A Five Pound Aunt in a Ten Gallon Hat


Not so long ago, hotel inspector, Millie Noe, visited the newly opened Muzz on Inn, located in Wautoma, Wisconsin.
It came with lots of bells and whistles.
And received four and a half stars.
For anything it may have lacked there were signs to explain.

Dishwasher NEEDED
Bartender on Duty, TOMMOROW
NO Room Service.

At least the staff, as in, my Aunt Susie Le Q and my Uncle Muzzletoff, took the time to spell things out. They did not leave their guests guessing.

Checkout is NOON.
Late checkouts will be CHARGED.

When it came to the front desk.
There was not a sign of life in the office.
Therefore, I had to deduct that half a star.
I am not sure if that is why I was invited back.
Or if I was invited back because my aunt wasn't feeling the best on the first onslaught of all the Noe women.
Or if I was invited back because my sister Louisa was going to drive my mother.
And you know, if you invite one sister you have to invite both sisters.
And really.
You should invite all three sisters.
But Kiki lives in Atlanta. And she was busy receiving a shit ton of flowers from her son and going out for lunch for her birthday with her grandchildren.
Only an elite crew went back for a second visit.
Upon arrival it was clear that my relatives were seriously after that missing half a star.
They'd hired a new dishwasher.
I think it was either a Maytag or a Whirlpool.
Their dining area was under a fresh coat of paint.
You could walk through the garage.
Well, they had to clear it out on account of my uncle's brand-new-used Muztang.
Clearly my aunt and uncle were kissing ass.


There was even a guy sitting at the front desk when we went to check in.I about fell over.
But my uncle had our reservations all screwed up.
He had Louisa and I booked for the lobby.
We could either blow up a mattress or sleep, one on each couch.
It sucks being the youngest.
But we have not been accused of it lately.
So, we didn't make a big stink.
The same guy who messed up the reservations cut up sub sandwiches and brought out platters full to us women gathered in the dining area.
And then he drove five Miss Daisys, down da Doggers.
But not in his Muztang.
He said we wouldn't fit in there.
So we had to pile into the hotel shuttle van.
In case you have never been down da Doggers.
It is a bowling alley.
Years and years ago, as in billions, we all bowled there in a nine-pin tap tournament.
But in that century, it was called The Rec.
I learned the embarrassing way that it was Rec as in city. Not Wreck as in ship.
But they cashed my check anyway.
Today it is a Jamaican paradise, minus the sunburn, vendors and ganja.

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However, we did not bowl on this occasion.
We sat at the bar.
And then The Three Musketeers threw some of their money at a couple of those machines for entertainment only, while Louisa and I saved their spots.
We rang a deer bell wearing a cowboy hat on its antlers a few times, which rattled some of the Brewer fans watching the game.
The Brewers lost.
But it wasn't our fault.
Muzzeltoff loaded his women back into his shuttle and carted them home, where he served them pizza with a smile.
I almost asked the imposter, who looked just like my uncle, where in the hell Muzzy was, but I bit my tongue.
Because this guy's pizza was quite good.
While the fraud cleaned up the kitchen, we gals got into our PJ's.
He looked hopeful.
I think that he thought that we were getting sleepy.
My uncle said, "Goodnight girls," and wandered off to his fancy honeymoon suite.
Boy did he ever wish he would have shaved that quarter of an inch off the bottom of his door when they put in that new carpet, along about three AM.
Because he was mistaken.
We were not tired.
Things were ramping up out in the lobby, where Victoria had the floor and was reading aloud two of the funniest collections of short stories ever written.
Our elite group of fancy women howled with delight as we relived treasured moments of our pasts, depicted through the eyes, wit and voice of the author with the microphone.

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Nothing fit right. It was like trying to stuff ten pounds of potatoes into a five-pound sack. It was hotter than Hades. Then it got hotter than Halifax. Finally, it was hotter than Dutch Love. She wanted to cut her suspenders and go straight up! It was too crowded and too hot in that dressing room to remember, but we must have gotten something, because I never saw her attend a wedding in her birthday suit. Whoever got married was probably still wet behind the ears anyway.

That would have been my grandma Noe she was referring to and just a couple of her expressions.

Strangely, it seemed that on this visit there was always somebody at the front desk of the Muzz On Inn.

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It was a special night.
We laughed. We cried. We hugged.
And we laughed some more.
It is a memory that is already a permanent part of my heart.
Someday, when the five of us are not all walking about this world together.
Or ringing that deer bell together.
Or howling at the moon together.

We will still all be together.

As far as Millie Noe, hotel inspector is concerned, The Muzz On Inn is officially a five star establishment.
A little slice of paradise.

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