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Pickles, the Fire Cat


When my husband [2] is working out of town [3], as he has been a lot recently, he likes to check in on the ol' blog to find out what's been going on with the kids.

So, when I talked to him last night, he said, "WHY aren't you posting anything about the family on your blog?!"

I told him I really couldn't think of anything to say, and he was all, "Really? 'Cause whenever we talk you almost never shut up." Okay, he didn't actually say that, but I'm pretty sure he was thinking it, mostly because it's true.

What he actually said was that in his opinion my best posts, the ones he enjoys most, are the ones about a regular day in the life of The Smockity Family. He encouraged me to just post about what has been going on at home, or what I like to call Crazyville.

So, here goes. If you don't like it, blame him.

We have this old book about Pickles, The Fire Cat. I have read it aloud and listened to it read aloud many times. The oldest kids pretty much know it by heart.

I'm sure you have books like this. You know the kind that you can recite with your eyes closed?

So as I was reading it yesterday to the little girls, I did something I have wanted to do for years. I improvised the story.

You see, Pickles is a naughty cat who lives in an abandoned lot and chases other cats. He cannot find anything to do, but mischief, until Mrs. Goodkind comes along.

Upon first meeting Mrs. Goodkind, we see that she is a nice, normal looking, and quite lovely lady.

And then we turn the page.

And we hear the scary "there's an escaped convict with a knife outside my shower" music.

That's when I couldn't help myself. After holding back what has been in my head for the past 16 years, I let it loose. Here's how my improvised text read, in my best sing-song voice:

Mrs. Goodkind was so freakishly proportioned that she often haunted local children's darkest nightmares. They suspected she was actually a professional female wrestler trying to pass herself off as a man trying to pass himself off as a woman.

Even Pickles, who thought himself an open-minded cat, could scarcely look at Mrs. Goodkind without letting out a little gasp, mouth agape. Fortunately for the sensitive Mrs. Goodkind, to humans, feline gasps sound exactly like, "Meow".

At this point in the story, my 15 year old son [4], who knew what he was hearing was NOT the old familiar story he was used to, stuck his head into the room, looked at me like I had lost my mind, and said, "What in the world???"

We all cracked up laughing and then spent the rest of the day making up text for the pictures in the book.

Just a regular day in Crazyville.

*Note to all young and aspiring illustrators: When drawing ladies, for the love of all that is feminine, it is best not to make them appear as if they need a shave, are on the East German Olympic weight lifting team, have hairy forearms, and can crack walnuts with their calves.