Monday, November 11, 2013

Visiting the Grand Urchins

Like fungus, the urge to visit the grand urchins gradually grows deep within my wife until she declares, “I miss the grand kids.” Of course, in woman-speak, that means, “We’re taking a road trip.”
I never know when the urge will strike her but, when it does, I usually have two choices. I can stay home and endure subliminal and overt scorn until the urge moves her again, or I can condemn myself to walking the destination dog (watching it poop and barf) and feeding/watering it (I’m not a big dog fan), getting up before the sun (doesn’t everyone get up at 5 a.m.?), giving up my computer and Internet access the entire time (like withdrawal), washing and drying every dish that gets soiled, having snot rubbed on my arm, getting acquainted with teachers and other school officials, constant ear-splitting noise, an empty liquor cabinet, out-of-pocket expenses worse than having your own kids, waiting in line for the single bathroom (dangerous at my age), sleeping on a blow-up bed (like camping, but the bed must be stowed every morning lest it become a trampoline), attending outdoor sports events (baseball, soccer, football – rain or shine), attending indoor sports events (gymnastic, ballet served up with high-pitched squeals), and driving for hours to get there and return. There are also mandatory cultural enrichment activities like the zoo, the library, museums and the “Little Women” play at the local college. It’s a huge monkey wrench in my day-to-day activity, but it beats weeks of scorn.
I adjust, but one thing is especially a problem. Kids don’t talk and think like adults, even though they can be equally as irrational. You cannot reason with a whiney child; it’s also hard to ignore one – it’s lose-lose. And I have to watch my mouth (according to my wife). I mean, the grandkids haven’t read any of my books, so they always seem shocked when I say something that makes perfect sense to me. Things like “You’re sweating like a ticking terrorist.” And, “Stop running in the house. You’re panting like a pit bull after a kill.” And, “That would make me as excited as a depressant.” They don’t seem to get it … and they don’t understand adults actually like to watch the news either.
When I told one, “You have a lettuce worm coming out your nose,” we stared at each other with blank looks. Finally, I tried to explain, “You have a bat in the cave.” More blank looks. Eventually, my wife arrived with a tissue, “He means we need to blow your nose, honey.” We? I thought they are old enough to do that on their own. Ick. I guess there are advantages to being young enough to still remember you were once a child (as my wife is).
So, my apologies for this blog – at this moment, my time is not my own, else I would have come up with something useful or clever. As it is, this is it. You will understand when you have a pile of grandkids.
While I have your attention, however, I do have two announcements. First, The Training Bra is now available in print form Amazon (a hilarious story about the continuing battle between good and evil). Second, I am working with a really good Solstice Publishing editor on The Trophy Wife. I believe the Miss Havana novels have become funnier with each successive novel. The Trophy Wife is definitely the best. You will laugh out loud (that’s the point). I’ll let you know when the book is released.
Here’s a brief excerpt from The Trophy Wife. The scene takes place at a rapid dating event. The spirit of Lucifer’s and Miss Havana’s daughter, Lilith, haunts Lily. Miss Havana has enlisted Jackson, Terry and Jake to help her put one over on Lily (payback for mean things Lily has done). Everyone is wired for sound except Lily. Enjoy.
As 7 p.m. approached, Lily walked in like she owned the place, but not the Lily Miss Havana knew from school. This Lily looked like a hot adult woman. Her black sweater showed every curve of her svelte body, and her pastel pink lipstick perfectly complimented the light touch of blush highlighting her cheeks. Her shimmering hair bounced in silent rhythm with every step, and her Bossa Nova gored skirt moved with the sway of her hips like a lure before hungry fish.
Lily immediately spotted Terry and made a bee-line toward his table. Miss Havana heard Terry sigh when the beautiful girl headed his way. He whispered into his microphone, “She makes my mouth water and my feet want to run—she looks like I need another drink.”
Miss Havana tilted her head into her hand and earpiece as Lily threw the first punch. “I didn’t think they gave losers a second chance in this place.”
Terry smiled. “They must; you’re here.”
Miss Havana whispered into her mike, “Tell her you hoped she wouldn’t come tonight because her breasts are too small.”
From across the room, they could see Lily’s mouth fall agape. Miss Havana winked at Jackson, “I knew this would be fun.”
When Lily recovered, she pointed at Terry’s crotch … and laughed—a loud, mocking laugh that Miss Havana could hear clear across the room. Everyone looked first at Terry, and then they focused on his crotch. He flushed beet red, and Miss Havana whispered, “Tell her she seems particularly mean tonight, that the batteries in her vibrator must have gone flat.”
Lily’s head jerked upright like she’d been hit with an uppercut, and she fired back, “You should unzip your pants so your brains can get some oxygen.”
Miss Havana retorted, “Say her pelvic floor is a public chinrest.”
He did, and Lily jumped to her feet, placed her knuckles on the table and leaned into Terry’s glare. Their eyes radiated hatred for each other. Jackson whispered to Miss Havana. “It’s a good thing they aren’t armed.”
Lily hissed, “If they crossed you with a potato, you would be a dictator!”
Terry stood slowly as he retorted, “If you didn’t have a vagina, no one would speak to you!”
Lily growled, “You’re so boring your hand falls asleep while you masturbate!”
And Terry shot back, “Your diaphragm is a trampoline for dick heads!”
Miss Havana winked at Jackson. “See, they just needed a little encouragement.”
Lily and Terry snarled at each other and hissed epithets until a chime sounded, indicating they should change tables. Lily stormed off to meet her next victim. She slammed down on the chair across from Jake, who grinned wide and asked, “Bad day at the office?”
Lily yawned and flexed her shoulders, a move that lifted her breasts. “Just an encounter with a guy as useless as the ‘p’ in psycho. Sometimes I think the whole world hates me.”
From across the room, Miss Havana noticed Jake’s gaze linger on Lily’s breast. So did Jackson. “He’s just reading her nametag.”
Miss Havana waved her hand across her face in a dismissive motion. “Yeah, right.”
Before Jackson could defend his friend, Jake’s response crackled in their earpieces. “That can’t be true … the whole world can’t possibly know you.”
Lily’s innocent smile vanished and she pointed toward Terry. “Do you know that asshole over there?”
Thanks for reading!

James L. Hatch



Tina Donahue said...

Great post, James. Gave me my first smile of the day!

Congrats on your good news. :)

Fiona McGier said...

Since husband and I both thoroughly enjoyed having a noisy house full of our 4 kids along with half the neighborhood when they were all young, we expect to be as thrilled to visit when any grandbabies might appear. We'll be offering to babysit for long periods of time, and taking any and all of them that might get produced along with us to learn how much fun camping can be.

I guess you either love kids or you don't. You seem to fall in the W.C. Fields school of thought. His interactions with child actors on the set were hilarious and the stuff of legends. But he didn't always win those duels of wit.

James L. Hatch said...

Hi Fiona and Tina:

In actual fact, we enjoy the grand kids quite a bit and are always happy to see them. They are cute ... but tiring. We are also happy to come home to a quiet house.

Thanks for your comments!