Chapter One - The Arrival

It was a damp July afternoon as the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Simon Sijanowski sped east on the interstate in their battle-ship gray Buick Skylark. Simon clenched the wheel with one hand, as he put his other arm lovingly around the neck of his new wife Rose, formerly Rose Gardocki. They had a nice June wedding, perfect weather, nice small church; although at the reception Simon had a little too much to drink and he threw-up all over Great Aunt Ethel Gardocki, the matriarch of the Gardocki family. The honeymoon was also nice, two weeks spent together in Mexico, although it was somewhat marred when Rose fell off an Aztec pyramid and broke her ankle. Simon still doesn't understand what she was doing on the pyramid, but he didn't ask any questions as he carried his wife around for their final four days in Mexico. Simon, 26 years of age, is a normal sized man, 5'10" 180 pounds, with short brown hair and glowing blue eyes. His wife, a young 23, is 5'6" and a healthy 135 pounds, and she has medium-length light-brown hair that she normally wears in a pony tail. They met almost two years ago when Simon's pet gerbil, Horatio, scurried out of his apartment and into the arms of Rose, who was on her way to her Xylophone lessons with Madame Soshana who lived in the apartment next to Simon's. Call it fate, call it love at first sight, or call it corny, but when Rose and Simon first laid eyes on each other they were both put into a trance, and didn't even notice when Horatio jumped out of Rose's arms and ran out of the apartment for a second time, never to be seen or heard from again.

Simon, who wasn't exactly gifted, was an over-achiever in college, and his hard work resulted in him graduating with a B average and a degree in History. All he wanted to do was teach, but he his dream seemed to be slipping out of his reach as he got more and more rejection letters from schools. Then one day, last April, he got a letter from Mr. Roger Frampton, Principle of Agnew Valley Senior High School and Fish Hatchery. The contents of the letter pretty much said that Frampton was desperate for a new History teacher, and the job was pretty much guaranteed to Simon for the new school year starting in September. All Simon had to do was go to a brief interview and take some mandatory psychological tests, he already scheduled both for the second Tuesday in August, and he would have the job. A month after he got the letter, Simon and his fiancee put a down-payment on a small one-story house, two bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, located in what used to be the garment district of Agnew Valley. Yep, life was certainly going good, thought Simon as he continued down the interstate.

"Lower that radio! Pay attention to the road! The exit is coming up!" shouted Rose to her husband over the loud guitar riffs of the Jeff Healy Band that were coming out of the tape deck.

"What did you say Hon?! Something about a toad coming up?! Who cares?! If I hit it then it's the damn frog's fault for being in the middle of the interstate!" replied Simon who was brought out of his dream state by his wife's loud commands.

"You are truly retarded Simon! Look at that sign!" Rose retorted as she quickly turned off the radio and pointed to the sign that read: "Exit 44, Agnew Valley, 1/2 miles."

"Hey! We live in Agnew Valley, Hon!" said Simon as he put on his right signal and turned onto the off-ramp.

Rose was raised by her late mother, Betty Gardocki, to always be a strong and independent woman. She didn't need a man to protect her and support her through life, so instead she got Simon. Rose never went to college, but instead she became self-employed as a barrel maker. Her business was quite successful, in fact she was the one who paid for the majority of the down-payment on the house in Agnew Valley. In Agnew Valley, Rose planned to continue her business by setting up shop in their garage until she could afford her own work-shop.

"Look at that!' Simon excitably said as he pointed to the sign that read: "Welcome to Agnew Valley, A Refuge From the 'Effete Snobs' of Society, Population- 11,463 and 3/4ths, Don't Forget to Flush Before You Leave."

"This is where we are gonna spend our lives together." Simon told his wife as he squeezed her harder and a tear came to his eye.

The Sijanowski's didn't pay much attention to the town, they would have plenty time to explore it, but concentrated on the complex directions on how to get to their new house.

"It say turn left after the second one-lane bridge." Rose informed her husband.

"One-lane bridge? Was that last bridge one-lane? It was kinda narrow to be two lanes, but kinda wide to only be one lane. Does it say anything about a one and a half lane bridge?" asked a confused Simon.

"I'll say it again Simon, you truly are retarded. That Mr. Frampton must have been smoking something when he offered you that job. Just turn here." instructed a frustrated Mrs. Sijanowski.

Eventually they got to their new home on 15 Monkey-Town Road. The house was everything they expected it to be: small, one-story, with two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. The only difference was that the color of the outside of the house was intended to be an off-white, but instead it was neon green, but they could always paint it later. Simon carried Rose triumphantly into their new house, and then dumped her on the couch as he ran around the house exploring like a little kid. When he opened the closet in the master bedroom, a short man stepped out and said: "Hey! How ya doing?! I'm Anthony."

"Honey, did the real estate agent say anything about a small Italian coming with the house?!" asked a frightened Simon.