The nuns have traveled far and wide, across many lands. In just a year, I have traveled with the nuns from the Shabby Abbey to Oberrron Abbey, and then back to the Shabby Abbey, and then all the way to Anathema Abbey –which is across from the Friary Priory– where I am stationed currently. I sometimes pass the Neo Nazi Nunnery on the way to do charity work at the Emerald City Mission but it’s dangerous for a nun like me to do so.
Why is it dangerous? It’s dangerous because the NNN is a sect of nuns whose motto is “All white, All male, All skinhead, All the time.” Right you are: it’s a nunnery run solely by The Vat’s favorite leader from the Third Reich. The only real nuns there are Germanic-Jew nuns who have been taken prisoner, like Sistrrr Shakespeare, who sleeps in a cell there and is guarded by a nearly six foot tall ogre who calls himself a priest, by the name of Father Rankard. I call him Father Rank Ward and Father Stankdrawers (and Father Ankleward because he was one of the priests who voted for that ankle bracelet to be put around Sistrrr Martha’s ankle when she made her exit from Convent Cupcake). This sorry excuse for a priest is new around town but, of course, he thinks he owns all of Emerald City (he does own the Neo Nazi Nunnery, which is fine; he can have that to himself once he releases all the Jewish nuns he’s storing and starving down in his cellar).
But I didn’t sneak off into the library to write to my readrrr about the obvious stuff; I crawled through the underground nun tunnel that leads to The Tiny Nun Spy Hut Library this morning so that I could report to you on a truly shocking discovery I made. Okay, I can’t exactly call it a discovery– it’s more like a psychic prediction, one I have known about for centuries. This report I am about to make to you comes all the way from Romania, by way of crystal ball and be(jew)eled caravan.
Please, Readrrr, proceed further; step out of the toilet chamber and into my divination chamber.
Before I hypnotize you and tell you your nun-fortune, a disclaimer: what you are about to hexperience comes from the ancient traditions of the Romani people. It is made possible by the free-for-all atmosphere of the Burlesque House that is Anathema Abbey. The AA is run by Fathrrr Bill, who runs a consortium of Herbal (nun-employed) Sweatshops in the region and is having a sordid affair with Father Pat of the Felinician Franciscan Sistrrrs (the Congregation of the Sistrrrs of Saint Felinix of Catalice). Fathrrrs Bill and Pat spend a lot of time at the Shaggy Abbey, so Fathrrr Bill is not around much to oversee what happens at Anathema Abbey. The Shaggy Abbey is a small abbey built by Bill and Pat that is run by two poor, nunfortunate and very foul-smelling sistrrrs, Sistrrr Stella and Sistrrr Scamper. The two sistrrrs are in charge of the Shaggy Abbey and they work hard to create an environment appropriate for what goes on between Bill and Pat.
The Shaggy Abbey is not supported by The Vat because it’s not flamboyantly homosexual enough, but Fathrrrs Bill and Pat don’t seem to mind. This is all just to tell you to please steer clear of the Shaggy Abbey while you make your way to Anathema Abbey, where my fortune telling treehouse is located. I also intend for you to be aware that I have done a bit of renovating in Anathema Abbey to suit the nuns who live here.
Since arriving at The AA, I have spent many hours in the Little Gypsy Library. While in there, a few nuns have been studying me. One day I asked them why they were so fascinated by my reading habits, and they told me that they had heard about the tea-bernacle at the Shabby Abbey and wanted me to help them assemble one at The AA. Well, Readrrr, I just happen to take a teabernacle with me wherever I go, so I was happy to be able to set it up for them. After I set it up, the nuns grew confused, especially Sistrrr Romni, who said to me, “So when do you do the strip teas, Sistrrr Grim?”
“The what?” (You can imagine my surprise!)
“The Strip Teas.”
(It finally dawned on me.) “O…I nunderstand; you mean when do we strip the teas of their packets and brew them nice and loose, instead?”
Sistrrr Romni then told me that she and the other nuns at The AA had heard that I was a world famous apostolic practitioner of Strip Teas.
Practitioner of Strip Teas. I rather liked that. I pretended that what Sistrrr Romni had said didn’t catch me off guard.
“Right. Practitioner of Strip Teas, er, that I am.” Sistrrr Romni, for some odd reason, was staring at my belly and my fanny with this crazed look, as if she were, I don’t know, expecting an earthquake or something.
I knew just what to do; I pulled out a tin of Sistrrr Zhena’s Passionate Peach Ginger Gypsy Tea, I popped off its top, I stripped off its satchel, and I shook my tea right into my mug.
Sistrrr Romni started shaking, so I knew she couldn’t be trusted to be my Strip Teas Assistant. I then turned to Sistrrr Rumi and I said, “Hot water, please,” and her hot kettle appeared miraculously. Sistrrr Roomy grabbed the kettle out of Sistrrr Rumi’s hands and said, “MY turn,” to which Sistrrr Rumi sat down and began writing poorly-constructed imitative poetry on a tea-stained scroll, and I responded in turn by moving my mug in front of Sistrrr Roomy, ’cause, well, I’ve always liked her best out of the Roomany Sistrrrs from Room-mania, and I beckoned her to “Pour it on.” She did, perfectly slowly, thus becoming my Strip Teas apprentice, and later that night, accomplice.
Thus began my reentry into THE HALL OF THE TEABERNACLE KING and thus began my career as Head Practitioner of Strip Teas, overseer of Sistrrr Roomy and the Strip Teas Nun Collective at Anathema Abbey. (Sistrrr Sackville, who travels in my Strip Teas Caravan with me wherever I go, is a big fan of my brand of Nun Strip Teas, but she’s probably just bi-ass-ed!)
I have done such good work with Strip Teas in the short time that I’ve been at Anathema Abbey that the sistrrrs are now calling me Sistrrr Gypsy Rose Tea.
It was in being called Gypsy by Sistrrr Roomy, while we were doing strip teas work in my teahouse later on the night of the Gypsy Tea Epiphany, that a revelation ROSE to the surface.
I had been working on perfecting the amount of cream and agave nectar to add to my to my Gypsy Tea strip teas recipe. The tea itself was sweet in all the right ways and purrfectly black, but it still needed something. A stir. By my wand. So I grabbed my wand and stirred my tea, while intoning this:
“Lumos, mobiliarbus incendio”
(Hextended translation: Light, wand at thy wicked tip; Move, wand, and roast and stir these Sapphic peaches with the ancient fire tornado of Chantico and Coatlicue)
I continued, “Et lux in tenebris profundis inferni huic baculo…”
And then the nunthinkable happened. I was visited by my first apparition! An apparition of a tree of Georgia peaches arose out of my steaming cup.
Except the Georgia peaches were not just any peaches; they were Georgia O’Keeffe peaches. The peaches on the tree that grew out of my cup of gypsy tea were painted with the brush of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Roomy had just finished concocting a batch of Brrr-lesque Berry (a iced tea meant to help a hot sistrrr “take it all off” during those long, sweltering summer months burning to a crisp in the Oven of the Lord). I noted that she looked a pit different. More Georgian than usual.
When I glanced back to my cup, there was no longer an apparition. How odd, I thought, before I was distracted by Roomy, who, taking a sweet, cold sip, said, “A rose is a rose is a rose but a Gypsy Rose is a strip teas. With two extra e.e.s.” The word play was a relief, although I was taken aback by her reference to one of O’Keeffe’s contemporaries.
Deciding to play along, I said, “You’re such a tease.e.; you’re more of a tease.e. than Toklas… as in Alice B/e.e.”. She said, “Oh yeah, well you’re Gypsy Rose Sleaze.e.” That was it. I wrestled the Big Brrrlesque Berry Concocter to her kne.e.s. The peach fumes must have gone to my head. I was driven by a strange Sapphic urge to clamp down on my Roome.e., somehow. So I took off my strip teas glove and my kn.e.e. sock, and wrapped my legs around her like a small monkey would a tree trunk. She.e., apparently liked this, and buzzed like a be.e. the song “Let Me.e. Entertain You,” from the musical Gypsy. “Entertain me,” said Sistrrr Roome.e. “Let me.e.,” I started to sing-speak in a Bea Arthur-meets-Monroe vocal adaptation, “entertain you. Let me.e., se.e. you smile. Let me.e. do a few tricks, some old and then some new tricks…”
By the time I reached the line in the song that goes, “I want your spirits to climb,” Sistrrr Roome.e. started hyper ventilating. I thought she must need some kind of liquid. Grabbing what was nearest, the ginger-peach brew, I took a spoon to it and spooned it into her open mouth (she was convulsing, Readrrr).
Things got out of hand. Rather than calming her down, this raised the stakes of her fit of hysteria, and she grew three sizes. Her head did, I mean. At that point, I stopped singing to ask her an earnest question, “Do you need a nurse or a hearse?” “Neither,” she bellowed, “Divination. Read my mind like you would read a crystal ball.” I was sure that the bellowing voice that came from that room-sized head would be hea(r)d for miles and miles. “Shhhh,” I said. I had to act quickly. Her head was getting so big.
My only option was to merge the practices of face-reading, crystallomancy, tea-reading, palm-speaking, and fruit-reading.
I tried to hold Sistrrr Roomy’s head in my hands but it was too big. As my hands slid down her cheeks, I looked up to see a pair of horns emerging from the corners of her gigantuan forehead. I grabbed hold. Not knowing what in the good Lord’s tarnation was going on, I held on for dear life to those horns, managing to affix myself in a straddling position over the bridge of her nose, like a pair of spectacles. Suddenly I felt a painful scratch on my hands. No longer needing to hold onto the horns, due to the size of her nose, I let go of them and could not believe my eyes. Sistrrr Roomy’s head had turned into a Georgia (O’Keeffe) peach! Those were not horns; they were the shadowy swipe of a paintbrush’s rendering of twigs from a tree! Her hair was a leafy green blur. Was she blind? A cyclops of peach pit paint? It was too much to take in. And I was taken by an urge like no other to eat her. Well, Readrrr, I bet you think I did, but, Readrrr, I know how to exercise a modicum of self control. So I simply placed my two hands on her soft pink cheeks.
And that was when it happened. That was when I did my first peach reading.
Her head was my peach and my peach was a crystal ball. I had become a fortune telling nun for the first time! Only by the miracle of my holy spell was I able to be possessed by the holy spirit of the Georgia O’Peach. Only by the miracle was I able to ascertain the wisdom of the ages required to read into the future and into another’s mind. Except, as it happened, I read two minds at the same time.
“I’m getting something, I’m getting something,” I croaked as an earthquake seemed to break loose in the room, forcing me to squeeze my peach.
The bolt of psychic wisdom shook the teawadden right out of me. While I was reading Sistrrr Roomy’s mind, which was peachy-keen and very open I might add, I was able to access Sistrrr Shakespeare’s mind. That was when I really started thrashing around, the psychic lightening sending electric nogginshocks of ancient wisdom through me. Suddenly I could see everything. All the rooms into which Sistrrr Shakespeare had traveled. All she saw. I could feel all the things she felt. The soft quilt. The fur. The sacred places in the Nazi House that she reserved just for the two of us. The sound of boots climbing up the chairs. The feeling of dread in her chest. The nazi knuckes handing her things, brushing up against her. I could taste all she tasted. I could smell all she smelled. I could feel and hear the lies she told in order to survive. I had an in-to-body hexperience.
And, O, was it delightful! It was so delightful, both for Sistrrr Roomy and for me, that we took it on the road. I convinced her to travel from town to town with me in a rainbow wagon-caravan. Word of our arrival hit the front pages of newspapers across the state of New York:
“The Little Nun with the Big Head”
“Catechismic Nunfortunate Predictions”
“Miss Fortune Telling with Gypsy Rose Tea and Georgia Peach O’Keeffe”
“Little Psychic Nun Hits Apparition Jackpot”
“Readings Under the Wimple”
“The Big Peach takes The Big Apple by (Brain)Storm”
I became a famous fortune telling nun (but, as it turns out, I am only able to read the mind of Sistrrr Shakespeare). I am happy to report to my Dear Readrrr that my publick speaking skills AND my reading skills had improved, yet again! Another win for my Cliteracy Program!
Don’t you worry; I haven’t give up on the practicing strip teas. The nuns love (S)trip teas and are working o-so-hard to help me turn it into an art. Thank the good Lord for gypsies, gypsy teas, and the ability to read!
Don’t miss our traveling tea library caravan sistrrr company, Xena and Zhena Gabriella’s Psychicdelic Gypsy Strip Teas. And that is your nunfortunate fortune, Readrrr: you will see us together someday.