Because of my car accident, my parents ask that I alert them when I pull out of my driveway on the way to their house. It takes roughly an hour, door-to-door, so they start calling if I'm running late. When I spoke with my mother, she told me that Dad was out at the grocery. The heat index reached almost a hundred and five degrees in Smalltownland yesterday, so he'd forbidden her from going out. She has a couple of fairly serious respiratory disorders that are further complicated by extreme heat and humidity- plus, Dad's trying to curtail her smoking by cutting off her supply. In short, she was furious. She must be out of cigarettes...
When I got there, Mom was sitting in her chair wheezing, with her Papillon, Gigi, frantically licking her elbow. This dog really can't hold her licker- that little tongue is constantly going, so much so that she's worn a pink streak up the center of her nose. Mom got frustrated and started whining, "Oh, Gigi, stop that!" This was accompanied by an arm-flapping motion intended to shoo the dog off the arm of the chair. Not only did it not have the desired effect, she looked like she was about to take flight.
She and Dad had been arguing off and on all day. Both of my parents are sarcastic, which is where I get it, so Dad jumped out of his chair and started yelling, "Oh, Gigi, STOP THAT! Ewww, wheewww, eeek!" while flapping his arms and hopping up and down on one foot; Mom picked up her cane and whacked him in the shin. He decided he'd better hotfoot it on out before she really got after him, so he called the dogs and followed them out to the yard.
As soon as the storm door clicked shut, Mom turned to me and hissed, "If he retires, he will drive me insane! If he so much as says the word 'retire', you tell him 'absolutely not'!"
When he came back inside, I was showing Mom my new Kindle- she has the first model and was interested in any improvements in the more recent one. Dad announced (because he hates anything electronic that remotely resembles a computer) that he thinks he will take up hacking as a hobby...Mom shot back that he'd have to learn to turn the computer on first. This is what Karnak predicts every waking moment will be like if he does retire. It ain't pretty, kids.
I'm really needing that referee shirt, and probably a whistle and an air horn like the one I use to stop arguments between my dogs. My parents have become that curmudgeonly old Southern couple who do nothing but sit around and insult each other- it's almost a study in the Eighteenth Century French culture of ridicule, and I am stuck squarely in the middle.