He Got a Betatron, Man 

The morning after my wedding last September, we had an informal brunch with a nice noshy spread, people wandered in and out, no sit-down, no fancy set-ups, no cheesy hotel facilities, just sunshine, the warm smell of oak trees and pine, and lots of hot coffee. All very mellow. I was hungover, newlywed, barefoot in the late Sonoma summer and feeling fine. Cloud nine.

Then my Uncle Gary showed up. I like Uncle Gary. He's married to my dad's youngest sister, my Aunt Suzy, and as a Lefty Malito when I visited them in Reseda (no, they don't have a freeway runnin' through their yard), I could swim all day in their backyard pool. Lovely people, what?

But on that day, Sunday, Sept. 17, Uncle Gary showed up to my post-wedding brunch wearing a Dodgers hat. He extended his arms for a hug; I stood there stunned. That particular shade of blue, accentuated by the white stitching, felt like the toxic cloudless sky above Fontana searing my eyeballs.

Sure, could've been the hangover, but I didn't stop to ponder. I snarled, my hand uncurling from the fist position, and tried to snatch the offending material from his bald freckled head. He giggled, then giggled again nervously, then he retreated with alarm.

I stepped forward, determined to remove the cerulean evil from my vision, but my bride intervened. A raised finger, a sideways glance, a hand on an exquisitely curved hip: meet the new boss. I backed away, forcing disgust down my gullet like a dollop of lowfat chive-flavored cream cheese.

Ladies and gentlemen, señoras y señores, starting tonight the Los Angeles Dodgers are in town for three. I implore you, do not extend to them such tender mercies.


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