I live 6 miles from my mom's house. I am the closest child who lives outside of the "compound". The "compound" is my mom's neighborhood. Somebody started to call it the "compound" when my brother Jim (AKA The Favorite) bought a house 5 blocks from my parent's house. In an effort to try and out-do Jim and become the favorite, my brother Mike bought a house 4 blocks from my parent's house. My parent's neighborhood is now called the "compound" by the rest of us.
Since Mike and Jim live so close to my mom they are the first ones to be called when something needs to be done. A foot and half of snow in the driveway, they get called to shovel. Water in the basement from a heavy rain, they go and shop-vac. Mom needs help moving furniture, they are the first to be called. When I lived with my parents, last year, I was part of the "compound". I felt kinda of special. I mean, I was never really accepted as one of them because the living arrangment was temporary but it was cool to fit in for a bit. I knew that my mom loved me a little bit more than those that did not live in the compound.
And then, even after I bought a house in the same town as my folks, It was deemed too far away to be part of the compound. I no longer felt special. I felt like I was demoted. I was not as loved as Mike and Jim.
Last Saturday the "Compound Kids" were away and I got the call. It was about 9PM and I had just put on my pajamas and was eating a bowl of ice cream when the phone rang. I answered.
"Bill." The other voice on the phone said, "I need you to do me a favor. Well it is not me who needs the favor, it is Mom that needs the favor. You see I am at work and Jimmy is out of town and Mom needs a favor."
The way that he asked it almost seemed like he was using a code. Almost like he was ashamed to ask me, a non compound person, to step in.
"What do you need Mike?" I asked.
"Mom is watching Jim's kids overnight tonight. She went outside to check on something and saw that there was a dead rabbit on the driveway. She does not want the kids to see the rabbit if they go out to play in the morning. She needs someone to go and clean it up."
"A dead rabbit? Really?"
"Yeah. I would do it when I get done work but that would be at 2 in the morning."
"Okay. I will go over there now." I said and I hung up the phone.
I put together my "dead rabbit clean up kit" which consisted of a shovel, two trash bags and a pair of garden gloves and headed over to my Moms. I made quick work of the clean up and put the rabbit's body in two plastic bags, tied them securely, and put the bag in my mom's trash can. I went inside her house to wash my hands and to also bask in the glow of her love knowing that I was for a few minutes her favorite son and the most loved.
"Where did you put it?" she asked in a hushed tone so the kids would not overhear.
"It is in your trash can."
"What? No it can't go there. You have to get rid of it. I don't want the bugs and trash day is next Friday. You have to take it with you."
"Where am I going to take it?"
"I don't know. Just not here."
"Fine. I will take it to the Sunoco Station and throw it in their trash can."
"Yes. That would be better."
"I can't believe I am going to be driving around with a dead rabbit in my car. You know I am going to blog about this right?"
"Yes. That's fine. Just get rid of the rabbit."