“Dad,” Timmy said, “why do we need shampoo for a stop-the-rain dance?”

Milton looked at his son. “When do we always run out of hot water during your showers?” (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include Prom Night and The Genius Office. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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Note: These characters appeared before in The Science Fair and The Rain Dance.

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“Now don’t be so negative, dear,” Rhonda said. “Your rain dance worked, didn’t it?”

“We did that a year ago,” Milton replied. “Well, 364 days, to be exact.”

Her beloved husband was, if anything, exact, Rhonda thought. And if the rain dance had worked, it had surely taken its time yielding results. Milton’s projection of 2.38 salad servings per dinner for last fall been almost exact, by his reckoning. By her reckoning, she had served “slightly smaller” salads.

When Rhonda mentioned that, Milton had calculated that each serving was 80.667% of the previous year’s presentation. And when she noted that she had added canned black olives to the mix, he had recalculated the caloric content while reaching for the blue cheese dressing, requiring yet another recalculation, as he’d preferred ranch dressing the year before.

“At least we’re not having another drought,” Rhonda offered hopefully.

“That’s true,” Milton said. “We’re already three-point-one-six inches above our normal rainfall for this season. The spinach told the turnips to build an ark.”

“Really?” Timmy asked as he piled towels with the shampoo in the laundry basket of stop-the-rain dance supplies. “Or did dad actually make a joke?”

“I think it was a joke, sweetie,” Rhonda said. “Put my saucepan and wooden spoon on top of the towels. And put the shampoo in a plastic baggie, in case the bottle leaks.”

Milton checked the laundry basket against his list, checking off items with precise marks in red ink. “You forgot the Jell-O.”

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Have fun!