Kyle, in her utter loveableness, argues her way to some extra bucks. Sheena and Patrick seem surprisingly happy, the reason for which is as much a mystery as what Wiggie's actually talking about.
So, things are running pretty smoothly in my neck of the woods, folks. Ever since I introduced Dad to my teacher she's been off my back. I don't think that my homework assignments have really improved but for some reason I'm getting better grades. And since I'm not an idiot, I'm not complaining.
Today after class Ms. Mjoo asked me to stay for a second so she could have a quick word with me. I saw her lips moving and all, and I did some nodding at moments that seemed appropriate, but I can't really tell what she's been babbling on about. I think she was getting lost in memories of her youth and Fall Out Boy or some boring crap like that. No one could make me listen to old people basking in the remnants of back when they didn't need cheap hair-dye (a little hint, Ms. Mjoo) to cover up grey strands and or didn't look absolutely ridiculous wearing a band shirt.
Dana's calling me judgmental when I share my opinions on the world and the freaks that inhabit it, but frankly, guys, the difference between a judgmental person and a hypocrite is saying what you're thinking. I see myself as a very honest person. I'm easy to get along with too, just don't bug me and you're fine.
Anyways... so after school Dana and I hung out in my room. After we've been goofing off for about five minutes there was a knock at my door and Wiggie's head popped in.
"Oh, hallo, Dahnah!" she waved at my friend. "You don't maint me tshoining you, do you?"
"Not at all. Come on in, Wiggie," Dana replied.
Dana's too good for this world, I'm telling ya.
I got along quite alright with Hedwig, especially since she had helped me out with the pregnancy test and all. She was a good kid. But weird. And strange. And odd. Wouldn't surprise me to find out she was a member of this DoJ organization that had started to recruit creeps all over the world a couple of years ago.* Yet, Wiggie still had these occasional unBritish moments when she would yap away and tell people things that should be kept secret.
Take a week ago, for instance: Another dinner table session. For some funny reason both my parents were in high spirits and wore moronic grins plastered to their faces. Oh well, if they're happy they don't stick their noses into my business. This holds especially true for Mom, of course.
So, you have to know that I'm the kind of person who believes you have to be active to be able to have a say in which direction your life is going. In that sense, I am very mature for my young age. People that me that a lot. Travis did. I think that was the evening that I permitted him entrance into my pants. But I digress...
Since both Dad and the jabberwocky* he's married to were in a good mood, I decided that this was the perfect time for discussing a matter of high importance in the life of every teenager across America.**
No, not the newest creation of Starbucks.
"So," I began my little speech. "Since I'm almost 17 years of age and should learn to be more responsible and independent from you guys," followed by a serious nod at my mother and father, "I thought a little raise in the allowance department would enable me to gain a deeper insight into the commercial aspect of our world."
I had actually used a synonym dictionary and written it down. See, I am willing to work for my advancement.
Mom just smiled at me. Ha, I charmed her with my well-chosen word choice. I knew it. I turned my head towards Dad who had already taken his wallet out of his pocket and put it on the table next to his plate.
"How much do you have in mind, sweetie?" he asked me.
Now, this is the tricky part. If you ask for too much they will call you a megalomaniac and if you ask for too little your previos efforts were in vain. Watch and learn, kids.
"Well, what would you see fit, Dad?" I asked back.
He glanced at Mom who met his eyes and winked at him. I am really thankful that they seem to have had their most lovey-dovey time before I was born. It was pretty gross watching those porridgers** doing their wordless communication thing. In return Dad smiled back at her.
"How would 10 extra bucks a month help you out, dear?" he replied.
This man was so engrossed in his work that obviously he hadn't had the time to check on what things cost these days. But the hard part was not over yet. Phase II: Negotiating. (I hope you're taking notes.)
"Hm," I pretended to think about his offer for a while. "The thing is, Dad, that I don't want to be so dependent on you that I have to come back in mid-month and ask for another 10 dollars..."
Mom giggled at this and I was tempted to glare at her. I was in the middle of serious business. The quality of my spare time depended on it.
My father adjusted his cap and smirked at Mom before he replied, "So, what you're saying is that you would be more independent from us if we gave you 20 dollars more a month, honey?"
Give that man a prize.
"That would be swell, Dad," I nodded. He was a good guy.
"Sounds good to me," Mom said.
Whoa. I didn't know my bargaining skills were that advanced.
As Dad handed me two 10-dollar bills and I leaned forward to get them, Wiggie spoke up, "Dat's rily fanny. Dat amount af maney vut get you in se new tventy-von plas clab dat sey opened last veek dawntawn ewry Friday off se mons."***
I was paralyzed. I glanced at my mother to check if she had registered what the blabbermouth had just spilled. Obviously Wiggie had overheard me and my friends talking about trying to get into the club on the weekend. In the world of Kylene Stump 'twenty-one plus' translates to lots of make-up, probably a few balled-up tissues in your bra and a decent fake ID. I love challenges.
Mom's expression reflected utter confusion. She still didn't understand most of what Hedwig said. Thank the lord for strong foreign accents.
I checked the other side of the dinner table. Dad had both his eyebrows raised.
My brain kicked in. In case of emergency fake laughter and pretend that the alien kid had cracked a joke.
"Ha ha ha," I giggled and slapped Wiggie on the back. Hard. "You're killing me. Those Germans have such a a great sense of humor."
"Ostrians," she corrected me.
"Ha ha ha, sure," I laughed on.
Dad chimed in and his high chuckle mixed with mine. I checked on Mom to find her grinning at us and shrugging. Hellooooooooooooooooooooo, club!
* The DoJ has expanded over the decades and has widended their field of... expertise by adding the art of temporary tattoos, preparing marmalade and offering 'How-to-kidnap-a-rockstar'-kits to the wide public. They're not making an awful lot of money with the junk but they get by by threatening members of the Mafia and collecting their money in exchange for their personal safety. The 2020s are indeed a memorable time for the underworld.
jabberwocky: 1) dragon-like creature invented by some English dude who didn't even use his real name when publishing stuff and had a fetish for torturing little girls in his books and white rabbits (see also Freud, Sigmund/ psychoanalysis)
2) [slg.] used to refer to furious women who seem to be on PMS all the time
* Kylene has yet to learn that there is, in fact, a world outside of her continent. (For as much as she's concerned, Wiggie's home country could as well be situated in South America.) Or perhaps she is aware that there are other nations outside of the USA just not that they have advanced from using commodities (as their sole form of payment) to currency.
Of course, this shouldn't affect your trust in her mental maturity.
porridger: [slg.] used to refer to elderly people, based on the assumption that the only thing they can eat anymore is porridge, and the assumption that their excrement very much looks like porridge, too
*** Probably should have started to translate Wiggie's yadda earlier:
"That's really funny. That amount of money would get you in the new twenty-one plus club that they opened last week downtown every Friday of the month."