Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 22:41:04 -0500
From: Myles Callum <MCALLUM@DELPHI.COM>
Subject: Bonnie's Week
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>

But the BIG Story on Tonight's Eyewitless News...


Indescribable. Friends, Bonnie's week was an emotional hell. If you've ever wondered why this woman came to us from Little Feet, wonder no more. Every horrible thing this sweet former nun ever felt tortured about in her guilt-plagued childhood came back to haunt her this week.

It started innocently, with raking leaves. No one could figure out why she did it. Didn't she know God gave us autumn, and gravity, so that leaves would fall off trees and flutter to the ground? Why was she arguing this, of all issues, with her calm, pipe-smoking husband, a highly trained biologist who does ecological consulting? This man knows dirt. He knows decay.

Then it went downhill, so to speak.

First, her friend Betty told Bonnie, a confessed aquaphysiognomophobe, to splash water on her face! Talk about betrayal. So much for the "nice" Betty. Bonnie was clearly in a Bad Mood.

Then other fun-loving wordslers joined in, in their warm, wacky, supportive way, ridiculing the compulsive leaf-raking, the proud counting of plastic bags, the endless worry over--her own words--a "soiled" sidewalk! A little Freudian guilt, perhaps? A bit of difficulty in toilet training, was there? Were these "plastic bags," so dutifully filled, her own symbolic poop? ("Dutifully," a small joke there.)

She seemed unable to "let go" of this topic. She reminded us all that a nice elderly gentleman showed up Monday to pick up her 28 bags of leaves. Note that word, "leaves." And what is it that one "leaves," my dear Bonnie? Well, let's "move" on.

The talk turned to Bonnie's ergomania. Sensing another opportunity for brutality, Betty popped up again, suggesting that Bonnie, who never lies, falsify her erg chart. A second cruel stroke from The Nice One!

By now Bonnie was sobbing noisily and hitting the bottle hard.

Her mind was wracked by a thousand doubts. The tiniest, most idiotic list comments nagged at her, even Verdant's remark from the PolyTwilight Zone about how people treated monogamy as the default condition, as if it weren't.

After a sleepless night, the tortured woman attacked the rowing machine and bravely posted her HONEST erg chart:

"11/20 30 minutes, 6296 meters (2:22.9)"

Only to have it ridiculed by ... The Mighty Nipper Himself!

"MmmHmmm," he said. "This appears to suck."

Bonnie had ignored, at her peril, Peter Levy's sig, courtesy of T. Samant. The pedestal toppled, and she was crushed by the great godlike figure.

Now Bonnie did the unthinkable. She tore up her fan club card! She had just spent the week proselytizing for members in the Nipper Fan Club; now she herself was resigning! Were we witnessing an emotional roller coaster, or what? An ancient cycle was replaying itself. She had searched for The Answer in the convent and found only empty promises; for her, the sheltering cloister was hollow. Now she had come here, seeking The Answer in words-l, and discovered a new pedestal ... topped by a mocking, indifferent god.

It didn't help, of course, when Natalie asked some ostensibly innocent questions about gourmet salmon for some unnamed, mysterious recipient. Was this a new chance? Perhaps Natalie was the Goddess! Desperate for salvation, the eager Bonnie answered every last question perfectly, and kept waiting for her prize. She even threw in an extra tidbit, the meaning of "L.L." in L.L. Bean, hoping for a gold star.

Each time she would ask, "Now do I get my prize? ?" But nooooo. Natalie tossed off still more questions, prolonging this poor woman's hideous torture, only to add casually, "But nobody ever said it was a contest." Even the Goddess was cruel!

Bonnie was on the brink.

And it was only Monday.

[To Be Continued]