Monday, February 12, 2007

Ice Queen

We're having a comparatively mild day in Chicago. As I write this, it's 21 degrees Farenheit. Quite a relief, as for the past two weeks our thermometers have been registering temperatures well below zero.

Dolores reacted to the onset of the Deep Freeze by going into near-hibernation. I'd leave the house in the morning to sounds of snores coming from her cushion near the Victrola. Returning ten hours later I'd find her a few feet north, on the sofa, covered in sedimentary layers of blankets, books, magazines, empty Sun Chips bags, and dirty dishes encrusted with the remains of frozen dinners from Whole Foods.

The sock yarn colony dissolved into anarchy. Deprived of discipline and daily jaunts to the park, they started getting into drawers and cupboards I prefer to keep undisturbed. When Harry rolled over to me after work, held up an assemblage of black leather and chrome, and said, "Can you settle a bet? Me and the guys are trying to guess how you're supposed to wear this," I decided it was time to wake Rip Van Hoofen from her slumber.

"Dolores," I said, "We need to have a talk." I picked up the remote and clicked off the television.

She stirred, dislodging an avalanche of Ho-Ho wrappers and back issues of The Journal of Hellenic Studies. "Put that back on," she yawned. "It's almost time to throw cocktail nuts at Emeril."

I pushed aside a pile of Janet Evanovich novels and sat down.

"Now," I said brightly, "Let's have a cozy chat about the running of the household, and your place in it, shall we?"

She burped.

"I can't help but notice that the sock yarn hasn't been taken for an airing in quite some time," I said. "Would you care to explain why this is?"

"Too friggin' cold out there."

"Yes," I said. "I have experienced the inclement weather first hand. However, one might point out that the sock yarn is made of wool, and that you yourself are covered in wool, a well-known source of protection from the elements. Why, I even heard of a Herdwick sheep in the English Lake District that survived in a blizzard on a hillside for several days by chewing its own wool."

"Chew on this," said Dolores, gesturing weakly, but evocatively, in my direction.

"Hey, boys," I shouted, "Anybody who helps me get your den mother off the sofa gets to go to Windy City Sweets for sundaes."

Dolores's vitality surged when she was set upon by sixty balls of sock yarn excited by the prospect of extra whipped cream. She swatted at them like Tippi Hedren fending off a flock of seagulls; but she was outnumbered and outmuscled, and in short order was dumped into the bathtub for a much-needed soak and shampoo.

The hot water revived her sufficiently to allow further conversation about her responsiblities. While she was setting her hair, she agreed that she had been remiss, and offered to make up for it by taking the sock yarn skating in Millennium Park the next day.

"I can show them a couple of tricks while we're down there," she said, adjusting a curler. "I was quite famous for my figure eights, you know."

"You figure skate?"

"Please," she said. "I was a headliner with the Ice Capades in the late 70s, until I gave it all up."

"What happened?"

"That little bitch Dorothy Hamill," said Dolores. "With the pixie cut, you know?"

"I seem to recall the name."

"The producers were putting together a new show and as the stars, we were given a certain amount of creative input. I got to the production meeting first, and had everybody all excited over The Oresteia on Ice–with myself as Electra, of course. Then she bounced in from filming a shampoo commercial and shook her pachongas and smiled, and suddenly we're doing The Wonderful World Mother Goose and she's Bo Peep and I'm her freakin' sheep. So I took the role very seriously and got lost."

"What a pity."

"I wanted to raise ice dancing to the level of high drama, and those bastards turned it into a circus sideshow. Oh well. Tant pis. Ancient history. I've forgotten all about it."

Dolores wrapped a kerchief around her curlers and went to bed. I passed by in the night on my way to the kitchen, and she was moving about in her sleep, undulating delicately like one cutting a figure eight on a pristine rink. She murmurred softly to herself. I paused to try to make out the words.

"You can skate but you can't hide...just wait...I'll get you...Dorothy...I'll get you...and your little...dog...tooooooo..."

Dolores on Ice

30 comments:

Heidi said...

You rock, I am SO in awe.

hugs said...

Oh, dear, the 'Oresteia on Ice.' I would pay very good money to see that. And I do believe that Dolores would make a magnificent Electra.

Spinneret said...

Dot on the Spot. And your little hoggett fleece too.

Carson said...

Call me a crotchety old pedant, but shouldn't Dolores be setting her fleece in curlers?

Carol said...

Oh, God, I actually had a Hamill haircut.

Dolores, I am so, so sorry.

Aidan said...

Dolores took a HOT bath? Weren't you afraid she'd FELT?

Rosi G. said...

LMFAO at Aidan!

Thanks for this post - I love your Dee stories. She's me...in sheep's clothing....

Southern Gal said...

PleasePleaseplease collect these into a book!!!!

Nita said...

I always knew that Dorothy was an evil witch, but you got to watch out for her blades.

Poor Dolores, she needs to go to the Bahamas for a warmup.

Kristen said...

I had a Hamill haircut, too, but it was in 1981 and was a direct result of the girl behind me trying to curl my hair with one of those black combs they give you on picture day.

My curly hair, I might add. She was trying to curl my curly hair. And the comb got stuck.

Norskybear said...

I'm still trying to imagine Carol with such a dated hairstyle. Tant pis, indeed!

April said...

Franklin, I'm so glad you don't make us pay to read your blog. Because frankly, Franklin, I would. And then how would I buy yarn?

MonicaPDX said...

Oh gawd. I think I broke something...

Marcy said...

Dolores as Tippi Hendren! Too funny. But would she fit in the phone booth?

Yarngineer said...

Dee is too funny. And you are too. :) I really think you should consider compiling them into a book too.

denny Mcmillan said...

umm ice cream and whipped cream.mmmmm.

The Purloined Letter said...

Standing ovation! (And boy are my legs and clapping hands getting tired around here.)

junior_goddess said...

Heh! Dolores needs to start her own Ice Revue!

Anonymous said...

Big "D" is quite the GR8 SK8!

anneonymousone said...

I was one of two or three white girls in my graduating class who never got a Dorothy Hamill haircut. I am also the only white woman my age (46) that I know of who has never read nor seen _Gone With the Wind_. The things we choose to be proud of...

So, did Dolores shrink in the bath?

Michelene said...

Aren't you afraid Dolores will disappear in all the snow(We've had 9" since Monday night)? Or are you hoping?
At least Dolores hasn't shown up on Maury Povich demanding a paternity test for some past frolic.
Franklin, have you read any of Philip Pullman's dark materials trilogy? (The first book is The Golden Compass, and set in an alternative England) The books are labelled as young adult fiction, but are fairly sophiscated.

Bev in TN said...

Thanks! Just when I thought you would never post about Delores again, you came through...I needed that! P.S. you should see the characters blogger has requested I type for verification today...quite the foul mouth.

Carol said...

When it comes to giving of oneself in the housework department, Dolores is a real sheepskate.

Sharon J said...

If there's such a thing as reincarnation and I can't come back as my dog, I wanna come back as Delores.

yarnkat said...

I think you may have spoken too soon about the yesterday's mildness as I watch the snow billowing about through the windows, and piling up in front of my garage... guess I'll be taking the train again tomorrow.

And I'll second souther gal - a book a book! I think it'd be wonderful!

Snarled Yarns said...

Happy V day!

Shelda said...

Franklin, you are just too funny (not to mention thoughtful and erudite). Reading your blog is an absolute pleasure, whatever you happen to be writing about.

Holly Bernice Cox said...

Jeez Dolores you are making Henrietta Maria's masques look amateur .

Holly Bernice Cox said...

Oh I just saw Aidan's post ..too wonderful!!

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