Sharon tried to keep the giggles in, but failed. Somehow, Steve managed to get into the knitted jumpsuit his grandmother had made him for Christmas. It was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever seen.
“Oh, Stevie, hon, I’m sorry!” Sharon let out another fit of giggles.
“MOM!” Steve barked again.
“OK, I promise. No more. C’mon, let’s get out there…”
“Hell, no. Mom!” Steve stubbornly held his ground. “I’m not, repeat, NOT, going out there.”
Sharon nodded in agreement, but had to counter. “Grandma is waiting, so, c’mon now, that’s enough. Let’s go.” She waved him on into the hallway but Steve did not follow. “Stephen, now, c’mon. Joe, and Susan, and Little Mike, and Randy all have the same thing, so you’re not alone. I mean it, now, c’mon.”
“They aren’t here, though, are they? I mean, all they have to do is get someone to take their picture and send it to Grandma. I have to go on fuckin’ parade!”
Steve’s wife Karen appeared in the door and instantly doubled over in hysterics.
“Shut IT!” Steve barked at Karen. Both women started to laugh. “SHUT. IT. NOW!” Steve yelled.
“Ok, Ok, Ok…no need to yell,” his mother admonished. “I’ll leave you to it,” she said patting Karen’s arm, and went back to the living room where the rest of the family anxiously awaited the big reveal.
Karen sauntered up to her humiliated husband with a sweet smile. She wrapped her arms around his waist and softly kissed him on the cheek. Steve stepped out of her embrace and started to wrestle with the neck of the jumpsuit.
“I can’t … how the fuck to get out of this fuckin’…”
Karen walked up to him again, this time thrusting her hand into the open fly. “Well, it looks like Grandma at least left one important opening…”
“Stop that!” Steve pleaded, and tried to push her hand away, but his wife maintained her hold. “Oh, God, Babe, please…I don’t…FUCK!”
Karen unhanded her husband and stepped back laughing. “I didn’t mean…I … Oh, God, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to set off the launch code!”
A chorus of voices in the living room called out, “C’mon, Stevie-boy! We’re waitin’!! Let’s see!!”
Steve was mortified. “What’ya think was going to happen when you…FUCK!” He bent over the bathroom sink and started mumbling to himself, “Dead puppies, dead puppies, dead puppies…mutilated, maimed, rotting death…Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye…dead puppies…”
“Babe, I’m sorry. It doesn’t look like it’s working this time.” Karen was smiling, but sympathetic.
Steve raised his head and took a look at himself in the mirror. “Fuck it,” he calmly stated. He straightened up, turned to his wife, and with his fists clenched and gritting his teeth, he growled, “Let’s do this thing.”
“Tent pole, and all?” Karen confirmed.
“They want a laugh, they’re gonna get one.”