If you come from a certain time and a certain place, you’ll know about the … in bed! game. I have played it numerous times with friends as we eat in Chinese food restaurants. It goes like this: you eat your dinner and when the fortune cookies arrive, everyone picks one. Then you take turns reading your fortune aloud but always adding at the end, “… in bed!” Hilarity ensues.
Here are some examples: “You are a good and kind friend… in bed!” or “Good luck is coming your way… in bed!”
Anywho… this phrase popped up as a story prompt one night, and this was the result:
“In bed? You’re telling me the cat is in bed? Why? Is Dirty Nose tired, or sick? I’ve never heard of someone keeping a cat in bed.” The sound of a very large nose being blown was heard over the line.
“No, Uncle Ed, inbred, the cat is inbred,” his niece Kathy said as distinctly as she could, but it was clear the old man’s hearing was giving him fits again. He probably had yet another head cold.
“Bread? The cat is in the bread? Well chase him off the counter and out the door. Germs, germs all over the place. You young people don’t know any better than to keep dirty cat’s paws off the counter?”
“Uncle Ed, I’m telling you that Dirty Nose seems to be inbred. There’s a problem with her bones, they’re too fragile.”
“Agile? You say the cat’s agile? Well I guess it would be if it’s jumping from the bed to the counter top. What’s the problem with the cat being agile?”
“Fragile, Unc. Fragile.” Kathy was getting frustrated. “Do you have your ears on?” she asked, referring to his hearing aid.
“Seshwan? The cat’s eating your Seshwan? What are you doing eating that spicy stuff anyway, little girl? Don’t you have that gird your loins, stuff?
“Gird my loin stuff?” Kathy had to pause to puzzle that one out. “Oh you mean GIRD, gastric intestinal reflux disease. Yes, I have it, but I’m not eating Schezwan, I’m trying to tell you about Dirty Nose.”
“Why would I want to hear about your dirty clothes?” her favorite uncle asked, confused. “Seems to me there’s only one thing to do about that, wash them.”
“Uncle Ed, listen to me please. This is about Dirty Nose, remember, the cat you gave me for Christmas. The vet says he’s inbred. Do you know who the parents were? Were they close?”
“Still talking about clothes? Well I’ll send you some money so you can buy some detergent. I thought you were making good money at that job of yours.”
“I am making good money, Unc.” Kathy was speaking louder and louder. “What I need to know is who were Dirty Nose’s parents.”
“Parrots? I don’t have any parrots, or any other birds for that matter. I have Fluffy Boots, and His Nibs, but that’s it. I don’t want any more pets, that’s why I gave the kittens away.”
Closing in on the topic now, Kathy hurried to take advantage of the moment. “Yes, Unc, about Fluffy Boots and His Nibs. Are they siblings?”
“Scribbling? Hell no, they’re cats, Kathy. What’s gotten into you today? Cats don’t scribble, they can’t even hold a pencil. No opposable thumbs you know.” There was a pause on his end of the line. “I’ve got to go now Kathy. Your Aunt Snicklepuss is calling me to come to dinner.”
“Oh, that you hear, huh?” she muttered. “Okay, Uncle Ed. I guess that’s all I wanted to say.”
“I’ll send you a check next week to cover your laundry detergent. Keep those clothes clean so you can keep that nice job of yours. Maybe they’ll give you a promotion so you can earn enough to buy your own soap.”
“Yes, maybe,” answered his favorite niece. “I love you,” she finished up.
“Glove me? Okay, I could use a new pair of winter gloves, but I don’t know where you’ll find any during the heat of the summer. Bye, Kathy. Give my love to your mother.”
“My lover?” Kathy answered wickedly. “Okay, I will, but boy won’t he’ll be surprised.”
copyright @ Genta Sebastian 2014