I Wonder …
Is “Mommy” Her Secret Identity?
It’s ideal weather for Mothers Day on the island of Amazonionion. The dolphins forecast clear skies with highs in the 70s.
Princess Diana, fresh from putting a whoopin’ on the Nazis, is on the beach, performing spectacular feats of strength and agility. It’s been quite a workout. Dabbing her forehead with the edge of her toga, she jogs across the sand to a tent occupied by the queen.
“Mother, do my spectacular feats of strength and agility please you?” an out of breath Diana asks.
Queen Stella is engrossed with her tablet.
Diana inquires again. “Did you see when I juggled nineteen coconuts while playing In the Mood on the harp with my foot? How about when I killed the charging boar with a jelly fish? Raise your hand if you want bacon!”
“Eh — whuzzit? Oh, Diana. When did you get here?”
“Mother, I’ve been busting my Amazonish hump all morning trying to impress you! Have you not noticed?”
“Oh my dear. I’m sorry. It’s this magic window Zeus made me for Mother’s Day. It’s mesmerizing. I do believe I’m addicted to Zeus’s Candy Crush.”
“Candy? Mother, I just thumb-wrestled a gorilla!”
The Queen has yet to take her eyes off the screen. “Hoo-hoo! Triple points! I crushed you, candy! See you in Hades!”
“I’m smart too, Mother. I can do math problems in my head. Give me two really big numbers and I’ll multiply them. Go ahead, shoot!”
“No need, sweetie. My Ay, Zeus! pad is also a calculator.”
Exasperated, Diana gives a loud sigh. The Queen takes note, pausing her game.
“Diana, I’m always impressed with your feats of strength and agility.”
“And smarts. Don’t forget the smarts.”
“You’re very bright, yes. You must understand, I’ve seen the archery and acrobats and pelican theater and swordplay all before. It’s good stuff, but after so many years watching you and your sister -”
The Queen clasps her mouth.
Diana is amazed. “Sister!? I have a sister?”
The Queen looks up and to the left. “Uhhhh, what? No, no — cistern. I drank a massive amount of wine from a cistern last night. Woowee! I’m still hammered.”
“You’re looking up and left, Mother. You’re lying.”
The Queen looks right.
“Who is this sister? Where is she?”
“Oh, curse your crippling mental effect, Candy Crush,” mutters the Queen. “Well, I guess it’s time you knew. Your older sister was the greatest warrior Amazuhbohblia has ever known. She was feared and respected by all the Amazohdeedooites. There was no equal to match her skills, and Zeus denied her membership into the Olympus High Rollers Club, so she time warped her invisible jet and skedaddled outta here.”
“Where did she go?”
“Queens, on the Isle of Long. It sure wasn’t what she expected, but she was always the committed one. She found a family to take her in. They taught her local customs like eating meals in between slices of bread and how to jaywalk. She’s moved around quite a bit. It’s a barbaric life if you ask me.”
“Hah! What a disappointment she must have been!”
“Diana, tsk tsk — I never said I was disappointed with her. On the contrary, I revered her. She did unbelievable things that required amazing courage. When I reported to the gods some of the things your sister had done, Athena threw up.”
Diana is incensed. “I demand to see her!”
“No problem! We can teleport there. This will give me a chance to try Zeus’s Hangout app. Lets see, scroll, scroll, installing, yada-yada, no-ads yes, import contacts— ah, here we go. Now stand next to me so I can snap a Zeusie of the two of us.”
The Queen and Diana stand in front of a house just outside Chicago. A faded welcome mat reads Bless This Mess.
“Now Diana, I want this to be a civil visit. And do not refer to your sister as princess. She prefers Mrs. Schlegel.”
“Close enough. Now push that glowing button.”
Diana sounds the bell. Inside, a maniacal parakeet can be heard screeching in its cage. A dark-haired woman in bath robe and slippers opens the door.
“Mother! You said you’d never visit without warning me first.”
The Queen shrugs. “What can I tell ya — I screwed up. I let loose about you to your baby sister. Thought we might as well get this over with.”
Diana glowers. “So you are the rightful heir to Mother’s throne?”
“No, no — You told her, right Ma? Look, Diane — “
“MY NAME IS DIANA!”
“Hey, sis —shut that pomegranate-hole of yours or I’ll shut it for you! The kids are in the backyard and I don’t want them to have any part of this. Anyway, I told Ma decades ago I relinquished the whole royalty thing.”
Diana looks confused. “You have children? Did Zeus grant them to you?”
The Queen lifts her chin proudly. “No, Diana. Your sister bore them herself. Three at one time.”
“Three!? Impossible.” Diana takes an alpha step forward.
“Yeah, well it ain’t easy, sister. Oy, what a day that was. Thank you, Mr. Epidural.”
“You see, Diana — your older sister took a man-slave and they’ve shared a life together. She teaches my grandchildren, all girls, the ways of Amazonzonioanana while the man-thing does something he believes to be work.”
“You domesticated a man-thing?” Diana steps back.
“He’s a work in progress. If he can keep spaghetti sauce off his nice shirt, we’ll call it a partial win.”
Diana is intrigued. “But man-things are known to be deceptive. You must make good use of your golden lasso.”
The Queen faces Diana. “Believe it or not, your big sister extracts truth merely by folding her arms and staring at her subject without blinking.”
“No lasso?” Diana sounds impressed.
“I use it as a clothesline.”
A car pulls into the driveway. A man steps out.
The missus winces. “Oh geez, he’s back from Costco already?”
The man, Mr. Schlegel, approaches briskly across the lawn, waving off the visitors. “Nah-nah-nah — Thanks but no thanks. We’re happy with our religion so move along now.”
“Honey, they’re not soliciting. These are— these are new neighbors. They wanted to say hello.”
“Oh! My bad. I saw the togas and thought ... hey, welcome to the neighborhood!”
Diana, curious of the man-thing, circles him, sizing him up. “What is your heritage, man? What tribe do you hail from?”
“Whu-? Oh, you probably noticed the unique dialect. My mother is Mexican, but I grew up in New York. My father’s German.”
Diana raises an arm and swiftly strikes man-thing on the head with a metal wristband. His eyes roll back as he collapses into a bed of dandelions.
The elder daughter leaps from the house to her husband’s side. Ear to his chest, she’s relieved to sense him breathing.
The Queen is outraged. “Diana! Not all Germans are Nazis! What were you thinking!?”
Before Diana can answer, her face is doused with pepper-spray shot from her sister’s lucky keychain. Disoriented and blinded, Diana’s feet are swept from under her. She drops, reeling in pain, next to the unconscious man-thing.
“Mother, get this slap-happy nut-job off my lawn and don’t let me ever see her here again!”
The Queen nods, kisses her angry daughter on the forehead and lies beside Diana with her tablet in position.
Mr. Schlegel opens his eyes and slowly sits up.
“Oh, honey. Are you OK? That pinecone hit you pretty hard?”
“Shhhhh — come inside so I can put some ice on your head.”
The wife helps her husband off the ground as he regains his senses. “Well I don’t expect your new friends will return any time soon. Not with deadly pinecones dropping.”
“That’s OK. They weren’t our kind of people.”
They step inside. The man, nursing his head, turns to the woman.
“Sorry Mothers Day is turning out kinda sucky.”
“Don’t be silly, honey. You know I love adventure.”