Ma: What are you doing, Jess? Writing your blog?
Jessly: Yes, Ma--would you like to be in my blog?
Ma: I guess so. How would I do that?
Jesslyn: Let's do a Mad Lib.
Ma: what's a Mad Lib?
Jesslyn: [LENGTHY EXPLANATION ABOUT WHAT A MAD LIB IS]
Ma: Interesting. Let's write a Mad Lib about cutting down your tree.
(Aside: My mother and father are tree murderers. Savages, both of them; I think it might be what brought them together. You start talking about a tree that looks vaguely under the weather or might be dropping its leaves a bit early this year or is perhaps growing a bit close to the house, and they get this little barbaric glint in their eyes, and they start walking around mumbling about gasoline and greasing chains. Mom and Dad both have their eye on the dead--that's right, Bryan, dead--Box Elder in our front yard. Hence, Ma's suggestion.)
So, Ma and I have written a Mad Lib, and here it is. I am writing the story, Ma is providing key details:
Once upon a time there was a JINGLY man named HORACE. This man owned a SOUL-WRENCHING chainsaw, whom he loved like a HELICOPTER. He called his chainsaw PRICILLA. Every day he would take Pricilla to the WEE Forest and all day they would happily chop down BALD CYPRESSES. One SHROVE TUESDAY, Horace and Pricilla were at work in the Wee Forest when a GARGANTUAN cypress fell on Horace's COLLAR BONE.
"Pricilla!" he said, "Go to town and fetch me an ASSISTANT LIBRARIAN! Tell her to bring me some COBWEBS and OLD CANDY WRAPPERS! Pronto, Pricilla, or I may not survive until ASH WEDNESDAY!"
Pricilla was a BALEFUL chainsaw, but also very resourceful, and so she ran herself all the way to PAW PAW, WEST VIRGINIA, where she tore straight up the front steps of the Public Library, and through the great oak front door, and demanded to see an assistant librarian. A HAUGHTY woman named GRIZELDA stepped forward and said,
"I am the assistant librarian here at Paw Paw Public Library. How can I assist you?"
Pricilla said, "OH FUDGE! Horace is hurt! I need some cobwebs and old candy wrappers and I need you to come with me to the Wee Forest to help him!"
So, Grizelda went to all the trashcans and corners in the library and collected as many candy wrappers and cobwebs as she could find, and she and Pricilla got in the library's CHARCOAL STUDEBAKER (Grizelda made sure that Pricilla sat on an old sheet so she wouldn't get grease all over her beautiful CHARTREUSE upholstery), and they made off down the road, following the trench that Pricilla had dug on her way into town.
When they got to Horace, he was very weak. "SHIVER ME TIMBERS, girls, I thought you would never get here! Where are those old candy wrappers and cobwebs?"
Grizelda presented them, and Horace smiled. "Good work! Now, would you mind fashioning these into stretcher on which you will carry me back to town? There's a good girl.
Grizelda felt QUEAZY. "You LILY-LIVERED old man! Your FEATHER-BRAINED chainsaw! You destroyed the front steps of the library--not to mention the front doors--of the library for this?!"
And with that, she turned on her heel and marched back to the Studebaker. She called an ambulance when she got back to the library, and charged the call to Mr. Horace DEE-WAYNE SCHWARTZ of STRUGGLETOWN RD. It cost $11.73.
Horace is fine now, though he has lost some of the range of motion in his right shoulder, which is something of a disappointment to Pricilla.
So, there's Ma and my Mad Lib. We are a truly gifted family, I know.