The Adventures of Betttie | mediaplayer


Mum’s The Word

Bettie’s Akron clan gather once more for a big family event – only this time it’s all over to the Isle of Man for the funeral of her dearly departed third husband.

The day of Big Frank’s funeral was a mess. Monsoon weather. Caterer’s ferry sunk without trace. Less hotel space than Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Unable to cope with any more family-related stress this side of the next millennium, I dodged the entire fiasco and went shopping with Mother. Luckily, she’d flown in that morning and was the only other person on the entire planet who understood that I needed to pick up a few essentials. Because, according to ma mère: “Anyone who tells you a new pair of shoes won’t change your life, say, ‘Go tell that to Cinderella’.”

Definitely the worst part of that afternoon’s interminable internment was when Mona and I shuffled up to the open casket. When we peered into the silk-lined interior, I found that Baz and Lionel’s promise to tart up the ol’ sonofabitch was certainly not idle.
“Who’s that?” asked my confused ex-maid, as she gazed at the pancake-faced corpse.
“It’s Big Frank!”
“Well… I hope when he gets to the Pearly Gates, St. Peter still recognizes him.”

Curtain down and cremation fires burning, I fled the crowd of invited Manx dignitaries, Hubby #3’s mafioso kith and kin, casino bigwigs and herds of paparazzi C-listers, sidestepped all three members of the Isle Of Man’s ‘Save the Whalebone Corset’ Action Group, and found myself alone in the candle-lit emptiness of the organist’s anteroom. Or so I first thought. Because when my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I saw three shadows over by the altar. And it sounded as if they were all having a heated hushed debate.

Mother: “How could you tell Bettie I was dead?”
USS Invincible: “Well, would you have preferred I’d told her the truth?”
Mother: “What, that you were a militant transvestite German bisexual assassin trapped in the USA – and in the wrong body – without hope of rescue, who was forced to declare oneself insane to avoid capture?”
USS Invincible: “Well, I guess when you put it like that…”
Dinkelïcker: “The international case is closed. That’s why I’m here to extract you both back to the Vaterland.”
USS Invincible: “Yes, we’re going on a World Tour!”
Mother: “Now, I know you’re crazy. No, I’m gonna stay with my daughters.”
USS Invincible: “Bettie and Muffy? Suit yourself.”
Mother: “Just one more thing before you go: how did you escape that high-security hospital?”
USS Invincible: “Well, who d’ya think smuggled those flesh-eating bugs into that Lake Erie nuthouse?”

Well hey, diary, fait accompli, anyone? You see, unfortunately for him, clever ol’ ma mère had her finger on the public address button. And Interpol on speed dial.

Admittedly, the attendance of the CIA, UN Police and New Scotland Yard at the wake buffet got a few odd looks, but ultimately the tequila slammers proved far, far thicker than water. Still, I don’t know what was worse: finding out my father was an international terrorist or that Muffy was my actual sister. So, with father and Dinkelïcker’s arrests over, that left just one thing on my last Jerinda-inspired to-do list. After losing my husband to the Irish Sea, next was my liver to the vicar’s single malt whiskey.

“In my humble opinion, Bettie,” said Father ‘The Octopus’ O’Leary at the end of the evening, while attempting to comfort me with both hands. “I just don’t think you’re gonna find another man like your late husband.”

Buster, who the hell’s gonna look?

Deader Than Deadski

After her recent shock that Big Frank was seriously thinking of relocating to the Middle East, beleaguered Bettie discovers that her third husband has one last surprise to spring on her.

Though I may have a fine woman’s portal and world class back-end support, I now no longer have a husband. Big Frank has cashed in his chips. Hung up his tackle. Jumped the last hurdle and fired his last shot. Yep, my beloved Hubby #3 has gone to that big roulette wheel in the sky. 

The official report? He was found floating off the island’s east coast after suffering a – qu’elle surpise! – heart attack. What didn’t make the Isle of Man Examiner was that his total ticker failure was brought on by dancing the horizontal kalinka with the wife of a local Russian Mafia boss. Well, doesn’t that prove it’s always the quiet ones…

It’s fair to say, diary, that this came as quite a shock, as I had a pretty full day planned – and Baz and Lionel don’t like customers who cancel. And trust Hubby #3 to get himself bumped off on Two-For-One Tuesdays. Luckily, before heading off to identify the body, I did have time to swing by Ballasalla for a tidy up and found that, in a special today-only promotion, they were doing twenty percent off for Brazilians.

“Isn’t that racist?” I asked the gum-chewing girl behind the marble counter.
“Nah, it’s off the treatment, not the people…”

Which cleared things up, but surely, diary, I would have thought a Brazilian was ninety percent off. Still…

It’s no surprise that the Douglas morgue is not a classy establishment, and certainly did nothing to jazz up a dull afternoon. But, I must say after they pumped twelve gallons of Irish Sea water out his lungs and chiselled the cement from off his ankles, my bloated beloved looked fairly good considering. Unfortunately, his demise was the least of my worries, as he may have finally paid his debt to nature, but all his other debts have fallen to little ol’ me. All nine, three-inch stacks of them.

After two days drinking the foulest machine-dispensed cappuccino the world has ever imagined with Hubby #3’s even fouler accountant, all I can say is it’s just as well Frank Tortano Culatello Passalacqua is now resting in the St Peter’s bosom, otherwise I’d be finishing him off with my own bare hands. The basic upshot is that, the website for women with more waistline inches than birthday candles, my jobs moonlighting as Miss No-Hope and Mystic Tracy – all this, it transpires, is worth jack shit. 
When I finally saw the bottom line, at first I thought I was reading the gross annual bill for JLo’s dress allowance, but no, the long red number was actually our negative assets. 

I got home in a state of shock, and had just finished checking down the back of the last sofa, when Eleanor Roosevelt entered the room being pushed by Dr. Dinkelïcker.

“Bettie,” the USS Invincible announced. “My therapist needs a few words.”
“Well, unless it’s ‘Come On Down!’ make it quick.”
“In my professional opinion,” Dinkelïcker started, “your stepmother–”
“Father,” I corrected.
“Your father requires further treatment.”
“Surprise me.”
He needs to go on a Goodwill World Tour to garner support for her–”
His UN Human Rights Bill.”
“With you and your wife as chaperones, no doubt.”
“Fine. But it’ll have to wait until after the funeral.”
“Funeral?” they both said.

So, only a week after my fruitcake family’s gathering for Bunnie and Warren’s wedding, who knew they’d be reuniting again so soon. And this time the busload of Mohammeds would be schlepping to our very own sacred mountain: the fabled Isle of Man…

Better The Devil You Know

Repentant Bettie cries, “Oh, Ambassador!” as she whips out the posh chocolates to celebrate her new love affair with all things Manx

Call me old fashioned, but I never imagined I’d share anything with Salman Rushdie, but after the Palestinian Council got wind of certain aspects of our 39-4-Ever scouting tour, the resulting fatwā was a mere formality. Of course, Big Frank had changed his mind about relocating way before then, as we weren’t an hour out from the Mount of Olives Bed and Baba Ghanoush when even my penny-pinching Hubby #3 had seen enough.

“Bettie,” he announced over the sounds of machine gun fire at our third roadblock. “We have to get out of here.”
“No problem,” I replied from beneath my ebony shroud, and in full view of a sizable crowd gathered for the daily stoning, I exposed myself. Yep, diary, both elbows.

Flights from Jerusalem to the UK are not what you would call frequent (or even necessary), but thanks to Air Hallelujah, I was back in strapless and stilettos, puffing away on 20 Marlboros and slinging back the Floridita daiquiris in less than an entire day. Still, it wasn’t all for nothing. Under that coal-black burkha, I sweated off close to fourteen pounds.

After the big mess that was the Holy Land, our arrival back at the Douglas dock front was – dare I admit it – a welcome relief. And so started my renaissance with the much maligned Isle of Man, because, after Palestine, this ancient seat of democracy and tailless cats seemed like The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. To Big Frank’s rapture and delight, we found that in our absence the government had hired a gambling ambassador to make things lovely again for us gaming operators. Never the one to miss a chance for some world-class schmoozing, I was soon busy planning an All-You-Can-Eat Prawn Ring and Hankie-Pankies welcome wagon for the island’s bigwigs.

The final evening’s festivities were rewardingly well-received, but I have to admit I hardly knew a soul.

“So, who are you?” I asked a particularly scruffy individual.
“I’m acting PM,” the man said.
“Oh, sorry,” I replied, “I don’t do theatre,” and headed off to hurry along the Ferrero Rocher pyramids.

On my way I passed Big Frank, and commented on how well the party was going.
“Yeah, it’s great,” he said between mouthfuls, “but we’ll still need to make a few more cutbacks.”
“Like what?”
“You have to fire your success coach.”
“Well, it’s not like you’re having much success, are you?”

Sheesh kebab, diary, it was hard to argue with that…

Still, when I finally phoned and broke the bad news to Jerinda, she seemed fairly non-plussed.
“Oh, that’s quite all right. I’m going to be far too busy…”
“Why, yes. I’ve just signed up to exclusively promote Mona’s first collection.”
“Take a look in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar,” she suggested.

I had it right there.

Whipping through page-after-page of Beyoncé Eau de Hot Butt double-page spreads, I saw something that froze my blood. Splashed across the center pages was a photograph of what I first thought was a dried-up river bed, yet turned out to be a close-up of my maid’s wrinkled face endorsing a variety of hairy hats and handbags. And beneath was a single byline:

‘Because nothing says ‘I Love You’ like a clutch purse woven from her own pubes.’


After recent shocking revelations, Bettie’s mixed-up mind has no chance to settle before she finds her next mission is to put the fun into fundamentalism.

Look, I’m not gonna get all mushy. Mother’s back and turns out she’s cooler  than Steve McQueen in a Mustang convertible. The USS Invincible’s just as crazy. We’re just as broke. So what’s next? The Mamas and Papas ride off into the sunset for a lurid lesbian affair?

For the record, mother’s summation of the last thirty-plus missing years is that upon discovering my father’s high heel and hemline hijinks, she tried to top herself, then when that failed fled in shame. Father continued to be stuck in his sexual revolving doors for a few years – hence, ta-da! Muffy – but ultimately settled on what mother’s calling “genital verification surgery”. And, hey, how was this particular 2nd Grader to know that the woman she saw leaving the house most weekends was in fact daddy slipping in and out of frocks. Or indeed that my real mother hadn’t “flown up to join the angels”, but instead was sucked into this weird mind-controlling cult, was shut away without contact to the outside world, and bound by a moral code that, frankly beggars belief. I mean, poverty, chastity and obedience? So, yep, mother in absentia turned Mother Superior. I mean, could this story get any stranger?

Yet this does mean nobody was killed by anyone, which, though comforting, does also kinda feel like I’m being somehow short-changed in the drama department. But after mother’s personal life history 101, it still leaves one big burning question: Just how crazy is my stepmother? Father. Whatever.

OK, so to put the final nail in the Bunnie/Warren wedding coffin, let’s finish with a few bon mots from the airport limo:

Big Frank: “Oh, wasn’t Bunnie’s wedding like a religious experience?”
Muffy: “I’m bulimic because you left us!”
Dinkelïcker: “Interesting…”
Jerinda: “Right, after the I-dos, it’s back to the to-dos!”
Mona: “I hate America. It gets on me nerves.”
Me: “Om Mani Padme Om… Om Mani Padme Om…”

Back at Akron International while Mona, Jerinda, stepmother – sorry – father – sorry – second mother, his – sorry – her psychiatrist and his –yeah, his – wife all went left, we went right and boarded a plane with weird squiggles graffitied all over it.
“Guff Air?” I said, looking at my ticket. “That doesn’t sound like it’s going to England.”
“It isn’t,” Big Frank replied. “It’s going to Palestine.”

Diary, I wasn’t sure if it was time for his medication or mine.

Turns out that, since our finances were lower than a well digger’s ass, Big Frank Googled ‘cheapest server space on the planet’, top of the list was this Palestinian refugee camp just outside the capital Ramallah. Apparently, it’s got all kinds of perks – weak gaming laws, automatic shielding from legal liability, being twinned with Chernobyl – but no mention of the fact that me and yashmaks aren’t exactly best buddies.

Apparently, Hubby #3 thought I’d be pleased as, with all that sand and burning buildings, at least it’ll be a damn sight warmer than the Isle of Man in the winter. Of course, he could have picked any number of other sunny gaming jurisdictions; Antigua, Malta, Vanuatu, Curaçao… in fact, anywhere else in the fricking world. Boy, and he wonders why whenever he boards a plane, I get the weirdest urge to run down the aisle screaming: “Pigs can fly!” 

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” he explained, showing me a printed letter of introduction. “It’s just a quick scouting trip…”
“I await you with my pleasure,” the email finished. Great.

We finally met up with our guide – Mahmoud – at the terminal, which wasn’t easy as everyone looked as if they were off to an audition as Osama Bin Laden’s body double. Personally, standing around in wide-brimmed hat and Versace halter dress, I was petrified of being stoned to death as a barbarous infidel for showing my shoulders. I shouldn’t have worried. Because that’s when our beaming Muslim Tonto handed me my burka…

Taking The Cake

Post-wedding comedown, Bettie checks out of her horror hostel and immediately checks into a whole new mess of family trials and troubles.

Well, that does it, diary. It’s too much. Life finally ditched its usual hand of five low numbers in three different suits and just went for all Jokers. As everyone knows, family reunions bring out the worst in me at the best of times, without having to deal with one’s dearly departed crashing the party. Deceased mothers do not just turn up. Apart from the technical issues involved, it’s also bad form.

Woke with a hangover and swore never to drink Bellini chasers again. The horrors of yesterday at first seemed like an alcoholic’s nightmare and it was quite a shock to find out it wasn’t.

After everything that happened at the wedding, all the fake flowers, fake bonhomie and, er… fakirs in the after-party Arabian Nights-themed disco marquee, my head felt like a snowglobe shaken madly by a hyperactive child. I wanted to just lie in a darkened cellar for… oh, about a week or so, but, regrettably, that had to wait as I had somehow, beyond stupidly, booked a breakfast power session with my success coach.

I found the bright and breezy Brit bitch already looking fabulous in the velvet Love Lounge that doubles for the Happy-Happy Joy-Joy’s chowhouse.

“Let’s kick off with a quick Q&A!” Jerinda began immediately.
“Can you turn down the perky a notch. I’m­–”
“Oh, you big baby. Of course, I only allow myself three hours sleep every night. That way–”
“Perhaps a touch more.”
“OK. Let’s go… Open question. Quickfire: How’s your holiday?”

Diary, I must’ve talked for twenty minutes after that. All about being stuck in this god-awful hostel where the knife rack in the kitchen is always empty and the only other guest signed his name as Jason A. Loonie. About herding the 39-4-Ever entourage first to the Caribbean then all the way across the Southern States on a Greyhound. About the crazy fairy tale wedding where the beautiful and alluring princess (me), who was abandoned as a child and brought up by an evil stepmother is reunited with her dead mother in the third act. And, hey, just who poisoned ma mère if the USS Invincible didn’t. Or didn’t poison her as she was most definitely alive last I saw as I ran screaming into the hills.

“What happened? Where has she been? She was dead!”
“I think I can sense a splash of negativity here.”
“Perhaps you should go and speak with her?” Jerinda suggested.

So that, diary, is what I just went and did.

“What happened? Where have you been? You were dead!”
“It was your father’s decision that drove me to it,” Mama began.
“Drove you to what?”
“My suicide attempt.”
“So you weren’t murdered in cold… er, herbal infusion?”
“Ut-uh. Nothing like that. Who would want to murder me?”
So I spelled out my stepmother conspiracy theory and how the USS Invincible had the perfect motive to bump everyone off.  Still, if I thought those revelations were shocking, she’d saved the best bombshell for last.
“Bettie,” she said, far too calmly. “Your stepmother is your father.”

Altar Egos

A less-than-celebratory Bettie joins half the population of Akron, Ohio as they gather for the outrageously excessive wedding of her stepsister’s daughter.

Today’s weather: Sunny with a chance of suicide.

As the lovely Baz from Ballasalla’s haunted hairdressers once said, “One’s path through life is never as straight as you first imagine.” And right now, after the happy couple have risen into the blood-orange Akron skies in the only inflatable structure that’s bigger than they are, I can totally see his point. Who would have thought that after packing my bags to escape the only place in the US that has more Goodyears than a perky Pollyanna, I’d be back here in full-on festive flag-waving for the marriage of this – and, if my stepsister’s wedding planner had her way, any – millennium. 

Now, don’t expect me to dwell on each and every excruciatingly tasteless and ludicrously expensive detail, diary, as I have every intention that one day in my dotage I’ll re-read these pages, and have no wish to experience the event a second time. Suffice to say that unsurprisingly each and every single member of my family wanted their fifteen minutes of fame, but had overlooked the fact that today had twenty-four hours in it like all the rest of ’em. So let’s just hit the highlights.

Hmm… the best way to describe everything that happened from dawn hair and makeup to squeezing Bunnie through the double doors of the chapel in three words? Frock and Rolls.

Next came the all-inclusive Catholic service, a ceremony so lengthy that  several of the elder members of the clan were resuscitated by medics before the Hail Mary firework finalé. Special mention goes to the Feckswithins, who set a world wedding first with their mid-sermon Bible reading of the Whore of Babylon passage from the Book of Revelation.

“Come ye and I will show you the judgment of the great mother of harlots with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication…”


Then, it was all off in an armada of horse and carts to the reception at Muffy and Theodore’s palatial wilderness lodge, which was, I think you’ll find, best described by Better Homes And Gardens’ fifteen-page article, ‘Zillionaire Mansions That Cost More Than You’ll Make In A Lifetime’ as ‘the Taj Mahal of Cuyahoga Valley’.

Sheesh, it’s no coincidence Akron’s the meth capital of America, I can tell you. Seven hours of this, and I was about ready to slam needles into both armpits.

Arriving at the three-story balloon-tunnel entrance, I next had to guide my entourage through the double dangers of the meet-and-greet – “My word, Teddy! You’re alive!” – and the tossing of the bride’s bouquet – “Aw, butter-fingers!” – we – finally! – got to a bar.

“Oh, aren’t they a wonderful couple?” gushed Muffy in full mascara waterfall.
“Of what?” I replied.
“How’s mother?” she countered, changing the subject for far thinner ice.
“The phrase that springs to mind is ‘bag for life’.
“How about your accommodation?”

Though to be honest, it’s anything but. Obviously with a circus troupe of twenty-eight, I told Hubby #3 to find somewhere cheap, but only Big Frank would consider the Akron Happy-Happy Joy-Joy Hostel. So now we’re vacationing in a dormitory-style shack where the all-Asian staff don’t know the word ‘Coca-Cola’ but can say ‘You like massage rub-rub” in twenty-seven languages.

The wedding breakfast – a stupid term as it was now frickin’ dusk – was another disaster as I got seated next to my incontinent aunt, Pissie Chrissie, who’s never survived a meal without voiding her bladder, and her two ravished daughters. If you think I meant to write ‘ravishing’ there, I’ll take it you’ve never met them. There are actually three in total, but the youngest’s so ugly she has to eat in her room with a sack on her head. And people wonder why the stork has never paid a visit to my personal gooseberry bush...

For my sins, I just tried to keep my head down and focus on my Crêpe Suzette, rather than thoughts of the honeymoon and how it’s gonna redefine forever the term ‘bumping uglies’. And I was doing well until I noticed a group of Muffy’s golfing friends pawing over Mona’s handwoven sacks of sugar-coated almonds.

“Are they recycled?”
“Well…” started Mona.
“Considering they’re knitted from crotch hair gathered from used Brazillian wax strips,” I interjected, “I think the term you’re searching for is pre-loved.”

The resulting mass-panic bitch stampede was, I thought, easily going to win the Biggest Shock of the Evening Award, but I’ve been wrong before. And it turned out tonight was no exception. In the run-up to this travesty of taste, I was worried half to death that my Missing-Presumed-Dead daddy would show up. I shouldn’t have wasted my time. Because, just around then was when my actually dead mother walked in…

Tour De Farce

Bettie and her entourage get off to a less than flying start as they head to the Dominican Republic for the first leg of their whirlwind trip

Y’know, diary, after sitting on another plane for untold hours waiting to get airborne, terrorism is definitely on my list of things to do today. But – always look on the bright side – I’m not suffering here alone. That’s because the final herd of friends, family, servants, hangers-on and loonies includes myself, Big Frank, my stepmother, the USS Invincible, her live-in therapist, Dr. Helmut Dinkelïcker, his insufferable wife, Helga, my maid, Mona, my success coach, Jerinda Rawls Kingston-Royce, and 39-4-Ever’s entire customer support team – who are owed so much cold hard cash, the plan is to lure them into the woods later on and leave them there.

Not really sure about this morning’s holdup, but after listening to Big Frank achieve his Ph.D. in Being A Complete And Utter Nuisance as he taps, sings along to Air Las Américas welcome music, sniffs, snorts, blows air from one nostril while holding down the other, stamps his feet, shuffles, whacks down his seat into the laps of the passengers behind him, pokes the people up front through their seat backs, coughs, sneezes and a whole catalogue of other annoying habits, I’m about ready to hijack the plane and fly it myself.

Then, as we finally taxi down the runway, some hag in 25C decides it’s time in her life for a series of violent spasms and drops dead. So, it’s all back to the departure lounge…

No, wait. She’s alive! They’ve found a slight pulse… It’s her digital watch… No, it’s a pulse! The paramedics have arrived and are trying to bring her around… Ah, Dinkelïcker’s announced he’s a doctor… He’s scrubbing up. They’ve started open heart surgery… It’s an international incident… They think they’ll be able to save one of her legs… She’s down! She’s up! Now, she’s down… They’re carrying her out on a slab… The crew are all holding a candlelight vigil. The captain’s crying. It’s very moving. And now that the police, ambulance and fire crews are all gone, for security reasons we can’t leave with the old trout’s bags in the hold… so it’s hang around a while longer as they sort through two-thousand pieces of luggage.

Finally, we arrived at Santa Domingo International, and, ditched the groupies as Big Frank and I sped off to the convention shack. Already horrendously late, I hardly sped up proceedings. As, after reading the show byline of ‘Where you’ll find everything you want, and more!’, I wanted that in writing.

Another month. Another continent. Another conference. They do blur after a while.

An hour later, as Hubby #3 mixed and mingled, I was bored out of my bouffanted little mind. Still, I wouldn’t say the cross border debate was heated, but I ended up holding the coats for the delegates who went outside to finish their ‘discussions’. Still, at least I made a mint betting on the outcome. Big Frank was so proud.

Later at the evening function I kinda drew the short straw in the seating plan lottery as I got stuck next to this dumpy fella who said he’s someone big on the small screen. Has web craps apparently, though I hastily declined from going to his laptop to view them. No sign of my blond paramour, but I did see one of the top software execs parading about his new beloved. I think she’s what you’d call a trophy wife, but I’m just judging that by the shape of her head. Though on the whole, it wasn’t her head everyone was looking at and I couldn’t help thinking, “Boy, do I have to get me some of those!”

Though it’s fair to say we’re all defined by our enemies, in my opinion, one should never get blasé about one’s knockers…

Fat Chance

Beleaguered Bettie finds she’s scheduled for another spin on life’s big wheel of misfortune – and this time she’s got company.

The Isle of Man in the Fall. Could be any time of year. Round here, the only way to tell is by checking out the fake foliage in the shopping malls. This season, it’s yellow and red oak leaves and pumpkin Barry Gibbs. Tasteful. Still, it has to be said that in my opinion, the Bee Gees are definitely up there with John Lennon. Well, two of them anyway.

Here at 39-4-Ever Ground Zero, life is not just not going to plan, it is now inventing new ways of conspiring against me. Hmm, just read that back and think I’m sounding even more paranoid than usual. Here, diary, my old friend, is why: Before the last Autumn leaf lies dead and withered on the frozen ground, me and mine have two events to attend.

The first is the Fourth Annual Caribbean Gaming Show & Conference – and, let me tell you right here and now, there’s only one word in that needlessly lengthy title that actually matters a hoot. It’s in Santo Domingo, and while the brochure goes to great length why they chose the Dominican Republic for their latest jolly, anyone looking out the hotel window could answer you that!

The other event is my stepsister’s daughter’s wedding. If you are one of the four people on the entire planet not invited, Bunnie and her fiancé, Warren (I kid you not) are getting married – and as sister of the mother of the bride on her dead father’s side, I’m being roped in to do everything it seems except cut the cake. Now, not more than five frickin’ minutes go by without Muffy ringing with another Herculean task for me to accomplish. Her latest was to request that anything included in the five-hundred-fifty wedding favors had to be certified both nut-free and vegan. Apparently, bride and groom are both looking after their waistlines which, judging by their combined bulk, must take quite some serious food management. Darling Bunnie is in the size category doctor’s term ‘fricking huge’ and the only time we met, her future hubby’s in the same boat. Though obviously with two of them onboard, that’d have to be a pretty enormous ocean-going vessel.

“I bought a dress that’s four sizes too small,” Muffy commented in our latest cross-Atlantic wedding planning conference call. “So until the big day, I’m eating only enough to avoid actual death.”

Jeez O’Pete’s, am I the only sane person left on the planet? Of course, anyone who knows me, also knows that I don’t do diets. And anyhow, even if I did, my weight program wouldn’t involve complex protein/carb formulas or slugging back a cup of cold wee every morning. No, mine would be simple and consist of two easy-to-follow steps:

(1) Eat less
(2) Exercise more

Then: repeat (1) & (2) ad infinitum, while the multi-billion dollar diet industry collapses into its own calorie-controlled ruins.

“And the next agenda item I need a teensy bit of help with,” the Muffster said, “is seating plans.”

And it was round about then that I had to break it to little Miss Obsessive-Compulsive that I wasn’t coming alone.

“Of course not,” Muffy chimed. “Obviously you’re bringing Mother.”
“I was thinking of my husband.”
“Oh, yes! Of course your hubby will be joining you–”
“And my maid, Mona,” I added, as I’d promised her a place in exchange for her extensive help in the lead-up.
“Everyone needs a little helper–”
“And if your mother’s coming, so’s her therapist.”
“Oh, yes. Helmut says she’s at a delicate stage in her treatment.”
“Did he?”
“Yes, it’s his life quest to bring relief to troubled minds.”
“Pity he couldn’t have started with mine. And his wife. Oh, and my success coach. Apparently I’m at a delicate stage in my development, too.”
“So that’s…  seven of you.”
“Twenty-eight. There’s also the 39-4-Ever customer care team. Big Frank owes them eighty-two man years in unpaid overtime and it’s either this or they all retire tomorrow.”

You know, diary, whoever said that silence is golden never knew the half of it.

Turning Prophet

Caught up in the dramas of the imminent family wedding, Bettie turns her hand to fortune-telling, but fails to predict an important date in her personal calendar.

Aw, crap, diary! What a pain in the proverbial patookus. Today is the anniversary of me and Big Frank tying the knot… and boy, is it one hell of a tie that binds. And I forgot it. While I was knee-deep in drafting my Bride’s Mother’s Sister’s speech, Hubby #3 sidled up and handed over a badly wrapped gift that turned out to be a Buy-One-Get-One-Free Tattoo Gift Pack. Now, I know that it’s usually traditional for the husband to forget such auspicious dates and the wife to point this out until Doomsday, but I’ve got a lot on my plate right now…

For a start, my latest project of papering over the virtual cracks at, the world’s largest online casino for women with more chins than Lotto wins, is to expand my talents into the spirit world. I’ve now been pressganged into standing in for the laid-off Mystic Tracy, making me the resident psychic’s sidekick. Still, with grannie being an infamous swamp sorceress, it’s fair to say there’s always been a bit of hocuspocus in our gene pool. She used to conjure up all kinds of rubbish and it’s the same thing here, except I predict when they’ll meet their Mr Right. And when I’m wrong I just blame Ma Bell for the bad connection. Y’see, it’s amazing how sensitive these mystical cosmic messengers can be. Especially with a hangover. Actually, Hubby #3 could get a monkey to do this job, and probably would if only he could find one with a pinchable bottom.

Too bad Tracy’s Magic 8-Ball couldn’t have clued me in to our first anniversary. Or that, to make it up to him, giving Big Frank his pick of fine dining establishments on this backward rock meant we’d be off to his favorite – Pavarotti’s Pasta & Pizzeria – which is about as Italian as the Pope.

Greeted by the most miserable waitress in Christendom, we were manoeuvred to a gingham and parmesan-covered table and handed the laminated menu. The daily specials looked anything but, so I was already reaching for the drinks list. Because, in my extensive experience, I’ve long since reached that point where the wine is far more important than the food.

Predictably, Hubby #3 went for his usual; a pizza-with-everything they call ‘The Three Tenors,’ which at first is a mystery until the bill arrives and you see it costs thirty frickin’ pounds. Already troughing into his primo, he announced that the pancetta wasn’t fit for a pig. “No problem,” I said, “I’m sure if you ask nicely they can fix you some that is.”

There was a pleasing pause as our entres arrived – his 28-inches of death by carbs and my vino. When he announced, between bites, “I want to talk about your affairs,” I almost choked on my Chardonnay. Thankfully, he just meant my recent expense account purchases, but I countered with the line, “The only thing I cheat on is my taxes.” Which ended that little tête-à-tête.

“Are you done with that?” he next asked pointing at my uneaten breadsticks, to which I replied that, considering it was our anniversary, couldn’t he for once just surprise me with a compliment. He thought for a minute, looking me up and down, then said, “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen… wearing that dress.”

Sheesh, if men were from Mars, women would be down at NASA sabotaging their exploration missions. It’s at times like these that Wanda, my NYC girlfriend, would advise me to “Ditch, don’t bitch,” but while marriage may not be grand, I’ve learned that divorce is a hundred grand – of crap. But, still, diary, if Big Frank doesn’t start going easier on the partially hydrogenated high fructose fat syrup, I’m gonna be hunting for darling Hubby #4 sooner than I thought.

One Night Lonely

Home alone and distraught by current affairs, Bettie finds solace in the pages of her diary – and one or two sips of vintage vino.

Let’s not beat about the bushels, diary, old chum, I’m zozzled. Wallpapered. I’m higher than a giraffe’s toupee. I’m tighter than an A-cup bra on a Double-D tit… Yep, that’s right, I’m drunk. And I’d like to get a few things off my chest before I sober up.

The reason for this little state of affairs – or at least the catalysticlysm for it – is that I’ve been invited to a wedding. Not, you may at first think reason for declaring war on one’s liver, but in my book the merest mention of nuptial commingling sends me screaming to the drinks cabinet. Why? Well, it all comes down to two pints:

(1) it usually involves hauling my sorry ass back to Akron, Ohio, and,
(2) I keep expecting my dead father will show up.

Now, everybody who’s nobody knows that I’m more than a little thin-skinned in the Daddy department, as during my formative years, he cheated on my real mother with my fake one and then – one day! – Mommie Dearest was found poisoned by a herbal infusion from her spell book. The official report was ‘Malleus Maleficarum Aforethought’, which roughly translates as death by witchcraft. Personally, I think the USS Invincible dunnit.

Real dad and fake mum were married soon after, and Muffy graced us with her not inconsiderable presence soon after that. I moved out to grannie’s round about the time Daddy started his next affair. Then he vanished. The official report was missing presumed dead, but I know the she dunn-that, too.

At this point, the USS Invincible went stark raving mad and Muffy had her incarcerated “for the good of humanity.” I say it was murderous guilt that drove her over the edge. Or maybe she’s not as mad as she seems and it’s all a front. So you don’t have to imagine how I feel to be living with a suspected felon wanted in at least four or five different languages. Sorry, countries.

Hmm, I should’ve known this confession was on the cards when I got home and found a bottle of nicely chilled Chablis under each arm.

Now Muffy’s daughter is getting hitched and obviously no tasteless expense is being spared. I’ve only met her fiancé once, but they are a frickin’ unsufferable couple. My only salvation is the hope that they die before the event. Or I do.

Oh, and another thing worth mentioning: the good Dr. Dinkelïcker’s schmuck therapy is not going well. Take, by way of a great example, our first session where all three of us spent over two hours hunting for my stepmother’s revolutionary invisible hearing aid. Apparently, she’d put it down and now couldn’t find it. Eventually when we got started, his treatment consisted largely of connecting her to various bleeping machines and whistling Dixie.

OK, I admit, I might be a little biased here, as personally I think therapists are about as effective as most beauty wonder cures: i.e. a complete and utter waste of time and money. I mean, take anti-wrinkle cream. How can that ever work? If it did, women wouldn’t have any fingerprints.

“Aren’t I late for my spot on What’s My Line?” she said, as even she tired the lengthy analysis.
“Oh, only by about sixty years,” I answered.

When things were finally over, the quack gave me his verdict. Here, for posterity, is exactly how that went:

“In my professional opinion,” Dinkelïcker started, “your mother–”
“Stepmother,” I corrected.
“Your stepmother is a very melodramatic woman who adores misery.”
“And – let me get this straight – we’re paying you for these revelations?”
“She also thinks she’s Eleanor Roosevelt.”
“Genius. How much?”
“$500 every hour.”
“Then, in my non-professional opinion, she’s not the only one who’s batshit bonkers here.”

OK, my fessing up’s over. It’s late and it’s time to die, sorry, dry the ink on my wedding RSVP before I order Mona to start creating some of her one-of-a-kind wedding favours…

Hitting Bottom

Heading for home, Bettie discovers two new things have arrived on the Isle of Man in her absence. And she can’t decide which is creepier.

Like the moment I first saw a woman kickboxing with genital warts on prime time television, there are times when we’re all reminded that everything changes. One minute, we’re all covering table legs to avoid excommunication every time the vicar drops by, then – quicker than you can pop a pair of joy beads up your lovebox – the next I’m being asked if I want to vajazzle my pee-pee place every time I go for a wash and set.

I heard that little gem while visiting Time To Dye Salon De Beauté and Charcuterie (aka the haunted hairdressers of Ballasalla) and I haven’t been so shocked since I switched to margarine after watching that Last Tango in Paris butter scene.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I arrived back on the Isle of Man to the usual madness. This time I ignored Big Frank’s online groans, my stepmother’s First Lady drones, and Mona’s cat-related… well, moans, and headed straight for my bi-weekly hair appointment. I was a full day and a half early, but it was either that or go insane on the doorstep. Still, as I left, Hubby #3 managed to wave a copy of our latest financial statements outside the taxi window, and it’s fair to say it contained more red figures than a Ralph Lauren textile factory.

Arriving at Time To Dye, I was greeted at the door by the owners, the lovely Baz and Lionel.

“You look positively haggard!” exclaimed Baz. “Doesn’t she, Li?”
“Oh, positively,” agreed his partner. “What has happened?”
“I think I’ve just hit bottom,” I said, as they bundled me inside.
“Oh, don’t worry about that. It’s all the rage. We hit bottom regularly.”

Inside, I found the clientele were acting like sex just got invented that week. The reason? The meteoric rise of ‘Mummy Porn’ that was currently being thrust down desperate housewives’ throats – and all because of some sexed-up kinkfest paperback that Baz kept calling, “Fifty Shades of Gay.” Bondage, Discipline, and Sado-Masochism was suddenly in Vogue – no, literally. Now, you couldn’t pick up a copy of a glossy women’s weekly without there being a whip, flogger, or spreader bar nipple-clamped to the front cover.

Truth be told, diary, I’ve never been au fait with kinky sex, but that’s probably because my past is packed full with loser lovers. Take, for example, one lacklustre Lothario who extolled his intimate sexual knowledge by spouting lines like, “The best way to pleasure a woman in bed is to go straight for her clematis.” Then there was the Army lieutenant who thought it was sexy to talk in combat code. That relationship ran into major snafus right off the bat. I mean, it was hardly the biggest of turn-ons being told he wanted to take me back to his place for a Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo.

But, back at our house of horrors, I pulled up to discover we had another bat for the belfry. My stepsister’s white-coated therapist and some fur coated woman were standing on the doorstep, trying to convince my crusty maid they weren’t cat exterminators, but were instead there to see me.

“And you are?”
“I am Dr. Helmut Dinkelïcker.”
“And this is?”
“My wife, Helga.”
“So, she’s a Dinkelïcker, too?”
“Oh, ja! We come from a long line of Dinkelïckers.”

Sheesh, this island’s turned into a heaving hotbed of supercharged libidos and now everything sounds like bad innuendoes! Making my excuses, I dashed indoors. Because, at least I knew I’d be safe from anything even approaching sexual there…

Bend It Like Bettie

Arriving back in Las Vegas for a well-earned work break, Bettie finds that her first foray into the world of fashion is far from glamorous.

Ah, now this is more like it. Here I am, diary, soaking up the sin in Glitter Gulch; the world’s favorite gambling capital, Las Vegas. And, utterly by accident, I’ve arrived at the start of Mormon Fashion Week, so you can bet dollars to doughnuts it won’t be long before my coordinated ebony one-piece and character turban will be trending faster than a tits-out vacation shot of the Duchess of Cambridge. And before you say, ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,’ that choice phrase only applied when the way to break gossip was by carrier pigeon. Now if you commit a faux pas in the Flamingo’s poolhouse, the whole world’s been texted before you even have a chance to re-hitch your mesh bandeau and boyshorts.

So, that said, I was on my second-best behaviour as I swung into the lavish Sands Expo and Convention Center for its Haute-Tu-Trot Fashion Fantasy Extravaganza. Barging through the crowds, I stumbled from unaffordable collection to unaffordable collection, eventually taking a well-earned break watching what I thought was the kiddie’s catwalk breakout session. Turned out I’d stumbled into the daycare dungeon, but, still, it was a lot quieter than the main floor and meant at least I got a seat. Unfortunately, my final perch was right next to this cadaverously thin woman, tattooed husband, and their rabble of badly behaved brats causing havoc in the ballpit.

“You really are tres rocking that homeless chic look, no?” the featherweight female squeaked as I sat down.
Not really sure how I was supposed to respond to that, I instead pointed out that she looked positively gaunt.
“Gawd, thank you!” she replied, pleased as punch.

Still, always grateful for someone to chat to, I ignored her permanent pout and started yakking, telling all about me, 39-4-Ever, my current stepmother troubles, me, the embarrassment that is my third husband, me, me, and, well, I might have mentioned myself once or twice. After about twenty minutes of this, the malnourished missus told me I talked too much.

“Only in the company of people with nothing to say,” I said.

Dernier cri!” she shrieked suddenly, realizing she was late for the Kourtney Kardashian Skin Winnowing Workshop, and I was left with her hubby who had his excessively inked hands full, trying to control their daughter and three sons. The resulting barked exchange went something like this:

“So, what do you do for a living?
“You don’t look like a musician. Perhaps, more of a–”
“Well, you’re not really my type. For a start, there’s all those tattoos. Were they done locally?”
“Ah, a New Yorker. Did you fly here?”
“No, Cruz!”
“To the desert?”

Before I knew it, it was time to leave the fash-pack world far behind and slip effortlessly into my next – if you’ll pardon my French – Les Liaisons dangereuses.

I met Mister Tall, Blond Dalliance in the free drinks queue at some Fontana Lounge bash, while behind us the Bellagio fountains shot water and bland pop classics into the night sky. He asked if I was enjoying the expo, to which I replied that I was mixing with the kinda people who, at the end of the party when they say “Bye”, they’re asking you a question.

“Fancy a quickie?” he next asked, with a wink.
“As opposed to what?” I replied, picking up a vodka with more vodka and heading over for Siegfried and Roy’s new show, ‘Tigers of Passion’.
“Are you leaving already?” he questioned as I decided to cut things short. “I was hoping for dinner and a show.”
“You’re seeing nothing,” I told him over the roar of Celine Dion.

Later, we met again. Same drinks queue. Different venue. By now, I was on to pink gins. He said, “Look, tonight, would it turn you on to tell me when you have your orgasm?”
“OK,” I said, “but before I call, I think my cellphone needs a recharge.”

And so there I was, leaving Las Vegas. Shuffling up the carpeted concourse at McCarran Airport, I’m in line behind Quasimodo’s younger sister who’s enthusing to someone on her phone.

“Oh, it was so magical, I cried,” she simpered. “When I watched the fountains at the Bellagio, they had Whitney Houston singing ‘One Moment In Time’…”

Some people deserve to die. Repeatedly.

This Time, It’s Personals!

Struggling with her sudden return to work, the online gaming industry’s answer to Dear Abby finds that pretending to care is high on her first day to-dos.

Hi, diary. Today is my first day of… work.

I’m sitting in my attic office bent double over a desk that probably belonged to Bob Cratchit, sifting through my first In Tray task: tackling the backlog of 39-4-Ever’s gambling problem pages. And, boy, do we have some out-there customers. It’ll come as no surprise that compulsive gambling is the notorious pimple on the backside of the casino industry and somewhat of a double-edged sword; it cuts both ways. So far, Big Frank’s policy on anyone stupid enough to sign up for our suite of games is to suck every last cent from them as quickly as possible. But, as I’ve said before, he’s about as subtle as a wet tongue in your ear.

After a dash of research, I found some casino in Barbados had recruited Miss Hope, a recovering compulsive gambler herself, who offered encouragement and advice – and I thought we needed some empty promises of our own. So, today I start my role of Miss No-Hope. Because, hey, we can all pretend to care for a living. Here's a few of my favorites, scrapbooked for posterity:

From: mrluvverman
Subject: Unrequited love
I am the online gaming world’s Latino lover. Every lady worships me. Just one flash of my white suit and black shirt and they’re mine. All that is except ‘The One’. I met her at this fabulous cocktail party hosted by Ladbrokes to celebrate when Aspinalls Online Casino closed, but she ignored me totally. Can you help me turn my considerable charm up another notch?

Dear mrluvverman: I could be wrong, but I think that was me you were trying to impress. And you’re mistaken when you say I was ignoring you, as this is impossible when someone is holding onto your bra strap for grim death. Truth is, buster, I tried so hard to get away that finally the elastic snapped and catapulted me into the restrooms. So as first impressions go, you scored nil points. Bottom line? My body is a temple and I don’t want just anybody poking around my portico.

Hmm, this is easier than I thought. Seems putting the online gaming world’s problems to rights is a natural talent. Moving swiftly on...

From: ms goldenslotz
Subject: Help!
Being a woman in the 21st century sure is baffling! Just when I found solace in mint slacks, now the boob is out and the stapled bellyhoop is in. I just don’t know where I’m going to be injecting the next bag of collagen. Any advice?

Dear ms goldenslotz: Women’s roles are shifting so enormously, it’s a wonder we don’t break our hips. I suggest that since fifty is the new thirty, being thirty-two, you’re technically now only twelve, so I’m putting this down to a prepubescent tantrum and mailing your mother.

Well, by now diary, it’s midday and I’m pretty pleased with my progress. So much so that I’ve decided for lunch I’m gonna fly off for a few days to celebrate a great first morning.

Still, as I’ve previously mentioned, it’s a helluva long trip to Heathrow, so, suffice to say, when I finally reached the terminal, I was very, very late.

“Gate’s closed,” the high-altitude heffer announced as I staggered up to the desk.
“But I can still see the plane. You just have to let me on!”
“No can do…
“But what about your ‘We Live To Serve You’ initiative?”
“Sorry, we’ve rebranded.”
It was then she pointed out the big sign swinging above our heads. It read: ‘BAA. We Couldn’t Give A Flying F**k.’
“But– But–!”
“Last bag for Vegas!” the bunchucker called, as I scrambled up the ramp.

Ah, grannie told me they’d be days like these. Pity she couldn’t have mentioned they’d be so frickin’ many…

Donkey Work

Much to her dismay, Bettie finally realises that her new-found involvement in the trials and troubles of 39-4-Ever is going to mean that she’ll have to do some work…

Why does my life have this habit of always getting complicated? While already having a troubled third marriage, an ailing online portal, one high-passion, low-cost lover, one high-drama, low-sanity stepmother, and a dodgy hip after falling overboard spectating at the Isle of Man hosted Olympic event of Synchronized Mackerel Trawling – now Big Frank says I’ve gotta earn my keep.

Sorry, diary, just had to have a little pause there to take a mental douche. Apparently, money’s getting tighter than a gnat’s a-hole, and Hubby #3’s had to let quite a few of 39-4-Ever’s staff go. And guess who he’s nominated to fill their forums? Still, the way I see it I’ve little actual choice. For while grannie always used to say, “Marry in haste. Repent in costume jewellery,” I’ve found that the real trouble with men is that you can’t live with ’em, and can’t buy anything without ’em.

And while I’m not one to promote – or even suggest I have – weaknesses, it’s also hard to admit that the reason I’ve never had a career is because basically, well, let’s face it, I’m unemployable. The mere thought of travelling three and a half hours every day in bumper to-bumper traffic to be the whipping post for a megalomaniacal boss with sado-masochism as one of his Facebook Likes sets off my psoriasis. Friends have suggested that perhaps I could work for myself, but, unfortunately, the same rules apply.

At the other end of the spectrum – in many categories – is my housemaid, Mona. When I talked to her about my predicament, she stopped mid-oven scrub and announced that to make ends meet, she had three jobs. I was almost as shocked as when she announced, “I ’ave me fingers in a lot of pies,” while Big Frank was eating her apple surprise. I mean, I didn’t even know they advertised for Internet trolls.

“When I’m not scrubbin’ my bowels out here,” Mona bemoaned, “I’ve got a craft stall flogging me real-hair handicrafts – and then there’s the charity work…”

Well, at least I think that’s what she said. Most of the time, her dialect’s so thick I can’t understand a word she’s saying. Apparently, the last native Manx speaker died in 1974. Probably starved to death trying to order dinner.

While I had not had the pleasure of experiencing her table mat sets made from pubic clippings, I have seen her in full-on animal welfare action on the Douglas dock front a few weeks back. She was standing shaking a bucket of assorted coinage under a sign that read: ‘Fighting Donkey Cruelty Since 1891’. Obviously it was taking her a lot longer than she thought. For every donation, Mona also gave away a selection of trinkets. But I wonder, could she not see the irony of giving good luck charms to children in bags marked ‘Potential Choke Hazard’?

“Do you think donkey coats will ever come into fashion?” I’d asked, staring at the various posters, poised to part with my two dimes and a Dr Pepper bottle cap.
“I hate mule-baiting,” she replied. “It gets on me nerves.”

While I had yet to stoop to these dismal depths, I was suddenly realizing that implementing some of my “brilliant, darling, brilliant” ideas for was going to mean that… I gotta go back to working for a living!

Hot dang!

Times are still tough for Bettie as she gets forced to offer her inimitable talents for Hubby #3’s online casino.

Formally released a week later, me and mine breezed in to find the Isle of Man was hotter than July. In July. Go figure. Chomping at the bit to start the task of turning around the fortunes of 39-4-Ever, I started scribbling out plans to add a host of hot extras to the site; a Dear Abby column, multiple choice therapy quizzes, debt counselling, etc… The final list was impressive, and certainly firmly in my mind as I joined Hubby #3 at his weekly Gambling Gathering Group (being the official meet-up for all the folks who run e-gaming on the island). It was a poor show as the gang now consisted of the lads from 666Bet, Doris with the drooping eyelid from StripPokerStars, and the suited brigade from Macrogaming. Huddled around a small table in the non-air conditioned sweatbox that is the Parrot and Mongoose, a clutch of bon vivants we ain’t.

Still, the press coverage garnered from my High Court hijinks gave us a much-needed cash injection – as did the fact that our web address got spray painted on the back of a camel that happened to catch fire and was filmed by CNN in an effort to fill a lull in its 24/7 Iraqi Blitz ’n’ Titz live coverage. This minor blip of excitement aside and finally home at last, I unpacked the Duty Free, watched the sun set through my vodka and lime, then checked my messages. Worryingly, I found Jerinda’s daily emails were already stacking up.

> Are You Prepared To Cross Life’s Electric Fence?
> Get All Your Pistons Firing As You Start Living Your Wow-Now!
> Are You Ready To Show Off Your Big Fat Hairy Goal?

After twenty or so of these high-drama calls to action, I needed to lie down in a darkened room. Regrettably, sleep was not – alas! – on tonight’s agenda. For no sooner had I said hello to Mister Sandman, then my iPhone started blaring out Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries. Aw, crap! It was my psychotic prom-queen bitch of a stepsister, Muffy.

“How considerate of you to call me in the middle of the night,” I said. “We’re five hours ahead, remember.”
“Are you? It’s hard to keep track. Anyhow, I’m just home from my yogic-therapy evening and thought I’d call. I was just trying to be nice…”
“Nice? You’re nice in the same way that you’re blonde.”
“I am so offended by that remark.”
“I’ll let you know if I start giving a damn.”

Icy silence reigned, then:

“I’ve spent the evening with Helmut…”
“Your therapist? That guy’s such a jerk.”
“Oh, I just adore him,” she said, sounding like she was calling from the 1950s. She also, I noticed, sounded out of breath.

“Are you calling from your treadmill?” I questioned.
“No, tantric sex. Nothing really happens for hours, so I’m catching up on my To-Dos…”

It was then that I asked if there was an actual point to the call – other than to pant in my ear? To which Muffy replied that she had started investigating alternative therapies to cure her mother’s insanity. And that she was sending her batshit crazy quack over for a series of sessions.

Boy, now there’s something to so look forward to. As if the Isle of Man wasn’t littered with enough loons, already…


Our heroine takes on the U.S. Justice Department as she tries to rescue Big Frank from his impending jail time.

My arrival in New York, New York, was timely to say the least. When I reached the final hearing in United States v, it was not exactly a hotbed of activity. While the collective members of the country’s primary federal criminal investigation and enforcement agency were supposed to be debating whether the world’s best online casino for women on the verge of a Bingo meltdown was used to launder money, actually they were mostly either asleep or sitting around on their ever-widening asses.

As I took my seat, the Deputy General Assistant Attorney Something-or-other was waxing lyrical about how the Federal Wire Act prohibits all forms of U.S. gambling. This was then countered by Hubby #3 who pointed out that it was for this precise reason that we had been forced to move to the Isle of Man to run what we were laughingly calling our business. Well, it certainly wasn’t for the joy of hearing The Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive being played night and day from memorial speakers in the local graveyard, I can tell you. Then Big Frank launched into a long and extremely boring exposition about how the island’s government made it an attractive locale – financially at least – with all kinds of juicy tax breaks. Though, admittedly, to benefit from that meant you had to earn enough to actually pay any tax.

It was round about then that I decided to chip in.

“Look, I’m the wife,” I shouted, “so I have a pretty large stake in the outcome of all this. I also come from a family that firmly believes the word ‘wife’ is not an acronym for ‘Washing, Ironing, Fu– Fornicating, Etc’. No, our voice counts.”

Unfortunately, my voice didn’t count.

Still, after sorting out all that contempt of court nonsense, it was nice to see Wanda, my NYC girlfriend, in the gallery gracing us with her not inconsiderable presence. Also saw that her latest tweet was true – ‘Dear friends, it’s #LMLM Day: Liquid Midface Lift Monday!’ – I don’t know if she wanted to look like someone had taken a Chippendale wing chair and stuffed it behind her mouth, but her cheeks were now so pronounced, every ten minutes or so her neck got tired and she had to rest her face on the seat back in front of her. As you know, diary, I’ve never been too keen about nips and tucks – which all stems from my years with Hubby #2, the rhinoplasty surgeon with the hump removal fetish. Of course, I’ve always wanted to go in for a face lift, but I’m just too damn petrified at what they’ll find underneath.

Anyhow, never one to miss a money-making opportunity, I sold my body as advertising space for the Isle of Man Government. When I sashayed past the cameras with my backless Yves Saint Laurent evening dress and ‘Let’s All Gamble In The Isle of Man’ shoulder tattoo combo, it certainly spiced up the closing argument. I mean, I’m not sure what I had originally planned for Thursday brunch, but bringing down the U.S. Government was not high on the list.

The resulting hoo-ha saw several barked exchanges, a jury punch-up in which the prosecutor lost his toupé, and I ended up compromising my Honour. The New York Time’s headline “Bettiegate Topples Supreme Court, Plaintiff’s Rug, Into Judge’s Lap” was definitely one for the scrapbook.