"And yours are what--from the 99-cent remainder bin at Costco?" Peter challenged Bill.
Dude never knew what to do in these situations. "All I want to say is, I'm trying to save money," he pleaded. "So that's why I'm dressed like crap."
"You REALLY don't understand how to do this ball-busting thing, do you?" Peter asked Dude.
"You just got one of the hottest women on the planet to marry you, and STILL you're acting like a fucktard loser-what's up with that?" Peter demanded.
"Believe me--I've heard MUCH worse from my mother," Declan said.
The 4 men (including Declan) sat down to eat.
"So when are your parents showing up?" Bill asked Dude.
"No idea," Dude responded glumly. "At least I'm just across the street, so if a cab pulls up in front of my house, I might actually notice!"
Though he tried his best to look bored, Declan was actually fascinated by all the guy talk.
He had grown up without a father--or any adult male presence, other than a succession of his mother's various boyfriends.
"I just feel bad that I've lied to my parents for so long," Dude continued, ruefully. "They would NEVER have accepted that I was having a baby with a woman to whom I wasn't married."
"There's an argument to be made that it's now the 21st century," Peter said.
"Not for my parents!" Dude said. "That's just not our culture," he said adamantly. "We respect the elderly--it's not appropriate for my generation to try to get our parents to think differently than they do."
"But it's okay to have LIED to them for a year?" Bill asked.
"You don't understand," Dude insisted. "I was PROTECTING them!"
A few minutes later, Dude's cellphone rang,
and Alice immediately sensed his distress.
"Alice!" he cried. "My parents are here--they'll be at the house in an hour! What should we do???"
Alice--though amused at Dude's panic--wisely figured that she shouldn't tease him too much.
"You go to Regina and Bill's and pick up Daedelus," she suggested (Derek had been babysitting all 3 infants so that everyone else could go to the swim club). "And I'll take Kelly to our house and she can start dinner while I get dressed. We'll be fine," she assured him, taking his hands.
"Dude is so hysterical," Kelly observed, after he had sprinted off to get the baby, and as she and Alice were about to cross the road.
"Yes, it's going to take a LOT to get him through tonight!" Alice laughed.