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7:18 a.m. - 2002-02-09

MISS CLEO AIN'T GOT SHIT ON ME

(SCENE: Wife and I in our respective recliners after putting the boy to bed and a long night of pain and torture that I will go into in a minute. The opening ceremonies of the Olympics happen to be on the television.)

ME: "I think I know who's going to light the Olympic cauldron thing."

WIFE: "Who?"

ME: "Guess."

WIFE: "Rudy Giuliani?"

ME: "No. Too ethnic."

WIFE: "The 1980 Men's Hockey Team?"

ME: "No. Who cares about them?"

WIFE: "Who then?"

ME: "Think."

WIFE: "I thought. I'm tired of thinking."

ME: "Fine. Do you want a hint first?"

WIFE: "Tell me, dammit!"

ME: "...Ted Danson."

WIFE: (laughing)

ME: "Think about it. He's someone that nobody is expecting. There's been no speculation that Ted Danson would light the Olympic flame. When that flame is passed to Ted Danson, you will hear an audible gasp from Salt Lake City that will echo for days. Followed by cheers because...he was on "Cheers". Get it?"

WIFE: "It's not going to be Ted Danson, you dumbass."

ME: (Acting like I have the inside scoop) "Just watch."

(Some skaters get the flame and skate around the ice)

ME: "Who the hell are they?"

WIFE: "That's Peggy Flemming."

ME: "Oh. Who the hell is she?"

WIFE: "An Olympic skater from the '70s."

ME: "Oh yeah. Wasn't she on a box of Wheaties for about ten minutes?"

WIFE: "She's very talented."

ME: "So am I when it comes to predicting Olympic Torch lighters. I'm sticking with Ted Danson."

(The torch is passed to two more people)

ME: "Who the hell are they?"

WIFE: "Cammie somebody and somebody else."

ME: "Olympic skaters?"

WIFE: "Probably."

(An old man and his son get the torch)

ME: "What up wit dat?"

WIFE: "They're the first three generations of Olympic hopefuls."

ME: "There's only two of them. What happened to the third?"

WIFE: "Grandpa died last month."

ME: (spitting out my water and laughing) "Way to go Grandpa!! Way to fuck up history!!"

WIFE: "It's sad."

ME: "Yeah? Well wait until Ted Danson skates out. Then you'll have happiness."

(Two more women get the torch and start bounding up the stairs to the torch)

ME: "Don't tell me it's them."

WIFE: "No. They're taking it to the top to give it to the final person."

ME: "Thank God. I bet Ted Danson's freezing up there. This thing has dragged on way too long."

WIFE: "It's NOT Ted Danson, you idiot."

ME: "Ohhh, thee of little faith. Just watch and marvel at my intelligence."

(The two women give the torch to a fat guy in a hockey jersey)

WIFE: "It's the 1980 Men's Hockey Team!"

ME: "What the hell?"

WIFE: "They had the biggest comeback in Olympic history. They prove that you should never give up on your dreams."

ME: "Look! There's Ted Danson!!"

WIFE: (putting on her glasses) "Where?"

ME: "Standing in the background with that hat on! I told you he'd be the one lighting it!"

WIFE: "You lie."

ME: "Whatever. This sucks. I'm going to bed."

WIFE: "You're just mad that Ted Danson didn't light the flame."

ME: "I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation as to why he couldn't do it. He probably got stuck in traffic or something and they grabbed these losers at the last minute."

WIFE: "Go to bed."

ME: "Thank you. I think I will."


Sooooo...Grandma watched the boy yesterday.

Unbeknownst to me...Grandma's just getting over a bout with pneumonia.

She still has a nasty cough though. The same nasty cough that Andrew has this morning. And the stuffy nose. And the moaning.

I swear to GOD...if this lady got my kid sick, I'm kicking her repeatedly in her Grandma crotch. I've HAD IT with these idiots.

So anyway, I get home and Grandma's coughing all over Andrew.

Her car was missing from the driveway when I pulled up.

"Your porno-surfing, $6,000-owing brother-in-law has my car," she explained in that whiny voice of hers. "He should be here any minute."

Oh hell.

I know what that means. Just like his siblings, Larry's slower than Christmas when it comes to doing anything. The one thing Susie's parents never taught her and her siblings was the art of being punctual. As Grandma is so quick to say "These kids are going to be late for their own funerals."

Ha ha. No shit, Granny. That's what I hate most about your four offspring.

So ten minutes later, she gets a call from that goddamned dipshit I call a brother-in-law. He's going to be working late and will be there in an hour.

And...because it's Friday night, Susie and I had planned on going to dinner and then go shopping for a TV stand.

So we told Grandma to just stay in the house and wait for him, but we were outta there.

"Have a good night," Grandma said.

"The sooner we get away from you, the better it will get," I thought.

It's a long story, but Grandma had Andrew's car seat in her car today. The one thing Susie TOLD her to do was to take the car seat out of the car as soon as they made it back to the house yesterday morning.

So we go to get the car seat to put it in the van.

No car seat anywhere.

"Grandma...where's Andrew's car seat?" I called out.

"It's not in the living room?" she asked.

"No Grandma," I said through gritted teeth. "If it was, I wouldn't be asking you where it was, would I?"

"Well, your stinky, creepy brother-in-law must not have taken it out of the car when he came to get it," she determined.

Fuck.

Fuckity Fuck.

Fuckity Fucking Fuck Fucker.

I knew what this meant.

Grandma got on the phone to El Stinky who said he'd be "right over" with the car seat.

He works literally five minutes from our house. I can make it in three minutes. I've timed myself. It's a little more than a mile away.

THIRTY-FIVE FUCKING MINUTES LATER...he pulls up in the driveway.

Naturally, I'm livid. It's now 6:45 and every restaurant in town will have at least a 45 minute wait.

He decides to make small talk while he's giving me the car seat.

"How was your trip?" he asks while rubbing his fat, dirty penis through his polyester slacks.

"Fine," I said, strapping the car seat in the van and calling LOUDLY for Susie to grab the baby and get out in the van.

"Where you going to eat?" he asked while pinching his fat, dirty penis through his polyester slacks.

"Probably McDonald's now since every restaurant in town has now filled up to capacity," I wanted to say but ended up saying "I'm not sure."

"You should go to Mellow Mushroom," he said. "They've got great pizza."

"The line will be at least an hour long," I said. "It's kinda hard to do that with a baby. That's why we like to go out to eat EARLY and beat the crowds."

That went sailing right over his 35-minute late ass.

So we got in the car and went to a local deli that only had a ten minute wait. That gave Andrew ten minutes to bang merrily on the dessert case they have in the front of the deli.

We get seated and we have a new waitress.

Wonderfuckinful.

To make a short story shorter, she sucked shit (It's not often I slip in a tongue twister, but try saying that out loud three times fast). First, she forgot to order my salad. So Susie was halfway done with her meal by the time my salad came out. Then she never checked on us again, which all we needed was water, but a waitress' job includes walking by at least once to ask if everything's okay. Then, we had to wait ten minutes for her to bring us our check after we had finished eating. I know that doesn't sound bad, but when you've got a hyper 15 month-old little boy who's beginning to get bored, you tend to eat and run so as to not offend the other patrons of the deli. And we actually had to send the manager to track her down in the kitchen to get our check because she was staying back there rather than tending to her customers.

We tipped her 10 percent.

I felt like a heel doing it. I always tip 20 percent. Sometimes more. Fifteen percent is too hard for me to add up in my head. Twenty percent is easy.

Ten percent's even easier.

I don't know why I should feel bad tipping the girl ten percent when she didn't even deserve that. But I did.

So then we go looking for TV stands. By this time, it's 8:00 and we have one hour to find a TV stand because Susie specifically wanted one last night and wanted to rearrange the den this morning.

Here's a late-breaking news flash...TV stands are EXPENSIVE.

We could buy a TV stand for $150...or a nice entertainment center for $199.

So we started looking at entertainment centers.

We finally found an armoire TV center thing that we both liked in one store.

But we still had two other stores Susie wanted to check first.

This was at 8:35.

I told her we had 25 minutes to get to the other stores and check their prices and selections. Which would mean we'd have to hustle.

She said she understood. But when it came right down to it, Ronald Reagan could run circles around this woman when she's hustling.

So I'm barrelling through Home Depot, trying to find their entertainment centers with no luck. I finally stop and ask a guy where they keep their entertainment centers.

"We're all out," he said.

Sonofabitch.

Okay. Now we just had to run to Sam's Club, check out their selection and we could make a decision.

It's 8:45.

We get to Sam's and they're closed already. Closed at 8:30. Dumbasses can't stay open 'til 9 like a real store.

I'm just rabble scrabbling my ass off at this point, trying to get my family back to Lowe's who had the armoire thing.

We pull up at 8:58.

The doors were locked and they were letting people out but not letting them in.

Soooo...we have no TV stand/entertainment center/armoire yet.

I need to shower and head over to Lowe's this morning and get this thing because Susie has to go to work because she's such an incredibly slow worker that her work is piled up on her desk and it can't wait until Monday like everyone else in her office, she has to go in on the weekend and get it done because it "bothers" her to be so behind and Saturdays she can work uninterupted and get more work done.

While I sit at home and the baby and I have staring contests.

Sooooo...I'm outta here.

Gotta shower.

And if you happen to be watching the Olympics today, lemme know if you see Ted Danson.

I'm positive he got stuck in traffic. I hear it's a bitch out there right now.

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