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Snow Big Deal

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Bob wakes up to the shrill sounds of Louise screaming. Linda bolts upright immediately, mumbling, “Huh, what! What’s goin’ on? Who’s screamin’?"

Louise appears in the doorway, seemingly wearing every item of clothing she owns. Her bunny ears are pulled over three hoods. She crawls onto the bed and stares Bob directly in the eyes, saying, “COLD."

“Aww, Bobby,” Linda says, "the pilot light’s out again."

“Alright, alright, I’m getting up. Louise, go—go get blankets out of the closet. I’m not… decent."

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Dad,” Louise says. "You try your best."

“Go get the blankets!” he shouts.

He pulls on sweatpants and goes downstairs, cursing at what he finds. He eventually gets into the restaurant and down to the basement to re-light the pilot light, then rushes back upstairs to the warmth of his bed.

“Alright!” Linda yells as he returns. Everyone is now awake and huddled under a blanket in the living room.

“Yeah, it’s fixed, but I’ve got some bad news.” They all look at him expectantly. “It snowed."

“Why is that bad?” Tina asks.

“Yeah, Dad, we can make a snow walrus!” Gene says.

He walks over and pulls back the curtain. “It really snowed."

They all look out at the sea of white on the road below.

“That’s odd, usually the plows are out by now,” Linda says.

“Yeah, I think that’s what Fischoeder was talking about the other day. Some stupid city limit argument the mayor is having. I don’t think the plows are coming."

“So we’re snowed in?"

The kids erupt in a sudden chorus of “no school!” and “an entire army of snow sea creatures!” and “do you think Jimmy Jr. will make snow angels with me?"

“Should we even bother opening the restaurant today?” Bob asks Tina, following her into the kitchen.

“Sure,” Linda says, pulling the crockpot out from the cabinet. "Mort and Teddy will still come over. You can make a snow burger for your burger of the day."

Bob smiles. “The snow big deal burger. Comes with feta cheese sprinkled on top."

Linda laughs, uncorking two huge bottles of wine with expert ease and pouring them into the crockpot.

“What are you doing?"

“Mulled wine!” she says. “Can’t be snowed in without mulled wine, Bobby, everybody knows that."

“Oh, right."

Eventually they make their way downstairs, the kids and Linda all bundled up to play in the snow while Bob has to get to work. For no one.

He watches the snowball fight they have through the window, trying to yell when someone needs to look out, but they don’t hear him.

It’s warmer by the grill, so he decides it’s more fun to stand back there.

Gene comes in a little later, requesting burgers to complete his snow walrus.

“Aren’t burgers a little big for its eyes?"

“I’m not using them for eyes."

“Um… okay,” Bob says, deciding it’s better not to ask.

Gene sits by the counter as he waits for Bob to cook the burgers, grabbing a knife and playing that game where he jabs the knife between his fingers, getting faster and faster.

Linda comes in with her crockpot and reprimands him. “Don’t do that, baby, you’re gonna hurt yourself."

“Nonsense! It makes me feel ALIVE!” Gene shouts, promptly cutting his thumb.

Bob sighs. “You need a band-aid."

“Nah,” Gene says. “I’ll just tape a lil’ piece of cloth on there to cover it up and soak up the blood."

“That’s — That’s literally what a band-aid is."

Gene ignores him. “Burgers!” he demands once more.

Tina joins them just as Bob is handing over Gene’s burgers. “Dad, can I borrow a plate?"

“A plate? For what?” he asks distractedly. He tries to remind Gene again about the band-aid, but he’s already out the door.

“To go sledding with Jimmy Jr."

“How… how does that work?"

“He’s using a pizza pan from his dad’s restaurant. I figured you wouldn't want to be left out."

“Fine, it’s—fine. Take whatever you want,” he says as she grabs his biggest serving dish and takes it outside.

Linda tuts at him. “Why're you bein’ such a grumpy gus today, huh? Here, have a mug of wine. You’ll feel better."

“I don’t—“ he protests.


“—no, I don’t want—"

“—take it!—"

“—I’m supposed to be—"

“—go on, take your medicine—"

“—it’s not—okay I’ll take some."

“Yay!” Linda yells, throwing her arms in the air.

“This is actually really good,” Bob says, surprised.

“See? Now tell momma what’s wrong."


“Uh huh, sure. Go on, drink up. Feelin’ talkative yet? No? Keep drinkin’, there ya go."

“It’s just—“ he begins, but then the door bangs open and Louise trots in.

“I need to see a man about a loose screw,” she announces, heading straight for the basement.

Bob sighs. “Should I even bother trying to stop her?"

Linda makes a dismissive noise, pouring them both fresh mugs of mulled wine. “Let her make her own mistakes. It builds character."

Louise comes back upstairs, something clanging underneath her coat, but quickly leaves without saying a word. Bob and Linda both stare after her in silence.

“Anyway, you were about to spill your guts,” Linda says. “Not literally, though, I really don’t wanna have to clean that up."

“It’s not a big deal, I just. I never really had a snow day. I always had to work,” he says with a scowl, "just like I’m working now."

“Aww, Bobby! Why didn’t you say so? We can shut it down for a day; it doesn’t matter."

“What about Teddy?"

“Screw Teddy!” Linda shouts, before turning around and seeing him in the doorway. “Oh, hi Teddy, sorry."

“None taken. You guys coming out for the snow angel competition?"

“Perfect!” Linda says. “C’mon Bobby, turn the grill off, let’s go roll around in the snow."

They run outside to find everyone fighting over prime angel-making spots. Mort is there running the show, and tells them when to begin. Bob falls over and flails his arms and legs, but when he gets up, all he’s left behind is a big circle. Still, he’s kinda proud of it.

Louise wins with flying colors. She’s taped her bunny ears together, and it turns out that when she falls back and stands back up immediately, her imprint looks just like an angel, complete with halo.

When Bob finds Tina, she is setting up a barrier around Jimmy Jr.’s snow angel, even though he’s long gone. “I have to keep people out!” she insists. “They’ll step all over his perfect butt print."

“Dad!” Gene says, running up. “Hey, your angel looks just like mine. Come on! We need to build more snow creatures!"

Bob lets himself be dragged along, and he builds a snow sea otter to join Gene’s walrus.

“Where did Louise run off to?” he asks after a while, realizing he hasn’t seen her since the end of the snow angel competition. Gene shrugs, putting the finishing touches on his snow trout.

Suddenly, they hear a triumphant yell and see Louise running toward them from a distance, some destroyed piece of metal held high above her head.

“Oh no,” Bob says, and then spots Mr. Fischoeder chasing her from not too far behind. “Oh, oh no."

“Look Dad, I saved Christmas,” Louise says in a stage whisper, handing over her prize.

“Christmas was two months ago,” Bob tells her.

“What is it?” Gene asks, just as Mr. Fischoeder catches up.

“It's a vital part of a snow plow,” Fischoeder reprimands, sounding a bit winded. “Or at least it used to be before this little one got to it."

“You can’t prove that,” Louise says.

“You just brandished it through the street like it was the Olympic torch!” Fischoeder says.

“No, I… found that."

“Louise, why would you sabotage a snow plow?” Bob asks.

“I didn’t sabotage a snow plow. I just said—"

“Okay, why would you hypothetically sabotage a snow plow."

“Ohhh, hypothetically,” Louise says. "I think I would hypothetically tear apart a snow plow just to watch it die."


“Think about it, Dad! We could have snow days for days! Those snow plows ruin everything."

“Ah ha!” Fischoeder shouts as Linda joins them. “So you admit it!"

“I admit nothing!"

“Okay!” Bob shouts. “Everybody quit shouting. Here, Mr. Fischoeder, here’s your part back."

Fischoeder steps back, letting it fall to the ground. “I don’t want that."

“You don’t? You’re not gonna repair the plow?"

“Heavens no! I just bet Felix 20 bucks I could get her to admit it."

“Okay, you should probably just go now.” As he wanders away, Bob refocuses on Louise. “Look, I know you had fun today, but you can’t just destroy government property to keep having a good time."

“Sure you can!” Gene says.

“Yeah! Throw their tea into the ocean!” Linda shouts.

“Lin, you’re not helping. Look Louise, just, promise me you won’t do it again. And give me back my wrench."

Louise scoffs. “Fine."

“Hey, maybe you can teach me to build a better snow angel,” he says as Gene pulls Linda aside to build more snow sea life.

Louise eyes him for a second, and finally says, “It won’t be easy. Maybe the toughest job of my career. But I’ll do it!"

Bob chuckles. “Alright."

“First, we’ll need to find you a dress…” she explains, and Bob just lets her pull him along, giving in to the allure of the snow day.