Andrew Jackson looked up from the newspaper he was reading at the kitchen table.
“Did you hear that?” he said.
“Hear what?” Andrew’s wife Rose did not look up from the pot she was stirring at the stove.
“That noise,” said Andrew. “It was like a thump. Or a crunch. You didn’t hear it?”
“No I did not,” said Rose, still stirring. “I was listening to the soup.”
Andrew gave her a quizzical look. “Is the soup speaking to you?” he asked. “Should I be worried?”
“Nah,” said Rose. “It’s just bubbling in a particularly pleasant way. She looked up at the clock. “They should be here any minute honey,” she said. “Could you get the table set?”
“Sure thing.” Andrew put the paper down, got up, and headed towards the cupboard but was only halfway there when the doorbell rang. “Oh oh,” he said. “Too late.”
“Come in! It’s open!” Rose turned her head to call out towards the entryway.
The door swung open and the Jacksons’ daughter-in-law Amanda stepped inside carrying little Michaela, still in her car seat. Amanda put the car seat down as her husband Brady stepped in behind her. Andrew crouched down to look at the child.
“Hey there little one,” he said. “You look right comfy there don’t you?”
“Ooag?” said Michaela, squirming and trying to reach upwards with her hands which were being hindered by her thick snowsuit and the straps of the car seat. “Ahg,” she added.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, Michaela,” said Andrew, “but I believe you are saying Grandpa is your favourite person in the world and please get me out of this car seat before I give myself a hernia.”
Michaela did not correct him.
“I knew it,” said Andrew as he lifted her out of the seat and unzipped the snowsuit. The little girl pulled her arms out of the sleeves and immediately held them out towards Rose who had appeared behind Andrew.
“Somebody put a dent in your garage door, Dad,” said Brady who was busy hanging up coats.
Andrew stopped what he was doing to stare at Brady. Rose took this opportunity to relieve Andrew of little Michaela.
“Really? How can that be?” Andrew was clearly puzzled. “Why would I not have noticed that?”
Brady looked sheepish. “Probably because it was me,” he said. “Like, just now.”
“Uhuh,” said Andrew. “I thought I heard something go crunch.” He furrowed his brow. “How bad is it?”
“Pretty minor,” said Brady. “That’s a tough door you got there. I figured it’d be way worse. I mean I smacked it pretty good.”
“Didn’t I tell you, you should do something about that ice on the driveway Andrew?” said Rose.
“Yes you did,” said Andrew. “And if I had remembered that Brady was coming over I would have done it today instead of putting it off till tomorrow.”
“Ah well,” said Amanda, “it’s too late now, and Brady probably won’t come again till next weekend so you can put it off for another week.”
“Good thinking,” said Andrew. “And by next weekend it will have melted on its own. Put it off till it’s no longer necessary is my motto anyway.”
“Maybe we should go check if your garage door still opens,” said Brady.
“First we should have some soup,” said Andrew. “If we go check the door now and find out it doesn’t open then we’ll have to fix it right away instead of eating soup.”
“The soup smells amazing,” said Amanda.
“It is amazing,” said Andrew. “In the entire time we’ve been married, Rose has never made soup that wasn’t amazing.”
“Andrew likes his soup,” said Rose. “Last week we were in the city and we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant and he ordered the consommé… ”
“And they didn’t bring me a spoon,” Andrew interrupted. “So I was going to eat my soup with chopsticks but when I unwrapped my chopsticks they were defective. It was just one chopstick. So there I sat, holding one lone chopstick, like some aging Harry Potter who’s forgotten the spell for eating soup with a stick. You would think,” he added, “that a culture which is so technologically advanced that they have invented robot arms and hands that you can wear, to add to the arms you already have, would be able to do better, utensil-wise, than two slightly tapered sticks.”
“You would think that,” said Brady, “but the important question is, how was the consommé?”
“Fantastic,” said Andrew. “And the other important question is, are you going to buy us a new garage door if ours is shot?”
“Definitely not,” said Brady.
“That’s what I thought,” said Andrew.
“Let’s eat,” said Rose. “Soup’s on.”
“A good bowl of soup will cure a world of ills,” said Andrew.
“Amen,” said Brady.
“Amen indeed,” said Amanda.
“Aargog,” said Michaela.