Since spring is in the air--or something like that, given all the recent rain--Scar has been renovating Da Club, aka the Shed. Last summer, he and his homies asked permission to take over the shed, which basically meant emptying it of all its shed-ly contents (rakes, boxes, spare hoses, etc.) so that it could contain an old TV, various gaming systems, beanbag chairs. He acquired a tiny mini-fridge, reassembled an old daybed, an oscillating fan, strings of patio lights, and a large Rubbermaid container to hold the massive amounts of junk food he and the aforementioned homeboys would consume. They paid a $5 per week dues (loosely tracked and collected) with which they would buy the junk food and vats of soda pop. It was a smashing success, the social hub of the teen-boy world, the site of several all-night caffeinated fests of Nintendo which occasionally had me stumbling, bleary and ornery, into the night at 2 a.m. to shush them into submission.
That was 2004. Now it's 2005, and I admit that I was hoping he had outgrown this set of cultural practices. Uh, no.
This year's renovation has included more patio lights, which now extend around the interior perimeter (very festive!), and the procurement of a couch from the local thrift store, purchased with dues money for a mere $35. (I was hit up for a couch loan a few weeks ago, but demurred with some mom-talk--"If you keep up with your chores, I might be more inclined to consider it, blah blah blah"--which kept me out of this particular deal. Good for me. It takes more character to put together the $35 on your own, doesn't it?) I have witnessed the redistribution of the space--it's a shed, after all!--and the couch, a fairly nondescript neutral thing. I asked one of the h-boys if it smelled like cat pee? like human hair? He said that if you got real close and breathed, it smelled kind of funky (his word), but that no smell "emanated" from the couch (also his word).
Clearly if they're capable of "emanate," these are good boys. Now I'm just hoping they'll all get jobs, so as to keep the savage sleeping-in-the-wild activity to a minimum.