The Good News: Brother-in-law, Bill, is home from Iraq and coming to see us over the weekend. (They are going to finally let him retire at 56 and over 30 years of service in Special Forces.) We haven’t seen him since he went off almost 2 years ago so this is going to be great. He lost a lot of weight so it’s my plan to fatten him up a bit. He called a few minutes ago and asked how to get to our place. I said, "How the hell do I know?" Finally, I suggested he get himself to Oz Park and we would come find him.
The Bad News: I’m telling you this and it’s not even funny. It’s pathetic. So don’t say anything to rub it in.
My children have some sort of genetic defect related to fruit flies. 28 years ago, when I was dating their father he told me this cute little story about what a slob he was in college. Apparently at some point he and his roommate had so many fruit flies that they would sit around and flick disposable lighters and ignite them. Then one day his mother came for a visit and she was so outraged she beat him with a pizza box and didn’t speak to him for six months. When he related this incident to me I was still so blinded by lust that I just giggled. When I should have flagged that like a family history of something like what? Nose picking or toe sucking or something. Anyway.
Five years ago, at the end of Dan’s first year of renting off campus housing, I dropped by to see how the clean out was going. I was already touchy because early in the year he and his music school roommate had gotten themselves one of those half ton ancient wheezing upright pianos that never could be tuned and a week earlier they decided they had to get rid of it. Before the landlord discovered that the living room floor was sagging. Dan put an ad in the freebies and some guy showed up with a tiny pickup truck and no help and talked Dan into loading it up and escorting him across town to unload it. For free. They got to the Miller and 1st street underpass, hit a bump and the piano fell out into the middle of Miller- and essentially disintegrated. He barely escaped getting his picture on the front page of the News. But I digress.
So, I showed up to see how they were doing and discovered CLOUDS of fruit flies in their kitchen. They were everywhere, on every surface but mostly packed around about 300 empty yogurt cups. I sputtered and exclaimed and shrieked, "ARGGHHH! FRUIT FLIES! What the heck are all these unrinsed yogurt containers doing in here?!!??" Dan responded indignantly, "We’re recycling!"
Should I then be surprised to get a call from The Snarl, sobbing over the airways that she has fruit flies hatching IN her refrigerator and she doesn’t know what to do about it? I said, simply, "wipe them out and throw out whatever has gone bad."
She cried that she couldn’t because they were "Really bad." I started twitching and said I couldn’t discuss this with her and to call her father. He would know what to do.
Yesterday (when I forgot to post the good news- bad news) she called to say she had a(nother) problem. With her landlord. Apparently the fruit fly solution she came up with was to move out. That’s it. Just move out. She moved in with her friend. First, they set off a bug bomb in the refrigerator. Then she turned off the light, locked the door and moved out. Three weeks later her landlord is billing her for a new refrigerator because the motor is so hopelessly clogged with…this is just too disgusting.
You’ll remember that this is a child for whom I have historically had great affection. Normally, I consider her a peach, a delight, the apple of my eye. But now that this genetic defect has reared it’s ugly head, well, I don’t know. Right now I can’t speak to her. I can’t imagine a time when I’ll be able to speak to her. I don’t want to even consider that she has half my DNA. If she lived closer I’d put her out of my misery with a pizza box.