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I am back from my trip to Hell and am resting comfortably in Purgatory. Word says that the verb tense in the previous sentence is incorrect – and I don’t care. I laugh in the face of the grammar police.

My cousin has a little side business breeding Shih Tzu dogs. She started with Paddy Bear and Max and then sold the puppies. They were such a hit that she did it again – and again – and again. But Paddy was getting older and they didn’t want to breed her again, so they got Darby – the mistress. They tried to breed her with a puppy (about 10 or 11 months old) from the last litter, but it was unsuccessful. Apparently, one in ten male Shih Tzus is gay. Who knew? Anyway, they bred Darby with Max instead, which made Darby the slutty girlfriend and Paddy the miffed wife. Poor Max was caught in the middle. What’s a guy to do?

The puppies are so adorable I couldn’t stand it. (What, Word, that verb tense mix-up is okay? Fickle SOB, aren’t you?)

Friday we just hung out, ate pizza, and played Wii. It’s a lot of fun and I’m tempted to get one, but I know if I do, I will never leave the house again.

Saturday, Jo AnnE (with an E!) took MoC and me to an art and music festival in downtown Hell. We had lunch in a funky little café that had a patio dining area. A 15-piece band was set up in the side street next to the café, so we sat outside so we could listen. They were playing 40’s era swing music, none of which I recognized, but all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I used to have a Hooked on Swing album that was more medleys than entire songs, but I loved it. It amused my parents, I think. (Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to download some Kings of Leon tunes to get my street cred back)

We rummaged through some antique shops and I took some pictures that confused Jo AnnE (with an E!). She wondered out loud what was so interesting about a pipe stand that I took two pictures of. I explained, “It’s art!” and pretended I knew what I was doing. I’m pretty sure I didn’t fool anyone.

A few months ago I accidentally outed my cousin J as Jo AnnE (with an E!), but I feel it wouldn’t be fair to do that to her partner, so I’m going to give him a pseudonym. Let’s call him “Michael.” Michael is a very intelligent man. He knows a little about a lot of things and he’s fun to talk to because he always has an interesting or amusing observation. For instance, he told me that there was no such thing as a solid black cat, that there would always be at least a few white hairs somewhere on the cat. This is because back in the Dark Ages, when Michael was a young boy, pure black cats were considered evil and so they were purged from the cat population. This is probably true because Indy has one white hair on her chest and six or seven white hairs behind her ear. Empirical evidence, no? No?

Anyway, on Saturday Michael had to run some errands. He borrowed MoC’s car – an 11 year old Honda. Jo AnnE’s cell phone rang as we got back to the house – she let the puppies out (puppies! They’re so cute!) and followed them outside. She closed the door behind her and then all of a sudden, she collapsed against the door and started squealing with laughter. When she came back she told us Michael had had a car problem.

Jo AnnE (with an E!) explained that the car didn’t have a problem (because MoC went pale) but that Michael had a problem with the car. As in, finding it. Apparently, he parked at the mall, went inside … and promptly forgot where he parked. When he came out, he started looking for his car – until he remembered (after 10 minutes? 20? No one knows) that he drove MoC’s car. He fished out the key so he could fire off the alarm – but MoC didn’t give him the key with the magic button on it. He would just have to find it visually. Only, he couldn’t remember what her car looked like. He thought it was probably a Honda. But was it a Civic or an Accord? And what color was it? Gray? No. Green! That’s it. Also it had a handicap parking hang tag permit. So he was looking for that – only we had the hang tag with us.

When he walked in the door, I greeted him with, “Oh, you found your way home!” (because we had the Garmin, too, poor guy). MoC mocked him for wanting the keys with the magic button – because her car doesn’t have automatic door locks. Jo AnnE(with an E!) mocked him for forgetting which car he drove. And we all mocked him for being unable to find the car once he remembered which one he was looking for.

Then Jo AnnE(with an E!) asked the obvious question. “You were gone all afternoon but you only had to run one errand. How long did it take you to find the car??

Michael tried to distract us with shiny things (his new watch) and tried to change the subject. He riled up the puppies and got them squirming over our feet. He never did give us a straight answer. I bet he thinks we’ll forget about it soon.

That’s a bit like hoping a shark won’t smell the fresh chum you just dumped overboard. We’re circling. And we’re patient. And just when he thinks it’s safe to go back in the water …

He’s right, though. We will forget about it once someone else does something that’s even goofier. The problem is, he’s going to have to wait a long time for someone to top that.

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