by Cheryl B.

Wendy called the meeting to order. "Good evening, ladies, and welcome to our weekly Contardoholics Anonymous meeting. My name is Wendy, and I'm a Contardoholic."

"Hi Wendy!" the group chimed in.

"Alright, the first item on our agenda today is to award our 'Johnny Sobriety' chips," she said. "Now, did anyone here actually make it through a whole hour anytime this week without any daydreams or fantasies, or otherwise swooning over him?"

Mary raised her hand. "I hit my head on Wednesday and was unconscious for several hours, does that count?'

"Well, that depends, Mary," said Wendy. "What caused you to hit your head?"

"Ummmmm, I kind of fell..."


Mary looked down, shuffling her feet. "I was watching Johnny doing the Twist on the show, and I fainted and collapsed to the floor. My head hit the bust of his head I made in ceramics class, and I got quite a concussion.:"

"Whoo hoo, way to go, Mary!" cheered Evelyn.

"Evelyn..." Wendy said sternly.

"Sorry," she replied sheepishly.

Wendy shot her another glance before continuing. "Well, anyway, Mary, I'd have to say no, that if you swooned and hit your head because of Johnny, I can't count those unconscious hours in your favor. I'm sorry. But believe me, girls, I understand. I've been a member of CA for 20 years, and I've never made it past 45 minutes myseff."

"Wow, Wendy!" exclaimed April, "You made it that long? You are SO my hero... how did you do it?"

"Well, I was on a bender in Tijuana once a few years ago," she explained, "And for a few minutes in the midst of that haze of cheap tequila, I was completely incoherent, until some guy named Juan tried to help me, and I said "Juan... that's like Spanish for 'Johnny,' isn't it?" Of course, that snapped me out of it and back into my addiction, but ladies, for those 45 minutes and 6 seconds of my life, I was a winner!"

"Wow..." the room said in awed reverence.

"But girls, I've got some good news. The corporate office has gotten so many complaints that nobody in any of the local chapters around the world has ever been able to reach an hour's sobriety, that they've let us designate a new *five minute* chip, to encourage you all in your progress."

"That's great!" said Rosie, "This calls for a celebration! I'll go put the 'Grease' soundtrack in the CD player, and Ginger, you go get the refreshments - the jug wine and breadsticks are in the kitchen."

"Ok!" Ginger chimed in.

"Hold it!" sighed Wendy. "This is not helping."

"It sure helps *me*," Sandy whispered mischievously, causing a giggle to arise from the group.

"Very funny," Wendy said. "But you're never going to get better if you keep playing Johnny's music or bringing out the Italian food. You've got to be strong, girls."

"Ok, Wendy," Ginger retorted, "I'm sorry. Can I make a suggestion, though?"

Wendy, happy to see someone was being serious for a change, smiled and nodded. "Of course!"

"Those five minute chips... could we, like, get some cute little Italian horn charms instead?"

Banging her head against the podium in exasperation, Wendy looked up, staring wearily at the women. "No you may not... and while we're on the subject of appropriate attire and accessories, let's talk about what some of you are wearing. Alice, let's start with you."

"What?" Alice stammered defensively, "I'm just wearing a t-shirt and jeans!"

"Yes, but in this atmosphere of healing, I really don't think that a t- shirt that says FALSETTOS GET IT HIGHER is such a good idea..."

"Ok, fine..." Alice pouted, "But if I have to change, shouldn't Cindy have to first?"

"Hey!" Cindy protested, "Do you have any idea how much this outfit cost me? Gold lame is *not* cheap, let me tell you, sister."

"Well, Cindy," Alice pointed out,"If you'd at least quit doing those blasted Spanish Turns while you're wearing it, it might help."

"Whatever..." she huffed.

"Ladies, ladies, ladies," Wendy said. I think we've done enough damage... err, I mean, accomplished enough for tonight. So let's get into a circle, hold hands and recite the Johnny Prayer together before we leave."

They did as she suggested, and began to speak together in unison.

"St. Contardo, grant us the serenity to accept the fact that Johnny is a major hottie, and we can never change that, the courage to change the things we can, like not listening to his records or watching our Sha Na Na tapes, and the wisdom to realize that, even if we gathered together here every night for a million years, that just ain't ever gonna happen. Amen."

"Amen!" cheered the crowd.

"Hey girls," Sandy called out, "Let's go to coffee!"

"I'll drive," April smiled, "I've got 'Ballads for Lovers' cued up in my SUV's tape player!"

"Whoo hoo!" they exclaimed as they rushed out the door.

"Now just hold on a minute..." Wendy said, frustration coloring her voice.

"Oops, sorry," April said meekly.

"You should be," Wendy said with a sigh of resignation. "How could you forget to invite me? Besides, I've got my 'Changeover' tape right here in my purse - let's go girls!"


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