Once again, Martha Ticklebottom does what Martha does…by Chuck Duboff


Perchance, young Martha Ticklebottom.?

© Chuck Duboff

She appears out of nowhere; seemingly invisible for weeks, months at a time, Martha sends a text message announcing that she has returned.  Her words are warm, conveying a sincere regret for not having been around.  A never ending home reno seems to be her go to reason for disappearing for who knows how long.  She’s Martha Ticklebottom…deceiver, liar and one very scary woman.

Saturday there were forecasts of snow, resulting in a day to hunker down and read; no great plans, but the warmth of a comforting condo made the outdoor forecast more tolerable.

The text tone rang on my cell and upon checking it…I was taken aback by the name on the call display. I thought she had vanished, left our fair little prairie town.  But, there it was, once again, Martha Ticklebottom sending her greetings and lovely words about what a great person I am, how wonderful my grandkids are and how we should get together soon.  Playing along, I responded with an expression of happiness that she had texted.  As had become par for the course, she asked for yet a couple more weeks to finish her home renovations.  “You’re the kind of guy I know should be in my life.”  Hook, line and sinker…she knows how to reel them in.

She played me for the fool again…she promised to call after work, but the phone lay silent; of course it never rang, much like it hadn’t happened last time or the time before that or the time before that.

I imagine that she gets great joy out of this game that she plays; this fascination she has with playing with guys emotions; how many guys has she lured into this never ending teasing and vanishing act?  Does she sit alone, a glass of red wine, lonely music and create a narrative which thrills her?  Is this her social life?  Is there really a Martha Ticklebottom or could it be some guy using this game to play out some sexual fantasy?

You’ve hooked me far too many times Ms. Ticklebottom, you’ve attacked my weakness and won…you are fascinating, in a very disturbing way.  Until next time…or will there be a next time Martha?  Or is it really Jacqui?


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