Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stop Him, He's Out of Control!

Every summer Hick resents our vacation from school. He leaves chores for all of us, like he's in charge around here. We go through the motions.

The Pony, on goat-herding duty every morning, finds ways to shave an hour into 15 minutes if he's feeling cantankerous. Or he waits until afternoon when the skies cloud up, and says, "We can tell Dad it rained, so I didn't let them out today." The goats are not being harmed. They have acres of fenced pen, and receive hay and goat chow every evening.

My chore for today was to send in Hick's passport for renewal. Because he has been forgetting since April, when he got a new photo. I was reading through the five pages of printout he left me with instructions when the phone rang. It was Genius.

"Can you come pick me up at the bowling alley?"

Believe me, he was not bowling. Saturday afternoon leagues are over. The bowling alley is not even open on Wednesday mornings. And Genius had been fulfilling his duty of hauling a load of gravel for Hick. So now he was at the bowling alley with Hick's truck, and a long-bed full of 2-inch clean.

''Are you all right? Why are you at the bowling alley?"


"I'll be right there."

Yes, only Hick would send his 18-year-old son with $20 to buy a truckload of gravel in a 4WD Ford 250 Extended Cab with bad brakes. I have not liked that truck since he bought it. Not like I drive it regularly. It's been years. But when we had vehicle problems, or when the power was out and I couldn't get my car out of the garage, I drove it. It always felt like it was running away with me. I used to have dreams about driving it with no brakes.

According to Genius, even the emergency brake lost function. From the looks of the gravel up on the metal toolbox, against the back window, and more gravel over the tailgate on the bumper, I'd say some rock was flung today, in reckless abandon.

Even Steven has either staged a reckoning, or is planning one. The Pony went to eat his lunch today, a lunch planned since this morning, of a bowl of cereal, and found that the cupboard was bare of his box. From which he had eaten only one bowl since purchase. The whole time we were in town, when I asked both boys several times if they wanted to pick up something for lunch, The Pony said, "No. I'm having cereal, remember?" I asked Genius why he didn't let us know that he had eaten it. So we could have gotten more while in town. Or something else for lunch.

"I really wasn't even listing to either of you."

No cereal. No brakes. Even Steven is a harsh taskmaster. Genius had better be hoping that his Stevening is still being planned. That the brakes were the initiating factor, and that something good lies on the horizon.


  1. Doesn't Hick know that--in your case--the summer is not a time to do HIS chores? The summer is a mental health break.

    I say, dig in your heels and relax...while you still can.

  2. I just hate that Even Steven guy.

  3. The lack of brakes never stopped He Who from hauling gravel in his dump truck ...... you just have to drive slower and gear down, you know, drive real careful.

  4. Yeah, having a spouse who gets a three month summer vacation every year is just a pain. Especially when one has to continue to put on real clothes and spend eight hours grinding away while said spouse whines about having to work during said vacation. No sympathy here.

  5. Guys have a whole other way of thinking, don't they?

  6. Sioux,
    Spoken like a true fellow educator. You have definitely walked a mile in my Crocs.

    He's the checks and balances guy. Who doesn't know how to spell his name right.

    I took Hick back to the bowling alley after work, and he drove the brakeless truckload of gravel home. As far as I know, he has no plans for brake work.

    That's only one of the perks of teaching. The summer vacation, the gratitude of all the students, the high regard from the general public, the stellar workplace safety, the short hours, the ability to remain incognito and be yourself when out and about in a small community, having free rein to post your opinions on various social media accounts, and the total lack of stress. It's nirvana, really. The only drawback is the danger of falling off our pedestal. It's uncanny, with the hordes of folks who know our profession better than we do, that there is any job security at all. I imagine 90% of college students graduate with education degrees these days. Crazy status-seekers!

    In fact, I'm surprised that Hick doesn't want to trade his five weeks of vacation for my ten, and take five years off, spend $125,000, get his own Master's Degree in education, then take a 50% pay cut and land his own teaching job. Wait a minute! That would be a 75% pay cut, because he would be starting without the 25 years of experience. He really should have planned ahead.

    You must be remembering the time he took the cedar-shaving-stuffed pillow out of the new doghouse, and put it on his side of the bed.