Finally! The sequel to Waiting for Karl Rove is available. You can find the e-book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble... the paperback will be on Amazon soon. Here's an excerpt...
(... from Chapter 2)
Flash-forward. Oh so bloody* forward. Let’s say, ten years from the moment Kat and I discuss being turned into refrigerator magnets by a deranged killer.
(*I, Jeni, have Brit language envy so I often pepper my writing with words like “bangers & mash,” “gobsmacked” and “minge.” Look up minge. You’ll get a chuckle.)
I’m in Lez Salon in the Village, partaking of a pedicure while waiting for my wife, Rachel Maddow, to return from the hipster record shop next door. She’s looking for something by Louie Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald. We like listening to music on vinyl while we do our scrapbooking.
Around the time I was traipsing around Las Vegas with Kat Nove, Rachel had a significant other, but that “other” has become insignificant now. We don’t even think about her, except when we get those off-putting phone calls where Alanis Morisette can be heard shrieking in the background from a state-of-the-art sound system. Once, when Rach put it on speakerphone, the “other” referred to me as a “jagged little pill.” I took it as a compliment.
What happened to The Breadwinner and Thing One and Two, you ask? Sadly, they perished in a freak meteor accident while on the way ice fishing one frigid Michigan morning…
(*Okay, I’m getting editorial feedback suggesting a gory death involving my husband and two autistic children, even fictionally, is perhaps not the way to go if I want to sell books. Yeesh, people are so fucking sensitive… as if The Breadwinner would take Thing One and Thing Two anywhere without me there to chaperone.)
What actually happened, in a nutshell, is this:
The Breadwinner is now known as The Former Breadwinner since our book hit the New York Times bestseller list. He spends a lot of time fishing and doesn’t ask questions like, “Were those divorce papers I signed last month?”
Thing One graduated from high school and went on to become a dog groomer. With all the filthy lucre rolling in, I was able to purchase a corner shop downtown for his new business —a business that’s thriving despite his penchant for tie-dying the dogs various shades of blue. Once his customer base learned he was autistic, they were hesitant to complain about it* so the fad took off. Our small town is overrun with aqua, sea-foam and royal blue hippy dogs.
(*Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990)
Thing Two is presently directing a film in Yemen — accompanied by his paraprofessional, of course. He still doesn’t speak in complete sentences, but he manages to get his point across. Let’s face it, it’s not like you need to be Mensa material to work in Hollywood these days.
My life is good…
Later, as I cook dinner for my gal, I hear her sigh into the phone before she pads into the kitchen in her baggy sweatpants and wife-beater. She pushes the speaker button and sets the phone down on the table before opening the refrigerator. As she retrieves a can of V-8 and pops the top, a harried voice emanates from the phone, choking out angsty lyrics along with Alanis…
“You oughta know!” I startled awake, screaming a line from the famous breakup song. I wiped the drool from my chin and turned to see Kat with my video camera pointed at me, close enough to get a shot of each of my oversized pores.
“You fell asleep leaning against the elevator doors,” Kat replied. “I was hoping they’d open and I’d get to film you falling on your ass.”
I nudged her with my elbow. “A little personal space, please.” My words were noticeably slurred.
“I’m hungry.” Kat’s declaration was equally garbled.
“You’re drunk,” I giggled.
“I get hungry when I’m drunk. Let’s find something to eat.”
I leaned against the elevator doors and rubbed my temples. Eating was the last thing on my mind. In fact, I was starting to get that feeling in my stomach that usually precipitated—
A river of chunky stomach effluent sprayed from my mouth, covering Kat’s shirt and the camera just before the elevator doors opened and I landed in a tawdry heap in front of a half dozen hotel guests.
Twelve feet took a step back; six heads looked down at me in disgust.
Kat laughed uproariously, crossed her legs, presumably in an effort to quell the impending tide, and yanked her baggy t-shirt up to wipe a chunk of something off the camera lens*. Then she panned down to get a shot of me rolling onto my stomach and pulling myself up using someone’s legs for support.
(*Simultaneously revealing her tattered bra and what looked like a very new tattoo on her stomach: Eric Cartman from South Park, bent over and pulling his butt cheeks open, her naval strategically placed in the center to form his puckered bunghole. Tattoo: $78.50. A lifetime reminder of Vegas shame: Priceless.)
The circle of people who gasped as she flashed her new body art hadn’t clued Kat in, so I decided to let her find out about the tattoo on her own. I’m pretty sure she’d never have done it in her right mind, and about now I was wondering what else we’d been up to.
I pushed past the now whispering (judgmental) crowd and checked my watch. Just after one AM. I had no idea what had transpired over the last hours - except that Kat had a new tattoo.
“Hurry up, I gotta pee.” Kat stumbled down the hallway toward our room as I fished in my purse for the credit card key.
“I can’t find the key,” I muttered.
Kat danced in front of the door. “Seriously, Jen.”
“I’m trying… wait, here it is.” I pulled it out and a receipt with a piece of chewed up gum was stuck to my hand. “Oh, gross.”
Kat grabbed the card, swiped it, opened the door, tossed my video camera on the bed, then tripped into the bathroom. As the door closed behind her, I pondered the gummy receipt from Club Tattoo.
Oh, no… The crumpled piece of paper in my hand clearly showed two tattoos had been paid for. For a brief second, I prayed Kat had an image of Kenny in his red parka on her ass.
With dread, I shoved the receipt into my purse, dropped it on the bed and turned to the mirror over the dresser. I squeezed my eyes shut and lifted my shirt.
When I opened my eyes, the reflection in the mirror revealed the same tattoo Kat had, only mine was of Butters (wearing bunny ears) pulling his butt cheeks open to reveal his pink li’l pucker - the pucker being my navel.
When I screamed Kat ran out of the bathroom, still zipping up her jeans. “Wha—?” She pointed at my belly. “AHAHAHAHAHHAHA.”
“You think that’s funny, huh?” I asked as she snorted and guffawed in a very unladylike manner.
I grabbed the hem of her shirt, yanked her in front of the mirror and pulled the shirt up to her chin.
Her laughter cut off abruptly.
“How the hell did that happen?” she shrieked.
“I’m guessing all the Creepy Crawlies* had something to do with it!” I shrieked back.
(*Kat’s drink of choice since it was Halloween. We had more than a few before and after starting a riot and crashing a wedding. [Book One people, catch up.] Unfortunately, what happened after the wedding was anybody’s guess.)
“Don’t shriek at me, missie. I doubt this was my idea.” Kat ran her finger over Cartman’s head, wincing in pain. “Ouch.”
“So we’re assuming I was the one who came up with the bright idea of getting obnoxious tattoos where our belly buttons serve as cartoon anuses?” I asked.
“You’re saying that doesn’t sound like something you’d suggest?” She put her finger in her belly button and wiggled it around, sending us both into a fit of giggles.
I looked down at my stomach. “I’m pretty sure The Breadwinner isn’t going to like this.”