Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 5

5. Lip Gloss can be used as a negotiating tool.

  I turned away from the window and faced Chandra again, sighing. “I suppose we should go out there and make sure they’re still alive and all. Mom might not let me go skating if anything happens.”

  Chandra agreed. “ You’re right. But don’t think this means that I don’t get to hold your lip gloss. I still get to do that, especially if I help you look for little people. Let’s go.”

  We gathered our things so that we could traipse back outside, causing Lenore, the Dairy Queen waitress, to glare at us as she was heading our way with the glasses of water that nobody drinks. She wasn’t happy, but it wasn’t really my fault. I can’t help it if I have little sisters that can’t stay in one place or understand that my priorities are not the same as theirs. Nobody asked for MY opinion when somebody decided to risk playing slap and tickle back in the day and suddenly we had more tax exemptions running around in diapers.

  Chandra and I stepped out into the sunlight, waved to some fans down the street, and then glanced around the parking lot. Nothing. No sign of urchins or their slimy little trails. This was really a lot of work, tracking people down, and I didn’t understand why people would want to do this for a living.

  Suddenly, something bounced off the back of my head and fell to the pavement. Greatly irritated, even though I should be used to objects flying through the air after all the parades that I’ve been in, I still managed to whip around in a gracious twirl to study what was now lying on the ground.

  It was a maraschino cherry, stem intact. As in banana split, with whip cream, that kind of cherry. Had there been an explosion in the Dairy Queen kitchen?

  Then a familiar voice rang out. “I’m up HERE, you twit.”

  I glanced skyward, and spied Mellie Jo on the red roof of the building, one hand clutching a glass jar of cherries and the other shoving Little Sahara away from the edge.

  I really didn’t have time for this. “What are you DOING up there?”

  “I’m going to JUMP!” squealed Mellie Jo, then she plucked out another cherry and threw it at a passing car.

  “Fine,” I said, and headed toward the Dairy Queen door. THIS was exactly why I didn’t sign the authorization forms for additional siblings.

  Chandra yelled after me. “Wait! Are you just going to leave them up there?” I could tell by the tone of her voice that even though she was slightly shocked, she was also slightly intrigued and possibly jealous. Perhaps she could learn to have the same attitude toward her own sister. This could be promising.

  I turned back to Chandra. “Look, if she wants to jump, she can jump. I’m thinking it could solve a whole lot of issues. And it’s not like I pushed her.”

  Chandra pondered this. “But will your Mom still let you go skating? You can’t miss this one! Thad Daniels is going to be there, and Missy Baxley said he got a new haircut.”

  Oh, right, we’re back to the skating thing again. I sighed once more. Yep, I would have to get the heathens off the roof before I had any chance of getting to do a couples skate with Thad and his feathered hair. Maybe I could get this over with quickly. I looked up at Mellie Jo. “Come on down, Mellie. I’ll buy you a snow cone, you look really pretty today, and I won’t tell Mom what you did with the leftover meatloaf.”

  Mellie Jo was un-swayed. “Don’t try that ‘After-School Special’ crap on me. I know what you’re doing, I get to watch TV, too. When I’m not grounded.”

  I quickly lost my patience, having no time for untrained underlings who failed to realize my importance. “Mellie Jo, why are you so MEAN? Get down here.”

  Mellie Jo threw a handful of cherries at an elderly lady who was wheeling along an oxygen tank as she slowly exited Patti’s Potpourri. “I am NOT mean. I’m just not nice, and I don’t understand why people can’t just give me what I want. It would be so much easier.”

  Well, she had a point there. “What do you want NOW?’

  Mellie Jo wiped her sticky hand on her little frock with the pencil design. (Apparently Mom had gotten a really good deal on a bolt of this frightening material, and we all had examples of evil pencil outfits amongst our couture. Mom was handy with a needle, but she looked the other way when fashion knocked on the door.)

  Mellie Jo presented her demand: “I want your new glitter lip gloss.”

  Sorry. She would just have to leap to her death before that happened. I headed toward the Dairy Queen door once more.

  Chandra hissed at me, tentatively practicing her newly-desired skill to be more forceful and not be so sweet all the time because then you ended up in unhappy marriages. “Get back over here and give her the damn lip gloss so we can just go back inside where it’s cooler and we can talk about boys. I’m tired of being moist. Do it!”

  This startled me. Chandra was learning too quickly for my satisfaction, and we couldn’t let her get better at it than me. I would have to crush her at some point. But that would have to wait for another time, there was simply too much going on today.

  I looked up at Mellie Jo again. “Okay, I’ll let you hold it for a minute. But you have to come down first.”

  Mellie Jo didn’t budge. “No. You have to GIVE it to me to KEEP. And you have to GIVE it to me before I come down. Throw it up here.”

  I was aghast. Throw my pretty pink pouch through the air? Surely she was insane.

  Chandra hissed again. “DO IT! Do it right now or I’ll tell Thad Daniels that you kiss his picture in the yearbook!”

  I whipped the lip gloss out of the pouch and hurled it all Mellie Jo with all my might. Maybe it would hit her in the face and this whole mess would be over after some temporary blindness and tears.

  The tube tumbled through the air, reflecting the sunlight in pretty rainbow waves that filled the sky and made me look even more stunning. Mellie Jo reached up with her cherry-stained fingers, and the tube sailed right past her, bouncing off Little Sahara’s head, then skittering down the incline of the roof. Before I could even catch my breath the tube disappeared over the edge.

  There was stunned silence as we awaited the final fate of the Starlight Sensations Glitter Lip Gloss.

  It came in the form of a horrifying splatter noise of glass and liquid somewhere in the alley on the side of the building.

  I dropped to my knees on the steamy pavement, a wrenching wail of outrage and dismay bursting out of my darling little lungs...

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