Every Friday, night my brother and Uncle Tom and Uncle Patrick come over to stare blankly at the TV, eat pizza and not talk to each other. Which is how it’s been done for almost 20 years now. It’s called “Boy Night.”
Elijah and Luca don’t like Boy Night. They hate the idea that in the very next room people are watching the exact same shows they like and eating the same food they like and drinking the same beer they like while they’re stuck in their dumb bunk beds smelling their own urine.
Rather than throw giant fits, which doesn’t work, they conduct a series of civil disobedience. Covert civil disobedience.
Their main form of protest is to silently creep into the dining room and watch whatever it is we’re watching in the living room. According to the University of Michigan, children are exposed to over 200,000 violent acts on television before age 18. I think Eli and Luca are falling behind to make this goal, so these Friday night viewing sessions top them off, violence-wise for the week.
They also engage in elaborate pizza theft. I imagine Oceans Eleven-style cons and double crosses and Mission Impossible wire work. But more likely they just race into the kitchen and nab a slice before an adult discovers them en route to the John. The boys then hide in their room, eating their booty by the light of the fish tank. I know this because there is always a giant smear of pizza sauce on the dresser next to said tank.
I also know because Luca can’t stand guilt.
This is my favorite part of the whole thing. Every Saturday morning, while I shake out the cobwebs from Boy Night, Luca will beg forgiveness. It’s so funny to see him attempt to keep the information inside, but his conscious always gets the best of him.
“Daaaaad,” He’ll cry in pain. “Dad. I have to tell you something but you have to promise not to get mad at me.”
“Okay,” I say, knowing full well what he’s about to admit, so am predisposed not to be mad.
“Dad. Eli and I stole pizza last night.” Luca then winces as if to ward off an impending blow.
I usually try to act at least a little disappointed. I mean, I do get tired of picking peperoni off the fish tank.
“Well, I’m not happy about it. But I am happy you told me. Just try harder next time.”
I’ve used this newfound guilty conscious to bust Eli. Luca rolls over on Eli for stealing mommy’s iphone and reading after lights out. Because sleep is way more important than learning.
p.s. Luca Man Pumpkin!