“But I don’t want to play bagpipes! Bagpipes are for losers! And you can get an infection from playing!”
Lolly was dismayed at the gently-used ensemble that had been presented to her. Her father sighed and shook his head.
“Well, child, I’m not a miracle worker. Just consider yourself lucky we live in a town that well utilizes these in a band.”
The teenager was not swayed. “Why do I have to be in band? Why can’t I do what Uncle Bill did?”
Dennis rolled his eyes at his daughter’s stubbornness. “Child, your Uncle Bill once ate an entire 20 pound turkey whilst wearing a speedo and Freezer Bunny novelty hat.”
“Why on earth would he do that?”
“Oh, beats me, child. It was voted the most memorable Spring Break Dance of the Decade, so-”
A sudden burst of raucous laughter outside interrupted him.
“What in the Sam Hill is going on out there?” A peek out the window confirmed who the culprits were. “Uh, child, would you excuse me for a moment?”
Lolly watched as her father went out to the front yard to set things straight.
“What in blue blazes are you two doing?!” Shark and Sinbad stopped their impulsive fart-lighting to be confronted with an agitated father and former employer.
“Oh hey, Dad. We’re waiting to hear back from the places Sinbad applied to, and we’re also bored and have no money for fireworks, so…”
Dennis remained somewhat perturbed. “That does not mean you have the right to light up your flatulence like a couple of immature frat boys! What if the neighbors saw you?”
“Boss, I’ve seen the neighbors. None of them give a fuck. The one lady sort of freaks me out, but that’s about it.”
“Just get inside, you two!” Before either of the two could continue explaining themselves, Dennis grabbed hold of them by the wrists and pulled them back into the house.
“Running out of work, eh, Tweedledee and Tweedledum?” Sinbad glared at Lolly’s snide remark.
“Child, be nice.” Dennis then took hold of his coat that hung over a chair, then patted the pocket of his pants. “Now it looks as if I have to make a trip to the store. Can the three of you at least try to get along in the time it takes me to do so?”
The patriarch’s request was met with some rather insincere affirmations. Deciding that was the best he was going to get, Dennis left en route to the grocery store.
“So when are you going to hear back from the places you applied to?” Standing in the shower wasn’t usually a location most considered for conversation. Shark and Sinbad managed to turn it into a regular occurrence.
“I dunno. Soon, I guess. Can I not worry about that shit now?”
The two pressed up closer together. Admittedly, they weren’t used to doing their usual routine in such a confined space. Not that they hadn’t before.
“All right…What do you wanna do?”
Sinbad gestured to the both of them. “Well, we’re wet and naked. If you’re cool with it, you wanna pick up where we left off at Red Roof?”
Lolly was still glaring at the pipe and sheepskin monstrosity in front of her. If she didn’t know any better, she would’ve assumed her father was punishing her for some kind of slight.
“Who seriously plays bagpipes in band? I’d be better off in the Debate Club.” The teenager set the ensemble aside, and instead sat on the couch and sulked.
Had Dennis gotten a TV and cable by now, she’d lay back and watch the Food Network. Instead she had to stare up at the ceiling.
“I hate this place.” The noises she was hearing from the bathroom weren’t too appealing to her either.
Initially, she’d thought it was her hearing playing tricks on her. That wasn’t as likely to be true after hearing her brother say, “Sinbad, that tickles!”
By the time she heard more laughing and sounds of the shower wall being kicked, Lolly was at her feet and grabbing hold of her bagpipes. Taking a deep breath, she blew in and brought forth quite a loud result.
So loud, in fact, that at some point while doing so, she could hear Sinbad yell out, “Aw, for fuck’s sake!”
Lolly played a few more notes before the bagpipes were snatched out of her hands. She was then subjected to her brother’s naked and angry boyfriend.
“Dammit, Lolly! Quit killing my boner!” Sinbad then stormed back into Shark’s room, with Shark following close behind.
“Well, now ain’t that a sight for sore eyes.” Dennis had come home with the groceries to see his daughter happily playing away on her new instrument. “You and the bagpipes finally reach an agreement?”
“You could say that.” Lolly could hear a displeased groan coming from Shark’s room that could only have come from Sinbad.
“Just so long as you get some work out of it.” Then Dennis heard another noise, this one far more agitated. “What’s gotten into those two?”
Lolly shrugged, and watched as her father put everything away. He then presented two boxes of mac n’ cheese onto the counter.
“You would not believe the price of meat in that store nowadays! The boys are gonna be so disappointed. Hope they don’t mind a downgrade for a while. Could you be a dear and start this? You know I don’t trust anyone else to work the stove…”
For a while, Lolly was at work preparing everything and setting water to boil.
“Hey, Dad?” She figured it was best to ask now. “Think maybe I can have my own room? I’d like to have a place to study without uh, distractions.”
“And by distractions, you mean your brother and Mister Rotter’s antics.” Dennis heard a loud thumping noise coming from Shark’s room. “I suppose as long as your brother is living with us, then I don’t see why not. You and I will have to switch sleeping locations, but I trust that is not a problem?”
The teenager then hugged her father. “Thanks, Dad!”
“No problem, child. Just let me tell your brother what you want.” Dennis then pulled away and headed toward the bedroom.
When Lolly turned back towards the pot of water, she could hear her father sigh deeply, before speaking.
“Both of you put your pants on. I need your help with something.”