Decision Making

May 2, 2010


It is the end of April. It is nearly May. In normal places, this means Summer is nearly here. It cannot, then –  I will brave a wager –  snow again.

Summer means the end of the school year. It means the end of the lease on The Basement Suite. It means that my Dad and The Mushroom have to decide what they’re doing.

The estate agent rang The Mushroom today. The Mushroom always answers the phone and puts it immediately on speaker-phone, to prevent the Baby grabbing the mouthpiece and, inexplicably, shouting, ‘Granddad? GRANDDAD?’  The Baby has three granddads. I have no idea which one she thinks she is speaking to. None of them are deaf, although one of them does have quite big ears and threatened to shoot me once, but that’s another story. He’s known as The Squirrel Killer. What kind of man, I ask you, calmly keeps a shotgun by the living room window with the specific intent of shooting every single squirrel he sees eating the bird food? I’ll tell you who. Granddad.  The Baby likes him, anyway, or whichever one she thinks she is shouting to on the phone. She certainly doesn’t know about his squirrel shooting fetish, anyway, or I doubt she’d be so keen to show him her toy animals whenever she sees him on Skype.

‘Hello!’ he’ll say, peering into the webcam in the way only people who didn’t grow up with computers do.

‘Granddad!’ The Baby will shout.  ‘Sheep!’ and off she goes to bring him a plastic sheep. I don’t know why, either.

Anyhoo, the estate agent rang.

“Hi! It’s Taylor!” said a very chipper estate agent. “I’m calling to see if you are wanting to renew your lease on your property?”

(An inordinate amount of people in Saskatchewan are called’ Taylor’. It’s a nice name. It’s also a job, though. Like ‘Haberdasher’. Or ‘Ironmonger’. These last two are not, to my knowledge, as popular as names.)

An advert came on the radio. ‘Gotta love the weekend!’ an overly enthusiastic girl shouted, ‘Gotta LOVE the Lloyd Mall! Find EVERYTHING you need under ONE ROOF!’

I remember The Mushroom’s one attempt to find clothes at this so called Lloyd Mall. She came back with one jumper. It was mauve. So, apparently, was every item of clothing for sale in the Lloyd Mall. The advert, thus, should have stated that, indeed,  you can find everything you need under one roof, if what you need is mauve clothes and some Wellington boots and maybe a stetson.

The Mushroom took a deep breath.

“No, thankyou.” she said. And that was that.

And then it began to snow again.

“So, what have my girls been up to today?” asked my Dad on his return from work.

The Mushroom looked at him, glanced out of the head-sized window, and looked at my Dad again.

“Weather not great, eh?”  he said, sitting down.

“The estate agent rang and asked if we wanted to renew the lease.” she said.

My Dad picked up The Baby and nuzzled her head. He sighed.

“I’m guessing you said no.”

“You are right.”

“Would you consider moving into town?” he asked, not looking at her.

The Mushroom made an involuntary squeaking sound.

” It’s just – I love this  job, sweetheart.” he said, ” I love it. And this part of the world is just so beautiful.  I love living in the country, I love the wildlife, the scenery – and I really really love this job.”

The Mushroom walked over to them and stroked The Baby’s head.

“You love me, though.” she said quietly. ” You love me more.”

My Dad looked at her.

“Yes, yes I do.”

“Then we’re not moving into town, my love. We’re moving to Toronto.”

My Dad nodded.

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