Christopher, 25, flopped down in my hammock the other morning, exhausted.
He was nearly two hours earlier than I’d been expecting him, and was blinking in the sunlight, hair standing on end.
“They got me up by standing on me. Right on my chest,” he said, indicating two puppies who were now energetically chasing each other around my yard.
Pammy and Christer adopted Alfie two years ago, and in recent weeks added Paco to their family. Both dogs are rat terrier Chihuahuas, which means they’re runty little balls of distracted crazy.
Pammy had been away for a couple of days and Christopher was in charge. Christopher looked like the father of a newborn. With colic.
“I have to shower here, ‘kay? And I need everything, like a toothbrush. I brought clothes. Do we have anything to eat? My wallet is in Pam’s car and I’ve been scrounging at home.”
“Do you want some money?”
“No! I’m doing great! I had crackers and cheese the first night. And I made eggs. Well, I sorta made eggs. That didn’t go so well.”
“How did you screw up eggs?”
I handed him a plate of leftovers of one of his favourite dinners. His eyes lit up.
“Is there any more of this?” he asked.
“No. I invited you guys over when I made it but Pammy said you were busy.”
“I was definitely not busy, and I was definitely not consulted.”
He looked at his plate glumly, realizing he could have had these leftovers instead of old crackers and sad eggs.
“I Googled how to make hard-boiled eggs,” he began.
I swear my sons will call me to ask how to defuse a bomb before they’ll ask me for cooking tips.
“It said to put the eggs in and bring it to a boil. I did that, but I guess I didn’t wait long enough because when I cracked one it was still full of egg. Like, raw egg.”
“That’s a sign,” I told him.
“So I went back to Google and decided I hadn’t boiled the bubbles hard enough.”
“Boiled the bubbles hard enough?”
“You know what I mean.” Yes, I knew what he meant. Scary.
“So I did it again, but something went wrong, ‘cuz they still were weird. And, I was down to nine eggs in the pot now…”
“Wait. How many eggs were you making? Didn’t you just make two and start again?”
“No, I had 11, I think, but now I’ve wasted two, and I’m still hungry…”
He continued his story while I looked at him over my glasses. You know the look.
“… so I put them in new water and started all over again. And this time, I waited ages, so they’d be done. But when I tried to peel one, it wouldn’t peel. I was just falling apart. So I Googled that, and it turns out you have to put vinegar in the water. That’s why they wouldn’t peel,” he concluded.
“Yeah, that’s why they wouldn’t peel,” I nodded. “Not because you’ve cooked them three times and they’re within an inch of death.”
Alfie and Paco came bounding up the stairs.
“I’d better feed them,” said Christer, getting up from the hammock. “Pammy leaves their food with very specific instructions.”
He went into the house to get it ready.
I looked at their two tiny faces, waiting patiently.
“Your mama loves you very much,” I told them.
No hitting Google to feed these two. Thankfully.