Pimp My Lent/Day 31

The Prompt:

From Dennise Garcia…

The chairs are uncomfortable in the county hospital emergency room. There is a baby crying. Shrieking. And crying some more. In the background the television displays young, beautiful, rich, spoiled actors bantering about another rich, not so beautiful or young anymore, but still spoiled actor who has gone off the deep end. The baby. Spoiled actors. Crying. Is there something on this chair? She doesn’t want to be here. But here she is.”

The Product:

Cricket has a new pen-pal, things may be looking better for her mom and dad

30 September

Ginnie –

Welcome back to “Notes From The Hallway: The Saga of the Same-Old”

I have time to write because Ben is having his biofeedback session. Waiting room chairs here smell like B.O., so I am sitting on my coat and trying not to touch anything. I am typing this on my new phone and with a new cast on my hand. Very frustrating! And the fault is WHOSE? Yes. Nothing like texting and driving, and slamming into a parked Howitzer and breaking your thumb AND your phone. At least I didn’t break my sternum, right? Or worse.

I hate touch screens. That much, I know. I miss buttons to push – my kingdom for keyboard. My laptop is busted and we can’t afford to get it fixed. They totaled the car so for now we are completely reliant upon shuttles and taxis for anything beyond the hospital. Even going to the commissary is a coordinated effort. Unless we hoof it. We’ve been doing a lot of walking lately. Good for both of us. Builds up his strength and endorphins, and Fatty Fat Girl had shot up from the double-digits in clothes and broken into the dreaded X’s. I am back in double-digits.  We’ll see how I do if we get another car.

Damn phone slipped and fell! I caught it at the last minute – saved it but  banged the SHIT out of my thumb on the floor. It’s only a matter of time before I drop and break this thing because it won’t fit in my pocket. And if I drop it in my purse the screen gets scratched up, so I end up carrying it.  And dropping it.

Bitchy? Ungrateful? Me?

Did I mention that my husband came home with scrambled eggs for brains?

I just got off the phone with Ben’s mom. She and Pops are saints, and they both still say everything’s hunkydory, but I can hear it in her voice – she’s ready for me to retrieve my kids and who can blame her? Quinette said to bring them back and they can live with her in Cache, and I would in a second because Douglas does so well with her, but I don’t want Cricket back in that school. The girls her age were brutal. I can’t help but wish we were stationed somewhere with one – more family housing (hello!) and two, more programs for gifted kids, or as you and I used to refer to them – “nerds” and “dorks.” So sweet, weren’t we? It is God’s punishment that two out of three of my children are bonafide dorks. Very high I.Q., very low social skills. I keep telling them “Just wait until your bodies grow into your beautiful brains.”

As for the  child who IS popular….  Everything’s quieted down since after Labor Day. Mamie and I had both called the boy’s parents and left messages. I sent a letter certified mail, so we know they got it – but they still never responded. So last Saturday, Mamie went to the little beauty salon (the only beauty salon) in town. The little bastard’s mom gets her hair done there, and sure enough, she was there. Mamie confronted her (nicely at first, so she says). The mom denied everything, her son’s an angel, he’s very popular, all the girls like him, Lexi was making it up, she was out to get him,  etc. So then Mamie whips out copies of the texts that Pops got from the phone company wherein this asshole ninth-grade slimeball is trying to coerce my seventh-grade daughter into giving him head! PERVERT!

The school counselor says she sees it ALL THE TIME.  She said, “This generation doesn’t see oral sex as sex.”  I said “You mean they don’t see blow jobs as sex – you  can’t tell me those boys are offering to reciprocate!”  (It was late, I was very tired and cranky. )

Of course, we’re hearing that his parents are still saying stuff about Lexi, but whatever. People know and love Mamie – and Ben. He’s like a hero to that town now. And this kid and his parents are just oil field trash who moved in last year. Mamie and I are both praying that they leave soon. It’s too small of a school for her to not have to see that shithead, although Mamie put the fear of God into him. She informed him of her family’s history of instability and violence.  (One of her ancestors was a lawman who shot and killed a town bigwigs during a fight over a woman).  Pops says Mamie did everything but load a gun and point it at the boy’s crotch. Pops let her deal with it. He loves the kids and would give his life for them, but he’s disinclined towards involvement any conflict, unless it’s absolutely necessary. With Mamie straining at the leash, it’s rarely necessary.

Ben is doing good, or good-enough for now. We are both seeing the improvement in his face, some stuff has faded, scars are everywhere but they’re fading a lot with the cream that they gave him. The grafts are healing amazingly well, and the biofeedback and acupuncture guy is doing wonders for the pain. He is mostly mood stable, but we are taking it very slow. Ben wants the kids home like yesterday, but the therapist says to keep things quiet for now, “go at it low and slow just as long as possible,” and I said “Right, low and slow, like cooking brisket.” He didn’t get it.  (BTW, not to make you insanely jealous or anything, but Quinette’s brisket is still the Gold Standard of roasted meats.)

OMG, remember Erma’s pot roast flambé’?  Have you heard from her lately? I got a card for my birthday – six months too late, but hey. Beggars and daughters can’t be choosers.

Okay. Ben’s here so we’re leaving. He says to tell you hello from your mad brother-in-law, and says to ask “How they hangin’ these days?” The quality of the jokes goes down and down as he gets better and better. Pretty soon we’ll have him back 100%.  He is reading over my shoulder and now he is making the finger at me, Ginnie! That boy is making the Fuck finger at me! Remember 2yo Cricket blurting that out in the commissary that day? You and Quinette almost pissed yourselves.

I miss you and love you anyway.

Thanks for coercing your son into writing Cricket. I told her to go easy on him first time out, maybe only send 10 pages instead of the usual 30.

Love you,


[And from Cricket…]

October 25 TH

Dear John Parker,

I am glad to know that you are feeling better and no more asmtha. Tell Aunt Ginnie that she does not need to worry because I think you have a great future as my pen pal which is another reason why I am glad you’re better because I wouldn’t want you to die or anything! Ha, ha, ha.

Is it hot in Ohio? It is still hot in NOWHERE, Oklahoma (which is what my sister Lexi calls it) and it is October. Only SIX MORE DAYS TO HALLOWEEN!! Douglas is going as Einstein which is going to confuse the heck out of kids here because they are only interested in people like on TV, and singers. Lexi says don’t judge them because what do I know about Einstein. I told her “It’s all relative!” which she did not get. (Douglas says Einstein talked about relatives. I don’t think Douglas knows much about him for real for sure but he saw something on Channel 13 about him a month ago and now can only talk about what Einstein said or did. BORING, OKAY!!)

Lexi wants to go as a haram girl with puffy pants and a top like a bathing suit and a fake saffire she found in a old gum machine ring glued to her forehead or maybe sticking in her belly button but Mamie said “OH HELL NO!” (The bathing suit top part) That is a quote, so I can say it because I am not cussing she is I am only reporting her cussing. So she will probably go as a little girl and wear her  hair up in pigtails and something kinda babyish. The girls around here like Lexi okay. I am not popular for sure but I think I have a pretty good friend in this kid who is named Irby Philpot. He is FUNNY FUNNY and he has teeth like me (AWFUL!! CROOKED!!) and wears real thick glasses because he had tick fever when he was in first grade and then it settled in his eyes and left him about blind. Me and Irby Philpot are going tricker treating as the Mario Brothers. I am Mario! I have a red hat and some red overalls that we found in the Good Will. We want to find some wigs but they are going to be miserable it is so HOT here unless things change pronto!

Douglas says he wants to move to OREGON because it is also an O state but it is cool and rainy there most of the time. Do you have fire danger in Ohio? We do and it is RED FLAG HIGH right now because we do not have rain, all we have is hot, hot, hot, hot and lots of wind. Every morning Mamie has more tree branches down for me and Douglas to go drag to the burn pile which we cannot light because it is banned. Lexi takes too long in the mornings to get ready she drags her feet so Mamie leaves off her chores until the end of the day or else none of us would meet the bus, that’s for sure. We walk about one quarter of a mile to the corner of two red dirt roads. There is gravel there too but mostly red dirt which is why all my white socks are PINK. Red dirt is the superglue of dirt.

My mom thinks my dad’s mind will be ready for us all to live together with them by Thanksgiving. I hope so, although it will pull me into pieces now to leave.  They are stuck living in a one-bedroom place on post that is really for people who are not married and no kids can live there in that building, which is also a issue. Dad sent me a card for my birthday and he signed it “Love, Psycho Daddy” which to me means he is better because he is making bad jokes, his old usual! Mom had to have surgery on her thumb because it broke in her car wreck the night that she was chasing Dad when he went Capital Crazy and was found by the Fort Sill Museum People asleep in a tank in Cannon Walk. It is not funny and it was a secret, but now we are being told it’s O-KAY to laugh about it and not keep it or anything important secret now because we are going to talk about everything and stop trying to cover it up. This is what the Army head doctor that we sat down with said. She said we have to talk about it or it will make stuff worse than ever. It’s weird. I mean the way they force you to talk in the room with your family. It is very AWKWARD feeling.

You probably know this because you mom probably told you but they are saying on top of everything that is wrong with his body from the war, that dad has confirmed mental health issues and PTDSD which is very common and sad for soldiers and their families get it too sometimes because they are all STRESSED TO THE MAX over there! Mom said your mom and all their whole family had it because Grandpa Gunner was in Viet Nam and he got Psycho Daddy too but they did not have help. You and me are lucky not to remember him I think. Lexi was very young but she says she remembers him mostly in that because he was a big yeller. Old Yeller is what Mom calls him in fact. But she sure loved him too because he took good care of them when their mom left, even if he was off his nut a bunch and yelling. Did your mom talk about Grandpa Gunner? When I ask about their real Erma their mom, Mom only says “Erma lives in Florida” and that is IT. The only old times people she will talk about are your mom or Miss Quinette. Does your mom do that too?

I am glad that your mom bent your arm and made you be my pen pal. Ha, ha, ha. I hope she did not sprain it! I hope your in grown toenail goes away and you do not have to be cut on. That to think it just makes my stomach fold over!!

I wish you could come here and meet Mamie and Pops and Bud Woodman who is working here pretty regular now since he is over his “bout of gout”.” Which is where we made the HUGE mistake of calling it that, so Bud being retarded and all thought it was histerical and so he said it a hundred and fifty times in one day until me and Douglas were covering our ears and yelling for him to ZIP IT!! We are not supposed to call him retarded or anything is what Mamie says but it is obvious that something with Bud is not up to speed. What do you say for retarded? Bud says it’s okay to say retarded, but he is retarded, so now I am all the way confused. I am saying for now that he is our FRIEND and so if we call him something he doesn’t like he is free to tell us to knock it off which is what I think. But I am NOT THE ONE IN CHARGE. Mamie says this is something I need to remember and to PLEASE STOP ASKING ME QUESTIONS, CRICKET OR I WILL LOSE MY MIND!! I only do it to learn is what I think but once again I AM NOT THE ONE IN CHARGE!!

Anyway Mamie makes Bud meals every week to heat up so he’s not just eating crap!! Bud is here today with us because this is being typed on the Saturday that Mamie has her food panty going in the school gym. It worked good for the summertime so she said she’d do it once a month at least and maybe more around holidays, and everybody can just pitch in for people who don’t have nothing much at all. So far it’s good because the stores here like IGA and Walmart and  United are giving stuff like dented cans and produce that is past prime but not gone south yet. Like appels that you can just cut off the brown place and eat it.

School here is not like Cache which was bad because the girls are real real snotty but it is bad like this ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

I hear them calling me to come on. I better hussle and hit print or they will think I am up here typing secret emails to Al Qieda!! I

Write and tell me how Aunt Ginnie and all your family is, how it is in Ohio, and how your toe is getting but please don’t be gross about it!!


Your Cousin



About Vicki Caroline Cheatwood

Writerly. Rebooting. Evolving. Searching for great chicken salad.
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