Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Pot Roasts of Darleen Dibbles

Ms. Darleen Lucious Dibbles, pageant photo from Miss Confederacy Competition 1995 Ms. Dibbles was first runner-up. One of the judges, Mrs. Oomala Frederickson, objected to her talent of whisking gravy, stating she was a devout vegetarian and gravy was a sin. Ms. Dibbles considers the pageant to be a life-altering event. She married another judge, Mr. Eustace Dibbles, who declared he loved watching her whisk her gravy. Unfortunately, Mr. Dibbles passed away due to extreme old age only a few months after the wedding, leaving Ms. Dibbles independently wealthy.

Ms. Darleen Dibbles of Suncrest Court
by roving reporter Jaleta Clegg, Lifestyles of the Small and Unimportant

Thursday evening, the inhabitants of Suncrest Court begin to gather. They surreptitiously stake out territory near the property lines of Ms. Darleen Dibbles, noses quivering as they wait for the first faint teasing breath as she opens her oven. Thursday night is pot roast night.

Ms. Dibbles, a widow of thirteen years, has made it her civic duty to reward those who strive to make the community a better place to live. She can be seen throughout the week in various sections of Dibbley-in-the-Downs with her little notebook, jotting down names. Every Thursday morning, before she walks to Maizie’s Emporium of Fine Comestibles to purchase a specialty pot roast, she tabulates her records, assigning point values to each good deed witnessed. Once she has a name, she carefully crafts a handwritten invitation to partake of dinner at her house that evening. Spouses are always included; children rarely. Ms. Darleen Dibbles does not care particularly for children, unless they are exceptionally gifted in comporting themselves in an adult fashion.

“I’m a firm believer in positive reinforcement,” Darleen confided in an interview earlier this week. “I never track the horrible things people do, only the good. And I try not to notice children.” She shuddered ever so delicately. “Sometimes it can’t be helped.”

Ms. Dibbles’ pot roast is a reward worthy of even the most extravagant public service or generous donation.

“It melts in your mouth, better than butter or even chocolate fudge, the creamy real kind not that pasty commercial stuff sold in the mega-marts,” Bob Dinkleduff, a recent recipient of Ms. Dibble’s pot roast, commented. “The taste is beyond heavenly. Is Father Duncan going to read this?” Mr. Dinkleduff scurried away to confession.

But Ms. Dibbles doesn’t extend her rewards to conspicuous do-gooders. “I prefer to reward those poor, overlooked souls who do so much in such little ways. Like the older gentleman just this morning who spent over an hour scraping chewing gum from the pavement. I must invite him for dinner, perhaps on a Monday, the poor thing popped the gum into his mouth when he had it free of pebbles.”

If you see Ms. Dibbles in her peacock hat with notebook in hand, be sure you are doing something good for the community. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but something she’ll be sure to notice. She may reward you with her divine pot roast dinner, complete with carrots, mashed potatoes, and celery tonic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Maddie's Red Revolution

Maddleston Heplick (Maddie) is on his second attempt to influence the fashion at Cloverdale Middle School. His previous attempt failed, sending him to the bottom of the food chain where he joined the other bottom feeders at the school. For one year his ego survived on recognition’s table scraps thrown his way by the odd cheer leader who thought he was “kinda cute” and the one or two jocks that remembered they hung out with him once or twice in primary school “before he got weird”.

Two weeks ago Maddie’s uncle returned from his Hawaiian vacation. Maddie's mother hosted a welcoming home party. While everyone feasted on roast pig and poi, Uncle stood and tapped his coconut on the table to get everyone's attention. He reached into a shopping bag and presented a treasure trove of gifts from the beautiful islands. One gift for every family member except Maddie, his only nephew. Uncle graciously gave him three Hawaiian shirts. Maddie was "blown away"( to quote his exact words). He carefully inspected each shirt for defects. He knew his uncle. Generous yes, but if he could save a dime and buy something second hand or on the cheap he would. Each shirt was perfect with that crisp new feel and smell.

That evening Maddie laid in bed staring at the hypnotic colors and floral patterns hanging in his open closet. He knew the middle school hadn't seen anything like them before. He would be the first. This was the answer - his ticket to popularity. He closed his eyes and dreamed of walking down the hall toward his locker wearing one of his new shirts. Everyone in his vision stopped and stared. Some dropped their books in disbelief. Teachers came out of their classes to witness the phenomenon. He heard an announcement over the loud speaker telling students he was in the building. The cheer leaders waited for him near his locker.
"There he is!" Lori Neddles screamed. "Get him!" There was a rush of blue and white coming straight for him. They pushed him against the lockers, pulling at his shirt in an attempt to rip it from his back. He broke free only after getting slightly bloody from the numerous scratches on his neck and arms. He ran down the hall looking for sanctuary. They were catching up. He turned the corner and saw the one place where he would be safe. He opened the door and disappeared into the boy's locker room.

Maddie walked to the back of the dressing room. He examined his shirt. Two buttons were missing. He sat down on a bench to catch his breath.
“Dude, that shirt is sick. Where’d ya get it?” He turned toward the hallway exit. There stood Todd Miller, the lord almighty of the jocks. The most popular boy in the 8th grade was talking to him. If he played his cards right, and didn’t say anything stupid, he might be invited into his circle. When you’re in Todd’s circle your life changes. Suddenly you get text’s. You find out where the Friday night parties are - parties with girls - hot girls. You sit on the back table in the cafeteria. You get a locker near the exit by the bus stop. You become somebody.

The alarm clock woke him up. The beautiful dream vanished into memory. It was the first day of school. Maddie showered, brushed his teeth and spent an unusual amount of time on his hair. He stood in the doorway of his open closet examining his shirts. He was faced with the most important decision of the school year? Which of the three shirts would he wear? Would it be the blue, yellow or red. In the end he decided on the red shirt. Red is the color of revolution and a revolution was coming to Cloverdale Middle School. A bottom feeder was about to be catapulted into the spot light and move from a lonely existence in the muck to the dizzying heights of popularity.

He waited outside for his mother to find the car keys and camera. Just before leaving he posed for the picture above. He jumped into the car, fastened his seat belt and did a quick hair check in the mirror. Everything was in place. His destiny awaited......

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Murtle Fetches the Morning Paper

Murtle lives at 31 Manor House Drive in Cloverdale. She has once again overdressed to collect the morning paper. If the paperboy’s throw lands the paper against the front door then her simple blue house coat with lace trim and slippers will do. If it lands on the porch then a dress and make up are required (as seen above). If the paper lands in the yard then I’m afraid formal wear would be expected. Most of the morning would be spent in preparation leaving little or no time whatsoever to actually read the paper before the other day’s duties required her attention.

Murtle’s husband is trained well in Murtle’s idiosyncrasies. He has learned to cook and clean. He has learned to give her several days notice for an evening out to get a burger. A week’s notice for a movie. A month’s notice is expected for a dinner party. And Christmas keeps Murtle in a constant state of anxiety.