Monday, May 19, 2008

Locked In

This weekend was a perfect example of the cosmopolitan, glamorous lifestyle that's the norm around the Snag household.

Friday night we jetted off to a neighborhood church great hall for a dinner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our local Little League. A dazzling line up of celebrities was present, including coaches, area politicians, and, of course, past and present League board members. When the League treasurer from 1963 slowly made her way to the front of the room to accept a plaque, I whispered to the current treasurer that she was looking at a vision of herself in forty-five years.

"Bite me," she replied.

The excitement didn't ebb a bit as Saturday rolled around. First was a whirlwind trip across town for a scoreless game one of a soccer tournament.

After that, it was a mad dash back to the neighborhood for more anniversary festivities, where I had the rare pleasure of managing a fly ball catching contest. Have you ever seen someone eat a cheeseburger while dodging errant throws from nine year olds? Judging by the expression on the faces of those who were watching me, it's apparently quite amusing.

Once that ended, there was barely time to drop the youngest at the golf course before the triumphant return for yet another scoreless soccer game, with the added advantage of cold, thirty mile per hour winds.

Coupled, as usual, with a barely restrained tirade about the cost of everything, prompted this time by my middle son's complaint on the way to the soccer game that I'd paid for his brother's golf.

"Don't you dare start whining. It's $17 in gas to drive back and forth to your tournament."

He sighed while I worked myself into a lather.

"Would you like to see what I bought for myself with the money I made last week? Nothing. That's what Dad gets, a whole lot of nothing. But that's just fine, I don't need anything. I don't need to have fun. As long as my kids are happy, then life's perfect."

By that evening, when I went to pick up my youngest at a friend's house I was more than ready to accept his offer of a drink. We sat on his porch until, sensing our contentment, the boys felt compelled to ruin it.

"Let's play trivia," they demanded.

"Alright," I said. "Why don't you guess whether you're irritating me?"

"You're being dumb. Ask us another question."

"You're right, that one was too easy. I've got another. What was the impact of New England's natural environment on the development of Transcendentalism?"

"You're still being dumb."

"I've got one," said my friend. "Who threw a perfect game in the World Series?"

"Don Larsen!" they shouted in unison.

"You're just encouraging them," I told my friend.

"Yeah, but if they're out here my wife will leave us alone," he said.

With all this happy family time, I was in no mood for my mother's suggestion during her regular Sunday morning visit the next day.

"It's time for us to get another photograph taken," she announced. "Your family, your sister's, and me."

"You're joking, right?" I said. "It's not like we've gotten better looking since the last one."

"Speak for yourself," said my oldest son.

"Besides," I continued, "you can buy picture frames with photos already in them. Or I can copy a photo of a nice looking family off the Internet."

"You're being ridiculous," my mother said.

"What's ridiculous is wanting physical evidence you're related to my children," I said.

"It's a good thing I am," she said. "Someone has to counter your bad influence."

"Anyway, you won't be able to afford the photograph by the time I'm done with you," I said.

"What are you going on about now?" she asked.

"That used car you sold us last year? Three of the automatic door locks stopped working last week. Two hundred ninety dollars each to fix them."

"I'm sorry to hear that, but what does that have to do with anything?"

"I'm going to sue you," I said. "We have a lemon law in this state."

"We are well past the time period for a lemon law claim," she said.

"Not when there's fraud involved," I told her. "I can probably get damages for pain and suffering too, seeing as how it was my own mother who cheated me."

"Is he drunk?" she asked my son. He shrugged in response.

"You know very well they were working when you bought the car. If your memory isn't working properly you can check the dealer's documentation." For reasons too dull for even me to go into, we'd handled the transaction through the dealer from whom she'd bought her new car.

"Now you're admitting collusion. Next thing I'll find out you rolled back the odometer." I pointed to my son. "Make sure you're taking notes. You'll be a witness."

She turned to her grandson. "Please have the Lovely Bride call me to schedule the photograph," she told him.

"What if he doesn't?" I asked.

"Then I shall take you out of my will."

"Hard to do when I'm your guardian," I said.

"You're not my guardian."

"Soon. I've been working on the paperwork all week."

She picked up her keys and got ready to leave. "Will you ask your mother to call me about the photograph?" she asked my son.

"Sure," he said.

"Then I won't cut you in for any of her money," I told him.

"Your father is quite unpleasant, isn't he?" my mother asked him.

"At least you get to leave," he said.

"Thank God for small favors. I will see you next week."

"And I will see you in court," I said.

She shook her head and walked to her car. A car with functioning door locks.


Adorable Girlfriend said...

I love when Grandma comes over. Those are always the best days.

And "bite me". Sounds like you were talking to AG.

Jennifer said...

with the added advantage of cold, thirty mile per hour winds.

I am so over the 30mph winds... our high yesterday was 49, that wasn't counting the wind chill. You're not supposed to have a wind chill factor in May.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I like your mom, Snag. She's sassy.

I bet SHE likes Bad Religion.

Snag said...

We'll see how far sassy gets her on the locked ward. Ever see "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?"

Adorable Girlfriend said...

She is sassy in a way that I wish AG would have been. Could AG enroll in the Mrs. Snag's School of Sass?