So many choices

(scene opens in min-van)

Gamma: Mom? What’s your favorite character in the Shadow and Bone books?

Me: Genya.

Gamma: (slightly disappointed) Oh.

Me: If you could be any Grisha, what type would you want to be?

Gamma: (without hesitation) Heartrender.

Me: (not surprised in the least) Good choice.

Gamma: What would you be?

Me: Tailor.

Gamma: (more disappointed) Oh.

Me: Maybe Inferni. It’s hard to choose.

Carrot’s Inside voice: Don’t lie, you’d be a Durast.

Positive Masculinity

(scene opens in cluttered basement, conversation in progress)

Me: (handing Alpha a towel) Here, use this to clean up that spill.

Husband: (around corner) I see that you’ve fully embraced the RBG Controller lifestyle.

Me: What?

(Husband points to top of cabinet, switch controller charge station holding controllers with morphing rainbow lights along the side)

Alpha: Yeah, my ’tism is in full swing.

Me: You don’t have the ‘Tism, knock it off. But I love those! (said gleefully) Those are pretty!

Husband: (kisses Carrot’s forehead) Of course you do.

Alpha: I mean, sometimes when you’re obliterating heretic scum in the name of the Emperor, you want to feel like a pretty pretty princess.

Me: Right? Totes agree.

Alpha: (deep gravely voice) Brother….. (deep indrawn breath) ….where’s my tiara?

Husband: (sighing) I’m going back to work.

Women Who Run With

(scene opens in tent in dead of night, distant-but-not-distant enough howling starts up)

Leader 1: That’s legit, right? That’s the real thing we’re hearing?

Me: (thoughtfully) As opposed to the dudebros we heard earlier? Yeah, I think so.

(Yipping and howling continues for a moment before going silent)

Leader 2: I think we’ll be okay. It sounds down in the valley and we’re higher up.

(Silence continues a bit longer. Then screaming carnage breaks out in a completely different spot from the first howling.)

Me: What the f– was that?

Leader 2: I think they caught something.

Leader 1: Are we concerned with our survival?

Me: (considers) Not yet.

Leader 1: Not yet?!

Me: (philosophically) Well, if they caught something, they’re not coming up here looking for something to eat.

Leader 2: And they’re further down in the valley now.

Leader 1: What time is it?

Me: (checks watch) Midnight. We have five-ish hours to sunrise.

Leader 1: This is going to be a long five hours.

Me: There’s a fun-patch for this, right?

(three leaders suppress hysterical late-night stress giggles, fade to black)

Battle Ready

(scene opens in primitive campsite, girls everywhere, Carrot sitting next to fire scar)

(Single long whistle blast sounds in distance)

Me: (perks up like deer scenting wolves) Did anyone else hear that?

Girl 1: Sounded like a whistle.

Girl 2: Is that the emergency whistle?

Girl 3: No, that’s three blasts.

Me: Girls. Boot on. Get water bottles. Where’s my tactical vest? (picks up bush vest rattling with gear, puts it on)

Gamma: Mom, why do you call it a tactical vest?

Me: You’ve seen soldiers and cops with those big bulky vests? Had a vest on with all that gear? Its a gear vest. All the gear for any situation. (Takes emergency whistle out of a pocket, puts it on)

Girl 2: But your vest has Deadpool on it.

Girl 5: Why do you have Deadpool on your vest?

Me: Because I think Deadpool is funny. And I like Chimichangas. We ride.

(Carrot marches out of camp followed by five girls armed with water bottles)

Collecting them all.

(scene opens in early morning tent, three scout leaders contemplating life)

Me: (scratches stomach. Stops. Swears) Goddamnit. Where’s the first aid kit?

Leader 1: In my pack. Why?

Me: Tick.

Leader 1: Already? We’ve not even been here a whole day.

Me: (sighs) Yeah.

(flailing around tent, first aid kid found, tick removed)

Me: Goddamnit.

Leader 2: Now what?

Me: Lone Star Tick.

Leader 1: So?

Me: That’s the one that makes you allergic to red meat. Because F Texas in particular.

Leader 1: What?!

Leader 2: Man, Carrot. Having a rough week there. First rabies shots, then Shingles, and now maybe becoming allergic to red meat.

Me: (resignedly) If I get out of here never able to eat another steak, I might have to quit Girl Scouts. Just saying.

Lighter Fluid

Husbandly Text: Did you guys get there okay?

My Text: Yeah. Girls setting up tents now.

My Text: By the way.

My Text: One match. You tell Scoutmaster “Do you need Girl Scout Water for that fire?” to suck it.

Husbandly text: Nice. Beta says “You used a match?”

My Text: Ms. C texted me earlier to say she’s looking for Teen Boy Lawn Care. Tell Mr. Sassomancer that his free time this weekend is now spoken for.