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Cheetah and Chipmunk in Love

In the town of Butternut, way up north, a water-ski team known as The Butternut All Stars performs tri-weekly shows for the enjoyment of the town and its tourists. The Butternut All Stars ski off jumps, flip over wakes, perform a truly awful clown act and exhibit awesome coordination and cheesiness with a feat known as “The Water Ballet.” Each show closes with a massive extravaganza of patriotism as the entire ski team dons star-spangled leotards and skis 8 per boat around Lake Butternut to the cheers of the audience and the drunk crowd of the neighboring bar The Thirsty Badger. I have seen this show no less than 50 times and for the past 15 said, this is the absolute LAST time I’m going to this thing. I thought I had seen it all.

My young cousin Cheetah, 13, the first in our family to ever dare or care, auditioned for next year’s Butternut Ski Team… and made it. We are so thrilled. Cheetah, with an amazing display of athleticism, practiced for a month, mastered all techniques required and was one of two lasses to even DARE to go off the ski jump. She almost made it. Her secret weapon, however, was an article that I found in Butternut three weeks prior.

Cheetah’s father Jim recently purchased a Butternut resort – one with a Swiss-style ambiance. I know this resort well because back when I was a young child I used to wash dishes in the restaurant. This has strongly attributed to my hatred of food service, lederhosen and polka music. So, Jim took us on a tour of the currently under renovation property. In a dark and musty closet, a furry shape caught my eye. The very dusty and dirty resort mascot… a life-size Chipmunk outfit with a freak-ish evil rabbit from Donnie Darko-looking face.

Cheetah immediately fell in love with this costume. We dust-busted it and shook the mice out of its feet. Cheetah hopped into its enclaves and refused to get out. We took Cheetah to the gas station where she bought a smoothie as the curmudgeonly clerk acted as if it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before. We harassed cousin Aloysius at the video store. I shot Cheetah Chipmunk riding a horse for my movie. Cheetah Chipmunk even engaged in all sorts of water sports, just to really get a feel for the costume.

Anyway, this morning I open my e-mail and lo and behold a message from Jim:

Cheetah is now a Butternut All-Star. Here is a photo of her debut.




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