Another Day in the Retirement of Me

Episode 4: A Day on the Town. (Part II)

And thus continues the epic adventures of the three kindly old ladies—Rachel, Katy, and Stacey—and their evil counterpart—Sourdough!… Er, Sonita!

"If I were a Katy where would I go?" Rachel muttered to herself, absentmindedly whapping everyone she passed with a cane, occasionally going back for another whap if the person looked particularly busy or stressed.

"I know!" She exclaimed suddenly, earning the worried glances of the other people on the street, "Hotdogs!"

The look of ingenious enlightenment soon faded, though, as her own ludicrous words sunk in, "Wait a minute… ‘Hotdogs’ isn’t a place… Is it?" She frowned, pulverizing a nearby mailbox to help her think and successfully scaring off the poor mailman who just barely pulled his hand out in time as an added bonus.

"Whhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Katy grinned happily, thoroughly enjoying her ride down the hills until a thought struck her like lightning, her face paled momentarily until she forgot what it was that had just been bothering her and went back to enjoying the ride.

She soon remembered as she spotted the end of the road looming before her and went to grab the wheels and brake—unfortunately earning a bit of a rubber-burn in the process. Quickly giving up on that pain-inflicting course of action, Katy deserted her earlier cry in favor of a new one:


Stacey bobbed her head slightly to some imaginary music that only she could hear, sitting comfortably next to a window and watching with quickly waning interest as the scenery sped by. She turned to look at the person across from her instead, taking in their boringly average appearance.

"Hello!" She greeted at length.

The person looked up as if someone had just told him a nuclear warhead had been planted in his home, the bus was about to hurtle off the edge of the earth, the sun was going supernova, and he had just ingested poison and only had thirteen seconds left to live. "H-hello." He finally responded, wide eyes glued to Stacey to catch any sudden movements.

Stacey grinned, happy to have made a new friend. She proceeded to place herself in the empty seat in between the man and the aisle before launching into a discussion concerning the quality of Minneapolis busses, how many shots a fully armed cannon could get off in an hour, and welfare in general. The man merely pushed himself back against the window and stared at her with helpless horror and the most miserable look he could muster.

Sonita grumbled as she jumped off another bus, "Wasn’t on that one either! Stupid old ladies running off in the stupid city to ride stupid busses and beat stupid mailboxes. Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Glaring darkly at a young woman who just happened to be in front of her when she looked up, Sonita moved on, in a completely unamused manner. She was so unamused that it seemed unlikely to any that saw her that anyone could possibly be less amused than her at that moment. In fact, most people that saw her chose to cross the street—even if a semi was speeding down the road at that particular time—and pass on the other side than risk passing within her reach. Or within a ten foot radius. Actually, many looked like they’d rather like to be in a completely different city.

Some sirens sounding from a squad car right behind her finally caused her to halt in her glaring rampage and turn to see the car stop on the curb just a few feet away. A policeman stepped out of the car, walking cautiously around it with his hand resting conspicuously on his gun—although Sonita was sure it was meant to be decidedly less conspicuous.

"Um… Excuse me, miss," The man started a bit nervously.

Sonita’s frown deepened and she looked around briefly before asking, "Me?"

"Yeah," The man confirmed, "You see, we were getting some complaints that you were, well, making small children cry," He continued glancing at her to make sure she wasn’t going to jump him and break his neck. Ensured that his neck was safe for the time being, he continued, "and harassing old ladies with their own walking sticks."

Sonita was about to open her mouth to object when the radio inside the car sounded. Whatever it was neither her nor the policeman heard and the man gave her a last cautious look before leaning in through the passenger window to grab the speaker.

"This is squad car 52, can you repeat that?" He asked.

The garbled message came through again and the man adjusted the volume enough for Sonita to make out: "—ight, an elderly woman with flame thrower outside of Sportsman on 34 East."

"Roger, I’m on it." The man replied, starting back around the car, apparently quite forgetting Sonita.

Sonita, on the other hand, hadn’t forgotten herself at all and quickly opened the passenger door to the squad car. This got the man’s attention again and he watched with confusion as she seated herself in his car.

"Excuse me, miss, what are you doing?" He asked.

"I’m going with you," Sonita supplied, then, taking his wary look as invitation, continued with an explanation, "I think that ‘elderly woman with flame thrower’ is one of the three old ladies I’m looking for, Rachel."

The officer paled slightly, "Rachel?" He repeated, "You don’t mean Rachel Winters from the Anoka County Retirement House, do you? The one with the wheelchair?"

Sonita nodded, "Yeah, that’s the one, but she uses a cane now instead of a wheelchair. You know her?"

"I didn’t think she was real," the man said miserably, "when I transferred here from the cities last year the other officers used to tell me stories about her. They said the last time she got out, a good three years ago now, she nearly flooded the whole town, running people over in her wheelchair as she knocked over fire hydrants." He shuddered slightly.

"I can believe it," Sonita commented, "what’d they do, take the Eagle off the endangered species list?"

The squad car screeched to a halt on the curb a block away from the store, they couldn’t get any closer even with sirens blazing because of the crowds of spectators. Sonita and the cop, who she learned was named Carl, rounded the car and quickly made their way through the crowd. Nothing could have prepared them for the sight that met them.

Trash barrels were flaming and the sidewalk was burned black. A small tree had been unfortunate enough to be too close and was also in flames. The fire was just beginning to spread to the cloth awning over the store door; sirens from fire trucks were already sounding in the distance. And in the middle of it all stood an elderly woman with a flame thrower, grinning gleefully as flames shot out the end.

Sonita took a moment to wonder how such an old, and therefore presumably frail, woman was able to hold something as heavy as a flame thrower. Carl’s eyes widened and he went back to his car mumbling over his shoulder to Sonita that he was calling for backup.

"--eeeeeeeeeellllpppp!!!" The crowd parted to reveal Katy plowing down the hill at frighteningly fast speeds in her wheelchair headed straight for Rachel.

Rachel, apparently, wasn’t so far insane yet that she didn’t notice this, so looking up the old woman’s eyes widened. "Not this way!" She called out, turning off the flame thrower long enough to motion Katy around.

Katy, of course, had no control at all over where she was going and soon plowed into her friend, knocking the wheelchair over and both of them to the ground--the flame thrower a safe distance away.

"Katy, get off of me! You ruined my moment of glory!!" Rachel was exclaiming, struggling to get out from under Katy who was currently doing her best imitation of dead weight.

"Me get off of you?" Katy asked, "I was going to die and all you care about is a little glory??"

"Katy, you’re seventy-six, you don’t have that much longer to live, now get off!" Rachel insisted adamantly.

"I can’t get off! You need to get off me first!" Katy exclaimed.

"I’m not on you, you’re on me! That must be the wheelchair you feel!" Rachel shot back, trying to turn enough to see why Katy couldn’t get up.

"Here, Katy, let me give you a hand." Katy looked up to see Stacey standing over her, apparently having got off the bus that was now being held up by the growing crowd of spectators--which, conveniently enough, were keeping the cops from getting through.

Katy went through the strenuous work of lifting her arm and allowed the other woman to try to pull her up. The weight of the slightly younger woman, though, proved to be more than Stacey’s muscles and balance could take and she soon landed on top of the pile.

"This is just great," Rachel muttered bitterly, "I was doing great until you guys showed up. You always ruin everything."

"Ah, come on, you know you love us!" Stacey crowed optimistically from her spot on top of the pile.

"Only because my brain’s half dead from lack of oxygen right now," Rachel countered, "if I ever get out of here I’ll kill you both."

"That’s more like it! Now let’s all hug and make up!" Katy suggested happily.

"Um… Katy, I think that was a threat, sweetie," Stacey stated, patting the other woman’s head with sympathy.


By this point Rachel had succumbed to her fate of being stuck at the bottom of the pile for the next seventy years and was trying to make herself as comfortable as one can be with a good 350 pounds resting on top of you. Then she noticed the cops were starting to force there way through the mob of people and suddenly became even more uncomfortable than she had been when Katy first fell on top of her.

"Stacey, Katy, off!" Rachel shouted again with irritation, "Cops, I need to get out of here!"

"Right, right, I’m a’going…" Stacey conceded although anyone could easily attest to the fact that she most certainly was not a’going anywhere very fast. In fact, if you looked very carefully, you could almost see gravity working against her and winning as it seemed to pull her down even further on top of the other two.

"Stacey…" Rachel complained in a rather pathetic sounding whine.

"I know!" Stacey said, continuing to lose the battle against gravity.

"Freeze!" Rachel looked up half-heartedly to see the cops had finally broken through the onlookers and were now standing right in front of her.

She raised an eyebrow unenthusiastically, "And where exactly do you expect me to go when I’ve got two ladies who’ve fallen on my back and can’t get up?--Hey! Don’t touch that! It’s mine!" This last part of the comment was fiercely directed at a young cop who was in the midst of picking up the flame thrower thrown aside in the crash. The man jumped about half a foot at the sudden exclamation, but a quick glance back at where another two cops were still trying to help Stacey off the top of the pile assured him he wasn’t about to be assaulted and he continued his job.

"Rachel, share with the nice policemen, they’re only trying to help," Stacey said in a tolerant voice as she did her best to look like she was trying to get up while actually pulling the two cops down on top of her.

A pained expression appeared on Rachel’s face before it slowly began turning an odd shade of blue. "Stacey, I think you need to get up now," Katy said, looking down at the strange looking face curiously, "I don’t think Cuz can breathe."

"Okay, fine, just ruin my fun then," Stacey reluctantly complied, this time allowing herself to be heaved to her feet by the ever-so-helpful cops who now outnumbered her five-to-one.

Katy was the next up and then several cops promptly restrained Rachel before she could reach for her cane--look, they do learn!

"Uh, hey, what do we do with these three now?" Carl asked, looking around for someone with enough shiny stars on his shirt to be in charge.

"I dunno, where did they come from?" Another cop asked--obviously not the one Carl had been looking for as his stars were few and not even very shiny.

Sonita was by this time stuck between two very large women in the front row of the onlookers and despite her probable lack of oxygen and the odd way her face was twisted up she managed to relate an intelligible message to the others, "Akoka Rekirvent Sen-ner!"

Carl and what’s-his-name exchanged a confused look. "What was that, Snort?" Carl asked, voicing both of their questions.

Sonita shot him a glare, finally popping out from between the two women who seemed very perplexed as to where she just came from. "My name’s ‘Sonita’. So-Knee-Ta! Got that? Sonita. Not Snort, not Sony, SONITA!" Carl nodded meekly and even Rachel looked slightly horrified. Sonita calmed herself and continued, "I said, they’re all from the Anoka Retirement Center."

"I resent that!" Katy exclaimed, "I’m not retired, I’m full-time insane!"

"… Katy," Rachel started slowly, looking at her with a rather blank expression, "you realize being insane is neither a good thing nor an occupation, don’t you?"

"…" Katy blinked back, "It isn’t?" She turned to Stacey with an accusing look.

"Well, that’s enough fresh air for me!" Stacey suddenly exclaimed just as Katy opened her mouth to say something more, "Alright Mr. Policemen, let’s get us back to that retirement house, no use in us staying here and listening to whatever Katy was about to say!"

The policemen agreed to this and ushered us into the squad cars to give us our free ride back to the retirement home--they even let Sonita come along. Sonita glared back at me from where she sat in the front passenger seat.

"Next time you’re just going to suffer with Jell-O."

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