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122 the minnesota review Larry Fondation Not Working He thought it was a good idea to take the kids to the movies, and so he did, but when he got there, he had no money, so he snuck them in, the father, too; and the usher saw them, he thought, but didn't say anything—everybody knew about the layoffs. Martha thought the movies were too violent and a waste of money, so she didn't come, and in fact, didn't Uke him to take the boys; thought they were too young, but he Uked CUnt Eastwood, and so did they, so they saw a "Dirty Harry" picture. It was a re- release. They got to cheer together a whUe when Harry shot the villain, so they felt better for a short time, and on the way home, still in the afternoon, he stopped for a quick beer, the boys waiting outside, patient because they Uked the movie, bouncing a ball and then, after a time, their father came back outside, squinting because it was dark inside the tavern and bright outside. He was not drunk; one at a time on the tab is what he put, only owed the bartender about six bucks, and he told the boys that because he had not bought them any popcorn and thought they might be wondering. The semi-pro league was playing ball, and on the way home, they stopped at the field to watch a couple of innings; one of the guys, the catcher, was old, over forty now, but he used to play in the big leagues and he, most times, hit a home run every game in this league. They were not disappointed. He put one clear over the fence, almost into the parking lot of the shopping mall just across the street, a few discount stores, and when they passed the hat, the father put in a quarter; it was nearly all he had, but the home run had been worth it, and then they started for home, the sun just starting to go down, no traffic , quiet on the avenue. He wanted to stop at another place for a beer, but resisted, the lighted beer advertisements bUnking in the window just as he passed; his friend Joe worked there and surely would give him one on the house, next time, he thought. The kids wanted pizza from the place where the teenagers hung out and Ustened to the jukebox, big, flat pizzas with thin crusts, and a good selection of soda, but he had to tell them no; anyway Martha would be cooking. The boys didn't whine about it, but walked on. He stopped in the church to Ught a candle, worried about his mother's health, and the boys prayed for their grandmother, noticing the tear just inside their father's eye, not coming out, and they assumed she was dying, but didn't ask. They crossed themselves with holy water on the way out. When they got home there was Rice-A-Roni on the stove and the boys complained a Utile because they had had it last night, but their parents figured they didn't understand about budgets, so they didn't explain. There 123 was Uttle good on TV, only repeats in summer so they didn't watch, not even any good cop shows they couldn't mind seeing twice, so they played with toy soldiers, playing together pretty well for brothers, whining a little again when they couldn't go sleep at a friend's house who called too late and whose parents said they'd take them all to an amusement park in the morning, but there wasn't enough money for that and they couldn't very weU ask the other boy's parents to pay. There were no questions yet about why Daddy didn't go to work anymore, they Uked having him around, and anyway he wouldn't have known what to teU them, and neither did she, although she was starting to get angry, but didn't reaUy deep-down blame him, so couldn't and didn't tell him how she felt. The bickering...


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