And Then There’s Auntie – Part Three

So where did I leave off?.. Oh yeah… 50 yards from the van and feeling like the left side of my face is drooping.

Sooo… We actually make it to the van with less agravation than it would take to describe here. Then its time to load the goods. While I’m trying to get the girl child into the van so I can keep track of her… Auntie instructs #2 son to “Quit standing around!… Get those bags into the van!”… And this with much waving around of the lit ciggie.

So #2 son… being the dutiful child that he is (we raised him to respect his elders)… Grabs a 50 pound sack of dog food that’s jammed into the car and hoists with all of his might… Of course the kid only outweighs this thing by about 25 pounds… What do you suppose happens? Right-O!… Down he goes!… on his back. The bag breaks.

Auntie now screams the boys name and while (inadvertently!) flicking ashes on him… proceeds to inform him just what a clumsy ox he is. Does’nt offer him a hand. Does’nt ask if he’s OK. But she does however… Succeed in reducing the boy to tears.

The girl child is now scrambling over the seats to get a better view as I struggle to get to the middle door to get out of the van. Somehow … I manage to get my feet tangled up in a couple of bags that have mysteriously appeared on the floor behind me… “Sounds like Chips Ahoy! crumbling to me”… I think as I begin falling like a cut tree towards the door that is still closed… Had #1 son been there… He surely would have yelled “Timberrrr!” “This won’t hurt too bad” I think… “I’m mostly gonna hit the seat.” It’s amazing how even though things are happening in slow motion… There’s no time to panic.

Now… I’m not a little guy… I’m pushing 300 pounds… Hard! Ooof!! Head and shoulder into the door… Just miss the glass. Side hits the armrest. Every wisp of air in my body goes away… Simply abandons me. My lungs seem to have forgotten what air is… Not my brain though!.. “Breathe dammit!” … My brain screams… “Or I’ll make you crap your pants!… So help me I will!” “I’m trying!”.. I think back… “I seem to have forgotten how though!”

In the clarity of impending death… I notice that the girl child is now calmly standing over me with a curiously bemused expression on her face… She wants to laugh… She’s not sure of her escape route though… Auntie… meanwhile is oblivious to my plight and is still giving #2 son the once over. “Help!!” …I scream silently to Daddy’s Little Girl… She gets it… So she screams… Loud.

Auntie now makes her way around the van and yanks open the door I’m propped against… Letting me drop another 12 inches which turns out to be just enough to jerk my body sideways enough to kick start my diaphragm. I suck in a big breath just in time to save myself further embarassment. I begin to screeh something to the effect of “get this crap off of my feet!” Little girl is already on the case.

Auntie is now trying to climb into the van over me ostensibly to help pick me up… Did I mention that Auntie is 5 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds?.. And that she’s 80?… And has a bad back?… And I’m in a van?… Full of seats?… And a hyperactive 9 year old? … Did I mention that Auntie had a lit cigarette in her hand?… which she instinctively transferred to her mouth and clenched between her gums… Did I mention that Auntie has no teeth?… I’m sorry… I thought I did.

As she claws her way over my bulk… Hot ash falls on my face… Now I’m Moving! Auntie loses her perch and start to fall backwards… Time slows… Clarity… “Self”… I say to myself… “If she hits the ground … You, my friend will be dealing with a broken hip.”… “Forget your pain”… “Save yourself that agony”… Somehow… I snag the front of the fanny pack.. She comes to a dead halt. Cigarette still held firmly in her gums. She puffs.. Steps backward … and calmly asks if I’m OK.

I’m not. But I say I am. In the mean time… #2 son has wisely chosen to not get involved and to take advantage of his reprieve from Auntie’s wrath and get to work picking up dog food. He’s raided one of Auntie’s ubiquitous stashes of grocery bags that she stashes in any available space … Just in case we need them (of course the van needs at least 100 of them) and the boy is industriously loading about 5 pounds each with dog food. He’s got maybe 4 ready. Auntie is pleased. Vindication shines in her eyes.

So… I struggle through the pain… in my head, back, neck and foot… And we get the van loaded. It’s been over four hours since we left the house… Did I mention that Wal Mart is five minutes away? It’s hot… The van smells like Old Roy dog food… Each kid and Auntie have a bag of loose dog food in their laps… It’s very quiet. The kids sense that old dad’s not in the mood for any hijinks… Auntie is sulking… I’ve snapped at her to put her damn cigarette down and help bag dog food. I’ll live to pay for that transgession… It was a half of a cig. Tomorrow’s another day.

Part ONE

Part TWO

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