by Eric Miller
He was no
nuclear scientist, so he didn't have any
experience with nuclear energy; however, he did
have lots of experience with "Nuclear"
and "Energy." That's what he
called his two grandsons: Ian and Oren. They
called him "Pa," except when he was
with "Ma," and then they become the
singular two-headed "PaMa."
world had changed since he was their age, but
even at the top of his form, he never equaled
their per second energy output. When he was with
them, he felt like he was in a rowboat with oars
chasing a rocket, trying to catch what was fueled
by fusion or fission with his "fishin pole."
Pa gave Ma a
high five as he entered, and as she exited, their
daughter Melissas house. He couldn't help
but notice that Mas perfectly coiffed hair
was a bit less perfect, her sparkling clean
clothes were a bit less clean, and her usually
vibrant expression was a bit more strained. Pa
and Ma divided this regular two hour babysitting
session into two one hour segments, believing
that they were conserving their collective energy,
although they were starting to believe that they
were just splitting the atom and creating a
three year old, tackled Pa as soon as he entered
the room. He hung on to Pa's leg, creating a body
surfing effect as his belly slid across the
ceramic tiled floor as Pa huffed and puffed while
dragging him, a weight which seemed to Pa like
the stone of Sisyphus. At the same time, Nuclear,
the six year old, grabbed Pa's arm and begged
that Pa pitch batting practice to him in the back
yard. Piper, the family Shichon, scampered among
the three of them, causing Pa to stumble and fall,
placing him under his two grandsons and the dog.
He heard his cell phone ringing, but he couldn't
pull it from his pocket as Ian lay across one arm
and Oren lay across the other. It kept ringing
until he got free.
what's happening, why didn't you answer the phone?
Is there a problem?"
is normal," Pa gasped, as he lay on his back
on the floor in a wrestling pin, with a knee
pressing against his Adam's Apple.
is normal," Pa repeated in a faint rasp, as
he became lightheaded.
can't hear or understand you. Are you having a
heart attack or a stroke?"
be so lucky," Pa gasped, softly.
The sound of
Moms wheels screeching into the driveway
caught everyones ear. As she bounded
through the front door and into the family room,
the two boys were sitting peacefully on the sofa,
with Piper on their laps, watching "The
Wiggles" on television.
it go?," Ma asked, when Pa staggered through
surprises. Everything was normal, nothing unusual,"
Pa said, as his hands were shaking while he
poured himself a brandy. "But, you know Ma,
I'm thinking of writing to President Obama and
telling him about a great source of alternative