Boner

 

E. G. Fabricant

 

After cutting school, two bored teenagers cook up some Spam-inspired mischief between the housekeeper and Grandpa. The result? Not what they bargained for.Adult situations.

 

The boys lolled about Burton’s bedroom as only self-conscious, teen-aged males can.

Earnest scratched his abdomen.  “What time is it?”

With theatrical difficulty, Burton checked.  “Twelve-thirty.”

“I’m hungry.”

“Duh.”

Earnest sighed.  “Well—what do you want to do for the rest of the day?”

“You mean, after we eat?

“Duh.”

Grand Theft Auto?

“Bo-ring!”

“The Mall?”

“Boooorrrring!  Besides, it’s too early – it’s a school day.  Remember?”

“Oh, yeah—right.”  Earnest deliberated, then sat up.  “I know!  We can load up our parents’ Facebook pages with more bogus comments and annoying apps.”

“Genius!  They’re still digging out from the coin questionnaires and Farmville.”

The boys leapt up in unison and high-fived.  Burton leap-frogged into his desk chair and logged on.  “First, a quick email check…”

Slouched against the hutch, Earnest texted.  “Anything worth looking at?”

“Let’s see…Naw.  Just another post from that fucking no-cuss-words queef.  What a tool; I think it’s time we hacked him again.”

“No doubt.”  Earnest raised both his middle fingers–a double digital salute to connote agreement .

“Hey—check out this piece of Spam…

Earnest hunkered and squinted.  “’Vulcanize the Whoopee Stick.’  Double-you Tee Eff?”

“What else?  Expired or knock-off foreign Viagra!”

They chortled.  Burton lost himself for a moment.  “Forget Facebook—I’ve got a better idea.”

Earnest recognized that look.  Last time, it involved M-80s, school plumbing, and community service.  “What now?”

“Let’s ‘vulcanize’ Grampa’s ‘whoopee stick.’”

“Um…”

“C’mon; it’ll be great, and he’ll never know the difference.”

“One thing.”

“What?”

“This doesn’t involve leaving the house, right?”

“Duh.  Grampa’s got that GPS thing on him that goes off if he even goes outside.”

“Hm.  Actually, two things.  Where do we get the stuff?”

“My Dad.”

Earnest gaped and punched Burton’s shoulder.  “Your old man has trouble winching up the weasel?  Gross!”

“Don’t really know, or want to.”  Burton rubbed his arm.  “I saw him taking it on accident and he felt the need to ‘share…’”

“Ew.”

“I know—I checked out somewhere after ‘insurance policy.’  I’m still scarred from the ‘facts of life’ thing.  Anyway, it’s not Viagra—it’s the other one.  You know: the geezers-in-the-bathtubs one.”

Clutching at his head, Earnest nodded.  “Despite your typical inattention to detail, I’m in.”

“Great.”  Burton turned back to the monitor and checked the system tray.  “Let’s do the necessary research—wiseass.  Fatima’s always on time.”

The conspirators stole into the bath off the master bedroom and opened the medicine cabinet over the vanity.

“Here we go.”  Burton pulled down the white-capped, amber bottle and scrutinized its label.  “Yup—five milligrams; typical dose.  We’re good to go.”

Earnest rocked fitfully on the granite countertop.  “Are you sure your Grandpops doesn’t have a condition that would make this dangerous?”

“All right, Mister Zero Tolerance.”  Sighing, Burton set the bottle down and placed his hands on his hips.  “Let’s review.  Such as?”

“Heart attack or stroke?”

“No.”

“Liver disease?”

“Nope.”

”Kidney problems?”

“Negative.”

“Medicated for high blood pressure?  Supplements?”

“Uh-uh, and—who cares?  Look.  We’ve been all over this.  Grampa’s healthy as a horse, except for poor eyesight and arthritis.  Other than the usual vitamins given an old guy over 80, the only meds he takes are the Alzheimer’s thing and Tylenol-with-something for pain.  Besides, it’s a one-time deal; just want to get a rise out of him—and, hopefully, Fatima.”

They cracked the hallway door and peered into the dim familiarity of Grampa’s room.  As expected, the wild, white hair tufted just above the recliner’s back and, beyond, the sing-song prattle of daytime TV.

“You got it?” Burton whispered.

“Right here.”  Earnest advanced each hand—a tiny, pale-peach almond of a tablet and a tumbler of tepid water.

The pair crept to the edge of his chair.  His craggy and deeply-lined but smooth face was expressionless.  Burton cleared his throat.

“Grampa?”

The old man fixed his eyes on his grandson.  The sclera were yellowed and fibrous.  His pale blue irises were milky, and his pupils seemed dull.  “Bill?”

“No, Grampa.  Bill’s your son; I’m Burton—your grandson.”  He managed a smile.

“Oh.”  Grampa remained impassive.

“Got something for you.”  He beckoned earnestly; his comrade appeared from behind him and offered the contents of his hands.

“Who’s this?”

“My best friend, Earnest, Grampa.  You’ve met him before.”

“Oh.”  His eyes shifted downward.  “What’s this?”

“New kind of medicine.  It’ll make you feel”—they traded glances—“happier.”

 

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