For the past eight months, I've been living with my wife, our seventeen-month-old baby daughter, and my mother-in-law in my mother-in-law's one bedroom apartment. I'm unemployed... but my wife is a successful corporate lawyer... but we have no money since I once put us in debt following a charade that some say went "off the rails" which I think is an exaggeration to say the least since they only yell out those kind of things because I'm fun to be with, especially at picnics, and they wish they were too – add to that: I know and sing all the hits from the '80s (Bananarama anyone? Hello?...) and my little "charade" cost my wife and I hundreds of thousands of dollars. So we live in this tiny one bedroom apartment and... oh yeah... my best friend Todd Hubb who is also unemployed lives with us against what my wife calls her "better judgement" and "wishes".
My wife also now claims that we are legally separated but she wants me around to build a relationship with our daughter since I missed the first eight months of her life because I once ran away from home to follow my dreams of living a life of no responsibility or accountability. No one can blame me for that.
This morning, my wife called me into the small kitchen area for what she called a "sit-down talk". Todd, my pal, was sitting a few feet away in the living room area, munching from a bucket of take-out chicken wings.
MY WIFE: Eric, we need to talk about our situation here.
ME: Okay. We have such a great life, don't we?
MY WIFE: Actually, that's what I want to talk to you about?
ME: How great our lives are?
MY WIFE: Our lives are not great.
ME: What do you mean? I eat every day, with a roof over my head... as much take-out as Todd and I can eat... and I don't even have to work.
Todd toasted us with a chicken wing, winked at my wife, and took another greasy bite.
ME: Our lives are fantastic!
MY WIFE: My mother and I are working our behinds to the bone. My life is terrible. You two are eating us out of house and home.
ME (distracted): Sorry hon... hold on a sec...
I shouted out to Todd.
ME: Hey, do you mind leaving me some, you pig!
MY WIFE: Can he... maybe go eat that outside? We need some privacy.
ME: I'd rather keep an eye on him and our wings...
MY WIFE: We need to talk in private, Eric.
ME: He's watching TV. He can't hear a thing.
My wife sighed, resigning herself to what I can only assume many wives do.
MY WIFE: All right...
Todd turned the TV off, and stared in our direction, sucking back a chicken wing.
ME (to my wife): So what's up?
MY WIFE: This really... this whole situation... it's really not working for me.
ME: It's working for me. It's working for Todd. Todd, isn't it working for you?
MY WIFE: Eric, you're taking advantage of me. You haven't worked since you got here over eight months ago.
ME: I put my cereal bowl in the sink when I'm done, just like you told me to. I don't know what you're talking about.
MY WIFE: I wanted you to stay here to get to know your daughter, and for her to get to know you. But you have barely paid her any attention since you came back.
ME: I know my daughter. I know her name. It's Jessie Lou.
MY WIFE: It's Jessalyn.
ME: What kind of name is that?
MY WIFE: I want you and Todd to leave. Tonight.
ME: What if me and Todd make a million dollars by the end of the day? Do we still have to leave?
MY WIFE: How are you going to make a million dollars?
I looked over at Todd, excitement spewing from my face.
ME: Todd, if we made a million dollars, what would we do? Oh my God! The freedom we'd have! To just sit around and do nothing. I think we'd leave this place though, don't you think? We'd leave this place, right? We wouldn`t be staying here. It's small here.
I turned back to my wife.
ME: But you'd have to stay here with the baby. I think this is a better place for the baby, really.
MY WIFE: You have one hour to get out.
ME: What if I decide not to leave and I go on a hunger strike?
MY WIFE: A hunger strike? Good, maybe I'll save some money around here.
ME: That's it! Todd, we are going on a hunger strike.
Todd opened his mouth which was jammed with munched-up chicken and barbeque sauce.
TODD: The hell we are!
ME (to Todd): Now you shut up and you listen to me!
My wife had a mobile phone up to her ear.
MY WIFE: The police are on their way.
ME: Come on, Todd, we are protesting. Put that bucket down.
TODD: Shut your mouth!
I lunged at Todd and we tussled, as I crammed as many barbeque wings as I could into my mouth.
TODD: Stop eating my chicken!
ME: I'm going on a hunger strike! I need to fill up!
When the police showed up, Todd and I were in the kitchen, shoving everything we could down our gullets, prepping for our hunger strike. The place was a mess with barbeque sauce on the walls, porridge on the furniture, and the oven seeping batter onto the floor caused by a failed attempt by Todd and I to bake three soufflés at once.
Ten minutes later, Todd and I were sitting on the street curb with nothing to do.
TODD: This hunger strike is boring.
I turned to my BFF, scratching my stomach.
ME: I'm feeling a little peckish.