The Jennings Saga
    by Mrs. Ekaterina Cooper of Morehead, Kentucky, USA.

added on 20/02/2011

Isobel Dunbar saw herself as just an ordinary woman, despite having bra-strap-length hair at the time she was employed as a forth grade teacher, which included having Pugsley Addams as one of the homeroom students. John Laurel Jennings had just replaced Corneilia Comstock as principal at this one point in the history of the township of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Yet, his own Grand Uncle, namely Brigham Jennings, the son of lumber baron C.W. Jennings of Grand Rapids, Minnesota was already making out his last will and testament. In a special 1963 bowling tournament in California, John Laurel Jennings won a most amazing prize aside from the huge trophy he'd place on his mantel-piece in Minnesota. The alleged bowling tournament took place in San Francisco, and just as Alfred Hitchcock was nearing completion on his newest picture "The Birds". One of the transportation consultants on the set had supplied an aqua colored 1956 Ford F-250 3/4ton stepside pickup truck for certain scenes. Now one of those scenes was when Lydia Brenner (played by the late actress Jessica Tandy) went to complain to her chicken feed supplier, only to find him dead in his bedroom from a fight with some dead crows laying around the room. The only other scene showing the pickup at all in the movie was when Mitch Brenner (played by Rod Taylor) together with Lydia Brenner, Cathy Brenner (played by Veronica Cartwright), and Melanie Daniels (played by motion picture newcomer Tippi Hedren) fled from the Brenner home in Miss Daniels' sports car because of its speed. Since John Laurel Jennings was feeling lucky, he took on various financial based side bets on the tournament itself. In fact, the transportation consultant even went as far as to bet the pickup itself, since it was his own vehicle, and he lost heavily to John Laurel Jennings, and signed over the registration on his pickup. So instead returning to Minnesota by train as planned, John Laurel Jennings drove back. October 1964, having replaced retired principal Corneilia Comstock, John Laurel Jennings was in his office on the afternoon of Friday the 23RD when 4TH Grade teacher Miss Isobel Dunbar came into John Laurel Jennings' office with a love letter from one of her students, namely Pugsley Addams. J.L. (reading the letter) said, "Dear Teacher, This is...", blabbing too quietly and then asking louder, "One of your students wrote this letter?" Isobel moaned, "I've always considered the Addams boy a little strange, but this letter... I decided it was a matter for the principal!"    J.L. reviewed the letter more closely griping, "What's he doing in the 4TH Grade?", checking the bottom of the letter itself, "There's no signature? How do you know the Addams boy wrote it?" Isobel Dunbar groaned, "I saw him sneak it on my desk!" Taking an awfully deep breath, J.L. replied, "Well, you'd better see Romeo's folks about this immediately!" Isobel whined, "I was hoping you'd come with me, Mr. Jennings. You're so diplomatic, assured, poised, masculine..." John Laurel Jennings added, "True, true!" Isobel continued, "And I'M so bumbling, helpless, ineffective..." John Laurel Jennings sighed, "True, true!" Isobel added, "Feminine!" John Laurel Jennings responded, "Come Miss Dunbar. You'll have to handle this yourself, and please, Miss Dunbar, try not to make a fool of yourself?" Isobel sighed, "Yes, Mr. Jennings!" After Isobel left J.L.'S office, Jennings replied aloud to himself, "That kid should be writing "Peyton Place"!" As Miss Dunbar slowly walked up to the Addams mansion, inside Gomez Addams was swinging from the old Louis XII chandelier calling out, "Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!", turning to the family's butler, Lurch Crabwell, Gomez added, "Wonderful sport, Lurch!" Lurch replied, "It has its ups and downs!" Gomez answered, "Just like life and love. That reminds me, how is Pugsley?" Lurch replied, "Normal!" Gomez giggled, "Already forgotten his teacher! That's my Pugsley! Love them and leave them,!" Lurch sighed, "Yes, Mr. Addams!" Gomez called, "Bring me a ladder, Lurch!", interrupted by the foghorn sound of the doorbell, Gomez added, "Better answer the doorbell first". Then Lurch re-entered the living room saying, "Pugsley's teacher!" Gomez yelled out, "Ahoy, Miss Dunbar!" Isobel gasped, "There you are!" Gomez replied, "Yes!" Isobel pondered, "You know me?" Gomez said, "Ofcourse, don't you remember that enchanted evening across the crowded PTA meeting?", addressing Lurch, "Never mind the ladder, Lurch!", coming down fast via the trampoline, "Alley-oop! Oop! Ah-ha!", introducing himself to Isobel, "How do you do?", addressing Lurch again, "Lurch, you can take the trampoline to your room!" Lurch replied solemnly, "Yes, Mr. Addams!" Gomez asked, "Coffee? Tea? Champagne?" Isobel huffed, "Please, this is not a social visit!" Gomez asked, "Oh?" Isobel came to the point, "I have a... Well, there's a letter I must read to you!" Gomez replied, "Well, sit right down. Make yourself comfortable", breathing slowly, "Read away". Isobel sighed, "Some of this is embarrassing!" Gomez added, "My favorite reading!" Isobel whined, "Very embarrassing!" Gomez replied, Oh, well! just read the parts that aren't!" Isobel gulped, "There was one sentence. "When I first saw you from afar, my heart flamed with a fierce passion, and when you spoke French, Ooh-la-la! Ah, your radiant beauty, your captivating allure..." Gomez mumbling, "Your captivating allure, drew you to me like honey to a suckle!", feeling shocked, "Honey to a suckle?" Isobel gasped, "Then you wrote this?" Gomez confessed, "I certainly did!" Isobel sighingly cried, "Oh, Mr. Addams! I don't know what to say. I've never had an attractive man like you fall in love with me before!" Gomez gasped, "What?" Isobel replied, "In fact, I've never had any man fall in love with me before. that's why I... Mr. Addams, do you think we dare go through with this? Maybe we should stop before it's too late? Yes, we must end it! It's madness! Oh, let it be madness! What does it matter as long as we have each other other? Oh, Mr..." Only then did Gomez notice Morticia coming downstairs into the living room, and said, "Ah, we have a guest for dinner, my dear!" Morticia replied, "I'll have Lurch set an extra place for dinner". As Morticia went into the kitchen, Gomez gasped, "I think I'd better explain this to my wife". Isobel agreed, "I think you'd better!" Ten minutes later upstairs, Gomez was crying, "So you see, Querida, it wasn't my fault! Besides, she squeezes harder than that boa constrictor I got you for your last birthday". Morticia added, "I can sympathize with her. I know how irresistible you are". Gomez replied, "I guess I have to tell her she's making a mistake".

Morticia sighed, "Darling, you can't do that!" Gomez balked, "I can't?" Morticia added, "Well, ofcourse not! It would crush her, darling. Two rejections in one day". Gomez asked, "Two?" Morticia remarked, "First Pugsley, and then you". Gomez moaned, "Oh, Cara, you're such an understanding woman". Morticia added, "It would be cruel to hurt her. You must act the part of a great lover".

Gomez gulped, "But if I led her on, she'll have to know the truth eventually!" Morticia quoted, "Tis' better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". Gomez asked, "Lincoln?" Morticia corrected, "Jefferson!", adding, "I'll even play the jealous wife, give it a touch of realism". Gomez added, "Morticia, you're all woman!" Morticia replied, "Yes, I know". Go uttered, "For you, I'll do it!", turning back, "Querida, I can't even look at another woman!" Morticia reminded, "Darling, you're doing it for me". Gomez sighed, "For you". Morticia added, "Oh, darling, say it with flowers", reminding at last second, "Oh! And, Gomez, now I know how you get carried away, so when I say "Stop", stop!" Gomez puffed, "Cara!" Thus Gomez then returned downstairs to the living room. As he noticed Isobel looking at a photo him on a table, he thought silently inside of himself, "For you, Morticia". Walking up to Isobel, Gomez called out, "Ah-ha! Miss Dunbar, my treasure!" Isobel calmly replied, "Mr. Addams, I've been thinking about us! I'M afraid we're making a mistake!" Gomez threw away the bouquet pedal-less roses, and grabbed Isobel in his arms, causing her glasses to just fly off, and then the comb used to hold her hair up in its usual bun fell down beside the glasses themselves. Even as the bobbypins fell out ever so many, or one at a time, causing Isobel's then bra-strap-length hair to tumble downwards, Gomez wooed, "A mistake? Did Samson and Delilah make a mistake?" Isobel weeped, "Yes!" Gomez asked, "Did Anthony and Cleopatra make a mistake?" Isobel whined, "Yes!" Gomez asked, "Did Romeo and Juliet make a mistake?" Isobel whimpered, "Yes!" Gomez replied, "Everyone's entitled to one mistake!", unaware that Uncle Fester Frump was coming down the fire pole from his bedroom, "You're my only passion!" Isobel cried, "Mr. Addams! Mr..." Gomez interrupted, "Let's fly away together, to the Black Forest!" Isobel asked, "But what about your wife?" Gomez replied, "She's been there!", puffing and panting, "A Black Forest summer, winter, autumn, spring...", feeling a tap on his shoulder, "Fester, can't you see I'M busy?" Uncle Fester asked, "Gomez, how could you?" Gomez replied, "It's easy! Watch!" Uncle Fester gasped, "I don't know about you, but I come from a long line of stool pigeons", bellowing, "Morticia!" Uncle Fester ran upstairs, and said, "Morticia, I don't know how to tell you this, but your husband's a fake!" Morticia asked, "My husband, Gomez?" Uncle Fester sighed, "You got another?", huffing, "He's playing footsies with another woman! And when I say footsies, I don't mean footsies!" Morticia added, "Dear noble, Gomez!" Uncle Fester gawked, "Noble?" Morticia said, "He's just pretending, Uncle Fester!" uncle gasped, "Pretending?  Then why is he drooling so much?" Morticia reminded, "He has to be convincing!" Uncle Fester croaked, "Convincing? He sure convinced me! Having that woman laying down in his arms like that, with her hair straggling down all over her shoulders, and her eyes afire, and her cheeks aflame..." Morticia interrupted, "You saw all that?" Uncle Fester replied, "Yeah, and I only caught a glance!" Morticia added, "I do believe dear Gomez has built up that woman's ego sufficiently! Uncle Fester, you better go tell him!" Uncle Fester reminded, "Don't worry, I know what to tell him!" Morticia continued, "Oh, Uncle Fester, now, do be discreet", reminding, "We don't want to offend Miss Dunbar! Just tell Gomez I said, "Don't stop!"." Uncle Fester repeated, "Don't stop!?" Morticia assured, "He'll understand". As he stared at the canvas Morticia was painting, Uncle Fester promised, "You know me, old dependable!" Morticia sighed, "I just adore finger-painting". So when uncle Fester returned downstairs, he said, "I can't look!", feeling around by a statue he mistook for Gomez, "Gomez, I've always loved you as a nephew! Why not? I'M your uncle! But you're not yourself, Gomez! I can tell just by touching you! Suddenly you're hard and cold! but if you won't listen to me, perhaps you'll listen to Morticia!" Looking over to Uncle Fester, Gomez gagged, "I should have put out the "don't disturb" sign!" Uncle Fester looked, and replied, "Oh, there you are!", addressing the statue, "Sorry!" Gomez went on raving, "The Black Forest is indescribable! Let me tell you about it!" Uncle Fester interrupted, "Morticia says, "Don't stop!"." Gomez shrugged, "Don't stop? Thanks!", raving on, "What was I saying before we were interrupted? Oh, yes! I was saying that nobody must be allowed to interrupt!" Uncle Fester howled, "Morticia!" So Uncle Fester ran back upstairs saying, "Morticia, we've lost him!" Morticia asked, "He didn't stop?" Uncle Fester added, "He didn't even break stride!" Morticia sighed, "Oh, dear!", handing the paint brush to Uncle Fester, "Oh, here, Uncle Fester, finish this for me". As Fester chose to paint his own thumb nail instead of the one on the canvas, Morticia raced downstairs to see the latest progress. Isobel cried, "Mr. Addams..." Gomez said, "Hush, my darling! An ivy covered cottage beside a lovely swamp!" Isobel pleaded, "But, Mr. Addams..." Gomez continued, "Hush, my darling! We can our own little secluded hideaway, far from everyone, where the magic stillness of the night is broken only by the merry   buzzing of the Tsetse Fly!" Isobel whined, "But, Mr. Addams..." Gomez asked, Yes, my darling! What is it?" Isobel sighed, "You're breaking my back". Gomez added, "Excuse me!", walking over to Morticia, "Well, what do you think?" Morticia boomed, "I think it's dreadful!" Gomez sighed, Well, I was doing a lot better until her back gave out! I'll show you what I mean!" Morticia uttered, "Gomez, what's gotten into you? You're acting disgracefully!"

Gomez gasped, "I am?" Morticia added, "Yes, you are! It's as though you don't care at all!" Gomez asked, "It's as bad as that?" Morticia replied, "It most certainly is! If you'd only make some effort..." Gomez added, "Just watch me! I'll show you what the man you married is really like!" As Gomez went on with his moves on Isobel, Morticia began smashing some old family antiques, and shrieked, "Oh what have I done? Our wonderful life together, our magical moments, gone, broken smashed to bits!" Gomez interrupted, "Good God, Morticia, what a performance! Worthy of a Sarah Bernhardt, a Greta Garbo, a Mamie Van Doren!" Morticia pleaded, "Oh, Gomez! Why? Why? Why?" Gomez replied, "Why not? Why not? Why not? How was that? Ah, but enough of this small talk! My heart belongs to What's-Her-Name!"
Morticia begged, "Please, Gomez, please, dear, think of all our happy moments together?" Gomez bellowed, "A sham!", addressing Isobel, "Now where were we?" Isobel whined, "Mr. Addams..." Gomez raved, "Hush, my darling!", addressing Morticia, "Can't you see it's all over between us?" Morticia added, "Gomez, I'M leaving this house and taking the children with me!" Gomez grumbled, "Go ahead and leave!" Isobel pleaded again, "But, Mr. Addams..." Gomez raved, "Hush, my darling!", urging to Morticia, "Take the children! Take the neighbors' children! Take Uncle Fester! Take Mama!" Morticia interrupted, "She's your Mama!" Gomez replied, "Very well, we'll share custody, but I get full custody of Lurch!" Morticia weeped, "C'est terrible!" Gomez dropped Isobel to the floor, and tilted forward towards Morticia. Isobel plead, "Mr. Addams?" Gomez looked down, and said, "Ah! There you are!" Morticia cried, "Adieu, Mon Bubele!" Again Gomez tilted forwards to Morticia. Isobel sighed, "Mr. Addams, will you please pick me up?" Gomez gulped, "Oh? Yes, ofcourse!" Just then, the doorbell rang out its usual foghorn sound. Gomez said, "Lurch, someone's at the door, you'd better see who it is!" Then Lurch walked into the living room with John Laurel Jennings, and announced, "Mr. Jennings". As Lurch removed, Jennings' Fedora hat, John Laurel Jennings huffed, "Miss Dunbar?" Gomez questioned, "Sir, if you're a jealous husband, or boyfriend? The whole thing was a mistake! An April fool joke!" Jennings gawked, "An April fool joke in October?" Gomez replied, "I like to get an early start!" Isobel pleaded, "My glasses? Where are my glasses?" John Laurel Jennings asked, "Where did you drop them, Miss Dunbar?" Isobel whined, "I didn't drop them, they just flew off!" John Laurel Jennings squawked, "Flew off? Why, Isobel, you have beautiful eyes". Isobel sighed, "Ah!" Gomez congratulated, "Sir you are leading this poor, lovesick girl on, and I just want to say, good luck!" Gomez shook hands with Jennings, and as Gomez raced upstairs to apologize to Morticia for nearly going too far, John Laurel Jennings walked Isobel out to his pickup truck in front of the house. Isobel asked, "Do you think that I should try wearing contact lenses, Mr. Jennings?"

John chuckled, "Mr. Jennings? From now on Isobel, call me Johnny! And yes, you might look good with contact lenses, too." He opened the passenger side door for her like any gentleman would, and helped her into the cab of his pickup. So they went to the Jennings home located centrally between the Oak Knowls and Greenbriar-Woodlawn areas of town. As they pulled into the driveway, John said, "Well, this is my house, Isobel. What do you think?" Isobel stared at the old Victorian mansion, and sighed, "It looks quite marvelous. Yet it's so big!" Then as they embraced each other, John asked, "Isobel Dunbar, will you do me the honor of becoming Mrs. John Laurel Jennings?"
Isobel shrieked, "Yes! I'll marry you!" So then they kissed, and began planning their wedding. They set the date of the wedding for Saturday, May 1ST, 1965, and thus they were happily married. From the time he'd proposed to Isobel, he'd also convinced her to grow her hair longer than bra-strap-length. By their wedding date, Isobel's hair measured out about the same as Jeanne Crain when she (meaning Crain) had portrayed Miss Ann Gilbreth in the 1950 film entitled, "Cheaper By The Dozen", prior to the scene where Ann quotes, "Convent with the twelve-foot wall, here I come!", and went from old fashioned girl to 1920S flapper. Anyway, by August of 1966, Isobel was quite close to the point of giving birth. By now, Isobel's hair was about the same length Jeanne Crain wore in the scene where Farley Granger yanked her hairpins out, causing the hair to fall down to Crain's hips in the infamous, "Gift Of The Magi" sequence from the 1952 film entitled, "O. Henry's Full House". Ofcourse, Isobel had no plans whatsoever for cutting, under any lind of circumstances.

Yet, Isobel wasn't due for at least another week, but when she saw the TV news footage broadcasted from Austin, Texas showing her old Alma Mater, the University of Texas at Austin, well, she could hardly believe what was happening as a student named Charles Whitman, Jr. had freaked out, and began shooting people from all over the place from his sniper's perch in the 28-story clock tower. Twenty-Five persons were wounded. Thirteen were killed both and in and around the campus. Also, they learned that there were in fact Fifteen dead when authorities discovered the bodies of Whitman's wife and mother. The autopsy some days later revealed that Whitman had a malignate brain tumor that doctors said could not be removed surgically speaking.

Of course, most of the laser surgery was still in its infancy at this point in time, and considered by most as being worse, despite that it was actually better than chemo just a few years later, more or less. Well, the shock of the shooting sent Isobel into labor right then and there as she yelled, "John! The baby's ready right now!" Quickly, abandoning the manual operated lawnmower, john raced into the house, and then took Isobel to the hospital in Duluth. It seemed like hours as John Laurel Jennings paced the floor of the waiting room with his fellow expectant fathers. By 6:00 P.M., the nurse said, "Mr. Jennings. It's a boy!" John sighed, "A boy! Good! How's my wife?" The nurse added, "They're bringing her to her room as of now, but come down to the nursery, and see your baby, please, Sir?" John gasped, "Yes, ofcourse". So another generation of Jennings' had been born. They then named their son Mordecai Bartholomew Jennnings. Even after they brought him home, some neighbors didn't understand why Isobel was still wearing her hair so long, even after giving birth. Although, it was still sometime before infant-sized safety seats would be on the open market just yet, Isobel relyed on the Ace Supermarket to deliver groceries to the door. Whereas, Ace was the smallest grocery store in town, the Quickee Supermarket was the largest, and yet already outside competition was inbound. First of all there was A&P followed by Shopnbag, Shop Rite, Ralph's, Cobb's, Big Bear, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, IGA, County Market, Pic Pac, Market Basket, Safeway, Super Value, and many others in years to come, and for now, far too numerous to list. Even as he grew taller with each passing year, Mort as he became known as was quite an interesting young man. Yet, a somewhat unforseen tragedy occurred in their lives in 1980. Mort was off at a summer camp as a Junior Counselor when on Monday, June 30TH, 1980, his father had died in his sleep from natural causes. Mort had to bum a ride home to help his mother Isobel with the funeral arrangements. When discussing the plans with local undertaker Horatio Gateman, the head of Gateman, Goodbury, and Graves Funeral Parlor, with its advertisement, which often read Morticians of Merit. So heartbroken as she was, Isobel could hardly be consoled.

Mort took it upon himself to make the plans for the funeral of his father. Mr. Gateman asked, "I guess your mother is in too much grief right now to make any decisions of this kind. So what do you have in mind?" Mort replied, "Let's begin with velvet lining for the coffin. Next a nice huge, bronze casket with brass handles. Services to include a nice public, yet closed casket showing for the visitation. Finally, the rest of the funeral to be private with just the family, and the pallbearers. Do you understand, Sir?" Mr. Gateman pushed the button on the buzzer for his intercom, and said, "Miss Gotrocks, would you please send in Munster. I think we have a special customer, just for him". the secretary added, "Yes, boss". Then into the office walked a towering 7' 3" figure of a man with a rectangular face with steel bolts in his neck, a scar shaped like a bolt of lightning above one eye, and a complexion of green. Soon services had gotten underway, featuring Gomez Addams among the pallbearers. When the funeral percession made its way downtown, it was like a painting by Goya. John Laurel Jennings was buried at the Oak Lawn Cemetery. Thus, the Jennings family faded into local obscurity for the next few years, or so, more or less, while Isobel kept on wearing her hair long.

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