If there’s a day of the week more likely than the others to find me scribbling something here, it’s Sunday. There’s no special reason for it, I get up early enough to scribble on any given day. Getting lost in the process more often than not.
Sunday just seems so right for it. Kind of like the calm and breezy something you feel when your woman runs a hand through your hair, or feeling hungry and knowing the toast is ready to pop and the eggs are in the pan. Sunday rises quiet and sets in a slow fade without fanfare, listening for its last chuckle of rest from days set against it.
You know times are hard when you sit and watch the Grapes of Wrath on the Sunday morning movie and figure hey, if my bib overalls were just a bit shorter I’d fit right in there on that truck crossing the country with 10 or 12 people on it, stopping only for gas and water or to bury passengers past the age of social security.
Gives me a hankerin’ to fix up some fried dough and sit cross legged in the dust while Ma smokes a cob pipe and rocks slowly back and forth.
Guess I’d better get Ally a pipe. Hate to lose that mental picture any time soon.
Chief Mo moved on Friday, from his estate on the second floor of a large suburban home to a luxurious one bedroom apartment on the water. And it was our job to ensure that the tiresome details (i.e., transferring housewares and furniture from place to place) were seen to and carried off with aplomb, using the fabled Outfoxed Crew box truck for transport.
In one stellar instance of the novel in progress that my life revolves around, the Chief was seen carrying a large stand up electrical fan from the house to the truck. He paused, considered, puckered up and began blowing a considerable amount of dust from the fan cage. From my position at the tail of the truck, I leaped into action.
“Hold on a minute there, Chief,” I hailed. “Let me do that.” I hooked a hose to an air compressor, chucked in a blow nozzle and delivered a hearty stream of high pressure air to the appliance, sending a mighty cloud of dust all over the yard. Just about the time we decided the fan was cleansed, Stu appeared with a coffee table that was cloaked in its own web of dust bunnies. So I hosed that off too.
“Damn,” mused the Chief. “Didn’t think my stuff was so filthy. But on the other hand, I can’t remember the last time I cleaned it, either.”
I stared at the lingering dust storm in the driveway. “Chief that stuff hasn’t been blown off since the time that Jamison gal skipped through town.”
My middlest daughter Maggie came home the other evening as Ally and I sat staring at the television and plucking dog hairs from our clothing, raving about what a great day she’d had, waitressing at a local place. “I made almost $250 in tips today,” she hooted. “C’mon, I’m buying dinner for you guys.”
If you’ve ever seen the Stooges crammed into a doorway as all three tried to exit the room at once, you might get an idea of what the resultant stampede was like.
She took us to a neighboring rib joint and ordered large. Pops tied on the feed bag and cleared one side of the table as if for battle, and the waiter scurried to keep pace. My children
never rarely buy food for me, but when they do I tend to show my appreciation by cleaning my plate. Repeatedly, as you can no doubt imagine. The inventory of barbecued ribs took a mortal blow that night, my friends.
Maggie settled back after her own dainty meal was finished. “Dad, this is the kind of food we ought to have in our own place,” she sighed. She was referring to an out-loud dream the two of us have laughed over for a couple of years. She wants a restaurant of her own some day, a little place where she can invite friends and family and serve spicy food and shoot pool.
I, of course, being the sponsor and chief carpenter, want a place where the morning drive crew can get an egg sandwich and coffee. Or cold beer, if need be. I want a place where I can read the paper and look out the window at boats and the occasional ripple of a fat bass on the water.
She wants a place of understated elegance. I want a dive.
She wants 20 booths and room for 8 pool tables. She wants nine-ball and hanging plants. She wants live entertainment from a solo guitarist playing on a small stage.
I want just enough bar for a dozen old men who know they can hang out all day emptying longnecks and watching CNN unless they’re only coming in to buy bait. From the stand up cooler next to the Dale Jr. calendar.
She wants mahogany. I’ll settle for knotty pine with that aged patina.
We both want Ally to keep the books. Neither one of us is very good with money, unless we’re trying to earn it. So that’s sensible.
I think it’ll work out just fine.
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