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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Should he stay or should he go now?

We interrupt this series of essays for another round of real life.

Here’s one of the few points on which The Boy and Mrs. Fetched aren’t alike: when she wants something, she goes straight for the jugular; he usually takes a few trips around the bushes before homing in.

We came home from church Sunday to find a message from The Boy on the answering machine: “Hi, I was wondering if you would come and get me,” and some other ramblings, but he didn’t quite get around to saying “I want to come home.” We called the number he left (on my smellphone because it was another smellphone that was long-distance from our landline). Once we got the connection established, which took a minute of “Hello? Can you hear me now? Is this better? You’re breaking up, you’re breaking up, that’s better,” (Stinkular claims the fewest dropped calls, probably because it’s hard to get one started) I got the kid (who turned out to be the one who ran up $570 worth of airtime on The Boy’s phone) to pass the phone to The Boy.

“Hey, don’t worry about it, I’ve got a ride.”

“Are you coming home?”

“Everything’s okay, you don’t have to come get me.”

“Are you coming home?”

“It was good talking to you.”

“Are you coming home!!?!??”


Somewhat concerned about his state of mental health, we went over to the place he said he’d called from. Cousin Splat’s truck (which used to be Lobster’s) was there, the significance of which will become apparent later. He came outside, while his two friends reluctantly went back in, and we chatted for a while before Mrs. Fetched started one of her screeds while I tried to get a word in edgewise. The upshot was, he wasn’t ready to come home yet, and he was still looking for a job. Yeah, I thought, good luck finding a job with a lip ring, chunky earrings, and your hair hanging in your face. I must have actually said it, because he said he took the lip ring out and pushed his hair back on interviews. Not like it helps much... he can almost get a job for a long time.

So we went our way, he stayed where he was, and then thunderstorms and Mrs. Fetched made it a No Computer Day. We (Daughter Dearest, Mrs. Fetched, me) played Yahtzee and Uno on the porch and I wrote about two-thirds of another essay (on paper!) that I hope will see the light of blog shortly.

Home from work yesterday, nobody home, (as usual) no supper, and my muffler CAME LOOSE ON THE WAY HOME. I had just enough time to send off some emails I wrote through the day at work before Mrs. Fetched came in and gave me the latest news of the free-range insane asylum that I sometimes call Planet Georgia. Turns out that the party house, where he usually stays when he’s not here, has been a bone of contention between the woman who owns it and her ex-husband. The guy apparently has the upper hand at the moment, because the house reverted to his ownership at midnight last night. This wouldn’t be an issue for me at all, except that The Boy’s car has been stranded there since the female who (unbeknownst to him) turned out to be in a mailbox theft ring asked to “borrow” his car (intending to run for it) one night last month. The ditzbag put diesel in it, leaving it in a non-running state, and abandoned it nearby. Now if he’d had his head on straight and had a job, this wouldn’t have been any big deal: a couple tanks of gas, fuel filter, and new spark plugs would have got it right back on the road. But he didn’t even have money for gas, let alone the rest, so they ran it dry and it’s been sitting there ever since.

Now the new owner of the house had informed his ex that she was to have everything cleared out of the house and off the property by midnight, and he’d have the car towed if it wasn’t moved. So there goes my evening, including supper… Mrs. Fetched’s idea of addressing a problem is to do something NOW; whether it makes progress toward actually solving the problem is of less importance. Knowing the car was out of gas, even if it would start, we grabbed a gas can and went over there. Turned out one of the jerks who had been hanging out there with The Boy stole the keys (and was on the run for other thefts). Some of the other kids who lived there gathered up his backpack (including his diabetes medication) and the one insulin pen he had with him. We went back home and found the other set of keys, dumped some gas in, and I cranked it until the battery started to run down, getting nothing but a feeble cough for our trouble. I figured the plugs were fouled. This we did until it was time to get M.A.E. from her job (which she has held longer than any of her others, hooray!). We used the bathroom at the nearby Kroger to wash up, just before midnight, and I bought a pack of sushi for my supper before going to Toxic Bell for the wimmin (neither of whom were about to eat sushi, although Mrs. Fetched’s shellfish allergy is a legit excuse). At this point, I had neither the time, energy, nor inclination to look at the muffler.

Morning arose, Mrs. Fetched faux-reluctantly woke me up and gave me the phone number for the towing service we usually use when we have car trouble. The plan was to try yanking and cleaning the spark plugs on The Boy’s car, if it was still there and the new homeowner was inclined to be reasonable, and hope the sucker would start — and if not, we would have it towed to our mechanic. I arrived just before 9 (no breakfast) in the old Barge, which is pretty much full of tools because it‘s the farm vehicle, to find the house empty. I figured I’d talk to the guy if he showed up, called into work to get a personal day, and started on the car.

A half hour later, I was ready to take the pliers I had in hand and twist the nuts off the engineer who thought it was a good idea to mount a V-6 engine sideways. How do they get those backside plugs out, anyway??? I gave up and called the tow service, who told me it would be an hour before they could get there. I managed to waste most of an hour by staring at a small tree, then pulled up the news about the Mumbai bombings on my smellphone, then it started ringing. Mrs. Fetched said she would be coming with the checkbook, because they would want to be paid right away, friends were calling for this and that, and that was fine because it killed some time. I spent the last 15 minutes out at the road, finding a spot both shady and having a good signal, and the tow truck showed up only five minutes late. We (I say “we” because I steered while he ran the winch) got the car onto the truck well before Mrs. Fetched arrived. Surprisingly, she had The Boy, who was now ready to admit that he wanted to come home. Oh, and incidentally, his PlayStation and games were probably buried in all the stuff everyone moved out of the former party house last night. After a brief attempt to find it (she moved to the next house down), he figured it would turn up later and we went to get some lunch.

The Boy walked to Big V’s to ask her about working for their landscaping business (no), then we got the dangling muffler off the back of the car and DROVE IT TO THE SHOP. My day was pretty well shot for working by this point, so I didn’t even bother trying. But it wasn’t long before he wanted to go to Devil’s Elbow, a people’s park of sorts where there are several high jumps and rope swings (some rather extreme) over the river. I let him borrow my swim suit — he weighs 196 pounds now, probably his lowest weight since his early teens, so it fits him — and a friend we know came to get him.

A couple hours later, Big V calls looking for Cousin Splat (who hasn’t been home in a couple of weeks himself, and lost a good job at Kroger over something really stupid — right after getting a promotion), since there are some insurance issues with the truck. I suggested they check at Devil’s Elbow, since I heard The Boy mention something about Splat meeting them. Off they went, then the phone started ringing (waking up Mrs. Fetched from her nap) with this person or that wanting to talk to her. I think it was Lobster’s mom on the line when I saw Big V and her husband pull up. Splat wasn’t at the Elbow, nor were any of the others. Hmmmm. They got in Barge Vader to go looking for Splat (and The Boy) — they immediately found The Boy at the same place we found him Sunday, and one of his friends knew where Splat was.

So at this point, I’m not sure whether he’s ready to come home — or be home — or not. I don’t think he does, either. He said he’d mow the lawn when he got home… how many feet high will it be by then?


  1. FARfetched you definitely need a vacation. Preferably one where people pamper FARfetched.

  2. Damn bro, why don't you take family man's advice and come down for a weekend and stay with me. All we would have to do is sleep in, drink beer and grill hamburgers. I'm serious, if you want to come down I'll supply everything, all you need to do is get here.

  3. Wow, Solar, that's a wonderful thought — I could do the drive at night thing to substitute for lack of A/C. Mrs. Fetched thinks I should go stay with Dad for a week. Either one would be good. We're going to visit Mom for a long weekend when she gets to North Carolina, too.

    FM, pampering isn't a requirement, just having a little "space" would be quite enough!

  4. Call me, it would be nice to spend some time with you when I don't have the Flu :)


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