May 6, 2015
Mark Anthony Waters
A town full of mystery and intrigue. Corrupt politicians. An out of control police force. A wealthy family that controls everything. Criminal merchants, drug trafficking and violence, other than that, a pretty nice place to visit.
Here is one piece of parental advice I suggest not using. I’m not very proud of this, but a new amendment to the constitution became an excellent tool for child rearing. Abortions had become legalized a few years earlier, and I seized the opportunity. Blain was about ten at the time and was somewhat aware of what an abortion was. I expounded on the law for increased parental control. I explained to him that the new law included kids up to ten years old. If you had an uncontrollable child, all you had to do was make an appointment, take them down to the abortion clinic, and that was that.
The abortion threat was effective for a while, until one day the plan backfired. Pat, who is six years old and my youngest, came running into the house after him and Blain, now fourteen had one of their sibling skirmishes. Pat is yelling and doing that stuttering crying thing.
“Ma, ma, mama, Bla, Bla, Blain said Da, Da, daddy could haul my little ass down to the ha, ha, hospital and get my brains sucked out if I was bad!”
“What!” Darlene was furious. “Blain! Get over here, and I mean now! You to John!”
Blain sensing trouble runs to the garage. What a coward!
He has a secret hiding place there, and I yell at him, “Blain, get over here. I want a word with you! Blain crawls out from under his makeshift hideout.
“What is it, dad?” Blain is aware he’s been busted for telling Pat about his brains getting sucked out.
“Don’t give me that ‘what is it dad’ crap! You damn well know what I’m talking about. How many times have I told you to stop teaching your brother cuss words?”
“You better be. You got me into a world of shit with your mother!”
“Sorry, dad.” They both head back to the house to meet the wrath of God, and Darlene was his messenger. Me and Blain went in the house preparing for the worse, and I was right.
“John! What on earth have you been telling these kids!” I quickly resort to one of my marriage survival techniques— “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Brain sucking John! Are you serious! Their our children for God’s sake!” She is embracing Pat and giving him comfort. In an attempt to calm the situation down, I assure her that I’ll talk to the boys and straighten everything out.
“See that you do. I need to get dinner together and tend to Pat. He’ll probably be in therapy for the rest of his life!”
She gently lowers Pat to the floor and he wanders off a few feet away. Darlene crosses her arms and gives Blain her infamous look. “What do you have to say for yourself young man?” Blain replies, “Nothing mom, except that my brother is a rat fink!”
Darlene is almost in a complete rage but manages to control herself, and again summons Pat to come to her. He runs back to her arms and picks him up. Without anyone noticing, Pat sticks his tongue out at Blain. Blain tells his mother he wants to apologize to Pat.
“Come here Pat, I want to give you a big hug!”
Darlene puts him down, and he runs over to him. Blain picks him up, gives him a big hug and whispers, “You ever stick your tongue out at me again, I’ll tear that thing out of your head and feed it to the dogs.”
He wrestles his way out of Blain’s arms, runs back to his mother, and screams, “Mama, Blain said he was going to tear my tongue out of head and feed it to the dogs!”
Not amused, she says, “John, you and Blain are incorrigible.”
Dumbfounded, I ask, “In what? If you’re going to insult us, at least use words we both understand.”
“No problem. You’re both idiots!”
Satisfied with a less complex word, I replied, “That’s better, and for once, you may be on to something. I’ll talk to them right now.”
Jake has been in the other room the whole time and heard everything. I call for him to meet me and Blain to set the record straight.
“Boys I was kidding about having an abortion done to you. I said those things because I love you, and I want you to be good. Do you understand me?
In unison, they said, “Yes sir.”
Then quickly adds, “But I can still send you away to live with poor people if you misbehave!”
Blain giggles a little and smirks, “No you can’t dad.”
“Wanna bet? Have you seen Billy down the street lately, hmmm?”
The boys looked at each other. This got Jake’s attention, and I can also tell Blain is a little nervous. They weren’t aware that Billy has been visiting his grandparents for a few weeks but made for a great replacement bluff for the recently retired abortion threat. At least it got a lot of mileage while it lasted.