Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A firefly night

MARK’S ARTICLE – June 8, 2009
“Firefly night”

ROOFTOP – Good evening. Pull up a chair. If you had showed up just a little sooner, you would’ve seen Kay. She came outside after I told her about the fireflies. She told me to stomp on the roof if there were any out tonight, but I brought my cell phone up here instead. I hate to roofstomp. Attracts attention. Most times.

After spotting the second firefly, I called and Kay, and she just picked up and said, “I’m on my way.” She’s crazy about fireflies. I like ‘em too, but I don’t get quite as excited as she does. Occasionally, I’ll skip her late evening firefly watch, but usually I join her.

You’ve got to respect a person who appreciates the wonderment of fireflies. It’s an attractive character trait. In fact, I recommend one apply the firefly factor when choosing a prospective mate. Don’t apply it solely, but give it consideration.

Of course, I’m only speaking of women here. I doubt you’ll find that many men who get excited about fireflies. My three brothers would probably beat me senseless if I suggested we look for lightning bugs. We used to do it as kids, but they’re way past that now. I never got past it. Kay, either. Or neither.

Anyway, Kay only saw about four or five fireflies tonight. She even followed one down the driveway. She wanders sometimes. Almost as much as my thoughts do when I’m up here. Well, maybe not that much.

Speaking of which, just before the firefly chase, Kay told me that one of her friends at work made some potato chip cookies. She meant to bring me one but forgot. They were sweet, salty, and crunchy. “They were the best, Jerry.” That’s what she said.

They were the best, but she forgot to bring me one. Why would you tell somebody that? I’d just as soon not know. A sweet and salty cookie? I’m really craving something like that now. Normally, I like chewy cookies, but if it’s sweet and salty I’ll try a crunchy one. It’s an interesting combo. A paradox, you might say. I’d sure like to find out if I like ‘em. But, the firefly girl forgot.

After a few minutes of firefly chasing, Kay went back into the house. She got too hot and sticky. That wouldn’t be bad for a cookie, but it’s not so good for a person. I could’ve thrown down my fan to her, but hated to part with it. Here, I’ll unclip it from my apron and show you.

See? Isn’t that a neato fan? About the size of a deck of cards. The fan blade is made of thin foam rubber. And, look at this. You can squirt water right through the blade. It’s a weapon as well as a fan. And, it won’t even hurt if you stick your tongue on the blade while it’s spinning. Wanna try? Well, if you change your mind.

The thing cost a dollar! A fan-water-gun for a dollar. They probably sell for a penny in China. That’s obviously where it was made. I don’t even have to look.

I got a green one for Jill, ‘cause Jill doesn’t handle heat well. Neither do I, but I’m not quite as big a sissy as Jill. I cried about the cold once, but not the heat. I just sweat and bear the heat. Now, it’s so much easier to bear with my new water-gun-fan. It provides both comfort and firepower. It’s genius. Did I mention it cost a dollar?

Oh, and speaking of Jill, you wanna know what she said to me? Quit shaking your head. That was rhetorical. My kid sister told me that my legs are whiter than hers. We invited her up last weekend, so I put her to work sanding some furniture that Kay plans to paint. I’m headed outside in my sanding shorts and she makes her white-leg comment.

Can you believe that? Is that something you tell your big brother? It’s true as all get out, but it’s way past rude. Kind of like the news of the potato chip cookie I’m not getting.

Because of Jill, I’ve been wearing shorts all week. No, not the same pair. That was more funny than rude, but be careful.

Regardless, it’s gonna be a shorts summer for Mark. I’m gonna macho-up these legs or know the reason why. I even mowed the yard in shorts yesterday. I don’t usually do that ‘cause of the chiggers, mosquitoes and sticker weeds. I hate sticker weeds. But, I mowed the whole yard without messing myself up. My legs are still marshmallow white, but there are a few scratches on ‘em now. Makes me look tough. Like I’m a Cat Whisperer or something.

I just said that, ‘cause of Kay’s favorite show. She’s probably watching one of her dozen or so taped episodes at this very moment. “Dog Whisperer” not “Cat Whisperer.” The world’s only Cat Whisperer blew his brains out back in ’87.

If anything ever happened to me, I’m pretty sure Kay would marry Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. She really likes the guy.

Mostly she likes the dogs. We don’t have a dog, but if we did, it would be the best-behaved pet on the planet. Kay has learned a bunch from Cesar. I think she could even tame a pit wolf. She’d show that bubba who was the pack leader.

As soon as Kay went inside, the breeze picked up. Feel that? I don’t even need the fan. That’s why I had it clipped to my utility apron.

We’re gonna need this breeze in a couple of weeks. That’s when the family is planning to go to the drive-in in Tomball. I didn’t even know there was one. Clint, Big Al’s boy, suggested the venture. He takes his family there regularly. He’s got three small kids, so a drive-in is the best place to see a movie.

To be honest, I’m not crazy about the idea. The drive-in was great when I was a kid, but it holds a less appeal now. I’m only going ‘cause of the nostalgia factor. And, ‘cause it’s one of the few things the family can do together that doesn’t require a Nerf Football.

I just hope the fireflies don’t come out at the drive-in. If they do, I’ll probably have to put a leash on Kay to keep her from wandering off. Every once in awhile I have to act like I’m the pack leader. Rarely, but it happens.

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