Chapter Six: Satellite Ears’s house
Somehow, time seemed to go by quickly after Satellite Ears and Regina had had their baby. I continued working away at my job as a high school science teacher. It seemed to become less and less fun as the time went by, but I was kept so busy and I had so much to do that time went by quickly anyway. In addition to actually teaching the students, cleaning out the lab, and grading students’ assignments, I had to work on the kids’ report cards, help students with their work when they didn’t understand it, and go to meetings at school. I did not have much time off. My days off were usually spent studying cleaning and cooking in the hopes of being able to eventually stop working as a science teacher so I could get a better job.
On one of my days off, I was in the middle of studying cleaning, when I got a phone call from Regina.
“Hi, Regina!” I said to her. “Gee, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to you and Satellite Ears in such a long time. How is everything going with you guys?”
“Everything is going well, though it can be frustrating at times,” said Regina. “Both me and Satellite Ears are out working for part of the day, so we hired a nanny, and we’re not so sure that she’s taking care of our baby very well.”
“Oh no!” I said. “Yeah, I heard that Not a blue woman has had some trouble with nannies. He fired one for peeing on the floor.”
“Oh no!” said Regina. “Now I think I know what those puddles on the floor are when I come home! Eww, that’s so gross! And all this time I thought it was the baby doing that. I guess I was wrong about that. Anyway, how have you been?”
“I’ve been really busy lately,” I said. “Being a high school teacher can be annoying. Especially since a lot of the students don’t seem to want to learn about science.”
“Aww, that’s too bad,” said Regina. “Oh, I have to go now, the baby wants something.”
“Good luck with little Nora,” I said.
“Thanks,” said Regina. “Bye.”
“See you later, Regina.”
Satellite Ears phoned me a few days later.
“Hi, Bananamouth,” he said.
“Hi, Satellite Ears!” I said. “It’s great to hear from you! We haven’t talked in such a long time.”
“Yes,” said Satellite Ears. “I’m calling you because I would like to make you an offer.”
“Ooo,” I said. “What might that be?”
“I want to know if you’d like to come and live in our house with us. I know how busy you are, but we would let you study all you want, and not bother you when you’re studying. You would get to have the spare bedroom. We could put a chair and a bookcase in there so that you could study in there.”
“Hmm, well, that’s an interesting idea,” I said. “It would certainly prevent me from getting lonely. But I don’t know. I’m busy enough with my job as it is, to go through all the hassle of moving.”
“I don’t think it would be that much of a hassle,” said Satellite Ears. “We have a fridge and a stove and a bathroom here already, so you could just sell your fridge and stove and all that if you move here.”
“Oh, you just want me to move there so you can have free babysitting!” I said jokingly.
Satellite Ears laughed. “Well, you could help take care of the baby if you would like, but we wouldn’t force you, by any means.”
“Okay,” I said. “I wouldn’t mind, I don’t think.”
“I don’t think the baby would bother you too much,” said Satellite Ears.
“I don’t really mind babies,” I said. “They’re probably a lot less annoying than a school classroom full of teenagers.”
“Well, if you don’t enjoy your teaching job so much, Regina has a lot of friends who just might be able to help you get promoted to another job,” said Satellite Ears.
“Oh, she does?” I said. “Oh, that sounds really good! I’d like that very much!”
“You could use our computer as much as you want to,” said Satellite Ears.
“Oh that would be a definite bonus,” I said. “I wouldn’t be getting in Regina’s way, though?”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Satellite Ears. “Our house is quite spacious.”
“I think I would like to move in with you,” I said. “I guess that I could take care of the baby sometimes, if and when I’m not too busy.”
“That’s great!” said Satellite Ears. “Though there are times when all three of us will be out at work, so we will end up having to call a nanny sometimes. But if you could take care of the baby sometimes, that’d be great!”
“Okay, I think I will move in with you guys,” I said. “Are you sure it’s okay with Regina?”
“Yes, I talked to her about it, so don’t you worry!” said Satellite Ears.
“Okay, great!” I said. “Can I move in tomorrow? I still need time to give my new address to my carpool driver, and sell whatever furniture I don’t want or need, and such.”
“That’s fine with me,” said Satellite Ears.
“Should I bring the ketchup sculpture?” I asked.
Satellite Ears laughed. “You can bring it if you want,” he replied. “Who knows, Regina might enjoy seeing it again.”
“Okay, so I’ll be there tomorrow,” I said. “Thanks for letting me move in with you!”
“You’re welcome,” said Satellite Ears. “We were just worried about you getting lonely.”
“See you tomorrow!” I said.
“See you, Bananamouth,” said Satellite Ears. “We look forward to your arrival!”
The next day I moved into Satellite Ears and Regina’s house. Luckily, both Satellite Ears and I had the day off from our work. Regina was out at her photographer job when I arrived. I sold most of my old furniture and household items, but I brought over the piano and the ketchup sculpture.
Satellite Ears let me in the house. “Welcome to your new home!” he said. We hugged each other.
“Thank you so much for letting me live here,” I said. “Where should I put the piano?”
“Hmm, good question,” said Satellite Ears. “Why don’t you put it in the side yard?”
“Okay,” I said, and I did. “Where should I put the ketchup sculpture?”
“How about putting it in the front yard?” Satellite Ears suggested.
“Okay,” I said, and I put it there. When I was finished putting things outside, Satellite Ears and I had some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and I gave a bottle to Nora. Then I decided to phone Not a blue woman.
“Hi, Not a blue woman!” I said. “I moved into Satellite Ears’s house today.”
“Oh, that’s pretty neat,” said Not a blue woman. “Why did you move?”
“It was Satellite Ears’s idea,” I said. “He said that he was worried about getting lonely. So, how have you and Regina and Reuil been doing?”
“We’re pretty good,” said Not a blue woman. “Reuil just started school today!”
“Wow!” I said. “He sure seems to be growing up fast!”
“He sure is,” said Not a blue woman. “Now that he’s in school, I’ll have to make sure he does his homework every day. I heard that if your kid doesn’t do his homework for several days in a row, they can be taken away by the social worker.”
“Oh my!” I said. “Then you’d better be careful, I guess.”
“Yes,” said Not a blue woman. “Perhaps I can teach Reuil to study, and help him with his homework when he needs help.”
“Of course,” I said.
“So, you’ve moved in with Satellite Ears and Regina. Are you going to help take care of the baby?”
“Yes,” I said. “I already gave Nora a bottle today.”
“How’s your work going?” asked Not a blue woman.
“The same as usual,” I said. “Crazy. But Satellite Ears told me that Regina’s friends might be able to help me look for a better job.”
“That sounds good,” said Not a blue woman. “I’m still working at my job as a con artist. It’s been going quite well. It’s always a bit of a risk, but I can handle it.”
“That’s good,” I said.
“Well, Reuil’s coming home from school now, so I should go and say hi to him and ask him how his first day of school went.”
“Okay, “ I said. “See you later.”
“Bye,” said Not a blue woman.
The next evening, Not a blue woman phoned me and invited me over to his house. I was over there in a few minutes.
I rang the doorbell and Not a blue woman answered the door and let me in.
“Reuil!” Not a blue woman called into the backyard. “Wanna come and see your Uncle Bananamouth?”
“Uncle Bananamouth!” Reuil shouted, and ran into the living room.
“Hi there, Reuil!” I said. “I heard you just started school!”
“Yeah,” said Reuil. “It’s fun! Except for the stupid homework!”
“I know how you feel,” I said.
“Homework takes away from my fun time!” said Reuil. “Hey, wanna play tag, Uncle Bananamouth?”
“Sure!” I said. We played tag for a while. We ran all over the road, but we were sure that we would never get hit by any cars.
After our tag game, we went inside. Valerie cooked us a dinner of hamburgers, which we enjoyed very much. Over dinner, we talked about school, cars, jobs, homework, and cooking. After dinner, Reuil was told that he had to do his homework, so he reluctantly finished a bit of it. After that, Reuil and I danced to the radio for a while, and then I went back home.
I quite enjoyed my life in Satellite Ears and Regina’s house. I was able to keep up in my teaching job, and do some studying, and get to know Regina and Nora better. It was nice to have people around, so I did not get lonely. I enjoyed seeing Nora’s progress as she got older and learned many new things.
Regina knew quite a few townspeople, and sometimes she would invite some of them over to the house. Her friend Pamela Landry came over one day. Pamela had light blue eyes and dark skin. Her hair was blond. She was wearing dark red lipstick and a white strapless dress.
“This is my brother-in-law, Bananamouth,” Regina said to Pamela.
“Hi, Bananamouth,” Pamela said to me. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you, too, Pamela,” I said.
“Regina tells me that you’ve been looking for a job in the science field,” said Pamela.
“Yes, I have been,” I said. “Well, I’m a science teacher now, but I’ve been wishing that I had a better job.”
“I was just at SimLabs the other day,” said Pamela, “and I saw a notice on the bulletin board there. It said that SimLabs was looking for qualified people to lead teams of researchers. The notice said that the people applying should be able to think up experiments to do, and have leadership qualities. I think you would be good at a job like that.”
“Oh, that sounds interesting!” I said.
“I think that if you can manage a class full of high school kids, you should be able to lead a group of researchers easily,” said Pamela.
“That’s a good point,” I said. “Yes, I think I could do that!”
“I know a few of the people who work at SimLabs,” said Pamela. “I could put in a good word for you.”
“Oh, could you?” I said. “Thanks so much! I think I’ll go and apply for the job tomorrow.
“You’re welcome,” said Pamela.
The next day, after I had gotten home from my high school job, I took a taxi out to SimLabs and found the notice that Pamela had told me about the previous day. I went into the head office and told a woman there that I was interested in the job of Research Project Leader. The woman gave me a job application form and I filled it out and handed it in. I was told that I would hear from SimLabs a few days later if I was accepted for the job.
The day after that, I decided to take my science class on a field trip. We decided that we would go to the mall for a science-related field trip. All of the students were so excited! They told me that with all the homework the school gave them, they hardly ever got to go out to the mall.
We arrived at the mall at around 10 in the morning. “We’ll be visiting the Gadget Shop first, class,” I said to everyone. We all went over to the Gadget Shop and I showed my students some of the things in there. I showed them the digital watches and thermometers, and explained to them how an alarm clock works. For once, they were all actually paying attention to what I was saying!
When we were finished browsing the many scientific wonders of the Gadget shop, I took the class to the SimCity Hotdog Stand that was in the mall. I explained to the students the scientific process behind the cooking of a hot dog. Then we all sat down and enjoyed some wonderfully delicious SimCity hotdogs. Then we got back onto the school bus and rode back to the school. We all agreed that it had been a very entertaining and educational field trip.
When I got home that day, I got a phone call from a Mr. Acker of SimLabs, saying that he had looked at my job application and that he thought I would be an ideal person for leading research projects! He offered me the job. I said that I would take it! I was told that my new job would start the next day at 10 in the morning, and that I would get Mondays and Thursdays off.
After that, I phoned the principal of the high school and told him that I wouldn’t be returning to teach science at the school.
“Oh, that’s too bad,” said the principal. “The students seemed to like you. Everyone's been talking about that sensational field trip that you guys went on today!”
“It’s great to know that,” I said, “but I must be moving on.”
I quite enjoyed leading research projects. Being in charge of a small group of scientists was much less taxing than being in charge of a whole classroom full of high school students. In the research project group, I devised several experiments, with my group following my orders, helping me out, and writing reports of our experiments. We all hoped that someday we would make an important scientific discovery and have a report published in a local scientific journal.
One day, Regina brought a new friend home, and introduced her to me.
“Bananamouth,” said Regina, “This is Diane Turner. I met her last week when Satellite Ears and I went out to the disco.”
Diane Turner was an attractive, fairly thin blond woman with light-coloured skin. Her hair was medium long. She was wearing a brown beret-like hat, a white shirt with a dark blue vest over it, black pants, and black shoes.
“Nice to meet you, Diane,” I said. We shook hands.
“It’s nice to meet you too, Bananamouth,” said Diane. “I really like your jacket.”
“Oh, thanks,” I said. “Yeah, I’ve had this jacket for quite some time.”
“It looks really nice,” said Diane.
“Diane, would you like to stay over for dinner?” asked Regina.
“Sure,” said Diane.
“I can try making dinner tonight, if you like,” I said. “Don’t worry, I’ll make something fairly simple. Nothing that will increase my risk of starting a fire and burning down the house.”
Regina laughed. “How about making chicken for supper? I think that’s hot too difficult.”
“Okay, that’s what I’ll make,” I said. “Is chicken okay with you, Diane?”
“Sounds delicious!” said Diane enthusiastically.
I got some chicken out of the orange fridge and put it in the oven. While the chicken was in the oven, I said to Diane, “Would you like to see the baby?” Diane and I walked over to Nora’s crib.
“Oh, she’s so cute!” said Diane. “I love babies!”
“They are cute, aren’t they?” I said.
“Oh yes!” said Diane. “How old is she?”
“Not too old,” I said. “I should get back to the kitchen now and take the chicken out of the oven before I start a fire.” I ran back down to the kitchen, and took the chicken out of the oven. Luckily, it wasn’t burnt. I took plates of chicken to the dining table in the garage. Regina, Satellite Ears, Diane, and I all sat down at the table. We had conversations.
“What’s your job, Diane?” Regina asked.
“I’m a drill instructor in the armed forces,” said Diane. “It basically involves bossing around a lot of people.”
“Sounds like fun,” laughed Regina.
“It’s quite a demanding job,” said Diane. “I have to get up quite early for it. And I have to make sure that I stay in shape. Bananamouth, what’s your job?”
“I’m a scientist,” I replied. “I lead small groups in research projects. It can be quite fascinating.”
After supper, I asked Diane to join me in a game of chess while Satellite Ears and Regina took care of baby Nora. I discovered that Diane is very good at chess, but I still managed to beat her at every round we played. She was a good sport, though. After five rounds of chess, she said goodbye and went home.
One day, Satellite Ears came home from work. “Bananamouth!” he said. “I’ve been promoted!”
“That’s great!” I said.
“Now I'll be working as a nurse at the SimCity General Hospital,” said Satellite Ears. “It’s going to be a difficult job, but I’m up to it!”
“I’m sure you are,” I said.
“Now I’m all finished med school!” said Satellite Ears. “At least I don’t have that to worry about anymore! I won’t have to stay up for long periods of time studying for med school anymore.”
“What are your working hours?” I asked.
“I work from 7 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon,” said Satellite Ears. “My carpool ride will arrive at 6 every morning.”
“Will you get any days off?” I asked.
“Yes, I will be getting Mondays and Thursdays off,” said Satellite Ears.
“Hey, those are the same days I have off!” I said. “Maybe we could do some fun stuff on those days off.”
“Yeah!” said Satellite Ears.
“It’d probably be better if we did things at home on those days, because if we went out somewhere, we’d need to hire a nanny to take care of the baby.”
“That’s a good point,” said Satellite Ears. “Though we still do need to hire a nanny occasionally.”
“Yeah,” I said.
Satellite Ears and I first had a day off together the following Thursday. (Regina was out at work that day.) In the morning, I played with Nora. She had just received a new toy – a little multicoloured toy xylophone. Nora and I played with it for a while. Satellite Ears and I had some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and Nora had some milk in a bottle for lunch. After lunch, Satellite Ears tried to teach Nora to walk. The phone rang, and I answered it. It was Diane calling.
“Hi, Diane,” I said. “It was nice having you over for dinner the other day. If you want to talk to Regina, she’s not here right now.”
“Oh, I didn’t really want to talk to Regina right now,” said Diane. “I was actually phoning you? You see, I wanted to go to the art museum, and so I’m inviting a bunch of my friends to go to the museum with me. Would you like to come along with us?”
“I would!” I said. “I just have to check with Satellite Ears. Hold on a minute.” I put the phone down. “Satellite Ears,” I called. “Would you mind if I went out to the art museum? I got invited there.”
“That’s fine with me,” said Satellite Ears. “I can stay here and take care of my daughter. I should be fine.”
“Okay,” I said. I got back on the phone. “Satellite Ears says it’s okay. So I’ll come.”
“Yay!” said Diane. “My friends and I are going there in a taxi. The taxi will come by your house and pick you up.”
“Sounds good,” I said. “I’ll go outside and wait for the taxi. Thanks for inviting me! See you later.”
“See you soon!” said Diane.
I went outside and waited. A few minutes later, a taxi appeared and stopped outside the house. I got into the taxi. Diane was in there, and so were a bunch of other people.
“Hi, Bananamouth!” said Diane. “Glad you could join us. These are my friends Jonathan Ternynck, Carmen Patch, April Hutchins, and Curtis Ryan.”
“Oh, hi, Carmen. Hi, Jonathan,” I said to them, since I knew them from before. “It’s nice to meet you, April and Curtis.” April Hutchins had fairly dark skin, light blue eyes, dark brown hair in a bun, a small nose, and slightly pointed ears. She was wearing dark eye makeup and a fancy pink strapless dress. Curtis Ryan had light skin, brown hair, brown eyes, a big nose, and big lips. He was wearing a black shirt that was open at the top, and blue jeans.
We arrived at the art museum a few minutes later, and we all got out of the taxi.
“Have you ever been to this art museum before, Bananamouth?” Diane asked me.
“Yes, I have,” I said. “My brothers and I came here once a while ago.”
“I’ve been here before too,” said Diane. “I really like to come here.”
We all went over to the flaming toilet exhibit, and we looked at it for a while.
“I wonder what the artist was intending to express when he made this thing,” said Jonathan.
“I think it was probably expired by some sort of bad experience in the bathroom,” said April.
“I think that maybe it’s supposed to be warning of the danger of flame machines,” said Curtis.
Diane suggested that we all go to the room with the grill and have something to eat. Jonathan offered to grill some hamburgers. When the hamburgers were finished, we all took one and sat down at the dining tables. Diane, Jonathan, Carmen, and I were all sitting at a table together.
“I can’t wait to see what’s on the upper floor,” said Jonathan. “I’ve never been to this museum before.”
“There are a lot of paintings and some sculptures on the upper floor,” said Diane. “Lots of nice stuff. There’s also a video room on the lower floor.”
We ate our hamburgers and talked for a little while longer. Then Diane and Jonathan and I went to the upper floor, and Carmen and April and Curtis went to check out the video room.
On the upper floor, we saw lots of paintings. There were a few paintings of fruit, some paintings of people, and many abstract paintings. The fruit sculpture that I had commented on the last time I was there was still there, and they had added a new sculpture of a human figure.
After a while, it was time to go home. We all got into a taxi and were driven back to our houses.
Not a blue woman phoned me a few days later.
“Hi, Bananamouth,” he said.
“Hi there, Not a blue woman!” I said. “How are you?”
“Not so bad,” said Not a blue woman. “The other day I was promoted to the position of Getaway Driver!”
”Wow, that’s great!” I said.
“Yes,” said Not a blue woman. “Though it’s really difficult, because I have to drive really fast, over the speed limit, and drive criminals around, and do all that without getting caught. Valerie’s been giving me some tips on working as a getaway driver, though. She used to be a getaway driver before she got promoted to bank robber a while ago.”
“Oh, I didn’t know she’d gotten promoted,” I said. “So, what are your hours?”
“I work from 10 at night to 6 in the morning, and I get the weekends off.”
“Oh,” I said. “In my new job as a leader of research projects, I get Mondays and Thursdays off. Which is nice, because they’re the same days that Satellite Ears gets off in his job as a nurse, but it’s too bad that you and I don’t get the same days off.”
“Yeah,” said Not a blue woman, “though perhaps sometime we could get together on an evening on a weekend when you and Satellite Ears are finished work for the day.”
“Oh, that’s a good idea!” I said. “Yeah, maybe we can do something fun.”
“I was thinking of having a party this weekend, actually,” said Not a blue woman. “Reuil and I were talking the other day at dinner, and he commented on how he’s never had a party or been to a party in his life. So, it was sort of Reuil’s idea.”
“Well, it’s a good idea,” I said. “Do you have any plans on when you’re going to be having this party?”
“I was thinking, maybe this weekend, in the evening,” said Not a blue woman. “Maybe on Saturday.”
“That sounds great!” I said.
“I’ll phone you before the party starts, so you can come on over,” said Not a blue woman.
“Good,” I said. “I just hope that I won’t be too tired after work to go to the party. Oh hell, if I’m too tired, I’ll go anyway!”
“That’s the spirit!” said Not a blue woman. “See you then!”
“Okay,” I said. “I look forward to it. See you soon, Not a blue woman!”
“Bye, Bananamouth,” said Not a blue woman.