Jaine's accepted her share of lame gigs to pay the bills, but rewriting Shakespeare's got to be an all-time low. The fiasco begins with a call from Jaine's high-school nemesis, uber rich uber witch Patti Devane. It seems Patti will soon be sashaying down the aisle with another former classmate from Hermosa High, and she'd like the exchange of vows to evoke Romeo and Juliet...except without the "downer" of an ending.
Even worse than the assignment itself is dealing with Patti as a client. At least Jaine's not alone, as nobody can stand the demanding, spoiled, and incredibly rude Bridezilla from Hell. So it isn't a complete surprise when the erstwhile Juliet plunges to her death during her balcony scene. The loosened bolts that brought down the bride were clearly an act of sabotage--what's not so obvious is whom, among Patti's numerous haters, committed this murder most foul...
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June 05, 2012
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Excerpt from Killing Bridezilla by Laura Levine
Some people look back on their high school days fondly, lost in happy memories of pep rallies and senior proms. And then there are the other 98% of us. For us, high school was hell with acne, a blistering nook of inferno Dante neglected to mention, where we first discovered that life isn't fair and blondes really do have more fun.
Which is why I cringed when I first got that call from Patti Marshall. In the Dante-esque world of high school, Patti was Satan's ringmaster.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and set the scene.
I'd just come home from the vet, where I'd taken my cat Prozac for her annual checkup. You'll be happy to learn Prozac was in perfect health. The vet, however, required several stitches and a trip to the emergency room.
"How could you attack poor Dr. Graham like that?" I scolded as I let her out of her cage.
I warned her to stay away from my privates.
"I still can't believe you bit her in the arm."
Me neither. I was aiming for her face.
I poured myself a wee tankard of Chardonnay to recuperate and was reaching for a restorative dose of Oreos when the phone rang.
Too wiped out to answer, I let the machine get it.
"Jaine, it's Patti Marshall."
I froze in my tracks. Patti had been the queen bee of my alma mater, Hermosa High, a social despot who ruled her subjects with a fine-tuned cruelty and a flawless complexion.
Her voice drifted from the machine, the same nasal whine that had delivered so many devastating zingers in the girls' locker room.
"I heard you're a writer now. Give me a call, okay? I think I may have some work for you."
My palms turned clammy. Patti represented everything I'd loathed about high school. I could just picture her sitting at her throne at the Popular Table in the cafeteria, eyeing the Unpopulars with undisguised disdain and leading her Bitches in Waiting in a chorus of derisive giggles.
I would've liked nothing more than to zap her message to oblivion. But she'd said the magic word--work--a commodity I'm chronically short of.
I turned to Prozac who was sprawled out on the sofa, licking her prized privates.
"What do you think, Pro? She's a world-class rat, but I really need the money. What should I do?"
She looked up at me with big green eyes that seemed to say, It's always about you, isn't it? What about me? When do I eat?
Which goes a long toward explaining why man's best friend has never been the cat.
Oh, well. I really needed the dough, so I took a bracing gulp of Chardonnay and forced myself to give Patti a call.
"Hi, Jaine!" she trilled when she came on the line. "How've you been?"
Somewhat stunned by the friendly lilt to her voice, I mumbled, "Um. Fine."
"Listen, I've got great news. I'm getting married."
I didn't envy the poor guy headed down that aisle.
"Anyhow, I need somebody to write my wedding vows. I heard you're a writer now, and I thought it'd be great to work with an old friend."
An old friend? The woman was clearly smoking something illegal.
"So what have you written? Anything I've heard of?"
As a matter of fact, I had written an ad she might very well have heard of. Or at least seen; it's been on bus stops all over town. But it wasn't exactly the kind of ad that leaves people awestruck.
"I wrote In a Rush to Flush? Call Toiletmasters."
I waited for Patti's patented, Ewww, gross!, the line with which she tarred many a fragile ego at Hermosa High, but instead, I heard:
"Really? I saw that in the Yellow Pages. It's very cute!"
Alert the media. A compliment. From Catty Patti.
"So how about it, Jaine? You think you'd be interested?"
"I was thinking of paying somewhere in the neighborhood of three thousand dollars."
Call the movers. That was my kind of neighborhood.
"That sounds terrific, Patti. I'd love to do it."
"Wonderful!" she gushed. "I know we're going to have so much fun!"