Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rib Sticklers

(Ed. note: The editors of the PHM would like to apologize for the notable absence of blogs. Writers are notoriously distractable and while cleaning out the voluminous caverns in the basement of the Hall, some of them encountered a few old versions of Zork. Thanks to modern intervention techniques, along with a simulated power blackout, the staff has been able to resume their work. Given the vast collection of games and toys currently archived in the basements, however, constant vigilance will be required to prevent another relapse.)

Mrs. Hall didn’t recognize the number on her phone but she answered it anyway. The Halls were just on their way home in the big black car from work; it turned out to be Stephanie, the bartender from Daniel’s, on the other end. Mrs. Hall fairly jumped up in the car seat, and then slamming the phone down, yelled, “Dan’s got ribs!” Lucky regulars and the occasional high tipping customer know that if they are nice to Stephanie, she will reward them with early notice that Daniel is smoking those delectable ribs outside his namesake restaurant. The ribs are never listed on menu, and there are rarely enough to make it past eight o’clock; word of mouth usually spreads like wildfire once they are seen in the bar. Frantic patrons have practically come to blows over the last rack in the house. The Halls had just pulled the big black car out of a parking lot on the far east side; Daniel’s was 15 miles in the opposite direction. “Tell her we’ll be there in 20 minutes”, he replied; then looking at her blank expression, he sighed, “That is, if you haven’t already hung up.” He shook his head. “Ring up Ian and tell him to run down and get us a table in the bar and order up two full racks. And a Manhattan.”
Forty-five minutes later, while wiping the sticky residue of dinner off everything in close proximity to the table, Mrs. Hall was finally able to come up for air. “Thanks for letting me use the air card so much lately,” Ian mumbled thickly, through some cornbread. “You haven’t been online very much, I noticed.” Mrs. Hall explained she had been working on a slideshow movie for the Eastern Star ladies, and what had started out as a lark, had grown into a huge monster of a project. One of those things intended to take a weekend at most was running into its second month and still consuming most of Mrs. Hall’s downtime.
That, and the usual day to day activities of trying to get a house in shape for summer, seemed to be taking up all of her time. The children were left to communicate primarily through the happy advances in technology, primarily phoning at all hours for advice or tele-conferencing over the laptops with their webcams. Mrs. H. had received a call just last week from young Master Chris; he was all excited. “Hey Mom, guess where I am!” Unable to guess, Mrs. Hall just shrugged. “I’m at Talladega! The Air Force is helping crowd control and I’m at the finish line watching the race!” “Where’s Talladega?” asked Mrs. Hall. “I don’t know!” Chris replied. “They got us up at 3:00 am and put us on a bus. I have no idea where we are. Isn’t that cool?!?”

Let your child take the reins at work day

A cursory glance at the papers the other day made Mrs. Hall wince. News sources revealed that an overzealous parent allowed his young charge to take the microphone at a major airport and ferry in a few flights. What thoughts were going through his head at that time have not been reported; it is supposed that he envisioned the scenario going something like, “What ho! This is a Small Child broadcasting transmissions from your tower!” and the pilots would all chuckle and return, “Very funny this; someone check his math and make sure we’re not in for it!” and the usual hilarity would ensue. Maybe he felt the entries in the tot’s baby book were a little light this year or perhaps it was on a dare; whatever the case, the general consensus in the press was that it was rather ill-advised. The well-intentioned but clueless parent was indefinitely suspended. No reports on what, if any, punitive measures were imposed on the infant.
Mrs. Hall shuddered. The original designers of this madcap venture, of inviting young minds with fresh imaginations and very little in the way of inhibitive nature, were probably operating under the delusion that it would be a good thing to involve the little troublemakers in the process, though history has long shown this to be a bad idea of the first magnitude.
“I actually thought it was pretty funny and no big deal,” said Mr. Hall, barely looking up from his papers. Noting the look of skepticism on Mrs. Hall’s face, he sheepishly admitted to clearing an American Airlines DC-10 for landing himself one time as a brass young thing. “I wasn’t even in the tower, just in the radar room listening to the radio transmissions. It was, um… a learning experience,” he explained. Mrs. H. just shook her head.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zork was great, wasn't it!!!

Tell your friends!