Friday, October 31, 2014

Dog Days and Halloween Nights

Last week I told you about my fear of trick or treaters. But my dog doesn't fear them. He harbors an unfettered hatred for them. Well, them, the mailman and the Watchtower crowd (who were certainly busy last Saturday. I had two--count 'em, two!--visits. Helpful tip: answer the door holding a hatchet. Speaks for itself).

Anyway, tonight's the night. Halloween. And it's gonna' be a long one.

I'm not gonna' be too hard on the dog, though. He's had a rough week.

Last Friday, he was barking at some neighbor kids. When I looked out the window, the biggest boy had the neighbor's dog in his arms, attempting to shove him inside a stone outdoor fireplace. Quickly, I ushered my dog inside before the kids decided to exact their torture on him. Too late! He had a brand new "third eye" on his head, a small scrape.

My wife calls me a "drama queen." I prefer to think of it as utilizing artistic license. In keeping with my nature, I ran outside, hands thrashing, Hawaiian shirt flapping. I screamed, "What'd you do to my dog? He's got a gaping head wound!" Dumbfounded, the trio of terror just stared at me. Clearly they didn't know what "gaping" meant. True, the dog's cut wasn't exactly gaping and could hardly be categorized as a "head wound." But nobody pokes sticks (or whatever) at my dog. Not on my watch. Neighborhood Watch.

(Which is as good a time as any to plug my spooktacular ghost story, Neighborhood Watch. Perfect
for Halloween reading. Consider the above cautionary tale as a "prequel." Just turn on the lights, lots of 'em).

Anyway, the kids denied it. They laughed at me, the crazy old guy, as I stormed back inside. No friggin' candy for them on Halloween.

The next morning, my wife took the dog into the vet for his annual shots. The dog got much more than he bargained for. First, the vet "expressed his anal glands." Yeah,  it's as gross as it sounds. Puts a whole new meaning on "expressive." If that indignity wasn't enough, the doc says he should go to a dog dentist for a couple of broken teeth. Um...yeah. Oh, and he has the beginnings of cataracts. Wonder how much doggy bifocals run?

Told you, rough week, rough week. He'll be needing to visit the doggy shrink soon, I'm sure.

(And speaking of people who need to see a shrink, be sure and check out my other Halloween fear-fest, Godland. Everyone in the book could definitely benefit from good psychiatric counseling. But what fun would that book be?)

Happy Halloween! Boo!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Trick or Terrorism!

Hey, how time flies. Halloween, one of my favorite times of the year, is once again nearly here.

Now if you're reading this, you guys know  I enjoy writing about spooky things, love me some bad ol' horror films. I really like how Fall rudely pushes Summer aside, no patience for anything green. Practically overnight, everything changes into scorched oranges, bitter yellows, fire-truck reds.  Colors that burn away memories of sissy Summer. The air feels different, rich, yet threatening harsher weather to come. Living leaves die, floating to the earth, their crackly husks nothing more than a nuisance to be raked. Okay, that part of Fall I can live without.

Halloween's near, though. Huzzah. Gives me an excuse to indulge in awful horror films.

Having said that, I actually hate Halloween night. Not because of witches, ghosts, goblins, or zombie apocalypses. And "hate" sounds like a strong word. How about Halloween night terrifies me?

It's the kids, those darned kids.

They come to the door dressed like anime mutants and miniature superheroes and fairy princesses fresh out of "Toddlers and Tiaras." Knocks on the door send chills down my spine. I'm not one of those adults who can easily schmooze with creepy kids. We live in a politically correct world. One misspoken word and I'm the neighborhood outcast.

You know, speaking of having a way with kids, everyone has a creepy aunt or other relative in their past. The one who always smelled funny and had Brillo-pad cheeks. And on Halloween night, they always greeted kids with, "You're so cute, I could eat you up!"

I don't know about you, but that's absolutely horrifying. What kid wouldn't flee from that? Especially when she adds a pinch to the cheek like a sprinkling of salt. But enough about my cannibalistic aunt. Back on point...

The worst part of these nocturnal Halloween invaders? They threaten. Actually threaten.

"Trick or treat!" Bottom line is if I don't give into their demands, give them teeth-rotting candy, they'll do something awful to my house.

I don't give into terrorism. Never have, never will. And that's basically what they are...cute, little terrorists.

Homeland security needs to start on our porches. On Halloween night.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Talking evil cardinals and Erik Estrada with Matthew Peters

Okay, gang, my pal, Matthew Peters has written a religious conspiracy thriller along the lines of Dan Brown. I thought I'd hit him up with some (not very) pertinent questions.

Stuart: First of all, Matthew, welcome, and don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like a movie-star Jesuit—smart, short-trimmed beard, the whole nine yards. So…please defend your looks for those less visually pleasing (myself included).

Matt: Defend my looks? I thought I was here to talk about my

books. And if you continue to utter such inanities, I’ll make all my answers rhyme, just to annoy you. I’m on to you, Stuart West, and I refuse to be daunted by your ludicrous questions. I don’t need your help in making me look stupid. I’m perfectly capable of doing that myself… Now, THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS is the story of a renegade Jesuit who—

Stuart: Obviously, you know what you’re writing about. Are we talking about lotsa’ research, years of tortured Catholic school upbringing, or a future in Priest-hood?

Matt: Though I may sound like I knew what I was talking about, I really didn’t. In fact, most of the time, I have absolutely no idea of what I’m saying. I mean, I taught college at one point, need I say more?

Stuart: (Um, I think that says tons right there!) Okay, to tell you the truth, I’d never heard of the Cathars until I read your book. However, my research (Hello, Google) said they were an actual, much maligned and prosecuted, religion (sect?). But in your book, you correlate them with Satanism. From what I understand, they were tolerant of other religions. Sorta’ what Jesus taught, in my web-cobby memory. Matty, you got some ‘splainin’ to do here.

Matt: The Cathars sometimes referred to the Catholic Church as the church of Satan, largely as a result of the crusade the Church initiated against them. The Albigensian Crusade was the only one launched against fellow Christians. You see--

Stuart: Yeah, I haven't got all day. While reading your book—and you did a masterful job at it, Matthew—you made me realize how much effort and research and resolve it takes to come up with a viable religious conspiracy. One that compels. Something I don’t have the know-how to tackle as a writer. How’d you come up with it?

Matt: I didn’t. I simply asked my girlfriend to come up with an idea and then I stole it. And no, she’s not mentioned as a co-author. I want to receive all the credit and the proceeds.

Stuart: Along these same lines, yow! What a pessimistic world-view. We’ve got evil cardinals, a POTUS in the pocket, skiffy FBY guys…how much of this do you think is viable?

Matt: I don’t think any of it is viable. I simply pulled it all out of a hat, or my girlfriend’s head, which is often the same thing because she likes to wear hats. Unlike other religious thriller writers who shall be nameless—Ban Drown (be quiet Pig Latin Subliminal Man!)--I’m not under any illusions that what I wrote is even remotely true. When are we going to get to the real questions, here, Stuart?

Stuart: Just hold your water, there, Mattimus. So impatient. The book’s practically a world-hopping travelogue. The two lead characters travel from France to Italy to Bulgaria to Afghanistan (another place I’m forgetting). The places come alive very vividly. How many of these countries have you visited?

Matt: Finally, a real question. The answer is none of them. I used Google Earth and YouTube to write the whole thing.

Stuart: Half of the suspense was waiting to see if the protagonist, a Jesuit, would give in to temptation and sleep with the heroine. Am I wrong in kinda’ wanting him to?

Matt: For shame, Stuart West, for shame! Not only do you ask nonsensical and utterly ridiculous questions, but I see you’re a perv as well. (Actually, stay-tuned for upcoming books in the series to see whether this dynamic plays out.)

Stuart: What, me a perv? Okay, I’m sorta’ different but I liked two of your assasins, Singlitore and Blitz. I always find bad buys a riot to read, particularly when they’re nearly “Bondian” in their quirks. And I enjoyed watching the main evil cardinal sweat it out. Did you equally enjoy writing them? Or did you just set out to write evil.

Matt: I really enjoyed writing the evil characters. In fact, I liked it a little too much (laughing evilly and maniacally).

Stuart: There’s a quite a lovely written passage in your book when the pope dies and the protagonist watches the mourners gather in the streets. Did this hold a special meaning for you? (And you may as well include that as an excerpt since I, um, went ahead and spoiled it).

Matt: Thanks for noticing that, Stuart. Maybe you’re not such a bad chap after all. It was meant to stay in the reader’s mind because it helps set up the conflict Branson feels between his faith and the information he eventually discovers.

Here is the passage Stuart blabbed about:

The bus rumbled up Viadotto and turned right onto Rene. Smells of fried food and burning incense wafted through the open windows of the bus. A left turn brought them to Emilia, past white stone buildings, statues, and street vendors, past various fountains toward the heart of Pisa. The farther north they went, the closer they came to the Arno, where a vast migration of darkly-clad figures moved in the opposite direction, southeast toward Rome. It was a black exodus of grief, one of almost unreal proportions. Swarms of people with lowered heads and bent postures headed with desperate, slow, and inexorable steps toward a common, ill-fated destination. The dark edges of the black clothes stood out in stark contrast to the gray day that blurred the corners of buildings and churches. Rain fell, blended with human tears, and smudged the scene like a charcoal sketch. Open, dark umbrellas resembled the conical piles of volcanic ash upon which the country was built. On that gray morning Pisa wore a death-mask.

Stuart: Something I noticed…you refer to most of your male characters by their last names throughout the book, yet the two female leads are referenced by their first names by the omniscient narrator (ahem, you). Was this a conscious “tough-guy” noirish effect, an unconscious dealio or RAMPANT SEXISM?

Matt: I am NOT unconscious! Nor am I sexist! But you’re right--for the sake of consistency I should’ve referred to the babes by their last names, especially the really hot one.

Stuart: (Busted!) Finally, who’s your favorite action priest from either TV or movies or books? One of the greatest I (half-way) remember was Eric Estrada, wearing the collar and kicking butt in some cheesy ‘90’s movie. Totally sublime and absolutely ludicrous.

Matt: I vaguely remember that! Are you suggesting we cast Eric Estrada or Patrick Duffy in some cheesy Lifetime version of THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS? Not that I’m opposed to the idea of making a movie. I mean as long as there’s a buck to be had… But can we at least get Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson to play the lead roles? And of course my fav action priest is Nicholas Branson, SJ ;-)

Stuart: Nope. No big name stars for you, Matt. You'll be lucky to get Jim Jay Bullock. Thanks for coming on, Matthew. Go grab his book, folks. The Brothers’ Keepers. If you’re into religious, conspiracy thrillers, it’s a good one.

Matt: My, um, pleasure, Stuart (and I use the term very loosely). Why do I feel like I need to shower after this interview?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Heather's Dream (maybe mine, hard to tell)...

Heather Greenis, author of the sweeping, romantic saga, The Natasha Series, is my guest (and victim) today. So settle on in for a bodice-ripping good time.
*What’s up, Heather? Okay, in a nut-shell, explain The Natasha Series.

Saga, Stuart. Saga. It’s a saga. The four books make up one story. Words that will fit into a nut-shell. Okay. How about Greed. Compassion and Sacrifice. Those fit. If you give me a little wiggle room, try this. ‘Empowerment shatters traditions and lives. Can greed and power overrule compassion and sacrifice? Will Natasha’s dream for her legacy survive an uncertain future?’

*It’s hard to hang a genre on your book, Heather. Romance? Sweeping epic? Tragedy? Maybe even a hint of fantasy (close to science fiction)? I like your kitchen sink approach. I use it, too. But how do you categorize the series?

I don’t try to. It isn’t a romance, but has a romance component to it. The story is a saga. It’s a story that spans generations, following the life of a character and that character’s family. It has elements of time travel, paranormal, but it’s realistic. Hopefully, it makes you chuckle but also has you sitting on the edge of your seat, at least during parts of it. 

*True confession time, I’ve only read the first book in your saga, Natasha’s Dream. As a testament to your storytelling, I must say I felt cheated by the ending. I wanted to know what happened next. But I got a cliffhanger for my page-turning efforts! I say, “Guilty!” What say you in your defense?

Woohoo! Gotcha. I’m smiling. I have your attention. You are 1/4 of the way through a book. How many books have you read that reveal all the answers 1/4 of the way into the story? I know, that’s mean, but it’s true. Keep on reading. 

*There’s an interesting parallel tale running through the book. There’s Natasha’s past, doomed romance and a current tale regarding Keeghan and her husband, Will. Now, so far, I can’t see the connection between the storylines and it threw me a little. Please tell me all will be explained. No cop-outs allowed (I’m looking at you, TV show “Lost.”).

Patience my friend. Patience. My characters aren’t lost. They know exactly where they are. You the reader is in limbo, but be thankful. All four books have launched. My original readers had to wait 6 months to read book 2 and then they had to wait again. Now that was nasty. Blame my publisher for that one. Eventually, I promise, all questions are answered. People that have read all four enjoyed the ending.

*In my limited understanding of the romance genre, these tales usually end when the two protagonists get together. This didn’t happen here, even though I sorta’ expected it. Yay. It was refreshing they (gasp! Scandalous!) consummated their love midway through the book. I thought where’s Heather gonna’ go from here? But it just became more compelling. So…what IS the most important element of this book to you? The romance? Or are you building to something bigger (which methinks you are)?

They did what? Tsk tsk. The romance is important, but it’s not the end all. That’s why I don’t categorize Natasha Saga as a romance. The story has a moral. We are put on this earth for a reason. Why? Loaded question, I know. I’d like to think we leave this world a slightly better place. Wishful thinking, I admit that. I’d like to leave a bit of a footprint behind. I was here. My characters are attempting to do that in a very small way.

As for the romance, up until joining the ‘museitup family’ I’d never read a romance. No desire to. I have read some since and enjoyed them, but I admit, but it is not my genre of choice. I like something with a bit of grit. Something that makes me think and stays with me. For a break, I like something fun and light. Something that makes me chuckle. 

*I found it interesting you never stated a specific time or place for Natasha’s portion of the tale. Now, by the way you cleverly sprinkled clues through-out (an early telephone), I’m guessing the late 1800’s. How off am I (um, be careful how you answer that!)? As far as geographic location? No clue.

Shame on you, Stuart. You missed that? Tsk tsk. Pg 40. Canada’s Confederation. In all honesty, it’s mentioned very briefly. I want readers to have a general time frame but not exact. It isn’t that important. I do not expect readers to research the meeting that took place in Prince Edward Island. As for the location, later in the saga I give some general hints.

*Okay, my favorite part of the book? An extremely suspenseful and well-done sequence near the end (because, well, I like suspense). I was on the edge of the sofa. It takes a lot to dig me out of the sofa. As a dog-lover, it was excruciating. And the way you wrote Goldie (the Donovan’s dog) as a fully defined character makes me believe you’re also a dog lover. Tell me there won’t be any evil cats in the rest of the series.

No cats, promise. I love dogs. I was raised with a dog and hubby and I are on our second dog. Spoiled little fluffball. There is a picture of her on my website. No pic of my hubby. Shows where my priorities are. When people ask, I say it’s because the dog is cute. Will and Keeghan have a dog and the Donovan’s have a dog. I can see critters as a staple in my books. Must have Dogs.

I’m glad you enjoyed that section. There is a scene in the second book that takes a reader by surprise. My editor sent me an email blasting me on the scene and then congratulated me on it. She didn’t see it coming. There is a bit of a nail biter in the third book. I wouldn’t classify the saga as a thriller, but I do enjoy being caught on the edge of my seat as well.

*Heather, fascinatingly, you have the ability to manipulate the outcome of dreams. Wish I did. Mine usually end in pure horror (naked in high school, etc). Tell us a little about that and how if formed your series.

Manipulate the outcome. Not the entire dream. Yes, I can relate to the horror within a dream. There is a reason I don’t sleep in the nude. I would be nude in my dreams. Yikes. The one that worries me is when I’m searching for a place to go pee. God help me if I find someplace decent. I don’t trust mother nature. That would be so disgusting at my age. I’m too old and too young for that. 

*I’m curious as to what works inspired your series. Generally, I hate these types of questions, but I am genuinely curious. I smelled some Shakespeare. In a good odiferous way.

Like my character Keeghan, I dream, a lot. I combine anything and everything together. I had a dream about this woman. Natasha. She and Stewart were together, but is wasn’t a mushy romance. My subconscious isn’t that kind to me. Waking, I couldn’t get Natasha and Stewart out of my mind. That’s when my overactive imagination took over. I concocted a story around their lives.The story grew and grew and grew.

*Who’s Alexander?

Stuart, I can’t tell you that. Well, I could but the I would have to muzzle you. Duct tape. That simply wouldn’t be fair to your friends and family. You are too comical to be kept quiet. Nope. Not going to do it. Keep reading my friend.

*What can we expect in future installments (because I want spoilers)?

Hmmm, let me think. Well, I introduce more characters. The reader will get better, no cross that out, they will become acquainted with different characters from Natasha’s Dream. You will get better insight into Stewart’s character in Natasha’s Diary. 

*Hot seat question time (or my “I’m being a jerk of the week question”)! Why in the world is the word “loud” italicized every time?

OMG - I did not know that. I had to go back and search. Not good. That must have been a formatting issue that wasn’t caught. Crap. I remember when I was given my galley. None of my italics worked. I had to go back to my edited version and search for them. Pain in the backside. Obviously, I was so busy searching for the ones that were missing, I did not notice these ones show. That’s almost embarrassing. You are the first person to comment on that. You just earned a new title. Vulture eyes - in for the kill. 

*As a 53-year-old male, romance just isn’t my bag. Yet I enjoyed the book, Heather. Please explain to the other 53-year-old males out there reading this (um, not that I have a large 53-year-old male following or anything), why this series is for them.

Pay attention! This SAGA is not a romance, and not a fluff read. It isn’t full of blood and guts, almost none, but isn’t full of mush either. It has messages of family, love and giving. I hope it leave readers feeling they know the family. Some of my better reviews have come from male readers. My husband, who likes a good spy type book really enjoyed it. It’s a good thing. I made the poor guy read it a few times. 

There's Heather, lads and lassies. Like her books, a lotta' fun. Go have at her books and read a rip-roarin' yarn.

Buy The Natasha Saga Here!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bench sitting with Olivia and Arabella

What happens when tough girl Olivia (from Tex, the Witch Boy) meets up with villainess Arabella (from Quest of the Hart)? Well, as you can see below, the sparks certainly fly! Be sure to swing over to Mary Waibel's blog to see how Tex fared with Princess Kaylee.

Arabella: Who are you and what do you think you're doing here?

Olivia: Uh, excuse me! Believe I was here first. You just sorta' poofed next to me on this bench. If you're gonna' get all bad ass on me, just know I took down the biggest, baddest, apiest bully at my high school! I eat mean girls like you like candy and spit out the wrappers! I'm Olivia and I don't have much use for taking names. I'd rather just get down to business.

Arabella: If I didn't need a specific person’s blood on this dagger (she holds up a very sharp blade) I would gladly use it on you to prove how weak you really are. And as far as names go, you can call me your highness.

Olivia: Look, your royal "hyena," threats don't go very far with me. Grrl power's my superhero ability, incredible amounts of caffeine my gas. And why are you running around with a knife anyway?

Arabella: This isn't a knife you dimwitted fool. It's an enchanted dagger I'm going to use to claim the throne from my inferior, going to be king because I'm a boy, brother. Explain this superhero ability of yours. I am not familiar with the term.

Olivia: Whoa, whoa, slow down psycho-pants! So, I get you're, like, a princess or something. Or an evil queen. That fits better. Tuck your dang knife away and let's chat. What's the deal, what's your name, where're you from, what's your damage? And why are you hushing my vibe on my favorite bench?

Arabella: (sheaths the knife at her side and glares at Olivia) I am Arabella, Princess of Breniera. As for hushing your vibe, I do not know what that means, but I am here at this bench to gather my thoughts for a moment before my assigned watchdog, forgive me, (she grins) my guard finds me again. Why are you here?

Olivia: (Under breath) Gah! This is gonna' be tough. (resumes speaking normally) Well, Princess Arabella, I'm Olivia, self-anointed queen of the bench you're sitting on. I smell issues here like a boy's locker room. So, where's Breniera? Is that in Iowa? And if guards are looking for you, um, why don't you give me their number? I'll be glad to give 'em a call (waves cell phone).

Arabella: Clearly your tutor educated you poorly. Breniera is only the best kingdom in all of Valendria. (She flips her long black hair over her shoulder.) I command that you tell me more about you and this place we are in. I feel Esmerelda has sent me through her mirror into some other land, cheeky witch that she is.

Olivia: Command this: eat it, Arabella. You're now in the kingdom of Kansas,  the uncoolest place of all. Clearwell to be exact. Deal with it. Maybe the almighty Oz will smite you or something. But, for realz, what's this about witches? That's something I know about. My boyfriend, Tex, is a witch.

Arabella: Oh, really? Perhaps I should meet this Tex. Mayhap he can help me return to Breniera so I can set this curse upon my brother. He must be an evil witch seeing he associates with one of your ilk. Tell me, where can I find him?

Olivia: What're you saying about my "ilk?" "Mayhap" you better be careful what you wish for. If Tex finds you, it won't be for your own good. And he especially wouldn't use his witchiness to help you curse your brother. Black magic's evil, it'll turn the world into pigs. Or something. I don't know the deets, just that it's bad. Why don't you use your witchcraft to do something good for a change?

Arabella: I am using this dagger for good. My good. I will finally be seen for the skilled person I am when I'm removed from my brother's mediocre shadow. Your friend is limiting himself by ignoring all magic. Dark magic is quite powerful. No witch would ever discount it completely. He is a fool, just like you. I believe I will find my own way home from this accursed place before your weakness contaminates me.

Olivia: Gah! I think you contaminated me with your bee-yotchy cooties just by sitting here! Go on. Scat! Before I lose it. And I hope when you transport, or whatever, back to Skankville, you get your atoms mixed up with a fly. Don't darken my bench again!

Read Olivia and Arabella’s stories in this special release:

PRODIGIES OF YA I available now at iBooks

4 YA novels in 1: 

Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel...A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince.
Colors Like Memories by Meradeth Houston...Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Tex, the Witch Boy by Stuart R. West...Someone is killing the bullies of Clearwell High...what's your average teenage boy witch to do?
Nightmares by Donna McDunn...Emily must accept her gift of clairvoyance and remember her past, when a psychopath returns to kill again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Big Day at the Drug-Store

I hate drugstores. I really shouldn't. After all, my wife's a pharmacist and my daughter works at a drug store. Allegiance means something. Yet my hatred runs deep. Let me explain why...

First of all, I can't ever find my way around them. I need a road-map. "You are here" would be nice. There's no rhyme nor reason to the lay-out. "As Seen On TV" crap sits on shelves right next to "Dr. Kervorkian's Cure-All Miracle Tonic."

But I suppose my Extreme Dislike began several years ago. I was sick and my wife instructed me to go to the drug store and ask for a cough syrup with Codeine, the kind that would help me sleep.

The foul technician, more bird than human, sniffed at me over her pelican nose. Then she snidely said, "The cough syrups are in aisle three. But they don't have the 'goodies' you're looking for."

Gah! Hanging my head and empty-handed, I left to the sound of derisive laughter. I felt like PeeWee Herman when he was told there's not a basement at the Alamo. And I was still sick. Deeply shamed. Criminal number one. Of course, my wife being the warrior she is, had it out with the pharmacist later. It didn't matter, the damage had been done, my belief in drug stores irreparably shattered.

So, last weekend my wife was sick (since then I've come down with her ailment; Let's call it "The Thickening"). She sent me off with a bizarre laundry list of items. With a great deal of trepidation, I trudged back into the local druggery.

Of course I had to ask the clerk where everything was located. Eyeballing me, he took me on a quick tour as I gathered my goods. My final stop, the pharmacist. I unloaded my booty on the counter. "Let's see...lemon drops, shoelaces. Oh yeah, can I have some extra-strength (gulp) decongestants?"

I'm sure it looked like I was MacGuyvering a bomb or something.  And when you buy decongestants these days, it's like going through Customs. They look at your I.D., check you out, make you sign for it, give you suspicious eyes and raise those damn brows. Even though I share the same follicularly challenged hairstyle as Walter White, I'm not the meth king of the Midwest.

It appears I'm not the only one in my family with a grudge-on against this particular chain of heinous drugstores, either.

Recently, my mom took my daughter to task. Apparently, the (unnamed) drugstore where my daughter works had the gall to charge my mom seven bucks more than what she used to pay at WalMart. (Oh, boy). Mom tried to get her money back. Ludicrously, I tried to explain to Mom that it's against the law. After Mom refused to understand things like "laws", I gave up. Jumping on the bandwagon, no other choice, I chastised my daughter. "Yeah, Sarah! Way to go. Your store sucks." (Note: This may sound harsh, but my mother's beyond reasoning. Plus I sorta' enjoyed dragging my daughter into the mess in an amusingly sadistic way. Let's call it "payback" for the many late-night worries she's caused me.).

I fully intend on joining my mother on the picket line in our two-people crusade against the evils of drug stores. Won't you join us?