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Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2230633
Taken with a grain of salt.
Editor's choice, Comedy Newsletter 4/1/21

“Well, here we are kids. Your baby sitter is waiting. Get out.” Gail Simone raced the engine.

“We’re too old to have a baby sitter, mom.” Roy sighed. “Besides. You got the doors locked.”

“Grrr.” Gail’s frustrated fingers stabbed and unrolled the car windows by mistake. “Out you go, then go fly a kite.”

“She’s cute.” Pre-adolescent Roy nudged his younger brother Elvis. When they saw who their sitter was, they leaped to the task, hitting the ground with their sleeping bags and night sacks trailing them like dancing penguins.

“Wow. Look at you big strong boys. My name is Barbie. You’ll be such a help.” The curvaceous blonde shivered delightfully, turning provocatively towards the open front door.

“I was having such trouble with little Jane and Michael. You can help clean up the war zone mess inside. I was losing it. How’s that”

The two kids poking their heads into sight were indeed a sight to behold. Jane’s battle dress was camouflaged with jelly and peanut butter. It dripped gooey blobs from her elbows, nose, hair and hands. Michael chewed and spit out feathers along with a pet canary. “Come on in. We’re having some hot fun.”

The arctic melted. Elvis’s penguins tried mating with him. That is what it looked and sounded like as he tripped, rolling with them amid cries of, “Snow Job. Mom gave us a snow job.”

“Run. We’re on thin ice.” Roy slipped and stumbled over his own penguins getting under his feet.

the kid named Michael yelled a battle cry “Caught themselves. Come on, Jane. Let's go get them and feed the birds with their bodies.” He gave a whoop, flapping his gooey camouflage arms like wings.

“Little vultures,” Barbie yelped, flying out of the way.

“I want to smash their bird brains. Yum.” Jane squawked.

Roy and Elvis lay, wet behind the ears, got ready. They’d met worse than this. In the nest of their belongings, Roy held his slingshot aimed with one of his giant jaw breaker candy balls swinging in place. “Open your mouth wider. This is better than a spoon full of sugar to stop all that yelling.”

Elvis pumped the lever on his Flash Gordon Space Rifle squirt gun he’d brought with him. “What lemons. They deserve to be cooled off with some lemonade.”

Barbie batted her beautiful long eyelashes. She stood transfixed with her arms at her breasts. “I’m saved. Maybe they’ll kill each other.”

She looked on as the large egg blue jawbreaker whistled on by, to shatter her hopes along with the home’s big picture window. “Oh. No. Their parents will murder me.”

The stream of lemonade made a drip out of her. Her long beautiful yellow curls hung like ropes. The mix of juice and mascara turned her face into ugly ruin. “Grrr. You’ve turned me into a babysitting monster.”

What emerged off the porch was madder than a wet hen. A new enemy hurled herself into the foray.

“Look dear. They are having so much fun.” Jane and Michael’s parents braked to a stop on the curb, bright smiles pasted on their faces. “We finally found a babysitter I think we can keep.”

The dad got out his wallet, flashing greenbacks into the air like they were peace offerings. “O.k. Time to stop.”

He was joined hand in hand by their mom. “Little devils outdid themselves with Gail Simone’s kids’ help. Just look at that picture window and the front door gaping half off its hinges. What a sight.”

“And worth the half hour of privacy we had, isn’t it, darling. Worth every penny. It is only money.” They traded happy hugs and kisses.

“Didn’t want to spend too much time away. We might have lost the whole house judging by past dates.”

“Come on, all of you. We want to take picture of this success. Stand up tall now. Smile.”

All five shook themselves up, dancing like penguins. Barbie looked like she had a spoonful of sugar in her mouth. Roy and Elvis no longer looked like they wanted to

Gail Simone lurched to stop, head and neck stretching outside her car window. “I always monitor the police band. Flashing lights are right behind me. Quick, Roy. Elvis. Fly yourselves in.”

The photos sent in the mail a week later of Jane and Michael, their parents and of Barbie from the courthouse looked unreal they were so sober and bland. They were pasty faced chalk paintings of a surreal unrecognizable ideal family and babysitter enjoying a free moment together.

“Looks like bribing the judge paid off.” Gail Simone took a deep breath. “They didn’t tell about our get-away, after all.”

“It was fun, mom. Can we do it again?” Roy and Elvis echoed, fingers twisted, revealing the lie held behind their backs.

“Lord help me. No-one else can.” Gail Simone rolled her eyes. “You better be good for a month of Sundays, or you bet we will.”
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