Sugar Granny

Putting my brain on hold, i packed up Mom and Studley, and we headed out to the wedding celebration for my brother, T, and his new wife. As you may recall, my sister S had decided this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce T to a half-brother he’d not known about, and had taken the liberty to invite this half-brother to the wedding reception.

As we were driving toward The Park, Mom was reminiscing about what a complete asshole her second husband had been…

Mom: Cletus was married once before me. They had a child together and then he went off into the Army.  Well, his wife took up with another man while Cletus was gone, and had another baby – that was Dave. When Cletus got back, he never acknowledged that Dave was his son…

daisyfae: Wait… What? You mean the newly discovered half-brother may not, in fact, be related to S and T at all?

Mom: Cletus never treated Dave like his own son, and never took any responsibility for him. Cletus had two sisters who disowned Dave, too.

daisyfae: Can…. Did…. Anyone in the family actually do the math? Has there ever been genetic testing done?

Mom: Well, S says he looks just like Cletus.

daisfae: [white-knuckle grip on steering wheel, head explodes] GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Studley: [laughing maniacally from backseat]

~~~~~~~~~~~

Despite my exploded head, we arrived at the party. Wheeling Mom up to a table, we joined my sister, S, along with her possibly half-brother, Dave, and his wife, Pam. There was another woman at the table, who was introduced as Imogene, Pam’s mother. When joining any table, i do a quick triage on seating – trying to optimize conversation for all, with the least amount of annoyance for me. Studley quickly worked the same social math, and had perched his arse on the back of an adjacent sofa, claiming the prime vantage point to watch the fireworks, without getting hit by shrapnel.

i placed Mom’s wheelchair next to S, who was sitting next to Dave and Pam. i dropped into the seat between Mom and Imogene, who proceeded to tell me her life story. A charming woman, Imogene had just turned 91 years old. Full of spark and playfulness, she wasted no time in sharing her annoyance at being dragged to a party where she didn’t know anyone, as well as pulling out pictures of her dead husband.  i was able to get her chatting with Mom, and made a break to inhale a vodka tonic grab a bite to eat.

Studley found me by the barbeque meatballs, shaking his head in astonishment. “Wow.”  My brother, T, and his wife, K, were having a grand time, making the rounds and introducing family and friends. They’d stop briefly to chat, then move on to the next group. A nice collection of humans gathered to celebrate a wedding…

Eventually i returned to the table, and Imogene got going again. Very sweet, very funny, and inquisitive.  She wanted to be introduced to Studley, thinking he was my husband.

daisyfae: No, we are a couple, but not likely to ever marry. We’ve both done that, and are pretty happy as we are…

Imogene: Well, he’s a handsome man, and a real sweetheart! You better hang onto him before he gets away.

Mom: I’ve been telling her the same thing.

Studley: [smiles, raises eyebrow, posts his trademark ‘hey, baby’ look]

~~~~~~~~~~~

Two days later, Studley and i were floating in my pool… doing retirement financial planning – sorting out whether i’ll have sufficient resources to retire early and move the fuck overseas to get as far away from The Park as possible. He has repeatedly assured me that i have more than enough to live such a life, and should really stop worrying about it.

We also did the “after action report” on the previous weekend, which is partly why i needed to go over the retirement financials again. As an afterthought, i reminded him of how much those senior ladies adore him…

daisyfae: You can write your own ticket with the old broads! Between Imogene, and those ladies at the women’s league luncheons, you oughta find yourself an old bat with a lot of cash. Get yourself a Sugar Granny…

Studley: [grinning] What makes you think I haven’t? [dives for safety]Gimme some sugarThis babe found here…

Blasting Your Past

The message from my brother, T, last April wasn’t a tremendous surprise.  He’d gotten married.  What surprised me was that he’d not married the woman he’d been dating for a year, but had met someone new two weeks prior, and found himself completely smitten – head over heels in love, as he’d never loved anyone before.  And they had just eloped.

One of the reasons i can never give up on my brother is that despite things going rather horribly wrong with his first three marriages, he still genuinely and truly believes in the magic and mystery of love.  Most people would be a little bit crunchy and bitter after all he’s experienced, but not T.  At 60 years old, he has found “the one”, and i’m happy for him.

Perhaps a bit skeptical, but hoping for the best, anyway.

Since they’d not had a proper wedding, T and his new bride, K, decided to throw a party this month to celebrate, and bring the families together.  He is in the process of selling his home, and moving in with her, so the location will be near K’s home – conveniently located about halfway between where i live, and The Park.

Mom really wanted to go, so plans were made for my sister, S, to bring her to the event, which is being held this coming Saturday evening.  Last week, i got a call from S.

S:  I have already RSVP’d to a wedding that night, so I won’t be able to stay.  Is there a chance you can bring Mom home afterward?

daisyfae: Sure.  i had tentative plans for later in the evening, but can adjust.

S: I need to go to a wedding at 6, but can then stop by and pick Mom up to bring her to T’s party.  Maybe stay an hour or so, but I really need to get to the reception for the wedding I said I was going to…

daisyfae: i’ll tweak my plans a bit, the party i was going to will likely run late, so i can drop in later.

This really wasn’t a big deal, just a little extra driving.  It was the next bit that scrambled my circuits…

My oldest sister, S, and brother, T, are technically my half-sister, and half-brother, although none of us really think of it that way.  Mom was married twice before she met Dad, and S and T had a different father.  A man who abandoned them, and Mom, when they were small.  There were some rotten things that happened along the way.  Their father was later murdered, and neither of them has much memory of him.

S has been curious about her biological family, and has reached out to a few biological aunts and uncles to better understand his story.  T, on the other hand, has had absolutely no interest in digging into the past, and has made it clear to S that it is not something he cares to discuss.

Last winter, through a genealogy website, my niece discovered that S and T had two half-brothers through their father.  S was able to connect with the wife of one newly discovered half-brother, Dave, and was invited to attend his surprise 70th birthday party.  You would think that meeting a half-sister you didn’t know existed might be a hell of a shock to a 70 year old heart, it apparently went well, and S has maintained this connection.

As i spoke with S last week regarding logistics for T’s wedding reception, i was stunned to find that she’d invited her half-brother, and his wife, to T’s party.

S: I appreciate that you can get Mom home Saturday!  There’s even more complications though… Dave and his wife are coming down to meet T, too…

daisyfae:  Ummmm….  Did you ask T?  Do they realize that this is essentially T’s wedding reception and that he won’t have a lot of time to talk?

S:  I was going to have it be a surprise, but Mom thought I should tell T first.  They know he’ll be busy, but they really want to meet him.  I need to call them tonight.  T really doesn’t want to talk much about the past, either, and said he really wouldn’t be able to sit and chat with them.  Dave had a lot of history he wanted to tell me, but when I told T I’d invited them, he said he really didn’t want to talk about the past at all…

daisyfae:  It really is T’s wedding reception.  Sure, fourth time’s the charm and all that, but it might not be the best time to meet a half-brother you didn’t know you had…

S: Well, they really want to come…  I’ll have to tell them that I won’t be able to stay too long either.  I might show them a picture of you, since you’ll be there with Mom.  Not that I expect you to babysit them or anything…

daisyfae:   Ummm…. maybe you could suggest there might be a better time for them to come down to meet him?

S:  They’ve got their hearts set on it.

daisyfae: …..

wedding crashers

 

Reunion – Part III: Ambulance Chasing

Our cabins were in the wilderness of northern Tennessee, accessible by gravel roads.  It was about 20 minutes to the nearest town – which was a pretty small town.  We were in the proverbial boonies with a fairly urgent medical situation.

Jumped in my car, BJ loaded up, and we were off to town.  It was around 10:30pm.  We had absolutely no idea what we would find when we got there.

i asked him to plug in my GPS to see if he could get it to bring up ’emergency medical facilities’.  That led us to the county hospital.  Both of us were pretty relieved to see the sign out front for “Emergency”.  That relief vaporized the instant we saw this:

Ceased Operations?  Call 911?  Fuck.

i called 911, and was instructed to “wait right there for the squad to arrive” – and they did within two minutes.  They did triage, as i showed them the pic of the snake on the iPad.  They needed to transport him to the larger regional hospital, another 30 miles away.

Medic [sizing up me – and my ride]:  Can you follow the ambulance?

daisyfae [looking with mild trepidation at 2005 4-cylinder Oscar Mayer Wienermobile]: Absolutely!  Let’s go!

Medic:  I’m going to call ahead to make sure they have the anti-venom on hand.  Stay with us!

Traffic through town at night was light.  We got on the main road toward the interstate.  The ambulance was chewing up pavement, through serious hills and twisties at about 80 mph. On the bigger hills i turned off the air conditioner to avoid compressor drag on the engine.  Otherwise, they’d have shaken me. The Wienermobile held up.

Bootlegged a text to Studley – “Call if you’re awake”.  He called just as my phone battery showed signs of dying.  Gave him the update, mentioned that BJ was uninsured and in need of treatment. He started to work the internet get me information.

Studley [via text]:  Definitely needs emergency care – you made a good call.

Studley [via text]:  Conflicting information.  Between $300 – $1,000 / vial of anti-venom.

Studley [via text]:  Fuck!  Hide your credit card – multiple vials needed.  Can be up to $15,000 to treat!

We were now doing 95 mph down the interstate, but at least i could leave the air conditioner on, since there were fewer hills.  As we passed the exits for the regional medical center, i was pretty sure that we were going straight into Knoxville, to the University of Tennessee Medical Center.  According to my GPS – another 30 miles away.

Back at the cabins there was limited mobile phone service.  Of course the clan was anxious for updates.  As i was driving white-knuckled behind a screaming ambulance (it had started to rain, by the way), my phone rang.  It was Mom.  Rather than have her continue to call, i answered…

daisyfae: i’m doing 95 miles an hour behind an ambulance.  Not a good time to talk.  Will call you when i stop. [click]

As we approached the University Hospital, a MedEvac helicopter was landing on the helipad.  It was around 11:30pm. As i walked to the Emergency Room, it struck me that we’d covered about 80 miles in less than an hour…

Checked in at the Emergency desk.  It wasn’t long before they called me back to BJs room.  He was already hooked up to an intravenous line, blood pressure cuff on, and sporting a fairly seriously swollen foot.

He’d been in touch with DQ by text from the ambulance, and was working hard to convince her to stay at the cabin.  i sent her texts assuring her i’d stay as long as needed, and for her to get some sleep.

Trauma doc said “This is the eighth snakebite this week – between the heat and the dry conditions, they’re on the move!  But this one doesn’t look that bad…”.  Needed to do blood work to get an idea of how much venom had been injected – over-treating it can be as bad as getting bitten.  They were thorough and cautious.

At the first opportunity, BJ took off the cuff and hopped out of bed.

BJ:  I was trying to take a leak by the car when I got bit – I never DID get to pee!

He availed himself of the in-room facilities and i reminded him to find a jar, since the doc said they wanted a urine sample as well as blood.  By the time he hopped back in the bed, he was in obvious pain.

Flagged down the nurse, and asked him for pain meds.  BJ had refused them when he first arrived because it wasn’t hurting too badly.  The swelling seemed to be getting a little worse.

We sat and yakked to kill time, as the lab analyzed the body fluids.  He was worried about DQ racing off in the dark.  He didn’t want the kids to worry.  Really wanted to get back to the cabins as soon as possible so he could enjoy the rest of the weekend.

He asked if i’d seen the MedEvac helicopter that was coming in when we arrived.

BJ:  The guy driving the ambulance had a friend up there.  They were racing to see who got in first!  We beat ’em by six minutes!

daisyfae:  Ummm… So maybe i can hang a ‘first place’ medal on my dead transmission?

He was glad he was the one who got bit.  Not one of the kids.  Not Mom.

Just about everyone on the staff was amazed that he didn’t kill the snake.  We had a picture for identification.  Apparently that emergency room sees a LOT of dead snakes when there are bites.  The nurse told us that one guy even came in with a live one in the pocket of his cargo pants.

BJ:  Not sure what the point of killing it would have been.  It already bit me.  It’s not like I can eat it or anything.

The first dose of anti-venom was administered at 2:30am.  He was hurting.  Never really complained.  They admitted him at 4:00am, fairly heavily medicated by then, and ready to sleep.  As the nurse got him settled, i told him i was heading back.

Back at the cabin around 6:30am, i sent a text to DQ telling her that things were going to be fine, that i was going to sleep a bit, and to text me when she woke up.  TK got up as i was settling onto the sofa to bag some sleep, and asked how he was doing.

daisyfae:  He’s fine.  He’s ok.  Yeah.  He really is…

Reunion – Part II: Venom

We arrived at the main ‘gathering’ cabin, where six of my cousins were staying. Many arms came to hug Mom, and help her down the walkway.

Mom settled amongst a pod of cousins on the generous front porch.  Hurricane T had taken a few tentative steps toward the group, but Cousin L did not wait.  Meeting her at the edge of the porch, she wrapped her arms around T, crushing 30 years in seconds.

Cousin L took T over to her brother, P.  More hugs.  P introduced his wife, P, and as they were all three wearing collegiate sports shirts, the conversation took off.

Meanwhile, TK had parked the car, and come down the walkway, standing next to me.  i was about to start introductions and she said “Wait.  Not yet.  Let it happen…”

Cousin L brought the “happen”.  Throwing her arms around TK she said “It is SO good to meet you!  I’ve heard so much about you, and enjoy your pictures on Facebook!  Welcome to the family!”

Waterworks on my part.  TK was a little choked up, too, but kept her composure.  Cousin L brought her to Cousin S, who provided an equally warm welcome to the clan.

Catching T’s eye across the porch, she was also on the verge of losing it.  We were saved by a call to dinner – which meant i needed to escort Mom inside, lest she miss the chance to lead the Buffet Conga Line.

Realizing that the extended family would be taking care of T and TK, i went to the kitchen to sort logistics.  DQ and her clan were there, hanging out and relaxing.

Flying here and there, i tracked arrival times of other family, explained cabin layout, set up the WiFi access code for people who needed it – basically worked the ‘hive’.  i went upstairs to check on bed linens and passed T and DQ at the bottom of the stairs.

Hurricane T:  I really do appreciate all you do for Mom – taking her to doctors appointments is a full-time job…

Continued upstairs – in shock!  How can this be happening?  Was i overly worried about this?

Scooted out the front door a few minutes later to get something from the car, past T and Cousin L, i found DQ on the front porch.  In tears.

daisyfae: What happened?

DQ:  What have I done to her?  Why does she hate me? Is she drunk already?

daisyfae:  She was drinking before we got here, so she’s probably getting lit.  There’s rum in her sippy cup…

DQ:  I’m sitting on the sofa, right in front of her.  She starts telling Cousin L that she’s got a huge problem with Mom’s living situation and everything “going on there”, but that she’s put her concerns aside to come here and be with the family.

daisyfae:  Shit.  It was going well…

DQ:  I know!  She was so nice to me!  What did I DO?!?

daisyfae:  Relax.  Cousin L knows that there is a problem with T.  She knows all you do to take care of Mom.  She is not going to judge you based on what T says… i’ll go shut it down.

Stepped back inside, but the conversation with Hurricane T and Cousin L had already shifted to work-related talk.  DQ and her clan headed out  to their cabin for a break.  i found TK and she went to pinch off Hurricane T for the night, and get her back to our cabin.

By late evening, the dust had settled. Cousin L found me and said “I think I have a better understanding of your challenges…” and i thanked her for the re-direct.  She said she’d be sure to say a few supportive words to DQ at the right time.

Sitting in the living room with DQ, i listened again to her frustration.  Thanked her for sucking it up and avoiding “escalation of hostilities”.

Her husband, BJ, poked his head in the door of the cabin.

BJ:  Hey, can one of you come out here and get a picture of this snake?

DQ and i grabbed cameras and went out to the gravel driveway.

BJ:  Just thought it might be a good idea to see what just bit me on the toe…

We got a couple of blurry pictures as the snake slithered into the undergrowth from the driveway.  We were barefoot, but being very careful to watch our step!  DQ finally got a close-up of the snake, including the head.

Hit the WiFi with my iPad. Confirmed what i’d already suspected.  Copperhead.   He needed medical attention.  Fast…

Driving Me Mad

Spent four hours in the car with Mom last weekend.

Picked her up in The Park, and we went out to dinner, and then to a dance recital for my youngest nephew.  Drove an hour back to my place to spend the night and relax a little.  The next day, we drove to visit my cousin for the memorial service for her deceased husband.  After lunch with extended family, and a beer with The Boy, i drove her back to The Park Saturday evening.

A bit of a whirlwind visit – tiring for her, but she was a trooper and enjoyed herself.  Lots of time together to talk.  And talk she did.

In addition the continued “spleen vent” about the slow progress* on renovations to her home, updates on various family members, and the requisite recital of her current medical complaints, we also covered a few other family issues.

My brother, T, and his wife are getting a divorce.  His third.  Her first.  It appears to be civil.  My Mom and oldest sister, S, have been trying to provide emotional support to T as he gets things sorted out and prepares to set out on his own – yet again.

He and i have talked a few times over the past few months.  i’ve offered to listen, as needed.  He asked me to help him update his resume, as he’ll need to find a more substantial job.

Mom seemed a bit surprised that T had been in contact with me.

Mom:  He told us something in confidence.  Now, if I tell you this, it’s in confidence.  Did he tell you that he’d been raped when he was 12 years old?

daisyfae:  Yes.  Back in November.  i remember getting absolutely furious when that Penn State coach was busted for raping children around the same time he told me.

Mom:  He told you then?  Why didn’t you say something about it?

daisyfae:  He told me in confidence**.  He was working with a counselor to sort through all of it.  Said he planned to talk to you and S about it soon.  i figured it’s his issue.  He needed to handle it the way he needed to handle it.

Mom:  Well, it was bound to happen.  He was always wandering off and catching rides with strangers!  It really doesn’t surprise me that he was molested…

If it is physiologically possible for a human being to simultaneously drop her jaw and bite her tongue?  In that moment, i did it.

daisyfae:  It wasn’t his fault!  He was twelve years old!  [calming down so as to keep the car in the lane of travel].  There’s no excuse for raping a child.  It wasn’t his fault.

Mom:  If he’d have told us about it, we’d have contacted the police.  But he was always running off like that…

i tuned it out.  There were still forty miles to go before we got to where we were headed and i needed to drive.

But i had to wonder:  Did she say this to him when he told her?

i need to call my brother.  Check in to see how he’s doing.

image found here

* Some progress after 3 years.  My niece, DQ’s husband, BJ, is laid off again.  While he is getting unemployment compensation, he’s been able to do a little more work on prep for the heating/air conditioning system.  “Some progress” is better than the “micro-progress” that was happening last year. 

** And Momma wonders why i’ve never told her ANYTHING personal all these decades…

Why i don’t write fiction…

Mercifully, Dad had been dead for almost a year when DQ’s first husband, LC, was sent to prison for four years.  Dad would have been pretty upset with the circumstances that sent him away…. as well as the subsequent festivities at DQ’s ‘trailer’ next door.

DQ was in her early 30’s, and their daughter, DQ, Jr. was about 7 years old.  Claiming post-traumatic distress as an excuse, DQ went a bit wild on the dating scene after divorcing her jailed husband.  During one of my weekly phone calls, Mom informed me that DQ had moved her current boyfriend into her house.  Seemed sudden to me, but i was willing to spot her some degree of trauma from the events of the prior few months.

Josh, this new live in boyfriend, was 18 years old.  And still in high-school. 

DQ was also in the midst of a huge financial mess.  She and her husband had been in debt up to their eye sockets, including a second mortgage at an obscene interest rate.  This had created a situation where her house was worth less than she owed on it.  My sister, T (the Business Professor) and i were consulted by Mom and DQ’s mother (my oldest sister, S) as to how best to resolve DQ’s finances.

Running the numbers, T and i were in complete agreement.  Bankruptcy.  The court would be sympathetic, due to the jailing of her husband, and this was also prior to changes in bankruptcy laws that were to become more favorable to the creditors.  It was a no-brainer.  Which, of course, means the suggestion was dismissed (DQ: “I don’t wanna give up my stuff!”) and Mom and S decided they’d take over DQ’s finances and throw their own money at the problem to help her dig out.

This brilliant financial solution amounted to S handling all bill paying, at a personal cost of $1000/month.  Mom kicked in for food, which was costing her about $500/month.  DQ was living on unemployment at the time – again, claiming trauma had prevented her from working, she was eventually laid off. 

i had divorced myself from this mess after being asked for advice, providing the requested advice, and that advice was rejected.  This was, in fact, the first time i told them – “i will not bail you all out of this mess if your plan fails”. 

My sister, T, came to town for a week to stay with Mom.  It was her “play by play” account of the situation at DQ’s that did it.  i finally realized just what a Redneck Freak Show it had become.  She called me her first day in town to unload:

T:  Holy shit!  Have you been over to DQ’s in the last month?

daisyfae:  Nope.  Been avoiding it.  Weak stomach…

T:  I walked over there with Mom, and there are these people huddled on the couch in the family room.  It’s a pregnant girl, her boyfriend and a toddler.  I asked Mom “who are all these people? Since when can DQ afford to be taking in the homeless?”

daisyfae:  What?  There are other people living there?

T:  Oh, and this 300 pound ape-man comes walking out of the kitchen, eating an entire Domino’s pizza.  A fucking large!  That’s Josh.  I told Mom “You wonder how she’s spending $500 a month on food?  Look at how big that bastard is?  Can’t she find a skinny briar for a boyfriend?”

According to Mom, T said this in front of everyone there… and no one reacted.   T has a refreshing habit of calling ’em like she sees ’em… 

Within a couple months, however, there was trouble in trailer park paradise.  One afternoon, DQ Jr. shows up on Mom’s porch, frantically knocking…

DQ Jr:  Granny!  You’ve got to come over!  Josh is beating up my Mom!

So, my mother, in her late 70’s, follows the 8 year old child next door.  Swinging her cane in front of this 300 pound caveman, she said “If you ever hit my granddaughter again, I’m going to club you, buddy!”

Within a few days, Josh moved out, graduated high school, and was supposed to be getting a football scholarship to a local university.  DQ later met up with BJ, who was also about 18 at the time, and they eventually married.  And they lived happily ever after… 

Oh.  Wait.  Trailer park stories never end that way…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* Mom and S continued to dump their cash into the black hole of DQ’s debt for 18 months.  It became a sore point between S and her husband, J, and almost broke up their marriage.  $27,000 later, DQ was still in debt up to her eye sockets, was unemployed and was not going to be able to stay in her house much longer.  Yep.  That’d be about the time they threw in the towel and had her declare bankruptcy.  After the laws were changed, becoming much more rigorous for debt repayment, of course.  (sigh)

Demolition

Last year my niece’s husband BJ built and entered a car in the local  demolition derby, earning second place from a pool of over 100 entrants.  After breaking his back in a construction accident last year, he was told by his doctor that his days of demolition therapy are over.

Not one to give up so easily, this summer he worked with his brother, RJ, to build a demolition derby car for the county fair.  RJ has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with a side of Tourette’s Syndrome for good measure.  i’ve only met RJ twice, and both times he’s been happily medicated, and content to work quietly in the kitchen on creative appetizers and pastries, pursuing his dream of becoming a chef.

DQ and BJ also told me that RJ is a repressed homosexual, apparently afraid to come out of the closet because his hardcore blue-collar family would tease him mercilessly.

daisyfae:  C’mon, just because the guy likes to cook you think he’s gay?

DQ:  He lives with two gay men and was just arrested for solicitation at the men’s restroom of the county park.

daisyfae:  Well… there’s your clue….

As for the Tourette’s?  They generally know when he’s off his medication because he launches rude and inappropriate text messages.  The last time it happened, DQ felt compelled to go on the offensive.

DQ:  I’m at the store and I got a text from him that just says “Pig”.  So I wrote back “Queer”.  He wrote “Whore” and I replied “Peter puffer”.  That shut him up!

daisyfae:  Holy shit!  He doesn’t have Tourette’s Syndrome!   He’s got Tourette’s Text Syndrome!

While awaiting the installation of Mom’s pacemaker last week, DQ and BJ were telling me tales of their adventure with RJ and the demolition derby preparations.  Preferring the kitchen to the garage, he’s obviously not the demolition derby type, and has been extremely nervous since the beginning of the project.  To the point of developing explosive diarrhea.  When he called in response to an ad in the paper to buy the car?  He got the shits.  When he went to pick it up?  Massive Hershey Squirts.  In order to work on the car, he had to buy an industrial bottle of anti-diarrhea meds just to keep it under control.

At this point?  We’re all giggling our asses off in the cardiac cath lab, awaiting Mom’s procedure.  Last year for the demolition derby, BJ was sponsored by a local welding shop, so they had t-shirts made up for the 30-plus folks who went to cheer him on.  My suggestion for this year?  Get sponsorship from “Depends” and make the shirts white with a brown stripe up the back.*  Name the car “RJ’s Choco-rocket”**…

As always, there’s a dark side to every tale from The Park, and the story of RJ and the Demolition Derby is no different.  When we were done laughing ourselves silly, DQ went on to tell me more about RJ.  He  lives with two men, and one of them is abusive.  They’ve seen RJ with bruises and bites on the back of his neck, and recently had to have substantial rectal reconstruction surgery due to even worse treatment.  RJ is not particularly bright, and it seems that at least one of the room mates is into the rough trades.

RJ also has a bit of a violent streak, which has come out when he’s taken a holiday from his medication.  Three years ago, he hit BJ in the side of the head with a hammer – full swing into the skull.  Walked up to him, hammer behind his back and popped BJ upside the head.  No warning.  Apparently BJ, who has led the RJ teasing brigade, is the first target whenever the violence emerges. 

daisyfae:  BJ, don’t you think you might wanna stop teasing him?  i mean seriously, he hit you in the head with a fucking hammer!

BJ: Oh, i can handle it.  He’s pretty slow.  I was just caught off guard that time.

daisyfae:  Well, i ain’t eating any more of RJ’s appetizers at the next fucking picnic…

~~~~~~~~~~~

* Yeah, i know.  Real mature.  Sue me…

** DQ was certain that RJ would bail out, and that BJ would defy doctors orders and drive anyway. Never mind the fact that he’s currently laid off and has no medical insurance coverage.  On the day Mom came home from the hospital, DQ was freaking out because BJ had taken off with his back brace and driver’s license.  The good news tonight?  RJ drove successfully last night, after eating enough Imodium to plug him up for a month.   Round two is tonight.  i wished them luck.  But poor RJ is going to be shitting soup cans for the rest of the summer…