Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Reach out and...what?

Cue SFX: Phone ringing.

I answer it.

- QUINN: (Speaking into receiver, but actually talking to Daughter in the other room)…I TOLD YOU IF YOU KEPT PICKING AT IT, IT WOULD BLEED…uh, hello?

- LISA: Hi, it’s me.

- QUINN: (Shrieking in delight) Yea, it’s you! You have time to talk?

. LISA: The baby is sleeping, Theo is watching a Wiggles video, and Matthew is working from home this evening and will cover anything they need, so…yes!

(We squeal in mutual joy)

- LISA: So, how are you?

- QUINN: Wait a sec. (I cover receiver with my hand, and call to Consort) PLEASE SUPERVISE A BATH, AND WASH HER HAIR.

(I take hand off receiver in time to hear--)

- LISA: (Talking to her husband) ...if it isn’t in his toy box, then his Thomas Train could be anywhere. Try under the couch. If not there, look in the dishwasher. (Talking to me again) So, how are you?

- QUINN: Wow, where to begin. Oh, last week I had these stabbing pains after I ate milk products or cilantro, and I started to think I might have...

- LISA: Hold on a second. (To her husband) ...Not there? Well, then did you leave the toilet seat up? He likes to let the train go pee, and then it usually falls in. Try that. (Back to me) Sorry, what did you think?

(During her train conversation, I have seen Daughter darting for the bathroom looking suspiciously colorful for a naked person)

- QUINN: Hold on, Lise... (To Daughter) Come here, please.

(She comes inching out of the bathroom, wearing her bathing suit)

- QUINN: You’re not wearing your bathing suit in the tub.

- DAUGHTER: Daddy said I could.


- CONSORT: (From bathroom) NO.

- QUINN: (To Daughter) Nice try. Forget it.

(Daughter stomps off in a huff. I reengage with the phone)

- QUINN: Hi, I’m back. Where were we?

- LISA: I have no idea.

- QUINN: So, how is everything?

- LISA: Did I tell you that Matthew might be thinking about chucking the whole…

(Horrible sounds are coming from my bathroom. Apparently, guinea pigs are being used as dog-fighting bait)


- LISA: Don’t you just hate washing their hair?

- QUINN: I am seriously considering how she would look in dreadlocks.

(Sounds of tiny car alarm emanating from the receiver)

- LISA: Oliver’s awake.

- QUINN: Do you need to get off the phone?

- LISA: No, he just needs to eat. Just let me grab him. We can talk while he nurses. You want to say hello to Theo?

- QUINN: Oh, why not?

- LISA: (voice trailing away) Theo, do you want to say hello to Aunt Quinn?

(Small but emphatic “No” heard from that side. Sound of phone being handed to three year-old)

- QUINN: Hi, Theo.


- QUINN: It’s your Aunt Quinn.

- THEO: I have a truck. See?

(Scraping sound against the mouthpiece)

- QUINN: I see it, it’s nice.

- THEO: You don’t have a penis.

(Lisa takes phone back)

- LISA: Okay, Oliver is nursing. We can talk until…Theo, I know that feels good, but please do it in your room. (Louder) Matthew, please explain the concept of privacy to your son. (To me) His penis is like a magic fairyland he never wants to stop visiting. What were we talking about?

- QUINN: Uh…I’m stuck on fairies flying around holding their penises.

(A moment of silence)

- LISA: So, how are you?

- QUINN: We’re doing okay. Actually, we got some good news this week. My daughter might be the first person ever to…to…wait, hold on. (Daughter is running from the bathroom, naked, damp and weeping copiously. Consort is walking after her, irritated). What is going on?

- DAUGHTER: (Blubbering) Daddy won’t give me a (unintelligible under tears and snot)

- QUINN: (To Lisa) One sec. (To Consort) What won’t you give her?

- CONSORT: Your toothbrush. To use on My Little Pony’s mane and tail.

- QUINN: (To Daughter) Your father is a wonderful man. You may use the ratty hairbrush with the pink handle on the plastic Pony hair.

- DAUGHTER: Who is that on the phone?

- QUINN: Santa Claus. He wants to know if you’re being a good little girl. I would hate to have to tell Santa that you’re not getting ready for bed.

(Daughter darts for her room. I take hand off the receiver to hear--)

- LISA: Theo, I’m not kidding. Stop tickling Oliver’s feet, it gives him gas.

- QUINN: I’m back. So how is everything?

- LISA: It’s busy, but good. Though I have wondered recently whether anything we do in life has any meaning whatsoever (She lets out a half cry, half moan).

- QUINN: Are you crying?

- LISA: No, the baby just twisted his head around to watch the Wiggles video.

- QUINN: Pulled your nipple like taffy?

- LISA: Yeah.

- QUINN: Ow.

- LISA: Hey, I just looked at the clock, and I’d better start something for dinner.

- QUINN: Yeah, I should think about that.

- LISA: I miss talking like this.

- QUINN: Yeah, me too.

- LISA: Love you, sweetie.

- QUINN: Love you, sweetie.

-LISA: Theo, do not pee into the fireplace again…



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