Thursday, August 7, 2008

Like Oil on Troubled Waters -- Or On a Housefire

Sarah took this yesterday, before the flies ran us off the surfing beach. Sandpipers and plovers, doing what they do.

We're having a better day, I think, but the central issue is problems between Suzanne and Trey, and there aren't enough people here to diffuse the tension. Sigh. Chip and Hank have gone up to Pea Island for a while. Sarah, Suz, and Trey are on the local beach. I'm getting ready to run some errands. People have to dree their own weirds sometimes, even if it's not comfortable or convienient for everybody else.

Last night, after a "family discussion" that helped clear the air some, we had our annual shrimp boil. Sarah went to the fishmarket for the shrimp, and got steamed herself, because the guy in front of her in line pretty much bought a dozen of everything. She had to wait while the fishmonger bagged up shrimp, scallops, crab, softshell crab, clams, and tuna steaks for one person, who insisted on inspecting everything. When her turn came, she bought a couple pounds of shrimp, had them bagged up, and was out of there in jig time.

Which is why she didn't notice that one of the shrimp still had its head on. I didn't notice this either, insofar as I just opened the bag and dropped all of them into boiling beer and Old Bay. Sarah found the shrimp with a head as we were eating dinner, and she proceeded to terrorize Suz with it. At one point, she was making it talk, waggling its antennae like a puppet. Then she ate it. Afterward, Chip had to stop her from digging the shrimp head out of the bucket of peels and putting it in Suz's toothbrush cup, antennae and eyeballs peering out. I admit, it would have been funny, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

While Trey and I watched Mythbusters -- and, to be honest, several other things -- Chip, Hank, Sarah and Suzanne played Surfopoly. I went to bed after eleven and they were still at it. Hank said this morning that he finally won because everyone else gave up and went to bed. That's why I hate Monopoly and all of its spinoffs. Rumor has it that someone finished a game once, but no proof exists, since everybody involved died of boredom. Kathy and I used to play with our cousins, Will and Rob, and those games only lasted until somebody clobbered somebody else and our parents separated us. The only thing that makes it bearable in even a small measure is watching Suzanne find inventive ways to cheat. (Last night, she was sneaking property out of the "unsold" pile when no one was looking. Sarah caught her and made her turn in property she actually owned, which created a little lesson in justice and risk.)

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