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As The Dollhouse Turns - Halloween Special

Episode 10 - Super Special Halloween Special!

Several weeks have passed and there's still no word from Buzz, who disappeared after being bailed out of jail by a man who left only the name John Doe and a fake address.

Sunny has been understandably distraught, coping the best way she knows how.

"His user name is Wolverine? Hmm,
I like the rugged type. Put him down as a maybe..."

In the middle of her therapeutic computer time, the children stomp in. Sunny thought they'd gone to bed, so she's a little surprised to see them.

"Why are you dressed like that?" she asks.

Don't bother me while I'm trying to find you a new daddy.

Charmeuse - the oldest child, and the one whose markered-on ghost eyes look the angriest - replies, "I suppose you forgot it's Halloween. We need you to take us trick-or-treating. Oh, and somebody's at the door. They said they're here for the costume party."

Oh no.

Sunny planned a Halloween party months ago, but with all the excitement it completely slipped her mind. Soon, dozens of adults she guilted into wearing costumes will be arriving and she has no decorations, no costume to wear, no food, and only half a bottle of wine (which she didn't plan on sharing).

Shooing the girls out of the way, Sunny rushes to the door. There, she finds two moms she knows from Chenille's class.

Nothing says "I show up early at parties" like
skorts with tights and a neckerchief.

"Thank goodness," Sunny says. "I'm kind of relieved you didn't dress up - I just realized I don't have a costume!"

The ladies look a little put out. "We ARE dressed up! We're PTA moms!" They turn to each other and giggle at the apparent absurdity of the idea.

Now Sunny's confused; they're wearing the same exact clothes they're always wearing. "But, aren't you actually in the PTA?"

Exasperated, the ladies explain, "No, Sunny - we're in the PTO.  Don't you know the difference?"

They continue to snicker at their own cleverness as they push past Sunny and ask where the food is.

"Oh, um, let me go get it," Sunny stammers. But before she can slip into the kitchen, the doorbell rings again.

I wish you could see this doll in person. So. Effing. Freaky.
"Trick or treat! Fair warning,
you should pick 'treat,' because the 'trick'
is me staring at you with my dead, dead eyes
while I eat your soul."

"Oh my, what a... big... witch you are. Wait right here."

Sunny already ate all the mini Snickers she'd intended to hand out, so she fills a bowl with goodies like travel-sized toothpaste and loose Tic Tacs. "Here you go, honey," she says, returning to the door.

The big witch glares at Sunny and takes a packet of McDonald's ketchup from the bowl. Sunny closes the door, mentally preparing to hose shaving cream off her windows in the morning.

That reminds her, she's going to have to improvise a buffet, too. After a few minutes, Sunny emerges from the kitchen empty handed; it's been a while since she went to the store, and there's nothing to eat but a stale blueberry muffin and a mostly full bottle of mustard. She calls in a quick pizza order, noticing that several more guests have arrived and the doorbell just keeps ringing.

"I almost wore the same thing -
that would've been so awkward," says Beatrice.

"How do you like my costume?" asks psycho babysitter Beatrice, doing a little spin. "I'm a slutty Bride of Chucky! Hey, is Buzz home?"

"Wow," marvels Sunny, trying to think of something nice to say. "The... blood on your knife... looks so... realistic!"

Beatrice just smiles and lets loose a maniacal laugh, which probably should've scared off the next trick-or-treater coming up the walkway.

And just what, exactly,
are we supposed to be?

The girl, claiming to be dressed as "a princess taking the day off," does not look pleased when Sunny drops a few TUMS into her candy bucket.

Soon, the party is in full swing. Everything's going great, if you ignore the fact that all the guests are hungry and irritated that they aren't drunk.

Finally, Betty arrives. Sunny called her earlier to see if she could stop at the liquor store.

"Oh, this? This isn't a costume, it's just
the cleanest lingerie I could find in my glove compartment,"
explains Betty, as classy as ever.

"I thought you said you were bringing booze," says Sunny.

"Oh, I drank it on the way over. Sorry. I forgot you needed it - I was distracted by meeting Ted in the beer aisle."

"Who the hell is Ted?" asks Sunny, more than a little stressed that she has a house full of people but no other ingredients for a party.

"Oh yeah, meet my new boyfriend, Ted," Betty says, gesturing to the man outside. "I don't mean to brag," she continues in a loud stage whisper, "but he's pretty rich."

"Nice to meet you," says Sunny. "I love your costume - you really look like an actual old geezer!"

"Thanks," says Ted. "But I'm not wearing a costume."

Mercifully, one of the kids interrupts. For once, Sunny's grateful for her children's repeated attempts to prevent her from ever having an adult conversation. "You still haven't taken us trick or treating," her daughter whines for the tenth or ten zillionth time.

Just then, a slutty lumberjack arrives.

"Welcome to the party. When can we expect the rest of your
costume to get here?"

"Hi, I'm a friend of Beatrice's. She invited me, and asked me to bring a sharp weapon for some reason." The girl shrugs. "Where's the bar?"

Sunny slams the door, but within seconds there's another knock.

"Um, weren't you just here...?"

"Don't worry, I don't want any more of your TUMS," says Princess Taking The Day Off. "I just wanted to show my little sister the house we'll be egging later."

Sunny takes the hint, and gives each of the sisters a couple gummy vitamins and a stick of Dentyne. She doesn't want to get a reputation for being stingy with the treats!

In the stunned silence from the trick-or-treaters, the kids see an opportunity to find out if the status has changed since the last time they asked, roughly four seconds ago. "Is it time to go trick or treating yet?"

"Later! And please, keep your sister out of the treat bowl; all that toothpaste is going to ruin her dinner."

Mmm, Colgate is my favorite flavor.

"When are  we eating? We're huuuuuungry."

As if on cue, one of the guests yells, "Someone's coming up to the house dressed as a pizza delivery guy!"

"Finally," says Sunny, relieved. "The pizza is here - the party is saved!"

"Me bring pizza to house. Me like pizza," says Jimmy,
who, in case you haven't been following along,
is supposed to be dead.

The drama continues next time! Until then, please feel free to catch up on previous episodes of As The Dollhouse Turns. Then click the Top Mommy Blogs banner below once for each piece of your kids' candy you plan to eat today. Happy Halloween!

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There's A First Time For Everything

Kids grow up too fast.

I'm probably not telling you anything you don't know, unless today you happen to be having one of those How long is it until this kid has to move out and get a job, again???  days. On those days, it seems like they're never going to grow up.

Last night, as we watched Maddie toddle around and turn into an adult right before our eyes, Gerry asked me, "If science came up with a way to stop the aging process for us, would you want to have more kids?"

My response, after I stopped laughing, was a resounding, "Hell. No." Which surprised me a little at first, to be that  sure I was finished having babies. But when he asked me why, the answer came pretty readily.
Something about nine months of physical discomfort, followed by brain-cracking, horrific pain, and also something about taking a breath between screams only to hear the doctor say, "I can't figure out where all this blood is coming from" while a 12,000-watt high beam illuminates your nether regions for an audience at a teaching hospital.
Still, an element of the certainty, the finality of it, makes me terribly sad. Maddie's already 18 months old - no more first smiles, no more first steps, no more first scrunchy face made at the first taste of the first bowl of that disgusting rice cereal gruel.


But whenever I start to get all gooshy and sentimental, I remember there are OTHER baby-related firsts I'll never have to deal with again, either.

Please don't misunderstand. I know I'm lucky to have experienced all these things. They're part of the miracle of motherhood and the joy of having children in my life and I'm grateful for every moment. But I can't deny that, among all those beautiful, touching, heartwarming moments, there are some  moments I don't feel a need to do again. Ever. Eeeevvver.

10 Baby Firsts
That I'm Pretty Glad I Won't Be Doing Again

  1. First projectile spit-up that requires everyone to get in the bathtub. Immediately. Fully clothed.
  2. First dried up, crunchy umbilical cord stump found floating around loose inside footie pajamas.
  3. First call to Poison Control.
  4. First time Poison Control operator laughs at you when you report, "My baby ate Butt Paste."
  5. First major outing without a diaper bag, and the resulting sock-and-electrical-tape MacGyvered diaper, applied while attempting not to touch any surfaces in a public restroom.
  6. First hoop earring unceremoniously removed in a sudden jerking motion by nursing infant.
  7. First diaper explosion that requires disassembling, laundering, and sanitizing an entire pack-n-play.
  8. First time noticing two huge wet spots on the front of your shirt - after you've already been out in public for several hours.
  9. First night of lost sleep due to baby crying for 7 hours straight, ending abruptly with the child falling asleep peacefully five minutes before your alarm goes off.
  10. First belated baby proofing - installing a cabinet latch on the changing table immediately after  finding your baby sitting happily in the middle of a baby powder eruption.

See? I feel less sniffly already. I guess I should change that title to 10 Baby Firsts That I'm Pretty Glad I PROBABLY Won't Be Doing Again, though. We still do have a baby around here, after all. It's not too late for her to eat some Butt Paste.

Don't you always click on the banner below to vote for me? Thank you!
If not, there's a first time for everything...
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This post was written in response to Stasha's Monday Listicle prompt on her marvelous blog, The Good Life - List of 10 Firsts.

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Starts with P and rhymes with horn (and other ways to get traffic)

Maybe you're already super cool; since you're reading my blog, I have to assume you probably are.
See what I did there? A compliment for both of us at the same time. Nice.
But for the purposes of this post, I'm going to reach out to those of you who might not be quite so popular - especially to those of you who have a blog, and especially  especially those of you who may be struggling in anonymity but are ready to be exalted by your peers relatively well-known.

Because I can relate.

Believe it or not, I was not always the Powerhouse of Awesomeness that I am today.

Ever since I became a blogger, people have been begging me to tell them how I've become so widely celebrated.* People frequently crowd around me, clamoring for attention, throwing underwear and requesting that I jot blogging tips onto exposed body parts with a Sharpie. So I've decided to pass along a few tidbits from my vast wealth of knowledge so that you, too, can get more fine folks to read your blog and start enjoying the numerous benefits of being famous and beloved. Just like me.

Get ready to take notes!

1. *NO THEY HAVEN'T. Not one single person has ever asked me how I became famous. Probably because I'm not famous. But instead of getting my feelings hurt (which isn't easy to avoid, I don't mind telling you)  I just pretend I am  popular (see first few paragraphs). That's the first step - in the immortal words of Journey, "Don't stop believin'." As long as you don't sing too many actual Journey lyrics out loud (THIS IS KEY), many people will simply believe that you really are cool. And that's exactly 87% of the battle.

2. You may or may not have noticed the subtle links peppered throughout this post so far. That's secret #2 - linking to other stuff. I'm no computer expert, but I'm pretty sure adding links to your posts tricks Google into thinking you're cool ("Hey, I know these people!") and/or knowledgeable ("Hey, I did research!") and/or relevant ("Hey, my stuff relates to this other stuff!"). Google likes cool kids. If you can trick Google into thinking you're cool, he'll introduce you to other people at parties and let you ride in his search engine or something like that, which I've heard is a good thing.

3. Ermahgerd!

That's it. I'm not sure if just typing it once or twice in a post will do the trick, or if it has to be in the title, or what, but after writing a post about my introduction to the "ermahgerd" sensation and a follow-up post making fun of myself, I'm forever getting traffic from people searching for things like ermahgerd neck cramps, ermahgerd shot put, ermahgerd bubbles, and ermahgerd pee pants (yes, people actually searched for all of those things - multiple times). Unfortunately for them they just end up seeing old pictures of me looking stupid, but it's hard for me to feel sorry for them since I have to see me looking stupid pretty much every day.

Yes, that is a yellow leather belt that I've used
to cinch in the waist of my henley tee. Thanks for asking.
I just now noticed the red eye, too - extra sexy.

I've also heard that mentioning a certain XXX word that starts with P and rhymes with "horn" will attract a lot of attention, though my husband, who normally supports every word of nonsense I type into this internet box, asked me to please not use that actual word lest it attract real live people searching for it, who would then land on my blog and find pictures like the one above instead of the hot, hot p-horn action they were hoping for. That ain't helping anybody's libido. Good call, honey. Actually, he pointed out that p-horn searchers aren't likely to become repeat visitors to HTV, unless they "enjoy" the pics I post, which would make them super weird and creepy, and I don't really want to be that type of popular.

4. If you're ready for an advanced level of awesomeness, try combining some of these tips. Start by selecting a topic that's likely to get lots of traffic; you can borrow some of my top search terms, such as:
hillbilly slogans for food
creepy baby sunglasses
erectile dysfunction funny
"threaten him" suppository or enema
shut up I'm right (this one's my favorite)
Open your post with a random statement about how popular you and your blog are, being sure to link to at least eighteen different sites in each sentence. Then discuss your chosen topic - "fat girls in yoga pants" seems to be another sure-fire traffic magnet - and wrap it all up with a reference to "p-to-the-horn" or a fun internet meme. Keep in mind, people love graphics!

Note: that fat girl in yoga pants really couldn't get up.

5. Most importantly, always leave people wanting more.

That's my way of telling you I couldn't think of a #5.

Here's wishing you innerweb fame! Remember, I believe it was Confucius who said, "Fake it until you make it." Also remember that obviously none of these tips have worked for me, so don't get your hopes up. By the way, you could really help me out with that by clicking the banner below (hint, hint).

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As The Dollhouse Turns - The Babysitter

Episode 9 - The Babysitter

Sunny finally has the information she needs to free Buzz from jail, but when she gets to the police station to tell them the details, she discovers two things.

1) Buzz has already been released! He was bailed out by a man going only by John Doe, and was taken to an address that the clerk didn't realize was fake, even though it was 123 Fake Street. And...

2) Certain police officers are kind of stingy when it comes to sharing baked goods.

"You know what goes great with wine? Everything.
Especially donuts..."

Staring at the clerk in disbelief and not sure what to do next, Sunny feels her purse vibrate.

How embarrassing,  Sunny thinks, blushing. But when she fumbles around in the depths of her knock-off Vera Wang, she discovers the source is just her phone. Pulling it out and brushing off the Goldfish cracker crumbs, she checks the display.

That can't be good. Her fears are confirmed when she answers the call - it's the babysitter.

"Ummm, hi Sunny! I hate to bug you..." Beatrice's voice sounds way too chipper. Red flags are going up all over the place.

"No trouble," Sunny responds tentatively. "What's up?"

Just tidying up this little mess
you didn't have time to take care of before you left...

"Nothing, really. Just a quick question. Do you know the number for Papa Johns? And Poison Control?"

"What?" Sunny feigns concern, though with three kids there aren't a whole lot of things in the house that haven't already been spilled, licked, and/or ingested and proven not to be deadly. Besides, somebody almost always has an upset stomach after Buzz has been in charge. He probably let the kids have ice cream and licorice for dinner.

Sunny uses the distraction to casually lean over the clerk's desk, trying to get a peek at her husband's police record. Why on earth is his file so thick?

Wait... Is that Jimmy???

"Oh, never mind," Beatrice continues. "She just threw up. Mostly outside, even! I'm sure she's fine now."

"Grrrreaaaat," says Sunny, turning her attention back to the call. "Hey, Buzz didn't happen to come home yet, did he?"

"Nope, he isn't here. All his shirts still smell like him, though."

"Okay, thanks. Wait - what???" Click. Sunny sighs heavily and hangs up. The clerk closes Buzz's file and uses it as a coaster for her coffee mug; that mystery will have to wait.

The clerk jots a few notes as Sunny tells her what she learned about the bar fight - that it was Maggie's ex-husband, Buster, who started the fight, not Buzz. No, she can't explain why Buzz and Buster are nearly identical, but the fact remains that Buzz is innocent.

Of this, anyway.

Sunny makes her way toward the exit, past the suspected felons in the station lobby. She's concentrating so hard on not making eye contact, she almost doesn't notice her phone vibrating again.

"Hello?" she says enthusiastically, grateful to have an excuse not to respond to the hobo who keeps asking if she has a cigarette or some hooch he could "borrow."

Watch it, mister. People have lost a hand over less.

"Me again," Beatrice chirps. "I was just wondering if you knew how to get that wine you're always drinking out of one of your cardigans."

"Are you doing laundry?" Sunny asks, surprised but hopeful.
She'd wondered before about Beatrice's somewhat... odd  behavior, feeling like Beatrice was a tad too  comfortable taking over Sunny's role every time she came over to babysit. Beatrice really makes herself at home, and she's awfully friendly with Buzz, plus wasn't there one time when she thought she overheard Beatrice telling the kids to call her "Mommy"...?

Sunny shakes her head dismissively. She's being silly - she decides to shake off her funny feeling about Buzz being involved in Jimmy's disappearance, forget her curiosity about Buzz's thick police file, and resolves to overlook a whole lot of oddity in sweet, innocent Beatrice (or anyone who's willing to tackle the laundry, for that matter).

Besides, it's not like Beatrice is obsessed with Sunny's life and wants to be her and dresses up in her clothes when she's not around and is in love with Buzz or anything.

That would be crazy.


"Yeah... I'm, um, doing laundry."

"Don't worry, I'll be right there." Sunny hangs up the phone and makes it all the way to the parking lot before the phone starts to vibrate again.

She's lost in thought, though, and doesn't answer. She feels a little liberated, having decided to let all her silly, unfounded suspicions go. But one question still nags her.

Where on earth is Buzz?

The drama continues next time! Until then, please feel free to catch up on previous episodes of As The Dollhouse Turns. But first, let's thank our sponsors! And let's pretend our sponsor is the Top Mommy Blogs button below! And let's pretend it likes to be thanked by getting clicked!

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Best 5 Costumes I've Actually Made

Last week I posted some costume ideas that were obviously 97% Photoshop-based, so I decided to find pictures of Real Life costumes I've made to prove to you (okay, really to remind myself) that Once Upon A Time I made things in the Real World and not just on the computer.

While searching through my pics, I realized a few things.
  • Apparently I used to have a lot of time on my hands
  • I don't think I've ever made a costume for Zoe because she always begs to be a Disney Princess, or a Mermaid, or a Fairy, or a Fairy Mermaid Princess.
  • Boys' costumes usually require a weapon. At least around here, they do.

1. Spider Man

For Jake's first Halloween, up until about 4 PM on October 31st I felt very strongly that it would be stupid to dress him up.

Then, right around 4:01, I became frantic with Mommy Guilt and decided his entire life would be ruined without a costume.

All this, and no candy?

This is a cut up, stuffed sweatshirt that I sacrificed to provide my infant son with four extra appendages so that his commando-crawling self would have a total of eight spider legs. He hated it and only wore it for this picture, but at least his life wasn't ruined. (Yet!)

2. Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts

Fast forward six years... I didn't pay Jake to dress up as a character from The Princess Bride, nor did he know how it would make my heart swell with joy or that it would catapult him to the top of my list as Favorite Child. He requested it all on his own, and we spent the whole day hunting Rodents Of Unusual Size and pretending to spike everyone's drink with iocane powder.

This photo remains one of the few tangible pieces of evidence I have that I might be doing something right as a parent.

"You mean you wish to surrender to me?
Very well, I accept."

3. Gladiator

Kennedy never, ever  asks for anything - he probably didn't even ask for this costume, which would've made me want to make it even more. But five years ago, he decided at the last minute to go trick-or-treating for (sniff) the last time; he wanted to be a gladiator, and I was determined he would be a gladiator.

His armor was made of inside-out frozen pizza boxes (yeah, we eat a lot of frozen pizza - yeah, maybe too much), crumpled and dyed with walnut ink to look like leather, held together with brass paper fasteners.

It took forever.

He'd better get married in that costume.

This Spartan appears to be on a break.

4. Pirate

Arrrr. I'm not proud that most of this costume (the shirts and belts) came from my closet.

To answer your question, No, I am not cool.

It's a button-down shirt with a black t-shirt over it, which I cut into a deep V-neck then poked a few holes along the sides and loosely laced it back together with another strip of black fabric. We made a pirate map together and tucked it into his belt.

I gave Jake facial hair with an eyeliner pencil and we drew a pirate map together, but the part that still makes me laugh every. single. time I see it is the cluster of curly chest hairs I drew peeking out of his shirt. I'm laughing right now, just thinking about it.

No ears were actually pierced
in the making of this costume.

5. Princess Leia

Ahhhhhhrghh, the cuteness, it hurts my eyes! This is Maddie last year, back when I actually still wrote on my craft blog - the upshot being that there's a full tutorial for making a baby's Princess Leia costume if you feel the need to make some tiny hair buns of your own.

The force is strong with this one.
The force is also adorable.

Hmm, that's only five, and Stasha's Monday Listicles topic over at The Good Life is "10 Halloween Costumes." So if you want to see the other half of my list, you can check out last week's post that has five more costumes, all of which you could make, but none of which I really did make. Except for the first one, but that was only for the picture. Go ahead and check it out - it's probably the only way you'll ever see how good Mark Zuckerberg's hair looks on a baby.

If you click the banner below, I'll give you half the candy I'm planning to pass out on Halloween!
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Hahaha, I already ate all that candy - but thanks for clicking!

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Top 5 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes For Kids

I've been a mom for a while now, and a procrastinator even longer, so I know that it's never too early to start planning to be unprepared on Halloween.

Costumes? Not yet. Plans for where to trick or treat? Haven't thought about it. Candy? Already ate it.

I usually wait until the last second to admit that I haven't done anything to get ready for the holiday, but this year I thought I'd get a head start on being behind. When October 31st rolls around, I'm pretty sure at the very least the baby won't have anything to wear, mainly because she doesn't know what Halloween is and her costume is completely up to me, her mother, Queen Procrastinator.

That's why I'm getting a jump on things by making a quick list of costumes I can throw together in 10 minutes or less, using junk I already have around the house. So I'll be prepared. To be unprepared. Madeline will be our costume model, but you could easily adapt these for older kids - just make them bigger, right?

  1. Baby Laundry Explosion
    Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? That's a question for the ages, but what I can tell you for sure is that this costume imitates the growing pile of unwashed clothes in my laundry room. It gets bonus points for finding a use for some of our lonely, mismatched socks.

    Editor's Note:  Unfortunately, this is where Madeline got super bored with my photography (yes, already), so you'll see that I've relied fairly heavily on Photoshop to illustrate the rest of the costumes. Nevertheless, if you have some markers and a few other basic supplies, you could still make these yourself - and probably a lot faster than it took me to make them in [expletive deleted] Photoshop. Moving on to...
  2. iBaby

    This is what I imagine the baby would ask to dress up as if she could articulate the request, since she A) likes attention and B) knows what I spend most of my time looking at.

    The headband is optional - it was part of a Jane Fonda costume that never happened because nobody sells belted, shiny Lycra high-rise bikini unitards for babies. (What gives?) But if you do want your baby to dress as a celebrity, might I suggest...
  3. Baby Zuckerberg
    In this nod to the Facebook-inventing mega millionaire, your baby can collect "Likes" along with candy. I, for one, wish I could "Like" a lot of my neighbors, since in Facebook-land that seems to be the easiest way to never see or hear from something again. After getting the candy, make sure your little Zuckerberg demands some money, too. What? People never had to shell out cash for the privilege of participating in Halloween before?  Well, apparently now they do. It's the Baby Zuckerberg way or the Baby Zuckerberg highway, in Halloween and in life. Oh, and speaking of things you never hear from anymore...
  4. Baby Tom Cruise

    I'm not trying to get all religious, people, but you can't have a baby in her dad's tube socks and not dress her up Risky Business-style. And these days, you can't think of Tom without thinking of alien-based religions - don't look at me, it's not my fault. Speaking of not my fault, I couldn't resist...
  5. Baby Romney

    I'm also not trying to get all political, people, but I go where the funny is. I'd make fun of my own mother if she said something that dumb (she'll back me up on that - I would). If you don't think this binders business is hilarious, I encourage you to click on the Amazon thingy in my left sidebar - I added a special widget there that takes you to right to the binders. Don't worry, it won't force you to buy a binder (or vote for a Democrat), but you have to click on it and read the customer reviews. Please. Ohmygod, I don't care what your politics are, it's so funny. Anyway, if this Halloween season isn't begging for some Binders Full Of Mommies kids running around, then this country is in worse shape than I thought.
I hope that helps some of you other procrastinating parents out there - I'll see you and your mini Jane Fondas (I'm counting on someone bringing that dream to life for me) out in the neighborhood!

What are your kids dressing up as? Are YOU dressing up?
Are you still speaking to me? Have you clicked the banner yet?
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As The Dollhouse Turns: The Disappearance

Episode 8 : The Disappearance

Buzz is locked up in jail, falsely accused of starting a bar fight. Even though bailing him out will mean another night of watching Wheeler Dealers instead of HGTV and trying to fall asleep to the ear-grating cadence of of his epic snoring, Sunny is resolved to find the proof she needs to get him released.

To do that, she's going to need some answers. Answers she might not want to hear.

Our last episode left off with Sunny gathering her courage at her destination...

"Liquid courage is still courage,"
she assures herself.

Sunny knocks.

As she'd hoped, Maggie made it home despite her tussle with Betty in the car. As she'd also hoped, Maggie invites her in for a nightcap.

"My, that night club was... exciting," says Maggie. "If you like,
I can give you the recipe for my all natural, organic laundry detergent.
There's a decent chance it could get that smell out of your sweater."

Sunny can't take it anymore. Enough with polite chit chat - Buzz is stuck in jail, and she's the only one who can help him! She needs to know more about the mysterious stranger.

Before Maggie starts a lengthy commentary about the shameful increase in the number of mothers using canned pie filling, Sunny finally blurts out, "Who were you talking to at the bar tonight?"

Maggie's face darkens - it's obvious she doesn't want to talk about it, but she's tired. And liquored up.

"Um, I don't remember you being Heidi Klum earlier..."
comments Sunny.
"Shut up," counters Maggie. "I don't interrupt your  flashbacks."

"That was my ex husband, Buster," she begins. "He left me a few years ago, and now he says he wants me back. But I said no. He has quite a temper, as you may have noticed."

"Do you know where he lives? Or where he went after he left the bar?" Sunny needs to find this guy - he's the one who should be in jail for that fight!

"Oh my, no. He, um, doesn't live around here anymore. I suspect he left town after our argument - that is, if the cops let him go."

"Well, how does he know Buzz? And why do they look so much alike? And what was the deal with you and Buzz being high school sweethearts?"
Uhhh, I'm sorry... say what?

Maggie's eyes dart around the room. "I never noticed that they look alike. Hmm, I guess there is a slight resemblance. And did I say we were sweethearts?" She squirms uncomfortably. "Oh, I don't know about sweethearts.  Buzz and I dated years ago, sure - but it was mostly just a sexual thing."

Sunny stares at Maggie, her mouth open in shock.
Being a nervous talker, Maggie fills the silence with TMI. "Real crazy, kinky stuff. You know, stuff they don't teach you in health class, stuff you only learn behind the bleachers and in the back row at the movie theater. Whew, when I think about the oddball stuff we used to do..." Maggie trails off, now smiling fondly at the recollection, a facial expression Sunny had only seen her use previously when talking about wholesome things like teaching orphans how to speak in Braille.
Maggie snaps back to reality. "Why, dear? How do you  know Buzz?"

Sunny takes the news about her husband surprisingly well.

Sunny hops back in the car - she can deal with Magnolia later. For now, she needs to get to the police station.

Detective White may not have believed her story earlier, but when Sunny gives him a solid lead - the name and identity of the man they truly need to detain for that bar fight - surely they'll have to let Buzz go.

She rushes inside the station. After stepping around a few fellas handcuffed to chairs and one guy so drunk he grabbed an officer's clipboard and refused to give it back, she tells the clerk at the desk that she needs to speak to someone about Buzz's arrest.
Sunny, a little frightened, holds her purse close to her body.
She doesn't have any cash, but she does have about $30 worth
of loose Goldfish crackers in there.
The clerk shuffles some papers with her sticky fingers.

"Eh, here we go," she finally says, pulling out a file folder bearing Buzz's name. Sunny couldn't help but notice how thick the file was - but Buzz had never been in any trouble before. Had he?
After flipping to the back of the file, the clerk happily reports, "Oh, this should take care of your problem! It says here that someone paid his bail - your husband's already been sprung."

"That doesn't make any sense!" Sunny's getting tired of being confused all the time. "Who on earth could've done that?"

And when are going to offer to share the donuts?
our hungry heroine think-screams.

"Hmm," the clerk says, licking her fingers and scanning the paperwork. "Looks like he was released into the custody of a guy named John Doe. You know him?"
Sunny closes her eyes, but she's sure the clerk can tell she's rolling them anyway. "So WHERE IS MY HUSBAND NOW?"
"Huh. That's funny. It says 123 Fake Street. Never heard of it - must be out of town."

I would face palm if my elbows could bend.

Where is Buzz, and who bailed him out?
With all this excitement, when will Sunny find time to finish strangling Maggie?
Where are MY donuts???

The drama continues next time! Until then, please feel free to catch up on previous episodes of As The Dollhouse Turns. But before you go, please click on the banner below - by doing so, you amazing people have made HTV the #5 HUMOR BLOG and now I'm addicted to the shrimp and champagne up here in first class!

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