Monday, February 21, 2005

Guess Who's Going to Portugal (Not just me)

I come home to find Howard quietly sitting in my basement, wearing a new suit and tie, reading the paper. Surprised, I ask him what he's doing here. "You left the door open." He explains. "But why did you come here?" I ask. "Don't you think we have some preparing to do?" I have no idea what he's talking about. Frustrated, I throw off my schoolbag and go into my room only to find the incomprehensible. He apparently and deliberately took over my entire personal space to hang clothes-lines from one wall to another. There are assortments of every kind of sock possible and his scent is attributable to his bottles of cologne sitting on my dresser. Howard never settles for simply black or white or any other colours. No, there are black socks with white polka dots, yellow socks with green polka dots, ones with grey and white stripes, diagonal and horizontal, long and short, even socks with individual toes, which I could never see Howard wearing but nevertheless make it so that I have to duck to avoid being beheaded. My room looks like some sort of deranged theme-park. "Uh, Howard." "Yes?" he says, not even looking up from the paper? "You know we have a dryer eh?" "Of course, but I didn't want to bother you. Using a clothes-line is much more energy conscious." If he were a bit more energy conscious he might have saved himself the energy and not colonized my life. I need to get to the root of this so I ask him point-blankly: "What the hell is going on?" "Would you like a drink?" He asks. "What do you have?" "Only Hennesey." "That'll do. Now what's up?" "We're going to Portugal." I almost faint.

I thought that he must certainly be joking. But no, he bought a ticket from and even has all his belongings packed (something I haven't started). "We have to drink this bottle before Wednesday. They only allow us one bottle of hard liquor each on the plane. Bottoms up!" I give him the clink but refuse the drink. Hennesey eats at my stomach. He is apparently in a celebratory mood considering it's a 40 ounce bottle and he's barely penetrated the neck. "I thought you said we had preparing to do. Now you're being an alcoholic." "You didn't think you could run off without old father Howard did you?" "You're not my father." I say irritably.

I often feel more like Howard is more of a child than any kind of mentor, yet he is full of surprises. "Nevertheless," he continues "we are going to be back-packing together. You're going to introduce me to the illustrious lioness, and we will be partners in crime (not literally that is)." I try to level with him. "Howard, ok, I look up to you. I respect you. You know what you've done for me both professionally and personally to change my life but.." Then he interrupts me with "and that is why I have opted to help you in your navigation. My family has been bred to travel for centuries. You don't think we are named the 'Waywords' for nothing do ye? Onward and Wayword is what we always say! We will penetrate the country right through the centre, then we will hike up to the Porte e Norte and forge south to the Algarve. We will touch the sable earth with our fingers and make ourselves known to the villas. Yes! I even got you a pair of speedoes for the beach. I will be mingling with the Portuguese beauties on shore naturally. I will ride on the waves towards the Madieras until I crush them with my paddle. Onward and wayword! Hey Ho! Onward and Wayword!!"

At this point, I can no longer control Howard. He is taken by a fit of excitement and megalomania. I guess I will just have to put up with his nonsense intercontinentally. Oh well, perhaps the Portuguese can teach him a lesson about not being so arrogant better than I. It will be embarassing if he presumes to know everything about everything if he can't even speak the language. Either way, Howard and I will get our sun. He comes up behind me just as I'm about to go out for a cigarette. "Oh no no no, my son. What will it be first? Toilettries? Electronics? You aren't going to leave packing for last minute on me. That's what I came here to prevent." Maybe I can lose him in a busy Portuguese marketplace. Oh well, now I'll have someone to talk to on the plane, not that he'll ever shut up.


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