Thursday, May 10, 2007

Living in Mother Goose's Neighborhood

Living in Mother Goose's Neighborhood
Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk Syndicate
Copyright 2007

"Well, that's the last of the boxes. We're finally moved into our new home."

"I know, isn't it a great house?"

"I don't know who built it. Look at the plaque by the front door."

"'This is the house that Jack built.'"

"I don't know who he is."

"I wasn't gone that long."

"Outside meeting some of our new neighbors."

"I don't remember. One of them was Jack. . . uhh, Pratt. . .Kratt. . . Spratt. Oh yeah, it was Spratt."

"He's that really skinny guy we saw on the way in.

"Kind of short and meek looking.

"That wasn't a bear, that was his wife. She's huge!"

"I'm not kidding. It was like talking to a beach ball and a bean pole."

"Jeez, what DIDN'T we talk about? They told me all about the neighbors, their house, even their dietary restrictions. I just wanted to know when the trash was picked up. I didn't need their whole life story."


"Get this. Apparently Jack is on a strict Ornish no-fat diet. Won't ever touch the stuff. Won't butter his toast, uses only non-fat salad dressing, and only eats grilled fish or baked skinless chicken."

"Oh, she eats anything. She says she's on Atkins, but she's doing it all wrong."

" She actually bragged about it -- porterhouse steaks, hamburgers, Cheetos, ice cream. It's not a marriage, it's some kind of dietary symbiosis. She eats what he can't, he eats what she won't."

"No, he's not the same Jack who built this house. I already asked."

"I think he's an accountant."

"Well, I would have been in right after that, but one of the other neighbors came along."

"Alexander Leslie, who's originally from Scotland. He's this bent-over, crooked little guy. He lives in that crooked house on Stile Street.

"Around the bend, right off Sixpence Road."

"It's not that far. He goes from his house to that big oak at the end of the road. He said he loves meandering around all the twists and curves in the area."

"About a mile."

"Maybe so, but he knows a lot about the neighbors."

"Alex said there are still a couple of small family farms on the outskirts of the neighborhood."

"One of them is a sheep farm."

"Some woman named Bonita. She divorced her husband, Frank Peep, last year, and he left her the farm."

"Alex says she's pretty bad at it."

"They keep getting out of the pen, and wander around the neighborhood."

"They don't do much, but the neighborhood association has called animal control out to her place a few times."

"The farmers co-op has even helped her with animal management, but the pen keeps getting unlocked."

"Could be that Tom Tom guy we heard about on the news, but he only steals pigs."

"Oh, and Bonita has a daughter, Mary, who is just the opposite when it comes to sheep. She's got this lamb that keeps following her around everywhere."

"No, seriously. Everywhere."

"The store, church, school, you name it. Sounds like some creepy stalker lamb."

"The health department has already banned them from three restaurants because of health code violations."

"No, the Greek place still lets them in."

"They probably want to make gyro sandwiches out of it."

"Actually Jack's wife says their gyros are excellent. She'll eat three or four in one sitting."

"Yeah, gyros do sound pretty good tonight."

"Alex said we have to go to Horner's Bakery. It's on St. Ives Street."

"Their Christmas pie is supposed to be outstanding."

"Walnuts, apples, and plums."

"Before I forget, Alex said to keep an eye on Bob Porgie's kid, George. The kid's only eight years old, but already has a reputation for being something of a Lothario."

"Bonita apparently threatened to sue the Porgies for sexual harassment."

"George keeps kissing Mary whenever they play together."

"No, he does it to all the neighborhood girls. Makes them cry and everything."

"It's not cute! The kid's a coward."

"Whenever the boys come out, the little punk runs off."

"Well, he's not playing around our girls, that's for darn sure!"

"Alright, alright, I'm calm."

"I like the neighborhood pretty well so far. It seems a little weird though."

"I keep thinking I've met these people before, but I can't quite put my finger on it."

"I don't know. When I was a kid, I guess."

"I'm sure I'll remember it later,"

"Oh yeah? When are you going to start planting?"

"I'll put up a small fence to keep Bonita's sheep out."

"What are you planting this year?"


"Uh, you may want to rethink that. I met our neighbor Peter earlier today."

"He lives in that little orange house behind us."

"You think that's small? You should see where his wife stays."

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