Title: Everything On It
Rating: PG - teen!chesters - Gen
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: SPN & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Hungry Teen boys = Rabid Locusts
John was aggressively surrounded as soon as he made it through the door.
Setting the load down on the counter, his under caffeinated mind idly wondered if any Italian Americans objected to their frequent depiction as fat men with villainous moustaches that jovially tossed spaghetti into the air.
“What is that?”
“Is that pizza?”
“Did you really get pizza?”
He decided not to risk asking what else his sons thought might be contained in the three large flat boxes with the jaunty picture of a Pizza chef on it.
Their shared exhilaration over the sight of the common pizza pie caused him to realize he didn’t witness that sort of exuberance very often when it came to chow. He would have acted very much the same if his own father had ever appeared after a long day with a paper sack filled with cartons of Chinese. However, his kids usually tended to have the opposite reaction. Food made in someone else’s kitchen was standard fare. Although one would never suspect the blasé acceptance of takeout considering how his boys were currently tearing into the grease stained boxes like they’d never seen one before.
John glanced at the clock.
He did say he’d be home a little earlier than he’d actually arrived. By approximately four hours. The power of two teenaged male metabolisms under one roof wasn’t easy to keep up with. It got downright dangerous if they were denied provisions for too long and you were foolish enough to let your hand get near a mouth.
While John would have been as content as Sam to eat over the sink, Dean was making places for them all at the table despite how ravenous he was. It had once been the drill John had implemented with a regularity that never wavered. He begrudgingly cursed himself for doing such a damn good job. Now if all three of them were in the same zip code, his oldest boy wouldn’t allow anyone to get to it until they’d all taken their places.
Taking a bite of some of the best pizza he’d had in a while, John took a seat and thought of his own family routine in the years he had grown up in.
Come rain or shine that dinner time hour started promptly at 6:30 sharp with no excuses. Everyone took their seat, said a prayer and passed the peas. John couldn’t put three bad words together in regards to the kind being that was his mother but the woman did a lot of weird things to ground beef. To make ends meet there hadn’t been many of the fancier cuts of cow on their table. But to her credit she attempted to sculpt the cheap stuff in as many different animal parts as possible to keep the excitement for sustenance alive.
He fondly imagined the flowered ceramic bowls filled with obligatory heaps of soggy overcooked vegetables. No matter how green it may have been in life it was always properly humiliated with a few sticks of butter and enough salt to de-ice a driveway. Folks really knew how to home cook their way to an early grave in the good old days. Looking at the heaps of melted cheese and slices of pepperoni he quickly canned the interior sentiment of nutritional superiority.
He’d be lucky if his kids made it to twenty without contracting scurvy due to some vitamin deficiency.
“So,” John said. “What did you learn in school today?”
Watching his boys fidget uneasily in their chairs caused John to vividly recall his own father asking him a similar version of the question. It came up unexpectedly whenever the serene peace at the dinner table seemed to require an interruption. Although he had attended a financially strapped public school in a small town, the teachers and the text had been as decent as it probably would have been much anywhere else. But his father had always expected something other than a few more elements off the periodic table. It was as if he was keeping careful tabs with how much bang for the buck that his tax dollars were pumping into his kid’s IQ.
John personally decided to continue the tradition just to check if his children had actually made it to class that day. Consequently, he usually delivered the inquiry with as much enthusiasm as it was received it in.
When no one appeared to be ready to leap out of their chair with the answer, John sat back more comfortably in his seat. With that parental duty fulfilled, he could now move on to the football game he’d completely missed. He was about to request a full play by play starting with the kick off when Sam cleared his throat.
It turned out one of his boys actually had something to say after all.
“I have to do a report.” He said tentatively. “On the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.”
“Smoot?” Dean doubtfully confirmed around a mouth full of cheese.
“Senator Reed Smoot.” Sam informed them. “1930’s Republican from Utah.”
John could almost hear his own old man give out a deep sigh.
He abruptly comprehended all of the signs of exasperation his father couldn’t be bothered to suppress when his son had brought home the same kind of scholarly gems from the classroom. A written report that would eat up a weekend of perfectly good target practice for some asshole named Smoot? That kind of education would get a man through life all right. With golden wisdom like that, a man was ensured to get through adulthood with gas in his car and milk in the fridge—
“Although the tariff act was passed after the stock-market Crash of 1929, many economic historians consider the political discussion leading up to the passing of the act as a factor in causing the crash.”
John realized he was staring and tried to stop. Sam took the lull as a sign of interest.
“It-It’s been largely concluded that real international trade decreased by around 14% because of declining GNP in each country; 8% from increases in tariff rates; 5% because of deflation-induced tariff increases; and an extra 6% because of the imposition of nontariff barriers—”
“Geeze.” Dean mumbled. “People are tryin’ to eat.”
“A-And its eventual passage is considered a major factor in deepening the Great Depression.” Sam hastily concluded.
The table fell quiet as everyone did with that information as they may.
“I learned something?” Dean volunteered.
John studied his other son for a moment to determine if the claim was legitimate. He knew very well that it was probably nothing but an effort to put the brakes on Sammy’s possible further explanation on Depression era import laws. Dean didn’t have any of the usual tell tale signs that whatever was coming out of his mouth next might cause his younger brother to initiate a fist fight right over the table. There was plenty of pie left and if it all ended up on the floor John was going to get highly upset.
Reaching a decision, he set down his bottle of beer as an indicator of his full attention. He immediately started to regret it when he saw a smile seep into the serious expression his kid had been miraculously maintaining.
“Putting a bic lighter in a microwave isn’t anywhere near as cool as you think it would be.”
Upon seeing no return smile from his old man, Dean quickly found something else to prove that he'd been in the presence of a chalk board within the last 24 hours.
"Theorems?" Dean ventured. "Geometry has a crap ton of theorems.”
John watched his kids both struggle over possession of the next to last piece that was substantially larger than the small sliver beside it. He ended the dilemma by taking it for himself. When they watched in sincere dismay as it was slid onto his plate, he tiredly pointed towards the last entire box they hadn’t even opened yet.
“And that hotty French teacher?” Dean quirked an eyebrow. “She’s totally married.”
“So what?” Sam muttered.
“To a chick.”
John had to admit it. His oldest kid always had the good stuff.
“Oh yeah.” Dean added. “Some girl in my homeroom is pregnant.”
John’s amusement downshifted into abject terror. Sammy even abruptly looked up from his tenth slice for that one.
“Her boyfriend is dropping out of school.” Dean harvested the discarded pizza crusts off his brother’s plate. “Gettin’ some job at his uncle’s car wash.”
John covertly let out the breath he had been holding.
“I have a group project too?” Sam said. “It’s on the ‘Battle of Midway’.”
“Battle?” Dean perked slightly.
“Pacific Theater.” Sam grinned. “It was the Imperial Japanese Navy’s first major defeat against American forces. We sank 4 of their aircraft carriers and offed about 200 enemy planes!”
John watched on as the last of the third box dwindled. It was always counted a small private success if anything consumable survived his family’s voracious presence. This time it was single piece of pizza sitting untouched. He fantasized exactly how unpleasant the cold and congealed breakfast would be the next morning before he headed back out on the road. Stretching back, he drowsily listened to his boys exchange proposed body counts and tonnage of bombs dropped.
World War II statistics.
Now that was an all consuming waste of time that John could get behind.