margaret, we got to get the hell out of here, we” she said.

But before Gertrude could finish, Rona turned 90 degrees and shouted while pointing with a shaky index finger, “And that’s her! The woman who tripped me on the ground!”

Gertrude didn’t have time to worry about the injured nurse (She had a Grendel on her chase) so she instead rushed over to Margaret and pushed Rona out of the way to get to her, both Richard and Karen shocked beyond their wildest beliefs. Neither of them rushed to help Rona, though, even though she was knocked out unconscious by the blow she took to the back of the head on the counter, both of them were too dumbfounded to help.

Behind the glass, while Margaret was handling a guinea pig and looking up at the chaos outside, Gertrude found the door and rushed to it, the Grendel, a 5’11 beast of a woman in earrings and a black knee high skirt came storming into the PETORIUM, her eyes set to the shade of “mutilate.”

“Where is she?!” She demanded to both Richard and Karen, who were still nonplussed by the calamity they had witnessed. “Where’d she? Aha! There she is!”

And right then she noticed Gertrude who was decked out from head to toe in stolen merchandise, the sunglasses slowly falling down her slender, wrinkled nose. “What are we going to do?!” Gertrude asked Margaret, genuinely frightened as she gripped onto the wood of Margaret’s sandwich board. Margaret wiped her hands off of her, dropping a guinea pig in the process, and said, “Oh. don’t get your thong all in a bunch, I’ll handle this,” and as the Grendel pushed her way through the door, which was idiotically left unlocked, she came stomping on over to Gertrude, who hid behind the A shape of Margaret’s advertising board.

Karen ran to the glass and shouted, “No fighting in there! You’ll rile up the animals!” but Margaret couldn’t hear her, the voice at the roof of her mouth was speaking too loudly, saying things like, “Clock that bitch!” and “Don’t let her ruffle up your sandwich board!” Margaret felt like taking her down the hard way, but her fists were still hurting, so she decided to turn around and tell Gertrude to fight her own battles. And then of course there were those cameras up top (the one’s that didn’t work) that she was concerned about. But when she turned around, the board, when flung at that speed and velocity, turned into a weapon, that knocked the salivating store woman to the floor, out cold. Margaret didn’t even know what happened when she hit her.

Both Rich and Karen let out a shocked, “ohhh!” and Rona was just starting to get up. When Margaret turned around to look at what she had accidentally done, she felt two liver spotted arms wrap around her neck from behind, they were Gertrude’s. She was talking so fast that Margaret couldn’t make out a word she was saying. “I’m having a blast hun, and I haven’t coughed once since I’ve been with you, it must have been that damn hospital, they were probably pumping me so full of shit that”

Margaret wasn’t listening as she didn’t have time to worry about this old hag. She stepped over the supine store woman’s body and walked out the door. She had a question to ask Karen, and she didn’t want to waste anymore time.

“Karen, I need a raise, I need to get my place back so I can have my Nickels back. The police said that’s the only way.” She said this drearily. And after all the chaos that just occurred, with two, count ‘em, two (Richard finally ran to Rona’s aid) women on the floor, Margaret already knew the answer before she got it.

The answer being no.

What she didn’t expect, though, was to be fired, which she was promptly. Karen pointed to the exit with her finger, and Margaret stumbled out of it as if the wind had been knocked right out of her.


That night, Margaret and Gertrude slept on a park bench together. But this was a different park bench than the one by Margaret’s old house. This one was by the mall, leaving it vacant of any rent-a-cops as they had already all gone home to their wives and their televisions. Margaret decided that Gertrude wasn’t nearly as comfy to hold on to as Nickels, but then again, she also didn’t make as many jerky movements in her sleep, so Margaret considered herself lucky in this regard.

The problem was, though, that there were only five more days left before the police department kept her cat, and Margaret STILL didn’t know what to do about her situation. And at the notion that she would never see her poor cat Nickels again, Margaret actually began to miss her clawing at her skin, so much so that while Gertrude slept soundly in Margaret’s arms, Margaret actually began to pet her like a cat. It was nice and comfy, and sweet, and, oh, who was she kidding, it wasn’t the same at all. This sucked!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Beginning of Chapter 3 (Chapter 3 is looong)

When Margaret woke up in the hospital, she realized that she had once again teleported, but this time, she was actually somewhere comfortable, somewhere…well, not safe, but at least she wasn’t in handcuffs anymore. Or maybe (just work with me here) it wasn’t teleportation at all. MAYbe she was just moved here by some great force like God or a giant Hershey’s candy bar that levitated like a magic carpet. Margaret desperately hoped it was the latter, but she couldn’t dismiss the former, quite frankly it could have been anything.

But it definitely wasn’t teleportation and Margaret had given up on that theory because it was stupid and it didn’t make sense. Teleportation? Please, who could teleport? That idea wasn’t smrat like the idea of a flying candy bar. It wasn’t smrat like that at all.

So it was settled then, a flying candy bar it was. Probably. But as she started to get up and cricked her neck, she soon realized that the idea of teleportation or a flying candy bar were the least of her problems. Her neck was in abnormally horrible pain. “Ah, ah , ah, ah,” Margaret squealed with tightly clamped eyes that had tears streaking out the sides of them. “What the hell happened?”

“You must have gotten yourself in a bit of a nasty shuffle, that's what happened.”

The voice was creaky like a loose drawbridge that couldn’t handle anymore occupants on it just as the most obese man in the village was about to cross it. Meaning? It sounded like it could give way at any second now. Margaret turned her head to the right to see who was behind the rickety voice and felt the pain ricocheting down her spine again. To her right, she saw a glass full of human teeth. Whose, she didn’t know. But behind the glass, all wiggly and disproportionate and blue, was an old woman with wrinkles that stretched all across her face and made her look like a pale pool of waves with ears. She was wearing a pink night gown that had her liver spotted backside clearly visible, and she was sitting up knitting an afghan, her nibble fingers going end over end.

“I’m sorry if I sounded a little psychotic last night, honey, but they had me on these pills that made me all walla wallo woooo!” the old lady said while throwing her hands up in the air and waving them like she just didn’t care that Margaret was staring at her mystified. And that’s because there was just something about this old woman that reminded Margaret of Mildred from her apartment complex in 3G. It was something in the jaundiced old skin and the way she waved her arms around a lot making the wiggly skin beneath her arms jiggle that did it, and this made Margaret smile. But when she smiled, she felt a dull cavernous hole in her mouth where teeth should have been, and

Wait a minute!

Were those HER TEETH underneath that cup by her bed? Surely that guy at the ShopRite couldn’t have possibly knocked them out, could he have? Margaret glided her tongue along the edge of the back of her gums and felt…nothing.

At that moment, Margaret felt infinitely weak and powerless lying back in her bed, but as the scintillating sun splashed her chest, it gave her the strength to try to sit up. She wanted to walk out, knock some of his teeth out as revenge and wear his molars around her neck like a necklace, but as soon as she tried, there in flew the pain again.

“You’re not going to get out of here like that, lady,” the old woman said, not looking away from the gray and brown afghan she was stitching together, her other eye on the mute TV screen she had in the corner that was broadcasting replays from last night’s Knicks’ game. “Terrible,” she muttered as she shook her head at the Knick’s atrocious defense.

The ceiling was spinning when Margaret lied back down. “Why is life so hard?” she blurted out to herself, talking out loud again as if nobody else was in the room with her (her solipsism is astounding). The old woman just scoffed at her.

“Your life? Hard? Ha! Just ‘cause you lost a few teeth and you got all bruised up that makes life hard? Don’t be such a pussy, I lost all my teeth years ago, see?” And then the old woman put her afghan down, peeled her lips apart with her skinny fingers and opened them wide and showed the grand canyon that was her gums. “Just ‘cause you lose a few teeth here or there doesn’t make life hard, I have terminal cancer, do YOU have terminal cancer?”

Margaret said, “No, ma’am,” but didn’t know why she added the “ma’am” part. It just slipped out.

The old woman shook her head and picked back up her afghan, “So stop whining then,” she said and didn’t have anything else to say. She remained silent for a long time while the TV was the only voice left in the room. It wasn’t until the overall silence, plus the maddening sound of the old woman’s needles clicking together that Margaret decided that she needed to start talking before she went insane.

“What kind of cancer do you have?” Margaret asked.

“Throat” The old woman said.

“Oh…” Margaret said. And at that, was at a loss for words. She had thought this gangsta granny had something cooler, like pancreatic cancer or femur cancer or something like that, the abruptness of this fairly average cancer made Margaret a little upset, as it was like a shortcoming of an abrasion that’s not quite purple, and not quite blue, either. It just was what it was; plain and entirely ordinary.

When Margaret tried to sit up again, she had a hard time but managed it, something about this strange old woman made her want to sit up and see beyond her cup of teeth.

“My name’s Margaret, what’s yours?”

“Margaret,” she said without skipping a beat in her knitting.

(GASP! Margaret thought. She had the same name!) “Are you sure?” Margaret asked so surprised by this minor coincidence, her jaw the size of a beach ball.

“What the hell do you mean, ‘am I sure?’ Of course, I’m sure! I’ve been a Margaret since before your mother was letting scumbags get to second with her tets. That was a stupid question,” the old woman barked. “Now ask another.”

Margaret put pressure on her arms and pushed herself up even more (This woman wasn’t like Mildred in 3G at all!) but just as she did, an Asian nurse in light blue ran in with a worried looked on her face. “No, no, no, no, no,” she said, visibly upset. “Lie back down.” She scampered over to Margaret and pushed her back down upon her pillow until Margaret was completely on her back. Rats, all that work for nothin’. In normal circumstances, this nurse would be sprawled out on the ground by now with blood leaking from her hair, but right now, Margaret was too weak to put up a fight. Hell, she was too weak to even curse her out.

But in all truths, Margaret didn’t really feel like fighting back right now anyway, she was serenely in another frame of mind than the one she was normally in. They must have sedated her with something.

When Margaret was all the back down, the nurse, her name tag saying “Rona,” fluffed her pillow as if Margaret’s head wasn’t even there, and then walked out humming a Louie Armstrong song. The urge to kill began to rise again in Margaret’s heart.

While only a few moments ago, Margaret was swimming in a perpetual LaLa land, now, she was Margaret fuming angrily on her backside. The old woman, we’ll call her old Margaret, just stared over at her and wondered what the hell was wrong now. “Oh, don’t mind her,” Old Margaret said, her voice almost soothing, “her name is Rona, and she doesn’t mean any harm, she’s just being precautious and has other things on her mind. Don’t get all riled up about it.”

But even with Old Margaret’s newfound friendliness towards Margaret, she was still pissed off beyond recognition, her chest rising. There was just something about people humming Louie Armstrong songs that just always set her off. YOU CAN’T HUM LOUIE ARMSTRONG, you can only sing it! Or was it hum? Now Margaret was confused. Margaret didn’t know anymore, and the fact that she didn’t know pissed her off even more. She didn’t stop fuming until she heard Old Margaret coughing up her lungs into her hands, the sound of it sounding like a train flying off its tracks into a stained glass window. Margaret looked over at old Margaret and stared with sympathetic eyes. She forgot she was even there.

“Lady,” Margaret began, but then rethought it and said, “Margaret.”

Old Margaret didn’t say anything but “cough, cough, cough.”

Margaret tried again. “Margaret, are you okay?”

Still no response. All Old Margaret had to say was “cough, cough, cough.”

Eventually she stopped coughing, but when she did, she let out little hacking noises that gradually made her body slump down against her bed, her head now staring upward just as young Margaret’s was only a few seconds ago. There wasn’t a peep on the room for at least four minutes. It was then Old Margaret this time who uttered the first words.

“You think you got it tough, kid?” Old Margaret finally asked into her fist after her coughs subsided, her eyes a stony blue gaze that had no future in them. “Knowing that you’re going to die coughing to death, now THAT’S tough,” she said, and then just stared up at the ceiling, her chest heaving and her lungs wheezing all the while.

The two of them remained quiet for a very long time until eventually, Margaret
had thought that Old Margaret had possibly died, as Old Margaret had her eyes closed, Margaret called out to her. “Margaret!” she yelled, Old Margaret opened her eyes again, they’d only been closed for about four minutes.

“Yeah?” she asked, her voice distant. And just then, Margaret assaulted her moribund roommate with a question that was so out of the blue that it was almost purple. Margaret asked her, “What kind of car does your family drive?” Old Margaret chortled, it sounded like a frog urinating in another frog’s mouth it was so dirty. “Ha, you want to know about my family? Yeah, I got a whole lot of family.” This made Margaret smile. “Under the ground,” This made Margaret frown.

Old Margaret turned her head to Margaret and asked, “Why’d you ask such a stupid question?”

Margaret sat up again and looked over at this woman above her cup of teeth, holding herself up with one arm while the sanguine sun shone brilliantly on. “Well, I just wanted to know, that’s all.”

“Nobody just wants to know anything, so spill it, sister. Why’d you ask?”

And at this, Margaret was at a loss for words. She didn’t exactly know WHAT she was supposed to spill, but since Old Margaret wanted a show, Margaret decided to give her one. So she started talking aimlessly about nothing in particular. She talked about her little brother, her pacifist parents, her run-ins with the law and then…


Old Margaret pointed weakly to the floor by the foot of her bed, she was pointing at a pocketbook. “I probably got some in there if you’re really that strapped for cash.”

Margaret clarified. “No, not nickels. Nickels! My cat…” and then Margaret told her THAT story, too. Old Margaret listened on intently.

“So that’s all you got left in this world, huh, hun?” Old Margaret asked, now sitting up and interested, her cough gone. Hopefully, Rona wouldn’t show up and make them lie back down as their bodies were far too drained and weak by this point to possibly sit back up like this again. “Yeah,” Margaret said, her eyes staring down at her hands buried beneath her covers, her eyes wet.

“Hey, don’t be so…so…” a fit of coughing, and then, “so down, honey, you really want that cat back, huh?”

Margaret nodded, her ears hearing but not listening.

Old Margaret sat back against her pillow and crossed her skinny little arms again, angry at herself for actually feeling sympathy for this young girl. “Well, I want to get out of here but that won’t happen anytime soon [actually, it will] so I guess that makes us BOTH fucked, huh?”

And Margaret conceded petulantly, shaking her head like a little girl who doesn’t get her way. But as the two of them continued to sit there internally bemoaning their predicament, something hit them at the exact same time. Why not try and make a break for it?

“Let’s blow this popsicle stand!” they both said simultaneously. And at that, they both gathered all the strength they could to fully sit all the way up again. They had no time to lose. They had a popsicle stand they needed to blow.


Getting up was tough, but once they finally did it (Margaret was up first, Old Margaret took a late second) the two of them were out of bed and as spry as pie when they got up and tiptoed to the door, searching for a way out. “Shhh, quiet,” Margaret said even though Old Margaret hadn’t even made a sound. At the door, Margaret slowly, very slowly, peeked her head out and looked both ways, with the coast clear, she and then pulled her head back in all the way.

“What’d you see?” Old Margaret asked.

“Wheel chairs, people.”

“Lots of them?”

“Wheelchairs?” Margaret asked, perturbed by the question.

“No!” Old Margaret snarled, smacking Margaret on the back of her head, “People, were there lots of ‘em?”

“Not lots, just little” Margaret responded with a wince expecting another smack on the neck, “I think if we just lay low, we can get out of here, no problem.”

Old Margaret, now not so angry, winked at Margaret and then agreed to proceed, but before they could make a move, two uncovered legs stood in their path. When they looked up, who should they happen to look up and see but Rona, their nurse. She was aghast to find her two patients (Who she had already fallen to calling mother/baby) out of their beds. She was holding a bed pan and two cups of apple juice that sat on top of the pan. The two cups were shaking.

“What are you two doing out of bed?” Rona asked, her eyes wide with consternation and the fear of God in them.

“We were, uhhhhh…” Margaret began, she hadn’t been prepared for THIS.

But apparently, Old Margaret had, and she had already crawled all the way around Rona’s legs and gotten behind them, before Rona hadn’t seen her. Old Margaret was too fast, and all Rona saw (or thought she saw) was a blur on the floor like seeing a leaf from outside glide across the floor and mistaking it for a centipede. Rona looked from the floor to the bed, and back to the floor again. All she saw was Margaret, and that was it. “Where’s the other one?” she gasped, the cups on the bedpans swiveling back and forth on top of her shaking hands.

But just then, Old Margaret, hunched over on the floor on all fours behind Rona, figured this would be the perfect time to do it, so she shouted “Now!” and, without even thinking, Margaret pushed Rona over Old Margaret’s bent body, the bed pan flying out of her hands, along with the apple juice, all over the floor when she hit the ground hard. There was yellow juice and blue pills all over the hospital grounds.

“Move, move, move!” Margaret shouted as two orderlies, big ones with bald heads, began running down the hallway to see why a young nurse just went flying backwards onto the hospital tiles. But as Margaret went into a full dash down the hallway, Old Margaret was having a hard time just trying to stand up (Rona’s fall had apparently made Old Margaret dislodge her hip somehow)

“Helllp, Margaret, I’m down!” Old Margaret screamed.

Margaret, already almost completely down the hall, did a complete 180 and went back for her, the orderlies already almost very close behind. While still on the ground, Old Margaret hoisted her hand up and Margaret lifted her up and put her on her back. But just then, as if nothing was wrong with her at all, Old Margaret gingerly wrapped her legs (both of them, even the broken one) around Margaret’s waist. That sly devil, she had been playing opossum the whole time!

“Shake it sister, we’re on the lamb together now,” and with that, Margaret began to hightail it out of there, the orderlies were right on her tail.

With a right turn, the halls were now claustrophobically slim, and as Margaret sprinted, Old Margaret much lighter than she looked, her bare ass showing, she had to make some quick feints while avoiding the oncoming traffic of doctors, nurses, and sickies. And while Margaret ran past one man, his mouth covered by an oxygen mask and unaware of the calamity above him, Old Margaret reached down, snatched the oxygen mask from his face, and took a quick whiff before she threw it to the ground. “Ah!” she exclaimed as if they just got the recharge she needed. The dying patient on the gurney waved at fist at their departing behinds.

“Take a left here, Margaret!” Old Margaret said, but with a hint of treachery in her voice that only Margaret heard.

But while she did indeed say left, the pinch she gave to the side of Margaret’s neck signaled otherwise. And at the end of the hallway, which was a fork in the road, Margaret began to take a left, but then took a sharp right, the two orderlies heading the wrong way entirely. Margaret was already in the elevator out of there. Once inside, Margaret and Old Margaret found two other people inside already. One was a woman who looked very much like Lucille Ball, what with the sunglasses, the poofed red hair, the bonnet, and the shoes. The other was a man with a dead hangdog expression on his face wearing pajamas. He was in a wheel chair. A strange pair indeed (both of them). A while Margaret stood there, still holding Old Margaret on her back, Lucille Ball looked at Old Margaret’s butt, it was all prickly and gross. The old fart didn’t look, though. He just stared straight ahead, his dark brown, cataract congested eyes incapable of looking anywhere else but forward.

Margaret, realizing that she had still been carrying about 90 lbs of dead weight on her back, finally asked, “Do you think you can WALK now, Margaret?” her voice out of breath and angry.

“I think I can make it.” Old Margaret said, kicking out her leg as if she was getting the kinks out.

“Oh, get down, you.” Margaret said, tired of the shtick already.

Old Margaret got down and stretched out her legs, she was flexible like a gymnast. Margaret let out a low snarl. She didn’t like to be deceived.

There were only two more floors to go until they reached the bottom floor, but just then, the reflective door opened on the third floor. Lucille Ball must be getting off here, her eyes were trying not to make eye contact as she began to wheel the old fart she had with her out the elevator. But before she could get out, just then, she felt a hard, sharp pain in her left shoulder. It was a human hand, definitely a human hand. But more precisely, it was Margaret’s human hand, and Margaret had a hold on her shoulder with those of malicious intentions. She dragged Lucille Ball back into the elevator, while Old Margaret pressed the button to close the door back up.

When the elevator had eventually gotten to the third floor, Lucille Ball and the old fart had changed clothes dramatically. Instead of Lucille Ball and Tuckered out Tommy, they were now two EX-Patients leaving St. Joseph’s Clinical Hospital. The orderlies eventually found them shivering, reaching for the strewn hospital gowns, alone and crying in the elevator, even the old fart. But what they didn’t find were the two Margaret’s. They were already long gone by now.