Alternately titled: It Was All Henry’s Fault
Chooch and I decided to be strong, independent humans Sunday evening, so we ordered a movie from Redbox (“Possession” — we also wanted to be scared independent humans) and then declared to Henry that we were going to walk to the Redbox a few blocks away outside of CVS to retrieve it all by ourselves.
“And I’m even going to buy TOILET PAPER while we’re there!” I decided, noting that we were down to one roll. (I shudder to think what goes on in the bathroom when it’s occupied by Chooch.) Henry seemed bemused by this, to say the least.
However, I failed to note that it was about 10 degrees out there. Chooch at least had a heavy coat and hat on so I figured I was probably still within the child abuse margin of error. Although, we had to walk kind of slow because there was ICE EVERYWHERE.
Chooch and Erin against the elements — a scary thought.
Then! Then we stumbled upon a DEAD BIRD on the sidewalk and let out a collective “awwwwww!” We almost retreated after that, but I really wanted that fucking movie.
“What kind of bird do you think it is?” Chooch asked, after hypothesizing on how it died (his theories were way more violent than mine).
“I don’t know, who do you think I am? DADDY?!” And then we started shit-talking Henry, because that is what we do best.
Faces chapped and burning from the icy wind, we had finally made it to the Redbox outside of CVS. It took me three attempts to swipe my credit card because my hands were frozen flesh bricks at this point. After the final swipe, my credit card flung out of my hands and what a real parlor trick that was, trying to pick it up back up with fingertips I could no longer feel. After all of that, Kiosk B said it had no such record of my reservation so we moved on to Kiosk A, which didn’t acknowledge my now-violent credit card swiping AT ALL. (And yes, I was swiping it the correct way! Ask Chooch!!) By this time, there was a small crowd of people waiting for their turn, so I freaked out and announced, “JUST FORGET IT. THIS IS ALL DADDY’S FAULT ANYWAY!” and drug Chooch inside CVS to hopefully purchase toilet paper without incident. I was totally acting like Splintered Chooch.
Here is a helpful piece of background information: While I have reserved tons of Redbox movies, I have never actually used the machine-thing, except for one time a few months ago, when I thought I would be Really Helpful and walk to the very same Redbox one day and return a movie, but it kept rejecting it. Some woman was standing behind me, causing me severe performance anxiety, and I finally yelled, “FUCK IT!” and went inside to spend money on makeup to piss Henry off, because THIS was all his fault TOO!
Turns out, it was rejecting the DVD case because the DVD wasn’t inside. HENRY’S FAULT FOR NOT PUTTING THE DVD IN THE CASE!!
I called Henry from the toilet paper aisle and completely berated him (in hushed tones, I hate talking on my cell phone in stores!). “This is all your fault! I looked like a complete asshole out there! THIS IS WHY I WANTED YOU TO COME WITH US!” Then I hung up on him.
OK. The part about me and Chooch wanting to be independent humans? That’s not completely accurate. The truth is that HENRY didn’t want to walk there with us so we sort of had no choice but to go alone.
Henry called back. “Were you at the right kiosk?” he asked innocently, which made me see the bloodiest red that ever redded.
“I’m not an idiot!” I hissed, still extremely cognizant of the people around me and God forbid I should start fitting the Brookline stereotype of broadcasting my domestic disputes. And then, “Since this is all your fault, why don’t you just come here and do it yourself!” And END CALL.
In the checkout line, two guys in dirty beige coveralls stood behind me, hawking up a storm and being your basic white trash Yinzer pricks. The guy closest to me took a call on his cell and literally it felt like he was standing inside my ear, showering me with this terrible Pittsburgh cachinnation and coating the back of my head with the essence of date rape and Steelers. I kept inching forward but there was no escaping his grating voice. Meanwhile, Chooch is looking at the fronts of all the gossip magazines, asking me, “Who’s this broad? Who’s that? And her? And him?” because if it’s not someone that’s on the cover of Alternative Press, he’s clueless. But every question made my heart race faster and faster because MOMMY IS IN A BAD MOOD, OK SON?! Commotion was all around me! I just wanted quiet!
“How’s your evening?” the young cashier asked when it was our turn to check out.
“Fine,” I said.
But at the same time, Chooch, in his typical high-pitch, shouted, “MOMMY’S CREDIT CARD DIDN’T WORK IN THE RED BOX SO NOW WE CAN’T GET OUR MOVIE!” And of course, he would pick the moment when Pittsburgh Asshole put away his cell phone and approximately 12 other people had joined our line. And of course, I hadn’t paid for the toilet paper and his fucking apple juice yet so the cashier was kind of looking at me like, “Bitch, if you can’t afford a $1.50 movie from Redbox, you might not be wiping your ass tonight.”
“That’s not why!” I snapped at Chooch, while swiping my credit card. At least CVS recognized the existence of my credit card! “It’s because Daddy is an idiot!”
I don’t know how this was Henry’s fault, but give me time and I’ll write a manifesto.
I snatched the CVS bag off the counter and stormed off outside, where Henry was waiting for us in the car. He took my credit card and JUST LIKE THAT the movie was in his hands.
“I SWIPED THAT MOTHERFUCKER A MILLION TIMES! CHOOCH, TELL HIM!”
Chooch actually agreed! He usually likes to pick these moments to be infuriatingly contrary.
“I believe you,” Henry sighed. “Now get in the car.”
“FUCK YOU! I’M WALKING HOME!” I cried, a little confused about why I was still feeling so much anger but still certain it was all Henry’s fault.
Henry just laughed (HE LAUGHED AT ME!) and patiently said OK.
A block away, Chooch and I lost it and started cracking up.
“I bet daddy’s going to be so pissed that we didn’t get him a drink!” Chooch giggled, which made me giggle to the point of tears. Henry has this thing where he HAS TO BUY A DRINK anytime he’s at a store, no matter what store he’s at. Bonus points if they sell those nondescript jugs of iced tea. And anytime I happen to (rarely) go to a store without him, he acts like I cheated on him if I come home beverageless. Bitch works at a fucking Faygo plant! Bring your own shit home! And really, in 12 years, when have I ever thoughtfully picked something up for him at the store without being told to first? He’s lucky I’m courteous enough to order a drink for him at restaurants when he’s in the bathroom.
Everything we went through and that movie wasn’t even all that good. But at least the new episode of The Walking Dead was on right after.
Chooch and I talked A LOT about that dead bird and how fucked we’re going to be if Henry dies/leaves/quits doing shit for us.