Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall tales from Texas about characters I know and have known. Who knows, you might be one of them.

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

For the Love of A Dummy


A few weeks ago, I was surfing the net looking for comedy albums and came across one titled “Beverly and Eric Sing”. The album cover was a pretty blonde girl holding a lap dummy and they appeared to be gazing into each others eyes and singing. I studied the girl for a moment and realized that it was my cousin Beverly, whom no one in the family had heard from in many years.   I had heard from another distant cousin that she had reinvented herself and made a stab at a career in singing. So, here she was, singing love duets with a lap dummy. Some things never change.

Beverly was a strange child that seemed to like dolls more than people. As kids, any game we played always included her doll as a participant. We didn’t mind, it was a kid thing. We sort of liked having conversations with a plastic doll.

As she matured, her taste in dolls evolved, and she moved on to Charlie McCarthy type lap dummies.

Every holiday, there was always a dummy seated next to her at the family dinner table. The dummy always ate well. Even if it was the last piece of pie, the dummy got it.  It made no difference that it couldn’t digest anything, she would stuff Turkey and dressing, pies, gravy, biscuits, all the stuff we loved, right down its little wooden gullet until it ran out the dummies hollow back. Dummy poop. It was disgusting.

The family just smiled and cooed, “how cute”. My aunt would always brush it off as “a little phase she’s going through”.

My cousins and I knew better.  Beverly was a psycho.
When she turned sixteen, her dummies began speaking to us as if they were human.

At every family gathering, there was a new dummy and Beverly was often caught nuzzling and smooching on those little wooden devils.

She did try dating real boys a few times, but always took her dummy along for a chaperone. This didn’t go well with the “real boy“, so it was usually one date, no kiss and get the hell out of my car type of thing.

We didn’t see her too much during those years, just a line in a Christmas card from Aunt Bea now and then, sort of ” Bev is doing fine, is on the Debate team” blah blah.

Her junior year of college, Beverly announced that she was getting married to her boyfriend Eric, and she was bringing him home for Christmas to meet the family.

Her parents were extremely excited that she had found love while away at school.

Her mother, Aunt Bea, arranged for a huge surprise party for the betrothed during their visit, and went overboard inviting friends and family to share in their new joy. They were confident that Beverly had turned that corner that led to sanity and a boyfriend with a pulse.

The night she arrived home, everyone was hiding in the den with the lights off.

When Bev walked in, her mother hit the switch and everyone yelled “surprise”.

I was in the other room looking out the window and didn’t see anyone walk up with her, or sitting in the car, so I knew she had been dumped or this was a fabrication.

Everyone hugged, kissed and slobbered over Beverly for a few minutes, then her mother asked, “where is Eric?”

Beverly chirped that he was waiting in the car and she cheerfully went out to fetch him.

All the aunts and the female cousins were so excited, they were about to pee themselves right there in Aunt Bea’s den. I think Cousin Sissy did leave a little puddle, but blamed it on the dog, Chester.

A beaming and radiant Beverly walked in the door carrying a large black leather duffle bag.

Aunt Bea looked at her, then at the bag, then at her again, and proceeded to turn as white as the wedding cookies on the kitchen table.

Beverly unzipped her bag, stuck her hand in and pulled out Eric.

I must say, Eric was quite a handsome lap dummy. He had long stylish hair, with just the slightest hint of moose, a close cropped goatee, and he was sporting a Ralph Lauren sport coat with soft grey wool slacks. Soft black baby loafers with tassels completed the ensemble. Quite a dresser he was.

Eric introduced himself to the family, and was very chatty and engaging. His voice was sort of like the kid in the movie “The Shining“, when he kept saying “red rum”. A bit unsettling to those that saw the movie.

My uncle Doodie stood at the back of the room observing the whole sick scene.

I could tell from his anguished expression that he wasn’t buying any of this.

Finally, Beverly announcing that they were getting married, pulled Eric up close and gave him a big sloppy kiss, with a lot of tongue.

That was it for uncle Doodie.

He charged through the surrounding relatives and grabbed little Eric during mid-kiss.

When he grabbed the dummy, Beverly’s hand, which was inside of Eric’s little body got caught in the string causing Eric’s hard wooden lips to bite down on her tongue. The harder my uncle pulled the little demon, the harder Eric bit.

Uncle was jerking the dummy, Beverly was trying to scream and Chester the dog had joined in, grabbing one of Eric’s legs, jerking it off and running out the back door leaving a trail of cotton filling on my aunt’s new rug.

After a struggle, uncle Doodie managed to get Eric from Beverly, and grabbing a small hatchet from the hearth, proceeded to chop the little dummy into kindling, right there in front of the shocked family.

With every whack of the hatchet, Eric screamed “help Beverly, help your little Eric”.

I must say, that even in the midst of the killing, Bev did a great job with Eric’s voice. I didn’t see her mouth move one time.

Now, poor Beverly, in her distress of watching her true love turned into cotton balls and fire starter, ran screaming to her car and drove away.

It was years before anyone heard from her again.

I called my cousin Poodie to tell him about the album I found on the internet and he filled me in our Beverly’s antics up until now.

Poodie relayed that a few years ago, Beverly and Eric 2, her new husband, had taken a trip to Disneyland.

It appears that during the ride “It’s a Small Small World”, Eric went nuts and hurled himself from the boat into a scene with singing and dancing hula girls.

Beverly, not about to let her man run off with some hussy dummy in a hula skirt, jumped from the boat, and destroyed the entire automated display of little singing hula dummies.

In the mêlée, she accidentally dismantled little Eric, an abrupt end to the marriage.

Aunt Bea reports that  she is happy in the state home, and has now taken on the spirit of Sherri Lewis and Lamb Chop, and keeps herself busy working on a come back show.

I think I’ll buy the album just to hear the duets.

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