"My spittoon, huh?"
Dad wryly took the tube and started spitting. Maria was getting patties ready.
"How many should we put on the barbecue?"
"It's called a grill. Why do you keep calling it a barbecue??"
Dad looked over at me, and then went back to spittin'. As I watched him fill the tube with saliva, I thought of Mom. She had asked me recently if Dad was completely bald. Having not seen Dad in over a decade, Mom clearly has a mental image of Dad as looking like Mr Burns's older brother--a shriveled ghoul with two white hairs on his shiny skull. I told Mom that Dad still had a laurel wreath of luxuriantly curly copper-and-gray hair around his youthful millionaire face. He was in the prime of his life, he liked to crow. Mom was sad.
A familiar screech interrupted my voice-over narration. "Don! Should I put onions in the meat?"
"No, we put sliced onions on the burger. That's the American way."
"Oh, that's soo boring!"
Dad set down his tube. "Do what you want, then. Just..."
"No, I'll do it the American way," Maria said, making a face. "And do we have pickle relish and mustard? And do you want broccoli, Greg?"
Dad sighed over his spit tube.
"Just a bit more, Dad."
Just then Toots drove by in the golf cart outside. Toots waved at us and then crashed into a hydragenea bush.
Dad thrust at me his gobbings.
"You're almost there, Dad. Dad! Wait!"
He ran outside. He helped Toots get the golf cart out of its tangle of vegetation. I examined the tube--his spit was close to the line, just one more maybe... Toots waved at me. I waved my tube hand, and a bit of wetness hit my face. OH JESUS JESUS did I just get some of Dad's saliva on me??
"Maria, do you have a scrubbing pad or some hydrogen peroxide emollient?"
I found some steel wool and commenced to planing my cheeks. I finally had the chiseled looks I always wanted!
Dad came back inside.
"Toots is still learning to drive. Ha, ha."
"It wasn't my fault!"
"Should we toast the buns?!?!" Maria said.
I raised my drink. "Yes, to my glorious ass!"
Dad took the tube.
"Okay, Dad, just one more loogie should do it... Dad?"
Dad proceeded not to spit but to wax. "I remember when I was learning to drive my cinnamon-topped Bonneville coupe. It was just like that movie American Graffiti. Have you seen it? It's amazing the details in that movie. I don't know who did it, but they really knew the life back then..."
"It was Geo--"
"The people who put that movie together knew everything about how I lived back then! All of my friends were in that movie. I don't know who did it, but..."
"It was G--"
"Just amazing, whoever did it."
"George Lucas! George Lucas made American Graffiti!"
"DON!" Maria screeched. "Are you putting the meat on the barbecue?!?!"
"Arrgh! It's called a grill!"
"Dad, just one more spit. Come on. You can do it."
Finally I had all the spit I needed. I sealed it up in its UPS package, and then after a dinner of barbecued burgers, I decided to show Toots how to drive like a man. I got in the golf cart. But something was wrong with the brake pedal. The cart shot off the dock and plunged into the lake.
*HALP!! Glug glug. (Stupid lake...)*