Either way, MathMan and I are aligning a lot lately. Not that I'm complaining. Along with the cardiovascular benefits, it's good for the brain chemistry. I am less likely to chew your head off for asking a simple question like "Are there any clean towels." Which is, for the record, a damn ridiculous question. Of course there are clean towels. That washing machine seems to run 24/7.
Anyway, Friday night "alignments" were so splendid that we were in the midst of discussing a three-peat when a faint rapping came from the bedroom door. What promised to be a mutually satisfying game of the desperate novelist and the lecherous publisher was abruptly interrupted. I tucked the velvet cuffs under my pillow while MathMan adjusted the blankets over us.
"Yes?" we huffed in sexually-repressed unison.
The door opened slowly and at first I thought Sophie was the culprit. Alas no. It was Chloe, doubled over as she made her way into the room. A hungover Groucho Marx missing the mustache, but sporting tremendous raccoon eyes from the previous night's liberal use of mascara and eyeliner.
"Wild night?" Her father inquired, his voice sanguine, his expression a smirk.
Chloe barely nodded before resting her head against the bed's foot board.
We watched as she slid to the floor where she whimpered, a bedraggled mess of headache, nausea and that lingering sense that you said and did things you're going to regret when your friends tell you about them at some later date.
"Tough lesson," I nudged MathMan with my elbow. "What, pray tell, were you drinking?"
She whimpered again. Pititful. Finally she managed to bleat a few words. "Beer," she hesitated. "And some malt liquor thing."
MathMan and I hooted with laughter as our darling child, our perfect girl crawled to the bathroom.
"I have sunk so low" were her last words before she retched.
"So did you ever share your hangovers with your parents?" MathMan asked me in a voice loud enough to be heard over the barfing.
"Good god no." And then to Chloe, "Shall I turn on a parade? Extra loud?"
My mother came into my room one New Years Day and did that very thing as I lay in bed wishing for speedy death. Our children had heard this story before so Chloe would have understood the reference.
"Please don't" came the weak voice from the bathroom.
"But this is all about punishment so you remember not to do this again." MathMan helped make the case.
Chloe flushed the toilet, but remained in the bathroom. "Yeah, well, don't you think throwing up next to a trash can containing my parents' condom wrapper is punishment enough?"