|by Brent Mundt
|Queen-E-Ology 102The Art of the Bitch Slap
Mame: "Exactly how old are you, Vera?"" Vera: "How old do you think?" Mame: "Oh, I'd say somewhere between forty and...death." Together: "But sw e-e-e-e-e-tie. We'll always be bosom buddies..."
Mame had Vera. I've got Bobby. And there's simply no better Vera to my Mame than he. But first let's review: Queen-E-Ology 101 taught you young-uns to keep records of your Rehoboth beach houses and the various housemates, since once it all shakes out and you separate "the wheat from the chaps," your best friends will suddenly appear before your very eyes.
You will live your fifth decade around the men who mean the most to you. And among all this love and companionship, you have to have a sister with whom you can banter, belly laughand most importantly bitch slap.
Herewith, Queen-E-Ology 102: It's important to note at the outset that good bitch slaps come from your nearest and dearest of sisters. This is not a Joan Crawford Bette Davis thing, which was a hate-hate relationship from the get-go. Vera and Mame personify love-hate on a silver plate.
So the saga of Bobby and Brent began whenthis is important, cause I swear he started itI arrived at the bottom of the landing for cocktails one fourth of July wearing what I thought was a pretty fetching ensemble, and he looked up and said, "Oh, honey that's a cute outfit. Did you make it yourself?" Reeling from those words that scalded, I could hardly catch my breath, and worse, I heard gales of laughter from all of my sisters assembled on the porch. It was too late to change (or sew another outfit) and so I just bided my time and we arrived at Eden for our dinner reservation and I waited until it was quiet and said, "Bobby, that's a great shirt. Didn't it come in your size?" Tit for tat among bosom buddies was launched.
This began a series of practical jokes, mostly involving him putting saran wrap on my toilet seat. So I got to thinking that we had to take it up a notch. Like any good practical joke you have to wait for the right time to pounce.
Bobby is the most talented of our bunchartistic, fashionable, classy, funny and cute. Ergo, he must be destroyed. So since he's the arbiter of taste and refinement, you can imagine my glee to be looking at photos one Saturday and finding one from the week prior where he is in the background walking away from the camera, andhow do I say this delicately...is caught removing a "wedgie" from his posterior.
Face it, a wedgie can happen to the Queen of England and I'm sure she also needs to remove it from whence it is lodged...but she was never so unfortunate as to be caught doing so on camera.
I had hit the MotoPhoto jackpot! The next morning I was at Atlantic Photo waiting at the curb when David opened up. "OK, so I need this area of the picturesee in the backgroundenlarged into three 9x12 color prints ASAP!" He looked at the image of where I wanted him to zoom in and said, "You are one evil bitch." (Thanks, David! See you in an hour.) The enlargements were framed and strategically placed in his bedroom and on the mantle in "the main house" within an hour.
He didn't say a word. The silent treatment was eerie. I later learned that he'd gone out on the highway to the Cracker Barrel and filled out a job application in my name so I'd get a rejection letter from the Cracker Barrel. (At the time, I was "between jobs" and having a rough go of it.) So in Wimbledon parlance, it was deuce.
Advantage Mundt came when we all boarded a Norwegian cruise ship to celebrate our 50th birthdays together (his was MONTHS before mine, but we aggregated the dates and 10 of us vacated our RB compound and went on a cruise ship)
So I'm sitting in the spa one day having my body fat tested and the nice little Norwegian technician in her starched white lab coat is just as friendly as can be and I say to her, "You know, my friend Bobby is your next appointment and I'll tip you $10 if you'll add five points to his body fat reading."
Not missing a beat, she replies, "Oh, honey, for $10, I'll double it!" So laughing like schoolgirls, we plot that she's going to tell him that it's alarmingly high and she needs to go find the ship's doctor cause she's never seen it this elevated. So, I go off to sit in the steam room, which is an appropriate symbol for his reaction down the hall. For some reason...I can't imagine why...he didn't find it nearly as funny as I did.
He was freaking out while she was gone and if he'd had his wits about him would have faked a heart attack so it would boomerang. When the ten of us congregated that night for dinner I got the silent treatment and this time a searing glare that could melt Dick Cheney.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets The Love Boat. But, Bobby knows that just as Claree told Ouizer in Steel Magnolias, I love him more than my luggage.My tired old, oversized, weather-beaten luggage.
Brent Mundt makes a living in Washington and a life in Rehoboth Beach.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 08 June 27, 2008