His Itchy Valentine

Well, Hank’s cranky Great, Great Aunt Edna Nussbaum is here for a stay. Her grand kids are playing in Mexico or some such warm and lovely place, while Mrs. Nussbaum has been shipped back to the farm leagues known as HouseofHank.

Mrs. Nussbaum can’t smoke in the House, Hank ate her curlers, and her housecoat is in the dryer so she’s stuck indoors watching kids on the street play in the rare Seattle sunshine, while she mutters to herself and nervously paws a pack of Virginia Slims. Be careful with that ball, you shifty hooligans…it’s Valentine’s Day, and she’s in a muddle.

Darn kids Mrs. Nussbaum and echinoderm

In her younger days, the former Ms. Fusspotts spent most of her time under the southern sun by a sparkling pool, enjoying the rays and occasional breaks spent harassing opossums. This was before her whirlwind romance with Bernie Nussbaum and their subsequent move to the Pacific Northwest, where Bernie studied the defense mechanisms of Puget Sound area nudibranchs. The late Mr. Nussbaum has since long gone to his reward, and Mrs. Nussbaum now has liver spots and pretty consistent psoriasis.

Mrs. Nussbaum has been at ends due to the state of laundry at the House, and forced to wear Friday’s underwear on a Sunday, which won’t do at all. The “Feeling Crabby” Crab-of-the-Week underwear set was a gift from the late Mr. Nussbaum, who admittedly was not the most thoughtful of gift-givers. This former Valentine’s gift consists of seven varieties of the legged crustacean, each corresponding to a day of the week. “Monday” is fittingly given to the Dungeness; Tuesday, the blue crab; Wednesday, the brown crab; Thursday the hermit crab; Friday the fiddler crab; Saturday the horseshoe crab; and Sunday the king crab. Not kosher, at any rate.

Of course, several of these critters aren’t true crabs at all, which was the late Mr. Nussbaum’s roundabout way of saying “I love you, anyways” to the truculent and stickler-ish Mrs. Nussbaum. How she misses him.

So Mrs. Nussbaum waits for the ping of the dryer, her next cigarette, and for one of those darn kids to break something. Won’t be long now, she’s sure.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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