Life has been too busy to stop and write about! Firstly, I’ve had an encounter with the world of Cub Scouts – God (a.k.a. Zack) is signed up and strapped into the uniform because it’s something that people with money do for their kid before the club progresses into lamedom. For now it’s derby racing trophies (of course, naturally God would win), cute animal graduations (“I’m a wolf now!”) and lots of free ice cream.
When Zack went to walk over the bridge, however, he slipped and fell before he made it halfway – apparently the structure was abnormally steep and slippery, just one of those oddball things that occur within a ghetto school in Metro Detroit. Zack’s Dad is their Pack Leader and attends meetings in his tan attire, proud, insisting on “Scout’s Honor” or some shit (where the kids are suppose to go silent and hold up their pointer finger – or was it a peace sign? I forget) every five minutes because, unlike the scenario in some of the finer districts, every kid and their parents are yapping away in the gymnasium about summer camp plans, the next fund-raiser, or just gossiping.
“Guys? Please?” He asks from behind the wooden podium on-stage, sweating but still looking good.
At the end when every handshake and certificate was delivered, some people chose to take photographs on the stage. I was up pretty close, snapping a few of Zack with the Razr when some other dumbass kid sent the WHOLE PODIUM (which was on wheels on a slightly slanted stage) crashing to the gym floor, a foot from where I was standing, smashing into bits and pieces of varnished wood, engraved plaques and totaled sound equipment.
It was the first time that everyone in the room became silent. School officials looked on in horror as Zack’s dad called out, “I know what the next scout project’s gonna be!”
Then there have been the run-ins with Brad’s brother, Josh, on leave from Iraq. Mandatory get-togethers for the sake of “family”.
While Josh is away there is a strange woman at his wife’s every command, holding the kiddie luggage, scheduling the reservations, ushering the children and filling everyone’s plate. Last year Brad’s aunt noticed nude photos of the girl on Jessica’s digital shortly before the pair got drunk and tried to sleep together on the couch during the family Christmas party, so it’s an understood thing that this female is some kind of fill-in and then some. As soon as Josh surprised them with his secret return, she seemed to turn humble and we found out during dinner at Miyako’s that she was the one paying for the married couple’s pricey dinners.
Josh was at Great Lakes Crossing in his uniform, wanting to take a seat next to his son who wanted to sit by Zack, instead.
“Scoot down, Son.” His tone is low and demanding like an old man’s but he’s only as old as I am.
“No thank you, I’d like to sit by Zack.”
“That wasn’t a question!“
The young boy burst into tears, a painful expression on his face that just screamed of very hard life, so far.
“David and Zack can split something,” Jessica insisted.
“No, Zack’s a big boy and he’ll need his own dinner, ” his mother corrected, perhaps having recognized the maneuver to lighten their bill.
And the pair who had so shyly accepted drinks a few years ago were now regularly ordering sugary dessert drinks with “extra shots” and bragging about how hard-ass and wasted it made them. Usually being the ones to bring our own alcohol and split it with fellow contributers,I along with Brad, Dan and Trish have seemed to see some silent enlightenment and have refrained from turning family socials into bar night.
We’ve been refusing invitations to Clutch Cargo’s and Tonic, but were invited again today. Same long distance away, same situation where they’ve come up with something inappropriate that had nothing to do with getting together as friends or family.
“Um, that’s Zack’s Cub Scout night.”
“Oh come on! Me and Jessica entered this thing the last time we were there (a few days ago) and won a free party!”
“Yeah! 10 people and we get a free bottle of champaign! 20 people is a HUNDRED DOLLAR BAR TAB!“
So, 10 people are sharing one bottle and then what? How far do you think that cash would go with twenty friends or… weren’t you even thinking about anyone else?
Brad continued to debate over the phone why we weren’t in the mood for a dance club while I went online and read that the champaign and bar tab was far from any contest – it was just the Friday promotion. This became news to Josh, who started to mention how drunk they’d been at the time of entering… then they didn’t remember ever calling it a contest at all… then they weren’t “doing the club thing anymore” before we knew it.
They had their son’s birthday party at an arcade. Josh beat two little girls at Skeeball, collected all of the stamps that poured from the machine and waved them above his head, victoriously,
“Back from Iraq and still a dick!”
I am guessing that we were supposed to…laugh.