You remember part 1[^] of course!
Now be honest; you didn't remember it at all did you! :-)
Andrew's in the final few weeks of middle school. End of the month the little bastard gets to take two and a half months away from school, which is way more than enough time for him to completely lose the habit he never really wanted to acquire, that of going to school. When he does return to school it's as a 'freshman'.
It's taken a while but I think I've finally got the hang of the US naming conventions. Freshman, sophomore, junior and then senior. I'm in two minds about it; on the one hand the names we gave the same years (form 3, 4, 5 and 6) do seem a trifle pedestrian. On the other hand, freshman???
Come the first week of August when the return to school looms large on the horizon he'll be trying to milk sympathy for the ordeal he faces. I fear I won't be all that sympathetic. It's his misfortune that, for the most part, I actually enjoyed school.
Of course, we didn't, in Australia, have all the crap one sees in the worst of American school movies. I never really believed it existed until I met Morgan and saw with my own eyes someone trying so desperately to steer the right course between dweeb, nerd, geek, jock whilst on the treadmill of trying to be a part of the 'in' group and win homecoming prom points.
Even my wife, product of the Los Angeles Valley and of Pacific Palisades, entitled to be called a Daughter of the American Revolution, is at a loss to explain the whole homecoming/prom thing and she's very interested in social history!
A few weeks ago Andrew joined the school wrestling team. He came home from his first match a winner. I wasn't there to see it; they do insist on holding the matches at the most inconvenient times. I fear my boss would be nonplussed were I to demand the chance to see a match.
He came home full of it! I reckon he could have stood outside in a stiff breeze and the tickets wouldn't have been blown off him! 30 seconds go to whoa!
The second week he was as chirpy as ever even though the second victory had taken 40 seconds! I couldn't resist pointing out that the 33% reduction in speed bespoke, I feared, of a slowing down that could only be attributed to his getting older! Cheeky bastard makes jokes about my white hair; I retaliate as I can :-)
Tonight was his third week! Poor bastard landed badly and fractured his radius. I was at the office when my wife rang to pass on the news; it was couched in such basic terms as 'you'll have to look after your own dinner, Andrew and I are at the hospital'. Well, I've lived alone for 15 or so years in total so I'm certainly up to the task of looking after my own dinner.
Dinner looked after I went asearching for the emergency department. Somewhere over near East Shea and Loop 101. Fronted at the desk, asked for Andrew blahblah (what, you thought I'd mention his full name? His surname isn't the same as mine). Directions through such and such a door and look for bed X. We've all heard the drill.
And there he was, looking as relaxed as I've ever seen him! A few relaxed questions. Heck all he's done is broken a bone in his arm. It's hardly life threatening is it? I say that having never broken a bone in my life! My wife tells me he's fractured his radius. Naturally I couldn't resist a joke or two; 'what's that? He's cracked his circumference?'. They don't come a lot cornier than that!
He'd been given a pain killer; I had to test it. A gentle rap of the knuckles on his head and no owww in response! 'He's feeling no pain' I said.
Lest my behaviour and attitude seem a trifle cavalier I record that Andrew and I are now getting along very well indeed. He knows when I'm joking and when I'm not.
He was released a couple of hours after being admitted, arm not set in plaster as unnecessary but with a sling and strict instructions about exercising extremities and testing for unnatural coldness and numbness.
He was impatient to leave and we had to explain the concept of triage; he was going on the fifo principle.
Following release we dined across the road at Applebees. Mum went to the dunny, leaving the two of us alone as we waited for the food to arrive. She cracked up laughing when she returned; I was stretching my left arm out and saying 'I can do this', followed by a stretch of my right arm 'and I can do this'. And Andrew was laughing!