Sometimes a good wife needs to find the voice of the Wicked Witch
I’d performed as the Wicked Witch of the West years before at my godchild’s birthday party. Now came a second invitation from the beloved principal of Crawford Elementary School.
“We’re having our Fall Festival on Halloween this year,” Gloria said, “and we’d love it if you’d come be the witch.” Delighted, I promised her I’d be there, broom in hand.
We were one hour into the event when Gloria approached me, punching both hands on her hips.
“Well you’re not gonna believe what your husband just did,” she said.
My husband was managing partner of a law firm, whose members regularly volunteered at the school.
“Pray tell,” I replied.
“Do you know he’s called a meeting THIS afternoon for ALL the associates!? I’m about to lose half my volunteers!”
My reaction stunned everyone. Myself included. “TAKE me to the villain!” cried the Witch. The principal and three volunteers behind her stood frozen, their eyes growing bigger as the thought sunk in.
“Now ya’ll?” I warned in my regular voice, “If you think about this, you’ll never do it so now just come on we gotta go!”
For one second, a flicker of fire appeared in the principal’s eyes, then vanished. Not so for the rest of us. I was thrilled. The revolution had begun!
Minutes later, three women and one Witch were driving south on 59 towards downtown Houston, long black hair from my wig flapping out the window like tentacles.
“We’re gonna get fired for this, you know,” said one of the associates, half-delighted, half-terrified, but still driving toward town.
“YOU,” I said, “I’m the one that’s gonna get fired! Hell, I’m ALREADY fired!”
The laughter relieved everyone. As I rehearsed, they critiqued me, making suggestions. When cars drove by laying on their horn, the Witch responded with hers. (Cackle) Down the freeway we flew, a Corolla loaded with laughter, sisterhood and the kind of fear that whispers, “I don’t believe you’re doing this.”
The meeting was already underway. As rehearsed, the three associates entered first while I peeped around the corner to check things out. There they were, 200 solemn-faced associates sitting rows deep around a long conference table where at one end the managing partner sat alone. The moment was surreal. I was in Never Never Land. I took one deep breath, squeezed my broom, and the Witch flew.
(Cackle) I rushed in.
“SOMEBODY in this room is a Pumpkin Party Pooper…and his name begins with a P!”
Glancing over my shoulder, I glared down at the MP, giving him the evil eye. He shrugged and smiled charmingly but I knew underneath the suit, there was a man in shock. I spun in the opposite direction, pointing my broom at someone on the front row.
“Was it YOU?” I asked but the guy, only stared back, looking grave. The Witch grew more brave. Waving my finger like a wand, I darted down the row. “NO?!...then was it YOU?” I pointed to another. Again there was no reply, just a look of dazed disbelief.
The Witch was on fire. Gripping my broom down low, I rushed to the other side, only this time, into the face of Steve, whom I knew and liked well, who’d also heard my Witch before but had never seen her in costume. I’m busted, I thought. Steve’s gonna blow my cover and make some wise crack. But I was wrong. Steve looked scared. His head leaned back like I was a snake about to strike.
Dizzy from devilment, there followed a feeling of compassion, momentarily breaking the spell. I wanted to whisper, “Steve, it’s me buddy, Katiebelle!” but the Witch won over. She felt alive and wonderfully wicked. Blood pumped through my body, like big brushes moving across a car in a car wash, rocking it back and forth. I got out of Steve’s face feeling both thrilled and terrified of this awesome new power.
“AH HA!” sneered the Witch, turning to face her husband finally. She flew to the end of the table and poked her finger into his arm like a pointed stick.
So it was YOU, Patrick Oxford…YOU are the Pumpkin Party Pooper!” Without pausing, she spun around facing the room, poised for the grand finale.
“I call for a vote!” she bellowed. “All those in favor of abandoning this meeting to return to the Fall Festival, NOW RAISE YOUR BROOM!”
From the back row, three hands slowly rose. Not discouraged, the Witch raised her broom high above her head. “THEN FOLLOW ME!” she cried, and in one full sweep, she fled the room.
All eyes were now glued to the MP, who after the perfect pause, brought the house down. “Does anyone here know of a good domestic attorney?”