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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Aunt Kate

Here’s another story I can’t seem to finish. Maybe that’s all there is.

Aunt Kate
by Headley Hauser
I've always adored my Aunt Kate. She was my Mom’s youngest sibling – the youngest are usually the most fun. When Mom told me that she couldn’t drive me down to Stephenson College, I asked her if Aunt Kate could.
Mom hesitated and I pretended that I didn’t know why.
Stephenson was a Christian school – my parents insisted. Both my folks and the school were stuck in the nineteen-fifties – or maybe it was the eighteen-fifties – I’ve never been that good in history.
Aunt Kate drove us up to the brick arch at the entrance and two upperclassmen girls stopped us. They motioned for us to roll down the window.
Are you a new student?” asked the blonde.
Yes,” I answered tentatively.
Welcome to Stephenson freshman orientation week!” she bubbled. She handed me a packet of papers with a map of the school on top. It wasn’t a very complicated map – Stephenson had less than a thousand students.
May I get your name?” asked the blonde.
Charles Manson,” I responded. The blond looked at her three page print-out and frowned.

Brenda,” she asked the brunette, “do you have a C. Manson on your print-out?”
No,” said the brunette who may, or may not have been named Brenda. She didn’t elaborate.
That’s my nickname,” I said. “My legal name is Dylan Fogler.”
The blonde jumped happily. “Yes, I have you here, Dylan – or Charles. You’re in Shepherd house, third floor.” She pointed to a small rectangle on my map labeled, Shepherd House. “Dinner is in Serenity.” she pointed to another rectangle. “You’ll meet your orientation leaders there. Your mother is welcome to eat with us tonight.”
Thank you,” said Aunt Kate, jumping in her seat in an excellent imitation of the blonde who still had not given us her name.
Brenda,” said the blonde, holding out her hand. Brenda placed into the blonde’s hand a garish short-billed baseball cap, orange, blue, purple, and yellow, with the pink letters, SC sewn on the front.

Here is your dink,” said the blonde.
My what?”
Your dink.”
No,” said Aunt Kate, “I haven’t seen it since he was potty-trained, but I’m pretty certain that’s not his dink.”
The brunette smirked. The blonde looked puzzled.
Where I come from,” I explained, “a dink is a part of the male anatomy.”
And not part of the female,” Aunt Kate elaborated.
I handed the hat back to the blonde. “I’ll pass.”
Oh, no – you can’t!” exclaimed the blonde. “All the freshmen wear them for the first week.”
All the female freshmen must wear a dink their first week?” my Aunt asked.
Yes,” said the blonde.
Kinky school.”
No!” said the blonde, blushing. “I mean this kind of dink – not… the other kind.”
I think,” said Aunt Kate, “You should let Charlie Manson be exempt from wearing a second dink. You wouldn’t want an incident.”
What?” sputtered the blonde.

Mom,” I said to Aunt Kate. “You know I promised not to do anything like that here.”
But last time you weren’t provoked nearly so badly – funny hats?”
I was never convicted!”
That’s true, Dear. Your Uncle Carl is an excellent attorney. And of course all the witnesses were unable to testify.”
I turned to the blonde and watched as a fly flew into her open mouth. “I’ll pass on the second dink.”
It’s for the best, blonde co-ed without a name,” said Aunt Kate. “His Uncle Carl is in the Bahamas right now avoiding extradition.”
Shepherd House might just as well be called Generic House. The walls were beige cinder block, and all the furniture was made of the same bland wood you see in every dormitory. Except for the lack of crushed beer cans and the complementary bible with the cheery note, “Don’t forget your sword!” I might have been at State.

Have a blessed year,” said the head resident as he poked his head in each room.
Cheer up,” said Aunt Kate, reading my mood. “Maybe you can get time off for bad behavior.”

Here's a vid of our favorite left-handed, evangelical, animated character.