A Portrait in Watercolor
Paul grabs the remote control for the television and hastily changes the channel. He has had enough of this program and is determined to find something more to his liking. He gets really angry every time that commercial for CARE comes on and shows him pictures of starving children.
"Why don't their parents get fucking jobs? I should go there and lathe the motherfuckers."
His beer is empty, so he places it down on the coffee table next to the eight empty cans already in place. He yells to his wife to bring him another beer, and moments later she slowly meanders into the room with a cold can of beer. Her skin is pale white and her struggles are easily noticed by even the most casual onlooker. She fights to think of just one reason to get through just one more day.
"Here's your beer, Paul."
"You want to do it later?"
"I don't think I could handle it emotionally."
"I get up every morning to put in a ten hour day at the cock processing plant and you can't handle it emotionally? Go take another pill, Ellen. Go take another pill."
"I need those pills for my depression and anxiety."
"Yeah, and I need these beers just to deal with your raggedy ass. Why don't you try getting up and going to work sometime?"
"I can't look at those people every day. I have my job working for my sister's craft store, but she lets me come in when I'm feeling up to it and stay home when I'm not."
"What kind of liberal, namby-pamby crap is that? I should lathe off your head and puke shavings down your neck. Get the hell away from me, I'm trying to watch some kind of cop drama here."
Paul is not assuaged by her departure, and even after she is safely back in the kitchen, he follows her, nearly tripping over his seven year old son, who is on the kitchen floor with tools and wood building a spice rack for his mother.
"The kid smells like shit, Ellen. When's the last time you changed his diaper?"
"He's seven. He doesn't wear diapers anymore."
"I don't remember potty training the little bastard."
"Have you been mixing your pills with liquor again?"
"I can't. You had them build that cabinet for the liquor with doors that are only six inches wide and then stuffed it behind the bulkhead."
"Yeah, I lathed that fucker in there real good."
The front door opened, and Chelsea, the fifteen year old daughter of the family, struts in wearing a very short pink skirt and a shirt with spaghetti straps that barely comes down below her peach-shaped breasts.
"Hi Dad. Hi Mom. Hi Tommy."
"Fail any tests today?"
"Just one, but they say I'll pass because they are grading on a curve because everyone failed because there was like a gas leak and some of us might not be able to have children either, and that would be like a bummer but I don't really want to have children because I think giving birth would be really yucky and look at mom, she's like fucked beyond belief."
"Chelsea! What did I say about that word!" screamed her father.
"Yeah, I know, use 'lathe' instead because it is classy. 'Mom is lathed beyond belief.' Happy?"
"Honey," interjected Chelsea's mother, "What is this about a gas leak and you not having children?"
"I guess it was really bad and everyone had to go home because it was really toxic so we only had a half day."
"Half day? What kind of liberal namby-pamby crap is that!" screamed Paul.
"I guess a janitor died from it, which is like sad and stuff."
"No it isn't. Those kinds of people always end up on welfare or social security or some kind crap that lathes away my hard earned paycheck. Honorable to die on the job before you become a lathing burden on hard working Americans like me."
"Yeah, well. Whatever."
"If it was a half day, where have you been until six o'clock?"
"I was lathing Brandon Turner. We did it anal so he didn't have to use a condom."
Paul crushed his beer can and threw it at the wall. "You little slut! What did I tell you about staying away from boys? They are all dirty little bastards!"
"It felt real good in my ass, dad. Can I go upstairs and play with my Care Bears now?"
"Go up there and don't come down for two weeks or I will beat you with a belt so hard no one will ever want to even look at your sorry ass again!"
"Oh, and Chelsea," reminded her mother, "please don't smoke drugs in your room anymore. Your Aunt Martha is coming by on Monday and she has asthma."
Paul turned around and tripped over Tommy again. Cursing loudly, he grabbed another beer and opened it while looking down at his young son.
"Damn, that is one lathed up, half-assed spice rack you're building there."
"Daddy, I have poop in my pants three days now."
"Tell your mother. My blood is up!"