One Easter Sunday, ages and ages and ages ago, expateek and her family were in the midst of moving from North Carolina to Illinois. That would have been household move number, oh, say 5 or 6 or 7, expateek forgets.
They'd packed up all their worldly goods (jeez, again with the flippin' worldly goods!) and had holed up in a hotel in Nashville, where Mr D had thoughtfully staged the traditional Easter egg hunt in their Marriott hotel suite. On Easter morning, the four children, aged 10, 7, 5, and 3, gamely filled tiny plastic bags with chocolate mini-eggs. After a pancake breakfast, Mr D and expateek loaded themselves, kids, and cats into the minivan, and drove off toward Chicago.
They reached the promised land hours and hours later, after many pee breaks, unhappy kitty serenades, and endless sugar-fueled bickering from the back seat.
Arriving mid-afternoon at the scrungy hotel in Glen Ellyn (The Four Seasons, which sounded good on paper, but was in fact the most run-down excuse for a hotel ever seen), Mr D, always the strategic parent, turned on the hotel room's TV in order to mesmerise the children and have a few moments of peace. Then Mr D and expateek toted suitcases, and boxes of important documents, and cats and litter boxes and car games and snack bags and a sh*te load of other crap into the hotel room.
Completely bushed, expateek collapsed in a lump onto the edge of the bed, and stared brainlessly at the black and white movie playing on the screen. Seven-year-old Tarquin Jr sat beside her, totally transfixed.
"What's happening now?" expateek asked Tarquin Jr.
"Shhhh, Mom! Shhhh! That was just the plague of blood."
"The plague of blood?" expateek repeated.
"Shhhh, Mom! Shhhh! Next up is the rain of frogs! Shhhh!"
"The rain of frogs? How do you know? Have you seen this movie before, Tarquin Jr?"
"Naw, but sheesh, Mom, haven't you read the Bible?"
Mr D, choking with laughter, said "So much for your Sunday School teaching career, expateek! You must have skipped the religious ed requirement at Wellesley. Duh!!!"
The Ten Commandments next Easter, if you want a refresher course.
Or keep reading right here, because damn if we don't have another plague coming right up!
Poor, poor le French boss of the bad news! It is just after lunch, Paris time, and after downing a lovely bistro lunch, le boss feels a little bit feverish. Bad saucissons? Or something more worrisome? He's been plagued by various aches and pains lately, a little bit of la crise de foie, perhaps?
He feels a strange swelling on his lower lip. Non! Not a cold sore, not on the afternoon of the monthly project status meeting. He has so many important things to say today, so many persons to impress and to humiliate, and it will look so, hein, disgusting really, if he suffers a break-out at this moment.
He heads to the lavatory and looks in the mirror.
Sacre Bleu! My God! What eez eet?
Quel horreur! La hônte! Oh, ze shame of eet!
* Thanks go once again to Steamy, without whom this pestilence would not be possible.