I should have sensed it; I should have known some sort of event was about to play out. Things had been especially boring lately. Just the normal every day things Annie did, like the crazy glasses.
It began with me ordering some Dennis the Menace comic books off ebay. Annie and Duh-Wayne laid around for days eating oreos and peanut butter crackers while reading the comic books. Annie spied an ad for a pair of x-ray glasses on the back of one of the comics and decided she needed them. The comic books were old from my childhood so obviously Annie could not have me “fill out the ticket and order it SLAM”. She and Duh-Wayne needed them she screamed, they HAD to have them. Unfortunately there were none to be found; then 3 days later I saw Annie and Duh-Wayne both wearing a pair.
Annie claimed she used her time machine to go back to my childhood, ordered them , waited for them to come in the mail and traveled back to the current time with the glasses. Annie claims time goes by faster in the past so it did not take long for her to get them. She and Duh-Wayne laid around wearing the glasses and eating oreos and peanut butter crackers while they had’ Alexa’ read the comic books because the glasses made both of them nearly blind and they REFUSED to take them off.
I did not believe any of the time machine nonsense even when I found one of the comic books with my name in it; written in my eleven year old handwriting. I still didn’t believe it even when I found our ketchup had been replaced with several cases of homemade ketchup that tasted exactly like the kind my father had made one year and refused to buy any real ketchup until we ate it.
The jars were the same. Old jelly jars that had ketchup written on it in my dad’s old scrawly barely legible writing, each one filed with his secret recipe. The secret recipe was kind of a brown red color; I think that had to do with either the excessive amount of cloves he put in it or the fact that he cooked it for almost a week in the crock pot. It didn’t taste like ketchup or catsup, it barely tasted like tomatoes. It tasted like sweet cloves with a slightly burned after taste. It wasn’t what one would call thick but it was a little thicker than water and when you put it on your plate, you could see how much water was in it because it would separate itself from the rest of the mixture and make a bee line for whatever item on your plate you did not want it touching; not that you really wanted it to touch your food at all. Life was really bad while we endured using that ketchup or catsup,
I still didn’t believe the whole time machine bit even when I noticed a couple bottles of my father’s home made root beer next to the ketchup. But all of that was routine Annie, even the bird fiasco; which is still going on was routine.
I called the landlord to let him know some birds had gotten into the space between the outside wall and the shower wall. I could hear them cheeping, scratching and pecking. Not only that but they had a nest in the roof over our back stoop and they were flying and swooping. He knocked down their nest and covered their hole.
The birds were Jack and Diane. Annie rented the hole in the wall and the summer place (under the roof) to them and now they peck on the side of the house all day or sit on the ledge of the window in my office staring at me screaming at me to let them in. Annie claims innocent and says she knows nothing about it and its all a hoax. Duh-Wayne does too but he is still collecting their rent money because he is Annie’s ‘property manager’.
Christmas should have been my biggest clue. Annie and Duh-Wayne both wanted those old time plague outfits. The ones with the masks that look like a bird. They both wrote 9000 letters to Santa begging for the outfits and Santa had brought each of them one. These, thankfully for Santa were easily obtained on various websites.
Then from Christmas forward, until New Years eve, Annie and Duh-Wayne watched a never ending cycle of end of the world movies and series. Lucy, Annie’s plastic bat wrapped in barbed wire, came back out. Duh-Wayne had a stock pile of automatic bb guns and a handful of cross bows.
They re-opened Duh-Wayne’s casino in our new place. Annie kept adding more and more room, just like in the old place but more elaborate, like her indoor mall, and movie theater and room for the truck loads of stuff she kept buying; especially toilet paper. She claimed it was because we were always out; that Grandfather used a lot. This was true but even Grandfather could not possibly ever use all that Annie and Duh-Wayne were buying.
She had been complaining that toilet paper was causing production to slow at her poop factory because they had to separate it from the poop. I sort of thought Annie was buying it just to keep people from using it but I was so wrong.
Then New Year’s Eve, there they were, Annie and Duh-Wayne in the back yard, with a caldron brewing something. Then they, along with Spam and Asa the Ghost, danced around the steaming pot dangling over a bright orange fire, singing at the top of their lungs a song they called, “My Corna,” along with a band bats and a couple pagolins who played their scales like a piano.
They brought in the New Year, speaking of the impending Rapture-pallooza. I figured it was all the movies they was they had been watching, but then slowly word began to spread and a pandemic called a corna virus was circling the entire planet.
It was on! Annie and Duh-Wayne on Friday the 13th, had finally wandered out into society looking perfectly normal in their plague bird outfits, armed with a plastic bat wrapped in barbed wire and a squirts guns filled with lysol and hand sanitizer to join in a furry with other people beating each other up for rolls of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, then later, Annie and Duh-Wayne would deal the goods out of the back of an old pick up truck, looking shifty eyed while they did it but you couldn’t tell because they had those bird masks on and underneath the x-ray glasses.
Their dreams were coming true, Annie and Duh-Wayne and world wide chaos.