What 1978 did to Emmett D. Maddox
The Maddox's youngest child, Walter, gets a B- in his maths test. Although mother and father display outward signs of pride and reward him with coffee-flavoured ice cream, Walter still believes that part of the reason for his slipping from A territory is down to having to sit next to Lee Crowe, whose clothes smell so bad that Walter wants to just throw right on up over his desk at times (especially when Mrs Bywater won't let him open the goddamn window).
Emmett gives Pink Floyd a try, at the recommendation of his best friend, Jack MacKay. Emmett, being more of a Led Zepplin fan, isn't taken by Pink Floyd's elaborate and constantly changing song structures. He gives his copy of Dark Side Of The Moon to his daughter, Sandra, who instantly takes a liking to it. Later that same year she will go to a Pink Floyd concert where she will meet the man she will later marry, yet Emmett will never trust this man and never quite know for sure why. Maybe it's those eyes of his, black as eight-balls. Who knows.
Emmett takes the family dog, Stacks, for a walk over the back fields for the final time. Stacks is so slow by this point, and Emmett gets the impression that Stacks is doing this more for him now than anything. Stacks cannot pass water.
Emmett attempts green tea.
Emmett's wife, Daphne, visits her sister, Jean, whose husband, Ron, has taken off with another woman. Emmett claims that he saw this coming, and although Daphne agrees that Ron must have been having an affair all this time (why else would the phone bill be so high?) she does not verbally concur with Emmett for fear that her husband is just trying to point out how pathetic Jean is for marrying that jobless son of a bitch anyway. At least he isn't much of a drinker, Daphne would diplomatically voice once in a while. Emmett occasionally felt this was a dig at him, but never challenged it.
After the accident with fireworks which cost the new family cat, Mr Gorgonzola, the use of his left eye, Emmett vows to never attempt to set off a rocket on the front lawn again without first checking the area for pet cats.
Emmett is woken in the middle of the night by a passing truck riding over a cola can. Although he knew within a split second that it was just a cola can, the images in his dream seaped into waking life for a short time, and he thought that it was a gun shot from his grandfather shooting himself through the head. Emmett wonders what his grandfather, William, was like, seeing as the only memory he has of him is when Emmett was seven years old, and William was sitting in a chair in Emmett's father's house, wearing only a vest and insistently asking Emmett if he was his sister, Claire.