Big News in the Tiny Apartment

Fiction

by Vernon Waring

HERE I WAS GETTING READY to call my daughter and tell her how happy i was to hear she was finally expecting a baby and the next thing i know she's on the phone with her mother to tell her that the doctor got it all wrong that they took a new sonogram and it ends up she's going to have twins i always wanted twins myself but me and the wife just had the one kid and we were both nearly forty when that happened and then the wife had nothing but health problems after that one damned thing after another she's in there now in the bedroom still on the phone with ellen that's our daughter's name just before the phone rang the wife started to yap about my diabetes and why don't i check my sugars more often and why has she been finding baby ruth candy wrappers under the bed all the time and why didn't i take the dog to the vet she looks like she's got mange (the dog, not the vet) and i should ask the vet if we can give the dog beano because it does get windy here in this tiny apartment and would i mind running out to the drugstore to drop off her potassium prescription and did i remember to call maintenance about the leaky faucet and what kind of maintenance people do they have here the kind of money we have to put out extra money in fact because of the dog and it takes weeks to get some bozo in here to fix a leak and did i know that her sister (an actress on the dinner theater circuit) ran off with some insurance agent right after a run of mame in central florida and when she (the wife, not the sister) saw the guy's picture in the wedding photo she became convinced she saw the same guy's mug two days before on a most wanted poster at the post office she thinks her sister married a serial killer named bernard something from georgia and she's going to call her sister and tactfully ask her if her new husband has a mermaid tattoo on his right arm and if he does she'd better get the hell out of florida fast and then she asks me if i think we should join the senior citizen center and play bingo every thursday morning at least we'll have something to do and did i remember that her mother actually ran into don rickles once in a vegas parking lot he was such a riot when he called the attendant a "hockey puck" and did i know the name of the original host of jeopardy and was i spending more than twenty bucks a week on lottery tickets and that's when ellen called with the news and now the wife's telling me to stop whatever i'm doing and get my ass into the bedroom right now and help hook up her bra she's going to meet ellen at the great expectations shop and pick out some maternity tops and then they're both heading over to the nail salon and then on to the donut shop to pick up a baker's dozen of chocolate eclairs . . .

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