Common Sense: A Blog by Mary Worth

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Grief takes a surreal turn.

In my last post, you will remember that I had prudently decided to put only half the roses on my darling Aldo's grave, in order to preserve the good reputation I have worked hard to create and maintain here in Santa Royale. I was thinking I would keep the other flowers for myself, or place them on the tomb of an unknown soldier, or something.

But, as I placed the flowers on Aldo's grave, I suddenly noticed the dates on my Aldo's headstone. It said "1935-2096"!! I was shocked! First, because my Aldo barely looked 50, and yet he was actually 71 years old! And then I noticed the second date. "2096"--I thought to myself, it might be a clue that my Aldo isn't really dead!

I had just about pulled myself together again when I was startled to see that Aldo's grave was right next to that of his late wife Elise! I was stunned. It just didn't make sense. My Aldo was visiting from out of town. That's why he was staying at Hal's condo. So why would Elise be buried in Santa Royale? Quickly, to cover my discomfiture, I put the remaining roses on Elise's grave, and I went over to join my friend Toby, who had finally stopped whining about her guilty feelings.

I noticed as I approached her that she was again wearing the powder blue suit. I looked down and saw that my own outfit had turned back into a mournful deep violet.

Toby asked me, "Why the hell are you putting red roses on Aldo's grave? Do you want all our work to save your reputation to be for nothing?"

And I answered her, "You see, Toby--Aldo gave me flowers. It was my turn. But we have much bigger worries. There's something fishy going on here. Something twisted and evil."

And Toby said, "Come on. We can figure it out while we sit around the Charterstone pool sipping mojitos." So we headed home. But I still have an uneasy feeling about the questionable goings-on in that cemetary!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

In life, only death and flowers are clear-cut.

After my Aldo's all-too-brief funeral, that insensitive clod Ian Cameron said, "All right, that's over! Guilt expunged! Time to head back to Charterstone for the Fall Pool Party!" Naturally, that brat Toby whined, "But Iiiii-aaan! I don't feel any cloooo-sure yet!" Ian gave her a shove toward the car, to hurry her up, saying, "You will. It takes time. Get in the car. That party starts at 5 and people expect me to be there to pontificate."

Just then, we passed a roving cemetary florist. You see them all the time at cemetaries, at the most convenient times. I was drawn to him, not because of his weasel-like appearance, but because he so fortuitously had a bouquet of a dozen red roses thrown in carelessly on top of his regular stock of cheap pink carnations.

I bought the roses from the weasel-florist. As I did, Ian became grouchy. "What's she doing?" he demanded. "It's 3:30! It's a half-hour drive, and it takes at least 45 minutes for Toby to wedge me into my swimsuit! We're going to be late!" With a cruel look on her face, Toby said, "I don't know what she's doing! But damnit, I killed a man to preserve her reputation, and now she's going to go and throw it all away!"

I ignored her. As I walked toward my darling Aldo's grave, I thought to myself that death, just like flowers, is clear cut. But life is not. Sure, some people called my Aldo's attentions stalking. But can three chance meetings and one phone call really constitute stalking? And sure, some people might call me a whore if I had given in to lust and screwed Aldo's brains out, but is a good reputation that important?

I was about to put the full dozen red roses on Aldo's grave, but then I remembered something: a good reputation is the most important thing in the world! After all, I left New York because my many indiscretions with men had left me with an indefensible reputation!

No one at Charterstone knows about my disastrous engagement to bubble-gum manufacturer-come-philanthropist Drum Greenwood. Even though I claimed that I was giving my body to him only to secure his donation to a slum-clearance project, some unkind people still called me "Mary Whore!" I had to engineer a car wreck and fake amnesia to restore my good name.

Then I was wholly taken in by that "black widower," Edwin Penwhistle. He was almost as sexually appealing as Aldo Kelrast, and I would have married him and performed unspeakable sexual acts with him had the police not tipped me off in time!

I won't even mention the details of my failed relationships with the vigorous, wealthy athlete or the elderly Shakespearean actor. They are just too humiliating.

I can't ruin my life here at Charterstone the same way I ruined it in New York--with multiple, ill-advised, lust-driven flings with men! No! I must stay pure and true to my darling Dr. Jeff Cory, because everyone knows he is physically undesirable and therefore that our relationship is chaste and pure and true.

So, I gave Aldo only half the red roses. That way it just looks like a gesture of friendship, and I get to save my good name. Never let it be said that Mary Worth doesn't learn from her mistakes.

By the by, when I returned to the car, I noticed that Toby was once again dressed in her salmon pink suit. I looked down and saw that my suit had turned partially back to its former orchid purple jazziness, but was streaked heavily with black patches and shadows. What do you think that means?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Death be not proud.

Well, I finally got those nattering nincompoops out of my apartment.
Afterwards, I was in such a hurry to get over to Hal Kane's place that I foolishly forgot to change out of my red outfit. When Hal opened the door, he threw his arm over his eyes and screamed, "My retinas!" But, after he recovered his eyesight, we had a lovely conversation. Hal Kane is a younger, thinner, non-mustachioed version of my Aldo. If he packed on a few pounds and traded his jeans in for Sansabelt slacks, he would be devastatingly hot.

Unfortunately, Hal didn't seem too troubled by his cousin's death. His attitude was very dismissive. "Yeah, he's dead, inner demons, what have you, memorial service, come as you are, yadda yadda." I wanted to punch him in the mouth.

So, on Sunday, Ian, Toby, Wilbur and I got together in my apartment to dress for the funeral. Ian and Wilbur chose somber dark suits, but Toby and I agreed that brighter, sportier colors--orchid purple for me and salmon pink for her--would help to give the impression that we don't have anything to feel guilty about. Of course, that's a lie. Toby and I murdered him, and we both know it.

On the drive to the funeral, the most bizarre thing happened. My outfit changed from a jazzy orchid purple to a dark, somber black-violet! When I got out of the car, I saw that Toby's salmon pink suit was gone, replaced with a suit in a grayish shade of light blue. It was as if our clothes were like the telltale heart, broadcasting our guilt to all and sundry!

I was overcome with grief when I saw the headstone with the name of my beloved on it. Of course, Wilbur and Ian--those beasts!--could think of no one but themselves. During the service, they whispered disrespectfully about how they didn't want to speak because they hated Aldo. Ian even had a strange discourse with a nearby tree about the matter.

I wanted to talk to someone who loved and respected my dear Aldo as I did, so I spoke to Hal Kane. I thought it was so puzzling that he had buried Aldo here in Santa Royale, and not beside his wife in his old home town. Hal said, "Eh, didn't wanna spend the money." I noted that he must have put a rush job on the headstone to have it ready on so short a notice. Hal replied, "It's plastic," and gave it a kick to demonstrate. I wanted to give him a kick in the groin, but I restrained myself. Then he said I shouldn't worry because the service would be short. He didn't want it to take longer than ten minutes!

Hal muttered something about Aldo being "at peace with his lovely Elise," which I thought was a nice sentiment, if a little callously stated. I felt like weeping. Then Hal asked if anyone else wanted to speak.

I will tell you the rest later. I can't see the screen through all the tears.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Time for some backpedalling.

Just as I was about to beat Toby senseless, I had a thought:

My darling Aldo is gone. Nothing can bring him back to me. I know, because I tried in vain for several years to resurrect my late husband, Jack Worth, and ended up pissing away a lot of good money on voodoo priestesses who claimed they could help me out.

I, however, am still alive. And I will need to keep living here in the Charterstone Condominium Complex. It would not be a good idea to alienate my neighbors. If I do, they might not come to me for advice anymore.

So, when Toby began to weepily blame herself for Aldo's death, I decided to do a 180 and take a hard line. "We didn't buy him that bottle!" I told her. "We didn't make him drive drunk!" Then I decided to toss in a whopper, just to make it clear where I stood. "And we weren't that hard on him!"

I was sure everyone was going to jump all over me and point out that, just a minute ago, I had blamed them all for Aldo's death. But fortunately, just at that moment, Toby began to bite her nails, and everyone was so busy shuddering in response to the disgusting sound of that vile nervous habit that they were distracted from my dramatic volte face (or voltafaccia, as my late husband's friend Lucky Luciano would have said).

Toby whined that she felt bad about "maybe" being "indirectly" responsible for Aldo's death. I wanted to slap her and scream, "There's no 'indirect' about it, you stupid twat!" But that would have been counter to my plans, so I kept quiet. It would've been fun though.

Then Ian Cameron said that he felt just as responsible as Toby did! And Toby said that the intervention had been intended to help Aldo too! It was then that I realized I would never be called on my lies because the whole room was filled with revisionist historians.

Toby said, "Who knows? Maybe his unrequited love for Mary was all he had going for him!" Of course, this is patently ridiculous. Aldo also had his devastatingly good looks, his irresistible charm and joie de vivre, and his overwhelming sexual magnetism. On top of which, he exuded the scent of red wine and aged salami. Divine. He could have had any woman he wanted.

I was struggling with my natural urge to contradict Toby and make her look stupid, but just then, Dr. Ian Cameron did the most amazing thing! He suddenly grew into a giant hulk of a man with the proportions of Andre the Giant! (Another devastatingly handsome actor, I might add.) Perhaps he had an accident similar to that of Dr. Bruce Banner. Those academics are constantly in danger of mutating into some sort of horrible He-Man.

Since Ian and Toby were obviously all-too-willing to delude themselves about their part in Aldo's murder, I went to work on Wilbur Weston. I said, "We did not cause Aldo Kelrast's death!" Of course, that was all it took to convince that weak-minded idiot.

But naturally that blonde drama queen kept on blathering and shrieking about how Aldo's death was all her fault. I decided that the only thing that would shut her up would be a glass of nice, refreshing lemonade...laced with a few drops of pentobarbitol. As I served, I told Toby I wanted her to listen to me because I was not going to tell her even one more time. I gave her the stupid party line about how the medical examiner listed Aldo's cause of death as "drinking and driving," not "death by intervention." Fortunately, Ian and Wilbur helped me to convince her. I can't stand the idea of listening to her talk about this over and over again for months or years. I need to forget my dear Aldo forever, or my heart will be torn apart by longing and regret!

Lucky for me, those deluded apes Ian and Wilbur are convinced that they were "within their rights" and that they "had" to intervene to make Aldo stop "harassing" me. It was perfect! I picked right up where their stupidity left off, and I said that the intervention was the first time that Aldo got the message.

Then, just for a little extra flair and drama, I added, "But Aldo couldn't handle the truth!" I just love Jack Nicholson, don't you? He bears a striking resemblance to a much, much thinner version of my own late husband Jack.

By the end of that exchange, it was plain to see that the pentobarbitol was having the desired effect. Toby sagged into an armchair as I shared with them Aldo's confession that he was drinking the night his wife died. This too had the desired effect. That pedantic puke Ian Cameron immediately pontificated that Aldo had a "history" of drinking while under stress. Would one call a single past incident a "history"? I guess creative writing professors are masters of invention.

Well, it looks like my reputation is safe. I wish they would hurry up and go away now. It feels like they've been in my apartment for days, and I would really like to change out of this red outfit. It is starting to hurt my eyes.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Toby vs. Mary Worth: Hand-to-hand combat.

The police came to interview me about the "intervention" we held for my poor Aldo before his sad, tragic death. Naturally, Dr. Ian, Toby, and Wilbur Weston insisted on being there too. The policeman knew my reputation for honesty, so he asked me all the questions, but the others kept interrupting him to twist the facts to make the "intervention" sound more like a friendly coffee klatsch. No doubt they are covering their asses, trying to get their version of the "truth" on record before Hal Kane and the rest of dear Aldo's relatives try to sue us all for intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.

Luckily for them, the police officer had a callous disregard for the life of my precious Aldo! "Oh well," his tone and manner said, "just another drunk driver." You could just tell that he was happy my angel Aldo was dead, so that he would not again have the opportunity to endanger innocent motorists.

The cold, cruel bastard!

Little did he realize that my tender Aldo bunny would never, ever have driven drunk if my friends had not so viciously abused him!

That dippy bitch Toby declared, "I can't believe he's dead!"

I shouted at her, "You heard what the police officer said, Toby! He's dead! Christ, what will it take to drive that fact into your thick head?"

Then I jumped up from my chair, and I shouted, "Your cruel intervention caused Aldo to drink! Drinking and driving lead to this tragedy!" I lunged at her, intending to claw her eyes out. That bitch killed my little Aldokins!

Naturally, Toby is in denial about her role in Snoogy-Woogy Aldo-Boogy's hideous death. As she tried to ward off my clawing finger, she attempted to direct the blame away from herself, wondering defensively, "But did our intervention push Aldo to drink?"

Like we don't know the answer to that question is, in her mind, a big fat NO.

But that bitch's day is coming. I vow this before you all: I will kill that golddigging whore for what she did to my little Aldo flower. My Aldo-Waldo honey pie deserves no less.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Time to place the blame!

Toby Cameron, Aldo's death is your fault! Many times I asked you, "Should I throw away my pristine reputation and give in to the temptations of the flesh? Should I cast off my respectable suitor in favor of an ardent lover?" And each time you said, "No! What would happen to Charterstone if you weren't there to serve as our flawless moral touchstone? What would happen to me, if you didn't need a gossip-collecting, power-walking sidekick anymore? Mary, you must resist! Scrape Aldo Kelrast off like dog doo from the sole of your jaunty little orthopedic ankle boot!"

Why, oh why did I listen?

But it is not merely Toby's fault! It is also her husband's fault. Dr. Ian Cameron's love of power made him so eager to assert his authority that he didn't stop to question whether an intervention was really necessary! And Wilbur Weston didn't care who got hurt--all he saw was another opportunity to dole out some of his pathetic, careless advice! And then there was his cousin, Hal Kane, who so recklessly sublet his condo to Aldo without bothering to make sure that Aldo's psyche was prepared to be in such close proximity to a woman of powerful charms such as myself! And I think it is no coincidence that my chaste paramour, Dr. Jeff Cory, left town just as Aldo Kelrast entered it! If he had stayed, Aldo might never have gotten the idea that I could some day be his!

But of course, the last ingredient in this poisonous stew was...me. Yes! For the last few months, Charterstone has been one big poisonous Mary Worth Stew. And, unlike my famous tuna casserole, that is one nasty concoction with a very bitter taste!

Oh, it was wrong of me to lead Aldo on! He was right! My words said no, but my looks, my tone of voice, my body language, the way I kept showing up in the Charterstone parking lot, the way I kept my phone number listed in the telephone directory--all these things screamed YES!

That day I brought him to my apartment--it was just the day before last, though it seems so long ago now--I knew he thought we were finally going to consummate our burning passion for one another! I saw the huge erection that was pressing against the front of his electric blue Sansabelt trousers! I should have predicted the crushing humiliation he would feel when, instead of candlelight and soft music, he found my living room full of angry neighbors!

Worst of all, after the intervention, I had that terrible premonition that Aldo would drive off a cliff and kill himself! I should have done something! I should have called the Santa Royale Mounted Police! They might have stopped him! But no--I had to sensibly pooh-pooh the idea that extrasensory perception might have some validity! And my Aldo paid with his life!

I have never felt such anguish! I would kill myself, except I am pretty sure I have counseled against suicide on past occasions.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Oh God, what have I done?

The morning after the intervention, I agreed to join Toby on her power walk. I was wearing a very attractive sport suit in fire engine red. Toby looked uncharacteristically dumpy in a lavender purple sweat suit. We were in my kitchen, carbo-loading, when my telephone said, "Ring! Ring!" I answered it with my trademark greeting--"This is Mary Worth, how can I help you?" Because I help everyone, sooner or later.

It was a police officer on the phone. He said to me, "Mary Worth, we have a bit of a problem here. Do you know someone named Aldo Kelrast?"

I said, "Umm, yes, officer...he was in my apartment last night." I sounded guilty because I feel terrible about the way we treated my poor Aldo. But I'm afraid the officer thought my words and tone made it sound like we had been in my apartment alone, making hot monkey love!

I was about to correct myself when the officer said, "After he left your apartment, did you know he got in his car and drove away?"

I answered, "No, I didn't see him drive away. I got into the shower after he left, and after that, I had to do a load of bed sheets. I didn't have time to be looking out of windows." Then I cursed my words. Surely now he thinks I was cleaning up the effluvia left behind by an evening of hard, pounding vaginal intercourse!

Then the officer told me, "We found the wreckage of a car just off a cliff on the Santa Royale Scenic Highway. There was a man inside. The car had a Charterstone parking sticker on the windshield, which we could just make out amidst all the splattered blood and gore. Since he's from Charterstone, we figured we should contact you before we try to find his relatives and all that other business. Sounds like I made the right move, considering your...special relationship with him. I'm sorry, Mrs. Worth. Aldo sustained very grave injuries..."

I barely heard what he said next. I heard someone screaming, "What? Oh, no no no!" And, as my world faded into black and ecru hues, I realized that the person screaming was me.

The officer asked if he could come over to discuss the matter further. I agreed that he could, but I felt like a robot. I was numb and hollow inside. As I hung up the phone, Toby asked me what was wrong. And I had to tell her the truth--that my Aldo, my beloved Aldo, the man who wanted me more than life itself...that he's...he's...

I flung myself into Toby's arms, my whole being wracked with the agony of true love lost.