Oct. 17th, 2011

"Oh, Daddy!" sobbed Karen. "It's not going to work; it's not! I just want to call the whole thing off!" She threw herself into the couch next to Ollie and buried her face in the pillows.

"No, don't do that," Ollie said, never taking his eyes off the TV. He had already spent fifty thousand dollars on this lavish June wedding, and the thought of his daughter cancelling it now that the checks had been written made him faintly queasy. He patted her half-heartedly on the back. Ollie never knew what to do when his women were hysterical. "It'll going to be all right," he added lamely.

"All right?!" Karen looked up from the pillow, her face contorted with outrage and her makeup badly smeared. "How's it going to be all right, Daddy? My beautiful wedding dress isn't going to fit me anymore, thanks to this stupid thing!" To Ollie's discomfort, his daughter pulled down the back of her shorts. The stub of her tail squirmed just above the cleft of her buttocks – a thumb-sized digit covered with naked skin that matched the rest of her, a vestige of an earlier phase in human evolution that had come back into style, like the return of disco. Ollie felt his own stub curl reflexively against his tailbone.

"Well, honey, it's nothing to be ashamed of," said Ollie. "Everybody's growing them now."

Karen threw Ollie a look of pure disgust. "You're not helping!" she shrieked and fled the room.

Ollie debated going after her, but decided to continue watching television. He was the calm one, he told himself. The calm one in a crisis.

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