Hortense Tesla, a Rough Beginning – A Pink Lady Project

I’m Pink Lady Apple Yeggs and my friend Deviled Yeggs suggested that I record each project that I set up in the hopes of reforming the people who continue to work for Lily the Pink Enterprises.  If for no other reason, it would show how God is at work.

Aunt Tensie, Hortense Tesla, my sister-in-law Naomi’s great aunt, was nearly 100 years old. She was headstrong and opinionated.  She had little faith in anything.  She used to have faith in her own intellect, but as her health was starting to fail, so was her confidence.  While I did not wish to preach to her about Jesus, she had found the nightly vespers to be interesting and she liked her neighbors.  For some odd reason, she was attracted to the Grunge family and the Hills, with the families combined to have five young children and another on the way.  Maybe while the Grunges were openly trying to seek God, it might rub off on Tensie.

Our little group of Aunt Tensie supporters got Aunt Tensie from the Deviled Yeggs home into our second apartment building.  It was not part of the Greenhouse umbrella, but it was away from the family housing.  And it was just beyond where our wastewater treatment plant was being constructed.  It afforded us with enough space for the apartment and the laboratory which was really two apartments and a one-car garage that we had no idea why they built it other than having a roll door to bring large equipment in and out.  But there was 220V in that part of the building for the large laundry room next door, a roll-door to get Tensie’s huge experiments into the building, and peace and quiet away from the bustle of the greenhouse, family housing, the swimming pool, and other things.

It took a while for Aunt Tensie to sort through her failed experiments before she invited Sophie and Blaise over to go to work.  Since Sophie was already taking her last semester of middle school at Lily the Pink, she volunteered to help Aunt Tensie unpack everything.  It became a special experience for both of them.  Aunt Tensie learned a lot more about the Deviled Yeggs family from Sophie than her great niece TNT Yeggs, the one she calls Mighty, had ever told her.  Then again, the information was from a middle child perspective.  She learned all about Blaise’s “scientific” past.  But Sophie learned a lot about the storied life of Aunt Tensie.  Well, it could have been storied if Aunt Tensie had ever sought the fame.  “Design by Tensie” was famous, and mysterious, as few knew who Tensie was, and none of them knew the real Tensie.

But not far into their first week of inspecting old designs, Aunt Tensie opted to work on a miniature prototype for a hydraulic system improvement Aunt Tensie had not been able to perfect.  It reacted too slowly for the customer’s needs.  Sophie rebelled that day, not wanting to wear the pink lab coat that Aunt Pink had provided.  She opted to continue unpacking boxes and sorting things in what had been the garage, now lined with cabinets filled with Tensie’s failures.

Blaise and Aunt Tensie were in the lab and the little hydraulic device was reacting too slowly, just as it had originally.  They were using water at fairly low pressures instead of hydraulic fluid, pumped to much higher pressures, but Aunt Tensie had worked out the numbers and she knew what the needed response time was supposed to be.

As they looked and looked, Sophie came into the room.  “Guess what I found!”

At that very moment, Blaise said, “There’s a kink in the hose.  If we turn this fitting around…”

As Aunt Tensie said, “No!” too slowly, Blaise twisted the fitting and it broke off in his hand.  The result sent a spray of water that drenched Sophie’s T-shirt.

Sophie let out a horrible scream.  Until then, Blaise had not really realized she had entered the room.  He turned around and saw his sister, looking like she had entered a wet-T-shirt contest.

“Hey, Sis, nice cha-chas!”

At this point, Missy, one of Lily the Pink’s security people, was entering the room, responding to the first scream.  She got a full volume repeat with the second scream.  Sophie turned to run from the room and ran into Missy’s arms.

Missy asked, “What has a sweet young girl so upset?”  Sophie stepped back and it was obvious.”

Aunt Tensie came over with the unwanted lab coat.  “We wear lab coats in this room for just such emergencies.”

Sophie begrudgingly donned the coat.  She turned with venom in her eyes.  “You haven’t changed.  You are still the same disgusting worm you always were.  I hate you!  I hate you!”

Aunt Tensie patted her on the back.  “Now, now Sophie, it was an accident.  He didn’t mean it.”

“He meant what he said!”

Blaise burst, “What did I say?  That’s what the guys at school say to the girls and they might blush, but they smile and walk over to the guys to talk.  It sounded like a high compliment!”

Aunt Tensie shook her head.  “Young man, you are hanging out with the wrong boys.”

Sophie spluttered, “I’m shocked that any group of guys will have him hanging around them.”

“Be nice, Sophie!” Aunt Tensie admonished.

Missy found a towel and started to wipe the water from Sophie’s hair and face.  She tended to a few of Sophie’s tears.  Missy mumbled some code numbers into her walkie-talkie.

Blaise looked at the floor.  “Sophie’s right.  I’m four years younger than anyone else except for Margie.  That’s why Margie picked me to be her boyfriend, even though she’s a couple of years older.  We could have someone else to hang out with, but Margie is into softball, and the other softball players had her hang with them.  I was just a boyfriend, but the other softball players hung out with the football team and some basketball players.  I mostly just sit in the corner and observe everyone else.  If I take four years to finish high school, I’ll be the age of an incoming freshman when I graduate.  Even if I have an athletic bone in my body, I couldn’t compete with the older boys.  So I just sit and hope no one notices me.  When they do, they tease me.  It makes it worse when Margie says, ‘Watch it! He’s mine.’ ”

Sophie, who was friends with Margie, started laughing, but the tears were still falling.

Blaise asked Aunt Tensie, “What was wrong with what I said?”

Aunt Tensie sat on her rollator.  She hugged Blaise in close next to her.  “What you thought as a compliment objectified your sister.  Young man, I fought for the reputation that I had in the industry.  Men did not want women working with them.  They hated that a woman could best them in a manly field like engineering was at the time.  I was supposed to be at home somewhere cooking a meal for my man, not competing with them.  And doing better than they could, I might add.  When I designed something better than they could do, they would scoff about the girl with big boobs got lucky.  Their taunts would never fail to connect me with a part of the female anatomy.  They had to let me know through taunts using body parts that I did not belong.  And me excelling at their game was always a matter of ‘luck.’”

Blaise said, “But I didn’t taunt.  I thought it was a compliment.  How does complimenting my sister on her development into a woman become something bad?”

Aunt Tensie furrowed her brow, “I just said what men said about me.  Maybe others have said to Sophie that she was nothing other than nice breasts.  In time, the boys do not see the girl.  They see the body parts that they want to touch and violate.  Innocent words turn into silent thoughts that turn into actions that lead to violation of someone’s body.  Do you want that for your sister?”

Blaise answered, “No, but I didn’t mean…”

Aunt Tensie asked, “What’s that thing that you have between your legs?”

Blaise was confused, “You mean my … ummm … thing!?”

Aunt Tensie nodded, “I have not seen it, but I think it to be small, insignificant, and unattractive.  What do you think, Sophie?”

Sophie spit out, “Yep, small, insignificant, ugly, smelly, and useless.”

Aunt Tensie looked at Missy as Sandy Beech came into the room, “Do you have an opinion on the subject, Missy from security?”

Missy laughed and said, “You two have more of a chance at knowing about that than me, but I’ve seen the young man in a swimsuit, and it’s like there isn’t anything there.”

Sandy, not having a clue how the conversation started cleared her throat.  It sounded like one of her employees had just insulted the nephew of the company’s owner.

And Aunt Tensie asked Sandy, “I know you just got here late for the party, but all us girls are talking about the body part between Blaise’s legs.  Do you consider it unappealing in any way?”

Sandy caught on, but she was caught in that Blaise was about to be her cousin through marriage.  “I would like to avoid the question as it might get back to the mayor, with whom I am betrothed, but I can agree with Missy.  What I have seen in the way of bulges in his swimsuit…  Not much.  Sorry, Blaise.”

Blaise said, “But I’m only eleven!  And what does that have to do with being a good person or loving other people or helping in Aunt Tensie’s lab?”

Aunt Tensie nodded, “Exactly!  Now do you get the point?  When you are reduced to a body part, then the insignificant body part makes you insignificant.  And then you either fight back in an inappropriate way or you shrink into the corner, as you said you do when with Margie’s friends, and you try to not be seen.  You know, so they do not tease you.  When the timing is appropriate, please give Sophie a hug and explain how she is developing into a wonderful young lady and do not mention body parts when you do.  And never use the phrase ‘nice cha-chas’ ever again!”

At this, Sandy knew what started the problem.  She tried not to snicker, but a little came out.  She turned to Sophie.  “Since you practically live here, I have a change of clothing for you.”

Sophie asked with a sneer and groan, “Please, no! They aren’t pink, are they?”

Sandy said, “You are at Lily the Pink Enterprises.  The big boss is Pink Lady Apple Yeggs, your aunt.  I know.  I have to watch the security monitors when there is a shift change and it nearly makes me sick.  You know that pink stuff that you drink in case you have a tummy ache?  At shift change people are coming from one direction and people are leaving, going in the opposite direction.  The monitors look like someone is shaking a giant bottle of that stuff, and I feel like I need to drink some of the stuff to settle my stomach!”

At that, Missy burst out laughing.  She nodded like she had been there too.

Sandy continued, “You cannot hate pink and survive around here, but how about blue?”  Sandy pulled some clothing out of a bag, just Sophie’s size.  Finally, a squeal of delight.

Sophie asked, “Can I stay over tonight and hang out with you, Sandy?”

Sandy said, “If I hear from Deviled or Glyce Yeggs to the positive, we’ll have a girl’s night.  Just the two of us.  No boyfriends! Okay, Almost Cousin?  I think I’ll call you ‘AC.’ ”


Missy told her boss, “With this resolved, I have been in one spot too long.  Who knows what mischief may be going on elsewhere.”


On Yahoo finance’s list of slang names for a woman’s “boobs (which is in the top 2-3),” cha-chas ranked 61, but I thought it not as coarse as many of the others and a bit “comical.”  But for the life of me, I cannot figure out what slang names for a woman’s body part has to do with finance.

As for using water at lower pressure for a miniaturized model, at factory pressures of hydraulic oil, designed to lift hundreds of tons, for example, the leak could have caused serious damage, like cutting through flesh.  Thus, if you are testing a remodel of the process, using something safer is a good idea.

And I think Missy’s code whispered into the walkie-talkie meant something like “wardrobe malfunction – Sophie Yeggs,” but do not hold me to that translation of the code.

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