(posted Monday, February 13, 2006)
Bejouled looked up from her bowl of Count Chocula, eyebrow arched. "What is it, Old Man?"
The Bear waded through a pile of garbage and clothes toward the kitchen. "I thought you women liked to clean up a place. You know, keep things clean and such. Instead there's trash everywhere, the dishes are piled up in the sink, and all of our clothes are in the dirty clothes pile. I've seen office buildings overrun with Hellions that are better kept than this!"
Bejouled smirked. "Well, Old Man," she said matter-of-factly, "The trash is all ravioli cans and vodka bottles, the dishes are all spoons, and the clothes on the floor are yours."
"Bah!" The Bear threw his hands in the air in a hopeless gesture, "What do you do around here anyway?"
"Besides clean up after myself?"
"Yes, besides that." The Bear looked puzzled for a moment, as if the victim of a trick. He quickly shrugged it off. Bejouled picked a piece of paper off the table and handed it to Bear, smiling.
Bear squinted his eye at the print and gasped. "Only five dollars! The electric bill is only five dollars! What is this? An accounting error? Foolish capitalists at the electric company must have faulty software! Or maybe Comrade Bella hacked into the network and reduced our fines!"
Bejouled rolled her eyes. "No, you fool," she said cooly, "I have been powering our appliances with my ambient electrical aura whenever I've been home. I'm saving you a great deal of money. And that's not all."
"It's not?" A brief hint of excitement and scandal crosse his face.
"Nyet, it's not." Bejouled crossed her arms and leaned back in her chair. "I have also been draining power from Mrs. Krupauer down the hall."
Loretta Krupauer was a crone in the worst sense of the word. Even in her youth, her features bore resemblance to a twisted harpy: long crooked nose, slightly hunched back, long, knobby fingers that ended in poorly manicured claws. She wore patchwork dresses that resembled a Frankenstein tablecloth, complete with condiment stains and the tears of sad campers. She was also never seen without her enourmous purse: a battered, threadbare sack that was once covered in delicate beads but had long since fallen into disrepair. The harpy had a reputation for embracing foolish ideals and lost causes. She had supported prohibition, championed the anti-suffrage movement, gave money to the Italians in World War II, became pen pals with Joseph McCarthy, and was a strong advocate of the Metric System. Not surprisingly, she opposed the Soviet Bear at every turn.
Bear's eye bulged. A smile crept like a thief across his lips. He spat out "How much?" in a quick exhalation.
Bejouled smirked. "Three-thousand dollars."
"That will break her!"
"Well," Bear grinned, "I guess I can't fault you for not keeping house as well as I'd like. Excellent work, Comrade. Now, I must go to the little Bear's room."
Bejouled resumed eating her Count Chocula until a familiar voice bellowed out "Bejouled!"
Bejouled looked up. "What is it, Old Man?"
"What is this?" The Bear came storming across the living, trampling over garbage and dirty uniforms. He was holding a white object the size of a small pen.
"That," replied Bejouled, "is a tampon."
"Gah!" The Bear threw it to the ground as if he'd been burned."Ugh. What do you need that for? Are you experiencing womanly issues?"
"Seeing as how I'm a woman, yes."
"Bah! You could opt out." The Bear shot an intense glance at Bejouled. "Krupskaya never had.... womanly issues. She was a true Soviet, sturdy and strong!"
"And if she had a pair of worker's ovaries, I am sure that she experienced womanly issues. Be a man like Lenin and deal with it old man."
Bear arched his eyebrow. "Perhaps Communard should look you over..."
A piece of cereal fell from Bejouled's mouth. "I don't want a skin graft, nasal shunt, or unapproved injection. I highly doubt Communard could help me with a perfectly natural cycle."
"He is a good doctor, no?"
"No." Bejouled crossed her arms in agitation.
"Bah!" The Bear threw his arms in the air, "Keep these well-hidden, and we'll pretend this conversation never happened. I'm going to go finish the candy I found in the bathroom."
Bejouled winced. As Bear stumbled off, she made a mental note to hide her birth conrol pills somewhere else.