DJ Mansker lives in southeast Arizona. By day, DJ puts her twenty plus years of experience in the trenches of social work to use in the protective services. By night, she is a closet novelist and wait staff to her cat Trinidad. As a member of several local and national writers organizations she continues to hone her writing skills as she works to complete her first novel.
Oooooh. Noooo! What is that? What’s happening? I’m shaaakiiing. It’s an earthquake! Run for it! Save yourselves!
What? Not an earthquake? An unknown seismic event? A group of women coming this way? That’s all? Okay. Regroup. Focus. Inventory—donation plate? Check. Curtain? Check. Overhead sign: Let’s see, uh, Confession Corner— Only $1? Check. Sidewalk, street signs intact? Check. Well, that was a close one.
Over here girls. It’s an instant photo booth! Let’s get a group picture for our first newsletter.
Uh-oh . . . No! No! Wait! Ladies, please! One at a time. One at a . . . You’re not all going to . . . umph . . . fit at . . . Seriously, I really don’t think you’re going to . . . umph . . . fit all at . . . I really don’t . . . erph . . . ooph . . . I really didn’t think you were all going to fit.
Did somebody say something? Hmm. Strange. Anyway, where’s the bill feeder? We need a crisp dollar bill. Gretta, do you see the bill feeder? Where do the pictures come out? Does everyone have lipstick on? Who needs hairspray? Joselyn, your collar is twisted.
Ooo! Ladies, please. Watch the knees.
Crystal, pass me that brush. Just hand it to me under the curtain.
Whoa! You don’t know me that well! Oh! Watch the elbows.
Okay, girls, let’s just put all our stuff under this little curtain here.
Hey! I’m not that kind of booth!
There’s that voice again. Oh well. This is going to be so much fun. Just think, our first newsletter. It’ll be just like the old days at the sorority. We can get matching hats and bags and nail polish. Maybe the coffee shop will name a new signature espresso after us. Did we break our record yet? What was it? Four rounds of espresso in fifteen minutes? We’ll probably get some sort of civic duty awards for this.
Ladies, uh, ladies. Who are you? Whaddarya trying to do here?
Okay, girls, let’s sing it for ’em, “We are the sweethearts ooof fraternity Alpha Pi. Sorority sisteeers till we diiiie.”
Great. Greeks. Let me guess. The Richter Sisters? No. Wait. I’ve got it. You’re the Mocha Frappa Cappacinos.
Huh? No. We’ve decided to start a book club. We’re still working on the name and mission. You know, something for the community.
I see. And you’re meeting at the espresso bar up the street?
How’d you know?
Just a lucky guess.
We’re meeting daily to get things off the ground. There’s so much to do. We’ve got to decide on our colors, matching tops, or just hats and bags, which designer, all of it. Millie, what do you think of going strictly with Prada? Anyway, we’re thinking civic duty, so we’re looking for a special needs gap. You know, something fun to help those in need. Hey, girls! Let’s put together a fund-raiser—get our names out there. We could mail out espresso flavor scratch and sniff postcards. That’ll get their attention.
Ahem. Have you considered using your book club to further reading and literacy? Kids and adults would benefit from that. The first lady promotes literacy.
She does? Really? Okay, let’s go with that. We’re a book club that helps kids with reading. All agreed? Good. Back to business. Everybody ready? Millie, did you find the bill feeder? Oh, just put a dollar in that plate over there. Line up everyone, tallest in the back and I’ll kneel in front. Crystal, you can lean over my shoulder. Gretta, can you see the slot where the photos shoot out? We don’t want them hitting the floor while they’re still wet.
Okay. That’s it. Hold it right there, ladies. I need your undivided attention, if that’s possible. This is not a photo booth. There is no bill feeder, and photos will not shoot out of anywhere.
This isn’t a photo booth? We don’t have time for this. We’ve got work to do. The poor starving children in Africa won’t be able to read the insignia on our T-shirts. We still need a name, a motto, and a secret handshake.
Oh, I wouldn’t keep it a secret. Give us a fighting chance. I mean give us fair warn . . . I mean the world will want to know exactly who you are, and the sooner the better.
Motto. How about “Sisters of Uniform Style Education”?
S.O.U.S.ED.? I don’t think so. How about “Women’s International Reading Education”? W.I.R.ED.
Huh? Well, we’ll work on that later. So, let’s work up a cheer or dance routine or something fun. Gretta, you’re good at that jitterbug step. Show us that one.
No. No. Ladies, not in here. My sides are already—Hey! That’s it. Call yourselves the Jitterbug Book Club.
Ooo. I like that. Quick vote. All in favor of being the Jitterbug Book Club, say aye. Okay. That’s settled. Crystal, run back to the café and get us another round of espresso. We’ve got a lot to do and the mall is clear across town.
So you’re leaving now, right? Don’t forget the stuff you left under my curtain. Ooo! Ouch! Be careful with that stool. Okay, orderly fashion, knees and elbows in, single file . . . urph! Don’t . . . umph . . . forget that it’s about reading and literacy.
Reading and literacy. Right. Let’s go, girls. There’s a sale at Prada. So, has anyone actually read a book? Millie, weren’t you saying something about a Jonathon Potter and the Seagull of Fire?
Oh, yeah. This is gonna work. I’ve got two words for you: Deee Caaaf!