Mock Defeat

“This is getting too easy,” Jack said. “Is that the best you’ve got?”

He was lying on the couch in his room, smashing buttons on a video game controller. He playfully punched Aidan, who was sitting on the rug facing the TV.

“I wouldn’t speak so soon,” Aidan replied.

Jack laughed. “What do you mean? I’ve won all five games that we’ve played so far.”

The beeping and buzzing of the video game continued. Dad called from downstairs, “Boys, stop playing for now. Dinner’s ready!”

“Oh no no no no no,” Jack said, as his character on the screen died.

“Ha!” said Aidan.

Jack got up and switched off the TV. “Okay, so maybe you won one game. But I’m still going to get to dinner first!”

Aidan smiled. “I don’t think so!” He got up and chased Jack down the hallway and stairs, into the dining room.

Anthony, Michael, Elizabeth, Mom, and Dad were already sitting down at the table. “What was that I heard about getting to dinner first?” Anthony smirked while looking towards Jack.

“Go wash your hands,” Mom said to the boys, “and then we’ll start eating.”

Jack and Aidan raced to the bathroom. When they returned, everyone had started serving the different dishes.

“So, what does everyone think?” Dad asked.

“Nice try,” Michael said. “But I still think Mom’s cooking is better.”

“You burned the beef slightly,” teased Mom.

Dad put his hands up in mock defeat. “Wow, what a cow-tastrophe.”

“Dad, that’s awful,” Jack said, but everyone was laughing. “Hey guys, it’s really not that funny!”

“I like the salad. This dressing is really nice,” Elizabeth said.

“Thanks, Liz. At least someone here knows how to appreciate good food,” Dad said, casting a look at Michael.

“Dad, I’m a culinary student,” Michael complained. “I know how to appreciate good food.”

“I’m done,” said Aidan, “Do we have dessert today?”

“You’ll have to wait a bit,” Dad said. “The cookies are still in the oven.”

“Yeah, but let’s not wait too long,” Anthony said. “Or else they’ll also be burnt.”

Dad pretended to look mad for a moment, then chuckled. “Well, it’s Friday night. Do you all want to play a board game or watch a movie?”

“I think a board game is the way to go. I’ve got to keep my three-week winning streak going, you know?” Elizabeth said.

“Oh, you’re on,” said Anthony. “Your streak ends today.”

Suddenly, a burning smell wafted through the room. “Dad!” everyone laughed.