Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Where's a good victim when you need one?

By Lois Nielson (from Laura Alden's Murder at the PTA)

Hello! My name is Lois and I work for Beth Kennedy in her children’s bookstore in Rynwood, Wisconsin. You’ve probably never heard of Rynwood -- heck, most people in Wisconsin get a vague look if quizzed on its location -- but I think it’s the best place in the world to live.

Okay, I’ve never lived anywhere else, but how could anything be better than what I have here -- good friends and good books? Well, that, and the occasional victim. (Heh heh heh.)

Not a victim victim, goodness, no. What I’m talking about is the unwary soul who will fall for my practical jokes. A good joke adds spice to life, and happily, working in the bookstore is providing me with excellent fodder.

See, now that my children are long grown and gone and even the grandkids don’t have time for me, it’s nice to have access to the store’s part-time help, two college students named Sarah and Paoze. They have a charming tendency to believe what Aunt Lois tells them. Paoze especially.

For instance? Last week I told them that when I was a kid, marshmallows grew on bushes and we picked them like cotton balls, earning a quarter for each pound we brought to the grocery store. For a second -- just a second -- they believed me.

Ah, that was a good day.

Luckily, new ideas come to me all the time. Just this morning I had a great thought for a Christmas joke. It’s still in the planning stages, but I’m thinking something along the lines of Santa Claus, stockings, and lots and lots of coal. I can’t wait to see the look on Paoze’s face when Santa tells him that he (Santa) knew what Paoze did with the ripped paper cover to The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Don’t tell Beth, okay? She doesn’t approve of my shenanigans, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her, right?

(Heh heh heh.)


  1. Sounds like a great place to live, Lois! Sounds like you have a very believing manner when you're telling your whoppers! I have a feeling, though, the college students won't be such easy targets next time. :)

  2. Be careful, because the more jokes and games you play, when something serious happens, they may not believe you.

  3. Uh-oh, Lois. Dru could be right...

  4. Lois wrote:

    Hmm. You know what, Dru? I never thought about that ... ah, it'll be okay. They never suspect a thing!

  5. If you want a change of scenery, there are lots of Bookstores in Booktown--Stoneham, NH that need competent help. I might even be looking to hire someone in the not too distant future. (And think of this: No sales or income tax in New Hampshire. Ah, paradise.)

  6. Dru and Janet, I agree. We don't want you to cry wolf. But I love a yarn and a joke. What fun.

  7. I am reading the book right now.

  8. Erin, have you come to the part about rats and bicycles? Hah! That was a good one :) Hope you enjoy the book! And Tricia, if Beth ever finds out who put salt in the sugar jar last April Fool's Day, I just might be looking for a job. Sometimes she has no sense of humor.