The Domino Effect

No, we ain’t talkin’ pizza, although we readily could.

I’m talking about someone complaining to asking the powers-that-be about when the next LAC is coming out. The powers-that-be, in turn, struck a match, lit a firecracker, and shoved it up the author’s behind. Can you say ka-frickin’-boom? This, in turn, caused a major rupture in the author’s thick skull, which in turn allowed us finally frickin’ finally to see the light of day and inhale a breath of fresh air. Indeed, we thought we were going to die in here! Thank you ever so much, complainer asker of the domino-nudging question!

Over the past months in this dank place, we have theorized that the Squatter chicks did something to the author’s brain. Just as one of them got trapped in a bathroom, they seemed to have trapped the author somewhere—somewhere far, far away from her reservoir of words, or maybe they drained it. Whatever. But, we have seen her bloody her head, cry, scream, and threaten to jump off her office chair. We’ve watched her slobbishly consume books about writer’s block and burnout, take self-help classes, meditate until her oozing gray matter could have filled a Tibetan singing bowl. We watched her take notes as she scoured the pages of Have I Finally Gone Insane? For Dummies. (I really should check my sources. There could very easily be a book with that title.) She has sloughed off to heal from burnout. She has gone on spiritual retreat to find her writer. She has gone into seclusion. (Need I say because no one could stand to be around her?)

Seriously, is there any worse creature on earth or in mythology than a writer who cannot write? From the characters in her books, a resounding: Oh hell no!

Yet, she has written, just not consistently, and certainly not without agony. In fact, she has most of LAC 22 written, half of 22.5, and even the beginning of 23. (There’s other stuff, too, that has nothing to do with us, so I won’t mention it.)

So… Now, that the Dykes Who Dare can breath again, we realize we have to do something. As you can imagine, our entire existence depends upon doing something. We have an idea.

(Let it be stated that while we are issuing the following threat, I am just stuck doing the dirty work.)

Roz, finish LAC 22, or Kate will steal and post every single word you have written: typos, grammatical errors, holes, warts and all—the stuff that would make our professor of English gasp. In other words, write it or risk public humiliation and the scorn of Ginny.

Here is our warning shot and a thank-you to the complainer asker of the domino-nudging question…

LAC 22 Chapter 1

Spring had finally frickin’ sprung in Granton, which seemed a stupid thing to realize since we had just left its city limits. Okay, to be precise then: Spring had sprung in Granton and its rural outskirts. In fact, the weather guy promised a balmy sixty-five degrees on this mid-April day, and I figured that amounted to a death-blow to a winter that had stayed on its feet far too frickin’ long. I was so ready for spring.

We were on our way to Holly and Laura’s for a Lesbian Adventure Club weekend, and I could not have been more excited. I know: I probably should’ve been afraid of what they had in store for us, but frankly, I really didn’t care. As I just said, spring had sprung, and every tick of the odometer meant I had been sprung, too: from winter, the city, the rat race, school—everything. I just wanted to breathe, kick back, and forget everything. Determined to do just that, I rolled down the passenger window and stuck out my head.

Claudia drove as though stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, not the wide-open countryside. I felt no impatience, though, for it seemed a day for meandering, and I gawked, a tourist in familiar surroundings. The grass was greening and being nibbled on by cows probably more thrilled with spring than I. Not one cloud littered the blue, blue sky. Damn, I felt good, and I whimsically decided this April day had been made just for frickin’ me.

I know, I know: You pay attention. You’re wondering what the hell happened to March and Claudia’s and my plan to have a Sam-the-Chef cooking weekend with all food being donated to the expectant parents’ freezer. Well, Sam had a catering event on the only workable weekend we had, and then, Ginny and Kris got bad colds they didn’t want to pass on to anyone, especially the very pregnant schoolteacher. Shit, I ran into Ginny in the hall one day at the university, and as soon as she saw me, she wildly shook her head and ran for a staff-only room. Other professors? Hell, breathe all over them, but not on anyone with even a remote connection to Susan.

So, no Sam plus two head colds imploded our weekend plan. Instead, we got everyone—except the snotty professors and the pregnant couple—to agree to make four freezer-friendly meals on that Saturday. Sam provided free consultations the week prior, and we did our thing. At day’s end, everybody brought their meals to our house, where Susan and Maggie had been conveniently invited over for dinner. We surprised the hell out of them, and then, we all shared pizza on the back porch. Even Ginny and Kris showed up, via video call, anyway.

By the following weekend, the professor’s health had returned, and again minus the pregnant one, we did our do-gooder of cleaning the DWD section of the highway. It was highly disgusting, and I suspected the thrill of having our own little road sign had completely worn off. 

That’s what happened to March and our weekend. 

And, yes, if you really, really, really pay attention, you know Maggie and Susan should’ve been next in the rotation. They had, however, removed themselves months ago, figuring that with a baby due in a matter of weeks, a house full of—well, us, to put it bluntly—was probably not a wise undertaking. Apparently, they saw no risk in a Holly and Laura weekend, though.

“Alison and Janice are behind us,” Claudia suddenly said, staring into the rearview mirror.

I whipped my head around and shoved a branch out of the way so I could see. (Yes, there were trees in our back seat. I’ll get to that. I’ll get to that.) Sure enough, nearly nudging our bumper was a big-ass SUV with Janice at its wheel and Alison madly waving. I smiled and waved, and then Janice made some hand motion as though to push our car faster. Apparently, she was not in a meandering mood.

“Tell her to pass if she doesn’t like it,” Claudia barked, obviously interpreting the same as I. “Never mind,” she said, and the window whirred down. Her hand went out to flag Janice to pass us.

A laughing Janice obliged, but it was not to pass. Nope. She pulled alongside us and then slowed to keep pace. Alison shouted greetings, and Claudia, still very mindful of the road ahead, shouted right back. Yep, they were yakking at the top of their lungs at twenty-five miles per hour.

I shook my head and then dramatically leaned it against Claudia’s headrest. When I upraised it a moment later, something out the back window caught my eye. “Now, Ginny and Kris are behind us,” I said with a laugh.

“For God’s sake!” Claudia said and then shouted “Goodbye, Alison!”

Janice gunned it and pulled in front of us. She didn’t speed off, though. Rather, she maintained a safe distance.

SUV ahead, van in back: I suddenly felt like the pope or the president or a pompous pop star with a security detail. Maybe I was so frickin’-ass important that this day had, in fact, been made for me.

Minutes later, Janice’s turn signal blinked, and her brake lights blazed. Wisely, both Claudia and Ginny slowed.

The motorcade turned right onto Holly and Laura’s little lane, and Janice rounded the lane’s end. Dutifully, we followed, and all three vehicle’s came to a halt opposite their house. We had arrived in a flashy manor, and all things Granton-related ceased to be. I bailed out of the car and drew a lung-bursting breath of country air.

We exchanged normal, zero-miles-per-hour greetings. Ginny hugged me without asking, and I designated that a major, major milestone. Things between us had been awkward. No. She had been awkward as hell with me since the whole incident with my mother. That was a whole ‘nother story I didn’t even have a chance to think about at that moment, let alone report to you.


We turned to see Holly barreling at us from the house. A cop, apparently in a meandering mood herself, was many paces behind her. Holly lunged to administer hugs and kisses, and Laura simply smiled and nodded at each of us.

Kris asked, “What do you want us to do with our trees?”   

Oh yeah, the trees! I forgot to tell you about the trees in our backseat, didn’t I? Okay, see, we had received our invitation from Holly and Laura with instructions to purchase and bring two young fruit trees that were dependent upon each other for pollination. As the reporter in the family, I researched more than I needed to know about the birds and the bees and apple trees. Claudia, the project manager in said family, took care of procuring them from a reputable source and the logistics in getting them here—without foreknowledge of the motorcade that would bring them the last miles. Yes, there were two young apple trees crisscrossed atop each other in our car’s backseat. (Jesus, this does sound like the birds and the bees.) Anyway, we figured the mandated trees had something to do with either the upcoming Earth Day or Arbor Day. Except with Holly and Laura, what was obvious to most wasn’t always to them.

“You can leave them for now,” Laura answered. “I’ll help you get them out very shortly.”

The sound of an engine caused all heads to turn. A red sedan heralded the arrival of the vegan and the schoolteacher.

Maggie, too, parked opposite the house, but she failed to do the turn-around thing. Instead, she simply stopped in front of the SUV, front bumper to front bumper. Seconds later, she hurried out the driver’s side and aimed for the passenger door. We gathered behind her just as she opened the door for Susan.

Holy shit! Holy frickin’ shit!

While it’s said that you cannot be a little bit pregnant, trust me: You can be a way lot pregnant, a frickin’ way lot pregnant. Even with Maggie’s help, it took Susan two attempts to hoist herself out of the car before she succeeded.

I hoped to hell my eyes hadn’t made noise when they snapped open. What I would never have said aloud: She’s frickin’ huge. I mean frickin’, frickin’ huge. That a belly could stretch itself like that without splitting confounded the hell out of me. In my estimation, there had to be several babies in there or this kid had a frickin’ penthouse suite. Plus, whoever was in there still had three weeks more to grow!

We exchanged hugs with them, and most fussed about how good Susan looked. She actually did, once you looked above the shockingly huge penthouse. She seemed happy, too, and a glance to Maggie proved the same.

Holly invited us inside, and we dutifully followed.

There, we found the smell of brewing coffee and an incredible array of brunch goodies.

Oh yeah, I was feeling fine, frickin’ fine.