Chapter 6: Problems

The next (sunny) day Tyson and Lewis began visiting various houses to personally invite a number of Ukes. It was easy enough visiting them but there was always reluctance. The sunny day became the absolute opposite of the pair's moods.

When they invited Cloud, his response was: "I'm sorry but I don' honestly see how I can find the time when I spend all mornin' cleanin' this house an' going shopping if I need to and spend all afternoon with my kids."

When they visited Dean, he said: "I would but havin' to run the house by myself means I get so lil' time to myself as it is." Then he detailed the average huge list of jobs he had to deal with everyday.

When they paid Randy (who's married to David 'Dee' Laytner) a visit, he sat on the sofa, piled with knitted cushions, and was sewing a picture. "This is my one hobby. I love to decorate the house with my creations and it's the only thing I do apart from housework 'cuz what I knit and sew makes Dee happy. A good partner can't just run the house, they have ta keep their partner happy. And you never know when I'll be needed, either by my child or my husband."

And here is Alan's response. "It's an interestin' idea but I 'ave nothin' to worry or complain about."

Frowning, Tyson and Lewis walked along the path that led directly to the door of the Pearson household.

"I wonder why he asked us to call ahead if we're visitin'?" wondered the photographer.

"I doubt he goes out much, unlike Ed," retorted the soccer coach.

They paused as they got closer to the front door. They could faintly hear heavy breathing. Passing a look of faint alarm to each other, they edged closer to the front door. It was when they were quite close that they began to hear moaning. Their eyes shot to the empty front drive...yes it was empty and Spike was definitely at work. They crept away from the door. Halfway along the path they burst into fits of embarrassed giggles.

"We must never talk about this," told Tyson quietly.

"Absolutely, I agree." Then they giggled some more.

Just as Joey's house was coming into view, Tyson began to groan a lot, paying attention to his stomach.

"We musta been walkin' everywhere, my feet 'urt. What time is it?"

Lewis checked. "12:21"

"No wonder I'm starvin'. Lunchtime."

Joey must've seen them coming because he opened the door before they even reached his porch. Just like the rest of his small mansion, his porch was rather large and resembled a white podium of sorts: in front of the front door was a platform and on either side a small set of stairs went down.

From the porch, he grinned in good humour. "You want some lunch, Tyson?" he called.

"Yeah," moaned the shortest in answer.

"I haven't forgotten you Lewis. I have lots of eggs to use up, scrambled eggs on toast sound good to you guys?" The weary pair nodded as they trudged inside and Joey showed them through. They were welcomed by an expansive hallway. They were taken through the nearest door, which showed them through a dining room, with the standard table able to seat 12. Through the dining room was an expansive kitchen with a bar-style bench and stools on the side. "You guys can take a seat there."

Tyson climbed onto a stool willingly and collapsed onto the bench-table in front of him. This made Joey laugh but he continued his journey to the fridge. Lewis reluctantly put away his camera, sad to have had a missed opportunity.

"So what(ch) you guys been up to?" asked their host as he began preparing lunch.

"Tomorrow we're holdin' a kinda...get together," Lewis began explaining. "It's a bit unfair that the Semes can always get together so we thought, why can't the Ukes get together and just...say whatever's on their mind. So we went round to their houses but no one thinks they can come or they don't wanna."

Joey nodded in understanding. "The thing about dis town is that da Ukes don't go out or socialise unless they know deir husbands are taking care o' deir kids. Usually weekends, sometimes evenings. If dey feel dey can do it, sometimes during the day, but dat's usually parents of the kids in school. Being busy? It's not dat they actually have lotsa things to do, dey just do extra things dey think need doin'. Take Cloud, he cleans every single bathroom every single day."

Lewis shrugged. "If you come along, you can tell 'im he don't need to."

As the pan crackled a bit, he thought about it. "It would make a change. Sure. Where is it?"

Tyson finally lifted his head up out of pure happiness.

"We'll be at Ed's house tomorrow," answered the photographer.

"I'll convince some others to come too if you like. You'd have ta call V if you invite him."

"Yeah..." admitted the soccer coach embarrassingly. "We kinda...found out why."

Joey looked at them in alarm. "Ya didn't go inside da house did you?" The seated pair shook their heads. "Good. Saved yourselves a nightmare. It's not something ta talk about but V is sex crazed. Alone he fucks himself and late at night-and I mean late-Spike fucks him silly. That happens every day." He once more concentrated on cooking.

"What does V even stand for?" asked Tyson.

"Vicious. I don't know his real name. So...Ed's house, huh? Where is he anyways?"

"A sports magazine is in'erviewin' him," answered Lewis.

"Don't talk ta him too often so know how Roy affords the place on a Principal's salary?" Joey really seemed curious.

"Ed and Roy are lucky people born into really rich families and they get lotsa inheritance money when someone dies." Tyson seemed jealous upon saying this.


The next day, they all sat in the lounge in Edward's house. Ed sat on one end of the room, Tyson and Leslie sat opposite on another sofa. Near the pair sat Joey, who shared his sofa with Dean, Cloud and Randy. The latter three seemed baffled they had even come.

"Hi," began Lewis pleasantly. "Thank y'all for comin'. Basically we, that is Tyson, Ed and me, thought it a good idea to get together and just talk about whatever's on our minds. Would anyone like to start?" ... No one spoke. Lewis sent a questioning look to Ed, who shrugged. Tyson fidgeted. "Okay...I'll start. Honestly, I get the feelin' that Leslie wants to spend less time with me."

Tyson then thought of something. "I sometimes wish I was more sophisticated. I feel like I'm in competition in this town."

"I always feel lil' ashamed that I find the idea of settling down scary," said Ed.

Randy looked sorrowful. "I'm scared that my sewin' means I can't take good care o' my kids. I spent so long on a picture that I had ta cover the wall stains with cushions."

Cloud's expression didn't change. "In the mornin' I take care o' the house, noon I take care o' the kids and evenin' I take care o' Seth. I just wish the order could be changed so that I ain't so bored."

Dean looked truly anxious. "I love bakin' but I bake so many cakes that I got no more recipes an' I don't like bakin' one cake too many times."

Looks passed across the room. Tyson and Lewis looked perturbed and Ed looked aghast. Joey just stared straight ahead, not at all surprised. In the meantime, Cloud had suggested to Dean to use different flavours or colours of icing to make one recipe more interesting, or he could just be a little random and do cookies for a change.

"Uh, Joey?" probed Lewis. "You haven't spoken yet."

Joey thought about his answer. "Stepmanford is a really sheltered town. I worry if my kids can cope in da real world when they move out."

"I have a concern about you Ed," fussed Dean. "I'm wonderin' why it is you and Roy don't come to Church on Sunday. You tryin' to stay outta the community?"

"No, we just don't believe in God."

"Those two clearly don't neither," Dean gestured Tyson and Lewis flippantly, "but they attended every Sunday they been here. Hell, even the introvert Jack shows up. Why can't you and Roy?"

Edward was tense with anger. "Going to Church is a choice, not obligatory."

"He is right Dean," murmured Joey calmly.


It was on Saturday morning that Leslie stormed into the study. Lewis looked up from where he idly worked on his laptop.

"Why ain't breakfast cleared up?" the blonde demanded.

"Cuz no one's done it," brunette retorted.

"Well why haven't you done it?"

"Me? Why can't you do it?"

"Cuz I work 9 to 5 5 days a week and whadda you do? You spend mosta your time outta this house, I still cook for the two of us when I get home and you even said so yourself that good offers are slow so you're not workin'. On top o' that, you're the last to get up."

"So you think just cuz I work less I should clean it up?"

"Sounds fair."

"I think I found some good jobs, jus' lemme finish sortin' through these."

"Fine I'll do it." Leslie shook his head in dismay. "God your lazy."

"You knew that when you proposed." Lewis sneered. "Fag!"

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©Ruth Amy Louise Hüneke 2008