Saturday, August 02, 2008

Slightly Startling Discovery

Whooo Whee! There are moments and there are moments. Particularly as a dad, father, father-taking-care-of someone-else's-business, and so forth. And yesterday, after this perfectly grand day with all my kids, Chepa and her two new kids and going over the skull collection with Sierra and Madeleina hugging me like mad and a fantastic dinner filled with laughter and no arguments....well, I went to do a wash after dinner and just before a movie was turned on. Lousy movie, but that's another subject. This is about wondering where the two dozen mix-matched towels were and going into Italo's room and discovering he had something like 17 wet and used towels in a pile in the corner, just sitting there, mildewing, not drying anyone. So I yelled, "Italo? Can you come and get this pile of stinking towels off the rug and put them into the washing machine?"
To which he answered, "I was waiting till it was an even two=dozen, Dad. No sweat."
And he begrudgingly moved the hundred pound load and plopped them into the washing machine, severely overloading it.
Then it was Madeleina's room. She's only just come back from vacation with Chepa and the boyfriend and so only had about 14 tee-shirts, six pair of shorts and a couple of wet bathing suits hidden under the bed. "Macaroni! What the heck is this?"
"Didn't want to freak you out, dad. Just hiding them till the appropriate moment..."
"Take these to the washing machine and don't try to stuff them into what Italo has already over stuffed, okay?"
"If you say so, dad. But most of those don't fit me so it might just be easier to leave them there under the bed till they dry and then give them to the poor people. What do you say?"
"I say we wash and fold them and then bring them to the church."
"But they'll still have to wash them before they give them away. Hate to waste all that water, you know? I mean, talk about saving the planet..."
"Take them to the laundry room or eat them. Your choice..."
"Talk about a useless dad..."
And then into Marco's room, the carpet of which is not visible for all the clothes covering it. I pick up an armful and take it to the laundry room and put it in the pile of Italo's wet towels and Madeleina's no-fit clothes on the floor and head back for a second load. And then I see it: A bottle, a gallon bottle, of Hawaiian Punch, nearly full, next to his bed. One of my peeves: Take a glass, take a thermos, or take the whole damned gallon. But if you take it, drink it. Don't just let it sit on the floor drawing mice and roaches for a couple of weeks. And for all I knew it had been sitting there since I last left for Peru on July 6 or 7. So I picked it up and walked righteously out of his room and was just putting it in the fridge when I noticed it was yellow, not pink or red. That caught my eye.
"Marco! How long has this Hawaiian Punch been in your room? Freaking thing is
"Dad! Don't drink that! It's bad."
"Well if it's bad, what the heck is it doing next to your bed?"
Italo howled with laughter. "You idiot, dad. That's not Hawaiian Punch. That's Marco's pee bottle. He's too lazy to go to the bathroom at night so he pees into that until it's full, then pours it down the sink."
Instantly I conceptualized the issue. Marco's bed is four steps from the toilet. Three steps from the sink, if he couldn't make the toilet. But he's so lazy he thinks it's okay to fill gallon bottles with urine over the course of a week or so rather than actually stand, take three steps and pee into the bathroom sink.
"I just get tired, dad. And do you really think it's better for me to have to wake up in the middle of the night rather than just peeing in a bottle?"
"Marco, you make love with your girl in this room. I know because I keep finding used condoms. Do you really want her naked and intimate in a room with a gallon of piss?"
"Hey, one time I almost let her drink a little. I told her it was a new kind of Hawaiian Punch. I stopped her but man, that was great. I had her going..."
"Marco. Not acceptable. Just walk to the bathroom....."
"Dad. You just don't understand anything, do you? It's three or four steps. I have to open my door. That's a lot of work at 2 AM."
"I understand everything. You're just lazy."
Madeleina and Italo were laughing so hard they were almost peeing themselves.
"You're just old, old man. You don't know what it's like to be tired. If you were as tired as me I bet you'ld just pee your bed..."
"Another 20 years and you're probably right. But right this instant, empty that into the toilet, wash it and put that think into the garbage can."
"Oh sure, here I am saving and recycling plastic and you're telling me to throw it in the garbage. Some environmentalist you turned out to be. Your friends would be ashamed, I tell you. Ashamed."
Ah, there are joyous moments and there are joyous moments. And Marco just brought me one. Thanks for being my insane kid, kiddo. Know that I love you not in spite but because of your insanity.
PS: Italo just read this and wants you all to know I exaggerated a little to make it a better story. "Especially about the towels," he says.


bamboo said...

hee hee- great story! So what i'm seeing here is that my 5 year old's reluctance to do ANYTHING I ask that even resembles work will more tahn likely carry on into her teenage years....oh well...good times!

Anonymous said...

Could it be that there was a video of you taken at Wilson's in 1986 standing next to Pedro, Johnny R, Sarah, Glenn and Debbie, long before you became famous?


Peter Gorman said...

I'm sure there are several. And that was probably the time when I was famous. Now I'm just an old bum. But if you've got that video with my friends, I'd love to see it. Johnny R and Sarah will be my friends forever, whether we meet again or not. Glen and Debbie gave me the nod even when I failed them and I am indebted to them forever. Pedro was the prototypical assistant: he made me shine.
So whomever has that video has my thanks and more. Those are my friends.

The Grudge said...

My sides hurt from laughing so hard. Thanks for sharing!

Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Very interesting.

I just read it. Will be the world a better place after reading this text?