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Discovering Reg


By Wayne Telfer

So, there it is, darling. Did I get it all right?

That was by far, the most intense period in our lives. I still find it hard to believe that it all really happened. But you've gotten it all down without embellishing it a bit.

You realize it's been thirty-eight years since those events, don't you Reg?

Gods, where does the time go. Those events are still as clear to me today.

The only thing missing is a conclusion. Don't you think it'd be nice to let everyone know what we've done with our lives since those heroic beginnings?

Well, I suppose. We could begin by stating the obvious. We're still partners after all these years.

They've been good years, too. Not without their trying times, though.

Hey, we're like any other married couple. What can they expect?

Alright, don't get me laughing, you know I'm still sore from that surgery.

True. All right. If I do an epilogue, where should I begin? That first summer working for dad?

I'm not sure who was more surprised by it; us or dad.

I remember thinking that he'd lost his mind when he announced he'd be hiring us as efficiency consultants.

What the hell did we know about efficiency? But he was adamant about it.

Let's see. He gave us three departments to choose from. He told us that if we could improve any one of them, it'd be a great help to him. We drew straws or something to choose.

We drew from a hat, idiot.

Oh, yeah. Okay, so my memory isn't infallible. Anyway, we selected one at random, and it turned out to be so simple.

Well, to us it seemed simple. Remember, dad told us afterwards that he'd had that man investigated any number of times and had never gotten any results.

That's because the investigators he used only looked at the surface. We'd been the ones to go deeper.

Yeah, but we wouldn't have if you hadn't caught a hint of his tension when we began looking at those consultation expenses. I remember I said you were crazy when you mentioned it.

That PI that Master Sergeant Miller suggested was relentless, though. Turned out the guy had been hiring distant relatives as his consultants.

Which dad wouldn't have minded. He never worried about nepotism. But when it turned out the relatives were long since dead...that he minded. I remember the PI was even able to help dad recover over three quarters of the money the man had embezzled.

What was it dad gave us as a bonus? Five percent of the recovered funds?

Ten. And that bonus covered all the fees for the therapy of Robert, David and Arnold.

It's a shame about Robert's wife. Have you heard how he's doing lately?

Yeah, his older boy called me a couple of days ago. He said the last couple of months have been tough, but he'd starting to adjust. He's back at the reins three days a week with his company.

That's good. By the way, Arnold called this morning. He's a grandpa!

Good for him. I know he's been anxious about it.

Yeah, well the pregnancy had been hard on his daughter, but she came through it just fine. Gave Arnold a grand daughter. Of course, he thinks she's the prettiest thing alive.

Have you heard anything about Davie's new boyfriend?

Not a thing. We'll just have to wait until they arrive next week. ...I wish he'd settle down again.

You know that's not going to happen. He's still trying to replace Randy.

Christ, Reg, it's been ten years since Randy died.

I know...I can't really blame him. I know how I'd feel if I lost you after all this time.

Have you checked on dad today?

Ah, you know nothing really changes these days. It's been six months since mom died and he just can't make the adjustment. I don't know, Wayne, I just don't think he's going to come around.

I've been thinking the same thing. It's hard watching him just fade away, though.

Mom's cancer at least took her quickly. There are days when I'm sitting there with dad that I just wish he'd go home to her. He'd be happier.

Me too, babe.

All right, enough about dad. Where were we? Oh yeah, the consulting bit. ...Hey, you taking notes so that you can write this all up later?

I turned on my recorder. I'll review it later.

So, we got the embezzler fired. Let's see, the other two trouble spots hadn't been that big a problem, as I recall. Mostly just misappropriation of personnel.

That's a unique way of putting it, but yeah. Once we shuffled people around to positions they were comfortable with, the problems went away.

I remember dad was so surprised when everyone had agreed to the changes. Even the ones who'd be taking pay cuts.

I remember the only person who wasn't particularly pleased by our success was Everett. He'd planned for us to graduate high school the next year.

But dad kept coming up with little crisis' that needed our unique skills to sort out. Still, we did graduate six months early, even if we had to wait until the end of the school year to get our diplomas.

It's easier now. Home schooled can get their diplomas when they graduate, but we had to wait to graduate with the regular class. Home schooling was still so new back then. But Everett had his moment. He wrote what, three books? Then all those workshops he lead?

So, when's Mike and the family coming home?

Day after tomorrow. And not a moment too soon, according to John. That troublesome rig really needs Michael's heavy hand.

Now those were the two best things we ever did for this company. Michael's genius with the engineering and John's with the human resources. I don't even want to think where we'd be today if not for them.

A definite dynamic duo, those two. Of course, we should have known they'd turn out like that, after the way they'd bulldozed through here with their wedding and family plans.

Hmm. Christmas vacation, nineteen seventy-nine. They came into the parlor with their girl friends and announced their engagements. Said they wanted a double wedding. Then added as a casual aside that they intended to live and raise their families right here.

Mom was over the moon. Dad was frantic. He couldn't decide how he'd manage to house everyone. But you'd reminded him about the housing account you'd had him start when the boys were first adopted.

It'd accumulated enough in eight years to cover three quarters of the expense of the two additions. And by the time the additions were completed, we'd managed to pay it all off so that none of us had to deal with long term commitments.

I'm just glad Marshall's the only one of the kids that's decided to stay on at home. Has he gotten the last of the bugs out of that new mainframe he badgered us into getting?

Just this morning. Michael's going to be pleased that Marshall's deciding not to go on vacation with the rest of the family has been productive.

Ah, but you know Marshall doesn't really enjoy the family vacations. He and his boyfriend just feel so awkward around his parents. Not that Michael and Pamela care one bit. But there's no convincing him.

It was his boyfriend, Jake, that solved the mainframe problem, actually. They're turning into quite the team.

They still comfortable with the two connecting guest rooms we gave them, do you think?

As far as I know. And you know the staff would let us know if anything was the matter.

I still can't believe that Francios' son is our chef now.

He's even better than his dad was, and I didn't think that was possible. Sort of a shame he has to put up with his dad still. He complained to me just the other day about his dad marching into the kitchen on his cane and acting like he still ran the place.

Did you talk to his care giver? His Alzheimer's starting to become an issue.

They're going to keep a closer eye on him. Of course, Rene's biggest problem was that his dad didn't recognize him. I feel so sorry for the poor boy. He felt better after I let him have a good cry on my shoulder.

So, anything else I should include in our life's summary?

Oh, I don't know. Just make it clear, I suppose, that we've had our disagreements and slept in our own rooms from time to time. Don't want anyone getting the impression that it's all been the fairy tale ending.

Perhaps not, but it's been closer than any other partnership we've seen.

That's too true. All right, it's late enough. Turn off your recorder and give us a kiss. I'm ready for bed...I might even let you get some sleep tonight.

You are such a horn dog. If the family knew how often we still make love, they'd be shocked out of their skins.

Hey, everything still works, even if it takes longer to reach the end.

Okay, recorder's off. Let's go. By the way...

...I love you Reginald Raleigh Fitzgerald Finger.

And I love you too, Wayne Lawrence Arthur Finger.

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