The Next Chapter
There are some big shoes to fill around here now that Hunter, king of the jungle and dictator of this house, has taken his final bow. After a month of mourning, Tuna, the teenage punk, who worshipped that old coot, and is working on being just like him, has decided that he would like to slip on the boots and wear the next crown. That of course is his opinion only. The hip waders he is planning to put on are intended for Sven and the ongoing beaver situation, which is another story altogether. Grandma Meow Moses, our senior most citizen here in the black hole just outside Harmony Grove, has not noticed that Hunter is gone. When she puts on her pearls to come upstairs for her bowl of milk on the step, her path is a straight line rather than a wide circle around the sleeping giant who used to always be in her way. However, the scowl on her face remains the same. To be perfectly honest, I do not believe she ever knew he was king. And at this point, I do not think she remembers that he ever existed. Grandma claims she came over here on The Mayflower in 1620 because she was looking for an adventure that did not involve any curtseying. She was sick to death of riding horses side saddle and thought cricket was overrated. She goes into great detail about that trip and all the shit that went on, during her voyage. "It lasted seven fucking weeks," she says. "The food was atrocious; the sleeping quarters were small and smelly. And oh, the waves. I was never so sick!" "Are you sure it was the Mayflower?" I asked her. "That was a little before your time." "I could not stand Queen Elizabeth," she says. "She was so uppity." It can be delicate when confusion sets in to even the brightest among us. So, I just nod. "There she is!" hollered Grandma the other day when she saw a clip from the Jubilee on the morning show. "Boy, that woman hasn't changed a bit." Before Tuna got the idea that he should be king, I was thinking that perhaps I might want to take a stab as the next one on the throne. It might be nice to sit up there, and bark out orders all day and night, the way Hutner did. Maybe chew on a Dingo Dyno Stick stuffed with cheese every now and then. Sven wants nothing to do with any of it. "Too much responsibility," he said. "And I don't care for the social events." However, if there is an election, he plans to vote for Tuna. "What?" "You, Millie, will come up with all kinds of "great ideas," quote unquote, that will involve me if you are in charge." That was harsh. Since we are not able to sit around our kitchen table and have a family discussion like other households because Grandma and Tuna get along like oil and water in a kitchen fire, Sven and I have decided to let the chaos ensue. "Let them both think they're in charge," said Sven. "But." "That way life will continue just the way it always has been, minus the big guy." He was right. The rest of us haven't changed a bit. To Hunter's dismay.