April 15 (easter)
Of course, we get there and things are already screwed up. No one answers the door, but it's unlocked and we go in to find Uncle Gary curled up on the couch, in a t-shirt and boxer shorts just flipping channels on the tv and crying. He didn't even notice us at first and when dad finally shook him, he just started sobbing, something about a fight with Helen (his now ex-girlfriend, I guess) and how she left for someone with a neater mustache. He also smelled like Aunt Babs does when she's asked to leave the family reunions after she starts climbing onto tables and singing "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)."
Grandma starts crying too, and my dad takes Uncle Gary off to his room. After a few minutes, dad comes back and says we'll probably go out for Easter dinner.
Dinner was kind of weird - really quiet, with Uncle Gary just staring off into space every so often. Well, we get back to Uncle Gary's apartment and even though mom is worried about it, he says it would be fine for me to still hang out for the week. I would hope so, because it's too late to go with my friends to Cancun.
Uncle Gary went to bed kind of early, about 8, and I stayed up for awhile, flipping channels and breaking the lockout codes on the adult channels. When I went to bed about 1 am, I could still hear him in the other room, sobbing. Creepy.
You know, Uncle Gary may not be exactly my favorite relative, but I always
thought he kept a pretty neat mustache.
We ran into Mr. White in the hallway, Uncle Gary told him I was his nephew. Mr. White just glared at me for a moment and said "You're the one that broke the forum page last year, aren't you?"
It was just kind of quiet for a moment, while he kept glaring, and Uncle Gary laughed nervously and said something about kids, then Mr. White glared at him, too, then walked away. Creepy. Sheesh, delete large portions of a brand-new section of a big web venture and some people just never forgive you.
Later, Uncle Gary got a desk set up for me in a corner of his department and locked himself in his office for the rest of the day. I started messing around, looking at the website. I hadn't looked at it since last summer. Wow, really different. And what the hell is the deal with the tinfoil/pop bottle puppet that keeps talking about poop? Real mature. Kind of sucks, especially the new front page.
Around five, Uncle Gary came out of his office, looking really tired and said he'd call a taxi to take me home, because he had some errands to take care of.
He had a look in his eye I'd only seen once before. When I was little we had this great golden retreiver that was really nice and really fun. Well, one day this groundhog got into our yard, and at first Toby (the dog) was just kind of playing with it. Then the groundhog kind of scratched him on the leg and Toby grabbed it and just shook it until it's neck snapped. When he put it down, he didn't look my happy little puppy anymore. Something had changed behind his eyes.
Uncle Gary had the same look.
When I got there, Uncle Gary's secretary Mrs. Knopfler was all over me right away wanting to know where he was. When I told her he hadn't gone home last night she kind of freaked. There was some kind of deal where Mr. Brockie had to speak at an awards banquet Tuesday night and Uncle Gary was supposed to write up a speech for him. He must have forgotten, because of the whole ex-girlfriend thing and Mr. Brockie had to wing it, which is a really, really bad thing, from what I understand. I guess he said some stuff that got people angry about the Irish, the blind, entomologists, the president's wife and a few others, so now both the company and Uncle Gary were in really deep trouble.
Then, Mr. White storms into the office, demanding to see that "idiot uncle of mine, before he has to kill that idiot Brockie."
I told him Uncle Gary was sick and couldn't come in today because of a viral infection. I had remembered him telling me one time that Mr. White was afraid of those.
It worked, because Mr. White kind of backed away from me and dropped a copy of the New York Times on the table, with Mr. Brockie's picture on the front. I noticed he'd grown a goatee and he kind of looked like he had an evil twin or something. When I said this, Mr. White got this weird look on his face and smiled. Except it wasn't happy or pleasant, just creepy.
He said, "That's it! An evil twin. Brilliant! Good work, you little idiot!" So, he had me and Mrs. Knopfler get on the phones and start calling the story in to different newspapers.
It's amazing how gullible reporters are.
Before hand, Mr. Brockie and Mr. White came to the PR office to get ready and Mr. Brockie was already wearing this realistic makeup to simulate being kidnapped and beaten for a couple of days. I asked Mr. White if thay had hired some hollywood effects guy and he said, "Yeah, Mr. Rocco of New Jersey. Specializes in facial reconstruction." Then he smiled and laughed again. I felt cold inside.
Mr. Brockie started to complain about shaving his goatee off, as it helped him "with the skirts." When Mr. White offered to use the razor blade on Mr. Brockie's face, Mr. Brockie looked frightened and almost ran to the restroom. He came back goatee-less.
The conference went off without a hitch. Mr. Brockie can cry really convincingly on demand.
When people wanted evidence of the evil guy, the local police chief stepped up to say a drifter with Mr. Brockie's build had been found dead of a shotgun blast to the face that morning, just after Mr. Brockie escaped.
Also, Amalgamated Humor has just set up a special fund for the police Widow's and Orphans' organization. The president's wife later called to apologize.
This is kind of a fun job.
I told him there had been a little problem with the awards banquet on Tuesday. He got this kind of scared look on his face and asked if Mr. Brockie had still given a speech. When I told him yes, he kind of made this screeching noise.
Then I told him about the evil twin and the shaving and the drifter they found dead and he seemed to get even more frightened. Then Mr. White and Mr. Brockie came in.
That's when things got kind of weird. Mr. White just sort of stood there and looked really angry at Uncle Gary and Mr. Brockie took me aside and told me that they'd have the company jet take me home right away, because Uncle Gary was going to be "in conference" with them for the rest of the day, maybe the whole weekend. That was kind of cool, because I don't think Uncle Gary has even seen the company jet, let alone ride in it.
So, I came home a couple of days early, hung out with friends, slacked off. Not bad. I thought it was going to suck, but it ended up being kind of cool.
Maybe this summer won't be so bad.