Archive for June, 2009

A coconut for the nuts

June 24, 2009

Two weeks ago we had my 14 year old nephew stay with us for the week to take care of Riley during the day . School got out one week and summer school didn’t start until the next full week, so Squishy came out to keep Riley company. Riley LOVES hanging out with teenagers. He feels so important being included in the video games and the electric guitar sessions, and the late nights. Squishy is a beautiful kid with an appetite of a horse. We could not keep the food in the house. I think the boys sat home each day and ate. Then we’d get home at night and they’d eat. Bedtime would come and they’d eat. Squishy apparently even eats more at home due to 2-a-day football practices. I don’t know how my sister can afford to feed him. We bought some special sorbet for the week. Fruit sorbet served in the natural fruit. There was lemon sorbet in a half lemon. There was pineapple in part of a pineapple shell, but the boys loved the coconut sorbet the best. They held onto the coconuts and jokingly put them under their shirts. They were so stinkin’ cute together. Anyway, the coconuts became his new favorite toy and I promised not to throw them away….for awhile at least. The week passed, summer school started, and Squish went home. As an aside, my sister said he lamented for the entire week how he almost starved to death at our house because we never fed him enough and what we fed him tasted like tofu and cardboard. What? Tofu and cardboard?

A few days ago Riley was over at a friend’s house after summer school riding bikes when a neighborhood kid on his own bike ran out in front of Riley and cut Riley off. “On PURPOSE!”, he asserts. Riley swerved to miss the kid and ran Smack. Dab. Into a tree. I told Riley that next time he ought to just run into the kid but instinct, poor planning, or whatever led to his impact with said tree. The tree won. And poor Riley racked himself in his precious parts. This is the first time Riley has ever had an injury THERE beyond a tiny bump. Until this event Riley had no idea how painful his privates could be. I’m told that as soon as he was able to take in a breath of air, he promptly screamed an obscenity. Later he told me, “You’d say Fuck too Mamma, if you had a penis.” (Indeed I would.)

He also tried to strip down naked right there in the middle of the sidewalk, bike and self smashed against a tree. The dad of the friend whose house Riley was at ran outside to make sure that Riley was okay. This dad is a real sweet guy. And we adore him. But he’s got a big voice and a big presence, and he’s physically a very big man and he’s not quite used to boys like Riley. You know, sissies. Riley was wailing. Carrying on. As I said before, Riley was also stripping. Right there in the sidewalk to assess the damage.

Friend’s Dad, “Dude, you gotta take care of your junk in private man. Come on. Lets go inside and I’ll get you a wet towel, and you can gather yourself back together.”

Riley, through sobs of drama“But. I. Can’t. Walk.”

Friend’s Dad, “You gotta be a man, man!.”

Riley, through DEFENSIVE  sobs of drama, “Boys can cry. Men cry too.”

Friend’s Dad, “Of course we do son. But we don’t do it in the street.”

Riley, “When we get hurt in the street we do. I want my MOM. N.O.W!”

So the dad drove Riley home and Kim promptly started mothering Riley. He took a cool bath and then stripped down on the couch to watch a re-run of the Golden Girls with a bag of frozen peas on his lap. He insisted he needed to go directly to the emergency room. And I even called my DAD to ask at what point you take your kid with his swollen and bruised ball sac to the ER. My Dad people. I talked to my dad about my kids penis. Meanwhile Riley can’t pee. (It hurts.) He can’t eat. (It hurts.) He can’t cough. (It hurts.) Apparently getting sacked in the sac feels a lot like a C-section. Except with a C-section you get a baby. And with the other injury you just might never get a baby.

In any case, Riley carried on all night. We even had to let him ride in the wagon for our nightly walk. Because, that’s right, it hurt to walk. After dinner, Riley’s friend and both his parents stopped in to check on Riley. The dad also wanted to make sure we felt he handled the injury okay. He said he was uncomfortable dealing with someone else’s kid and he was worried about “doctoring” Riley. He wanted to be sympathetic but also keep those privacy boundaries. In retrospect, he felt like he could have been more sympathetic. (I love this guy. He is so darn sweet.) In any case, he gave me the above commentary between him and Riley right after the “incident.” They left. And we finally got Riley to sleep.

The next day Riley awoke and seemed to be in good spirits. He got up and got dressed for school. He acted like nothing was wrong. I was afraid to even mention anything because I didn’t want it to remind him that he got hurt. I couldn’t help it though. About the time we were to walk out the door for school/work, I asked him if he felt better. He replied that he did. And then he leaned over and whispered that he was wearing the coconut shell he saved from the sorbet.

He was wearing a coconut cup. And no convincing otherwise could have gotten it off of him.

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Goodbye Lucy, Hello Jasper

June 14, 2009

Lucy – our 11 year old Saturn- and the first purchase Kim and I made together, has gotten too old for us to take care of her.  I know she has a good 30 or 40 thousand miles left in her, but she’s at that point in her life that she needs a little bit of TLC.  But TLC takes TIME.  Time is what we don’t have.  Over the past year Lucy needed new tires.  Then she needed a “tune up.”  Then it started burning oil.  Now the radiator is leaking fluid.  I mean, if its not one thing its another.  And since we haven’t gotten the time to invest in her, she sits for weeks at a time in our driveway while Kim has shuttled Casey to daycare, Riley to school, me to work, and  back again.  Being an unpaid shuttle driver just isn’t the best way to write a dissertation. 

So on Friday when we found out Lucy had a crack in her radiator, we decided it was time for a new car.

Only this is the first time in my life that I decided on a purchase where I couldn’t actually afford the purchase I was making.  Please.  No judgment.  I’m an American.  It must be in my genetic structure.  Besides, I feel like I’m doing my part to get the recession over with.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?  Spend!

I called my dad to get some advice on how much under the MSRP sticker we ought to be getting, and how to know when a salesman is screwing with you etc?  My dad’s advice was pretty deep.  And accurate.  First he said, if you buy a car, you get took . Its as simple as that.  Then he said, and this is where is gets profound.  My father confessed to me that, HE’D RATHER BE A PIANO PLAYER IN A WHORE HOUSE THAN BE A CAR SALESMAN. 

I thought he was exaggerating a bit, but after a long day at dealership after dealership and getting the same lines, I realized he’s right on. 

Don’t let them leave.  Make them think you’re their best friend.  Make sure they know you have no problems with their homosexuality.  Hell, tell them a story about your only gay cousin.  Or better yet, your gay friend!  Let them know you’re the only guy in town who is honest, and how much return business you get.  Don’t look desparate.  Pretend cars are flying off the lot.   Make sure to get them talking about montly payment, not interest rate. 

It’s a racket.  And it’s the same game all over town.

We did end up buying a car.  A car we’ve already named Jasper.  Another Subaru (why mess with perfection.)   I’m pretty sure we got took.  I mean, we left with a car, so I’m pretty certain about it.  I couldn’t quite bear trading in Lucy for a mere $750, so we’re selling her ourselves to a good friend who will keep her in the family for a while at least, and maybe by then my slow-to-transition children will be able to part with her. 

And my new best friend named Terry sold me the car.  He bought my son a soda while we were negotiating.  I guess I’m supposed to think, “Ahh this guy bought my son a 50 cent soda, he’s a real swell guy.”  Really I just thought to myself, “this guy has no idea the hyperactivity he just opened up with the crack of that can lid.”  So while Riley bounced around the dealership, I signed my name on the dotted line.  And that’s when I decided that I’d rather be a WHORE than a car salesman.  ACTUALLY, I’D RATHER BE A WHORE IN THE SAME WHORE HOUSE WHERE MY FATHER PLAYS PIANO.