purple nyquil haze part 2

erma bombeck“Dear, it’s not necessary to do that every time you call my name. Mr. Thompson, I heard what you said.”

“What? I just said Saint Erma, that’s what you are, right?”

“Yes, but I don’t like your tone. Now off you go, don’t you have a decrepit hotel room with a shrine of Debbie Reynolds to get to?”

“Oh yeah, any word yet?”


And Hunter vanishes. I turn to Erma, as usual, for advice. “Saint Erma, my older daughter is upset. A boy at school called her a clueless dumb blond. What do I say?”

“Tell her that she is not a dumb blond. She is a blond savant. And she’s not clueless, just blissfully ignorant.”


“Maybe not. Just tell her boys are stupid and hide your husband’s Just For Men.”

“Good idea.”

And in a flash she’s gone to sit at the right hand of God. I turn around and Elvis entertains my youngest daughter. He’s singing “That’s All Right Mama.” Like me she can see all these people who invade our home each day. But she doesn’t let me in on it. She thinks it’s normal.

I pack my other daughter’s sandwich away, checking it for any bite marks that the King might have left. I hand out kisses to her and my husband as they go off to school and work. I sit down at the kitchen table to the strains of a powdered-wig Mozart playing his harpsichord.

“You know, Wolfie,” I say, “You’ve got to do something about this hair powder. I can’t vacuüm it up.”

“So sorry, m’lady. Won’t wear it next time.”

“You, sir, are a dear, no matter what Salieri says.”

The alarm clock rings. I can’t find the snooze button so I unplug the clock from the wall. I crawl back under the covers hoping to continue my conversation with Mozart but undoubtedly I’ll dream of missing classes at school in my underwear.


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