the schitzel connection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

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The Schitzel Connection Time: August 5, 1988

For Mrs. Nadine Schitzel of Tarzana, California, the appearance of a three-toed sloth in her eucalyptus tree was curious but not unusual.
"I think it's got something to do with Monica Lewinsky's stained dress," she said, gazing into space.

Her next door neighbor was staring at the beast across the backyard fence. "What?" Mrs. Elvira Bent said, "I don't get the connection."

Petite and trim in her canary jogging suit and sneakers, Mrs. Schitzel looked up at the taller woman and replied with an open-eyed innocence that charmed. "Well," she said as she flicked a wisp of grey hair from her forehead,

Schitzel Connection - page 2

"nothing's been the same since that dress was discovered. My butcher got a hernia and I'm very bored with Tom Cruise."

Early in life Nadine had begun to make bizarre connections; by the time she had reached her present age of sixty-one, the causal relationship between Monica Lewinsky's dress and the finding of a sloth in her backyard seemed perfectly natural. So was her growing conviction that the sloth was her husband.

"Your husband?," Mrs. Bent said looking from the sloth to Nadine. "You're saying that Herman Schitzel, your husband, has turned into a sloth? A sloth? Is that what you're saying?"

"Yes," Mrs. Schitzel said, nodding vigorously. "He was always a slob and now he's gone too far."

Elvira Bent had grown up in Brooklyn and still had the New Yorkers' suspicious nature of anything that breathed. From the first day her neighbor moved in, Elvira had been convinced Nadine Schitzel was a little off center. All doubt had just been removed. She was about to ask Mrs. Schitzel how she thought it was possible for a human being to change into an animal when a man

Schitzel Connection - page 3 wearing a green uniform with an insignia on his sleeve appeared at the gate.

The man explained that he was from the Animal Shelter. They'd received a complaint that Mrs. Schitzel was keeping a large animal in her backyard and was it true.

"Mammal," Nadine said, correcting him, "it's a mammal." The man apologized and asked, "Could I see the mammal, ma'm?"

Mrs. Schitzel said of course. She led the way to the neat, fenced-in backyard as Mrs. Bent followed. An old, wooden shed perched on one side of the yard and leaned slightly toward a nearby eucalyptus tree. A hammock stretched between the tree and the shed. Beside the hammock was a television set resting precariously on top of two wooden milk crates. An extension cord led into the shed's window. Near the empty hammock was a large ice chest with a six pack of Bud floating in the melted ice. Pretzels were scattered on the ground along with several discarded beer cans.

The beast hung upside down from a branch of the tree over the hammock. Eyes closed, it swayed slightly, wafted by the gentle, Santa Ana breeze. It was definitely a sloth. And it had a pot belly.

Schitzel Connection - page 4 The three stared into the tree. "That's a sloth all right," the man said,

"and a damned big one, I've never seen one that ---"
"--- He's six two in his bare feet," Mrs. Schitzel volunteered.
The man looked at her in surprise. "You measured him?"
"No," Mrs. Schitzel said, shaking her head, "Herman's always been six

two."
"Herman is ..."

"Her husband," Mrs. Bent offered helpfully.

"Wait a minute, slow down," the man said to Mrs. Bent. His name was Jerry and he was getting confused. "Herman's her husband, right?"

"Yes," Nadine said.
"And what's he got to do with the sloth?" he said to Nadine. "They're one and the same thing," Mrs. Bent said. "She thinks her

husband is the sloth." She pointed into the tree and continued. "That one up there. The tall, dark one."

Jerry stared hard at Mrs. Bent, then turned to Nadine. "Look, lady, I got a lot of calls to make, I don't have time to play games. Is this a joke?"

Schitzel Connection - page 5 "No, it's not," Mrs. Schitzel said eagerly. "Phil, our garage mechanic,

became a Rabbi, and Ronald Reagan became President. Anything's possible." Jerry's eyes glazed over.

Mrs. Schitzel frowned. "Would you like a glass of water?" she asked. Nadine knew that glaze. It was in Herman's eyes just before he'd passed out from eating too many hot dogs at a Chargers/Raiders football game. Herman had suddenly stood up, burped explosively, then keeled over on top of her, collapsing her bleacher seat. Nadine's small frame had been engulfed by her husband's 260 pounds of quivering flab. The vendor and two burly Raiders' fans had pulled Herman off and laid him in the aisle, saving her from certain suffocation. She took a step back.

The glaze vanished, however, and Jerry regained his composure. "Must have escaped from a zoo. Problem is, there isn't one around here ..."

"Yes, there is," Mrs. Schitzel said, nodding, "there's one on the corner." Jerry looked down at Mrs. Schitzel in surprise and pointed across the street.

this corner?"
"Yes."
"That's not a 
, lady," he said with a hint of sarcasm, "that's a

Schitzel Connection - page 6

Department of Motor Vehicles Office!"
"Young man," Mrs. Schitzel said without blinking, "have you ever been

inside?"

................
Unknown to Mrs. Schitzel, Mrs. Bent notified the media about the sloth

phenomenon. Later that afternoon, a camera crew arrived along with an attractive, on-the-spot reporter, Sally Sweet. Mrs. Schitzel was busily at work in the backyard hoeing the flower garden when Sally Sweet barged through the gate with her crew.

"Mrs. Schitzel?" she said loudly, "Mrs. Nadine Schitzel?"

Nadine stopped working, shaded her eyes from the sun, and looked ingenuously at the reporter. "Yes?"

Sally introduced herself as her camera crew got ready to film. The sound man leaned a good sized mirror against the fence and as Sally talked, she checked her makeup. "Just act natural, Mrs. Schitzel. I'll ask you some simple questions, just be yourself and tell us, in your own words ... all about this event ---"

Schitzel Connection - page 7 When the crew was ready, Sally switched on her best smile and spoke

into the camera. "I'm here in Mrs. Nadine Schitzel's backyard in Tarzana. A few days ago, Mrs. Schitzel discovered a sloth hanging from a branch of her eucalyptus tree." Sally Sweet turned to Nadine. "Mrs. Schitzel, I understand that you think this animal in your backyard ---"

"--- Mammal, it's a mammal."

Sally Sweet paused. She hated to be interrupted, especially by demented old ladies. Sally was a well-known TV anchor person. She took a deep breath and started over. "I understand that you think this mammal in your backyard is your husband. Now Mrs. Schitzel, you don't really believe that, do you?"

"Yes I do."

"Mrs. Schitzel," Sally began, a slight condescending sneer curling around her lush lips, "a man cannot become a sloth."

"That's true," Nadine said, "Herman was always a sloth. Of course, when I married him, he had all his toes."

Schitzel Connection - page 8 Sally's self-conscious laugh was a little too loud. She'd been slipping

lately in the ratings and her confidence was sagging. Just as she was about to continue, the sloth shifted position.

"See that?" Mrs. Schitzel said, pointing a slender finger at the beast. "Did you see the way he moved just then? the way Herman moved." The woman was deranged, Sally thought, she had to be. Men didn't

change into sloths. It wasn't logical. She cleared her throat. "What was that about toes?" she said tentatively, hoping Mrs. Schitzel would give her a logical answer.

Mrs. Schitzel turned to Sally. "Well," Nadine began innocently, "what happened was, a few months ago Herman started wearing those pointed, Italian shoes ---"

"--- Pointed shoes, yes?"

Nadine was all wide-eyed wonder. "Well, I think when the slothiness took him over, his toes started falling off, you know, sloths only have three toes, the lazy ones only have two ---"

Sally didn't like the direction the conversation was heading. "... And you think Herman ..."

Schitzel Connection - page 9 "IT'S A FALL OUT FROM MONICA'S BLUE DRESS, RIGHT, NADE?"

Mrs. Bent said from across the fence where she'd been observing. Sally ignored her and continued with a dread fascination. "Mrs.

Schitzel ..."
"Nadine," Mrs. Schitzel said.
"Nadine," Sally continued. "Nadine, do you mean to tell me that you

think Herman, your husband, has been ... losing his toes---!?"
"Oh, yes," Nadine said cheerfully. She picked up the rake and began

raking. "Ought to be one or two around here somewhere ..."
Sally laughed. This was too ridiculous. "Mrs. Schitzel, now seriously.

What are you going to do about the sloth? Is he dangerous?"
"No," Nadine said, "he's perfectly harmless, he's never even touched

me." She thought a moment, then added, "It's Herman. It's definitely Herman. The cameraman guffawed. Sally quickly motioned for him to cool it.

"Don't you need a permit to keep an animal --- sorry, mammal, this size in your backyard, Mrs. Schitzel?"

"Oh, I have a permit. I'll get it."

Schitzel Connection - page 10 Mrs. Schitzel hurried into her house as Sally gulped in air and welcomed

the opportunity for a moment's relief. She faced the camera.
"Well, folks, I'm just as surprised as you are at the developments here in

the Schitzel backyard. Either something very strange has occurred, or Mrs. Schitzel has stayed out in the sun a little too long! Don't go away, in a few moments we'll have another chapter in the Schitzel-Sloth-Saga."

Sally hurried over to the mirror propped against the fence as Mrs. Bent stepped through the gate and approached.

"God!" Sally said, "this is great stuff!! Hey, guys?," she called over her shoulder, "get some footage of the sloth while I check the curls!"

"You got it!" the cameraman said as he and the sound man positioned themselves underneath the sloth.

"RICK!" she shouted, as she touched up her eyebrows, "WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE?”

The cameraman and sound man were staring up at the large furry ball hanging from the tree. "I'LL BE ---!" the cameraman said, "IT'S A REAL SLOTH!"

Schitzel Connection - page 11 "YEAH!" the sound man added, "HE'S A BIG MOTHER! DO YOU KNOW SHE'S GOT THE TV SET UPSIDE DOWN SO THE SLOTH CAN

WATCH IT?"
"YOU'RE KIDDING!" Sally said, finishing her toilette.

"SWEAR TO GOD!"
Mrs. Bent had been watching and listening patiently. Now she stepped

forward. "You know, I'm the one who called you originally ..."
Sally Sweet swung away from her mirror and walked over to Mrs. Bent.

"Okay, guys, let's get this lady ---"
"You got it!" the cameraman said as he moved in close on Elvira Bent,

then shouted, "ROLLING!"
Sally Sweet peered into the camera and flashed her biggest smile. "Hi!

I'm here with the sloth lady's next door neighbor, Mrs. Elvira Bent." She turned to Mrs. Bent and said, "How do you feel about having a red blooded, three-toed sloth in the yard next to yours?"

"I don't sleep well," Mrs. Bent said, shaking her head. "I can see why," Sally Sweet said.

Schitzel Connection - page 12 "Yes. He is a hairy beast, a wild, untamed thing. You never know what

he might do."
"Could he get into the house?"
"Oh, yes! Oh, yes yes. See that tree in my yard?" Mrs. Bent said

pointing to a large palm tree. "The branches ... they sort of ..." "Intertwine?" Sally said helpfully.
"Good word," Mrs. Bent said, "they intertwine. And it's perfectly

conceivable to me that Herman could swing into my boudoir some dark, primitive night whilst out foraging for food and ... I shudder to think about it."

Sally Sweet glanced up at Mrs. Bent's upstairs window. "It must be frightening. By the way, what do sloths eat?"

"I'm not sure," Mrs. Bent said, flicking a fly from her face, "That's why I'm scared. I'm thinking of getting a pit bull."

"Have you known Nadine Schitzel long?"

"About ten years. I was interested in buying this property, but she and the sloth snapped it up before I could close escrow."

Schitzel Connection - page 13 Just then Mrs. Schitzel hurried back holding a document. "Here it is, here's my permit." She handed the document to Sally Sweet who studied it

momentarily before her face fell.
"Nadine, this is a marriage license."
"That's right," Mrs. Schitzel said, "Herman and I were married in the

Santa Monica Courthouse twenty-six and a half years ago." Two dazzling dimples framed her smile.

Sally’s tongue seemed suddenly leaden. "Mrs. ... I ... w-was talking about a permit to keep the an--- slo--- mam---"

"A marriage certificate is perfectly legal, it's all the permit I need, it's ---" Suddenly Mrs. Schitzel spied something. "Oh, look," she said. She stooped down and picked up an object lying in the grass.

"What?" Sally Sweet said, fearing the worst, "What is it?"
Mrs. Schitzel handed her the object. "I think it's Herman's big toe." Sally screamed and threw her hands up knocking the thing onto Mrs.

Bent who screamed and flung it toward the sound man who also screamed, flicking it at the cameraman who slapped it away with a grunt. Mrs. Schitzel

Schitzel Connection - page 14 watched as it arced over the fence where a stray dog snagged it out of the air

and ran off as Sally Sweet fainted. ...........

A day later, Mrs. Schitzel received some bad news. It came from Jerry, the man from the Animal Shelter. "My supervisor said an animal that size -- sorry, mammal, is considered a barnyard mammal and can't be kept inside the city limits."

"Well. I don't know how Herman is going to take this. Your supervisor should know that her decision could split up my home."

"It's not her decision, there's a city ordinance!"
"A sloth ordinance?" Mrs. Bent said helpfully as she came over.
"No, there's no 
ordinance," Jerry said, growing more frustrated. "It seems to me there's more to this than meets the eye," Mrs. Schitzel

added.
"No, there's not!" Jerry said. "The law's the law --- You just can't keep

a ... beast that size within the city limits, it's that simple!"
"But what about the family unit? You can't just break up a twenty-five

year marriage because of an ordinance.”

Schitzel Connection - page 15 "Look, Mrs. Schitzel," Jerry said, but Nadine wasn't finished.

"--- He does leave fur balls around the yard, but I don't mind cleaning
up ... at least I don't have to worry about doing his shirts now ... they were a trial ... the hair got my washing machine clogged up something awful ... and of course he became edentata and that created ---"

"Edentata?" Jerry and Mrs. Bent said simultaneously, looking at each other.

"Toothless," Mrs. Schitzel said. "Oh, he may have incisors, a few upper and lower teeth, but now that he's become arboreal, that's tree-dwelling, life is much easier."

"Speaking of teeth," Mrs. Bent said thoughtfully, "if Herman needs dental work, will you take him to dentist or a vet? He probably needs shots and you should dust him for ticks."

Jerry sighed. It was late and he had to be going. But Nadine was getting to him and he had to admit that she reminded him of his mother. "Look. I'll talk to my supervisor, see if there's anything I can do, Mrs. Schitzel. I can't make any promises but I'll try."

Schitzel Connection - page 16 "Thank you, Jerry," Nadine said. She smiled and patted him on the

shoulder. Her charm was overwhelming. He went out the gate vowing to himself to do everything he could to help.

..............
Later that day the Reverend Opps dropped by at Nadine's request.

Opps was a short man in his 60's who wore glasses and a look of benign vacuity. He stopped under the tree and stared at the sloth as Mrs. Schitzel exited the house and came over.

"Thank you for coming, Reverend Opps," she said.

Reverend Opps shook her hand. From the look on his face he was quite concerned. "You said it was urgent so I got here as soon as I could."

After they were seated at the picnic table not far from the eucalyptus tree, he continued. "Mrs. Schitzel, what's going on here? I watched the news last night and frankly, I was shocked at what I heard ..."

"It is a little involved. You see, Herman was a practical joker, always playing tricks on me. This is his latest caper and he's really put me in the fry pan with it."

"In what way?"

Schitzel Connection - page 17 "Jerry, the man from the Animal Shelter, was just here. He says Herman

can't stay in the city ..."
"But this is his home!" the Reverend replied indignantly.
Mrs. Schitzel stared at him, fearing his reaction. "He meant the sloth."

She looked at the tree as a beer can plopped to the ground. The Reverend looked over at the sound. Mrs. Schitzel continued. "I'll admit, he is a nuisance now, even more than he was before, but ..."

Opps looked back at Nadine. "Now just a minute, Mrs. Schitzel. You don't seriously believe Mr. Schitzel has become that thing in the tree, do you?"

"Yes."

"But ... but ..." the Reverend said, flustered, "God wouldn't let something like this happen to a man, He ---"

"Oh, God didn't have anything to do with it, Reverend. Herman did it all by himself. He thought sloth thoughts and became what he thought ..."

The Reverend laughed. "Mrs. Schitzel, do you know what I think happened? This is another one of your husband's pranks. He probably went out, bought a sloth, put him up there in the tree, and he's sitting now in some motel nearby having a beer and a good laugh."

"I don't think so ..."

"We all have stresses and strains in this mortal existence. When I first gave myself to Jesus, I vowed abstinence from sensual pleasures and it wasn't easy. I realized that lurking inside me was a highly oversexed animal that had to be tamed, that ---"

"Mammal, it's a mammal ..."
"Huh?"
"What I called you about, Reverend, was to ask your advice." Reverend Opps got up and stepped over to the tree where he stood

squinting up at the sloth. "What's that six pack doing on top of the ladder? "Should I stay married to Herman, now that he's ... the way he is? I

mean, what if he gets turned on by one of those 'I Love Lucy' reruns and feels romantic?"

Reverend Opps was flustered. This problem hadn’t been covered in seminary school. "I have to run, now, Nadine," he said nervously, "but I'll stay in touch. My advice is, I, a, I think we should both pray about this, and I'm sure Mr. Schitzel will come waltzing home any day now and this whole thing will be cleared up." He patted her arm, she patted his arm back.

Schitzel Connection - page 18

"Thank you Reverend."
............

One week later, a kindly looking gentleman appeared at Mrs. Schitzel's backyard fence accompanied by a uniformed nurse.

Dr. Kreuger explained that an anonymous individual had filed a report with the Department questioning Mrs. Schitzel's competency. He'd been appointed by the probate court to investigate the situation. After spending some time with Mrs. Schitzel, asking some probing questions, and observing the sloth, the kind doctor and nurse left by the gate passing Jerry, who had just arrived. He hurried over to Nadine.

"Mrs. Schitzel, I came to warn you. With all the news coverage, everybody knows about the sloth, even the Board of Health's getting involved." He looked over at the beer cans strewn across the lawn. "We'd better pick these up, they'll be coming over any moment for an inspection."

Jerry grabbed a black trash bag and began picking up the cans. As Nadine was going to help him, Sally Sweet swept in with her camera crew.

Schitzel Connection - page 19

Schitzel Connection - page 20 "Rick? Get a shot of those beer cans! Dick? Get the vocals!"

Rick and Dick nodded. Rick, the cameraman, started shooting the lawn and Dick, the sound man, shoved the boom mike close to Mrs. Schitzel's face.

"Hey!" Jerry yelled. "Leave her alone!
"It's all right, Jerry," Mrs. Schitzel said.
"No, it's not all right! they're trying to crucify you to get a story ---!"
"Hey, bud?" Sally Sweet said. "Don't stand in the way of the media! The

public has a right to know what's going on here so chill out!" She stepped into the shot and addressed the camera. "We've just learned that Mrs. Nadine Schitzel has been paid a visit by a psychiatrist to determine her competency. As you know, Nadine has been insisting all along that her husband has turned into a three-toed sloth ---"

"--- Just last week" Nadine added.

"Yes," Sally said quickly, "just last week. Could you tell us, Mrs. Schitzel, how the interview went?"

"Fine, it was just ..." "What did they ask you?"

Schitzel Connection - page 21 "You don't have to answer her, Mrs. Schitzel!" Jerry said, turning to Sally

Sweet. "I think you should leave Mrs. Schitzel alone. She's answered enough questions."

When the sound man moved the boom mike close to Jerry's face, he batted it away, making a resounding THWACK---!

"HEY, WATCH IT!" the sound man said, "THIS IS SENSITIVE EQUIPMENT!"

YOU WATCH IT!" Jerry shot back.

The disagreement quickly escalated to a full-scale fist fight between Jerry, Rick, Dick, and Sally Sweet. It was interrupted by a loud sneeze from overhead.

"Wait a minute," Sally Sweet said as she was about to kick the man from the Animal Shelter in the testicles. "Did that sloth just sneeze? Was that a SLOTH SNEEZE!!?"

Nadine had been searching the branches, trying to locate the sloth. She glanced quickly at Sally. "It's his allergy, the Santa Ana winds ---"

The combatants forgot their disagreement and hurried over to the tree. The sloth was nowhere in sight.

Schitzel Connection - page 22 "Where is he?" Sally said, "WHERE THE HELL IS HE?!"

Sally Sweet's question was answered by a blood-curdling scream from Mrs. Bent. The sloth, frightened by all the commotion below, had slowly moved onto the stem of the palm tree near the upper floors of her house. The cameraman quickly focused his camera on the confrontation as Mrs. Schitzel shouted and waved to Mrs. Bent who had just appeared at her bedroom window.

"STAY CALM, ELIVRA, HE WON'T HURT YOU!"

"ARE YOU GETTING IT?" Sally Sweet demanded of the cameraman as Mrs. Bent's escalating screams intensified Sally's mental chaos, "ARE YOU GETTING IT, DICK!?"

"YEAH, I'M ---"

Sally’s mind was slipping fast into incoherence. In desperation, she glanced at the sound man. "ARE YOU GETTING THE GRUNTS, RICK? ARE YOU G-G-G-G-GETTING THE SLOTH ATTACK?"

The sound man tapped his boom mike. "NO, SAL, I THINK IT'S BROKEN---!"

Schitzel Connection - page 23 Sally went berserk. She whirled on Jerry as the whites of her eyes

began to show. "LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE, YOU WIMP!" she screamed incoherently. "I'LL KILL YOU! I'LL FLY THROUGH YOU LIKE A FAT BIRD! I'LL ... I'LL ..."

As Mrs. Bent continued screeching and the cameraman got the footage of the "sloth attack," Sally Sweet went limp and started foaming at the mouth.

...........
The competency hearing was held the following month in probate court,

Judge Wilhelm Gottfried presiding. After listening to the testimony of Dr. Kreuger and the nurse, the judge addressed Mrs. Schitzel.

"Would you please explain, in your own words Mrs. Schitzel, how you ..." "Nadine, judge, call me Nadine," Mrs. Schitzel said with a smile. Her dimples had not lost their dazzle.

The judge smiled back. "Nadine is my mother's name," he said warmly. "Now. Would you explain, in your own words, Nadine, all about the sloth and just why you think he's your husband."

"Certainly." Mrs. Schitzel gazed out the window at a neat row of palm trees in the courtyard. "Something's in the air, Judge. First there was Monica

Schitzel Connection - page 24 Lewinsky's dress, then my neighbor's hernia, then Tom Cruise got boring.

Everything's changing. Tax laws change every year, I just got used to the taste of Coke and they changed that. Your Honor, I used to pay thirty cents for a quart of milk, now it's over a dollar and forget about coffee. So when Herman got slothier and slothier, it just seemed logical. Everything else was changing, why not him?"

The judge nodded in agreement.

"I told him over and over, judge, 'Herman,' I said, 'Herman, you'd better watch it. If you're not careful, something's going to happen.'" Nadine leaned forward and shook her finger in the air. "Also I warned him about Halley's Comet but he said he didn't care and it was right after that that Herman started having trouble selling those Fiats."

Nadine paused and leaned back in her chair. "Well. I got a little inheritance a few years ago, judge, and I suggested he retire and it probably was a mistake because his slothing got worse, and then Herman's team, the Oakland Raiders, got creamed in a play-off game by the New England Patriots and that pushed him near the brink ... his slothic inclinations took over ... he started eating more and more pretzels and drinking more and more beer and

Schitzel Connection - page 25 staying glued to the TV set. His mind became mush, Your Honor, and he

started losing his identity ..."
Judge Gottfried had been doodling absentmindedly. Without looking up.

he said, "What I'm getting here, the gist of it, is that you think Herman chose to become a sloth. Is that right, Nadine?"

"Oh, yes!" Her eyes widened. "Just as people choose to be angry or moody, he made decisions everyday, not to clean the windows, not to mow the grass, not to help with the dishes. He even started to look like a sloth." Nadine studied the Judge intently. "You've seen people who look like their pets, haven't you, Judge?"

The Judge looked out the window and thought for a moment. "Yes, on reflection ... my cousin looks just like his beagle, long ears, a nose that ---"

"--- See?," Nadine said, triumphantly. "Herman just went one step further and became what he looked like!"

"But Nadine," Gottfried said, staring at the curl on her forehead, "nowhere in history is it recorded that a man evolved into a sloth."

Mrs. Schitzel nodded eagerly. "That's right, Judge, Herman's the first one. Somehow all of his human impulses got thwarted and canceled each

Schitzel Connection - page 26 other out, and finally his genes looked around, saw what was happening, and

they reprogrammed him to survive, you know, survival of the fittest? And the best way Herman could survive was as an easy-going, arboreal edentate. He's shown the way and we could be in big trouble."

Judge Gottfried cocked his head to one side trying to follow her drift. "In what way?"

Nadine sat up straight and folded her arms. "If this catches on, Your Honor, it could become a stampede. Pretty soon we could be up to our ---"

"--- Watch it ---!"

"--- eyeballs in sloths! It's the theory of evolution in reverse, Judge. It took millions of years for our first ancestors to get up enough courage, but somebody did, somebody finally got tired of being prehensile, tossed his tail over his shoulder, and shimmied down the tree trunk ... the others saw him cavorting in the shrubbery, came down, discovered fire, made a wheel and built freeways ..."

Nadine was gazing at Gottfried with an intensity that reminded him of a theoretical physicist at Harvard with an IQ over 170 who ended up illustrating childrens' books. Nadine continued.

Schitzel Connection - page 27 "Judge, our first forbearer hit the ground running and we've been running

ever since, barely taking time to learn to stand upright and do the foxtrot. But I think we've come full cycle. We've had our little fling on two legs and messed it up and now we're going back to the trees ..."

..........
Dr. Dillingham was perspiring and red-faced from his hurried trip up from

the San Diego Zoo. He was standing under the eucalyptus tree studying the sloth which hadn't moved in three days. "You're sure you want to do this, Mrs. Schitzel?" he said. "This is such a unique pet. There aren't that many two-toed sloths in existence."

"He's three-toed," Nadine said.
"No, he's not," Dr. Dillingham said, "I count only two."
Nadine hurried over and peered up at the mammal. She shook her head

and smiled. "Herman," she said, "you little devil, you!"
"You must be reluctant to part with him."
"It's hard, Dr. Dillingham, we do go back a ways, but the expense is too

much. It's gotten so he only drinks imported beer now ..." Dr. Dillingham looked startled. "You give him beer?"

Schitzel Connection - page 28 "And pretzels," Nadine admitted. "For thirty-five years. That's one of the

reasons he got to look like that."
"Thirty-five years?" Dr. Dillingham said, looking even more startled. "My!

do go back, don't you?"
"Yes. But it's too much of a responsibility. I want to travel. With Herman

here I can't leave ..."
"I see. Well, then, shall we discuss price?"
Mrs. Schitzel's gaze shifted back to Dr. Dillingham. "Yes," she said

evenly. "Move him out by tomorrow and I'll give you fifty dollars."
Dr. Dillingham laughed. "You don't understand, Mrs. Schitzel, 
we're the

ones who ---"
"--- Seventy five?"

"No, no, that's not what I ---"

"--- Okay, look. I'll give you a hundred dollars and I'll throw in his leash." Mrs. Schitzel knew how to close a deal, she'd learned from Herman.

"But ..." Dr. Dillingham's eyes were beginning to have that dangerous glaze. Mrs. Schitzel stepped back.

Schitzel Connection - page 29 "Okay, you can have the hammock and his wristwatch. Swiss, works

great." She knew she had him now, he was putty in her hands. "I'll send his clothes UPS but I'm keeping his Honda. By the way, he's very gentle and won't hurt a fly, just don't ask him to do anything. Will you take a check?"

The End


Submitted: May 11, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Cy Young. All rights reserved.

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HOUDINI

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is a tad bizarre, but I like Bizarre. Vastly creative and funny. If you get a chance read my story Two Heads are Better Than One. You may find it interesting. Well Done!

Wed, May 11th, 2022 11:45pm

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