Parade Violation

Shaun wasn’t normally a guy who carried around a lot of hate in his heart, but after the day he was having, he found he had plenty of room for a little want-to-kick-his-ass.

When he reached the bottom of the stairs, Shaun saw his brother’s suitcase by the door. He took it as a good sign. Maybe Neil understood how serious this was.

Shaun found the little prick sitting at the kitchen table. His kid brother, a twenty-four year old fuck up whose life ambition was to own a car wash, was fidgeting in his seat, but Shaun suspected it was an act. Neil had a general idea of what contrition should look like, but he lacked depth and sincerity, so he never quite pulled off seeming sorry about anything.

“Is Elly mad?” Neil asked.

It was a stupid question. “Is she mad?” Shaun repeated.

Neil didn’t say anything, but the fidgeting stopped.

“She’s not mad,” Shaun said. “She’s furious. She thinks I should have you put down?”

Neil had the balls to look offended. Shaun couldn’t believe it.

“Like a dog?” Neil asked.

“She used the words ‘mercy killing,’” Shaun said.

“Dude, you wife’s kind of an asshole,” Neil said.

His brother had a point, but Shaun didn’t think Neil should have said it. Not the way things stood. “You got our kids kicked out of school. She has the right to be a little pissed about it.”

“Still . . .” Neil said.

“Still nothing. You screwed me, Neil. I shouldn’t be here. I’m supposed to be on vacation getting it on with my wife in some skanky little hotel room.”

Neil recoiled. “Ahh. Why would you say that to me? I don’t want to hear that.”

Shaun leaned across the table toward his brother. “Oh, you will hear it. You know what Elly calls it when we’re . . . alone.”

Neil closed his eyes and turned his head away.

“She calls it Yum-Yum Time,” Shaun said.

“Oh, God,” Neil said. He looked like he wanted to gag.

Shaun nodded, even though his brother refused to look at him. “That’s right. Yum-Yum Time. Because the things we do to each other are delicious.”

Neil began waving his hands in the air in front of him, like his revulsion had turned him into an epileptic. “All right, all right. You can stop now.”

“I don’t think so,” Shaun said. “I need you to understand just how badly you dicked me over.”

“Pun intended?”

Little prick just couldn’t help himself, Shaun thought. “You’re not married, Neil. Odds are you never will be. So you can’t possibly understand the oppressive celibacy that goes along with having kids.”

Neil didn’t respond, but at least he’d opened his eyes again.

“Do you know what the scientific term is for a six-year-old son?” Shaun asked.

His brother shook his head.

“Cock block,” Shaun said.

Neil’s face had lost some of its color, and he looked like he’d rather be anywhere else at the moment. “This is upsetting,” he said.

“When you have kids, and Elly and I have two, it is a never ending nightmare of not getting laid. But that’s even not the worst part.”

“What’s the worst part?” Neil asked. He had the focus of a kid who was listening to a really spooky urban legend.

“Hope,” Shaun said.

Shaun saw the question on Neil’s face, so he lowered his voice and continued. “There are times when you think God is going to smile on you. When it seems like your wife might be into a little of the slap and tickle, even though the sun’s up and the kids are still awake. You allow yourself to believe it’s going to happen, so you lock the door and make your move.”

Neil looked like he was going to be sick.

“Then bam!” Shaun clapped his hands together, making a loud cracking sound that echoed off the walls. “One of those assholes is knocking on the door. They’re hungry or they want a drink or they need help wiping their ass. Have you ever tried talking a woman into sex after wiping another human being’s ass?”

Neil shook his head.

“Don’t waste your breath,” Shaun said.

For the first time in a long time, Shaun felt he had his brother’s attention. Granted Shaun had used a little of the shock and awe to horrify Neil into submission, but the outcome spoke for itself.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened,” Shaun said. 

Neil glanced at his brother and then down at his hands, and Shaun thought he saw a genuine hint of embarrassment in those eyes.

“I thought it would be funny,” Neil said.

That was the problem with Neil. He lived his life like he was on the set of a sitcom, and no amount of collateral damage would keep him from pursuing what he thought was a good joke.

“All you had to do was get them to school and then pick them up when it was over,” Shaun said. “We didn’t need you to improvise.”

“It was that damn vocabulary parade.” He said it like it was the activity’s fault. As if it had nothing to do with his own twisted need to poke people about their world views.

“We had their costumes ready to go,” Shaun said.

Neil let out an exasperated snort and rolled his eyes. “And they were lame.”

The old self-absorbed Neil was making a comeback, and his resurgence pissed Shaun off.  

“There’s nothing lame about clock and ecosystem,” Shaun said. “The boys picked those words, and they loved their costumes.”

“Well they liked mine too,” Neil said.

Shaun took a deep breath, trying to expel the need to choke the living shit out of his brother. “You sent Jeffrey to school in war paint and a headdress,” Shaun said. 

Neil nodded. “And a sign that said STEREOTYPE.”

“And it was your idea for him to smoke the peace pipe too?”

“I thought it was a nice touch,” Neil said. 

Shaun leaned back in his chair and placed his hand under his chin. A strange calm had fallen over him, and he wondered if this was what people felt moments before committing homicidal acts.

“Jeffrey’s teacher is part Cherokee,” Shaun said. 

Neil sighed. “I know that now.”

Shaun waited to see if Neil had anything else to offer about the subject, but apparently he didn’t.

“So what about Lloyd?” Shaun asked. 

“What about him?”

“You sent him to kindergarten dressed in black face.”

Neil smiled, and he looked altogether too pleased with himself. “His word was racist.”

“Well now it’s expelled,” Shaun said.

Neil shrugged. “What are you gonna do?”

Probably ten to fifteen with time off for good behavior, Shaun thought.

Larry Jenkins is an aspiring Word Pimp. Has laptop, will travel. Let's make this happen, people.

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