In which Chicken Sheets has to put plans for a week of Spring Break debauchery on hold when Citizen Jim arrives to vacation in West Virginia.
No 33-year-old woman should have occasion to be excited over the prospect of spring break from college classes, but I certainly was thrilled when the date arrived for mine to start!
I had it all planned out: I was going to fly down to Daytona, rent a car and cruise around looking for topless girls who appeared open to the idea of having drinks bought for them in the bar of the first hotel we could get to.
It was going to be GREAT! I couldn’t wait to mail out a different postcard to Citizen Jim every day that I was gone, telling him, “So sad, too bad!” that he couldn’t be with me.
At around 11:00 on the night before I was supposed to fly out of Charleston, I heard a knock at the door. I kind of had a hunch it was the kids who lived close by. Every time I turned around, they wanted me to buy light bulbs and potholders and cookie dough and all sorts of things to raise money to help the crippled and insane.
I ignored them until I heard glass break. Then I had a better idea of who it was. And, of course, before I could even let the thought form in my head, Citizen Jim was bounding up the steps six at a time, cursing the whole way.
“How many times do I have to tell you to mail me a KEY?” Citizen Jim asked as he pushed me backward onto the bed into a pile of folded clothes that hadn’t been packed yet.
“I love you,” I said, smiling up at him.
“BULLSHIT! What’s all this?” he asked, slapping the side of my suitcase. He started pulling shorts and bathing suits and sunblock from inside it, throwing each item behind him after he examined it. “You got my KEY in here?”
I kicked his leg HARD. “That’s stuff for my trip to the beach, you bastard! Put it all back right now!” I yelled.
“What the hell? TRIP? Where do you think you’re going?” he asked.
“It’s spring break,” I said, gathering up my clothes off the floor and snatching t-shirts and panties from the lampshade and curtain rods.
“Well, duh! I know! That’s why I came to visit you,” he said.
I almost started crying, but I sucked in my breath and said. “No. You will not ruin this for me. I’ve waited a long time for this, and—”
“Stuff it! I’m here, and you’re not going anywhere! I didn’t have Lulu Whippy pull Susan Daniel’s gypsy wagon all the way up here with that purple and yellow bike she loves just so you could TAKE OFF as soon as I GOT HERE!”
“But…PLEASE!” I screamed. “Just this once—I need a vacation!”
“Whatever! That’s why I’m here! Now, where’d you think you were going, anyway? There’s not a goddamn beach around here!”
I fished my airline tickets out of my carry on and waved them in his face. “Daytona, baby, and you can’t stop me!” I told him.
He grabbed the tickets from me and scanned them before waving them back in my face. “You better start drivin’, Sister Kristy!” he said.
“What’re you talking about? Those’re plane tickets, you idiot. I’m flying!”
Citizen Jim threw the tickets down on the bed and held his belly while he laughed and laughed and laughed.
This is never a good sign.
I picked up the tickets and asked him just what he thought was so funny.
He was still laughing so hard that he could barely answer me. “I’d like to see . . . Ha!. . . you get packed up, feed those cats and drive to . . . HAHA . . . SOUTH CAROLINA! BY 8:00 IN THE MORNING!! HA HA HA!!”
“Oh, shut up!” I said. “I’ve had it with you!”
But I looked at the tickets.
And he was right. My flight was not departing at 9:00 the next morning from Charleston, West Virginia. Rather, the flight was scheduled to leave from Charleston, South Carolina, which was some nine and a half hours away by car.
I burst into tears while Jim continued to laugh.
Finally, he straightened his back and put an arm on my shoulder. His face went serious.
“Stimpy, now, come on! I think this happened for a reason. You know you’re a magnet for the heartache! It would’ve just been a solid week of mindless, savage lovemaking, day in and day out! You would’ve been having sex with a different 21-year-old girl every time you turned around.”
I felt my eyes glaze over while Jim continued: “And, really, who needs that?”
After Citizen Jim made this point, I was crying too hard to answer.
“Ah, bullfrogs! You call up the airline and get a new ticket for later on. I’m here? And we can have some fun, now? We’ll make Jiffy Pop? And watch all those dumb movies you like? And we’ll drink root beer and make prank calls to *********?”
“But I wanted to go to Daytona! It’s spring break!” I sobbed.
“Well, then, it’s too bad you’re such a JACKASS about TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, isn’t it?” he yelled. “Like that time you booked us a hotel room with ONE BED when we went to Hotlanta for that North American Cheese Lovers convention!”
I remembered. That was the weekend he made me sleep in the bathtub with an inch of cold water in it as “punishment.”
“You are gonna stay here and we are gonna have FUN, if I have to BEAT the laughs out of you!” Citizen Jim said.
I continued to cry while he started carefully unpacking my suitcase.
Because he’s sweet like that.