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Thursday, October 20, 2011

From "Her Royal Thighness and the Mannequins of Doom" by Lulu Dean

Florine Willoughby sat in my kitchen with one hand wrapped around what looked like a dead ferret and the other clutching an application for the Little Miss Regal Mail In Beauty Pageant.

“Let’s go over everything again,” I said. “Want me to start?”

“No, I can,” she said, fighting back tears. “I’m so lucky to have you as a friend, Lu.”

I agreed, of course, but didn’t say anything. When she’d arrived earlier, I’d been right in the middle of my second piece of red velvet cake. I was having what my husband calls a “crazy vacation,” which generally involves roiling waves of emotional instability, some ugly-face crying and a blatant disregard for anything at all having to do with Jenny Craig.

Or Weight Watchers.

I was up to my cankles in low self-esteem, but I knew Florine was in worse shape when she appeared on our doorstep in a flannel bathrobe, Dallas Cowboys jersey and paisley leggings.

“Where are your shoes?” I’d asked.

“One’s back home in our driveway,” she’d told me. “And I threw the other one at some moron on the interstate. He kept getting in my way as I tried to pass on the shoulder.”

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