And it was at just such a mall at the corner of Yavapi and Maricopa that salvation came in the form of the After School Special.
Problem was, this was going to be a pretty tough sell to my wife.
“We’re here.” I announce as I kill the engine and get out of the truck, uncomfortably aware that the way the ‘After School Special’ sign was arranged, it appeared to be highlighting the word ASS.
Sakaali opened her door and I headed over to the passenger side to help her out.
“Graham- what is this place?” Sakaali asked, her skepticism apparent.
“Somewhere that’s not too crowded on father’s day.” I explain. “Sometimes me and Art will grab a couple of beers here.”
If she had to guess, it would probably be entire chunks of the gingerbread house’s wall missing. Curiously, she could swear there were what looked like little fang marks around this missing gashes in the gingerbread wall.
Fang marks seemingly consistent with at least three of her daughters.
“Girls? You wouldn’t know anything about this….?” she asked while absently bouncing little Claire on her knee. The jinko mother was quietly grateful that her youngest wasn’t old enough to snatch stuff off of tables when they thought nobody was looking.
“About what, mom?” Eva asked innocently. Gabby and Layla were by the Christmas tree doing a rather poor job of trying to stifle their giggling.
“Try as I might, girls- I can’t figure out how this gingerbread house ended up with so many holes in it. I was wondering if you could maybe tell me….”
“I’m saving room for one of grandma’s pies.” Eva said nonchalantly.
Not even a second later, there was a loud knocking on the door, but Sakaali’s daughter was already off like a shot.
By the time Graham had got up from the sofa to get the door, Anippe’s paw was already on the door handle.
“You guys made it!” she yelled out excitedly as she threw open the door. A second later, she was tackled by the trio of young jinkos.
“Not to sound too immodest, but I think this works on a number of levels for me…” the Anubis began confidently. “I simply adore the Desert Kingdom motif, the fiber feels nothing short of divine against my skin and I must say….”
“It compliments my ass rather nicely.” she smiled, thrusting her backside and tail out for emphasis.
“Is that what’s going on, Pumpkin princess?” I ask her sweetly as I stride across the room, stooping to give her a little kiss on the forehead.
However, instead of standing up right away, I playfully cock my ear as though I’m listening to something my baby daughter has to say.
“Oh? Really? Well….I’ll ask her, but…..”
“What?” Sakaali asks defensively.
“She says ‘Mama’s full of crap’….damn shame, her first words, too.”
The bigger Anubis playfully smacks me with her paw by way of response.
“She also says ‘You’re too old to geek out to some kid’s show’ and….oh yeah- ‘Stop hitting daddy’.”
“I…it’s not just a kid’s show.” she stammers defensively.
“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and….well….goes ‘quack quack’.”
“I grew up with this show, Graham.”
I shoot her a skeptical look.
“Really? How old were you when it came out…?”
She looks away from me before quietly murmuring.