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At Least It's Not A Rancor
by Jimmy Neenan

It all started about two years ago while I was mowing the lawn. I was hedging up the grass, nice and trim, twenty-eight nice neat rows of grass all cut into perfect lines, tracing up and down the backyard, when I heard it. My little angel-pie was crying. Even over the mower I could hear the faint whimpering of my darling little girl, coming from inside the house. I dropped the mower and shot inside up to her room.

Let me say, for the record that what sat before me, balling incessantly in a pink, Hello Kitty nightgown, was nothing short of a nightmare. There were long brown locks of hair sprouting out all over her body, pushing into every direction. Some would say ragamuffin, others frazzlepuss, I say Wookiee. Her once luxuriously long blond curls were warped into chaotic tangle of auburn brown follicles remiscent of a bird’s nest. Her once gleaming white dentures set perfect from years of rigorous orthodontistry, now, a vampiric travesty of brownish incisor after incisor nestled on top of each other, intertwined like pillars from a coral reef. And then there was the voice: my God, the voice. At one point her speech was equivocal to a Seraph serenading God himself. Now, it has been reduced to the lowliest of toads croaking away in a pile of muck.

I rushed from the room and was forced to purge myself before reacquainting with the beast that had become my daughter. What could I do? It was as though Kafka had stepped in and written my future. Only, rather than a cuddly little insect hiding out in my upstairs bedroom, shrugging away from the bits of milk and cheese I leave behind, I have a walking, talking, monstrosity who eats nothing but enormous sides of beef.

Indeed ladies and gentlemen, God is certainly not without a sense of irony. It was no more then two years ago my daughter and I were parading around the country winning pageant after pageant, accumulating a regular treasure chest in medals, trophies and the occasional ribbon. She was the best—that is, until the fateful night God himself decided to turn the tides on her success and reduce her to the lowest of all science fiction mascots.

In reality anything would have been better than a Wookiee. Give me dwarf, droid, beetle, yeti, sand person, sasquatch, chupacabra, anything. God forbid, she turn into a cute little Ewok that could have passed as a new dog or pet. Even the amphibious Gungan would have served as a better daughter. At least then I wouldn’t have to hire a pool cleaner every summer. But I digress. Fate has spoken and there’s nothing in this world I can do but accept the fact that my once beautiful little snookums has turned into a living, breathing, Cousin It, with a haircut and an ammo belt.

What now you ask? At the moment we’ve been investigating the latest in laser hair removal techniques, but to no avail. Every doctor we’ve met with has refused participation in what they refer to as the barbaric shaving of a member of the once proud race of Wookiee’s from the planet Kashyyyk. I call them nut jobs; they call me a sadistic ass that enjoys nothing more then belittling a race already downtrodden. Mark my words ladies and gentlemen; I will stop at nothing until my daughter is restored back to her original self. She will once again twirl the baton in a spandex leotard in front of overzealous judges. She will once again parade around singing, “My Little Butterbup,” in the luminescent glow of stage lights. She will once again smear petroleum jelly across her teeth and belt the Star Spangled Banner in off key, adolescent tones.

How do I live with myself you ask? I take it one step at a time and repeat my mantra: At least it’s not a Rancor, at least it’s not a Rancor, at least she’s not a Rancor.