I’m a Freaking Rooster Now!
In my house, I’m the rooster. It’s my job to get everybody up. I try not to do it obnoxiously like my father did back in the day with a hearty, “Rise and shine! Everybody up, up, up! Time to get out of bed!“ followed by a sound whack on the rump and the covers yanked off of you. Although, then again, “Hey, it’s after 6:00! Forgot to set your alarm clock again?” might not be too pleasant to hear first thing in the morning, either. Maybe I should work on that.
Well, I’ve got two more people to play rooster to now: Ma and Pa Kettle, as pictured above. Every morning this week that’s what I’ve been looking at as I roll into work around 7:00–7:15 (yes, those are my legs reflected in the door). I clear my throat and yell, “Time to wake up! Gotta get in!” Then there’s some stirring and finally Pa Kettle, a black dude somewhere in his thirties, gets on his knees and gathers his share of the blankets toward him to let me pass. Ma Kettle, a white woman roughly the same age as Pa Kettle who possesses maybe three teeth in her whole head, smiles and says, “Sorry!” Then I struggle to get past them with my bike, the right pedal of which invariably gets snagged on their duffle bag and other crap.
Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not a completely insensitive man. Last year we had a homeless guy named Paul sleeping in front of our door. During a month-long period when I was insanely busy, I found myself obliged to come into work at 6:00, so that’s how I knew about Paul. Paul had the good sense to clear out of there by about 6:30. Sometimes I had to wake him up to get the door open, but I’d always let him know it was only 6:00 and he had another half hour of sleep. We had an understanding. He didn’t bother anybody and I didn’t bother him.
But this! This is too much!
At least the urine stench didn’t make me gag this morning.