Posts in Tortured Soul

Post-Franmas AND a Donkey Wine Bottle AND a Very Special Franmas Present

published by Fran Shea

My older sister warned us even before we dared set foot in the antique shop of Barnstable Village, “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT TOUCHING ANYTHING IN HERE!!!” We quietly crept in, SHE turned around while “shopping” and promptly knocked The Donkey Wine Bottle to the floor AND had to shell out $24 to pay for it.

Oopsy!!

She swore us to secrecy because she was filled with shame AND when we got back to the house, she WHIPPED that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle into the Great Salt Marsh. When The Coast Was Clear my friend and I picked our way through the low-tide marsh, found that no-longer-perfect Donkey Wine Bottle/element of shame and put it in her bed ala The Godfather.

MINUS the blood/mafia message BUT WITH ALL SHAME INCLUDED. Oh, how we laughed!

Speaking of laughing… Our sewer backed up yesterday, the laundry-room was full o’ poop, and the plumber used his special camera to determine that we need to tear up our front yard and replace the pipe! ANOTHER oopsy! The good news is that Lucy scrubbed the laundry-room floor with gusto and into the night! Whew! That’s totally worth it!

That event inspired a card!

That Dad drops wisdom and truth-bombs.

Various Meats, Come Forth!

published by Fran Shea

I wrote this in 2009 for another blog and decided 12 years is long enough to wait to share with the dedicated Zeichen Press readers. See how important recycling is?!

•••••

Various Meats, Come Forth!

There was a story in the news yesterday about a fish-store owner who drove to the airport to pick up a special delivery of exotic fish. The seven-foot long package they gave him did not, in fact, contain $1,000 worth of exotic fish. It contained exactly one dead man – Jon Kenoyer.

Oops!

The dead man was supposed to be delivered to some institute – he had donated his body to “science”.

What the f*ck?

A) Who does that?
B) What does that even mean? What sort of experiments can be performed on a man that has been dead for 5 days?
C) Who does that?
D) Isn’t that whole embalming thing done so that your loved ones don’t have to plug their noses while they kneel in front of your stiff corpse at your wake?
E) Was Jon packed in those cute little peanuts or placed gently in a silk-lined coffin?

More about rotting meat:

We left Minnesota in the middle of a heat-wave one summer and returned to discover a “freezer” full of rotting meat.

The cab dropped us off and we dragged our luggage past tumbleweeds and panting squirrels.
PANTING SQUIRRELS.

That’s how hot it was.

Opening the front door of the house was like opening the tomb of Lazarus.

“Various Meats, come forth!”

Whereupon they that were dead stayed dead. The stench of rotting meat stung our noses. The refrigerator in the basement had lost power and 40lbs of frozen chicken, cow, and pig thawed and rotted. To make matters more delicious, every window had been shut tight for two weeks.

Two steamy weeks.

Also:

I had a dream last night about a really, really smelly raccoon. He wanted to be my “companion” but every time he came near me, I winced – it made him feel bad. I kept apologizing and saying, “okay, I’m sure it’ll be fine this time – come closer.”

Little Red Wagon, ETC.

published by Fran Shea

In the 1970s my Mom used to drag us in our little red wagon to the library.

Up Vincent Avenue where I would later trudge to school and never had Mountain Dew poured on my head by Eric Swanson and Tom Remier after they ALLEGEDLY smashed my diorama to smithereens.

But NOW there’s no reason to have your Mom drag you up to the library in your little red wagon BECAUSE you can just LISTEN to Audiobooks on an app!

WHAT A RELIEF/BORE!

Gradually and then suddenly, or whatever

published by Fran Shea

Remember when your little sister was born so your parents sent you (and your impossibly short shorts) and your little brother to stay with your Aunt Patricia on the Cape?? REMEMBER THAT??

Oh… THAT WAS MY OWN PERSONAL MEMORY.

I think Ernest Hemingway said something about going bankrupt gradually and then suddenly – isn’t that the way with so many things?? First you are just a sister and the next thing you know, you’re on an airplane telling an old woman that you will for sure write to her but then feel guilty about talking to a stranger and crumple up her address and throw it in the Boston airport trash can.

Speaking of old women (wait, what?), here’s a Valentine. (Wait, what?)

“Every joke is a tiny revolution.”

published by Fran Shea

~ George Orwell

AND it’s Franmas! Oh, ANNND it’s also a little thing called Easter, or whatever. 

I seem to be full of tiny revolutions, wait… how can a joke be a tiny revolution?? Are wet-markets full of bat-soup or Chinese bio-weapons funny?? Is my Mom’s “End the shutdown!” name-tag funny?? NO. But you know what is funny??

Joe Exotic.

THERE, I SAID IT.I read the book ‘1984’ actually in 1984.

George Orwell wrote about dystopian fictional government overreach and totalitarianism. Oh, George! You’re so Orwellian!

And here’s my joke:

And here’s ANOTHER joke:

HAHAHA!! Right?? *An emoji would be perfect here.

And this might take your mind off the pandemic for 2 seconds.

And because I’m a giver, here are 2 more seconds:

En français s’il vous plaît!

published by Fran Shea

Sometimes neighbors can be enemies – just like Canada! J/K, Canada is not our enemy! Mexico is! Too political?? 

There was a granny who lived down our block and every other weekend her grandkids came to stay with her. Their last name was Bestman but we secretly called them the Worstmans. (It might be because we hated them?? Once my older sister and her friend pointed corn cob holders threateningly at them across Vincent Avenue. It was just like West Side Story without the Tony Award-winning music, choreographed dance numbers, Puerto Ricans, and doomed love!)

The “fight” fizzled out (aka Mrs. Heefner asked us what we thought we were doing) and the next Winter the Bestman house caught on fire and all of their Christmas presents burned up! My Mom told me that one of the boys (Miles) was playing with matches in the attic.

I guessed my parents didn’t know about our turf rivalry because they bought them a bunch of stuff. I was jealous but acted like I wasn’t because I had already had my First Confession/First Communion.

Inspiration!

published by Fran Shea

The kids (NOT ME, NEVER ME) had a silver Mazda station wagon that my older sister would drive with her leg-braced-leg sticking out of the rolled-down window. Safety-schmafety! And because we lived in the lap of luxury, the Mazda had a tape-player (but no power-steering or air-conditioning BECAUSE WE WEREN’T SPOILED BRATS AND THOSE FEATURES WERE FOR WIMPS) and when my older brother wasn’t listening to RUSH, I guess he would listen to the 10,000 Maniacs?? Maybe I borrowed this tape from him when I was in 8th grade. And maybe I spent the summer sprawled out on a beach towel, drenched by the generous sprinkler, and listened to it on my waterproof Walkman.

The next tape (vinyl records were for old people) that the 10,000 Maniacs released was one that still sticks in my craw: Blind Man’s Zoo. That album inspires so many things.

 Oh, here’s another card but this was inspired by my mirror:

2020 is Already Amazing

published by Fran Shea

The New Year’s water broke and after 24 hours of back-labor, vaginal-tearing, and a hemorrhage, a baby named Winefride Irene Statz blessed us with her presence. (Oh, my daughter had a baby.)

And because I am always vain, here is photo of ME holding her. IGNORE MY BRA STRAP.

After that holding-session and never one to SHIRK MY DUTIES, I made some cards: (Is January almost over??)

Hindsight is…

published by Fran Shea

My favorite quote was yelled by my favorite English contractor.

“CAN YA’ SEE, CHILD??? CAN YA’ SEE???” My three-year-old daughter was RUNNING WITH SCISSORS and jammed them nearish her eyeball. Luckily, she COULD see.

That reminds me of the time in 9th grade when I thought it’d be helpful to shovel our walkway. Using proper shoveling-form, I scooped and filled my shovel full of heavy snow, threw the snow off the shovel, AND hit my four-year-old sister nearish her eyeball. Luckily, SHE could see and her snowsuit and a snowdrift broke her fall and her scar only shows up if she cries. PHEW!

Fast-forward to the present-day and she forced one of her kids to “play” with the Manger Magnets I generously bestowed upon my siblings.

Oh, ALSO and very unrelated… My son-in-law (I’M SORRY!!) has spent the last few months rebuilding my upstairs. It’s not like it’s a piece of heaven on earth or whatever.

   Oh, AND also very unrelated here are some new cards to kick off the New Year: