Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The nuclear option

I suppose this is a good a time as any, my imaginary and real audience, to briefly introduce some of the cast of this unending one-act.

First, the wife, whom I will usually refer to as SWMBO or Her Imperial Highness on crappy days and Wife-o-licious on better days. Our teenage son is much like her — which is the source of much conflict and the basis of tonight's post. Then there's Lobster, the kid staying with us. (Don't ask me why I call him that; I don't think I know myself.)

Finally, my car. It's a lowered Honda Civic with a rather excessive sound system — in other words, a teenage boy's wet dream. The only reason I have such a thing is that our nephew needed to sell it so he could get a truck for his new job, and I needed a car with good gas mileage. The boy has pretty much appropriated it, tries to tell everyone it's his car, although he's only paid $60 toward the $1500 he agreed to. Lately, he's been driving it every-freeking-where — I don't think he goes anywhere without putting 200 miles on it.

So this afternoon, he agreed to help in the in-laws' chicken houses. Unfortunately, his concept of the verb “to help” is to do about a quarter of the job and then take off. After he was told not to go anywhere. Reeeeeeeeeeeal smart.

So he calls me up, wanting the gas card. “It's on E.” Well, duh, that's what happens when you spend every free moment and some not-so-free moments driving around. Wife says, “He's not driving that car anymore. He can take the van.”

To make sure he gets home, I told him, “I'll bring the card. You get gas and go straight home. I'll get Lobster.” The way I figure it, he's not driving the car anymore, so I'm not buying him gas here. So I'm in the KFC parking lot, borrowing the wireless signal from the Super8 motel next door, and avoiding the screaming match that is surely going on as I type. I'll probably still take the bike to work on dry days; it gets slightly better gas mileage than the car (42mpg vs. 40). Besides, he tore the muffler off the bottom of the thing a while back, going down a driveway we told him not to go down.

Nobody listens to nobody. That's probably two-thirds of the problems we have.

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