When Toddlers Go Missing

You would think that after yet another raging BBQ at our house on Sunday, the parental unit would opt to take it easy on Monday; you know, to spend some quality time with the kids they neglected Sunday afternoon and maybe give their languishing livers a rest for fuck’s sake.  Shocking that I could be so wrong about something like this.  I should’ve known when I overheard mommy on the phone with daddy about 8:45 A.M.  We were all outside playing because it was so nice already.  I was looking for sticks to poke the dog with, and Leona was quarantined with a barricade of chairs to the cement portion of the patio to avoid any more dog shit baths.  It’s just so nice out today!  mommy was gushing.  And yesterday was so fun!  It’s like, I want to have another party!  My red flags went up immediately.  If mommy wants to have a party, even if it’s just her, some pretzel rods and a bottle of chardonnay, it’s going down (pun completely fucking intended).  Consequently, the hag was whipping up chavelas by 2 P.M. while me and Leona were swimming in the kiddie pool.  Daddy came home soon after, and before you know it, Hot Hallie came over with some wine.  I had barely digested my fucking lunch.

So I was irritated.  I wanted to play naked squirt guns, or naked woofle-ball, or go for a ride naked on my motorized Indian bike, but Mommy and Hallie were too busy looking at some fucking jewelry magazines to care.  Daddy was shoveling in chips and salsa, acting like he gave a flying fuck which over-priced ring mommy was going to buy for herself.  Leona was wandering around aimlessly, also naked, over-tired and whiny because she too wanted to be indulged with some time away from the Mermod family’s overabundance of merrymaking.  You see, here at Inebriation Nation, even the 13-month-olds get fed up once in a while.  Rat Baby is sick of playing Count How Many Ice Cubes It Takes to Make a 32-oz. Vodka Diet.  You know, mommy actually thinks she’s nurturing Leona’s left brain during this lame game?  Unbelievable.

The 32-oz vodka diet is a good Segway into the next part of my story.  Mommy went in the house to make one, uttering a hey babe, watch the baby for me over her shoulder as she shut the sliding screen door behind her.  Leona was still walking in circles in her four-by-four foot play space.  Daddy and Hallie got into some ridiculous conversation about something that had nothing to do with squirt guns, baseball, or me going for a ride on my Indian.  I decided it was about time for the Gusman to make a move.  About fifteen minutes passed by.  Mommy was back out sitting on the patio step with Leona, daddy and Hallie were munching and drinking at the patio table, and I was nowhere to be seen.  Another five minutes passed–we are up to TWENTY FUCKING MINUTES now, people–and daddy nonchalantly asked mommy where her son was.  In the side yard, probably, she answered, but not before a big, delightful swig off of her jug-of-a-cocktail.  Daddy walked without any sense of urgency across the back lawn and to the side yard.  No Gus.  He came back to report to mommy, who actually got off her ass with some resolve.  I’ll check the garage, she said, and I must say, there was the slightest hint of irritation in her voice as she simultaneously put her drink down.  She passed Leona to Hallie.  Because I am known for crawling through the doggie door into the garage and running laps through the kitchen and back out through the patio, I’m sure the hag thought she’d find me there, climbing daddy’s Harley or jumping on the queen bed.  I’m sure she had quite the tongue-lashing prepared for me, too, because I’m not supposed to be out there by myself.  But after a quick peek at all my standard hiding spots, no Gus.  At this point, I felt the level of anxiety go up a notch.  Mommy, Hallie and daddy began to pace through the house with feet that pounded on the laminate flooring a bit harder than normal, calling out for me to come out from my hiding spot.  Hallie wrapped a naked Leona in a towel and scoured the front yard.  Where the fuck is he? mommy shrieked, and for the first time in a while, I heard it in her voice:  She likes me a little bit.  The hag would be seriously bummed if I hitched a ride to Vegas and immersed myself in the Asian underground there.  This made me feel good.  She raced back out to the patio from the kitchen.  She stood there, breathing in and out, in and out.  She looked up, put her hand on her chest like she might faint, and then I actually heard her suck in her breath with comprehension, as if suddenly remembering where she’d misplaced her entire liquor cabinet.  Then, stealth silence.  Like a tiger on the hunt, she darted toward the newest addition to our back yard–the L-shaped bar pushed against the side of the house.  There, behind it, she found me sitting Indian-style on the ground with an open, 4-lb container of Red Vines in my lap.  Throughout the whole debacle, I had probably polished off fifteen of those fuckers.  Plus, I was in prime ear-shot to hear the whole fiasco go down.  I half-grinned at her, knowing I was in trouble, but also knowing that her relief that I was not going to be the Bay Area’s next Amber Alert might get me off the hook somewhat.  She grabbed me, clearly choked up. 

Augusten Timothy, don’t you EVER do that again, do you understand?  When mommy and daddy call for you, you COME OUT from wherever you’re hiding!  We were so worried that someone might have taken you!

I responded by pointing at the Red Vines.  For some reason, this just made her hug me until I about spit out the mouthful I had crammed in when I figured the gig was up.

After everyone had calmed down and grabbed up their cocktails to alleviate the stress of potentially having to file a missing persons report, I was pretty much off the hook.  To be honest, the whole thing almost played out as a fantasy of mine in which the police finally show up on my doorstep to hold my parent’s accountable for some dumbass thing they’ve done that disqualifies them from keeping me under their roof until my 18th birthday.  The fantasy plays like this:

Nice, Charming Policeman who Looks Interested in Adopting Me:  So, how long has he been missing?

Mommy, slurring her words:  About anowerr.

Policeman: And what was he wearing?

(Mommy and daddy exchange nervous looks.)

Daddy:  Umm, nothing.

Policeman:  And how much would you say you’ve both had to drink on this, errr, Monday afternoon?

Mommy: Jusssa usual, ociffer.

Isn’t that an exciting story?  I get taken away for a wild night by some undisclosed Asian third-party, then the parents get taken away to jail, then I come back to my house the next morning to find a beautiful, 18-year-old Vietnamese model cooking me macaroni and cheese and telling me I can have a baba whenever I want it….fuahhh.  Gives the Gusman fucking goosebumps, that’s what it does.  Ehh.  Maybe next time.  When there isn’t a tub of licorice behind the bar on the first shelf.

The moral of this story is, simply, when the Gusman wants to play naked squirt guns, you better fucking oblige.  There’s no telling what’s up his sleeve next.   

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  • Micmcgus

    Hilarious! Scary! And Hilarious!!!!