"If you think you're going to get any from me after that display in the kitchen at dinnertime, you can forget it!" she declared vehemently. "You ruined a good chair and you came close to giving Jim a concussion. You could've broken Kate's phone and you probably did irreparable harm to both of the kids' self esteem. What in hell came over you?"
It was obvious I wasn't getting any of her best this night, so I decided to play to my audience. It was a distinct advantage to know we were being videoed for future broadcast.
"What about my self esteem, Bonnie?" I shot back. "How the hell do you think I feel having my own kids walk around like the living dead? It's embarrassing to be seen with those two jokers."
"How can you speak about your own children like that?" asked the amazed BB. "You know they are going through difficult times at school. They are subjected to ridicule and bullying almost every day and now they hear it at the dinner table from their own father? I won't stand for it!"
"I can imagine that they're having a tough time, Bonnie. Hell, I'd be ragging their asses if I were in school now. We had bullying when I went to school and my old man showed me how to fix it pretty quick."
"Really? Why is it so hard for me to imagine your father fixing any problem concerning social interaction? The man is a social moron," added BB.
"So now you're trying to ruin my Dad's self esteem, or would it be mine? I'll tell you how he fixed the problem. I whined to him that a big kid was picking on me. Dad told me either shut up and take it, or kick the other kid in the balls as hard as I could. I sucked it in and suffered the abuse for a couple more weeks. Then one day I just couldn't take it anymore. I drove the miserable bastard's nards into his chest cavity with my right foot. I had detention for a few weeks but the prick and his pals never bothered me again," I chuckled as I recalled the scene.
"So you're going to solve our children's problems by having them resort to violence. Tell me what happens if the bullies strike them back, or if the kids get expelled, Chuck Norris?"
"This solution isn't without risk, Bonnie, but neither is anything else in life. They have to learn to take care of themselves and walking around like circus performers won't help. I guarantee that. There're worse things than getting the crap kicked out of you while defending yourself. One of them is getting the crap kicked out of you without defending yourself. Another is losing all feeling of self worth and committing suicide. These kids need to toughen up, mentally and physically," I insisted.
"If you harm those children, or get them in trouble, or embarrass them, Chuck, I'll be all over you," promised Bonnie. "You've always been too busy with your damn company to spend time with them. Now you get all nasty about how you don't like the way they're turning out. I've done as much as I can, but the need a father that notices them and cares. Where in hell do you suppose we'll find him?" demanded Bonnie angrily.
"You're looking at him, Babe," I responded immediately. "You know that I've received an offer to buy out our company and I'm seriously considering it. If the lawyers and accountants can work out something that doesn't kill us in taxes, it'll be a done deal within a week. That's why I told the kids I'm going to be working with them to get them into shape."
"Yeah? Well the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, Chuck. You'd better not harm the kids, mentally, socially, or physically," warned Bonnie.
Monday morning saw me on the internet after the kids left for school and Bonnie headed off to work. I briefly considered following my alleged wife to see if they allowed her to teach my real wife's third grade class. How were they going to work that out, I wondered and then dismissed it. I reminded myself that I had to appear oblivious to the whole family switch. If I checked to see where my new wife was actually going, it would call unwanted attention to me.
Our high school was pretty progressive and had given us the option to sign up for information about how our kids were doing on the internet. We had elected to take that option, so I had gone to the school's site and plugged in our password. What I found was pretty damn upsetting. Kate and Jim were slackers, to put it mildly. Their marks were barely passing and the teachers' comments were quite damning. Generally, the prevailing opinion was that the kids could do much better if they only applied themselves.
I also considered how the producers of the show had already thought of the internet and had the two kids from this family inserted in my kids' school records, photos and all. I wondered what it must cost to pull off a switch like this so thoroughly. These guys were good.
I spent the rest of the morning cleaning house. In the early afternoon my home gym machine was delivered and I spent a couple of hours assembling it in the garage. I was ready when the kids were dropped off by the school bus.
"Kids, get changed into something comfortable to run in and we'll head out right away!" I urged with all the enthusiasm I could muster. "We'll do a few miles and then pump some iron on this cool weight machine. Then we'll do some studying. You'll love it."
Jim acted confused and Kate just got angry immediately. As I watched her come to a boil, I realized she was in for some bad days ahead.
"I have to call Marcie. Then I have to post some stuff on Facebook before my favorite show comes on. So, you guys go on without me. Do some father-son bonding. Besides, I'm not fat like Jim," sneered the little shrew.
I reached over and pulled the phone from her hand and slid it into my pocket. Then I held my hand palm up to Jim and he placed his cell phone in it. I slid it into my pocket next to his sister's.
"There's a new sheriff in town, kids. He's a miserable bastard and he's pretty determined. Go on up and get changed. I'll be waiting here."
Less than two minutes later both kids rushed back out to brace me in the garage, madder than wet hens.
"What happened to all of my stuff, Dad?" demanded Kate. "My TV's gone, along with my Wii, my lap top, my IPad...everything is missing," cried Kate. "Now I won't be able to study, or do my homework."
"My room looks empty, Dad," complained Jim. "What happened to all of our stuff?"
"I checked your grades online today and they were pretty bad, kids. All of that junk didn't seem to be doing much to help your education. Sitting around playing games sure didn't help your physical condition any, either. You're not born entitled to every damn electronic device known to man. You need to earn those. The first step in that effort will be to get changed and go for a run with me. You'll get your stuff back as you earn it. Now let's get cracking."
The kids left and soon Jim was back in a pair of sweats and a jacket. We waited five more minutes and Kate never returned. I went to her room. The door was locked.
"Kate, open the door and get out here. We're ready to start," I explained.
"Go to hell!" hollered Kate through her door.
"This sounds like typical teenage rebellion," I announced loudly to myself, and my TV audience, as I raised my foot and kicked in the door.
Kate was standing by her bed in stunned silence. She had changed into some sort of exercise outfit and for that I was glad. I simply took her by the hand and led her downstairs. I had the kids climb into the car and started driving.
"Since we're just starting and we don't want our neighbors to see what pathetic losers the three of us are, we'll go run a log trail through our wooded property near your grandfather's place. That way, no one will see us and we won't embarrass ourselves too badly," I reasoned.
Jim nodded his head in appreciation while Kate just looked down. She was a stubborn one! When we got there we started running easy and made it less than a hundred yards, and then we had to walk. I had Kate's hand in mine and pulled her along. I warned her that I'd literally drag her with us if she didn't work to keep up. We walked as rapidly as we could the rest of the three mile loop through the woods and were all sweating profusely by the time we were in sight of the car.
I drove back home and managed to grab Kate's hand before she disappeared into the house. I led her into the garage and Jim followed on his own volition. My shiny new weight machine was there waiting for us to tone up.
I started the kids out with light repetitions and worked with them. I promised Kate that if she cooperated for twenty minutes, I would let her go get showered. Then she would have to hit the books. Jim actually showed some interest in some of the exercises and did better than I thought he would in several of them. My arms and chest were tight by the time we stopped and went inside to clean up.
"Why doesn't the TV work, Chuck?" asked Bonnie after dinner was over. "I can't get any channels at all."
"I disconnected the cable to it, Bonnie. You don't watch TV very often and the kids watch too much. The TV in our bedroom still works if you want to watch it. The kids are determined to improve their marks, and American Idol isn't on any college entrance exams that I ever heard of," I allowed.
Bonnie looked at the kids sitting with their noses in school books, and then back at me. Then she picked up a romance novel and opened it to her page and began reading.
That night in bed, I slid over next to Bizarro Bonnie and ran my hand under her top and took a luscious tit into my hand.
"I don't think so, Buster. You haven't told me how Kate's door got so smashed and why the kids are so quiet, why they're studying, and what happened to all of their electronics."
I explained what had transpired that afternoon while Bonnie just shook her head in disbelief.
"What the hell is going on with you, Chuck? You don't act like the man I married. You're being cruel and indifferent to the kids' needs and feelings. You're destroying the house, one chair or door at a time. Did the doctor put you on medication or something? Are you going to beat me until I have sex with you now?"
'Damn it, Bonnie. I would never force myself on any woman once she convinced me that she didn't want me. That certainly includes you. Have I ever touched you in anger?"
I was curious what her answer would be. Who knows what the jackass she was married to would do? Maybe he was a wimp that hit women.
"No, Chuck. You know you've never even come close to hurting me that way. It's just that your behavior has been odd lately and it concerns me. I won't tolerate you hurting the kids, either," she warned as I rolled over and closed my eyes, wondering what would be edited out of the bedroom scenes.
The next day when we finished our run, BB met us in the garage with three shoe boxes in her hand.
"As long as you three are determined to improve your conditioning, I thought you could use some good running shoes," she stated as she handed each of us a box. The next day we all wore them and they really were a lot better for our feet.
"When will I get my phone back?" asked Kate on the ride back home after our jog through the woods a few days later.
She took me by surprise as she had not spoken a word to me since I had kicked in her door. She had offered no resistance to our new routine, although it was obvious that she didn't want any part of it, or me.
"Okay, Kate," I answered evenly. "What would be a reasonable goal for you to achieve in order to regain phone privileges? You know what I'm trying to do here and why. What're your thoughts?" I asked.
"You want us to get better grades, drop some fat and tone up and look more like kids you can be proud of," suggested Kate. "It'll take forever to get as skinny as you want us to be, or to run as far as you would like. How about if I stop doing my hair different colors? Could I have my phone back if I did that?"
I considered her request carefully before I responded, "I'll tell you what. Once you hair goes back to its natural color and you get rid of all of your piercings, I'll return your phone."
Kate's face went dark. She folded her arms across her chest and sulked. She never expected me to be this tough. She was stubborn, but so was I. The next day she surprised me again. We were in the car heading for home after our feeble attempts at running.
"How about this, Dad? I'll remove all my piercing right away and stop coloring my hair, for my phone. It'll take a couple weeks and lots of washing to get it back to my natural color. That seems fair," she concluded.
"Okay, as long as you keep up with your school work and exercises. If you start backsliding, you'll lose the phone again," I warned.
To my surprise, Kate stuck her hand out and smiled. I took her hand and shook it. We had a deal. Jim had been silent during my discussion with Kate so I looked to see if he was going to ask for his phone back, too.
"Jim, do you want to see what you can do to get your phone back?" I asked.
"Not really, Dad," he responded unenthusiastically. "I don't really have any friends to call anyway, so I hardly miss it."
I felt bad for the kid, but knew that improved marks in school and a better body image would help him immeasurably. Damn the father that allowed his kids to sink to such depths. On the other hand, Jim never tried to slack on the runs or workouts, as pathetic as his attempts at running were. I was determined to stay the course.
BB was really a big help with the diet. I was more than a little surprised how she stuck to the plan, yet was able to create meals that were delicious as well as nutritious. She was really an excellent cook.
She was also a very good mother. I couldn't help but notice how comfortable both Kate and Jim were with her. They would discuss movies, friends, school, in fact, almost anything. Bonnie never preached, but she did keep pointing them in the right direction. This family seemed to be fairly strong. The obvious weak link was the asshole father. I just hoped that my influence would be enough to get the kids on the right track.
In the bedroom, I was striking out. I began to suspect that my so-called wife had also regained some of her memory, as she was having no part of me. The first week or so didn't bother me too much since I was sore all over and tired as hell from working out with the kids. After that, it began to annoy me. I had always had a very satisfactory sex life with my real wife and forced abstinence had never been part of my routine.
Finally it came to a head one night. I had tried to fondle BB in bed and she had once again rejected my advances. I lost my cool.
"What in hell is bothering you, Bonnie? You're acting like a frigid bitch."
"Are you that stupid, Chuck?" she demanded. "I tried for years to make the kids eat right and you kept bringing home candy, soda, chips, desserts, fast foods, and tons of ice cream. I finally gave up. Then you announce at dinner last week that you spoke to a dietician and have a menu that you want me to follow, as if it's my fault the meals have too many calories and not enough iron, protein, good carbs and all that other shit I'm cooking for you now.
"You let yourself go and encouraged the kids to be couch potatoes by getting them all those damn electronic gadgets because you're a software genius and wanted the kids exposed to that shit early in life. So now I have two overweight kids and a ball of lard for a husband, who, by the way, is passing all the blame for it over to me. That might have something to do with why I am not trying to give you an incredible blowjob right now, Chuck," she finished sarcastically.
Wow! I didn't realize how much contempt she had for her husband. The guy was a real dick if anything BB told me was even remotely true. He was the reason the kids were fat, and apparently he was pretty pathetic as well. I realized that I had my work cut out for me. I also realized that she had no clue that I wasn't really her husband. She had heaped all his stupid actions on my head. It was also clear that the guy's sex life had been in the toilet for some time. BB had pretty much given up on love and romance. She felt deserted and alone, abandoned by a fat, foolish workaholic husband.
"Okay, Bonnie," I said gently, before deciding to ham it up for the audience. "I can see that you're a little worked up, so don't worry about giving me a blowjob for a few days. I can wait until you're feeling better about all of this."
"Asshole!" was all she said as she rolled away from me and closed her eyes.
I thought I would give BB a few days to get over her funk before I tried my luck with her again. Tuesday evening she informed me that we would be attending a party at our neighbor's Saturday night. I decided that would be the night for me to score with this frustrating, but sexy woman that was supposed to be my wife. Little did I know.
The party was just down the street a couple blocks so we decided to walk rather than worry about driving home after drinking. As we walked I wondered just how this would work. Everyone at the party had to be informed about the real Bonnie being replaced for the TV show. How would they handle it? Would BB know the same people that my wife had known for years? How could that knowledge be hypnotized into a person? Did she have a folder with all our friends and neighbors pictures and histories in it? I began to realize to what lengths the producers had gone to generate a seemingly true reality for the show.
BB was wearing a low neckline and her cleavage looked fantastic. I knew the audience at home would be expecting me to move her world before long, and Little Chuck was eager as hell to show the viewers just what he was capable of doing. I decided to get BB a bit tipsy and hurry her home to show her, and the viewing public, unspeakable delights.
I watched as she mingled with the other partiers. How could they all be such good actors? Everyone chatted with her like they had known her for years, and she knew the names of the guests, as well as their kids. Like OJ Simpson, I was beginning to wonder just how deep this conspiracy went.
I had a couple beers and kept BB in my sights. I couldn't cling to her all night as we had supposedly been married for years and that wouldn't be normal. Still, I wanted to be prepared if she showed signs of being a little tipsy. That would be my cue to rush her home and show the fans just how a real man handles his wife in the old bedroom.
Then I saw that damn Steve Fargo start hanging around BB. He was married with three kids. In fact, his wife was home taking care of a six month old baby and he was at the party, showing interest in the treasures under BB's panties. What a prick.
I had to admire his determination. He wasn't pushy, but he was unrelenting. He chatted BB up and down, he fetched her drinks, and he even shared some hors d'oeuvres from his plate. It was a good thing I was paying attention to his every move or I would have missed seeing him guide BB out the back door.
I had been in the house often enough to know there was a patio and flower garden in back. It was a pretty good place for romance, if a couple were so inclined. I slipped out the front door and slowly circled the house.
I heard them before I saw them and that was partly because they were in a shadowy area near an old bench. As I finally caught sight of BB, she was being pulled down on Fargo's lap as he sat on the bench. I could hear the surprise in her voice as she realized her situation.
"Steve, you really shouldn't be doing this. We're both married and have children, so please let me up before we find ourselves in some kind of trouble," reasoned BB.
"Bonnie, no one will find us here, so don't worry. Besides, what could Fat Chuck do if he did find us?" asked that bastard Fargo. "You're way too fine for him. You need a man to show you what you've been missing."