Rhiannon Chronicles: 7 – 10 February (Toronto)

Saturday 9 February:

Me: What meat would you like with supper tonight, sweetheart?

Rhiannon [with a nonchalant, pubescent shrug and listening to her iPod]: Whatever.

Me: Steak?

Rhiannon: Don’t care.

Me: Chicken?

Rhiannon: Don’t care.

Me: Fish? Wait a minute… fish… oh, shit!!!

Rhiannon [interest suddenly engaged by my distress]: What?

Me [anxiously]: Where’s my phone?! Where??!!

Rhiannon [annoyed]: Probably in your pocket!!! Jeesh! What’s the matter with you?!

Me [fumbling desperately in my pocket and frantically entering my mother’s number]: Always a smart ass, aren’t you, Rhiannon?

Rhiannon [pulling out her earphones, now entertained]: What are you having a meltdown about now, Daddy?!

Me: Fish! Fish!!! I forgot about them!!! God help us all!!!

Rhiannon [rolling her eyes]: Oh, please, not with the fish again!!!

Me [call through to my mother]: Mum! It’s me!!! Yes, I’m fine. No, no – I’m fine. Really. But… but my apartment may be a heap of shattered ruins! I need your help!!!

My Mother: What?!

Me: My fish! I forgot about them!! This is a five alarm emergency!!! Shit, shit… shit. SHIT!!! Oh, fuck… oh, fuck!!!

Rhiannon [chastising]: Calm down, Daddy!!! And stop swearing!!!

My mother: What are you talking about?!

Me: You need to get in your car and go to my place right away! I mean right NOW!!! It’s almost certainly already too late…

My mother: What??!!

Rhiannon: Hi Nana! It’s Rhiannon here. I’m on speaker phone with you.

My mother: Where’s Daddy?

Rhiannon: He ran off to the kitchen. He’s just standing there with a paper bag over his head.

My mother: Oh, dear.

Rhiannon: I know. I think he just wants you to go and feed his fish.

My mother: What’s that noise in the background?

Rhiannon: I’m not sure but I think he’s singing God Save the Queen.

My mother: Got it. I’ll go feed the fish after church tomorrow. I don’t know where the food is though. Do you?

Me [in the background]: Now! NOW!!

Rhiannon: It’s underneath the aquarium in a plastic container. Just grind up a couple of pinches of the flakes and drop them in top. They’ll be fine. One of Daddy’s friends in Montreal told me that the fish can go for a week without food so don’t worry about it too much.

Me [in the background]: Gaaaaaaa!!! Don’t forget the antipsychotic meds!!!

My mother: What did he say?

Rhiannon: Oh, there’s also a smaller plastic container that has pellets in it. Throw a couple of them in the tank for the sucker fish. Don’t listen to him – it’s just a different kind of food.

My mother [sighing]: How is the visit with Daddy going otherwise, Rhiannon?

Rhiannon [sighing]: He took me out to see a movie last night.

My mother: Oh, yes? Lovely. What movie?

Rhiannon: Identity Thief. Every other word was the F-word.

My mother: Oh, dear.

Rhiannon: I know. It was so age inappropriate and there was a raunchy threesome sex scene in it too!

My mother: Oh, no!

Me [in the background]: YOU are the one who said you wanted to go see it!!!

My mother: What did he say?

Rhiannon: He said he really wanted to go see it.

My mother: What’s he doing now?

Rhiannon: Hmmm. Let me see. Oh, there he is. He’s in the bathroom trying to shave.

My mother: Trying to shave?!

Rhiannon: He still has the paper bag over his head.

My mother [raising her voice]: I can barely hear you!!!

Rhiannon [shouting]: He’s blasting Mozart’s Requiem!!!

My mother: Don’t worry, love. Although this runs in the family, it skips a generation so you’re all clear.

Rhiannon [after a pregnant pause, thinking]: What if I have children?

Me [in the background]: Stock up on paper bags! My fish… oh, my fish…


About Requiem for the Damned

Ask the aliens
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