After eighty-two plus weeks of not one single winner, it was obvious the BS Club shake of the day was cursed.
Of course, we had tried everything back when there was still hope.
We bought new dice. We went back to the old dice. Then we tried a mixture. Different people shook for the number. We blew on them. We shook them hard. We shook them soft. We rattled them over our heads and between our legs. We rolled them out smoothly on the counter. We slammed them down hard on top of the stove. We cheered. We chanted. We screamed. We laughed. We watched in silence.
And then we cried.
The cursed pot of gold was too much to handle. Our brinks guy was ready to retire. We could not afford to hire another armed guard.
We did what any well-meaning group of girlfriends who get together every Wednesday do when times are tough. We went straight to Ishnala Supper club in the Dells and listened to Frank Sinatra serenade us up the sidewalk and into the door, where we gave our name and were handed a buzzer.
The weather could have been better.
And it would have been nice had we been able to hang out on the beach.
But the Brandy Old Fashion sweets, sours and presses dulled our pain.
How did we get here?
Jasmine drove us.
"What's that Louisa?"
My sister meant how did we get here?
It all began twenty-five or so years ago when my six-year-old niece Bridgette-Luanne took up ballet.
Louisa drove her daughter to a fine dance studio in Madison for lessons. It would be hours before her husband would be home from work. So, our mother, Genvieve, went to Louisa's house to babysit the two boys during the void of parents. And I, the good-daughter-slash-sister-slash-aunt would stop in to help Le Mere on my way home from work.
It is true that wine was poured once we had any homework completed and supper was dished out. Or it might have been as soon as I walked in the door.
After five or so years of our Wednesday Babysitter Club gig, Bridgette-Luanne decided that she would rather take dance classes right in town with her friends on Saturday mornings.
How very thoughtless of her.
Anyway, Genvieve still drove her car over to Louisa's house every Wednesday afternoon. And I continued to drop in.
Sometimes a friend would see our cars and pull into Louisa's driveway.
And then one day Louisa said, "We are not setting a very good example for my children or your grandchildren," she looked at me, "or your niece and nephews."
So, we met at K.D.'s instead.
There we would hand over our dollar bills to Fitz and he would hand us over the shake of the day.
After a year or so Louisa and I began to drive to our parents' new condo for our BS Club meetings.
We continued to shake dice there since they had a jar of money and dice in a shaker in their cabinet, handy for any holiday get together and or if anyone stopped in.
In other words, you always put a dollar in your pocket if you were going to the condo.
And then one day, our world was completely devastated.
It was after the sudden passing of my father that the original three BS Club girls began to grow in solidarity and in numbers.
Soon there were four of us. And then five and then eight. At its peak there would be ten of us gathered at my mother's condo on those late Wednesday afternoons, rain, sleet or snow.
Time never stands still.
Eleven years after the passing of my father, Le Mere went to join him.
Today, four years later still, the spirit of Genvieve, who so loved her BS girls, and her BS girls so loved her, is with us, always. Every Wednesday.
And her shake of the day is with us too.
We blew the whole wad at Ishnala.
Can BS Club really survive without its dice?
Will a new shake be reinstated?
Only time will tell.
And it does not stop.