"A tornado, dirty Fruit of the Looms and references to my mother."
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 100 01:31:46 -0800
Subject: "A tornado, dirty Fruit of the Looms and references to my mother."
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TAKING SWEETIE BY STORM
by P.S. Wall (Off the Wall), July 25, 1999
"Sweetie," I say as I pass him a handful of nails, "doesn't a storm make
you feel kind of frisky?" Taking a slow drag off his rain-soaked
cigarette, Sweetie stares at me across the kerosene light.
"You are one sick puppy," he says as he hammers boards across the basement
Sweetie, Cat and I are hunkered down in the basement hiding from a
tornado. The electricity is off, the phones are dead, and the
weatherman's last instructions were, "Crawl under a staircase, put your
hands over your head, and kiss your behind goodbye."
In my case, I'm in for a very lengthy farewell. Sweetie and I always
differ on how to pass the time while the lights are out. A good storm
charges me up like a DieHard. The louder the thunder, the closer the
lightning, the faster my engine revs. Sweetie, on the other hand, gets
The Big Chill.
While I light scented candles and blow the match out with a puckered
puff, Sweetie paces like a lion in a cage.
"Sweetie," I purr, shoving a pile of dirty whites onto the floor and
patting the couch, "come to mama."
"A tornado, dirty Fruit of the Looms and references to my mother,"
Sweetie says. "Now there's a strategy they don't teach in bimbo
Outside, the wind is howling, rain is beating against the house, and the
sky looks like a giant inkblot. Ping, ping, ping the gutters ring, as
hail the size of golf balls lop out of the sky like God is at the
"We forgot to cover the truck," Sweetie groans, cringing with every
"What are a few dimples? The tornado is going to blow it away anyway,"
I say as I stretch out on the couch and try to simulate cleavage. "Want
a back rub?"
Standing on tiptoe, Sweetie peaks out the little cellar window. Trees
are snapping and gyrating like the ghost of Elvis.
"The oak tree is going to fall on the house," Sweetie moans as the
birdhouse goes twirling past the window like Dorothy's house in "The
Wizard of Oz."
"We need a new roof anyway," I ooze, licking my lips and tossing my
hair. "How about a head rub?"
A bolt of lightning zigzags across the sky, and Sweetie starts counting
the seconds until the thunder. "One thousand ... two thousand ... three
"It's a good five miles off," I assure him, twirling the shoe laces on
his Rockports. "How 'bout a quick foot massage?"
"Give it up!" Sweetie snaps, slapping my hand away. "An act of God
couldn't get me on that couch!"
Suddenly a deafening crack of thunder explodes. The cellar lights up
like someone flipped the lights on at Yankee Stadium, and the house
starts shaking as if there's a freight train crashing down the hall.
Every electrical appliance in the house comes to life. The TV flickers,
the telephone rings, and the washer jumps into the spin cycle. Bolting
across the room, Sweetie does a 1 1/2 gainer with a twist right into my
Decades from now, people will still be talking about the day the tornado
touched down in the heart of town. At our house it will always be
remembered as the day Sweetie got hit by lightning, which occurred
roughly 15 minutes after the storm had passed.
Copyright 1999 P.S. Wall. All rights reserved.
© 2000 Peter Langston