Big Billy – Down a quart

The way it all started was, I used the last of the milk in my tea and put the empty bag back in the fridge. Now, I knew it was empty when I was puttin’ it back, but my show was comin’ back from commercial and I just said to hell with it and put it back on the top shelf of the fridge, flung the door closed with my slipper and gumbooted ‘er back into the room to watch my show.

Of course, Minnie comes along right behind me and opens the fridge to get the milk Big BIllyfor her tea and – oh my god, you’d think I murdered somebody and it was the body she found in the fridge instead of the empty bag of milk in the pitcher.

What in the frig is this! she says and on an on and after about ten minutes of her rantin’ and me not sayin’ anything, it was clear to me this was gonna be one of those times when she uses one little thing I done wrong to launch into the whole history of everything I ever done wrong, ever. So off she goes – and she’s goin’ on about the mess I make and how I don’t help with things, and all the things she asked me to fix that I never done yet, and on and on, and I never said a word.

The way it ended was, she grabbed the keys and stormed out and said she was goin’ over to Cyril and Joan’s to get her tea, because at least they know how to put a new bag in the milk thing when it was empty.

Now, these things happen sometimes, so all I did was, I went back to watchin’ my show. About an hour later, Minnie comes back, goes right by me and up the stairs, and comes down a few minutes later with a bag all packed.

Me and Joan are goin’ to Halifax on a shoppin’ trip, and you can damn well figure out how to run this house on your own for a while, she said, and she stormed out again.

I went to the door, and I guess what they did was, Joan followed her back over in their car because when I looked down the driveway, past the truck, there the two of them were, speedin’ off down the road. All because I didn’t put a new bag of milk in the pitcher.

But she’d be back in a couple of days, I figured, so how hard could it be?

So that night I stayed up until about 3:00 because there was this wicked good fight on TV between this big Samoan guy and this big bald Irish guy and I watched ‘er right ‘til the end before I went up to bed pretty late.

Rosie woke me bangin’ on the door at 9:00 askin’ why nobody woke her up for school, and as I stumbled out into the hall in my skivvies, I realized I never even realized we were into the first week of school. So while she’s flyin’ down the stairs with her backpack, I open little Bill’s door and start yellin’ for him to get up, and what do I find but him and the girlfriend all cuddled up together asleep.

What in the hell is this?! I says, and they both fly up out of bed and start reachin’ for their clothes. Get dressed! I said. You’re late for school!

So I step into my own joggin’ pants and fly over the stairs buttonin’ up my work shirt and walk into the kitchen to find the garbage can knocked over and the dog and two cats walkin’ around pokin’ at the food.

They need to get fed first thing in the morning! Rosie said, throwin’ some food in their dishes while we ran out the door. We hopped in the truck and little Bill and the girlfriend stumbled out a few minutes later.

Rita’s not feelin’ too good, so I’m gonna walk her home, Bill said. And since I had no time to argue, I told him no funny business and me and Rosie sped off down the road. I took a shortcut, squealin’ the tires around the corner and started to slow down in front of the school.

What are you doing?! She demanded. Keep going! You can’t drop me off in front of the school! Everyone will see!

So I guess she’s at that age now, I thought to myself. And I frigged off around the corner and she hopped out on her way and started runnin’ for a side door.

When I got back home, imagine my surprise when I found Minnie was standin’ in the kitchen.

I forgot my purse she said, pretendin’ she didn’t see the garbage ripped all over the floor. I asked her not to go, but she said she just has to get away for a while. Two or three days she’d be back, she said. But she said she loved me and gave me a peck on the cheek.

Oh, and Billy? She said when she got outside. Little Bill’s got his girlfriend upstairs again. They hide her sneakers behind the barbeque when he sneaks her in, she said, noddin’ at the little pink Nikes with the laces stickin’ out.

No, he’s walkin’ her home because she wasn’t – oooohhh that little jeezer, I said.

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