Phone Calls that Stick With You

For Better

“Where’s Uncle Butcher?”

“He’s at a wedding.”


“Remember the girl with the puppy we visited.  Her.”

“Who’s she getting married with?”

For Worse

“Hey, which of the hepatitises is the really bad one?”


“You know, which is the one that Pamela Anderson has?”


“You can get that from having sex, right?”

“Yes, oh god.  Do you have hepatitis?”

“No, not me.  This guy who’s been sleeping with the oldest nephew’s cousin.  He has it.  Hepatitis B.”

“Well, yeah, that can be really bad.  You need to tell that cousin to get it checked out.”

“Well, that’s not going to go too well.”

“Why?  She should know so she can get to the doctor.”


“Wait, the cousin we know?  A.?”

“No, not A.  It’s her cousin, too.  But they’re best friends.”

“But isn’t A. like fifteen?  How old’s her cousin?”


“How old’s this dude?”

“Twenty-six.  And he’s all saying that he can’t afford the medicine and I’m all like they’ll give you medicine to treat that for free to keep you from spreading…”

“Twenty-fucking-six?!  His ass should be in jail.”

“Well, that’s why I’m calling.  It’s going to be bad when her dad finds out.  Jail’s probably the safest place for him.”

“This isn’t funny.”

“I’m not joking.  He’ll disappear.  I have no doubt.”

“Seriously, if you know this is going on, you have to call the cops.”

“B., her dad will take care of it.”

“Oh, holy sweet Jesus.”

“That’s just how things work down here.”

“Promise me one thing.  Promise me you will not do anything stupid.”


“Either go to the cops or stay out of it.”

“Well, I’ve got to go tell A. to tell her that she might have hepatitis.”

“I mean it.  There’s no one to bail you out of jail.  Stay out of it.”

“I am.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“It’ll be fine.  Don’t worry.”

Saturday Morning Coming Down

–Mrs. Wigglebottom is getting old.  It’s not just the occassional limp that reminds me.  It’s also that she used to be our one-dog garbage disposal.  Whatever you wanted to throw at her, she could eat.  And now?  You give her a bone slightly different than the ones she’s used to and she’s shitting in the kitchen looking sheepishly at you like she’d love to go outside, but her body is doing something she can’t quite control and you think you should cry, maybe, because you think it’s your fault, but it’s just how things work and you must make a mental note to stop feeding your dog weird crap.

–Here is the question I don’t know how to answer.  If I buy the house on Bell Grimes, what will it take to fix the kitchen, both in terms of design and cost?  I think the trick has to be knocking out the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and treating it all as one space.  That way you could come into the dining room area a little with kitchen stuff.  And maybe you could have a tiny island that contained the stove and cook top… I don’t know.  I think it could be done.  I also think that, if you kept everything in the kitchen a light rustic look, even if you had to take down the paneling on the back wall of the dining room, for the purposes of flow, you could leave the paneling on the other two walls and then it wouldn’t be so dang dark in there.

Eh, I thought I had more, but I’m distracted by how nice it is out.