Getting food poisoning was never fun.
For Sinbad, it was even more so. It meant he was resigned to laying in bed, naked and nauseous. It didn’t help that the teddy bear he got Shark for his birthday seemed to be staring at him.
He was thankful he was allowed to get up and watch TV. Despite this, he waited until the other two were done talking.
“You got all that, boy?” Dennis was repeating to his son the protocol for being left alone. Shark was clearly not in the mood to listen.
“Yeah, Dad. In case of fire, burglary, or Uncle Bill on LSD again, call Uncle Dudley.”
“That’s a good boy!” Dennis was about to lay down more ground rules when he heard his daughter loudly calling for him.
“Well, your sister’s not going to wait much longer. I know little if anything about the movie we’re going to see, but she’s been looking forward to it-”
Shark at this point was practically pushing his father out the door. “We’ll be fine, Dad! Just go and enjoy your movie. And if Blaise calls, I’ll have her leave a message.”
“Uncle Bill on LSD? Do I want to know?” Sinbad was leaning forward as he let Shark fluff his pillow.
The brunet groaned, wondering which traumatic memory he had to use. “We don’t know where he’s getting it. What we do know is that he’s got a lot of it.”
“How much is a lot?”
“Enough to drive a golf cart into City Hall. Then he got a sledgehammer, claimed he was Geoffrey Dolan, and destroyed about half the furniture.”
Sinbad cringed upon hearing the name. “Tell me you didn’t get into that show ‘cause of your uncle.”
“Nah. Besides, I’d only be upset about it if Derrick were my favorite character.” Shark shrugged, as though he were not bothered by his relatives’ capabilities.
The redhead thought he was imagining it, but he felt something rise up in his throat. Sinbad was afraid to say anything about it.
“What about…” Sinbad tried to swallow down the approaching bile, to no avail. “Oh, dude. Little help?”
Shark reached over to keep Sinbad from falling off the bed. He was still completely off guard when he felt something hit his shirt.
“Sinbad…?” He looked down to see his shirt was covered in the ghastly remnants of what Sinbad had eaten earlier. Sinbad himself was horrified.
“Holy shit, man! I didn’t…I swear I wasn’t aiming for you.” Amazingly, Shark was barely unfazed at having just been used as a puke target.
“I never did like this shirt anyway.” Shark left the room, then came back with a CD player and some choices of music. “Pick one.”
Dennis sighed as he made his way back up the steps, upset at having been used for money.
It wasn’t so much that he was good for nothing more than ticket and snack fare tonight. He was more bothered by how his daughter no longer wished to spend time with him.
Deciding it was simply because of Lolly experiencing her typical teenage years, the patriarch threw his hands up in resignation and entered the house.
Upon hearing music playing, Dennis went to investigate, but not without searching for the TV remote first. Having not found it, he continued to go see what the other two men were up to.
“Boy, have you seen the clicker-” He didn’t finish, on account of Shark’s jeans flying into his face. When he pulled them off, he was presented with his son in nothing but a jock strap and cowboy boots. Both Shark and Sinbad were horrified at what just happened.
“Uh…Hey, boss,” Sinbad meekly said, trying to defuse the situation. “Home already?”
“Mm-hmm,” Dennis replied. “I’ll leave you two be. I’ll find it myself.”
The two men stayed silent after Dennis left the room. Sinbad sat up carefully, so as not to cause another emetic lurch.
“So…Dad seemed upset about something.” Shark crossed his arms, wondering why Dennis was home so early. “Think we should find out why?”
“Can I get rid of my boner first?”
When the two got better dressed and came back out into the living room, Dennis had already found the remote, and was browsing the documentary section with a quiet solemnity.
“Dad?” Shark’s father looked over to see them actually wearing clothes. “Something wrong?”
Dennis grunted and shrugged. “Not particularly. I will admit I am upset about several things. But I would rather you not worry about yours truly.” That wasn’t good enough for them, and Shark and Sinbad instead sat on either side of him.
“Come on, boss. What’s eatin’ you?”
The patriarch lowered his head, and shook it. “I don’t like to be reminded of my aging, is all.”
“Reminded of…how?” Shark kept fidgeting with the shirt that somehow was too big for him.
“Well, it seems Lolly is at the age where everything her father does is embarrassing. As for Shark, well…If what I saw earlier is any indication…” The brunet and redhead exchanged glances, blushing.
“Oh, that. Well, Dad,” Shark hesitated before he could think of the right things to say, “it can’t be as bad as you think it is.”
Dennis snorted. “Can’t be that bad…Boy. I dedicated half my life to an ungrateful witch who never truly appreciated anything that was given to her. And thanks to the career your batshit grandma forced on me to take, I missed watching my own kids grow up.”
Hearing all this made the two younger men feel horrendous. “But Dad…you’re here now, right? And you still got a lot of time left for those you care about. You can make up for it, like you’re making up for it now, right?”
“Yeah! And that one Blaise lady you went out with a while back? She looks to have a thing for you,” Sinbad added, hoping his former employer would cheer up from hearing this.
It seemed to have worked. “Really, now? A lovely lady like Miss Kindle is potentially interested in an old man like me? Well, I do suppose I can give her a call and catch up with her sometime.”
Seeing Dennis smile now gave Sinbad and Shark a sense of relief. “Good to hear, Dad. And since all three of us have time on our hands, what say we get some snacks and pop and binge watch a cartoon on Netflix?”
Sinbad clapped once and made a hand sign indicating he agreed wholeheartedly. “Love the idea. What do you wanna watch, Boss? Bob’s Burgers, Chowder, Bojack Horseman?”
“Eh, what’s the one with the robot that always smokes cigars and steals things?”
“Futurama it is.”