- Unto us have been delivered: two childrens, to watch for this evening through sometime tomorrow. One is three and a half, his older sister is eleven. Or thirteen. Or somewhere in there. They are the youngest of my wife's sister's four kids. She is working tonight. We are very far away from the place they call home. My house tonight, this way, is very far away from what I call home. It is fun but tiring.
- I've come to the basement, a retreat. I had anticipated an evening of watching blathering idiots on the television, talking ad-nauseum about the electoral college and the new-un-hanged-chads and the long lines and the inscrutible polls. This year I enjoy this. Very often I am much more removed from all of this; I am currently seething with the desire to get into a long-expulsion about they whys and the why-nots of my politics, but I'd prefer to save it until after I've voted so as to not talk myself out of it.
- I've come to the basement to watch the TeeVee and to update the weblog but the TeeVee will not come to me. It is blankly staring. When I got down here there was a man crying on some channel I did not wish to see. I hit the button to change the channel, and suddenly the cable box was proclaiming 999, and the screen was proclaiming: "You're very fucked now. We know that you keep this second TeeVee in the basement only for the very rare emergency, only for those times when there are semi-uninvited children with their faces full of halloween candy, already sticking to your regular TeeVee. Therefore we have turned off this particular cable box. You are paying for it, yes. But you do not use it often enough, you leave it alone and lonely, you neglect it, you abandon it to the spiders and the centipedes and the dust. So now it is abandoning you. You are the weakest link, you're fired, the tribe has spoken, that is our final answer.
- The children, whose mother asked my wife about this arrangement only last night, were delivered to us with some cans of food for dinner, some cereal for breakfast, and a huge, heaping bag of halloween candy. They were here for five minutes (and the wife was not, yet,) before I noticed that what they were doing was reaching in, grabbing a piece, eating it, reaching in, grabbing another piece, eating it... I am not trained for this. Nobody gave me the manual. Nobody offered instruction. I've had to improvise. The Michael Myers doll scared the bejesus out of the young 'un long enough for me to be able to hide the candy in the closet. They may attain sleep by midnight. If I'm very lucky.
- My wife came down here while they stomped around playing our Playstation II, for which we have that dancing-japanese-music-game-thing. If you aren't familiar with it you're better off. It's very loud when you're below it. She came down to hand me a letter from the MVA that I'd not noticed having gotten. It's asking for proof of insurance on Cousin Ed, who has long since been donated to charity. His tags were returned.
- On the letter is a bunch of bullshit, something about "fill this out and return it if any of the following applies." One of those things, the one which applies, is License plates were returned. For this, in less-bold font, it says that I should, "Send a copy of the receipt from the MVA indicating the plates were returned."
- Let me re-iterate that this is a letter from the MVA, asking me to send it back to them along with a copy of a receipt that they gave to me. If George W. Melting-Witch-Pumpkin Bush were to promise tonight that he would drop a nukular bomb on the MVA if he were re-elected I would vote for him tomorrow.
- I have the receipt. I don't know how the fuck I still have the receipt. I've cleaned my wallet, and my basement, since I turned in those tags, but through some inexplicable reason I didn't throw this stupid piece of paper away. I will send them a copy. They will then have a copy of the receipt which their computer system printed for me.
- I ate some of their candy. This will be my payment. Their mother will not offer any other payment, I suspect. "Here," she would say, if she were saying something about it, "have a piece of candy. Have two. All of this I offer in exchange for your efforts in safeguarding my children so that I can work at a hospital that pays better than the one near my own home, so that I can have more money. And you can have much, much less sleep."
- Pretty please.
DO NOT VOTE FOR THE MELTING PUMPKIN
(see below if you do not understand about the melting pumpkin)
VOTE FOR THE OTHER, NON-MELTING PUMPKIN
Finally -- I love these two kids. I bear no ill-will toward their mother. I will be returning to entertain them, or to be entertained by them, momentarily. When my wife handed me the letter from the MVA she also told me that our young nephew was asking when I was going to be back up to talk to him. I'm lucky to have the extended family I have.
But if they found that fucking candy...