Tales of ordinary drunkenness.
Welcome to our special evening edition of America’s Worst Mother™, or shall we call it Mummy Afterdark? Today Meghan regales us with tales of her drunken neighbor, a diplomat (probably French), and the effect it has on her children: Radish, Clinique, Pilates, and Chimp.
Lets pour ourselves a tall one and nip into it, shall we?
The reason my husband could not park in back is that the entrance to our yard is blocked by a shiny black SUV with tinted windows and diplomatic plates. Such is a common enough sight in Washington, but this SUV has evidently quite recently shot backwards with some force and is now perched in a curious position. It has flattened the fence dividing one piece of property from another, run up over a low concrete wall, and now sits with its hind quarters dangling in open sky. The engine is still running.
Phoebe chortles with delight. “Look, the car is in the air!”
A man totters around from behind the SUV and gazes owlishly at us from behind dark glasses. I recognize a diplomat with whom we have often exchanged greetings. He waves with a loose and genial hand, then totters back across the front of the vehicle and climbs carefully into the driver’s seat.
“Why’s he walking that funny way?” asks Violet.
Now the kids know well enough that this is a new funny way of walking which is quite different than Mummy’s funny walk after playing Human Wheelbarrow with Nomar the gardener, or Daddy’s funny walk after Mummy catches him watching Friday night Skinemax in the dark. No. This is quite different. Fortunately son Chimp has the camera that his dad gave him upon his return from the NYC RNC (minus the hotel-room footage of Mr. Meghan playing naked Tony Orlando and Dawn with a couple of hookers, if you know what I mean…and I think you do) and snaps a few shots of the inebriated foreigner that he will later e-mail to Michelle Malkin* to be used for the cover of her next book: Foreigners: Why Can’t We Just Kill Them?
There’s a metallic snap, and Paris announces with relish, “It’s a good thing Daddy brought me this camera from that convention in New York.”
“Oh, bad taste, Paris â€” but funny,” I laugh. “Now, children, come inside. Let’s give this poor fellow some privacy. Daddy will talk to him.”
While Mr. Meghan goes to practice his foreign language skills (“Je souhaite divorcer mon Ã©pouse et course loin en France et avoir le sexe homosexuel. Pouvez-vous m’aider?”) Meghan herds the Gurdloids into the shelter with the help of Mummy’s little helper
“Is it safe? What if â€” ?” Molly asks apprehensively, and I turn to her. Lately she has taken the world on her shoulders. She shepherds the Littles anxiously when we cross empty streets; at bedtime, she reminds me to double-check the locks. If Paris takes his scooter around the block, she hovers by the front door until he returns. “Don’t worry,” we say, over and over. “Everything is fine, and anyway we’re responsible, not you,” we say, but I suppose that is thin comfort when you are the eldest and you know better. “Daddy will talk to the man,” I repeat, embracing her. “He’s not going to hurt anyone but he is going to have a terrible headache.”
While daughter Clinique goes to her room to pop a few Kiddie Xanax (now in orange flavor!) son Chimp pops the question that every parent dreads (well, at least in the Bush family):
“Which is worse,” Paris asks suddenly, “getting drunk or crashing the car?”
There are times as a parent when you are excruciatingly aware that what you say may shape in a crucial way the opinions your children form. You do not, in this case, wish to make light of public crapulence, and you wish to impress upon your children that under no circumstances should sodden individuals get behind a wheel (except, perhaps, in this precise circumstance, when the sodden individual is asleep and the wheel will get him nowhere). At the same time, as a parent, you wish to inculcate generosity in your children for the frailties of others, if only to indemnify yourself against their future opprobrium. In short, you hope like blazes to strike the right balance between sense and sensibility.
“Getting drunk,” my husband says carefully. “Because by doing so he lost the ability to make proper decisions, and that’s why he crashed the car. Although, frankly, we don’t know whether he got drunk first. Perhaps he drove over the fence and felt so ashamed that he went out and drank too much.”
Yes. Telling children that people who get into car accidents quickly run out and drink themselves stupid is a “sensible” answer (well, at least in the Bush family). Yeesh.
A properly sedated Clinique pops into the room and asks the second most feared question a child can pose:
Molly has another question. “Were you ever drunk?” she asks the adults. Paris looks up. There is a pause. “Yes,” the adults admit. The childrens’ eyes widen. “It was horrible,” one adult says. “I don’t recommend it,” says the other. “But when I was young and irresponsible â€” ” the first explains. ” â€” I was young and irresponsible,” the second concludes.
From which we can conclude that neither Meghan or Mr. Meghan has ever been drunk.
At last not that they can remember.
You know what coke can do to your memory…
(* image courtesy of 100monkeystyping)