Hump Day: Beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to rare home visits

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

If you’ve never seen it, you should really catch the ABC sitcom The Middle.

The Middle is a sweet show that follows the lives of the hardworking but constantly struggling Heck family. The mom is Frances, who sells cars for a living – and apparently not very well. Then there’s Mike, the typical frustrated sitcom dad who works for a quarry.

The kids are sarcastic Axl, optimistic nerd Sue (who’s an absolute scream) and the extremely quirky Brick who tends to repeat himself in whispers.

There are a number of other minor characters, all of them entertaining, but none so much as Brad, Sue’s first boyfriend who is, uhm, let’s just say, ‘flamboyant.’ Frances and Mike definitely assume he’s gay and are just waiting for him to realize it.

Oh, he’ll figure it out one of these days, but watching Mike turn into an awkward mess around Brad whenever it appears that Brad’s about to come out of the closet to him is just hilarious. Sue and Brad remain oblivious to the (apparent) obvious, and Sue can’t believe her parents trust her when she and Brad are alone in her room. ‘That’s OK, Sue. We trust you,’ Frances says with a knowing look to Mike.

On a recent episode, Sue asked her mother to camp out with her to get Justin Bieber tickets. (Sue is a huge fan).

After hemming and hawing, Frances decides that it will be a good bonding experience and agrees to camp out with Sue to get the tickets. She even looks forward to going to the concert with Sue and reminisces about her days fawning over Shaun Cassidy in the 1970s.

When the night of the concert comes, Frances is all ready to go when Sue’s friend shows up to pick her up to go to the concert. Frances assumed – wrongly – that Sue wanted them to go together as mother and daughter. Sue leaves and Frances is crushed. Despite not wanting to go to the concert at first, she was looking forward to the experience.

In a parallel situation, when my 15-year-old godson showed up at my door the other day, I was thrilled.

He’s coming to visit his Uncle Brian! What a thoughtful godson!

I would probably even give him a big hug, tell him I loved him and give him $20. Ah, memories of my grandparents. All you had to do to my maternal grandparents was smile and you’d soon have a $20 bill shoved in your pocket with the accompanying whispered warning, ‘Don’t tell your mother!’ I did tell my mother once. She made me give it back. Rest assured, I would have had to be tortured by evil ogres ever to admit that I had $20 from my grandparents after that. ‘Nope! I got nothing,’ I’d say, and only admit to it after we got back to Moncton from P.E.I.

Before we were too far from my grandparents’ house on the way back, I’d hope my mother wouldn’t check my nostrils for a cleverly folded and hidden $20 bill. It was only years later that I found out a better way of hiding the money but that was after watching a documentary about how drug smugglers hide their illegal booty. Let’s just say it involved a plastic bag and a plunger and no $20 was worth that.

Back to my story; I was really happy to see my godson since he hadn’t come to visit me in ages. (He just lives five houses away, so it’s not exactly an onerous trip.)

He came in, kicked off his shoes and paid some attention to the dog and cat who ran up to greet him. The other cat just stayed under the covers of my bed sleeping, as usual.

Thinking I was in for a nice unexpected visit, I was about to tell him to sit down when he said, ‘I was across the street playing hockey on the rink in the park. Can I use your bathroom?’ ‘Oh; of course,’ I replied. And off he went, like Sue Heck did to her mother when she assumed she was going to the concert with her. Not that I needed to go to the bathroom with him, of course. That would be a bit creepy. Well, a lot creepy, actually, but that’s a whole other very special episode of Oprah.

So, he finished up and put on his boots and headed back outside to play hockey. He even jokingly apologized for just dropping by to use the bathroom. We had a bit of a laugh over it. ‘All I’m good for is my toilet and two-foot-high stack of magazines in the bathroom, eh?’ Let’s just say that I have a typical man’s bathroom. All intellectual reading, though, I promise; certainly nothing that would corrupt any impressionable young minds.

But, I guess, it wasn’t so bad. A visit is a visit. And besides, he felt comfortable enough just to drop by, I guess, so that’s a good thing. A godfather will take what he can get!

Afterwards, all I had to remember that visit by were the memories and the lingering aroma of a 10-second spray of Febreze. Not exactly Christmas newsletter material, but beggars can’t be choosers.

It’s fun watching kids like my godson and his two brothers grow up. And yeah, I secretly love it when they forget their house keys and have to spend an hour at my house waiting for their parents to get home. (Since I work from home, I’m usually around.) They’re teenagers now and do all the teenager-type stuff – especially bickering among themselves as all siblings do at that age. I know they’ll be great husbands and fathers one day, though. And I hope their kids drop by my house, too, even if it’s only to use the bathroom.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.