The Dysfunctional Family

Dedicated to Esther, who sometimes wears blankets around her legs to breakfast, but who knows I would carry her anywhere.

Mr. and Mrs. Dysfunctional had just sat down to breakfast when their daughter Suzie stumbled in, still half asleep. But sleep, it turns out, wasn't the only problem.

As Suzie sat down, hert father asked, astonished, ``Suzie, why do you have a blanket wrapped around your legs? No wonder you're stumbling!''

``It keeps my legs warm. they were cold,'' Suzie explained as she poured a bowlful of Stars and Moons and Other Sugar Infested Astronomy StuffTM.

``Why don't you use a bathrobe?'' her father fussed. ``Why, in an emergency...''

The Dysfunctional's 20 year old central gas heater chose that moment to explode. The house was instantly filled with flames, smoke, and the shrill scream of a smoke alarm, blissfully unaware of its unnecessary addition to the sudden panic experienced by the Dysfunctionals.

``Get to the back yard! Get to the back yard!'' Mr. Dysfunctional cried as he jumped up. He ran towards the back door, stopped, ran back to the table, grabbed a napkin, and held it over his mouth and nose. He couldn't see in the smoke, so he felt his way towards the back door as flames licked at his heels. Suddenly he tripped over something.

``Ow!'' hollered Suzie. ``I tripped, and I'm all tangled up in this stupid blanket!''

Mr. Dysfunctional got down close to the floor, saw her terrified, hopeful face.

``I warned you about that blanket.'' He started to stand and move towards the door.

``Daddy! Help me'' she cried.

``Think of it as evolution in action,'' he replied with contempt.

As Mr. and Mrs. Dysfunctional stood out front watching the flaming remains of their house cave in, and wondering where the fire department was, a vicious rottweiler which ran loose in the area sprang from the bushes. It latched on to Mr. Dysfunctional's arm. He flailed helplessly at it. The blood-crazed dog then attacked his throat.

As he fell under the attack, his desperate eyes sought those of his wife. ``help me,'' he managed to whisper.

She shrugged her shoulders. ``Think of it as evolution in action,'' she replied with contempt.

After Mr. Dysfunctional quit moving, she chased the dog off with rocks and climbed a tree, just in case it returned. ``Where,'' she mused aloud, ``is the fire department? Where are the police?''

A funny feeling made her look up. She saw something fiery falling towards her, small, but growing at an alarming rate. A meteorite! Headed straight towards her! ``God, help me!'' she cried. The meteorite kept coming, now only seconds away. She was startled to hear an audible response to her frantic prayer. ``Think of it as evolution in action.''

Last updated: 07 Feb 1998
Copyright 1998 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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