Sis was still at work & had asked that I drop them off at the office so as they could all go out later.
I always really enjoy hanging around the kids for a few hours each week, it is something I always look forward to. But spending any time at all with my sister - not so much.
As we pulled into the parking lot of her office building, I suddenly realized that I had no idea as to what company my sister works for and even more embarrassing, what she actually does for a living in this part-time job of hers.
I was quite sure the kids must know.
"Hey!" I exclaimed. "What does your Mom do here anyway - is she like the cleaning lady or janitor or something in this building?"
"No, no Uncle" Mikey responded laughing at me. "She is the Manager...a really big, big boss."
"Hmmmph" I thought to myself silently. "If Sis is a Manager of any company they must be in very poor, poor shape indeed. 'On the ropes' as they say in boxing or definitely extremely hard up for good, qualified staff."
Sis greeted us downstairs at the main building doors and insisted on giving us the tour, as the kids had never seen her office.
I found out at this point that my sister was the Office Manager for some small, non-descript insurance company that probably no one has ever heard of, including myself.
"I don't mind, but why am I looking after your kids every Saturday afternoon?" I asked, rather perplexed. "I know you work on weekends, but where is their father - old Doug 'the Slug'. Haven't seen the guy for awhile, not that I'm complaining."
Doug of course is my sisters' husband, and also as my regular readers know, is most certainly the dullest man in the world. Who needs a hypnotist? This guy can put anyone to sleep within seconds, just by talking and telling one of his boring & pointless stories.
"Well Doug works on the weekends, you know that." Sis replied rather quickly and I might add, not convincingly.
Sis seemed very uncomfortable by this simple question. She can be easily read like a book. Not a good book, mind you. Like a cheap and poorly written paperback or young child's journal. She was definite hiding something. This fact was evident.
The office tour began, this seemed to include stopping at each & every empty desk to painstakingly explain what the employee who usually sits there does for the company. As you can probably well imagine, it was excruciatingly boring. Unfortunately for me, the kids really appeared to be enjoying this 'Tour of the Tedious', so we all continued on.
We finally arrived at one of the common area kitchens where a full box of chocolates had been left on a table in the corner. The kids saw this and went crazy.
"Mommy, Mommy." Mikey yelled. "Can we have these? Someone has just left them here!"
Young Emma then chimed in screaming, "Yes please. Chocolates, Chocolates, Chocolates!"
Sis immediately lived up to her well-known 'Buzz Kill' reputation by announcing that the kids could not have any of these chocolates, as she didn't know who had put them there and therefore they may be poison.
"Poison in the chocolate?" I asked quizzically. "Why should there be poison in the chocolate?"
"Everyone knows you don't eat strange food." Sis replied arrogantly. "Anyone could have put those here. They could be rotten or even poisoned."
"That is ridiculous." I replied. "What kind of place do you work at where employees will inject deadly poison into chocolates and then strategically place them around the office for random people to pick up, eat and eventually die?"
Sis looked at me with extreme anger. It was the familiar look I had seen many times in the past. I could tell she was now 'in a mood'.
I thought I should continue to 'stir the pot' a little bit more by pushing my point slightly.
"Ridiculous" I announced aloud. "You are being completely paranoid and I might add, very delusional."
Taking the bait, Sis replied "Well you read about these things all the time, don't you? Better safe then sorry."
Things were now getting ludicrous.
"No! No you don't read about these things all the time." I responded, trying to preserve reality. "At least not in the real world we all live in. What insane journals or magazines are you reading where this is a regular event, 'Psycho Housewife Weekly?' "
Obviously, there was no further response from her.
The rest of the monotonous office tour was exactly just that - completely uneventful.
Thankfully, I was able to leave shortly after that and made a beeline to the pub. If a man ever needed a drink, it was certainly me after that excruciating event.
Something strange though is going on with Sis....I could sense it, she is both crazier and duller then usual - If that is even possible.
The next afternoon, I telephoned & mentioned this to Mom, which is when the truth came out. Mom said that Sis and Doug have apparently not been getting along for many months & are talking about a trial separation.
"This is a difficult & emotional time for your sister" Mom advised. "Please be sensitive to the situation and try and put your differences aside."
"Hmmm" I thought after hanging up the phone. "What's coming to this world when two completely undesirable people cannot keep their marriage working. Trial separation, indeed. I wish I could have a permanent separation between me and both of those two fools; Crazy Sis and the Insipid Doug."
"Now that would really be sweet!"