After a hard week, we typically reflect somewhere around Thursday or Friday and declare Saturday "Racko" night. It doesn't take much to declare Racko Night--just loading up on some alcohol, calling Laura to come over, and making some snacky foods like popcorn or heroin cookies. Not real heroin--they are just addicting enough to be like heroin. I don't need the cops doing a raid on the place this week--really. Although it would be a fitting ending to an equally weird week.
Racko is a card game that doesn't require much brain work or strategy. You just have to arrange the cards numerically in the little slots by changing them out with the pick up/discard pile. We make the game a little more difficult by requiring a run of 5 numbers (it has to be a consecutive 5 numbers) in order to shout "Racko" and win the hand. It's a relatively easy game that allows the players to actually chat and shoot down a couple of lemon drop martinis without sacraficing the win. The only problem is that it just gets a little more difficult to be the scorekeeper after 3 martinis. But, heck, Joe and Laura won't figure out if I'm a little off. They don't double-check my work--they just care who wins at the end of a few hands.
So, here we were, last night, playing Racko. Laura brought a veggie tray so we started off healthy. We quickly moved off healthy eating and moved on to Joe's speciality--Tasticles. (It's a long story, but they are little sausage balls that someone jokingly named after Joe) We were munching on far too many heroin cookies and Tasticles, and the cat was periodically scampering across the table with his cat toys. We decompress the stress in our lives by just laughing about whatever, singing with the tunes, and giving crap to whoever is losing. It doesn't take much to make us happy.
Joe was the big loser last night, saving his only wins (2) for the very last hand. Needless to say, he was catching some crud, big time. We were dissing him for being an old guy, not remembering anything more than the score from his middle school basketball game, when he yells some ridiculous thing.
"JINX!" he's all smiling and yelling at once.
Apparently he and I must have said the same word at once. Okay--so I haven't heard anyone use the word Jinx since about the 3rd grade, so I'm looking at him like he's a nut. So, do I not say anything until someone says my name? Are we really playing like we are 9 years old? I look at Laura who is just as confused as I am.
She turns to Joe and says "What did you just say?!". I am redeemed. She thinks he's nuts too.
"Jinx" he says, like it is completely normal for a 45 year old man to yell in everyday conversation. "You know. We said the same word and now she can't speak until someone says her name." He's explaining like we are idiots.
I thought it was me all along. I thought it was just me picking on Poor Joe, making fun of him doing weird stuff lately. Okay, I get that he is losing his job. I know that new job prospects are slim at best. I get that he is under stress and doesn't know how to make things better. I respect that he is travelling more and working weekends to keep his job. All that and still doing so much at home. But he is driving us crazy with the old guy routine.
He forgets details like who Britney is. Or that Colin doesn't have marching band on Tuesdays anymore. Or anything that I told him yesterday. He doesn't give the cats fresh water in the mornings anymore. He can't remember how to replace the screen with glass into the front door, even though he has done it 327 times before. He turns the wrong way at the corner, heading in a direction completely opposite of where we are going. He forgets what he goes to the store for.
We are trying to be patient, we really are. But even the kids are getting frustrated. There is a lot of "Dad!?!"s going on. We three are sympathetic, but there comes a time when you reach your end. We are growing tired of reminding, explaining, and reiterating over and over and over again. Dad is more like "Grandpa" these days and it is weird and scary.
I totally do not go along with the Jinx thing, and I think he realizes how ridiculous it sounded. Of course, we don't give him any slack and continue cracking up at his expense. He takes advantage of the fact that we have downed a few drinks and beats us at the last two hands. Victory for the old guy.