I dunno. I like it too much (and I don't like it that much).
My choices for Roquemore theme song:
Friday by Rebecca Black
Muskrat Love by The Captain and Tenille
A Horse with no Name by America
M.A.N., lunch will be at 9:30 this morningHere's one for the annals, for those who care to know about the Bauers and their endless misadventures.
On Saturdays, I try to make it for lunch at my folks. It's the one time during the week that I'm almost guaranteed to be there. Annie tries to make it, too, but her job's hours are irregular, and I figure she makes it to Saturday lunch about half the time these days.
A year or so ago, my dad moved lunchtime to 12:30 to help my mom, who had become increasingly anxious about preparing the meal, starting it earlier and earlier in the morning. (You have no idea.) The new time gave her an extra half hour to dither and fret.
Why was (is) she anxious? I don't know. Manifest Absurd Neurosis (MAN) has been her fate these last several years. It doesn't help that, to a great degree, my dad joins in her neuroses. Sometimes, he creates mom's worries whilst simultaneously denouncing or fetting over them. "Dietsche, Dietsche," he'll say. "Why can't you please sit down and relax?" She finally sits. Then, immediately, he'll ask where the coffee is. "Oh," says mom, who immediately launches herself in the direction of the kitchen, a busy bee, buzzing.
I just stare in silence.
Mom regularly makes enough food for ten people even though, most days, only two (she and dad) are likely to show. Naturally, we've all attempted to address this (especially my dad, who can be a tightwad). But it's no use. She just won't stop. Quite literally, she won't be reasoned with. (Some days, however, lunch is distinctly sparse. I'll say to myself, "Gosh, I could use some toast or something." Then, after the meal, I'll notice all the once-toasty toast in the four-banger toaster that somehow never made it to the table. Dang!)
And why does she start breakfast so early? I've got a theory: I think she needs to fret. That might not hit the nail square on the head, but it's pretty close. "What will I do if I'm not fretting and dithering and looking serious intense all morning? How will I survive the morning unless I'm running and running as though from a grizzly bear or a cloud of locusts?"
(Because she starts lunch—making toast, pancakes, etc.—at about 9:30 a.m., by the time 12:30 p.m. rolls around, the food is often quite cold. My folks don't seem to notice. They just chew on that stuff like everything is just fine and dandy. I study their faces. Nothin'.)
Now, in truth, most of us in the Bauer clan (Clan of the Howling Wolf), even Annie, prefer simple meals: soup, sandwiches, stuff just tossed together. Bread with camembert or brie? Wonderful! Nice big salad with a little shrimp or cheese or avacado thrown in? Great!
But in my mom's mind, I guess, a meal isn't a meal unless it involves considerable preparation—and the lengthy torture of food via hotplate or oven. There's got to be something hot and heavy and fried and grossly overcooked and cheese-encrusted or it really just won't do!
It's partly a generational thing. Now, in my mind, vegetables are best that are cooked least. But to my folks and their aged crew, I guess, it's all about grease and lard and goo.
* * *—So, anyway, I was at my place working on something this morning—it was 9:20 a.m.—when the phone rang. It was my dad.
"Would you mind if we moved lunch to right now?"
"Lunch right now?"
"Yeah, Ma is very concerned about the memorial service later today. So I thought I'd give her a break by getting lunch out of the way early."
"Yeah. Can you come down right now?"
I knew better than to ask questions or complain. I just said, "Yup," and that was that.
When I got down there, Ma was fretting and zooming like she does. She muttered some half-sentences about how my dad got everything fouled up again. (He was still outside somewhere.) "But it's not too bad," she added. "Oh good," I said.
I had no idea what she was talking about.
After about ten minutes, my dad showed up and then mom revealed the main dish, a rather large pan of ravioli in a buttery sauce. (Ah, yes. Perfect for my diabetes.) It was accompanied by a bowl of small shrimp.
In truth, the ravioli was great. Naturally, there was much too much of it. My sister never showed, so, between the three of us, we ate about a third of it. I have no idea what happens to all this stuff. I think they squirrel it away somewhere.
I tried the shrimp. It was frozen. Literally. Later, I watched my dad eat it. He didn't seem to notice that he was eating icy little custaceans. I heard the crunch.
Then out came the pizza bread (huh?), which had been microwaved. Naturally, it had been in the oven much too long. Half of it was like cardboard.
I didn't' seem to have much to say. The two of them were talking about today's memorial service for a friend from the old neighborhood. Eunice. For some reason, my folks seem really to care about these crazy old rednecks from that place, where we lived, so long ago.
I've been trying to forget them for forty or fifty years.
"Gunter, do you think we'll get there in time?" asked mom.
The memorial service was to be in a church near Olive hill. That's in Orange, a little over a half hour away.
"As long as we leave an hour and forty minutes before 2:00, we should be OK," he said.
"Are you walking?" I asked. They chuckled.
We sipped coffee. I tried to think of something to say. I said a couple of things, I guess.
It was ten o'clock. I had had my "lunch." I was outa there.