The Don Chronicles, Part I

“Slingbade’s always been a closet dork, without the closet.”

–Tucker Max, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

This incident occurred Sunday, September 25, 2009 at approximately 4:50 PM.

Location: my sister’s family compound


My brother-in law Don works hard in his kitchen, removing garlic bread from the oven, and avoiding a fall due to my mother’s residual coffee splatter. My mother’s attempt at coffee-making earlier had only resulted in coffee baths for the floor, the counter, the stove, and parts of the wall. (Click here for actual photos) His wife, my sister Dee, reclines on the couch post-breastfeeding. Her newborn Chase (in her own words) had just “logged off.” I enjoy an untainted mug and become one with the other end of the sectional.

My mother and the older children hideout in the safe room, a.k.a. my nephew Gage’s room.

DON: When’s Mom going to finish my painting?

Don had requested for my mother to recreate a postcard of revolutionary soldiers doing what revolutionary soldiers do. Something with muskets and canons. Her artistic ability + a canvas + acrylic paint + 1 ½ year = no progress. That’s not entirely true…she completed “sort of” a pencil sketch. Her first Don-given assignment, a Jimmy Buffet album cover replica, had only taken her three months.

Don had also begun calling my mother “Mom” shortly after his third date with my sister…at least it feels that way.

DEE: Ask her. I dare you.

ME: Maybe if the soldiers were nude, she’d finish it.

DEE: Yeah ‘cause she had taken that class where the people are naked.

Translation: That’s because she had to draw people in the nude for one of her art classes.

ME: Not ALL of the people are naked. Only the model. Although that’s not a bad idea…artists would actually like that. I wouldn’t mind having a choice. The class is called Figure Drawing you dork.

Timmy, Don’s son from his first marriage wasn’t in attendance. (Side note: my sister’s his third wife.)

DEE: Timmy got excited when he found her drawings in the basement. His eyes popped out. Paper, after paper, after paper.

ME: Timmy’s funny.

Like a clown.

DEE: Then he was going through the manual for my breast pump, looking at the illustrations. He was like, “Wow! People my age are actually allowed to look at the stuff!”

DON: So…about your mom. Did she do any self-portraits?

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