Teach the Children WellbyFD45©
No sex. No one gets fucked either...but someone gets bent over.
The minivan wheeled down the suburban drive. One could tell by the lack of density of houses that this was the Land of McMansion. It made for a pleasant drive, with actual trees and landscaping in the development.
"DAD! Where are we going?" Erin asked from the back, looking up for three seconds from her iPod.
"This way." He said helpfully, pointing to the road ahead of them.
"No, dad. What is the destination?" Nathan asked, a bit pretentious as always. It came with being the only boy and the oldest.
Dad thought about it for a few seconds. "Okay...this is NOT your normal car ride and it's going to take a bit of explaining. Okay...the Ancient Romans were pretty successful and no nonsense sort of people..."
"Yay, history!" Erin said, putting down her iPod.
A gagging sound from the absolute rear of the minivan was heard. "No!" Hannah said. "ANYTHING but HISTORY!"
"ANYWAY," dad continued. "When they were teaching their...kids" he quickly made it gender neutral for the daughters "the parents would take them out with them during the day so they could learn about politics and other things by seeing it done. Why did they do that?"
"Because they didn't have any schools?" Erin hazarded.
"Well...they did have schools, but the rich people were able to hire or buy teachers for their kids."
"Ahem...yes...when the Romans conquered a land, they grabbed a lot of the population and made them slaves. The dumb people went to the mines and the kitchens, but the smartest ones got cushy indoor jobs teaching the little brats of someone else. Which is why I tell you guys to do well in school."
"Yeah Dad...just in case some ancient Romaz come back and try to enslave us..." Hannah said from the back.
"The Romans are gone, but everyone needs smart educated people to do things. So learn something useful."
"Dad...where are you going with this?" Nathan asked. "What does this have to do with where we are going?"
Dad furrowed his brow and started gesturing points with his finger. "Lessee...Romans...teach kids...slaves? How the hell did we get...RIGHT!"
It was hard being a dad who had to travel a lot. So when he had time with the kids, it was important to try to teach them the most important lessons so they remembered. But occasionally, one got lost in the weeds.
"SO...it wasn't because there weren't teachers. It was because some lessons were so complicated and outside the experience of mere discussion that they had to be SEEN to be understood."
"Brain...collapsing...too...much...history..." Hannah started making a death rattle from the back.
"It's time to cut back on the Calvin and Hobbes for you, my dear."
"DAD!" all the kids recoiled in horror. This was heresy. "Hannah, shut up! I want to hear this."
Another death rattle greeted her sister's interjection.
"Now now. Don't say shut up...say hush." Dad chided Erin.
"She doesn't listen to 'hush', dad."
"She doesn't listen to 'shut up either', does she?"
Nathan asked again "What does this have to do with where we are going?"
"We are going into an uncomfortable situation so you can learn how to deal with it. If nothing else, just watch and ask questions later..." they started pulling into a swank cul-de-sac. "And here we are. You girls got your stuff?" Mutters of assent. The mood in the car was a bit more subdued. This was serious stuff. 'Dad lesson' stuff. Some of Dad's lessons weren't comfortable at all!
He parked on the street instead of the driveway and the four of them lumbered out of the minivan. The house was large, with a brick fascade, shutters, a curved walk, edge lights and landscaping. A large SUV sat next to a racy sports car. Dad just shook his head. "Typical. So what did I tell you kids about fighting?"
"There is no such thing as a fair fight..."
"Make him pay if you're losing so he doesn't come back..."
"Kick him in the fork..."
"Use weapons. Fists are for hospital patients..."
"Fingernails and eyes go together like chocolate and peanut butter..."
Dad stopped abruptly. "Wait a second...I never said that."
Hannah shrugged. "Would you say that?"
"Well...yes, but that's not the point..." Maybe it was time to moderate the lesson plan. His rabble was sounding a bit...bloodthirsty. "I saaaid 'Hit them hard first so they are off balance and a scared.'"
"What does this have to do with anything, Dad?" his son asked again.
"Watch." Walking around the corner of the house, the group saw a man in his late 50's using a hose to water some plants. Dad had seen the man when they had drove up.
"Hi. Can I help you?" the man asked pleasantly.
He lurched back when Dad shoved a piece of paper with a picture within three inches of his face. A lone finger came around the side and tapped on the picture. "Is that you?" The picture showed a female smiling at the camera. In the back round was a picture of the man in front of them, watching her with a rather creepy expression.
"Who is asking?" the man tried to rally.
"The HUSBAND is asking, that's who. Jim...may I call you dirtbag...I mean Jim...my wife has a house, a dog, three kids, a job and last but not least, a HUSBAND to look after. She does not need any additional 'duties'. She did not put in an application. She isn't interested. Do I make myself clear?"
Jim started looking back and forth at the group. Suddenly, the children were looking at him with piercing eyes. "Uh...who are you again?"
"I told you, the husband."
"Look...there must be some kind of misunderstanding. I made some innocuous comments that she must have taken all wrong..."
Dad turned to the kids. "This is where he tries to weasel out of it by denying it happened. So we are stuck believing your mom or this scumbag who propositioned her."
"Dad! Bad Language!" Erin gasped.
"Sorry... I'm a flawed person. So...who do we believe?"
"Mom!" came the immediate response.
"Look you...you can't come barging onto my property making pointless accusations and trying to intimidate me! Get the HELL off of my property before I call the cops!" Jim blustered.
Dad looked at him steadily. "This is where he tries to intimidate me and throw ME off balance by making vain threats with the law." He said in an aside to the kids. "Okay kids, let's go. Nathan, go to the back of the van and get the posters and the staple guns."
"What? WHAT? Posters? What posters?" Jim dropped his hose and started hustling after the four retreating figures. "Wait! What the hell are you going to do?"
Patiently, Dad stopped. "You threw us off of your property. If we stay, we are criminals. You don't want to talk to us. We will look for OTHER people who want to talk to us. Think she might?" He pointed to an older woman weeding her garden on this fine weekend morning at the next house. "Maybe put up a couple of public information notices..."
Jim blanched. "Let's be reasonable about this."
Dad turned to his kids. "This is where he tries to negotiate and make it sound that asking mom to prostitute herself is no big deal."
"But dad...he's like...OOOLLLD!" Hannah said, with an disgusted expression on her face.
"That is not what I would call a ringing endorsement." Dad threw at Jim. "Hannah...that's why he has to pay for it. Because he's old." He explained.
"You can't barge onto my property and threaten me like that! There are laws. I'm going to sue..." Jim lurched back as a business card was shoved into his face. "Stop doing that!"
"That is the card of my attorney. Paid the retainer already. Funny thing about slander...it isn't actionable if it's true. We can have a WHOLE bunch of depositions made. And everything goes on a public record. Now...this SOUNDS expensive, but compared to my marriage, it's cheap."
Dad turned to his girls. "When a man makes an indecent proposition, your first response should be to try to laugh it off. Give him the grace to drop things. If he persists, you tell him a firm 'no!' If he's stupid enough to CONTINUE, say no in an embarrassing way. Some idiots STILL don't get the clue. That is when you go to your husband or boyfriend. Mom's mistake was not being direct enough. She hates confrontation and social embarrassment." He cast a glance at Jim. "I live for this shit...ooops!" he said before Erin could castigate him again.
"And when called, son...you try to do this peacefully...though REALLY stupid people may need a bit more persuasion." Nathan was wide eyed at this point, unsure if he was going to have to fight or not...both terrified and elated at the same time. "So...Jim...how stupid are you?"
"Now you are threatening me! You are in big..." Jim stopped. Public Record continued to dance through his head. For all his flaws, Jim was NOT a stupid man.
"Misdemeanor public assault is not a very large fine, Jim."
Hannah smiled, walked up and kicked Jim in the shin hard.
"Hannah!" Dad cried out as Jim danced around holding his leg.
"It's okay, Dad...I'm a flawed person. Plus I'm a minor. And you just said it wasn't expensive."
Dad pinched his nose and closed his eyes. No matter how much you tried, some lessons were just taken the wrong way. He turned to Jim. "I'm sorry about that...sort of sorry. Sorry in principle. Trust me that she will be treated appropriately as soon as she gets home." He cast a dark glance at his daughter who bore it seemingly undisturbed.
Jim opened his mouth to yell at the interlopers again when suddenly...
"Jim...who are these people?" A woman in her fifties walked around the side of the house from the garden in the back. Jim was stuck with his mouth open and a look of shock on this face.
"See kids...this is why I tell you research is so important; so you're prepared." Dad tossed as his offspring. He put a companionable arm around Jim facing away from the approaching woman. "So...how much is half of that house worth? Do we really NEED to continue this conversation?"
"Not really. I got the message."
"Good...next time try SINGLE women. Other husbands might show less...restraint." Dad turned to the approaching wife. "HI! Sorry to disturb you on such a fine weekend. The daughters and I were trolling the area looking to sell Girl Scout cookies. What do you say Jim? How many do you want to buy?" He gave a knowing look at the business man.
His two daughters sporting evil grins pulled their order forms from their back pockets. Dad had already taught them all about leverage...
"Dad, I don't understand. Why didn't we tell his wife?" Nathan asked back in the car as the girls started tallying up their take.
"Hang on a second. Girls...now that you've taken his money, you got to keep quiet about this. All of us. More importantly, it would be very embarrassing to mom if this came out."
"Son...I don't know that guy. I don't know what kind of marriage he has. His wife could be awful. They might have...well...never mind that. He might be a normal a guy who made a stupid and bad mistake. It's done. He backed off. Maybe he'll think a bit harder about trying it again. Just remember that a rat backed into a corner is going to fight like blazes and he DOES have a lot of money. We just gave him a quick lesson in cost/benefit ratios."
And if the kids now kept a closer eye out for more snakes and other 'inappropriate relationships', that wasn't so bad a thing Dad reflected. "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Now...let's talk about economics..."