Posts Tagged ‘father’s day’

Chetspeak on Father’s Day Sunday

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June 18th, 2017 Posted 9:03 am

“Ms. Peoples is mad at dad.”

Leda’s smile started to disappear. That takes time, what with there being so much of it. “Ms. Peoples the bus driver?”

“She has a cat named Agatha.”

“Why is she mad at da – at your father?”

Charlie’s mouth opened like he was about to say something. Then he glanced at Bernie – who actually wasn’t even watching, his gaze having turned to the window, where Malcolm was just stepping back, out of view – and that little mouth closed right up.

“Charlie?” Leda said.

“Ms. Peoples thinks I’m immature,” Bernie told her.

Leda’s smile was now entirely gone. “What did you do? Forget it – I don’t even want to know.”

“He stirred the kids up!” Charlie said. Blurted: could that be the expression?

“Is that how Ms. Peoples put it?”

Charlie nodded. “She doesn’t like when we get stirred up. She likes when we sit still and think quiet thoughts.”

“Quiet thoughts?” Bernie said. “What the hell are – “

Leda gave Bernie a look I remembered from the old days and he went silent.

– from Scents and Sensibility.

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Chetspeak on A Father’s Day Sunday

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June 19th, 2016 Posted 8:57 am

We rounded a corner and drew up behind a school bus. A kid in the back seat had turned around so he could see out the window.

“Hey!” said Bernie. “That looks like – “

Charlie! No doubt about it. There was Charlie’s round little face in the window, although maybe not as round or little as before. Also he had a new thing going on with his hair, a kind of sticking-up clump toward the back, a bit like an Indian feather. He looked great! Bernie leaned on the horn, kept leaning on it until finally Charlie lowered his gaze down to us. And then came an expression on his face that I can’t even begin to describe, so I’ll leave it like this: it was all about humans at their very best. Don’t see it every day, but when you do … well, you remember, and maybe cut them a little slack next time around the circuit. And I’m sure Charlie was happy about seeing Bernie, too. Let’s not leave that out.

Soon Charlie was waving at us, and then a bunch of kids were crowding around him, all of them waving their little hands. Bernie beeped the horn – beep beep beep. I did this high-pitched thing I can do, not a howl, really, more like a faraway train whistle, or maybe not that far away. The fun we were having! But then the bus pulled over, stopped by the side of the road. We stopped behind it. A gray-haired woman in a baseball cap appeared at the back of the bus, sunlight glaring off the lenses of her glasses. Her lips moved and all the kids except Charlie instantly disappeared from view. Charlie whipped around and faced front. The woman – had to be the driver, right? I was catching on fast – gave us a look, the corners of her mouth pointing straight down, and then strode back to the front of the bus.

We followed at a distance, Bernie and I at our very quietest, heads down. You wouldn’t have noticed us.

– from SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: coming in paperback on Tuesday.

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Chetspeak on Sunday: Father’s Day Special

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June 21st, 2015 Posted 8:49 am

Soon Charlie was waving at us, and then a bunch of kids were crowding around him, all of them waving their little hands. Bernie beeped the horn – beep beep beep. I did this high-pitched thing I can do, not a howl, really, more like a faraway train whistle, or maybe not that far away. The fun we were having! But then the bus pulled over, stopped by the side of the road. We stopped behind it. A gray-haired woman in a baseball cap appeared at the back of the bus, sunlight glaring off the lenses of her glasses. Her lips moved and all the kids except Charlie instantly disappeared from view. Charlie whipped around and faced front. The woman – had to be the driver, right? I was catching on fast – gave us a look, the corners of her mouth pointing straight down, and then strode back to the front of the bus.

We followed at a distance, Bernie and I at our very quietest, heads down. You wouldn’t have noticed us. Soon the bus turned onto a street I knew and stopped in front of a house I knew, too, namely Leda’s. Charlie got out and the bus drove away. Bernie hopped – yes! – hopped out of the Porsche and ran over to Charlie. He scooped him right up – kind of scooping me up in the process, at least momentarily, since I’d reached Charlie first, as I’m sure you’ve figured out already. Next came hugging and kissing and laughing, and during all that I happened to glance over at the house, not just Leda’s, of course, but Malcolm’s as well and Charlie’s most of the time – and there was Malcolm watching from an upstairs window, his long narrow face reminding me of the bus driver on account of the downturned corners of his lips.

“Dad! Ms. Peoples is so mad at you!”

“The bus driver?”

“She didn’t even believe you were my dad!”

“Oh?”

“Cause dads are more mature.”

– from SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY (coming Bastille Day).

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Happy Father’s Day

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June 16th, 2013 Posted 9:21 am

Not long after, we were on our way out of the fairgrounds, Charlie riding shotgun, me on the shelf, but handling it well.

“Me and Mindy were looking at mug shots,” Charlie said.

“See anyone you know?”

Charlie laughed. Laughter: that’s the best human sound, and kid laughter is the best of the best. Then Charlie stopped laughing and his face got serious. The serious look on a kid’s face is always interesting.

“There sure are lots of bad guys, Dad,” he said. “How come?”

Bernie glanced over at Charlie. “No one really knows,” he said, “but I can tell you what I think.”

“Okay.”

“It’s about conscience.” Oops. I was lost already. “You know – a sense of right and wrong.” Oh, that. “Everyone starts out with one but the more you override it, the weaker it gets. Remember when the threads got stripped on the thing that attaches the propane tank to the barbecue?”

“Dad?”

“Yeah?”

“I’m hungry.”

from To Fetch A Thief.

Welcome perp catcher, Ziva.

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