"Son, I need the screw. Give Daddy the screw."
Bacon Hoss doesn't move, he doesn't even blink. He just kind of stands there, looking at me, almost like he is making a mental bet with himself. How long can dad hold up the microwave before it comes crashing down and the back wall gets ripped out. I bet not to much longer. I hope it hits his foot.
"The screw son, grab the screw and give it to dad. It's right there by your head on the counter. Grab the screw and hand it to dad."
"Son! Please, grab the screw!" My arm is starting to shake while I'm pointing with my free hand. He finally looks at the screw. Just looks at. He doesn't make a move to grab the screw but at least he has acknowledged it's presence. Yes, the screw exists son. It's not some metaphor that I'm using. I'm not saying that life is like a screw, that any time you think you have things under control life twists a screw in your eye to show you that you don't have a handle on things. The only thing you have is an over the range microwave oven that you are installing. You need the screw. Desperately. Not the idea of the screw, not the thought of a screw, not the phantom of the screw, just the real god damn screw.
I know that my wife, and others, perhaps will think this is my own damn fault, why didn't I bring the screw with me before I heaved a heavy microwave up. Well, I did. But I did forget for a short moment there that my 3 year old was "helping" me. What that usually means is that he goes through my tool box and plays with very sharp and dangerous things like box cutters while I tell him to be careful. He helps by not stabbing me. It's a good arrangement that mostly works well except for the time my son used a hammer to smack my car. But it wasn't my kneecap so I count that as a win for me and Bubba Hoss, my second born.
This time however my youngest, Bacon Hoss, the three year old terror that he is decided that the best way to help was to take the two attaching screws off the counter right next to me and then put them on the kitchen counter across from me. About a foot short of how far I can reach while making sure the microwave doesn't rip off the wall. That would be bad. I may have to abort and just unhook it from the wall, set it on the ground, cry a little bit and then go get my screws from my tormentor. But that's not how Dad's work. Nope, I can do this if my son, my young bright boy (you hear that boy, you are smart and kind and awesome) can just give me the fucking screw!
"I will give you candy. Do you like candy. I will trade candy for the screw." He is smiling now, I'm getting somewhere, I am making head way here. Then I feel warm breath on my balls.
Nope, not getting anywhere at all. Just warm dog breath on my balls as our dog decides now is the time for some good old fashioned crotch sniffing. We've had him for about a year now and well, we are having some issues. One of those issues is crotch sniffing. The other is carpet eating. These are literal terms and not euphemisms for some night time activity that you do in alley ways with Brenda. Brenda is a freak. Dobby, the dog, likes to sniff crotches and eat carpet. You get used to it after about 6 months and I die a little bit inside when I realize that crotch sniffing is something you can get used to.
I push the dog away with my knee, my hand slips on the microwave a little bit and I brace it back up while I try again with my son. We are pushing 3 minutes here and it's like some weird punishment concocted by a nun at catholic school. "The screw son! Daddy needs the screw! Give me the screw! I know you know what I'm saying! If you don't give me the screw all paw patrol puppies will get ebola! Give me the crapping screw!" I want to say "fucking" screw but I can't. He said fuck once and I got in trouble even though he is the one that said it. Totally unfair. But crapping is fine apparently.
He grabs the screw! He has the screw! "Tis?" he says. Yes, that's the one! That's the screw, that's what I need! If I can just screw in one I can let go and go get the other one because honestly I don't see it and I'm not sure where you put it but I'm taking bets that it's in the toilet.
He holds the screw out. He doesn't walk toward me but at least he's holding it out. I start to reach out my fingers, my arm is about gone but it's so close, it's like 4 inches away, it's right there! It's like every action movie where the hero just needs to reach the gun to beat the bad guy but his fingers just can't reach. At the climax, the hero finds a way to grow an extra 2 inches and the day is saved. I can do this, this can happen in real life. I believe! Almost there, the screw son, give me the screw!
"Here Dobby" my son says. He drops the screw, the dog hears it, the dog goes nuts trying to paw at it. The screw gets flung under the fridge.
I'm not the hero in this movie. I am the bad guy and this is my origin story.