I love Queen as much as the next person, but J has done all that is in his power to play Bohemian Rhapsody until we’ve been on the brink of tears. And, sadly, he is doing it on purpose…not because he hates us, but because we re-arranged the furniture in the family room and he has re-designated it as The J Room.
He wasn’t into the whole furniture re-arranging/re-configuring project yesterday. Skepticism doesn’t begin to describe the sort of attitude that met us as we started working on this. J sat on the couch looking at us like the cat had just dragged us in…I know because I had seen J staring at Miss Pipa as she brought a grasshopper into the house a few afternoons ago. The look he gave her was EXACTLY the same as the one he was giving us yesterday as, with very little cooperation from him, we started emptying shelves and moving things here and there.
J was so NOT into this whole thing that at one point we heard him harrumph and then he sat in what we call a modified Lotus position, with his elbows resting on his knees, his hats roguishly placed askew on top of his head and a look of contempt in his eyes. He sort of reminded us of Lewis Carroll’s Caterpillar…the only thing missing was the hookah, but J still managed to make the straw from his insulated cup give the same effect. “Hey’, we told him, ‘it’s going to be nice! You’ll see!!!” With a shrug, he turned back to his iPod dock and started what can only be construed as his version of sitting-in and singing We Shall Not Be Moved… Freddie Mercury sang Bohemian Rhapsody so many times in a row that even the recording sounded tired. That J managed to sync this looping song to one of his Madeline videos made things a little more tolerable, but more on that later…
The morning had started in much the same way Sunday mornings usually start around here: we played some Boccherini on the CD player while we ate a leisurely breakfast which was suddenly interrupted by J’s overwhelming desire to vacuum the carpet in his room. We invited him to listen to some more Boccherini and he obliged…for about a minute…and then he wanted to change the sheets on his bed and start laundry. We didn’t move other than to reach for the butter. J tapped his foot and, in hopes of speeding things up, grabbed the French press and refilled our coffee cups…then he sat down and tapped his foot as, chin resting on hands and elbows propped on table, he looked from one of us to the other to the other.
Much to his chagrin, the ploy didn’t work and no one rushed through breakfast. Once we were done, well, that’s another story. J then leapt like a man possessed by joy and happily bounced up the stairs towards his room. Chores were completed in less than twenty minutes, and that includes the usual roadblocks we put up for him to slow him down. At one point we heard TGG say “gee, dude, thanks…now I’m going to get the whole why can’t you clean your room as fast as J does???” Again, to slow him down, I sent them three on an expedition to drop off the recycling while I cleaned the dining room and kitchen.
J’s bubble burst when he realized that we were, indeed, going to work in the family room. In order to make us not want to work there, he made himself so comfortable on the couch it seemed a pity to move him. As we started emptying shelves, I started explaining to the room in general what was to be done. These shelves, I said…MAMAAAAA OOOOOH OOOOH OOOH OOOH…are going to get stacked…DIDN’T MEAN TO MAKE YOU CRY…and the others will flank them. IF I’M NOT BACK AGAIN…And the lamps…THIS TIME TOMORROW…can go on the lower units…CARRY ON…with the timer…CARRY ON…and that way one can read…AS IF NOTHING REALLY MATTERS…or work at the desk…
TGG, who had been trying to listen and occasionally turned to glare at his brother (you know the look…the “dude! She’s going to get pissed off!!!” look,) suddenly started laughing so loud that WE turned to glare at HIM! And then we saw it…
Madeline: Lost in Paris…expertly maneuvered courtesy of the remote control so that what was happening on the screen, through a series of pauses, slow-motions, fast-forwards, quick toggles back-and-forth, seemed to be re-enacting what was happening in the song…Pepito, the Spanish ambassador’s arrogant son, arms open wide, eyes closed and with as rapturous a look on his face as a simply-drawn cartoon can have, did his best Freddie Mercury impression. TGG, who sometimes forgets how cool and funny J can be because he’s 21 and it’s normal for this to happen, was so impressed with his brother’s witty handling of the DVD and the music that we lost one set of hands to the entertainment provided by J, the saboteur.
In the end, as lunchtime arrived, the younger members of the family abandoned the family room long enough for the older people (the semi-arthritic, in need of readjusting glasses constantly in order to properly handle screws, nuts and bolts, ow ow I can’t get up from this position, what was that you said?, do you mean your left or my left? people in the household) to re-arrange the whole room in record time. When J and TGG emerged from their break and J saw the furniture placement, he immediately leapt and clapped his hands. All this???? For me???? Oh, you are AWESOME!!!! Now GO AWAY!!! What? You’re not leaving? Oh, then we’re ALL going to listen to Bohemian Rhapsody for the fiftieth time today!!!!!
It might be that we have found a cure for arthritis. It might be that, rather than glucosamine or whatever it is people take for their knees, Bohemian Rhapsody is the right remedy for all these ailments. It made US run up the stairs. Such alacrity has not been displayed by the middle-aged population of this household since the great Red Solo Cup incident of Spring 2012…yeah, I know that was mere weeks ago…but J is still basking in the glory…and in the family room.