24 Fifty-four Bottles of Beer on the Wall

John Guss wondered where the party went. He was pretty sure baby Drew’s christening was supposed to take place, Tuesday at nine, but it was almost ten and the only sign of innocent life was Kelly Ripa on the television screen, clapping her hands. He saw that his brother Joe was in an exalted state behind the wheel of the non-operating Olds. Drew’s mother orbited the dining room table, then in fifties as she sang “One Hundred Bottles Of Beer On The Wall.” All the non-family lie-abouts were gone. And there was no Monsignor Quinn, who’d promised to administer the sacrament at their home, and bless the christening cake. The door to JoJo’s room was shut. Kar wasn’t about, which normally meant one thing, but his son wasn’t in the crib. Something was up, but not the usual. He shrugged. Kar probably had taken little Andrew for a walk, the baptism was postponed. John wasn’t too sorry, if it meant his brother was lying in bed, deprived.

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