It was Thanksgiving, and Fred and Jaime Burtwhistle had much to be thankful for, although they couldn’t agree on what their next step in life together was to be. Fred’s Great Aunt Donnabelle, whom they loved very much for obvious reasons, had died and left them a gigantic fortune. It was such a pleasure to be able to spend money and not have their nosy great aunt overseeing. Waiting for her to die had taken years.
Then there was Jaime’s Aunt Mabel to be thankful for. She would never shut up. Talk talk talk. She had a motor accident at some stage during the year and lost the ability to talk. What a relief! What a blessing!
Jaime’s father was a chronic alcoholic and they had put him in a care center of some sort for drunks. It was going to be good not having him around on Thanksgiving to ruin everything.
Fred’s mother, a widow, was a nut case. She had been “institutionalized”. Hopefully in a padded cell. You’ve no idea how embarrassing that woman could be.
So indeed there was much for Fred and Jaime Burtwhistle to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. They had no children, so it was to be just the two of them. Of course, they couldn’t agree on how best to spend Great Aunt Donnabelle’s inheritance. To solve this disagreeable problem Fred had poisoned the cranberry sauce, and Jaime had poisoned the pumpkin pie.
Bertram collected reptiles. (To each their own). He collected skinks, lizards, and geckos. He didn’t collect snakes, crocodiles and alligators, komodo dragons, frogs, turtles, tortoises, or tuataras. Just skinks, lizards, and geckos.
He used to breed them for sale. He also used to capture wild reptiles and export and sell them. It was illegal. You’ve no idea the clever ways he used to surreptitiously transport them! He had done it all his life and never once been caught.
Selling reptiles was so lucrative that he had built a luxurious log cabin in the wilderness that had every commodity. He certainly lived the good life thanks to those skinks and lizards and geckos. It’s amazing to think that over the years he handled twenty-seven species that are now extinct. What an amazing record! What a great privilege to have been the last on the planet to see and handle those creatures! I’m quite in awe! I asked Bertram how he felt about it but he said he didn’t have any feelings. He was in it for the money.
Boris had been caught dipping his fingers into the till. The judge gave him prison with hard labour. He was put in a gang whose task it was to pick up all the junk on the side of the road that people has thrown out of their cars. The overseer had warned the prisoners that if they found anything of value, such as a five dollar bill, they should hand it in; even a dollar coin.
Boris thought that was governed by greed. The overseer was a megalomaniac. Boris couldn’t stand his guts. The supervisor was always cruel and unreasonable.
And would you believe it? Boris was picking up bits of trash and putting it in a bag when he came across a hundred dollar bill. A hundred dollars! He quietly pocketed it. The only reason the overseer wanted any money found to be handed in was because he wanted to keep it for himself.
“Has anyone found anything of value?” asked the overseer at the end of the day.
“Has anyone found anything of value?”
“You,” said the overseer to Boris, “you found a hundred dollar bill. Where is it? I planted it and I saw you pick it up.”
“You only get one chance in N…..,” said the supervisor. He shot Boris in the head with a pistol.
There was one thing Ferdinand disliked immensely and that was to have to powder his wig every morning and put it on. (He lived in the seventeenth century). The whole wig thing took a substantial chunk out of his daily morning programme. It was far easier simply to sleep with his wig still on and then pat it flat upon rising.
But then Ferdinand’s pate began to get itchy. His wife looked and there was a nest of nits in his hair having a wonderful time. And of course there were the inevitable family of earwigs setting up home in the wig itself.
Ferdinand was rather partial to that wig. It was like shoes; a wig had to be “broken in”. This wig fitted perfectly. Ferdinand gave the wig a good shake hoping to expel the bugs. It did not work.
Ferdinand’s wife, Maria Constanze Cäcilia Josepha Johanna Aloysia Fischer, bought him a brand new wig and gave it to Ferdinand for Christmas. He was most grateful, although for a start on alternate days he wore his old wig for the sake of comfort.
Lavinia seemed forever to have a cold. Her nose was endlessly running. She’d use a box of tissues, or half a box at least, every day. She went to see a specialist.
The specialist suggested to Lavinia that she had an allergy. Did she have a cat? A dog? A pet cockatoo? Perhaps she should stop eating bread for a while and see what happens. Perhaps she was allergic to milk, or chocolate, or nuts. After tests, none of these were shown to be the cause of Lavinia’s runny nose.
The specialist did further tests. At last the allergy was discovered! Lavinia was allergic to dust created from dried cockroach poop. To be honest, Lavinia’s house was constantly invaded by cockroaches. Lavinia paid to have her home completely debugged and cleaned. It didn’t work. Lavinia still had a constant cold.
No one had noticed the cockroach that had crawled up and lodged itself deep in Lavinia’s sinuses.
Ernie read that peach stones contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. Hydrogen cyanide is a poison. He went out and bought a big bag of gorgeous peaches.
When the obnoxious kids from next door came over, as they frequently did, he gave them each a peach. “And,” said Ernie, “make sure when you finish eating that you suck on the stone for a good half hour because it’s very healthy.”
So the obnoxious kids from next door ate the peaches and then sucked on the stone for about half an hour. They made awfully loud sucking noises as they sucked. Obnoxious kids do that. It made Ernie really annoyed. The only consolation was that they’d be dead soon enough.
Anyway, they’re still alive. It had no effect whatsoever.