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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Part II: Wherein The Boy Masters a Lifelong Skill; or The Perfect Performance


Have you read Part I?  It was posted yesterday.  Go ahead – read it.  I’ll run for coffee and pastries…

Scene:  My boss's office, several weeks after Bring Your Kid to Work Day.

George looks up from the papers on his desk.  “If you and your son aren’t busy Saturday, why don’t you come out to the house for dinner?” he says.

I hand him his travel itinerary for the coming Monday.  “That would be lovely.”

“It’ll be Karen and I and you two.  Just the four of us.  Will you come?”

Will we come?  Will we eat a free meal?

Why I oughta…

So when the day came, we drove to George and Karen’s.  Nestled among the tall trees on a lake ringed by grand homes inhabited by CEOs and professional athletes, George and his dog, a Newfoundland the size of my first apartment, greet us at the garage end of a very long driveway.

Dylan exits the car, extends his hand.  “Nice to see you again.”

George smiles at him and they shake. 

Dinner is simple and delicious: a turkey breast, potatoes and gravy, a vegetable that escapes my memory.

George stands.  “I understand your birthday is coming.”

Oddly, his birthday is coming, but I’ve no idea how he knows this. 

Karen leaves the dining room to return with an elaborately decorated cake.  Moist, heavy, one can envision rolling bits of it into tight, white-cake-lemon-curd balls and using said bits as weapons.   I am touched by their thoughtfulness.  Dylan smiles wide and my heart grows just a little bigger.

We are halfway through dessert when George says, “So tell me, Dylan.  Have you been practicing the rope trick?”

Dylan grins through a mouthful of baked, frosted goodness.  “Yes.”

George leans forward, conspiratorially.  “I want to see it.”

Dylan looks at me and I nod.  He has brought the rope.  It’s in the car.

He runs out to get it.

From the dining room we hear him as he re-enters the house.  “If you’re going to do any practicing,” George calls to him from the table, “I want you to do it in the foyer.  I don’t want to see you practicing it, I want to see the real thing.” 

Dylan steps into the dining room.  “I don’t need no steenking practice,” he says.

George winks at me.

Dylan holds the rope out in one hand.  “I’ll bet you a beer,” my 10-year-old announces to the room, “that I can tie a knot in this rope with one hand.  In under a second.”

And with that, and a snap of the wrist, he does.

He ties a knot in the rope.

In under a second.

We leap to our feet, the applause bouncing off the ceiling.

“Excellent, Dylan.  Excellent!  I love a quick study.”  George claps my son on the shoulder.  “Just remember, when the time comes, get them to agree to the bet before you do the trick.”

Dylan beams, sits down to finish his cake. 

“Gotcha,” he says.

33 comments:

R. Jacob said...

a proud moment in any mothers life when their son becomes a beer hustler!
sniff...
xo

ray

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

A quick study, that lad.

R. Jacob said...

my hustle was the pinball machine and the bowling machine ( with the puck).

Symdaddy said...

He'll be hustling in Vegas before you know it!

R. Jacob said...

really? there are bosses like that?

Shelly said...

Dylan sounds like an exceptional kid (but what else would we expect from a kid of yours) and George like an expcetional man.

This got me to thinking. Do I have any worthwhile skills like the rope trick to pass on to others?

*Sadly shakng my head*

I need to come up with something to cement my legacy as George has done with his...

Symdaddy said...

By the way, in my youth I would do the disappearing-coin-on-the-arm trick.

Stephen Hayes said...

As an art major, I bet people they couldn't correctly assume the position of that famous statue "The Thinker." Everyone always places an elbow on the wrong knee.

mary i said...

Thank You for A Smile.

red.neck chic said...

I am cracking up...

a. it's those kinda things that make a mother proud...

and b. love the whole cake-turd thing. i buy angel food cakes JUST to have things to squish up and throw.

:) robelyn

Pearl said...

I'm also proud to report that the boy can still do the trick, although I'll have to ask him, the next time I see him, if he's ever gotten a free beer by doing so...

Makes a mother proud.

terlee said...
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terlee said...
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Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! Now you see, I'm imagining you heading off with Dylan as his "manager" to help him invest his beer. Hmmm? And by the way, I went to reread part one, but I see no coffee and cake. What's that all about? Roth

Shea Goff said...

Awesome.

TexWisGirl said...

i really like this man, george.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

My gosh, you captured so much in this witty and spare prose.

Great post!

NotesFromAbroad said...

Bravo ... just like his Mama :)

Bodacious Boomer said...

I never ever had a boss even remotely that cool. That's probably one reason I've been self-employed so long.

Lisa Golden said...

I've been catching up on your posts. You are one of the best humor writers I read.

These George stories are awesome.

jenny_o said...

George is a good man. Stating the obvious :)

I love this: "...a Newfoundland [dog] the size of my first apartment"; and this: "...Dylan smiles wide and my heart grows just a little bigger". You say so much with just a few words.

jabblog said...

What a nice boss:-) What an intelligent boy:-)

Ms Sparrow said...

You and Dylan must have made a fine impression on the boss. That speaks well of you!

Buttons said...

Oh this is a great post. Some lessons are learned that make Mom proud I am assuming he did not get the beer:) B

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a wonderful, heart-warming, fun story! Both Dylan and George sound like great guys!

Sioux said...

I can do the "belly-disappears-when-the-bra-is-taken-off" trick.

Sadly, it would NEVER garner me a free drink...

Mom of A and a said...

how do I get a boss like that?!?

cloudia charters said...

Voila!


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
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River said...

Ah yes! ALWAYS make sure they accept the bet before doing the trick.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

A heart warming tale. Luvn it!
Rosemary

darlin said...

Hi Pearl, I miss reading your writing. I'm knee deep in finishing what I've stated and will be back once it's a done deal. Just thought I'd pop in and say hi and give you a heads up... I will return one fine day! :-)

Have a wonderful weekend, cheers.

the walking man said...

Been got a time or two in like manner.

Susan in the Boonies said...

I kind of adore George, now.