" the old man muttered
, coming upon the mess
. The whole place was flooded
. He stuck his staff into the water
to plumb the depths and see just how bad it was. It was bad. Really bad. "Jesus Christ!!
" he snapped, much louder.
The kid sheepishly
trundled up behind him. Scrawny, hippie
-looking, strangely cowed and cavalier at the same time, as if he knew he'd done wrong, but that maybe acting like he hadn't would make it go away. "Uh, hey Dad
"Look at this mess!! I told you to water
the place, not flood
"Oh geez, I am so sorry
, Dad -- I mean, I went to water it and I turned on the water, and I meant to come back and shut it off but, you know," the kid hung his head, "there's been soooo much going on...."
"You left the water running for forty days
.... that's plain bone-headed. Going to take ages
to clean this up and get things back to where they were." The old man shook his head and let out a wistful sigh
. Then he turned sharply back to the kid. "We're running a business
here. We can't let the clients get the idea that we're not in control. They'd ditch us and go with someone else. And then you're lazy ass is out on the street. Did you think about that, when you were off doing your sha-la-la thing instead of doing your job
"Well," the kid threw his hands up, "I told you I'm sorry. What do you want me to do?"
"You.... you're not going to do anything
." The old man waggled a disapproving finger
. "Can't let people think I'm passing the business on to a-- a nincompoop
. I'll tell 'em I
did it. On purpose, that I was mad at 'em for all their crap
and decided to punish
'em." He shrugged, with some irony. "Whoever's left'll be too scared to write it up as anything else but what I tell 'em."
"So you, uh.... you gonna punish me
Two uncomfortable beats passed during an incredulous pause. "You bet your lazy ass you're getting punished for this. Oh, I have something in mind for you. You just wait a while, and you'll see, young man. You'll see."