by Kristy Athens

To tell you the truth, I don’t like it myself. I mean, who in the hell buys fifteen pounds of salmon paté? How much salmon paté can two hundred people eat? But you know, it’s Kitten’s special day, and her mother is trying to impress. So, I guess that if the worst thing that happens is fourteen pounds of salmon paté end up in a landfill, we’re doing all right.

Speaking of landfills, have you seen the inside of Frank’s car? Looks like a bomb went off in there. I asked the servants—I mean the “staff,” that’s the word the new in-laws use—to park it behind a big SUV or something so the guests won’t see it. Don’t want to alarm the groom’s side of the family with our shoddy relatives’ cars. Kitten has worked hard to give them a false impression, so I’d hate for Frank to ruin it. Kitten will defend me if any of that gets back to him.

I suspect that we’ll all give it away, one way or another. I mean, we’re not farm animals, but if there are more than two forks, I’ll be stumped. Nah, I can fake it.

Yeah, she’s done pretty well for herself, my Kitten. Dumb like a fox, if you know what I mean. She’ll put in her time, knock out a couple of pups, and be set for life.

And hopefully take care of her old Dad, who taught her everything she knows.


Kristy Athens’s nonfiction and short fiction have been published in a number of magazines, newspapers and literary journals, most recentlyHigh Desert Journal, Eclectic Flash, Diverse Voices Quarterly andFive Fishes Journal. She coordinates the Columbia Center for the Arts Plein Air Writing Exhibition, and is a guest blogger for New Oregon Arts & Letters. She has served on the boards of the Hood River County Cultural Trust, Independent Publishing Resource Center, and Northwest Writers. She edited Columbia Gorge Magazine, and ran the Oregon Book Awards and Oregon Literary Fellowships programs of Literary Arts from 1999 to 2006. Her text-infused, repurposed collage greeting cards appear in 1,000 Ideas for Creative Reuse and are available at