John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Five

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Preach On. And On. And On Some More.

Enough debate over what the best phase for Rodger & Hammerstein was (The King & I, easily): let's head back to the skate park, where Kai is trying to convince Shaun to come on home. "Your Grams sent me," Kai tells Shaun. "She feels bad. She wants to know if you want to see your mom." Shaun is understandably skeptical that Cissy would want such a thing: "She hurts everyone's feelings," he says. And their eardrums. And apparently their psyches, if John is to believed. But Kai counsels forgiveness: "Your Gram's your Gram, Shaunie," she says simply. When Shaun disappears back into the skating bowl, Kai shouts after him to remember who financed that promotional video with her own money, and who got him in the surfing contest through sheer force of will and vocal chords that could be heard in Outer Mongolia. "And who's been there for you, every fucking minute of your life?" she adds. Cissy, that's who. Shaun descends into the bowl again, before popping up and following Kai to her Jeep. So that's one person on board for this Shaun-Tina reunion.

And here's Person #2 -- Tina, who pulls up into the Snug Harbor parking lot. Courteously, no one here asks how her ass is, although Cunningham takes one look at the drama about to unfold on his property and motions for Ramon to hand him the nice, soothing rake. Funny. Butchie tells Tina that he's calling up his mom, and when Tina asks where Shaun is, Butchie flashes the least convincing thumbs-up sign this side of Ebert and Roeper. He fills Tina in on the meet-Shaun-at-Cissy's-house plan, and while Tina has her reservations, it's too late for that -- Butchie is already resuming the high-stakes negotiations with his mother. "Tina's here," Butchie tells his mother over the phone. "And she wants to know if you could host a lunch for her and Shaun." You do not need to press your ear up to the phone to hear Cissy scream "What?" But Butchie is most insistent. "What does that mean, she wants me to host a lunch?" Cissy demands. "What do I know?" Butchie protests. "Just lay out some tuna fish or whatever the fuck you do." Or cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off -- those are very popular in some circles. Anyhow, Butchie negotiates the following arrangement -- Cissy won't host the lunch, but she'll leave out tuna fish makings for Tina so that she and Shaun can meet in Cissy's home. Let's see Henry Kissinger try to hammer out that agreement; it probably would have ended with Cissy and Tina joining forces to bomb Cambodia.

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John From Cincinnati

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