Why did I write this? Because sometimes you just have to say, eh, what the hell.
There are Muppet Babies and only slightly worse, Satan and decapitation, in the story. You have been warned.
Oh, You Punta Loca!Cousin Shelley
When Lucy agreed to babysit, she didn’t know what she was getting into.
“They’re not like regular babies, Ethel. Some of them even have fur.”
“Just like Fred, huh?”
“Fred? He doesn’t even have any hair.” Lucy took the newspaper Ethel brought for her.
“No, but he’s got plenty of it growing out of his ears.” Ethel waved her hand when Lucy laughed and said, “So why did you want to read the newspaper so badly, anyway?”
“I wanted to read my horoscope and see if it said anything about babysitting a strange little litter of talking animals.”
Ethel put her hands on her hips. “It’s not gonna say that.”
Lucy said, “It’s gotta say something about it. I mean, Ethel, this is the most zany, madcap day I’ve had since yesterday.”
Ethel looked over Lucy’s shoulder and read aloud, “Satan is in your midst today—beware. And your lucky number is 12.”
“Satan?” Lucy all but screamed.
A small ball of brownish-red fur came tearing out of the bedroom, growling and shaking and snorting and hissing and—
“Lucy! Can it really be?” Ethel screamed and grabbed her as they jerked toward the door.
A tiny pink pig and a little green frog peeked around the doorway. The little pig squealed, “Aminal! It’s apposed to be our naptime!” The little ball of fur grunted and made its way back to the bedroom.
“Whew!” both women said.
“Well, Luce, I’ve gotta go get Fred’s supper on. If he gets home and has to wait to eat he’s liable to blow his top and catch that ear hair on fire. It could be an inferno all over late meatloaf. Bye, honey,” she said as she waved her way out the door.
Lucy sat on the couch staring at the strange horoscope. The door slowly opened. Ricky’s face appeared in the crack.
Luuuucy, I’m hooooome. Dju wanna be in my show . . . ?
Lucy screamed and Ricky came running in, laughing. “Wha? I was djust having a little fun. Oh, Lucy. Oh, ho ho,” he said. “Just playing ‘round, that’s all. Why are dju so nervous?”
“OH RICKY!” she whinged.
“Hey,” he said, "never mine whatever it is. Lorenzo Lamas is coming over for dinner, and your nose is a little shiny. Let’s get ready!”
“Oh, all right,” she said, and headed to the kitchen to find Ethel, eyes as black as the picture when you turn the contrast knob all the way to the left, holding Fred’s severed head, the hair in both his ears burning like tiny campfires.
"I told him the meatloaf would be done in 10 minutes, but that wasn’t GOOOOOOOOD enough," she said in a voice that belonged to . . . SATAN!
Someone knocked at the door.
Two hours later, Lucy was relieved to have made it through dinner with Lorenzo.
She explained that her friend Ethel was albino, but only in her eyes, so she had to wear those dark glasses all the time. And she’d been in an industrial smelting accident that scorched her vocal chords, so that’s why she sounded like an engine starting when she talked.
She promised little Ricky she’d take him to the park every day for the next month if he wouldn’t tell daddy about how Auntie Ethel had quieted the Muppet Babies (the pig gets it first she'd growled at him before wielding the spading fork), and how since Lucy didn't have anything out for dinner anyway, well, she'd been faced with a room full of (smeared and spattered with) lemons, so mommy just made some lemonade.
And thanks to her skill with paper mache and a little blue paint, she managed to turn Fred into a lovely centerpiece that didn’t even leave much of a ring, all between serving drinks, trying to hide Muppet . . . hide, and convincing Ricky to let her be in the show.