A Few Minutes with Betty, Chapter 11: "Have You Had Your Three Spiders Yet?" (or, "Betty Says: Count Your Beans Carefully")

"Did you know that in their lifetime, the average person will eat at least three spiders while they sleep?"

"Hi Betty. You know, you really are scary; I was just working on Chapter 8 when you just popped up, like a scary popup book."

"I'm not scary. I'm sweet and cute."

"Well, I almost peed myself when you went WASSUP!"

"Snort. That's because you fear it is followed by a sharp hunting knife to the eye."

"So how did you come upon this spider knowledge, exactly?"

"My five-year-old."

"And I thought you just had a pocketknife; you've upgraded, like Microsoft, Infinity, and the rest of America? Or the pocketknife is just for those with whom you are intimate, like George?"

"I do have a pocket knife. But I've changed to my summer purse, which is bigger. Therefore . . . bigger knife."

"Of course. I should change to my summer purse too; which means I will not only have to get a summer purse, I'll have to get a winter one, too."

"Never mind man-with-purse jokes; they were funny 30 years ago. Get into the 21st Century, Shakespeare. Here is some real news: George is on my list and I'm not speaking to him."

"Not enough George gozinta Betty?"

"No, that still happens. I'm angry, not stupid."

"What, then? Snorting the pool chemicals again? Buying more than just the cookies from the Girl Scouts? Joining the Mommy & Me yoga class? Spending too much time at the cosmetics counter at Macy's?"

"No, nitwit. For being retarded about the money situation. He sat on the couch last night and flipped. I did ALL the freaking paper work alone."

"But you are very good at that sort of thing, and he might have just been respecting your superior abilities."

"No, I'm not. Numbers and I don't get along."

"But isn't that what you do for a living?"

"I was an English major for a living. I can add. I'm not stupid."

"But the whole mortgage thingie, isn't that just a lot of numbers? Or is that just being a professional pain-in-the-ass?"

"I don't do mortgages. I counsel people before they get mortgages. Show them how to save and such."

"Well, no but the whole mortgage payment thing, well doesn't saving and budgeting involve numbers? Or do you just use beans or thumbtacks, like back in third grade?"

"Only partially."

"Which part, the saving part or the budgeting part?"

"Saving has to do with cutting costs, showing them how to track expenses, keeping lists. I don't do that for them, I instruct them on how to do it."

"I see. So no numbers, just methods, procedures; kinda like Simon Says?"


"Betty Says."

"Betty Says: stop living paycheck-to-paycheck."

"Betty Says: don't buy more shoes, lady!"

"And save some money. I miss shoes."

"Hah! You forgot to say, 'Betty Says'!"

"Shut up, you're the Humorist, you can humorize that part later. I am helping you, Shakespeare, and so far, no freaking check in the mail, I might add."

"Betty Says: no more expensive Scotch for you, buddy."

"I look good in cute shoes."

"You look good in paper sacks, but that's not what we are driving at here."

"Well yeah."

"We are searching for hilarity. We are striving to give America a little respite from the mess we are in; a little entertainment to forget their troubles; a good laugh."

"I'm just trying to get my head not to explode."

"And maybe a pair of really nice slingbacks by Manolo."

"Because it would be a bitch to clean the ceiling without a head."

"Hang on, Betty, I've got a call I have to take. Be right back. . . . Okay, I am back."


"Boy is this a slow day for you, or what? I haven't been greeted like that since I signed the last set of divorce papers."

"Oh, sorry, I thought you were Michael."

"Eff you Betty."


"It figures that that heathen Michael would make his way into this chapter. How is that old miscreant anyway? I haven't talked to him for a week; what luck!"

"He's been busy lately. Work has been aplenty and the new girl in his life is a handful."

"Hopefully you mean taking care of Amelia?"

"He said she's finally getting comfortable, while learning to crawl and pull up."

"Well I told him they should have gotten a crib right away. But no, no, he's cheap. 'She'll sleep anywhere,' he said."

"They have almost broken her of her need-to-sleep-with-them habit, but then Dezzi started with the 'well, the baby did it, it's my turn' thing."

"Well that's good, Candida's five-year-old still does. Sibling rivalry rears its ugly little head."

"Merry nipped that in the bud he said. Dezzi climbed in their bed, Merry picked her up and plopped her back in her room. She cried for hours, he said."

"I imagine that Merry is good at nipping anything in the bud."

"She is. So anyway, and they never got her and she hasn't done it since."

"I had a wife who did the same thing with me. It worked too."


"Well, I've got to get back to work on chapter 8; it's hard work being a Humorist, you know. Being funny is not easy. Kids, don't try this at home!"

"That's right, and sleep with your mouth closed. Watch out for the spiders."

"Oh right, the spiders."

"Yeah, Shakespeare, that's the title of this chapter, remember? No wonder my back still hurts, I still have to carry you, and yet, still no check has arrived."

"Hey thanks, Betty, as always; talk to you tomorrow?"

"Not if there's a way to avoid it, Mr. Humorist. Goodbye."

April 24, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

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