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"The Itsy Bitsy Spider"

Hi all,

This newsletter isn’t really what I (Jenni) set out to write. But after last year’s newsletter I felt like a wee bit of traitor, giving up Halloween for Andrew, and this is what came out. Cause I love Halloween. So here’s me trying to appease my inner-child. We (thanks to Karen for not telling me this was an absolutely insane idea) hope you enjoy it, if not scroll to the bottom where our special-guest writer has a few words. 0:-)

God bless,

Jenni and Karen

Andrew was headed to the library at Willowveil Castle to see if he'd left his Wordsworth anthology there. Barring taking the turret staircases, through the Co-Presidents’ Hall was the only way in. And Andrew tried to avoid those turrets. The Dyelanders had formed the habit of covering the walls with graffiti and there were only so many times he could see "Susie Hearts Andrew" or "Andrew and Julie Forever" with out cringing. And so Andrew made his way past JenniAnn's open door. She took no note of him for which he was relieved. But then a soft, if somewhat eerie, tune met the angel's ears. Then there was a scuffle and next thing Andrew knew some Gregorian chants could be heard coming from her room. He shrugged his shoulders and made his way to the library.

A few minutes later Andrew exited the library with book in hand. Again he heard the eerie tune coming from JenniAnn's room. He closed the library door and it slammed shut louder than he'd intended. Then again the music changed and the medieval chanting began again.

"This is just weird. I better go check..." Andrew said to himself with a sigh. And so he lightly tapped on the woman's door and waited for the call to enter.

"Hey Andrew, what brings you over this way? Umm, not that you're not welcome. I mean any time you want... Right," she ended in a mumble.

"Nothing I just..." Andrew stopped as he surveyed the room. For some odd reason a fourth of it was curtained off. He looked at the lady with a raised eye brow. A sudden gust of wind entered the room from the balcony. The mysterious curtain fluttered and fell to the ground moments after JenniAnn had yelled "No!"

Andrew surveyed the display. Pumpkins were stacked five deep, jars of candy corn and Hershey bars and lollipops lay in an orange and black box, small cloth ghosts with goofy faces were suspended above, and a scarecrow stood in the midst of it all. A ceramic spider with yellow bows on her legs sat on a small table with black velvet draped underneath it. It smiled up at the angel with its big, sappy, painted eyes and lashes.

"Wow," was all the stunned angel could say.

JenniAnn began to ramble. "You know I care about you really I do and I totally respect you don't like Halloween. And I promised you no big parties any more but... but I love it and it's part of who I am and... I love Teensy! And I tried to make sure you didn't hear her and so I had the chants going when I heard you but it's all just been so very stressful and I'm not good at sneaking around. And the Halloween newsletter deadline was coming up and I didn't know what to write so I got all this stuff out to inspire me and truthfully cause I missed it. My ghosts I made as a kid and the pumpkins and my scarecrow from Girl Scouts and... Teensy. And now I just feel awful cause now you've seen it. And now I look even more neurotic then you probly ever thought I was because you've now fully witnessed the Crazy and... You hate Halloween and here I am looking like the psychotic poster child for it and..." At that point JenniAnn stopped for a much needed breath and to appreciate the fact that she'd just uttered what was probly the longest uninterrupted stream of dialogue in the history of JABB.

Andrew didn't know whether to laugh or leave the room or call a doctor. He settled for trying to make sense of her rant. "First, who is Teensy?" he asked calmly.

"My spider. My Mom bought her for me when I was little. It's the first thing I actually remember her buying me. She plays music when you push her back. I know it's kinda creepy but whenever I got upset when I was lil somehow the tune made me feel better," the woman answered as she pressed the spider's cotton-ball back. Strains of "Funeral March of a Marionette", made famous by Alfred Hitchcock, emitted from the ceramic spider and she smiled wistfully.

Andrew smiled softly and shook his head. How could he say anything to that? "I can see this is important to you. Y'know what, you should have your party and your trick-or-treaters. Maybe I'll even stop by. But I'm not promising..." the angel said.

JenniAnn leapt up and hugged him and then flew into a party-planning rush. "Gah! I still have to write JABB!" she cried after pulling streamers and orange lights out of her closet and grabbing the phone to call her co-president, Karen, for help with planning.

"Don't worry about it. You just get your party together." Andrew smiled and exited the room.

The End

And that's how I, angel of death and hater of Halloween, ended up writing your annual Halloween issue. I want it clear I've not changed my views on Halloween one bit. But I thought I’d share my Halloween To-Do List with you all since I have no idea what else to write for this. So here it is:

1. Shut off all lights and hide in study with Wordsworth anthology.

2. Reluctantly answer the door for really persistent trick-or-treaters.

3. Lecture grim reapers.

4. Wash and condition hair.

5. Trick-or-treaters seem to be getting the hint. Starting eating candy myself.

6. Call Adam over for some orange juice and ginger ales.

7. Make appearance at hastily thrown-together party in ballroom. Say hi to all the Dyelanders, grab a quick bite to eat, and quickly leave. But wait… Is Monica really dressed as a latte?

8. Will probably get called to an assignment. Assignment will make me wait until Ty Pennington and crew finish yet another extreme home makeover. We’ll both end up crying as another family gets their dream home! Take assignment to own Home. Nothing, not grim reapers or goblins or anything, will ever ruin that moment.




JABB 150