It’s hard to judge reality when Mom’s a cop, Dad’s a triage nurse, and you’re aspergic. Sure, I got along with the Nypicals (that’s a shortened form of ‘neurotypical folks’) with a combination of rehearsal and elementary anthropology, but there are just some things you don’t know until you get there.
Until I got a sleepover at Bobby Dryland’s house, I thought all families chatted casually about Grousome Murders and Tales From the Idiot Ward. You can imagine my stunned amazement when the Drylands calmly discussed accounting, economics, politics and plans for next Sunday. Mr Dryland did desk work at some firm and his stories were about numbers. I could deal with that.
Numbers are pretty cool.
Mrs Dryland stayed at home to keep the house orderly and filled the family in on the news they missed while they’d been out. That bothered me a little. All politics was was rich white people telling the dwindling middle class that everything was the fault of the poor people whilst simultaneously begging for more money from both. And most of the news was about what happened when folks realized that this wasn’t going to work.
Light dawned. These people needed something interesting to talk about.
“Didja see the crash on the corner of Fifth and Main, today?” I blurted. “One of them was a Sedan, so that means at least one passenger. I’m willing to bet there were two broken fibs and multiple lacs!”
The Drylands stared as if I’d grown another head that spoke a different language.
“Edie…” Mrs Dryland said carefully, “that’s not what polite people talk about at dinner.”
“But Mr Dryland was talking about his work…”
“I got this one,” said Bobby. It took two hours of him trying to explain and me trying to understand, but blood and guts and all the interesting stuff actually puts a lot of Nypicals off their food.