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Thursday, June 1

Doris and Dexter

"Doris and Dexter"
Short Fiction - Humor
By DZ Allen


"Well if you could accuse anybody of being downright evil, it would be him."

"What the hell are you talking about, Doris?" Dexter peeked over the top of his Wall Street Journal. His wife of forty-three years sat nervously knitting a scarf or socks or some damn thing.

"I mean the boy is wrong. I think he may have hit his head or something."

The click, click tempo of her knitting needles increased. She shook her head and bit her lower lip.

Dexter considered going back to his paper then thought better of it. He carefully folded it in half and set it on his lap. He took a deep breath and removed his reading glasses. "What do you mean he hit his head?"

Doris let out an exasperated sigh. "I mean he's dopey. I think the boy fell down the stairs or fell out of bed. Maybe one of his friends hit him in the head with a rake."

"The kind with the hard metal teeth or the flimsy flexible ones."

"--or a hoe maybe. He mighta‚ just got clapped up side the skull with a shovel."

"Maybe his friends beat him with a garden hose."

"Now you're being silly, Dex."

"I'm being silly? You think our grandson has anything to do with any type of gardening tool?" He slipped his readers back on and moved to re-open his paper. "The boy never leaves his bedroom."

Doris abruptly put down her knitting. "That's what I'm talking about."

"Dexter raised his paper and tried to use it as a shield. Maybe she'd drop this silly rant if she thought he'd gone back to reading."

"Dexter!"

Maybe not. He set the paper back on his lap and took off his glasses again.

"The boy is perfectly normal. All the kids spend their time indoors these days."

Doris considered this. "Playing those--games."

Dexter rolled his eyes. "There's nothing wrong with his games."

"They've turned him into a zombie. They've stolen our grandbaby's soul, Dex."

"Oh, for goodness‚ sake, Doris."

"It's true. I'll bet he's got a box full of Barbie doll heads in his closet or something. All that killing and violence, it‚s ruining him and it‚s ruining our country."

"I thought it was a rake across the head that ruined him."

"Stop making fun of me."

"You think it's video game violence that's ruining our country?"

"That and the hippies."

"What?" Dexter set his glasses on the lamp table next to his easy chair. "Are there even any hippies anymore?"

"They're all having babies. And those babies are addicted to--Mary Jane."

"Dexter frowned and considered calling an ambulance for his wife. "Are you forgetting we used to hit the hash pipe pretty hard when we were young and foolish?"

"Doris covered her heart with her palms. "I never did any such thing!"

"Old woman--you're the one who stole the buds from your brother. You came to my dorm room and hauled me away from a mid-term cram session. You dragged me to the old North Shore drive in, rolled a giant fatty, and we smoked it all down on the swings by the big screen. Got sick on drive-in-movie pizza and popcorn afterwards, as I recall."

Doris let her hands drop to her lap. "Well...we were stupid. But we grew up smart and respectable. Today it's all death and violence and taking the easy way out."

"Well I guess you got me there! War and serial killers and racism were all invented in the last ten years."

Doris said, "You know what I mean."

"The boy plays games. He's got great hand eye coordination. I don't think he's killed anybody in real life. He gets good grades and eats his veggies. He's a good boy, Doris. He'll be fine. The future is in good hands."

"Our daughter and that man she's married to are too lenient with him. His brain is turning to mush."

Dexter tossed his paper on the coffee table and worked his body out of his lounger. His knees popped and his back cracked as he attained a standing position.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm going to call our grandson. Then I'm going to have that man our daughter's married to come and pick my wrinkled butt up and drive me over there. Then I'm going to have our grandson show me how to blast the heck out of some aliens or whatever it is they do."

"You're going to encourage his descent into the abyss of violence and death?"

"I'm too old to sit around here predicting the end of civilization. I'm going to spend some time playing with my grandboy. I‚m going to have him show me what makes him happy. And I'm going to show him I think he's a great kid and that I give a crap."

Doris sat frozen for a moment. She glanced at her knitting and then looked up at Dexter.

"Well?" Dexter said. "You gonna go too and cheer us on?"

She stood up and hurried to the bedroom. "Just give me a minute to put on my face."

Dexter picked up the phone and dialed. "I don't want you mentioning anything about brains turning to mush, video games destroying the fabric of society, or descents into any kind of an abyss, evil or otherwise, while we're over there. Save the insane old folks routine for our private time."

"Oh, fine," Doris said.

"You mention any of that stuff and I'll tell your daughter her mother was a big pot head!"

9 reactions:

bornfool said...

Nice story! Enjoyable and pleasant. Great dialogue.

Kelly Parra said...

Let's here it for Dex! *laughs* Great one, DZ! Thanks for contributing to FM. =D

Jay said...

"...big pot head." Tee hee!

stay_c said...

Nicely hypocritical.

Love it.

Jeff said...

Good story, DZ. :)

jason evans said...

I don't think he's killed anybody in real life.

I loved that line! Using the verb "think" rather than "he hasn't." Great last line too. :) I enjoyed it.

Meleta McHarlin said...

DZ,
Nice work! Really enjoyable story. Dexter’s sarcasm made me laugh. Keep it up.

sandra seamans said...

Good job, coming from a grandparent's point of view, you've got the dialogue down perfect. I love the way she manuevered him out of the house to go visit their grandchild. Sometimes it takes a pry bar to get those old geezers moving. :-))

DZ Allen said...

Thanks for all the comments! Just got out of the hospital for kidney stones! Such fun... Oh, well, first chance I've had to check in and again I thank you all for the kind words!!!

DZ