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‘Could You Watch My Kids?’
A Yard Ape Wrangling Tale, 4/6/20
It was a Monday afternoon, two days ago, when Yeti Waters needed to go to the supply center to get some more hardwood flooring for is boys’ new bedroom. He asked me, “Could you watch my kids for me?”
I said, “Of course, no problem bro.”
I spooned myself up a bowl of raw unions and garlic and cabbage in apple cider vinegar as they played a video game with a girl their age in the front room of the house. The girl carries around this tiny 3-pound dog and it shivers on her lap as Mars, Yeti Waters’ 20-pound cat glares at it fixedly licking its whiskers.
The boys then began competing for her attention and she suggested they duel over her. Well, it wasn’t quite a duel as they rumbled MMA stile on the living room couch and she became panicked and looked at me, “Aren’t you going to stop it?”
“I didn’t lay hands on my kids. I’m sure not going to touch anyone else’s kids.”
“This is so frightening?” She said “I’m going to leave.”
“Your dog would appreciate that.”
She then glanced at the cat stalking the tiny shivering thing on her lap, snatched it up into her arms and darted outside and I locked the door behind her. She came back to observe through the front window and ask the boys to stop and not get hurt. Her idea of a duel did not include choke holds, punches, twisting of the neck between the shins, biting out of a headlock, growling like an animal and otherwise being alternately vicious, and then crying for help from me.
As the oldest boy scissored the younger boy’s head and neck and he begged me for help, I said, “You guys are on your own. You’ve got hips, slip out the back door and roll your shoulder and you should get a reversal.”
After about ten minutes this paid off and the older boy found himself under the blows of a snarling ground-and-pound attack and was crying for me, “James, James—get him off. You told Dad you’d watch us?”
I munched some raw veggies and snickered and said, “Break,” and they both looked at me without trying to improve their position with eyes of expectation and I said, “Am I or am I not, watching you?”
The older boy’s eyes opened wide and he yelled, “Oh fuck me—fuck!” as the younger boy snarled, “Payback time motherfucker,” and starting raining down punches but there is a rule that Yeti waters has instituted, that if his boys back-sass him, they can avoid punishment if that sass makes him laugh. The older boy had internalized this sense of humor so much that even while he was getting punched he had to laugh uncontrollably, “Fuck, this is some diabolical Boomer bullshit!” and he fought and fought and fought as the little girl looked through the window all worried and I coached him on getting a reversal, which he eventually did.
Both of them were now on their feet sparring and I said, “I’m proud of you guys for not eye-gouging or breaking fingers or toes when you could have. You might want to call it a draw. If you stop now and your dad asks if you were good, I’ll say yeah and not have to lie because it was a pretty good scrap.”
They shook hands, negotiated turns on the “Switch” video game they were arguing over that lead to the fight and I was able to finish cleaning the house while the little girl sat between them with the shivering dog and the big cat stalked across the back of the couch licking its whiskers…
When Dad came home with pizza and I dished out the slices for the kids and stood in the kitchen eating my slice with a knife and fork, the girl spotted me and said, “The weird old man that lives in the shed, he’s eating pizza with a knife and fork!”
They all came into observe and I explained to them that when I used to eat pizza with a knife and fork at Brennen’s bar in Baltimore, that the other patrons would chant, “Knife and Fork! Knife and Fork!”
And so did my little dining companions take up the chant at the dining room table, “Knife and Fork! Knife and Fork!”
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Add Comment
Furd TurgusonMay 10, 2020 7:40 PM UTC

If Lynn starts a Homeschooling podcast this would be a great story.
responds:May 23, 2020 12:51 PM UTC

Thanks!