Serialization: Why My Dad Hates Ice Cream (4)

åôChapter Six
Looking back from the perspective of more than a decade, I see
a comical pair of guys facing each other across the few feet which
separated the desk chair from the foot of my bed.  In my mind’s eye
my dad is a Buddha in a business suit:  large and round of face and
belly and thighs, his feet tucked beneath the chair’s seat, crossed
at the ankles, beefy hands resting in his lap, his whole great
carcass seeming to be on the verge of a melt©down into a huge blob
on the floor.
And I am a sorry looking sixteen©year©old, hair dishevelled,
left eye swollen shut and surrounded by a mixture of putrid colors,
about half of Archie’s weight and still several inches shorter than
he was.
I favored Mom in her thinness, and the length and straightness
of her nose.  Unfortunately I favored my father in that my face was
sprinkled with half a dozen zits in various stages of development
or decline.
Staring at the carpet near my sneakered feet, Archie continued
talking softly, deliberately, as if considering every word.
“Ned, I’ve spent my whole life ©©© 45 years ©©© feeling
different.  In school I was always the fattest kid in the class.”
He shuffled his large buttocks on the vinyl seat, which was smaller
than they were, as if he was anxious about tipping off the chair.
“In high school and college I was the guy with the biggest and
nastiest©looking pimples.  The Haverford High bully used to lay for
me, too. His name was Herman Hilderbrand, incidentally.  He used to‘      ‘          0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
call me ‘Ol’ King Clearasil.’  He once told me I was nothing but a
200©pound sack of pus.’  In college I stayed a virgin longer than
any other guy in my fraternity.”
At that point he looked up and his eyes met mine.  We both
blushed a little and found ourselves smiling at one another.
“I guess I went to law school because I thought being a
lawyer would give me the self©confidence and the weapons to fight
back a little better against a hostile world.  Instead I discovered
that under extreme pressure ©©© such as in a courtroom ©©© I break
into a stutter.
“That little surprise came during my second semester at
Temple Law, when we all had to finish off our first year with an
oral argument for moot court.  I barely got through it.  After that
I thought about dropping out.  But I stayed with it, though I
didn’t study very hard after that.”
Archie reached into his back pocket and dragged a handkerchief
out.  He blew his big, red nose really hard, then opened the
handkerchief to inspect the results… a habit of his that had
always disgusted me.  Seemingly satisfied with the results, he
rolled the end product up in the hanky and jammed it back into his
pants pocket.
“A two©three GPA from Temple didn’t get you many job offers
back then, anymore than it would today I guess.  Anyway, that’s why
I ended up in a solo practice right back here in my home town.  I
was lucky that a working girl ©©© your Mom ©©© would have me. ‘     Ä%¬         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
Otherwise I probably would never have been able to afford a house
and a family.”
Archie reached back toward the pocket where he kept his hanky
and I thought, “Oh, no, he’s gonna blow it again.”  But this time
he just readjusted the handkerchief, and then shifted his rear end
a little on the shiny black vinyl seat, his buttocks making a
squeaking noise on the seat.  He looked at me a little embarrassed,
as if fearful that I thought the sound was him breaking wind…
another nasty habit of Archie’s, when he thought no one was paying
any attention.
As for me, I seemed to be noticing all these little details of
my Dad’s behaviour… in fact, can see them clearly still across
the gap of a dozen very busy years… as if the day’s traumatic
events had left me with new found powers of concentration.  I can’t
recall shuffling my feet or interrupting Archie’s monologue even
once.
“Ned, I know your Mother thinks this Lustig case is just one
more of my follies, like the time I took three months off from the
practice to try and write that mystery novel.”  He paused a second,
as if considering his opponent’s argument, and perhaps finding it
to have merit.  “And I have to admit there are some similarities.
What I mean is, part of this is another try at amounting to
something better than just a small town attorney.  I have to admit
that.”  He was staring at that spot on the carpet just in front of
my feet again, shaking his head back and forth ever so slightly.‘     Ä%          0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å     Suddenly he raised his head and caught my eyes with his big,
watery blue ones.  The intensity of his gaze startled me a little
bit.
“But, Ned, there’s a lot more to it than that.  Ned, son,
Dennis Lustig is in his special way different, the way I’ve always
felt a little different in mine.  First of all he’s gay…
not a ‘queer’ or a ‘faggot’, by the way, no matter what that Hadden
kid or his neo©Nazi father may want to call him.”  Was this passion
I was seeing in Pop’s face, hearing in his voice?  I straightened
up and returned his stare with my one open eye.
“Additionally, son, Lustig is sick.  He’s HIV positive.  Do you
understand what that means.”
Trying to reply, I realized I had been listening silently all
this time and had never cleared the phlegm that had accumulated on
my throat when I had been sobbing on my pillow a few minutes
earlier.  I cleared it now.
“Sure, Dad.  I know.  Everybody knows about HIV and AIDS.
They teach us about them at school.”
“You say that with such certainty, Ned.  But, you know, just
four or five years ago, not one American in a hundred could have
told you what either one of those conditions was.  Even today,
about all that’s known is that its usually sexually transmitted,
there’s no cure, and so if you get it, it’ll eventually kill you.”
Another pause, then, “That’s what Denny Lustig lives with
every day now.  It’s what’s waiting for him when he wakes up in the‘     Ä%!         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
morning.  And now he’s been denied the dignity of even holding a
job.
“That’s the other reason I took this case, Ned.  Just once I
want to do something that really matters in the scheme of things.
This disease, this AIDS thing, is gonna be around for a long time.
It’s gonna hurt a lot of people.  People, such as their employers,
can make things better for these victims, or like Freeman’s Dairy
Bar, they can make it much, much worse.  The law should protect the
Dennis Lustigs.  That’s part of why I became a lawyer in the first
place.  I sort of lost sight of that for… ”
He smiled a little, at himself I guess. “…for the past 19
years.  Can you understand what I’m trying to say, son?”
This time it was my turn to shift my bottom around a little
nervously, and to clear my throat again.  A swirling mixture of
images and emotions filled my head.  I felt both anger and
something new… respect? …
“Yeh, Pop, I understand.  But…”
“But, like your Mom, you didn’t bargain for all the flack
that’s apparently coming your way because of my decision. Right?”
Now it was my turn to look him in the face with my one good
eye.  “Yeh, Dad, that’s right.  Look, I’m a little bit of an
outsider at school, myself.  You know?  And I don’t need Will
Hadden and his merry band of apes stalking me in the hallways.
Okay?  I mean…”  I dropped my head, my righteous anger suddenly
dissipated, feeling as if I might start bawling again.  “Look, Pop,‘     Ä%”         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
I don’t need to be a one©man leper colony.  I don’t think I can
handle it.”
Quicker than I thought my old man could move his 290 or 300
pounds, Archie was on his knees in front of me, drawing me towards
him with his big, beefy arms, and hugging me like I was about to
drop off the edge of the earth and he was hanging on to keep me
from going.  He seemed to be sniffling.  And, just as if I were six
or seven again, I put my head on his broad right shoulder and tears
streamed again from my good right eye.

‘      ‘#         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘åôChapter Seven
Like so many of our adolescent fears, my fear that my junior
year at Haverford High would turn into a living hell proved to be
extremely exaggerated.  Even we top©track students called him
‘Weasel’, but Mr. John Brennan, the school’s assistant principal
and head disciplinarian, was known for absolute fairness and for
taking no prisoners.  His investigation of the Hadden©McAdoo close
encounter resulted in no punishment for me, beyond what had already
been imposed on my face by Big Will himself.
As for Hadden, he not only missed the Lower Merion meet ©©©
which, thank heavens, Haverford won without him ©©© but was
suspended from the wrestling team for an additional two weeks.
More importantly, Mr. Brennan let it be known that Archibald McAdoo
was off limits to retribution.  So while I was subjected to some
harsh glares from Hadden and his cronies, no one laid a hand on me
or openly harassed me after that.
Meanwhile, like all lawsuits, √
√Lustig v. Freeman’s Farm Dairy
Bar and Restaurantƒ
ƒ settled into the rhythm of its investigatory and
preparation stages, when the news media more or less loses sight of
it and the professionals ©©© in this case Pennsylvania Human
Relations Commission fact finders and the attorneys for the two
parties ©©© quietly go about their business behind the scenes.  Pop
lost a couple of clients over it, Mom continued to stiffen every
time the case was brought up within her hearing, but the Haverford
community, including the kids at Haverford High, put the case in
the back of its collective mind.‘      ‘$         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å     To my surprise there was one more reason why my fears of daily
persecution in the halls of Haverford High never came to pass. Mr.
Brennan, it turned out, was not the only person there of whom the
students were now wary.  The word had spread among all 4000 of them
that a top©track honor student, and one with a reputation (to the
extent they had heard of him at all) of being a bit of a wimp, had
attacked Big Will Hadden… and left him writhing in agony on the
cafeteria floor.  Like a latter day Billy the Kid, I had become
something of a legend in my own time.  Friends told me the rumors
included speculation that I was a black belt in karate or kung fu.
And so, life went on.
January passed, as did the spring term, and then it was June.
The Human Relations Commission found merit in Dad’s charge that
Dennis Lustig was the victim of handicap discrimination when he was
fired by Freeman’s restaurant, the Freeman family predictably
refused to rehire Lustig, and the old man and his co©counsel, Larry
Berger, filed a complaint in the Bucks County Court of Common
Pleas.  This step resulted in a news conference.  The fresh
publicity cost Archie another client.  But by then I was out of
school for the summer, so whatever the kids at Haverford High were
thinking didn’t matter much to me.

‘      ‘%         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘åChapter Eight
It was another Thursday night, this time in mid©June, and the
Clan McAdoo were celebrating, as was our family tradition, the end
of another school year.  Having walked on those figurative eggs for
the past five months, since the infamous Big Will Hadden incident,
I felt special reasons to party.
“Uno!” declared Claire, laying down a yellow ‘Draw Two’.
Archie made a great show of grummbling as he drew two cards from
the deck.
Okay, okay… to those of you who are thinking that ‘Uno’ is
a kid’s game, and that everyone around that kitchen table from
Claire on up through me and Mom to Pop was too old to be playing
it, let me say that the card game had become another McAdoo
tradition.  In fact we had a score book dating back to around 1980,
that contained a running tabulation of our individual victories.
For instance, my page reflected the four hundred and twenty©two
wins I had achieved to date.  I should also note that another
McAdoo family tradition was to be absolutely merciless toward one
another when it came to any game we played together, but especially
when it came to Uno.
“Sorry, Mom,” I said in a tone of mock contriteness, as I
played a ‘Draw Four” card.  “The new color is blue,” I added
authoritatively.
“I’m sure your poor little heart is just breaking,” said Mom,
picking her four cards from the deck.  “You wait until the order
gets reversed, smart guy.”‘      ‘&         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å     Claire, who had just shovelled a big paw©full of popcorn into
her mouth, tossed a blue three onto the heap and shouted “I’m out”,
sending several pieces of popcorn leaping from her mouth onto the
table.
The rest of us started counting up the points we were stuck
with in our hands.  Claire, who was by another McAdoo tradition
always the score keeper, gleefully recorded our points.
“Three,” Archie reported.
“Eighteen, Dad,” said Claire, making the notation in our record
book.  “That gives you a big eighteen.”
“Five,” I mumbled.
“Whoopsie, Nedster,” chortled my litle sister.  “That puts you
over the top with a big twenty©two. So©o©r©ry.”
“Yeh, I know you are, Sis,” I said.
Claire’s big brown eyes turned to Mom.
“Eleven,” admitted our mother, who hated to lose.  (Archie
always said she would have made the better lawyer in the family.)
“Twenty©seven, Momsy,” giggled Claire.  “Looks like it’s just
you and me, Poppo.  And I only have twelve little points.  Care to
deal.”
I got up to go and use the bathroom, not much interested in
the outcome of the game, since I was out of the running.  As I
headed out of the kitchen, Archie asked, “Where you going, Ned.”
“Little boys’ room, Dad,” I responded, turning back to face
him.
“You’re coming back, right?”‘      ”         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘åô    “Aw, I don’t know, Pop.  It’s not my night.” I said.
“Well. let’s just play one more game,” he said.  This should
have put me on my guard, as much as if Arch had cleared his throat,
because Uno was definitely not one of the old man’s great loves.
He played because he believed, as he often said, “A family that
plays together stays together.”  The way we usually bickered during
these cards games, I wondered sometimes if the cliche shouldn’t be
rewritten to read, “A family that plays together brays together.”
Whatever, by sixteen it was clear to me that Archie did his part in
maintaining this McAdoo tradition out of a sense of commitment, not
out of love of the game.  And since we had played the mandatory
three games per session, I should have known his demand for a
fourth game had an ulterior motive.
I used the powder room in the center hall and then sat back
down at the table.  Pop picked up the deck and bgan dealing… a
task he particularly disliked.   As we picked up and sorted our
cards, Archie’s throat©clearing ritual began.  At last my guard was
aroused.  Furthermore, I could sense Mom tense up too.  Only Claire
went on sorting and resorting her hand, while stuffing the last of
the popcorn into her mouth.
“Ned, Mom tells me you’re planning to drive down to Wildwood
this weekend and look for work,” was the old man’s opening gambit.
“Yeh, Pop, that’s right,” I responded uneasily.  The card game
proceeded lethargically, as Pop continued, “You’re getting
close to college age.”  He indulged himself in a last round of
throat clearing. “And I think it’ll improve your chances a lot of‘      ‘(         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
getting into a good school if you have some worthwhile experience
on your resume.”
So, okay, I was ready to bite. “Like what, Dad?”
“Yes, Archie, like what,” Mom chimed in warily, playing a card
as she did.
“Like how about the Peace Corps?” Claire contributed merrily.
“Do they have an office in Afghanistan?”
“No,” said Archie, giving Claire a warning look. “Like working
for me.”
Obviously ol’ Arch had not talked this over with Mom in
advance, or even given her a little clue.
“Doing what, exactly?” she asked, taking the words out of my
mouth.
“Well, hey, there’s the sweeping, and the filing, and…”
“Ease up, Claire,” said Archie, a little edgy as he pushed
ahead.
“Larry Berger and I can use some help with the Lustig case.
Since it’s pro bono, we really can’t afford to hire a law student
as a summer clerk.  And it’s all stuff that with a little training,
I think Ned could handle.  It looks like we might be coming to
trial by the end of the summer.”
“You mean I won’t get paid, Pop?”
“Oh, sure, I’ll pay you.” Archie paused.  “When we’ve won the
case.  Even though it’s pro bono, when we prevail, the law allows
us to collect reaosnable attorney fees.”
“Don’t you mean if you win, Dad?” I pressed.‘      ‘)         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å     It was Mom’s turn to play again.  But she put her cards down
on the table in front of her and folded her hands in front of her
chest.
“Archie, I don’t think I want Ned involved with that case.
Remember what that Hadden kid did to him back in January?  And what
about this Lustig person?  He’s a homosexual.  And he has an
incurable disease.  I don’t want Ned exposed to him.”
Sound arguments, thought I.  But the old man was more
determined than I would have expected.  He had his arguments ready.
He marshalled them now and pushed ahead.
“Yes, Karen, Dennis Lustig is gay.  But he isn’t flagrant about
it.  He wouldn’t try to seduce Ned.”  Claire giggled at this,
winning warning looks from both our parents at once.
“Second, he isn’t ill.  That is, not in any way you would
recognize to look at him.  Yes, he is carrying HIV in his
bloodstream.  But you can’t contract it from casual contact.”
Mom looked skeptically at Archie, but didn’t interrupt him.
“That’s the whole point of this lawsuit.  Even working with the
food at the restaurant, he can’t pass the virus on to any co™workers or customers.  He should never have been fired.  We’re
moving for an order to reinstate him.  That’s why the case is
coming up so quickly.”
At this point, Mom made one of her very few fatal blunders in
her many years of dealing with my Dad.  And her misstep cost me a
summer on the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey.‘     Ä%*         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å     “Archie, even if all that is true, that man is a complete
stranger… to me and to Ned.”
At the distance of a decade I could swear that a smile ©©©
only a real small one, mind you ©©© crossed Archie’s face in that
instant. “I gotcha.” it seemed to say.
“I thought about that, honey,” he replied.  “That’s why I’ve
invited Denny over for dinner next Saturday.”
“You did what?” Mom alsmost shouted.  At this point Claire
flashed me a quick glance that said eloquently “I’m oughta here,”
and slipped from the table without even pushing her chair back.
A pause… then, “Don’t think I’m cooking.”
But Archie was as prepared as any good attorney in a court of
law.  “No problem,” he responded.  “I’m going to do a barbeque in
the back yard.  Larry Berger will be here too.  You’ll love his
wife, Ina, and they have a couple of kids who are pretty close to
Claire and Ned’s ages.”
Now it was Mom’s turn to leave the table, but much less quietly
than Claire had gone.  Her huffy departure left Archie and me
together in the kitchen.  Pop looked down at the cards which he
still held in his right hand and then up at me.
The small, sly smile of a winner returned to his big moon face.
“I guess we can just call it a draw, Ned.  What do you think?”
Chapter Nine
Mom was true to her word.  During the following week she said
nary a word about the upcoming barbeque feast.  Neither did the old
man.  At meals and other times that Mom and Pop had to be together‘      ‘+         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
in the house they circled each other warily, like two wolves,
destined to be mates but each appreciating the other’s potential
for suddenly snapping the tip off of an ear or a tail.
As for me and Claire, like two wolf cubs instinctively aware
of the tension between their parents, we steered clear of them both
so far as we could.  The weather that mid©June week was balmy and
inviting to two teenagers.  Most days we biked together to the
Hilltop Swim Club and spent our days hanging with our respective
cliques of friends and working on our summer tans.  I feared it
might be my only uninterrupted opportunity to develop the kind of
bronzing every sixteen year old boy desires.
Big Will Hadden’s family didn’t belong to Hilltop.  His Dad was
a member of the more prstigious Llanerch Country Club, which had
its own indoor and outdoor pools.  But a couple of Hadden’s best
buddies did belong to our pool club.  They, too, were on the scene
that week, which resulted in a second instance of careful circling,
as if young male wolves were vying for primacy in their pack.
Fortunately, Big Will’s buddies didn’t realize just how scared
of them I really was.  My attack on their leader in the high school
cafeteria back in January, and my great good luck in disabling my
opponent, were not events I had any hope or wish
of repeating.  I was careful not to be alone in the men’s shower
room or in the deep end of the pool when “the boys”, as I began to
think of them, were around.
From Monday through Thursday of the week of the ‘Big
Barbeque’, as I now like to remember it, there was a sameness to‘      ‘,         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
everything.   The weather was a balmy 80 degrees, the skies clear
and blue, the pool water almost as blue.  Archie and Mom steered
clear of each other, and the one time we McAdoos all got together,
dinnertime, the topic of the barbeque was carefully avoided.  In
fact, conversation was kept to a minimum.  After dinner, Mom,
Claire and I all retreated to our respective rooms while Archie
went into his study, ostensibly to work.
By Friday evening Claire and I shared an unspoken need to
break the tension.  In my memory Claire was the one to suggest that
we try our long©neglected gambit ©©© our lawyer jokes.  It’s no fun
being in an uncommunicative family, especially when that family
seems headed for an imminent disaster.  Desperate times called for
desparate acts and so I agreed.  Claire and I reviewed and
rehearsed a few of our old favorites in her room.
“How do you keep a lawyer from chasing ambulences?”
“Retirement.”
“Why have all the research labs switched from white rats to
lawyers?”
“The scientists tend to develop some affection for the rats.”
“What do jackels and lawyers have in common?”
“They both eat what they kill.”
“Whew… that one’s really a low blow. It’s what Dad used to
say before he took the ‘you know who’ case.”
“Yeh, we’re ready.  Let’s go!”
As quietly as possible we slipped out of Claire’s room and
past Mom’s partly opened door.  She was watching TV and reading a‘      ‘-         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
paperback book, something Mom liked to do simultaneously.  She
never noticed us shuffle by and head down the front stairs.
We tiptoed up to Archie’s closed door.  Claire was already
stifling nervous giggles in anticipation.  I myself was in a
vengeful mood.  We took our positions up close to the door and were
about to launch into our routine, when we heard an un©
characteristic clanging sound come from inside the sanctum
sanctorum.  This was followed by a series of four©letter words,
just as uncharacteristic where our father was concerned.
Claire and I looked at one another in shared bewilderment.
Another clang was followed by another string of naughty words.
“What the heck’s going on in there,” Claire asked in a high,
squeaky voice.
“Shh… not so loud,” I commanded, then, “Beats me.”
We must have had the same idea at the same time again,
because we looked into each other’s eyes, then turned our heads and
simultaneously stared at the door knob.  I was the one to gently
reach out and turn it just enough to be able to open the door a
mere crack.  Claire and I almost bumped heads as we turned and bent
down to peek into Archie’s study.
Our Dad was sitting on the small, round Oriental carpet in the
middle of the floor.  In one hand he held a pair of pliers, in the
other a screw driver.  He mumbled incessantly to himself, so that
he would have been unlikely to have heard even our lawyer jokes,
had we proceeded with them.  Plans and booklets were strewn around
him, together with screws and bolts of all sizes and a number of‘      ‘.         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
oddly©shaped metal parts.  Half assembled in the very center of the
rug was a strange black creation.
“What…?” Claire began in a shrill whisper.
I put my finger to my lips, signaling silence.  I looked at
the strange concoction, then at the remaining parts scattered
around it and my Dad.  It hit me.
I carefully closed the door and motioned for Claire to follow
me into the living room.  She was just about bursting.
“What is it?  What’s he doing, Neddy?”
“It’s a new propane grill, Sis,” I responded.
“Holy cow.  Dad’s really going ahead with the ‘Big Barbeque’.”
“Yeh,” I said with a lot less enthusiasm than Claire was
projecting.  “It sure looks as if he is.”
“Well, it ought to be interesting,” said Claire.
“Oh, I have no doubt about that,” I replied.  My wistful hope
that the past week’s stalemate signaled Archie’s abandonment of the
‘Big B’, and perhaps even his plan to employ me for the summer,
evaporated like one of the little puddles left by our wet feet on
the concrete pavements beside the Hilltop pool.

‘      ‘/         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘åôChapter Ten
The next day was a study in role reversals.  Although Mom had
almost always worked, like many working mothers she also got stuck
with shouldering most of the household chores.  The kitchen was, as
a matter of McAdoo rule and custom, a part of Mom’s domain.  But
this Saturday morning Mom was nowhere in evidence.
“Mom had to go in to the office,” Archie announced to Claire
and me when we walked into the kitchen at around 10 in the morning,
encountering him hard at work on some sort of chicken, which he
seemed to be cleaning in the sink.
Unlike Mom, the old man didn’t inquire about what we’d like
for breakfast or offer us any orange juice.  He just continued with
his labors, which turned to some kind of sausages which were so fat
and red that they reminded me of bruised appendages of some sort in
a horror movie lab.  He was mummbling softly to himself again, just
as we had caught him doing in his study the night before.
Claire and I exchanged wary glances and got our own orange
juice and raisin bran, ate up and slinked off.
More precisely, we got our bikes from the garage and rode off
together with no particular destination in mind.  We wound up at
the swim club.  Lacking suits and towels, we played some
shuffleboard and Claire watched as I held my own in a pick©up game
of hoops on one of the club’s three basketball courts.
The whole family had been so circumspect all week about
Archie’s infamous barbeque that Claire and I really weren’t too
clear about when the guests were arriving or whether we were‘      ‘0         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
expected to be in attendance.  Mom’s intentions remained a complete
mystery to the two of us.
After spending a couple of hours at the swim club we biked
back toward home but stopped off at the Manoa Shopping Center,
where we slipped into a booth at the Deli and had two chocolate
malts each.  We checked out new arrivals at the book and record
stores, and fiddled with the latest computer games and gadgets at
Radio Shack until the clerk asked us to leave if we weren’t
intending to buy anything.  By that time it was two o’clock.  We
had just about run out of diversions and excuses, and besides, our
curiosity had just about overcome our caution.  And so Claire and
I cruised back home.
Coasting down our street we spotted a couple of strange cars,
one a Jaguar, the other a ’56 Chevy, parked in our driveway.
Claire and I exchanged glances and started pedaling.  We scooted
past the cars in the driveway and leaned our bikes against the side
of the house.  Cautiously rounding the back corner of the garage
and peeking into the backyard we saw Dad and Mom talking to four
people Claire and I didn’t know.
Pulling our heads back before anybody spotted us, Claire and
I exchanged another cautious glance.
“I think we better get changed and put in an appearance, Sis,”
I said softly.
“I can’t believe Mom is back,” she replied, raising her
eyebrows to emphasize her sense of surprise.  That caused Claire’s‘     Ä%1         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘
forehead to wrinkle in a way that I thought was cute even way back
then.
“Yeh, that’s a shocker, alright,” I observed.  “Well, if she’s
partying, I guess we have to party too.”  Claire nodded in
agreement and we simultaneously turned and walked round to the
front of the house, went inside and upstairs to change from our
cutoff jeans and t©shirts into some more suitable clothes.

Buy this book at http://www.lulu.com

‘      ‘2         0*†(†(∞ ∞    ‘å

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One Response to “Serialization: Why My Dad Hates Ice Cream (4)”

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