Stan's grandma grimly went about the business of disinfecting the apartment. She pushed strands of hair out of her face and grunted. "What a pigsty, and I don't mean maybe."
Stan sat on the corner of the couch. He had pulled his feet up off the floor because his grandma had to get the broom up under the couch. She swept out yellowing newspaper pages, toys, bits of food, and one or two unidentifiable items.
"Hey, there's my Army tank!" Stan reached down into the pile of trash and retrieved his missing toy.
"Mother of Christ. I do believe that's a dead mouse." She poked something with her broom and glared at Stan's dad. "Jesus, Jackie, come on! I taught you about being clean. You know what can happen if thing's ain't kept clean!"
"What, ma? Come on, what?" Stan's dad was preoccupied. "I got some money on this game, you know?" He sat in his armchair, chain smoking, his foot on the coffee table tapping endlessly.
Stan threw his army tank onto the coffee table and dropped his pants. "Number two, coming through!" He squatted next to the litter box and pushed everything out.
Grandma shooed him away with her broom. "Mother of Mother of Christ. We need TWO litterboxes around here. And I don't mean maybe."
"Will you two keep it down?" Jackie crushed a cigarette on the armchair and reached for another.
"What the hell . . . ?" Stan's grandma pulled a dust-bunny-covered body from behind the couch. "Brother of daughter of Christ," she said. "I think I've found Stan's mom!"
Opening: Steve Gallagher.....Continuation: takoda/Bill Highsmith