Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Reasons Why Lip Gloss Can Make You a Better Person, Part 6

6. Lip Gloss can prepare you for any social situation.

  I was singing at the nightclub again, and everybody was slowly waving their hands in the air as I crooned a loving ballad about periwinkles. Tears were shining in their eyes because my voice was so beautiful, and they were passing around an offering plate so that they could build a church with my name on it.

  Then I realized that some rude person off to the side was talking over my singing, which meant that not EVERYbody was looking at me and this made me angry. I motioned for Beth, one of my backup dancers, to go kill them or something. I still had several selections left on this evening’s program, and I certainly wasn’t going to put up with that mess. But the voice just kept getting louder and louder, until you could barely hear my precious warbling. Wait a minute. Something wasn’t right.

  I opened my eyes.

  I was lying in what appeared to be a hospital bed.

  A short little nun was staring me in the face.

  My years of studying social graces at Miss Butterworth’s Pre-School for Supernaturally Talented Beauty Queens immediately kicked in. “Who the hell are you?”

  The nun smiled primly. “I’m Sister Mary Marie Kathryn Elizabeth Lola Bettina. And I was asking if you wanted the Jell-o or the pudding cup with your dinner.”

  Granted, both of these options sounded splendid, but I was slightly confused. “Why are you asking me that?”

  The nun’s smile faded somewhat, and her facial features hardened a bit, more along the lines of the traditional nun species. Her eyes made it very clear that I hadn’t been paying attention in whatever nun class she might teach and that I had never attended. “It’s almost dinner time, and you didn’t fill out the form.”

  Form? I had been SINGING in a dream, and now I was suddenly here, and no one had mentioned anything about paperwork. This was already getting tiresome. “Why are you concerned about my food? Where’s my mother? Did she finally join that circus she’s always talking about?”

  The nun checked her watch. “Visiting hours start at seven. I’m sure your mother will be here then. But you have to eat before you can have visitors, those are the rules, as you know.”

  No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know a lot of things. “Where AM I?”

  The nun smiled again, obviously very proud of her workplace. “St. Bonnywood’s Institution for Troubled Beauty Queens With Issues.” She practically beamed with delight at this announcement.

  Me, not so much with the beaming. Something had gone terribly wrong, but I had no idea what. Until I could gather some intel, it was probably in my best interest to play along. In the end, of course, I had every intention of punishing whoever was responsible for this. “Um, I guess I’ll take the pudding cup.” She turned to go. “Wait. Is it chocolate?”

  She turned back around, pulling yet another flavor of smile out of her arsenal, this one indicating that she would enjoy what she was about to say because of the potential torture and dismay it could cause. “Rice. We are serving rice pudding. Extra chunky.”

  Rice? Ugh. Rice pudding looked like the larvae we had to study one time in science class, until one of my schoolmates wisely tossed the sample out an open window and got detention. I decided to retract. “Perhaps I’ll take the Jell-o instead.”

  Yet another smile variation appeared on the nun’s face, this one speaking of darkness and implications. “Dear, here at St. Bonnywood’s, we learn to stick with our original decisions and not waver. It makes for strong moral character.”

  I guess I didn’t get that brochure. But really, this was just some stupid dessert. I had much bigger concerns, like escaping this place once I figured out what it was. “The rice pudding will be fine.”

  “As I thought it would.” She turned to go again.

  “Wait, just one more question.”

  She turned back, not even trying to smile, and sighed. “Yes?”

  “Could you help me take this straight-jacket off?”

7. Lip Gloss is more emotionally satisfying than some family members.

  The nun sighed again, because she had a tolerance limit for questions from astonishingly beautiful patients. “That will be for Dr. Brian to decide.” Then she was gone, her irritating nun outfit dragging on the ground and making an ugly slithery noise as she went out the door.

  I glanced around my cell. White sheets on the bed, white curtains at the one tiny window, white walls. Very trite and monochromatic. My dissatisfactions with this institution were growing. Then it hit me that there were NO flowers. What was going on in the world that I should be hospitalized without floral tributes from my fans?

  The door banged open again, and in marched another nun, this was one sporting a tray with what I assumed was my designated meal. Nun II kicked a rolling table thing until it was partially over the bed, slapped the tray on it, then pushed some button that caused the upper half of the bed to launch my torso into orbit. She clipped a bib to the front of my ugly and depressing gown, peeled the top off the larvae cup, and then did something that caused one of my arms to plop free from the jacket restraints.

  Then she turned to go, not having said a word the entire time. Perhaps they had removed her tongue. I had read somewhere that this could happen if you get too chatty in a convent. I could never be a nun. Not enough costume changes.

  I took a tiny nibble of each gummy substance on  the food tray, hoping to find something decently edible. My quest was in vain. Everything was nasty and wiggly. I threw down my spork and shoved the rolling table aside. To my amazement, the table shot across the room and slammed into the wall, causing the tray to somersault and splatter the wall. Well, then. There might be harsh questions later, but at least we now had some color in the room.

  Right on the visiting hour dot, there was a deafening crash of metal in the hallway outside my room. Two seconds later, the door flew open, and Mellie Jo thundered through, clutching a bedpan and a hula hoop. She slammed the door, looked for a lock but sighed when she couldn’t see one, then turned to me. “Where can I hide these?”

  “Mellie Jo, I am NOT helping you with whatever you’re doing and I-”

  “Fine. I’ll find somewhere.” She dashed into the tiny bathroom and slammed the door. From the sounds of it, she then began to remove the toilet using an axe.

  The main door opened again, and Mom waltzed in, wearing a smock with a startling farm-animal print of some kind, and holding the hand of Little Sahara, who was holding the limb of Jenna the Stick. Mom dragged my two youngest sisters to the side of the bed, where she leaned over and kissed my head. “You’re finally awake!”

  “Mother, WHY am I here? What’s going on?”

  Mellie Jo kicked the bathroom door open. “Because you’re a nut job, you whackhead.” Then she turned to Mom. “By the way, I don’t care what that nun says, I was NOT in the East Wing five minutes ago.”

  Mom smiled nervously. “Mellie Jo, we don’t need to talk like that.”

  Mellie scoffed. “Like what? Crazy girl over there needs HELP. Can I have some money for the candy machine?”

  This was very perplexing. “Mom, why is Mellie Jo saying that? What happened? Do people think I’m crazy? And why don’t I remember any of this? How did I get here? And why would you put me in place where all the people are wrinkled and ugly?”

  Mom sighed, then patted my head. “People don’t think you’re crazy, Poodle. You just had… an episode. And then there was that coma business. And, well, we’re just trying to make you better.”

  “Episode? But what did I DO?”

  Little Sahara stepped forward, tugging on my sleeve that was not strapped to the back of my jacket. She held up the Jenna Stick, and cleared her throat. This meant that she was about to act out something for us, a coping mechanism we learned that she had during the counseling sessions after the incident with the tricycle.

  She pointed at me and then at the stick. (Okay, I’m the stick. Got it.) She pretended to put something on the lips of the stick. (Lip gloss. Keep going.) Then she hurled the imaginary lip gloss to the floor. (Something ran a slight bell in the back of my mind.) Then Little Sahara began waving the stick around, making sobbing sounds. (Emotional trauma of some kind.) Then she pointed at Mom and screamed. (This was getting odd.) Then she threw the stick against the wall with all her might.

  What in the world…

  There was a knock at the door.

  “Come in!” bellowed Mellie Jo, as she walked over and kicked the Jenna stick under my bed. Little Sahara squealed and dove after it.

  The door opened and in walked a man who was not wearing a nun outfit, so this already looked more promising than the mean little hags from earlier. He was carrying a clipboard, which obviously meant he was a physician of some kind.

  “Hello,” he said, in a pleasant and soothing manner. “I’m Dr. Brian. What Little Sahara is trying to say is that you suffered a severe neurological breakdown when your mother wouldn’t allow you to have a funeral for your deceased Starlight Sensations Lip Gloss. And I’m here to help you with that.”

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1 comment:

  1. Art imitates life, wherein your blog = art, and the content itself = my life, er I mean, life, this is not about me. It's not.