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Life is Good, Life is Grand

Week of September 1, 2001

'Dinner time everyone!'

Mommy calls it out from the kitchen. Daddy puts down his paper, gets up and turns off the TV. 14yo PFY son scratches his crotch and winces at the food on the table. College girl home for the week comes bouncing down the stairs all plastic smiles, her plastic pony tail galloping behind her, her mind a-bob with her plastic college boy date later that evening. All sit.

Mommy passes the potatoes. Daddy compliments Mommy on the nice dinner. 14yo PFY son ruins the idyll.

'So MOM - are you going to stay on at Adobe after this?'

All are silent. Daddy swallows his piece of steak hard, then speaks.

'I don't think this is the time...'

Plastic college girl butts in.

'Brad and I are going to the House of Blues tonight! I'm so excited!'

14yo PFY son retorts.

'Aw get a life willya?'

Mommy rescues dinner.

'I don't mind answering that, dear. I did what I was told to do, and if I was asked to do it again, I would. Now let's not spoil this nice dinner over something like that.'

14yo PFY son is no so easily dismissed.

'Yeah but while you're sitting here in the comfort and security of your own home eating your frikkin potatoes and turnips and what-not, that poor guy is stranded thousands of miles from home and his wife and kid must be going nuts about it, and all because YOU DID WHAT YOU WERE TOLD.'

Mommy chokes on her food, takes the linen napkin to her mouth, turns red. Daddy is about to get up when she waves him back down again.

'I'm all right dear. Finish your dinner.'

Daddy turns to the children to play echo box.

'Yes, let's finish our dinner. No more of this matter I say. We don't want it disturbing us.'

The dinner is finished in complete silence. Life is good, life is grand.

'My top concern is for Dmitry, his future and that of his young family.'
 -- Alexander Katalov

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