How to Go to Wonderland | HumorOutcasts

How to Go to Wonderland

September 26, 2014

alice rabbit

My daughter is a certified fitness instructor – a fact that amuses me because I raised her on pop tarts and chicken nuggets. In a misguided attempt to lose my middle-aged flab, I joined her high-intensity workout class along with a group of 30-year-old young mothers. I’m their inspiration to exercise because they don’t want to look like I do.

During the first intense circuit class, I eagerly attempted a “speed skater,” a diabolical contortion that requires jumping sideways and touching the floor and then repeating the movement on the other side. It only took four attempts before I jammed my knee. That’s when I taught the class some words they shouldn’t use in front of their children.

The pain was so intense that I sobbed until tears and snot covered my face, and I ignored my mother’s admonishment to wear fancy underwear before going to the hospital. After x-rays confirmed damaged ligaments, a doctor who appeared to be 12-years-old prescribed an assortment of painkilling medicines. I wanted to adopt him because the wonder drugs were magnificent.

I had been proud of my ability to avoid illegal drugs, even while growing up during the sixties and seventies, but after experiencing the magical pills I wondered if my pious virtue and self-discipline had been overrated. As  my husband Studley drove us home from the hospital, I enjoyed my own private trip.

I noticed a large white rabbit sitting in the back seat and recognized him as one of the characters in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a childhood favorite.

“Hi, White Rabbit!” I said and waved. Studley kept driving.

Then I looked out the window and saw the Cheshire Cat grinning in the night sky. His head turned all the way around and I laughed with delight.

“Look! The cat is winking at me!” Studley kept driving.

We arrived home and Studley wrestled my incapacitated body out of the car, into the house, and onto the bed. By then, there was an entire tea party floating around the room. Alice looked at me with a sigh of boredom and begged me to get up and play. The Dormouse scolded Alice for being bossy so the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit pushed his head into the tea pot. I laughed and laughed.

I noticed the Caterpillar sitting on a pillow smoking a hookah. He offered me a toke but I told him I’d never inhaled. That statement caused guests at the party to spit out their tea, and I felt silly. Just then the Queen of Hearts ran into the bedroom waving a big ax.

“Off with her head!” she screamed.

I jerked, and the involuntary movement caused a shooting fireball of pain to rip through my bandaged knee and ignite the nerve endings in my leg. I hollered for Studley, and he came running so fast he almost spilled his gin and tonic.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. “Do you need more pain pills?”

“Yes, yes,” I gasped. “And paint the white roses red so the queen won’t cut off my head!”

Studley patiently read the instructions on the pill bottle and considered gulping a few but decided I needed them more.

“You should wait two more hours,” he said.

I clenched my fists and snarled. Studley feared for his life.

“I need. Another. Pill,” I growled with the intensity of the possessed girl in the movie “The Exorcist.”

By then Studley was reminiscing about his single life, just a short five years ago. Nothing had prepared him for life with a writer whose imagination was prone to hallucinations and fantasies, even while sober. The pain meds introduced a whole new level of crazy.

He gulped his gin and bravely offered three ibuprofen tablets.

“Take these,” he suggested. “They’ll help until it’s time for the hydrocodone. Remember, this prescription is a narcotic related to opium.”

“But look at the Caterpillar,” I wailed. “He’s smoking a hookah on your pillow!”

Studley nodded and left to fix another cocktail. That’s when a pink flamingo peeked from underneath the sheet. He whispered that he needed to hide because Alice wanted to use him as a croquet mallet. I promised and pulled up the sheet.

I vaguely remember falling down a hole lined with red roses. The queen should be happy with that, I thought. Then everything went black. I know that the flamingo stayed underneath the sheet because I could hear him snoring and moaning all night.



Elaine Ambrose

Author of ten books including Midlife Cabernet and Menopause Sucks. Blogs on the Huffington Post,, HumorOutcasts, Midlife Boulevard, ProjectEve, and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop blog roll. Owns Mill Park Publishing in Idaho and organizes writing retreats. Loves to laugh, preferably while enjoying a bold Cabernet.

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3 Responses to How to Go to Wonderland

  1. Kathy Minicozzi
    September 27, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Pop Tarts are good for you.

    If chocolate, coffee and butter can be good for you, so can Pop Tarts.

  2. Kathy Minicozzi
    September 27, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Gee, I thought you had to run into a hole after a rabbit and drink something to shrink yourself to get into Wonderland. You mean all you have to do is take one lousy prescription painkiller?

    They’ve been lying to us all this time!

  3. September 26, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Pop Tarts and Chicken Nuggets are part of the essential food groups. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Another really funny piece Elaine!

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