Sunday, June 05, 2005

Mom's an invalid and Dad's unemployed Posted by Hello


Saturday, June 04, 2005

The day after we arrived in Nice, Dad's show got canceled and he's walking around like we'll never be able to get any more food. Mom told me not to worry, that we have enough to buy food for a long, long time. I'm not worried about the food so much but I'm worried about Dad. He takes out his calculator a thousand times a day and makes lists of expenses. This drives Mom crazy because she can't count and Dad always wants her to count.

Mom: "Don't ask me to count! I'm no good at math!"

Dad: "Are you retarded? You can spend but you can't listen to me for two minutes about what everything costs around here. We need to make a LIST of everything. The shutters, the paint, the plumber, the electrician, EVERYTHING."

Mom: "You know I'm retarded. Don't ask me to count anything."

Dad: "You can count. You just don't want to think for TWO minutes, that's all. If you would just LISTEN to me!"

Mom: "Oh god. Here we go again. Just remember. When the Euro goes up, the dollar goes down. When the Euro goes down, the dollar goes up. And if you want, just sell this place. You can't take the stress."

Dad: "No, I love it here. This place is great. I'm learning French and I'm going to jog and work out and swim and I'm going to join the gym. I'm going to get a bike."

Dad's been talking about working out for as long as I've known him. I think I saw him pick up a fifteen pound weight a year ago. He lifted it a couple of times, said "ow!" and put it right back in the rusty pile of free weights by the pool at our house in Hollywood.

Here in the south of France, the only thing Dad lifts is his calculator. He likes to take his calculator out for walks. He takes it and his list of expenses and he goes to the LAVE CLUB, which means wash club in French. Whenever Dad comes back from the Lave Club, he looks happy. He brings home a giant load of hot, clean clothes like he's been out hunting or something.

Mom stays home a lot because of her broken foot. She's got crutches and everybody has to be careful not to knock Mom over. I kind of like her broken foot because we get to hang out on the couch and be all cozy with her.

It's funny that what the people think are bad things, like Dad's show getting canceled and Mom's foot getting broken are really good things for us. Dad losing his job only gives him more time to do what he wants to do. He wants to spend time with me and he wants to nap and read. Mom's broken foot is making Mom a better person. She's finally understanding what's important in life. The simple act of walking to the beach or to the park...with me.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Back on the Riviera

I'm back in the south of France. What a great place. There's a sea breeze that comes off the Bay of Angels and right into the living room. If I hold my head in the right position, I can sniff things all the way to North Africa. I can smell unbelievable food all around me and I get to go into all the restaurants, where they serve me dripping morsels of fabulous food. I might just stay here and get fat like Finn.

We have the biggest dog bed I've ever seen and our food bowls are from Morocco. The sun shines every day and we have balconies facing two different streets, where Finley and I can patrol all sides of the house for dogs that might approach our territory.

There are so many French dogs here that we work most of the day enforcing our airspace. When a dog walks by on Rue Meyerbeer or on the Boulevard Victor Hugo, we go into attack mode and run for the balconies. The wrought iron balconies look like they were made for us, because they have openings that are exactly the size of our heads. We stick our heads out and we bark as loudly as we can at all the French Bulls, French Poodles and Yorkies. We make sure the French dogs know that they are passing US territory. We make sure that if they mark the street, we go and mark on top of what they marked.

Everything is great here so of course, Mom and Dad are miserable. They don't know how to be happy, those two. Mom broke her foot and she is walking around on crutches. I would think it would be a great excuse to take nice, long naps or just sit around in France and eat. I know it must hurt, but she could easily set up a chair in one of the windows and patrol with us but Mom's not happy about having to stay off her foot for four weeks so Dad gets ordered around a lot and he hates it.

Mom: "Can you PLEASE get me some water, a quiche, warmed up and an ironing board and go to the post office to ask for stamps--they're called timbres. Can you do that? And then I want you to take me to the park for the dogs, where I'll sit on a bench like an old lady with my crutches. Then, I need you to go to the market to get toilet paper and paper towels. And can you please take out the garbage and make the bed?

Dad: "Just let it go. Some things like the bed, you're just going to have to let go for a while.

Mom: "I'd do it myself but I can't DO ANYTHING!"

Dad: "Well there goes the day. It'll be five o'clock before I can go to the gym or the beach. Fine. Are you sure you don't want anything else? Because if you want something else, just let me know. I'm happy to do it, really. Fuck! I should live in a van. I'm bleeding money and all I do is chores. I spent a million dollars to do chores in French.

Mom: "I'd do it myself, but I CAN'T! I can't move! I broke my foot! No one is stopping you from working out or going to the beach. You had all morning! No one has stopped you from working out in the last five years. You just won't work out, that's all. You won't go swimming, you just like to TALK about how you can't go swimming. It's all my fault that you won't go swimming. France is all my fault. This apartment is my fault and the Euro going down is also all my fault. You hate me.

Dad: "I don't hate you. I love you. But it's difficult.

Then Mom leans all over me while I'm trying to nap.

Mom: "Look how cute that Minky is. Look at him. He's adorable!

Dad: "Oh, that Minky- mink. Minkiaw, Jinkiaw, BINkyaw!

Really, all I have to do is sit up and blink at them and they make a big fuss over me and they forget all about the dumb fight they just had. I have a strange power over them. If I open up my eyes so that the whites show at the bottom, they get weak in the knees and start cooing like a couple of idiots.