Sunday, February 28, 2016

#170: The Freakin' Camping Trip, Part 2

Back at the campsite, the guys and the kids were roasting the fish they'd caught,

except for Declan and Erin, who were playing cards.

"Fishing is stupid!" Declan sputtered, slamming down his cards in disgust after losing a hand to Erin.

"Oh, come on," Erin tried to cheer him up.  "So we didn't catch anything today -- big deal.  We don't know how to fish yet.  We'll probably get better tomorrow."


"Come and get it, folks!" Bill said, as he started roasting more fish.  Dude, D3, and Erin took their food over to the picnic table and quickly devoured it.

Erin enthusiastically dug into her dinner,

 although Declan stubbornly remained at the card table.

"Hey, this is pretty good -- want some?" Scout offered.

Declan grudgingly joined Scout at the picnic table, mostly because he was starving by that point.

"So, kids, great first day, right!?" Bill asked.

"Yes, Daddy!" Scout agreed happily.  Declan said nothing, and instead just moped and picked at his fish.

"Declan, let's get some food into you," Bill suggested, "and then you get a good night's sleep.  And maybe you'll like tomorrow better."


The 2 dads put the 4 kids to bed,

then sat around the fire for a while before putting it out for the night.

"So, what do you make of Declan?" Bill asked Dude.

"If Lou were here, she'd say 'he's a nightmare'," Dude said, swatting at mosquitoes.

"But my kind wife, Alice," he added, "would argue 'there's hope for everyone'.  I suppose that's because of her own difficult life journey."

Sunday, February 21, 2016

#169: The Freakin' Camping Trip, Part 1

"Okay, everybody!" Bill said heartily -- because he was in the best mood possible, because camping was the best activity possible, and because he was taking his young daughter, Scout, camping for the first time -- "Let's set up the tent and the inflatable beds, then let's all go fishing for our dinner!"

 "YAAAAY!" exulted Scout.

"Umm ... yay!" D3 agreed (because he pretty much wanted to do anything Scout wanted to do).

"This is CRAP!" Declan muttered.

Erin (who had heard him) said, "You never know -- it might be fun, if you give it a chance."


"So, who's this extra kid we brought camping with us?" Bill asked Dude.  (All 4 kids had gotten bored with helping to set up camp, and were now playing horseshoes.)

"That's Erin Garvey," Dude explained.  "Her family lives near my parents and -- according to Kelly -- she's Declan's only friend."

"Frankly, I'm amazed that kid has even ONE friend," Bill said under his breath.  "But my mission this weekend -- as given to me by my dear wife -- is to do anything I can to make Derek and Kelly's homelife better."

"And Alice told me that Derek has essentially given up trying to have a relationship with his son," Dude remarked ruefully.


The group ambled to the nearest fishing spot.

"Ooooh -- frogs!" Scout said along the way.

 D3 hung back -- he was hardly as enthusiastic about catching frogs as Scout was.

They got to the next mossy log on the way to the fishing site.  "DO it!" Scout cried.  "I DARE you!  I DOUBLE dare you!!!"

She sensed his reluctance.  "I triple DOG dare you!!!" she taunted.

D3 was not happy about reaching into some slimy frog habitat, but he was not about to be bested by a girl.


When D3 and Scout caught up to the group, D3 observed, "This is getting over-fished.  Plus, these kids who don't know how to fish are making too much noise."

D3 knew quite a bit about fishing, since he did that a lot with his grandfather, and also with Bill, after school and on weekends.

So D3 and Scout moved on to the next fishing spot.

 At least one of the other two kids seemed to be having a good time.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

#168: What To Do About Declan?

Alice got home from her bartending job just after 2 a.m.,

and was surprised to find Dude still up.

"Hey, babe!" she greeted him.  "Didn't you finish work HOURS ago?"

"I took another gig afterwards, just to make a few extra bucks," he said, getting up to kiss her.

"Besides," he continued, "D3's at my parents' house, anyway, so I thought I'd wait up for you and have my awesome wife all to myself."

They shared a pot of tea, talked about their day,

and went to bed.

"I sure wish I weren't too tired to have sex," Dude said glumly.

"Don't worry about it," Alice said.  "I'm too damned tired, too."


Derek and Bill were doing a bit of early morning fishing.

"Let me tell you something," Derek fumed (as Bill hauled in a huge salmon, and -- as usual -- outfished Derek), "if you take that stupid little piece-of-shit asshole camping with you, then you're even more clueless  than I thought you were."

"And I'll tell YOU something," Bill replied calmly.  "My wife -- whom I adore, and who just gave birth to our son -- ASKED me to take our daughter, and YOUR son, and a couple other kids to Granite Falls for the weekend.  So I'm freakin' going to do it!  Because that's just how life works!!!"

"And," Bill went on, "MUCH of the reason Regina has asked me to do this is so that YOU can try to repair your marriage with Kelly!"


"But I don't WANT to go on the stupid fucking camping trip!" Declan wailed, enraged.

"Oh, come on, honey," Kelly pleaded.  "It could be FUN!  Your friend Erin is going, and you get along with D3 and Scout.  Please give it a chance -- it's only a couple days or so.  And -- also -- PLEASE don't use that kind of language in this house."

"I'm sorry, Kelly," the boy sobbed, "but please don't make me go!"

"I'm NOT making you go, and I would never do that," she reassured the boy, hugging him.

"I love you as much as if you were my own child."

This made Declan even unhappier.


Kelly had of course previously called Declan's mother to ask if he could go on the camping trip.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" Lana cackled, incredulous (and exhausted from a long day of police work).  "Anyone who takes that little piece of shit to the deep woods is probably going to get stabbed by him in the middle of the night!

"And then it will be a CRIME scene, and I'LL have to show up, and that's the LAST thing I fucking want!"