Once again, I have changed the names of the characters in this story.
I love this time of year. NBA playoffs. I’m a basketball fan and I have three basketball-loving boys – Boy1, Boy2 and Boy3.
The Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder are in the Finals. Game three was last night. The Heat are Boy2’s favourite team. Boy3 loves the Thunder, hates the Heat. This game, like the whole series, was going to be both triumph and tragedy, no matter what happened, and would result in much anger and taunting, extremely bad language and very possibly some physical violence. Boy1 doesn’t care who wins, he just wants it to be a long series.
Boy1, the oldest, works till eight thirty on Sunday nights. He always comes over after work for a bite to eat. He was very disappointed that he was going to miss the game. Sunday afternoon, through a texted negotiation, he was able to extract an agreement from Boy3, the youngest, that we would record the game and not watch it until he arrived. Boy1 extracted this agreement by promising to buy pizza. In fact, I ordered the pizza and paid for it. I’m not clear on the definition Boy1 was using for “buy”, but it did not appear to include either ordering or paying.
I’m not sure where Boy2 was. He’d stumbled out of bed sometime mid afternoon and stumbled out the back door without announcing his entry into the day or his departure from the house. I called him on his cell phone and told him we were watching the game late and that he should NOT come in and tell us the final score. It is the sort of thing he’d love to do. He told me he hadn’t been watching the game and would be home to watch it with us. And have some pizza.
A very happy family scene. Wife and Mother [not her real names] had to leave the room, however, because she was so upset by the profanity. What a girl.
Near the end of the fourth quarter [unlike the three part hockey game, a basketball game is divided into halves, then further into quarters] it appeared that the game had slipped away from the Thunder. The Heat were going to win. Out of nowhere, Boy3 offered to bet Boy2 twenty bucks that the Thunder would pull out a win. Boy2, without hesitation, took the bet.
The Thunder did not pull it out.
Boy 3 is furious. He had received a text from a friend, who told him that the Thunder had, in fact, won the game. That’s why he’d offered the bet. He was going to win himself an easy twenty bucks from his brother by cheating.
Boy2 took the bet readily because he had watched the game before he came home and knew all along how it would end. In this particular contest between cheating and lying, then, lying was the clear winner.
A lot of swearing ensued, which upset Mom.
Later, I was cleaning up and noticed a slice of pizza in the box with a bite out of it. Boy1 does this all the time – with cookies, donuts, granola bars, fudge, pizza, steak, whatever. He takes a bite and leaves it. Sometime in the container the thing came from. Sometimes just on the kitchen counter. I’ve recently begun to respond to this peculiar habit by taking his bitten left-over, whatever it is, and placing it on his Blackberry, which he always leaves on the kitchen table or the counter. He came along and found the pizza slice, oozing tomato sauce on his phone.
Fuck Dad, I was going to come back and finish that.
No. You weren’t.
Yeah, fuck, I was. and stop fucking putting greasy shit on my phone. Fuck.
And on and on he went. I maintained my cheery countenance.
The WifeMom could hear this outburst from her bed, where she’d retreated some time earlier. The anger and profanity upset her. I assured her it was all just fun. Boy1 was wishing me a happy fathers day.