Family Guy for a Day

 We drove along a dark, poorly visible, two-lane highway that was separated only by a dim white line. Black ice caused us to skid once, while I, the passenger, was without a functional seat belt. Deep down inside, for a split second, I was in a freakish state of shock. Due to my old chum commuting close to three hours round trip to Richmond daily, he’s a seasoned driver who handled the skid just right.   But I still thought:  Dude, come on, get that seat belt fixed huh.

I arrived smack-dab in the center of the state. The rural forest, albeit vaster than the forests I’ve seen in Massachusetts, still looks similar.

It was 11:30 pm and I was greeted by the entire family. I received a hug from the wife whom I’ve seen on countless occasions way back in the day. The two kids, six and nine, whom I’d only met briefly once when they were too young to remember, were so happy to see me. They’d heard so much about their dad’s old college pal from yesteryear. They wanted to show me endless toys that appear almost futuristic to me.

A dog was barking and freaking out a bit by me invading his space, and his fear of the unknown,  while a puppy was all over me, trying to lick and playfully bite me. Two cats chilled out in their cat-like, nonchalant way, smelling and gazing  at my presence.

Soon thereafter, the family crashed out, while my friend and I consumed booze and shot the breeze until 3am.

I was in a virtual coma for seven hours, when the little girl could no longer  resist her desire to wake me:

I thought you guys had a two-hour delay today, which means that school is starting now.”

She looked at me innocently said:

I don’t know.”

Her brother didn’t know either.  Apparently they’d been entertaining themselves since 8 am when Mommy had left for work.

I was trying to locate the dad’s room. The kids navigated me there. He was still crashed hard. The kids woke him. He then said:

School’s been canceled.  They called at 5:30 ta tell us.

Our plans of scoping out a bit of rural VA were thwarted. Due to black ice on the country roads that aren’t salted or sanded well, the kids had me for much of the day. I played everything from indoor basketball to futuristic MARIO BROS. Wii.  I thought: When we talk about the future, the future is now.

It was an unseasonably cold day so the southern kids wanted to stay in. At one point their northern dad who’s accustomed to the cold like myself, gave me a tour of his 12 acres of land while the little ones were engrossed in some sort of wireless computer game on their 60-inch flat screen TV in their playroom.

Beyond his property we witnessed a man-made lake where perhaps 100 geese were congregating.  This was beautiful earth.

Last night we grilled steak. The affluent portions were fit for kings and queens. I believe that yesterday my default diet consisted of 90% meat and 10% vegetables. My goal is to quickly invert that ratio.

Today the kids have school, both mommy and daddy are working; hence, I’ve got this gigantic abode all to myself. Oh how different today is compared to yesterday.  I thought: Variety is the spice of life.  Excuse the cliché but it just feels fitting.

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