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7:10 a.m. - 2002-06-02

TRYING TO WRITE WITH A KID IN MY LAP

Yesterday was a good day.

Last night sucked poopy. But the day was a good one.

A lazy one.

I like lazy Saturdays.

I also like ravioli.

But that's neither here nor there.

It was a day reserved for watching as much "Blue's Clues" as possible to watch my boy's face light up every time either Steve or Joe sang a quick song.

It was a day reserved for reading the newspaper slowly and not scanning headlines so I wouldn't be late for work.

Around 3:30, that all changed.

My father-in-law and his wife showed up after their day long golf game.

"We want to go see your new house," they said.

"Okay!" Susie said. "Let's all put shoes on and go see our new house!"

We go to our future neighborhood's model home and see our former scumbag realtor who is now a realtor that has plans on how to sell our house and not just a blowhard lying bitch.

Y'see...I just THOUGHT she was a blowhard lying bitch. Nope...in the real estate world, there are all sorts of tricks that they have up their sleeves.

Her latest one is to offer a "bonus" to the realtor that sells our home. This will make the realtors bust their asses to sell our home rather than take a lackadaisal approach.

She's got all sorts of sneaky trips up her sleeve. That's why I respect her now. I thought she was just a bible-thumping liar. Now I realize she's sneaky and has no morals.

I love my realtor now.

Anyway, we look at the house, my father-in-law and his wife like it lots. They exclaim this by saying "We like this house...LOTS!!"

Then my father-in-law wants to regale my newfound lover...my realtor ... with boring stories of his college days 50 years ago.

Our realtor painfully listens to his stories before she finally exclaims "Look ... I get paid to sell houses, not to stand here and pretend to think you're interesting. I'm outta here."

Actually, I just THINK she said that. Because after he went on and on about being an amateur surveyor in college, I walked away, pretending that I had to go "check on Andrew".

Having a child gives you a great excuse to not listen to people's boring stories. You can always tend to the child over listening to a boring story and people think "What a good parent ... to dote on that child so much."

No. It's just that the child's more interesting than the adult.

We then go to our actual lot, where cinder blocks have now been erected, framing our soon-to-be house. This is awesome and we love it and we go something like this "Yes! This is cool!"

Then our realtor says that our house will not be flat on the land but be standing about four feet off the ground. I sort of understand what she's saying, but not really. Still, I pretend to understand her, because unlike my father-in-law, it'll pay off to pretend to listen to her someday. If I treat her with the same disrespect as my father-in-law, she may say "What an ass! I don't think I'll work that hard to sell his house!"

That's called "priorities".

Also, she told us that the price for our home went up $6,000 this week. So we got it for $6,000 less than it's selling now. That's like putting $6,000 of equity in our pocket.

That made me go "Yes! This is cool!"

Then, we stood in a dirt lot that will someday be our yard for an eternity while Susie called her two brothers to tell them to meet us at a seafood buffet in an hour.

We all went to the Seafood buffet which was very good. An awful lot of fried food which I shouldn't eat because of my diabetes, but I cheated and ate some and was very sleepy and weird feeling afterwards.

My $1,100-owing, Coke slurping brother-in-law worked very hard to make sure that everyone in the building understood that he was a nerdy asshole.

As my porn-surfing 14 year-old nephew filled out a comment card with sweet remarks hoping that it would make the waitress take him into a broom closet and pork his curly headed brain out, my asshole brother-in-law kept saying (LOUDLY) "Write that they need to get BANANA pudding!! I can't believe they don't have BANANA pudding on their buffet! That's a gyp! Every seafood buffet should have BANANA pudding on their buffet!!"

He kept saying this very loudly because we had a table of ten people who were all trying to talk at the same time and he wanted to make sure that the people in the kitchen heard his utter dissatisfaction with the fact that they had the nerve to put out butterscotch and chocolate pudding but left his 300-lb ass hanging on the BANANA pudding.

Finally, I spoke up.

"Brother-in-law," I said. "From the looks of the stacks of plates you have in front of you, it doesn't look like you NEED any BANANA pudding."

This generated much laughs from the table because I used to be a stand-up comedian and according to my hyena-like in-laws, that means that everything I say is SUPPOSED to be funny. Even when they don't exactly understand what I'm saying or when I say something like "My father had a brain aneurysm yesterday."

So we all eat. And then Susie's dad has an announcement to make.

So he gets up from his chair and moves to the head of the table and clears his throat.

Everyone's on the edge of their seats. I'm personally hoping that he's about to tell us he's worth millions and has a month to live.

No such luck.

There wasn't an announcement made. He just basically wanted the attention of his family, but also everyone else in the restaurant.

He made some sort of strange speech where he talked about going to Fort Worth next year to watch another grandchild graduate from high school. Didn't even mention the fact that our niece that was actually SITTING at the table had just graduated. He was more concerned with next year's graduation. I'm sure my niece felt loved during that moment.

Then, he asked Susie about five times if she had anything to announce. Susie kept saying "no". He'd ask her again. She'd say no. I kept waiting for her to say "Yeah, I've got something to say...why didn't you pay child support when you were supposed to? Do you even CARE that I was wearing rags to school because you wouldn't do the right thing and pay my mother child support to help take care of me when you walked out on our lives? Or did you think that I would forget all about it and just accept a goddamned free seafood buffet 20 years later as payment for several years of poverty?"

Now THAT would have gotten my attention.

Alas, she didn't say a word.

So he babbled on about the day's golf game and about the sweet tea served at dinner. Then slowly, everyone at the table began having their own conversations and he realized that his speech had petered out before it began and sat his old ass down so that the restaurant's patrons could go back to eating their meals.

I have absolutely no respect for this man. I do not like him and it stems from a whole lot of stuff much worse than not paying child support.

Today, we have to meet them after church for a picnic where we're going to feed ducks at the local park.

Then they leave tomorrow.

Thank God.

I'm just waiting to exhale.

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