Papa either loves living on the verge of annihilation or he just doesn't realize that things are potentially life-threatening. Tonight we had brats, boiled potatoes and corn for dinner. While I was checking on everything before dinner, Papa stood behind me, like always, watching me check all of the food and commenting on its preparedness. All of a sudden he reached around me and said: "I think the brats are done. I'm turning them off." and proceeded to turn the knob on the gas grill from low all the way past high and to off, sending flames shooting out and around the pan. The fire got within centimeters of my body and I thought for sure I was going to have to stop, drop and roll. But I didn't. I yelled to Grammy: "Grammy! Papa almost burned me!" Papa just chuckled and said: "It only would have singed you. Haven't you ever singed yourself?" No. I have not ever singed myself, but it sounds like Papa does it all the time. He told me all it would do is burn some of the hair off. Isn't that a relief? I've decided I'm going to start calling him Danger Boy. When we were little, Logan, Andy and I used to call Rachel Danger Girl, and we made up a little song that we would sing to infuriate her. It goes like this:
Danger Girl is her name,
Hurting people is her game,
Danger Girl, Danger Girl, Danger Girl!
She hit Logan with a rake
He started to cry (but it was fake)
Danger Girl, Danger Girl, Danger Girl!
Papa also drives without a seat belt (until Grammy and I yell at him), bikes without a helmet, climbs the ladder to the attic and lowers things alone using his hand-made pulley system, and eats a lot of butter. Danger, danger. He also slurps his drinks, which I would think would make a person very burpy. Maybe, however, that has some unknown health benefit that protects him from his dangerous lifestyle. As long as I can remember, Papa has slurped his drinks. I honestly don't know how he does it, because he does it constantly and with any type of drink. He brings the glass to his lips, tilts it just enough so that the drink barely touches his mouth and slurps. I tried it one day and I could not do it. I did manage to suck soy milk down my windpipe and into my lungs, though. Papa, I'm impressed. It truly is a skill.
The other night, I came into the kitchen after a little nap to help Papa with dinner. He had everything prepared and was taking the bread out of the toaster. With a metal knife. While the toaster was still plugged in. I told him he was going to electrocute himself and he told me he would be very careful. My mom has always emphasized the dangers in putting metal into a toaster; she must have learned that after she left home because she obviously didn't learn it from Papa. We even used to have these special bamboo tongs that were designated as the toaster tongs so that no one was tempted to stick a fork or something in there. Maybe I'll have to put a note on the toaster that says: Don't use a metal utensil to get bread out of the toaster or you'll electrocute yourself.
Speaking of notes, Grammy and I have started watching the Pride and Prejudice mini-series. I got it for Christmas a couple of years ago and it is 8 hours of classical British melodrama that leaves you wishing you could wear long, cotton dresses and fall in love with a tall, mysterious man who makes a whole $10,000 a year. Well, welcome to the real world, Elizabeth Bennett. Papa's favorite character is Mr. Darcy, played by Colin Firth. Every time he is not in the scene, Papa asks Grammy and me: "Where's that guy I like? The one from the beginning?" He always refers to him as the one from the beginning because he has slept through the entire middle. He tells us that the British accents are too hard to understand so he just goes to sleep. I asked Papa if he liked Mr. Darcy because he has a lot of money and Papa said: "Yes." I knew it. Anyway, I went to turn the DVD player on and on the back of the remote there is now a little note that lists the steps to turning on the DVD player and starting a movie. There is also one on the VCR remote that, along with explaining how to use the machine, documents the exact steps required in recording a program from TV. It is good that he can find a way to remember how to operate his electronics. That way, he can keep recording movies for me. His movie recording started one night when I was watching Princess Diaries on the dining room TV. He walked in and said:
Papa: What are you doing?
Julie: Nothing, watching a movie. Princess Diaries. Why?
Papa: I think you should turn your movie off and come watch the movie I recorded.
Julie: You think it's going to be better than the one I'm watching?
Papa: Oh, I think so.
It was My Fair Lady and it is pretty good. Though the heroine is annoying. So, Grammy and I watch our weekly shows and Papa makes sure we don't miss any great Turner Classic Movies. Other than movies, Papa just watches the stock market and the news, which aren't worthy of a VHS recording. Grammy's shows, on the other hand, might be worth a recording if we ever missed them, but we don't. Every Sunday night, Grammy watches Masterpiece Classics on PBS. You've got to love a good mini-series. Grammy and I aren't sure which book they are acting out now, because we missed the beginning and they haven't said the name again, but it is about this family who was really poor, but somehow got tons of money. Because of this, the dad, son and daughter-in-law decide they need to become snobby and act wealthier, but the girl, aka the heroine, wants to stay kind and loving. It's pretty intense. The villan is this scary gypsy guy with a pointy beard who looks like he kills people for fun. It was very good casting.
I always watch my shows at rehab. Actually, I had to find shows to watch because, it turns out, I hate running. I think it's boring, but if I have something to watch, I don't focus on how much I hate every second I'm on that stupid treadmill. On Monday night I watch Chuck which is probably my favorite show. It is about this computer nerd who is forced to become a secret CIA agent because he accidently "downloads" this thing called The Intersect into his brain that gives him the ability to find bad-guys and see all the crimes they've committed. Grammy calls it "that secret spy show." On Tuesday, Grammy and I watch "that awful loser show," aka The Biggest Loser. We didn't used to like this one because they kept kicking people off the show, and we decided that they shouldn't do that. Especially when they call them "losers." But now, the show is better because they stopped kicking people off (for now) and all the people have lost a lot of weight and look so much happier. Wednesday nights, we watch Scrubs, aka "that doctor show" and Thursday nights we watch The Office and 30 Rock. Grammy remembers the name of The Office. I don't know why. I guess it's the most famous. We don't usually go to rehab on Fridays. Good thing, too, because we don't have a show that night. It is so funny to watch Grammy watch TV because she has a TV face that she makes. Sometimes when I'm running, I'll just look over at her and laugh. Mom has the same face: Both of them open their mouths a little, furrow their eyebrows and get a very concerned look on their faces. It almost looks like they've never seen figures moving on a television before. Or like the television is the most appalling thing they've ever seen. When Grammy has her TV face on, you have to yell her name to get her attention because she is so into whatever is playing. Mom isn't very good at watching TV anyway, so if you think she's watching TV and are going to attempt to get her attention, chances are she's in another room doing something completely different. I don't know if she's ever sat through an entire non-educational movie or TV show. Give her a documentary, on the other hand, and she's hooked for hours. She also used to make us do SAT flashcards on road trips and play this terrible game called The Ungame where you share your feelings with each other, if that helps explain her TV habits a little better. Papa's TV face is usually him napping.