Greetings from your intrepid reporter, Elly, here to talk about what was supposed my fantastic voyage to straighten out the lives of my children. It's been an interesting couple of days so sit yourself down and let me, as Phil likes to say when he wants to get on my nerves, lay it on you. As you know, Fiona reminded me that there was lots of cash in the joint accounts and told me how to get it out; it didn't occur to me why she was smiling until a certain incident I'll tell you about later happened. I also should have stopped and asked myself why she said to load my wallet up with cash; it's certainly not what John would have told me. He's always lecturing me about the need to leave a trail of crumbs in cyberspace so my steps can be traced; he also seems to be confused by my not having a handle on money matters, the jerk. Anyhow, as I was getting myself some clothes for the trip, I noticed a For Sale sign on Connie's lawn; according to the notes John keeps for those long-winded letters he writes, Greg and Connie want to 'wait out the clock' in Arizona so she can antique and he can chase around golf balls. He goes on to say that Lawrence has no interest in buying the house he got kicked out of and more stuff like that. What a bummer. Ah, well; I might miss having her around but not jogging every day or trailing after dogs will give me the time to write her real letters. (Not for the reason you're thinking, though. It's a damned sight more satisfying ripping paper apart than it is putting an e-mail address into an electronic black list.) As I headed down to the bus stop, I noticed something that's been bothering me for years; you know how Connie and Annie are both three years older than I am, right? You also know how Annie isn't trying to fight aging like Connie is; the problem is that, well, Annie looks about ten years younger than Connie does. There's a part of me that says "how does that work, huh?" while another part says "Duh!!"
The other hassle I had is that there were no cars in the garage; John seems to have put my Crevasse in storage for the winter or something. That means I had to go to the bus terminal to get to the airport; on my way down, I saw Gordon Mayes with one of those silly blue teeth jammed in his ears walking down the street and talking away not knowing he looked like a crazy person. As it turned out, he was talking to Anthony. About me. And not being very nice. According to him, my children are "messed up in the head" because "they have to decide what they're going to be forever" when they're five and "can't change their minds or the Sun will die." Also, since they have no 'personal initiative' and 'crisis-handling skills', they're weak, dependent and helpless. At the time, I thought "Great; he's one of the damned pod people spouting the party line shrinks like to dole out about how Mommy Dearest is to blame for everything." Now that I've had time to think about my hopes, dreams and how meeting certain people helped derail them (and how well behaved his kids are), well, maybe he's got a point. In any event, the 'Bad' Elly agreed with him; I guess I should explain that. Y'know how they were all making a big deal about nothing the last couple of years about how I forgot the year for a bit? The 'Bad' Elly was shouting "Wake up, dummy!! It's 2008 and that's your kid April!!" and the like. "She" also doesn't care for Connie at all, tells me it's my own damned fault that stupid crap keeps happening to me and that my life doesn't suck. I know what you're thinking right now, of course. And you're right. Ah, well.
Anyway, as I got on the bus into Toronto, I overheard a bunch of people talking; it seems that there's some sort of big emergency going on about how the Province tested toxic goo on wildlife in this area and how it's made a bunch of children into misshapen freaks. Funny how you miss things like that; I just thought it was because they live downwind from smoggy old Toronto. I mean, being downwind of a big city is like having a five-pack a day habit even if you've never smoked. From what I do understand, there's been a big scrap about what's to be done about it involving the Mayeses, Anthony's creepy dad and Therese's greedy bully of a father; at least it'll take people's minds off sports for a second.
The bus to the airport afforded me a great view of Toronto itself; I remember when I moved into Connie's apartment when I was just starting out. Everything was so big and confusing for a kid like I was so it was comforting to have someone who seemed to know what she was talking about around to help out. I know it seems foolish now that I'm finally starting to balance the books in my mind but it seemed like Connie was the one real friend I had at the time; I hated lying to my parents about University but I thought that if they knew, I'd be stuck behind a counter forever and ever and never be loved again. Of course, the 'bad' Elly says that's nonsense; she agrees with the comments Phil makes when he doesn't think I can hear him talking. I'd rather not repeat them because he uses bad language, speaks ill of the dead, says that things at home would have got back to normal a few years after "the body" had cooled down, that nobody would care about the presence of a twenty-two year old freshman and that the real Granny Elizabeth died when the doctors shot a gigavolt of electricity through her brain. To get back to my point, it looked like she knew what was up so I followed her lead. You can talk about the blind leading the blind all you want but I didn't know any better at the time; I certainly didn't know about some of the sicker stunts she'd pulled and probably wouldn't have cared even if I had.
Anyway, I stopped at the duty-free shop to grab some snacks before getting to the terminal and making sure I'm in non-smoking. When I used my debit card to pay for the package of Gooballs like I've done hundreds of times, the damned terminal rejects my card and says "Reported Stolen." (As I'll explain later, I have a used car salesman and his wife to thank for that.) Next thing you know, two policemen come up to me, look at one of those PDA things everyone seems to carry nowadays and ask me if I'm Elly Patterson. I say yes and they tell me to come with them.
Five minutes later, I'm in another holding cell waiting to get bailed out. Super. If I'd known at the time that my getting arrested by airport security would help people, I'd have done it years ago. Anyway, that's for my next letter.