Family Life, Fiction

Episode 23 – Five Guys

Denny and I have never had a lot of money to spend on entertainment. When the kids were young we went walking a lot. We still do. This weekend Denny suggested Steveston or Stanley Park for something to do because walking is what we do.

We only go to Stanley Park every couple of years, even though we live in Vancouver. Denny thinks it is a long way to drive and he doesn’t like driving through the city. I’ve suggested Stanley Park several times. He is being generous by offering to go there.

Maybe his gym habit is making a bigger difference than I anticipated and giving him extra energy. He’s been going for two weeks now, swimming every other day, working out every other day.

Last weekend we went for burgers at Five Guys with our son and his wife. After Five Guys we all went to the Pet Store. It was actually their idea. Another fun, inexpensive outing.

We saw some interesting creatures called robos. Really cute, round and furry, about the size of a tennis ball. Maybe a cross between a mouse and a hamster. My son and his wife loved them. Rodents aren’t my thing, even cute ones.

A small cage had some ferrets and a customer asked to hold one. There were about six in there, wanting to get out, and I watched, nervously, as the clerk had a time keeping them from escaping.

When our children were younger we had a hamster. That was a relatively short-lived experiment.

The pet store smelled like a hamster cage.

I suggested to Denny that we get a bird. Denny tells me stories about his dad and the talking budgies they had. One budgie would fly to him and perch on his finger when he came home from work. I’m thinking Denny would like a budgie to perch on his finger.

All of a sudden Denny is beside me with a cone over his head, the kind used by dogs to keep from scratching. It’s a giant cone. “To keep me from checking my cell phone.” I laugh.

He wants to show me something. It’s a gecko. “He’s sun tanning.” The gecko is flopped on a small hammock, one leg hanging over the side. Totally chill. I laugh again. I don’t have my camera with me so I ask Denny to take a picture.

Denny takes a picture.

“Take another one from this angle.” I check a different angle but it’s not as good. He already has the best shot.

We walk up to the aquariums and at the same time we spot a stunning jellyfish in the water.

“Take a picture of that. That’s awesome.”

Denny snaps and shows me his photo. “That could be a prize winning photo,” I tell him. Not everyone gets to photograph a jellyfish.

It’s then that I see packages of fake jelly fish hanging beside the cage.


Denny looks my way and I point to the packages. He looks at the them, then back at the jelly fish and back at the packages. His excitement fades. “I have to delete it.”

“Yeah, you don’t want a picture of a plastic jellyfish.”


Everything after that is an anticlimax. The fish are tiny. Even the snakes are small. I hate snakes.

It is dark and raining outside as we leave but I think to myself that I’m glad little things like Five Guys and a visit to a pet store can delight our adult children.

It is six months later when they ask us to babysit Robo. They went back to the pet store and bought a robo. We didn’t even know they had it all that time.

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