It all started when Hayley had a body transplant. Her ankles were very weak and it was decided that the best way to help her would be a total body replacement. Of course, after the surgery, Hayley had to visit the legendary Shoe Tree, and there she discovered several pairs of tie-dyed socks.
In the days and weeks that followed, Hayley, under the able tutelage of Wendy, studied the art of dyeing. She then convinced the other Madisons at the Continuum to work with her so that they could have tie-dyed shirts for their annual face mold portrait.
The word spread, and requests came in from many other Twinns who wanted their own tie-dyed shirts. So on a fine fall afternoon, the Madisons gathered to work on shirts for their friends.
Hayley carefully stirred a packet of Kool-Aid into the simmering dye pot. “This is great,” she commented. “I’m glad you guys were willing to help.”
“We enjoy it,” said Janna, who was tying off a white shirt with rubber bands.
“And maybe we will get enough money to take a trip somewhere,” added Eileen. The twins often finished each other’s sentences and sometimes even lapsed into their own private language.
“Where shall we go?” asked Julianna, who was in charge of hanging the finished shirts to dry.
“I’ve always wanted to go to South Africa,” said Margo.
“Hey, Virginia is over there. We ought to send Virginia a shirt to let her know she is still part of our group,” Hayley said, stirring the dye to a beautiful color of purple.
“That’s a great idea,” mumbled Julie with a clothespin in her mouth, then taking it out, she added, “Which one shall we send her?”
“We have a bigger problem,” said Margo. “What shall we put on our logo for the shirt tags?”
Margo was very artistic and she was trying to design the perfect label.
“Manufactured by the Madison, uh, Medley?” Eileen suggested.
“What about the Magical Mystery Madisons?” asked Janna, who was a big Beatles fan.
“I don’t know about you, Janna, but I don’t feel very magical or mysterious,” Hayley commented. “How about plain old Madison Manufacturing?” Hayley tended to be very practical and down to earth.
Just then Jeremy appeared with a load of firewood for the fire. He had recruited David to help, as Randy had gone somewhere with the wagon on an important mission.
“Hey, Jeremy, what should we call ourselves for the T-shirt labels?” Margo called.
“Why do we have to call ourselves something?” Jeremy asked.
“We need a logo for the labels,” Eileen explained. “Margo is designing them.”
“Well, what about the Merry Madisons, like Robin Hood and his Merry Men?” asked Jeremy, depositing the sticks beside the fireplace.
“Oh, so we can be Jeremy and his Merry Madisons?” asked Julie, who never missed an opportunity to tease her brother.
“Well, I AM the only boy,” Jeremy pointed out.
“We Ariels are the Ariel Aggregation,” David commented.
“But since Jackie left for West Virginia there are only two of you,” observed Hayley. She emptied another packet into the dye pot and the water turned a beautiful shade of cerise.
“Well, two Twinns can be an aggregation.” David argued. “Besides, I know for a fact that the head of the Continuum has her eye on a couple of MT friends who are Ariels. And we will have three if Margarita ever gets a wig.”
“The head of the Continuum has a Madison on her list, too,” said Janna, who had seen the list and contemplated writing in another of her twin sisters who was still available. “Don’t be too smug, David.”
“Does it have to rhyme?” spoke up Hayley. “After all, the Emmas are the Royal Order of Emmas.”
“And what about the Cookies? I don’t think they have a name, do they?” Margo asked.
“The royal order of crumbs,” joked Jeremy, who was still a little put off that the Cookies had trounced the Madisons in softball. Unfortunately the Madisons hadn’t won a game during the entire summer.
“Hey, Jeremy, which of these shirts should we send to Virginia?” Julie interrupted. She knew Jeremy had a fondness for his cousin in South Africa and didn’t want to remind him that she had dropped three balls in the outfield during the recent bout with the Cookies.
“Well, not the one that looks like a fried egg,” Jeremy said with a grin. “I don’t know how the Bossman feels about cooking eggs for all his Twinns. Why don’t we e-mail her a photo and let her choose?”
Virgina was so excited when she saw the email that she jumped up on the table and waved her arms in front of the monitor “I want that one! no that one! the fried egg one! the squished strawberry one!! ooooooooh I hate making important decisions like this on an empty stomache!”
A few weeks later, when Paige arrived she brought along a shirt for Virginia. And she was very impressed too. “My very own Mad Shirt.”
She bumped into Dawn one morning. “Hi Virginia. I like your shirt. Is it an original?” Dawn asked.
“Hi Dawn, yes, it’s a one of a kind Mad Shirt. Made by the Madisons back at the continuum.”
“They made a great job of it too. I think I must put in an order for one of those Mad Shirts, you never know, it may come in handy as a disguise.”
© DRW, JE Sturgis 2006-2018. Moved to blog 01/09/2015