Sunday, November 22, 2009

Renovating the Winter's Hut

The Five Constipated Men in the Bible

Rob is in a strange place between heaven and hell. Heaven is the place straight in front of us in the outskirts of Toronto where you can find stores that house huge sheets of granite which we are currently the market for. Hell is the place behind us—downtown Toronto where Rob is chained by his BlackBerry. Right now, we are somewhere in the middle: sitting with the kids in Tim Hortons eating Timbits and drinking French Vanilla cappuccino.

I need to say something first about French Vanilla cappuccino. When I was a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, I would buy these tins of French Vanilla cappuccino powder that when mixed with hot water would create a most delicious beverage of sugar and caffeine. I would drink at least four of them before my first class and about 20 over the course of the day. By dinnertime, I had caffeine induced Tourette’s Syndrome and no one would eat dinner with me...I was wired yet peaceful in my solitude...

“Nat, I gotta deal with this call. It’s my client out in Flin Flon."
“Are you fucking serious? I thought we were here to look at granite for Scarajevo?”
“I gotta go. Sorry. This deal is worth millions of dollars.” Rob goes outside and gets on his BlackBerry. I am inside the Tim Hortons with two kids.
“Mama..I don’t feel well. I think I have swine flu.” Says Raffi.
I take a swig of the French Vanilla cappuccino.
“You don’t have swine flu.”
“I do have swine flu...I really do, Mom, really. I am fucking serious.”
“I am fucking serious too.” Chimes in my 2.5 year old daughter, Olivia.
I take another swig and motion to the Tim Bitch behind the counter to make me another.
“Guys. We don’t swear in public.”
“But you just did, Mom. You just swore at Daddy.”
“I know, I know. I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry.”
“If you can swear, I can swear.” Six year olds are beyond aggravating.
“Well, you can’t swear and neither can I.”
Olivia is up on the chair. “I am fucking serious.” She announces.
I down the remnants of the first cup of coffee and then proceed to the second. My vision has turned double and I now see four kids in front of me.
At moments like these, a mother has two choices. You can either put your head down on the table and wait for the moment to pass or you can channel other moments in your life when you have been in similar positions. I chose the latter.
“OK, you guys, ready.” I stood up on my chair with Raffi on one side and Olivia on the other and began to sing:
Me: "There were five."
Olivia: "Five"
Me: "Constipated Men in the Bible."
Raffi: "In the Bible."
Me: "Well, there were five, five, constipated men in the Five Books of Moses."
Raffi: "Well the first."
Olivia: "First"
Me: "Constipated Man was Cain"
Raffi: "He wasn’t Abel."
Me: "And the second"
Olivia: "Second"
Me: "Constipated Man was Noah"
Raffi: "He had an arkful."
Me: "And the Third"
Olivia: "Third"
Me: "Constipated Man was Moses"
RAffi: "He took two tablets."
Me: "And the fourth"
Olivia: "Fourth."
Me: "Constipated Man was Samson"
Raffi: "He brought the House down."
Me: "And the fifth"
Everyone in Tim Hortons: "FIFTH"
Me: "Constipated Man was Baal"
Raffi was confused. “Whose Baal?”
Another mother stood up on her chair:
“He had a Movement!” she sang.
And then me, the unknown mother, and the rest of Tim Horton’s stood on our chairs to sing the finale
There were Five, Five Constipated Men in the Bible, in the Bible
Yes, there were Five, Five Constipated Men in the
We all clapped for each other and sat down.
Rob came back into the Tim Hortons.
“You guys OK?”
“Fine.” I said
“I’m sorry Nat. I am really sorry about this.”
I gave him a kiss. “Don’t worry. We’re cool. Seriously, don’t even think about it anymore.”
“But are you fucking serious?” asked Raffi.
“RAFFI!!” said Raffi’s parents.
“I AM FUCKING SERIOUS!” said Olivia.
The Tim Bitch came over.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “Some of the other customers are getting upset with all the profanity. You need to leave.”
I decided not to argue thinking that my family getting kicked out of Tim Hortons for profanity was the perfect Facebook status update. Which indeed, it was.

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