I Turned on the TV & 45th in the Amanda Saga: MANDY, MANDY

Good Morning Ted and Jody:

I made the mistake of turning on the television set (or maybe Nancy did) yesterday evening.  The set was tuned to CNN. Anderson Cooper was on. The issue, with a panel, seemed to be how many people attended the inaugural and was it the most ever as the President and his Press Secretary alleged or a bit smaller as the media depicted?  Well, I figured out that Mr. Anderson did not get my note to him or, if he did he ignored it.  So, both the media and the President (whom I shall resume calling a pestilence with good reason now) spent the day feuding over how many people were at the inaugural.  I watched a few people twist and turn what was said and come up with basically, “no, I’m right” versus, “no you are not right, I am.”    As I recall there are some other questions out there that need to be addressed.  Do you suppose this is all a smoke screen to distract us from the Executive Order signed Friday telling the Federal Government that they should not impose any costs by conforming to Obama Care (that was the interpretation given in the news feed I read after the signing on Yahoo).  Oh, by the way, what in the hell does that mean?  Or does it mean we are going to have “Na, na, na, na, na”  government from now on?  Just think, I got all of that in about four minutes watching.  Then I left the room for more reasonable pursuits—any other pursuit would be more reasonable.

I did catch a few reports on all the demonstrations across the country. While I am sympathetic, I wonder where these folks were when the need for people getting out and voting was up front. Where will they be in 2018? 2020?  It seems clear to me that all the Members of Congress, both houses, need to be replaced.  It will take six years for the Senate, so we had best start now.  All need to go, even the ones that are reasonable and make sense (if you can find two that do that).

Quite frankly, I am not Trump bashing here.  I wish him well.  I would actually like him to behave, but then he never has.  In the meantime, I pray for the rest of us.

Stay warm, healthy, happy and not disgruntled like me.  Fortunately, I get a massage this morning.  I am sure Juli will “un-disgruntle” me by pounding on me—ah, nothing like a good beating to improve morale.

Warmest regards, Ed

PS, I have attached the next episode of the Amanda Saga.  By the way, do you know what the plural of Amanda or Mandy is?  The spell checker does not like it when I just append an ‘s’.



Fiction in 1071 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017


When Mrs. Clarkton arrived at the precinct, she found Mrs. Gunderson, a policeman with sergeant strips, a uniformed patrolman and a child who looked like Many sitting on the floor around a partial deck of cards.


“Sergeant, give me a four.”  Said Mrs. Gunderson.


The Sergeant pulled a card from his hand and handed it to Mrs. Gunderson who placed it in her hand. 


“Mandy, give me a seven.”  Said Mrs. Gunderson.


Mandy giggled, had a smirk on her face, shook her head no and said, “Go fish.”


Mrs. Gunderson drew a card from the pile in the middle of them and placed it in her hand and turned to Patrolman next to her and said, “Patrolman Masterson, it is your turn.”


Patrolman Mason said, “Ms. Gunderson give me a seven.”


Mancy was gleeful at the request and said, “She has one, she has one, she has one.”


Ms. Gunderson looked woeful and pulled the seven out of her hand and handed it to Patrolman Mason.  All the while Mandy could barely contain herself “See, see, see I told you.”


The officer with the sergeant stripes on his sleeve asked Mandy with the most serious look on his face. “How did you ever know that she had one?”


Mandy’s expression turned to serious teacher in a flash and she squarred her shoulders and said, “Caus she has one or she can’t ask.  That’s the way you know.”


The Sergeant nodded his head slowly and said, “Yes, I think I understand, you read her mind.”


Mandy sighed, and said, “No, silly, I not read minds, she asked.  She had to have one. See.”


“OK” the Sergeant said, “She asked you for a seven so he knows she has one.”


Mandy’s eyebrows raised and her head nodded and she had a serious but happy look on her face. “Yes, you know too.”  Pleased with herself for a teaching job well done she looked around with the look on one who knows and has successfully taught others.  In looking around she spied Mrs. Clarkton and squealed and yelled at the same time.  “Mommy.” she jumped up, spilling her cards and ran to Mrs. Clarkton’s arms.


Mrs. Clarkton turned to the sergeant. Who was struggling to gracefully get off the floor, “Weren’t you here Christmas Eve?”


The Desk Sergeant smiled and said, “Yes, Mrs. Clarkton, I was indeed,” He pointed to Mandy, “She must be a handful.  I remember she wore the same red outfit on Christmas Eve.”


“Calling her a handful is not quite strong enough.  It is more like she is a they which makes her doubly a handful.  Whatever made you think to teach her Go Fish?”  Asked Mrs. Clarkton as she pulled out her wallet and extracted her drivers license and handed it to the Sergeant.


“Not, I. That was Ms. Gunderson’s doing.  She had the cards in her purse.”  He looked conspiratorially around and said in a low voice.  “I suspect if the child were older and had any money it would have been five card draw and the child, Patrolman Mason and I would have ended up all the poorer for the lesson.”  He noted her information on a form on the desk in front of him and handed back her id.


Edith Gunderson smiled broadly.  “A deck of cards is good for a game or card tricks to distract frightened or disoriented children and put them at ease.  But, if the sergeant thinks he and and Patrolman Mason could stand to help fund my retirement we can do five card draw, stud or whatever his game is.” She then winked at the Sergeant who spread his hands in a sign of surrender.


Then the Sergeant looked at Ms. Gunderson and asked directly.  “You are sure it is safe to release Mandy to Mrs. Clarkton.  After all this is the second time in about a month.”


“Sergeant, I have been doing this for close to 25 years.  While in the vast majority of cases, things are what they seem.  I assure you in this case, things are not what they seem.  If I fully explained the circumstances I do believe you would lock me up for psychiatric evaluation. But, trust me on this, Mandy is in the best hands for her when she is with Mrs. Clarkton.  I will, to reassure you, go along home with them.”  She paused.  “er, just to be sure.”


Turning to Mrs. Clarkton “OK, you can go.  But, I hope we don’t see you back her soon.”


Mandy had a concerned look on her face.  It developed into a frown.  “But, can I come back and play Go Fish again.”


The Sergeant softened “Of course you can come back any time you want.”  The Sergeant made a mental note to get a desk of cards and bring it to work tomorrow.


Mrs. Clarkton, Edith Gunderson and Mandy

stood on the porch at 1246 Brentwood.  Mrs. Clarkton said “this could be interesting.”  She opened the door.


A little girl, Mandy, dressed in pajamas came running to the door but stopped cold when she saw the little girl dressed in red with her Mommy.  The Mandy dressed in pajamas pointed at the Mandy dressed in red and said “You are Mandy.”


The Mandy dressed in red had a frown on her face and asked “Are you Mandy too?”


“Yes, yes, I am Mandy Two.” Said Mandy holding up two fingers.  “You be Mandy One.  OK?” Said the Mandy dressed in pajamas holding up one finger.


Both girls laughed and hugged each other.  The Mandy One, the one dressed in red, turned to Ms. Gunderson. “Let’s teach Mandy Two Go Fish.”


Mrs. Clarkton looked down at the expectant faces of two Mandys and said, “First we need to get you, Number One, into pajamas.”


The Mandy One turned and for the first time saw Brice Clarkton.  Mrs. Clarkton leaned down and said “Mandy One, I want you to meet your daddy.”


Mandy One put her hand to her mouth, her eyes got big and she started jumping up and down.  “I have a daddy; I have a daddy.”  Then she ran to Brice and jumped in his arms.


Mandy Two looked on and smiled.  “Daddies are good.”


Edith Gunderson said, under her breath.  “That worked out better than I expected.”  Then out loud, “Perhaps we will teach her Go Fish another time.  Night all.”  And she left.