Take the Trash Out, Please

Graham is sitting on the couch watching a Minecraft video on an iPad. “Hey, bud, could you take the trash out?” the man says. “No,” he says without looking up. The man sighs. “Let me rephrase that. Take the trash out.” “Uggghhh. Why?” “Because it’s full and it’s your job.” “Why can’t Lindsay do it?”Continue reading “Take the Trash Out, Please”

To Monitor a Cat’s Blood Sugar

They are in Texas for Christmas eight months after being married. They are sitting in the front room getting ready to watch a movie with Ruthanne and the man’s parents. Mom comes in dressed in a nightgown and her slippers, and she carries a bag full of needles. “Lauren, before I forget,” she says. “IContinue reading “To Monitor a Cat’s Blood Sugar”

We Met the Other Night

Darkness has fallen around Pasadena when they emerge from a public housing complex on Colorado Boulevard. The streetlights are bright, and traffic is heavy as people head home from work. Their car is parked on the street just around the corner. The young missionary is headed that way when they pass a black man standingContinue reading “We Met the Other Night”

A Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training

She is not like Grant. She plays quietly with dolls, cuddles easily, and hates being dirty. She has transitioned out of diapers and pees easily on the potty. The man walks through the kitchen into the hall. A noise from the half bathroom at the end causes him to turn. She is sitting on theContinue reading “A Comprehensive Guide to Potty Training”

Most Teams Celebrate When They Win

The man’s oldest son started football for Silver Lake when he was ten. They went 0-8 that year. That same group of kids has never won a varsity game since mighty mites. The man and his friend are the new the Silver Lake seventh and eighth grade coaches this season. They have dumped the oldContinue reading “Most Teams Celebrate When They Win”

Purple Heart Funeral

The man’s youngest son discovered Oversimplify on YouTube on his own around age eight, which made him an unlikely authority on eras of history that most people know little about. Now, he often says things like, “Can you believe people thought Czar Nicholas was so bad? Apparently, they haven’t heard of Leopold II of Belgium!”Continue reading “Purple Heart Funeral”

It’s a Test

Lauren’s parents live in the Boston area. On the night the young man and Lauren got engaged, they went to Granny’s house to call their parents. They had known each other for more than two years since they had served as missionaries together; she had come to his house at Thanksgiving, but he had neverContinue reading “It’s a Test”

His Dad’s Final Joke

Stephen, Bob Bolster, Bill Settle, Jerry Kizerian, and the man stand over their father’s body. He is laid out on a metallic table and covered in a sheet. The temple clothes are folded next to him, and the man has a pair of garments to dress him in. Dad looks pasty and puffy, not reallyContinue reading “His Dad’s Final Joke”

His Son Is Trying to Kill Him

Their son does not like anything the man does for him. He hates having his diaper changed, cries like he is being killed. When the man goes to give the boy his first bath, the man’s mother in law insists, “Babies love their baths!” But Grant does not: he screams bloody murder through it. OnContinue reading “His Son Is Trying to Kill Him”