Peregrine

Last Chance Idol #3, We Are All In The Gutter

When Jared entered the playing court, both teams had already finished forming up. The playing sphere had been activated, the lines denoting its four quadrants and out of bounds regions glowing softly. It looked like each side had the required six primary players, but neither one had any alternates. Ordinarily, there would have been plenty of candidates to fill all twelve positions for both sides, not to mention hangers-on hoping to be called up in case of an injury, but the school semester had officially ended yesterday, so any student who didn't actually live on the station was probably packing or already gone.Collapse )

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

Last Chance Idol #1, In The Garden

I didn't want to open the last drawer. Like the ones that had come before, it would contain memories from a happier time, a particleboard fortress reluctantly disgorging items that would have to be examined, remembered, and finally placed into one of two piles, keep or discard. I surveyed the two piles in question, patiently awaiting new additions, the left for the damned and the right for the saved, and inwardly cringed. Collapse )

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

Last Chance Idol

Given the rapidity with which I failed in LJ Idol earlier this season, it would perhaps be more appropriate if I were committed, rather than being allowed to make another commitment. Still, here goes nothing:
I will be participating in Last Chance Idol for as long as I am able.

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

LJI S9.7, No True Scotsman

When faced with a time sensitive task, how many of you take the time you know you'll require to finish said task, and double it? You would think, in a culture driven by numerous measures of productivity, that consistently doing this would give you the reputation of being an inefficient, lazy, and none too bright worker. I assure you, such is not the case!

Of course, when someone like your boss asks you straight out, "Hey, how long will it take you to finish that?" the answer is simple. Normal duration of task times two. Trust me, if you consistently finish up on time, or even complete something ahead of schedule, no one will complain.

Obviously though, that's the simple scenario. What are you supposed to do if you've got a predetermined deadline? "Finish this report by Thursday."

Remember, even though your boss may be the dreadfullest slimiest scum that was ever scraped off the bottom of a duck pond, he or she wants to believe that they're human, and that their requests are more than reasonable. The key, gentle reader, is to intercept the assignment before it gets made.

Keep your ear to the ground, and when you determine that chances of an onrushing task of doom are high, call up your boss, and ask for their advice on something unrelated. Naturally, this is where forethought and planning are crucial to your survival. It's a good rule of thumb to have a pending file of "Whatever should I do?" situations at hand, so as to never be caught unprepared in such a situation. Ask for the mighty one's help, and then bring the conversation around to the threatened job. Be calm, commiserate with them a bit over how difficult the task promises to be, and then say, "You know, now that we've discussed this, I'm certain that I can have this done for you by (normal duration of task times two!)"

Yes, I know, I hear the doubters among you, but I promise, this is a time honored strategy of mine that has never once failed. It works on bosses, as outlined above, parents, teachers, and pretty much any authority figure you care to name. Hell, I bet it would even work on captains.

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

LJI S9.6, Step on a Crack

(The ALMOST entry! In other words, I didn't finish it in time.)

On Sunday morning, the nefarious Lizbeth lured myself and the girlitas out of bed with promises of breakfast from Taco Bell. (Yes, I know, I also formerly classified Taco Bell food as the best non-narcotic solution to constipation ever created by humankind, but the Crunchwrap™ things are actually very yummy!) Unfortunately, as the religiously astute among you will have already deduced, this past Sunday was Easter, and Taco Bell, recent menu augmentations and breakfast fanfare be damned, was closed until noon.

Gathering up my shattered dreams, I suggested, "Why don't we eat breakfast at Morelia?"

Because this restaurant was a family favorite, I naively expected that everyone would be pleased with my most excellent proposal. Alas, although the lady wife and eldest daughter immediately concurred, young Amanda strongly objected.

"I didn't think we would be getting out of the car!" she wailed. "I'm wearing pajama bottoms, and look totally ratchet. I'm not going inside!" (For the uninitiated, ratchet in this tween/teen context means wretched.)

"Oh, come on," Sarah, the elder sister, encouraged, "it's early on a Sunday morning, the place'll be empty."

I personally thought Sarah's prediction was rather unlikely, since if there's one thing most people like to do after church it's eat, but apparently we had arrived just early enough to avoid the reverent rush of after church humanity. I sat next to Sarah, and Lizbeth sat by Amanda, shielding the shamefully-clad-pajama-wearing-ratchet-child from view.

Once the breakfast bill was paid, I asked Lizbeth, "What's next on the itinerary?"

"We're going home," Amanda stated firmly.

"Actually," sweet Lizbeth corrected, " I'd like to see if Home Depot has any rugs we can use in our bedroom."

For some of us, the word spring is associated with cleaning. For others, it will forever be linked with the blossoming of growing things. For Lizbeth, the season has inexplicably become synonymous with interior design, or as in this case, redesign.

"Mommy!" Amanda cried, horrified visions of fashion police with ratchet wrenches haunting both syllables.

I too had misgivings, although my ghost tormenters weren't wearing tool belts. The previous day's numerous expeditions had been based around a similar decorationist theme, and I wasn't eager to repeat the experience. Still, my belly was full, and however ratchet (see, it grows on you) the prospect of another day's shopping made me feel, upon reflection, I decided that it had to beat vacuuming bedrooms and cleaning toilets. Thus overruled by an ornamentationist mommy, lethargic daddy, and indifferent sibling, Amanda trailed us to the car, bemoaning her lack of fashion with every step.

Home Depot, we found, had a fairly large selection of rugs, mounted on hinged metal racks that could be flipped through like woven pages in an improbably massive, not to mention overpriced, book. Alas, very few of the colors and patterns were to Lizbeth's taste, resulting in somewhat rapid page turning. Even when a particular page was deemed to be satisfactory both to the Blind husband's touch and the lady wife's eyes, it was never available in the desired size or shape.

"You should try Garden Ridge," a passing sales lady advised. "They have piles of rugs on display as soon as you walk in the door," she continued gleefully, "although it's definitely a two person job to go through them all."

"But look at this rug," I quickly interjected, thumping one of the rare selections of marginal acceptance, "it's beautiful, and today Home Depot is offering a half-price Easter special."

"Huh," the sales lady addressed herself to Lizbeth, "he's obviously full of crap!"

The nerve of some people!

When we arrived at Garden Ridge, we did yea verily discover countless piles of rugs, as well as other... Stuff. Lizbeth almost immediately found a fabulous specimen containing not only a marvelous pattern, but beautiful colors as well. The youngest child, apparently forgetting her previously underdressed state, had vanished, but Sarah and I stroked its pelt, and made appropriate appreciative noises.

The lady wife then began a tedious search for identically patterned, but smaller, rugs. Sarah's help was enlisted, but no smaller rugs were located. A salesperson's help was also enlisted, but his contribution consisted of the advice, "There should be some smaller rugs in the size you want passed those trees. In a couple of days, we'll have them all better organized."

When Amanda finally reappeared, she agreed to be conscripted into Lizbeth's widening search, but there was a condition.

"Can I have this bucket?" she requested, brandishing a huge metal container in front of us.

"What on Earth do you want that for?" I asked. "It's huge!"

"A trash can," she responded.

"Yeah," Sarah agreed, laughing, "you should totally get it for her. She can use it to wash those pee blankets that come out of Kelly's dog crate."

Now, I'd like it known that I am well aware of what a proper parental response would have been. As Amanda's father, it is my role, some would even say my responsibility, to step on Sarah's wisecrack, and protect her feelings.

What was my response?

I lifted my right hand, and began stirring an imaginary cauldron full of dog blankets. "Boil, boil, toil and trouble," I intoned. "Stir the Kelly pee, and watch it bubble."

Lizbeth did finally locate identically patterned rugs of a lesser size, although it took an additional journey to yet another Garden Ridge. Although Amanda did obtain a few items for her bedroom, as well as a book she wanted, the bucket, phantom blankets and all, was left behind.

As for me, next weekend, I just want to sleep in.

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

LJI, Week Four Recommendations

Even though this was the week where many many people took a Bye, there were plenty of amazing entries out there. What follows is not a comprehensive list, far from it, but just a few entries that spoke to me.

lrig_rorrim wrote what I think was one of the most original takes on the prompt in her entry The Shapeshifter's Heresy. If you're like me, you've frequently thought just how cool it would be if you could shapeshift into any form imaginable, but have you ever thought about what the darker side of that ability might involve?

In the story spydielives told, Kana Tevoro, I read about a monster intent on inflicting night terrors on its victim. What caught my attention were the beautiful descriptions throughout the entry however, an unexpected gift that made it a pleasure to read.

I'm a big fan of Greek mythology, and this week there were two pieces written in that genre that I particularly enjoyed. kenakeri's story about Atlas, with a stunning ending that I should've seen coming, but totally didn't. Then, I read malinaldarose's sad tale of an ancient oracle, who is obsessed with the past, not future.

After that, without expecting anything of the sort, I found two marvelous fables. beeker121 told the story of a boy who thought he could, and should, climb everything. In her tale, jem0000000 wrote about an oak sapling having a bit of an identity crisis.

While skimming through books at a rummage sale, would you ever expect to find a volume telling the story of your life? kickthehobbit's story this week started there, and then got even better.

When Gary posted this week's topic, there was a discussion in the Work Room about how it could be used in either a civil rights or porn setting. Hats off to whipchick, who did both.

These were just a few of the absolutely fantastic entries posted this week. Read and enjoy!

Dan
Peregrine

LJI S9.4, “Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent"

Dan was exiting the shower when he heard the suspicious noise from the bedroom.

"What are you doing in my nightstand, woman?" he demanded, hurriedly walking towards the sound of betrayal.

"Nothing," lied Lizbeth, scrambling away from his advancing form across the bed.

Abandoning the scant modesty provided by his bath towel, he lunged forward, managed to grasp a thrashing feminine leg, and held on for dear life.

"I detect the telltale rustle of a chocolate wrapper," he hissed accusingly. "You wouldn't be attempting to sneak away with the very last candy bar, now would you?"

"Certainly not," Lizbeth protested, managing to sound both guilty and outraged, "I was going to share it with you."

"Of course you were," Dan crooned, disbelief evident in every syllable. He had finished scaling her leg, and satisfied that he had brought her escape to a halt, was sprawled across her lower half, head resting comfortably on her belly.

"Okay okay," said the nightstand burglar, "let's play a game."

"Ha," scoffed the damp and towelless one, "you already made your play, and lost."

"Yes," coaxed Lizbeth, "but if you win the game, you could get all four squares of rich almond chocolate, as opposed to the measly two you'll get from a fair share."

"The crisps are better than that dark chocolate crap," he grumbled, "but fine, what's this game of yours?"

"A quote off," she answered triumphantly, brushing the fragrant chocolate across his cheek.

"A wha?" he started to ask, both hands surging upward.

"A quote off," Lizbeth repeated, easily eluding his grasping fingers. "Now listen up, or you'll miss it."

Conceding defeat, he rolled off her, and flopped spread-eagled on the bed, shameless in all his naked glory. "Bring it!"

"The category," Lizbeth announced, ignoring his display of earthly wares, "is actor, and the quote is, 'Am I now supposed to go on Oprah and cry and tell you my deepest, darkest secrets because you want to know?'"

"Oh good grief," he complained, rolling on to his elbows, "I watch less TV in a year than most people watch in a week, and you give me something like that?"

"Don't whine," Lizbeth chastised, "I made sure to pick an actor you both like and admire."

"Grrr!" He scratched the back of his neck contemplatively, and then said, "Morgan Freeman."

"Kevin Spacey," Lizbeth corrected. "Woot, woot!"

"I hate you," proclaimed the blind man, collapsing on to his stomach.

"Don't hate me because I'm smart and beautiful," advised Lizbeth, unwrapping the end of the candy bar, "hate the Usual Suspects instead."

"Hilarious," Dan growled, levering himself into a sitting position. "Hey, you can't eat that!"

"Sure I can," she responded calmly, breaking off one square and popping it into her mouth, "your loss is my win."

"I think this Candy Land game is rigged."

"Well, now it's your turn," Lizbeth challenged, "say the category, and then the quote."

He pondered the possibilities for a few seconds, and then a wide grin spread over his face. "The category's the same as yours," he told her, "an actor. The quote is, 'Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words - imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists.'"

"Seriously?" Lizbeth snickered. "Only a guy would say something that stupid."

"Sure," Dan agreed, "but which guy?"

She considered for a few seconds, and then said, "Richard Gere."

"No no no," he exclaimed in mock horror, "not our Billy Flynn. All he cares about is love, Sweetie!" Slowly, he extended his right hand, palm up.

"Who is it then?" demanded Lizbeth, tossing a morsel of chocolate into his expectant paw.

"Charlie Sheen," he revealed, masticating the hard-won chocolate, and writhing in mock ecstasy. "Nobody bring the crazy like Charlie."

Lizbeth grunted in disgust, but then did and said absolutely nothing. After swallowing the treat and going through an elaborate finger cleaning ritual with his tongue, Dan finally asked, "So, you're next, got anything else?"

"The category," she said with deliberate relish, "is activist."

Dan hummed appreciatively on a rising note.

"Your quote is, 'Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent.'"

"Oh, that's MLK," Dan said instantly.

"Shit," cursed Lizbeth, "how the Hell did you know that?"

He shrugged, "Dunno. I obviously read it somewhere, but couldn't tell you now what it was from."

Resigned, Lizbeth offered him the next to last piece of chocolate, but he was already shaking his head.

"I got a proposition for you," he murmured, changing position so that he could lean against her. "I'll let you keep the rest of the candy bar, if ..."

Lizbeth sighed theatrically. "I'm going to be late for work again, aren't I?"

"Oh yes," Dan affirmed, his warm breath tickling her neck, "very very late!"

Author's Note:
  • The preceding story was a work of fiction, and any resemblance to actual residents of BrownCatraz is entirely coincidental.

  • Lizbeth and I have played a game similar to this, but the rewards came from a cheese/meat/cracker and veggie tray, and involved trivia questions we had previously researched online.

  • At the moment, we are buried under those damned World's Finest Chocolate fund raising candy bars, but I'm certain that eventually the last one will materialize... Someday!


Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

LJI S9.2, The Missing Stair

When the yelling started from down stairs, I curled away from the noise, holding the book like a protective shield in front of my face. The individual words were mercifully indistinct at this distance, but the pitch and timbre clearly communicated the underlying anger of both parents. I checked my mental calendar and sighed. Yes, it was the last Sunday of the month, so they'd probably be fighting over the past four weeks accumulation of unpaid bills for several hours.

I could go to my bedroom, close the door, and put on some music to drown out their voices. My room's door was just a few feet away, but... The window seat where I sat was warm and comfortable, and I didn't want to move. If I peered over the blockade of pages I held, its vantage gave me a bird's eye view of our neighborhood street. Most of the houses on our block were two stories in height, but there were a few single level ones here and there, giving the row across from me a sort've ragged appearance, as though the shorter houses were baby teeth that hadn't yet been pushed out by their adult successors. This early in the morning, there wasn't much activity below, although two houses down, Mr. Epstein was patrolling the hedge that bordered his front yard, occasionally swooping down on an over enthusiastic frond with his hedge clippers.

"Did they just start?" Erika's voice asked from a little way down the hall leading to our bedrooms.

"Yep," I confirmed, lowering the book I had been ignoring and glancing at her over my shoulder. "Bright and early, just like always." She was wearing the ill-fitting blue pajamas I had given her last Christmas, the long sleeves draped down past her fingertips, and the leg cuffs rolled up to her ankles.

"Crap!" She advanced to the window where I was sitting, peered down the staircase for a moment, and then flopped dejectedly on the first step. "I was going to go down and grab some cereal, but ..."

I shook my head, and then realized that she couldn't see me. "Probably not a good idea right now."

If we stayed up here, out of sight, and presumably out of mind, they would probably be content to flail away at one another without our input. There were, after all, plenty of betrayed promises and failed expectations without dragging Erika or I into the argument, so long as we didn't actively provoke them while they were going at it.

We sat without speaking for several minutes, the verbal artillery from below rolling over us like distant thunder.

"They seemed fine yesterday," she finally said, her wistful tone giving the lie to the frail hope she had obviously tried to pin to our family outing.

"H'm," I responded noncommittally.

I preferred her silent companionship from a few moments earlier. If we talked, if I encouraged the longing I sensed in her to ask the thousands of unanswerable questions she was holding inside, too many ugly truths would be dragged into the open, and I didn't want that.

"They'll be fine after this is over too," I said casually, and continued quickly before she could raise any objections. "We could sneak out and get some Starbucks if you want. Better than cereal any day."

Erika turned so that she was half facing me, leaning back against the staircase banister, and propping her feet on the opposite wall. She was wearing a pair of bedraggled bunny rabbit slippers that hadn't fit her in years.

"Sneak out?" She grinned up at me through the hair which had fallen across her hazel eyes. "I thought Dad cut off that tree branch you were using for your daring escapes."

"Rope," I answered nonchalantly, sweeping my arm towards her in a pretend throw. "He didn't cut the whole tree down, and it actually works better than a branch."

From below, there was a masculine shout, an exclamation of two words distinct from the barrage of insults being hurled back and forth. It snapped across our ears like the crack of a whip against tender flesh. "Fucking bitch!" There was a pause, then the sound of a slamming door, followed shortly by muted thumping and more curses.

"Do you ever think about just leaving?" Erika asked, her sweet expression from a few seconds before replaced with one of forlorn desperation.

"What, like running away or something?" I swung my feet off the window seat, and turned my back on the view of the outside world. This was worse than the conversation of a thousand questions. "Erika, that's crazy."

The morning sunlight flowed around my upright body, over Erika's legs, and landed in a descending ribbon of shimmering light on the steps leading downward.

"No," she murmured, her voice full of an emotion I couldn't identify, "it's not crazy. Look at that!"

"Look at ..."

I broke off when she stood up, being careful not to interrupt the stream of sunshine between us, grasped the stair railing with one hand, and gazed down at the thin swath of light that began three stairs down from her.

"You goofball," I told her, "it's just a sunbeam."

She stood, poised on the brink of something I couldn't begin to fathom, and then leapt outward.

I wanted to scream, to lunge forward and catch her before she fell, but could only sit, paralyzed by the terror of what she had done. She sailed out into emptiness, and then her feet, clad in those ridiculous bunny slippers, landed solidly on the step she had been aiming at. Giggling, she ran downward, her arms spread wide, only stopping when the pathway of light ended. She swiveled, and stood there for an instant, surrounded by the brilliance of the morning sun.

"Erika," I whispered, filled with a sudden dread I couldn't vocalize, "don't!"

Our eyes met, and for the briefest of moments I thought I had reached her, communicated my fears, somehow bridged the gap between us. Then she ran upward, almost seeming to float from one shining stair to the next, her face alight with an inexpressible joy.

"Robin," she cried, "it's beautiful!"

When her slippered feet landed on the last stair in the pathway of light, Erika vanished, and the ribbon of light winked out of existence.

Author's Note:
Recently, I've been reading a series of books collectively called The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. His books are full of descriptions of "ways" into other realms, and while some of them can only be accessed through the use of druidic power, others are available to everyone, so long as you walk a set series of steps along a certain path. When Gary posted this week's topic, I knew I wanted to explore a similar idea, although it took me a while to flesh out the rest of the story.

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth
Peregrine

LJI S9.1, Jayus

Most kids don't usually look forward to getting braces. The process is guaranteed to be painful, takes place in an over-reclined chair which probably wouldn't have been out of place at a party thrown by the Marquis de Sade, and inevitably involves multiple individuals sticking gloved fingers and metal instruments in your mouth. Even if you're somehow able to overlook these unpleasant truths, the best possible outcome after the encounter is... A mouth full of wires.

Of course, my youngest daughter Amanda has never been like most kids. She's been pestering us for weeks, asking "When are we going to the dentist to get my braces?"

Since my wife and I didn't really want her to miss school for what we assumed would just be an evaluation by the orthodontist, we set up Amanda's appointment this past Friday afternoon, the last week day of her Spring Break. In fact, because both of our daughters were due to have their teeth cleaned by the regular dentist, we killed two birds with one stone, and scheduled them both for tooth cleanings in the morning as well. Again, contrary to what I expected, Amanda didn't care about one of the last days of her vacation being taken up by multiple doctor appointments, but instead was ready to go and "Get my braces!" Even Sarah, her sister, didn't seem to mind joining us for the excursion, although this might perhaps be explained by an opportunity to observe her younger sister being tortured?

The morning dental cleanings went as planned, and after eating lunch, the four of us arrived at the orthodontist's office. We were greeted by a cheerful receptionist, who immediately handed over a thick pile of paperwork that needed to be filled out, and began verifying that our insurance was active. My wife started scribbling, Amanda was taken away for x-rays, and I settled back in my chair for what promised to be a long and boring delay.

The waiting room's most notable feature was a flat screen television, mounted on the wall right above my head, and tuned to HGTV. As I fished out my headphones and prepared to listen to some music on my phone, I heard the featured couple above me discussing room size, beach views, and how the current property they were viewing was "right at the top of their budget." The latter appears to be an HGTV code phrase for, "This one, this one, this one's the one we're going to pick!" Which is fine, I suppose, if you like eating Ramen Noodle Soup for every meal.

I think it would be fair to say that I don't handle boredom particularly well. I had planned ahead of time for the days dull and tedious bits, ensuring that my phone was charged, and that I had a choice selection of music and audio books to listen to, but now, confronted with the reality of another long wait, I grew restless. Lizbeth, the afore-mentioned scribbling wife was busy, so I turned to Sarah.

"What did you think of the dentist this morning?" I asked. Both she and Amanda had previously gone to another dentist, and I was curious to know what she thought of the new tooth cleaner.

"She was okay," Sarah responded, "but a little rude."

"Rude?" I chuckled, caught off guard, "Rude how?"

"She kept asking me all these nosy questions, and then wanted to know if I had a job yet. I told her that I was only fifteen and still in school, and she was like, 'That's no reason not to have a job. Get with the program, lady!'"

I laughed again, "Did you explain to her that your a princess, and that people work for you, not the other way round?"

"Very funny," she said, shoving me with one hand. "I just ignored her after that."

"Well, come on, lady," I retorted, returning the shove, "get with the program!"

Shortly after that, Amanda returned from being x-rayed, Lizbeth handed over the completed paperwork, and we were guided to a small room where we could await the mighty orthodontist. There was just one problem. Amanda, of course, got the large chair in the room's center, Sarah snagged the left side of a contraption that looked like two normal chairs which had been fused in the middle, and Lizbeth took the right. I was--as usual?--the odd man out.

After a few moments where I stood by the room's open door, a little bit like a servant awaiting the summons of a nobleman to refill his wine goblet, Lizbeth said, "Sarah, why don't you let your dad sit there, and you can sit on his lap."

To her credit, Sarah agreed immediately, and I was seated. Although I was marginally more comfortable in this new arrangement, there was still the earlier unresolved boredom issue, compounded by Sarah's inability to sit still. She sat quietly for a few minutes, and then began to wiggle. I shifted my legs, trying to discover a more comfortable position, and she wiggled again. Eventually, tiring of this repetitive game, I poked her in the ribs. This elicited a screech of rage, followed by a retaliatory elbow thrust to my stomach.

"Children!" Lizbeth warned us both, casting me into the juvenile under class.

After another blessed moment of silence, Sarah's attention was captured by the collar of my shirt. "Why is this top button open?" she demanded, tapping my neck accusingly.

"Oh no," I exclaimed, shock and embarrassment evident in every syllable, "thank you so much for pointing that out." Gesturing at my collar bone, I lectured, "You know, for girls, too many open buttons means that other people can sometimes see your cleavage. But this," I fumbled with my shirt's collar, finally succeeding in tapping the exposed bone, "is almost as bad. What you see here is clavage!"

"Oh my god," Lizbeth cried, performing a classic facepalm, "Dan, other people can hear you!"

In my lap, shaking with laughter, Sarah had slumped against the wall to our left, and was slowly banging her head against the painted plaster. In her chair at the center of the room, if not the center of attention, Amanda appeared to be having difficulty breathing. Calmly, I refastened my shirt's top button.

"Yes, I'm sure everyone can hear us, and see us too," I said to Lizbeth. "When it's as quiet and uneventful as it is today, they change the channel in the waiting room from HGTV to the patient rooms back here." Raising my hand, I waved at the imagined location for the video pickup. "How ya doin'?"

Predictably, it was then that the tooth straightener of doom materialized. "I believe I'm going to have to pull this car over," he said, "you guys are having too much fun in here."

The doctor, who never once sat down during our meeting, popped Amanda's x-rays up on a computer screen, and explained the treatment plan he was recommending. He was a talented presenter, and by the time he was done, I felt as though I had a clear understanding of what they would do, how long it would take, and even how much it would cost. The best part of all though, for Amanda at least, came when they checked their schedule to see when it all could begin.

"Actually," the lady looking at the calendar announced, "I have a spot available this afternoon."

So it was that my young Amanda acquired her first set of mouth wires on Friday, and I added a new word to the English language.

Clavage: a shocking and unnecessary display of the hollow between a person's collar bones.

Dan

Crossposted from Dreamwidth