Family Life

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Pa has one reasonably close friend in the community where he lives, that being Mort, proprietor of Pa's "country club," otherwise known as "Mort's Diner." Mort had asked Pa to help him with a minor project after closing, so Pa went there just as the door was locked.

With the door secure Mort went straight to his wife, who was finishing behind the counter, gave her a hug and told her how beautiful she was and how much he appreciated her at work

While Mort and Pa were working together, Pa comments how surprising it is that Mort fussed so much over his wife. Mort replies that he'd started this about six months ago, it had revived their marriage, and things couldn't be better.

Pa pondered this for a considerable space, then determined that he hadn't anything to lose. Accordingly, when he arrived home, he gave Ma a massive hug, kissed her and told her that he appreciated her. Ma immediately burst into tears. Although much taken aback, he could get nothing out of her to account for this reaction.

When he finally busied himself elsewhere in the house, Ma walked to a large picture of her grandma, a spot where she often resorted for inspiration in time of distress. Grandma had a wide reputation for having been a tough old bird. Once captured by Indians for ransom, they held her for three days until they could endure it no longer, whereupon their chief personally returned her with a profound apology.

"Grandma," Ma addressed the picture, "Today is certainly a dark day. I've put up with Pa's miserable ways for over 50 years. Now, after all that time, he's finally come home drunk ..."