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Monday, May 09, 2005

strangers welcome!

i set my purse and denim jacket on the kitchen table and peered out the window. i knew my dad was home, as i saw his truck parked on our freshly sealed driveway. what i didn't expect was to see him climbing our 9 ft. ladder to gain access to our roof.

"uh, whattya doin'?"

"i'm feelin' motivated, Teen! [he calls me Teen] i have to fix that piece of siding that blew off in that storm last year. just listen in case you hear me screaming!" he said with a chuckle.

if you're screaming, there's not much i can do for ya, big guy, i think to myself.

you should know that my father (technically "step father" but that's just a formality) is a large man. as his 350 pound frame mounted our roof, i flinched at the creaking sounds that marked his progress across the shingles toward the missing piece of siding. if he was falling, i most certainly wouldn't be able to help him. i was actually nervous.

within moments, i heard him talking to someone. this was a good sign. it was likely our saintly neighbor. now, my dad is not exactly the type of man-of-the-house that does the physical labor. really, my mom does everything. and our neighbor (yes, the father--again, technically "step"--of the arsonist) takes it upon himself to help out when my mother is sweating through her clothes as she edges our driveway or rakes stray branches or fertilizes the lawn. hearing his voice was equivical to a helping hand fixing what was wrong. at least in the public aspect of our family.

when the mumbled voices were accompanied by a car door clapping shut, i peered out the front window to see exactly who my father was talking to. someone had just pulled up and my dog was yapping. it wasn't our saintly neighbor: it was some stranger. he was kind of chubby and fresh looking, but must have been around my age. he was certainly talking to my father but i couldn't figure out why. so, when the mumbling halted for a few moments and i heard a faint rapping on our garage door, i kind of froze, considered, then pretended i heard nothing.

i leashed up my mutt for a quick walk around the neighborhood about fifteen minutes later. i needed some reason to make sure my dad hadn't somehow Tim-Allened himself on our roof.

he startled me when i opened the garage door.

"you're not going to believe what just happened!"

initially, i envisioned the entire side of the house having been ripped of all the siding in some freak misjudgement of my father. "what?"

to spare you the details of my father's lack of observation and utter naivetee, i'll summarize here.

the fair-skinned boy was a friend of the arsonist.
the arsonist's first name is Chris.
the boy mistook my house for his pyro-friend's.
he saw my dad and asked if Chris was home.
my dad, assuming (as he explains, without much reasoning that i could deduce) that it was a friend of mine from work, points the foreign arsonist-befriender toward the door and into my dwelling as he is perched, precariously and vulnerably, on our roof.

(i mean, i'm not exactly paranoid, but i feel as if this is foolish behavior, no?)

thanks dad.
this blog just may be full of arson-boy stories. i have a feeling that this summer is going to be a breeding ground for living fiction.


At 5/11/2005 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Jehza said...

First time I've ever heard you mention your (step) dad. Are you getting obsessed with the arsonist, Chris?

At 5/11/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger kristine said...

obsessed? no. i just have to create a new category for him in my list of men i tend to attract...#5 Felons

At 5/12/2005 11:07:00 AM, Blogger beth said...

I'd like to know what #1 - 4 are, please.

At 5/12/2005 11:22:00 AM, Blogger kristine said...

1. the married man
2. the *possibly* gay man
3. the completely unattractive man
4. the emotionally unavailable because i-have-so-much-more-going-on-in-my-life-than-you man

At 5/12/2005 01:24:00 PM, Blogger beth said...

Oh, I think you listed them before, sorry. I needed a refresher. Sometimes I wish my list were so sordid; would make for easier choices.

At 5/12/2005 05:01:00 PM, Blogger kristine said...

if you're implying that your list is full of kickass men, then clearly you should chose one and send the others in my direction. choosing from a group of "blech" is not what i'd call "easy." it is, however, fortunately entertaining.

At 5/14/2005 01:19:00 AM, Blogger Slight Clutter said...

Again, just so funny. What a hoot!

I think I'm now crushing on your dad. He sounds like an adorable goofball. Of course, to be clear, it is more of an "I'm crushing on John Candy" kind of crush than it is an "I'm crushing on Johnny Depp" kind of crush. But, hey, it is a crush just the same. ;)

At 5/14/2005 11:01:00 PM, Blogger kristine said...

i read ya, PC. most of my friends and acquaintances view my dad that way. and to compare him to John Candy is quite accurate.

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