This story takes place during the first season. Meg and JJ are still in high school and Patty is still at the elementary school. This first chapter is just to set the stage, the next one will start the real story.
Thursday evening was a regular evening for the Pryor's. The family sat around the table, enjoying their usual dinner of Tuna Casserole with their usual arguments. Jack sat at the head of the table, trying to enjoy a quiet dinner but failing as usual. His wife, Helen, sat at the other end, patiently trying to keep the peace of her children. JJ, still wearing his Catholic school uniform, brooded silently into his dinner. Across from him, Meg and Roxanne carried on a private conversation while Patty tried to hide a book under the table. Next to JJ, Will tried shoving his green beans under his napkins and hoped for cookies for dessert.
"So, Patty, how was school today?" Helen asked, shoving Will's hand away from his hidden green beans and giving him a look.
"It was fine" Patty said, serious as always. "I won the seventh grade spelling bee today. The word I won with was extracurricular. E-X-T-R-A-C…" At the far end of the table, Jack Pryor rolled his eyes.
"How was practice today?" he asked his eldest. JJ glanced up from his dinner and contemplated his answer.
"Fine" he said, quietly. "May I be excused?" Helen nodded and he rose, taking his plate with him into the kitchen.
"Patty, you are so annoying" Meg hissed out, whenever Patty stopped to take a breath.
"Mom, Meg called me annoying" Patty cried out.
"Girls, stop" Helen pleaded, looking nervously up at her husband. "Meg, how was Bandstand today?"
"It was good" Meg said. "Next week, they're having…"
"Mom, I need to go to the store to get things for my Science project" Patty interrupted.
"Mom!" Meg exclaimed, looking irritated. "She just interrupted me"
"Why do we always have to talk about Bandstand?" Patty asked. "It's not even important"
"It is too important!" Roxanne and Meg chimed in, at the same time.
"Girls, stop!" Jack hollered, causing the whole table to jump.
"But Dad, Patty…" Meg started.
"Meg, you may be excused" Jack interrupted. "Roxanne, you too" Giving Patty a dirty look, Meg rose and left the room, followed by Roxanne.
"They didn't clear their plates" Patty informed the table.
"Then you can do it for them" Jack said. Rolling her eyes, Patty got up and started clearing the table. Will was now the only child there and he looked around the empty table expectantly.
"Does this mean I get extra dessert?"