It was 'Then she has got her sister staying with her: Mrs. Runkle, from Natchez.'
Bob Has A Good Day
'Hey there, Bob! Come on in, neighbour. Artemisia not with you?'
'Heavens, no. She's having one of her tornado days. The kids have brought the grandkids over for dinner, and they all brought their damned dogs, too, so it's a madhouse over there. Then she has got her sister staying with her: Mrs. Runkle, from Natchez. We don't get along. I just had to get out of there, Frank, so I'm throwing myself on your mercy and asking for asylum for an hour or so.'
'Of course, buddy. C'mon in the kitchen and I'll brew up. Abigail's out at her mother's all day so you're welcome to hide here as long as you like.'
'Ah, you're a lifesaver, Frank.'
'Say, I didn't know Artemisia had a sister.'
'Mrs. Runkle, yeah: Hortense, though she never lets me call her that.'
'I'm curious I've never heard tell of her before.'
'That's because we get on like cat and dog. We never visit one another; Artie and her sister don't really write 'cept for Christmas and birthdays. She's only here because of all that kerfuffle in Natchez.'
‘I must have missed that on the news, Bob.'
'It’s Ralph, her dumb schmuck husband. "Unkle Runkle, the children's entertainer." At least that's what he was until last weekend. As if it weren't bad enough having a goddamned clown for a brother-in-law, the police have gone and arrested him for fiddling with the kiddies.'
'Oh, my lord, Bob!'
'He always was a creepy bastard. We shoulda seen that one coming. Anyways, the damned press are camped out on Runkle's doorstep so the old bat sneaked off over here to make my life a misery.'
'She's that bad, huh?'
'Bad? She acts like she's some kinda southern royalty because Runkle came from old money. Expects to be waited on hand and foot, even though there's not a red cent of that old money ever came our way.'
'She sounds royal alright; a royal pain in the ass.'
'Heh-heh. You ain't kidding, Frank. She always resented the fact that her sister married a nobody; said I brought shame on her family. Now she’s gonna have to cook up a whole mess of humble pie before I’ll think of being civil to her.’
‘So if her husband is old money, how’d he end up working as a clown?’
‘Fool gambled away the entire fortune, and with a brain like his it was either that or stacking shelves at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart woulda been a better option after what he’s done to those kiddies.’
‘So what happens now? Sounds like you’ll be stuck with Hortense for a while.’
‘Nope. It’s payback time for Mr.Nobody. I called the press before I came over. They’ll be here soon and the old bat’ll be over the back fence like greased lightning and out of my life at last.’
‘Bob, you always were a sly old dog. Here’s your coffee. Let’s sit out on the porch and watch the fun.’