Parcheesi, And A Bit of Farce

June 27, 2012 § 5 Comments

An anecdote from the Babetski household: 

          I sat in the kitchen, eating some chips and dip.  The dip was sour cream, mixed throughout with garlic powder and dill weed.  It was simple and delicious.  My father had taught me how to make it, and I always pretended to be a 17th century apothecary as I shook herbs and powders into the creamy mixture.  Never mind the fact that apothecaries were always men.  My mother came into the kitchen just then, interrupting my musings on what clever, possibly herb-related name I would’ve given my ahead-of-the-times apothecary shop.  She poured herself a glass of water, and began talking to me.  A common enough occurrence, but noteworthy this time because it was nearly 10 PM and we were both still awake.  Strange.  Almost as if… she had something on her mind.   
         “Your father began cleaning out his closet today.”  She opened the conversation.
         For a second, my heart dropped.  Was this it, then?  Were 29 years of marriage, 8 children, and a deep love for terrible vacationing weather to be thrown away just like that?  I dropped my tortilla chip as my hands began to tremble.  I couldn’t speak.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t even do simple arithmatic, but I can’t ever do that anyway.
          “I think he finally got tired of me nagging him all the time about his pyschological problems with hoarding.”  She gave a wry grin but her voice was weary as she glanced at the clock.
          It was true!!  My terror grew and I had to eat another chip, with dip, to calm myself.  Be strong, I told myself.  Your mother will need you more than ever now. 
          “Mom,” I finally managed to speak in a quavery tone around the crumbs in my mouth, “are you handling it okay?”
          She looked at me oddly.  “Of course.  I finally have room in that closet again.”
          Poor Mom.  She’s just trying to cope with the news by looking at the only positives there are.  I sighed, mourning my happy childhood and realizing the bleak days that were to come.  What were we going to do?  There’d be lawyer bills, custody battles, property division.  I could see it all in my mind’s eye now: Dad would get the bigscreen televi- oh wait.  Mom would get the fancy shiny kitchen implements, like our brand new- our brand new……. well Mom would get the kitchen implements, regardless.  A thought struck me and I gasped in horror.  Who would get to keep the instrumental, scenic tour of Mount Saviour DVD!!??  Please don’t let him take it from Mom… it’s all she has left, I prayed silently.  Suddenly I became aware that my mother was saying something to me again.
          “And you’ll never believe what he said to tell you kids!”  She laughed, rolling her eyes.
          A parting message!  My heart winced in pain but I leaned forward in my eagerness to hear my father’s final advice to his family.
          “He pulled an old board game out of the closet and said, ‘Instead of these stupid new board games with digital readouts and obnoxious buzzers, our children should be playing Parcheesi!!'”

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