Friday, May 22, 2009

Dinner with the Fs

The Lion’s Den in Ogden, Utah is one of the F family faves—unfortunately, due to the little thing called the implosion of the American economy, it’s closing at the end of this month.  To celebrate Charlie’s homecoming from South Korea, therefore, we figured we better cram in one final family dinner before the Lion’s Den shut its doors forever.

However, it’s easier to plan a successful family dinner than it is to have one.  First, we had to change the date of the dinner three times—first because Alpha forgot he had a Scout project on Tuesday, second because Echo got tickets to Dance Movie with her friend Juliet on Wednesday, and third because I had to cancel Saturday to go to my friend's cabin for a birthday/Memorial Day weekend.    

Then all our rearranging didn’t matter.  When we finally settled on Friday, Echo said she couldn’t go because, as a 23-year-old with a dental crank, she has been relegated to a diet of baby food.  So she dogged out.  (Why she didn’t remember this the first two times we rescheduled, I cannot tell you.) 

And then today, when I arrived to pick up the family in my sweet, sweet Toyota Yaris, Mother F (hee hee ...)* and Charlie announced that we would have to go in waves, since Alpha thought he had swine flu and was demanding that our father take him to the emergency clinic.

Thank you, sensationalist media.  You have successfully frightened a thirteen-year-old into mistaking a cold for life-threatening illness.

So I took Mom and Charlie to the Lion’s Den while Papa took Alpha down to the faithful Fairfield Clinic that has served the F Family so well in years past—removing fishhooks from hands (Mom), stitching scalp lacerations (Charlie), failing repeatedly to find a vein from which to take blood (me).  (Seriously, over five sticks, and not a drop of blood.) 

So Charlie, Mom and I made conversation while we waited for Alpha and Dad.  (Fun fact about Korea—you know how Americans have that stereotype that black people love collard greens and fried chicken?  Koreans think that Americans love bread and milk.  Oh, poor teenage American boy—you want us to go get you some milk and bread?  Hee hee hee hee hee.) 

And after we finished our respective meals, Dad and Alpha showed up, having never seen a doctor, nurse or someone who finished two semesters at the DATC.  Dad was outraged, describing every patient who was called up before Alpha, and the inane girl at the front desk who kept saying, “I’m sorry,” in that obnoxious, too soft/too high voice that all Mormon women perfect by age fifteen.  (See previous post for greater explanation of the too soft/too high voice.)  My dad was getting red in the face, and talking a bit too loudly.  “The Jews” (and really, whenever a story starts out with “the Jews,” no matter who is saying it, you worry that the next words will be racist—as evidenced by the fact that Charlie and I looked at each other in horror for a brief moment before Papa F finished) “wouldn’t be ok with an ‘I’m sorry’ from Hitler, would they?”

Touche, Father.  Touche. 

Well, the evening continued.  Alpha shoved five scones in his mouth in under ten minutes.  When my Mom said, “Alpha, pass your broccoli if you’re not going to eat it,” he picked it up with his fingers and tried to hand it across the table.  Then he did the same thing a few minutes later when she said, “Pass the scones.”  Charlie regaled us with stories about how dog meat is prepared in South Korea, and then Mom told him to stop scratching at the pre-zit on his chin because it could cause skin cancer.  Finally, she and my dad re-told the story they read in the paper about an Egyptian guy who hired someone to kill his mistress, and then seamlessly transitioned into a conversation about how there is no point to keeping all our old toys if we don't get them some damn grandkids already. 

* Yes, this post has been edited to ensure my sound financial future. 

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