Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's been almost 24 hours since I realized something irrefutable about the two males I share a home with, something I still believe--after the requisite cooling down period-- is worthy of public broadcast: between the two of them, they don't have the brains that God gave a billy goat. *

You want proof? Your honor, if it pleases the court, Exhibit A: the blister on the bottom of the big toe on my left foot. And Exhibit B: a matching blister on the other big toe. Aren't they lovely? Er, no.

The facts: the two of them, my dearly beloved husband and son, dropped me off on campus yesterday, thereby tacitly agreeing to pick me up when my work day was done. At the time that I always, always, always leave work on a Friday (5 pm sharp), I reported to the usual picking up spot, across from the statue of the 49er panning for gold, and waited.

And waited and waited.

I thought about returning to the library and placing a where-the-heck-are-you phone call (no, I was not outfitted with a cell phone), but since I was sure that the growling stomach on at least one of the two males would momentarily lead him to the realization that logically he could expect no supper if he did not have a cook in the house, and he would remember to make haste to bring me home, I instead decided to walk toward the entrance of campus, during which stroll I would no doubt encounter a family vehicle pulling to the curb with a chastened expression on its driver's face.

The facts are that I left campus and I walked two miles down the edge of a sidewalk-free highway before abandoning the they'll-drive-up-at-any-second-apologizing-like-crazy-for-not-keeping-track-of-the-time expectation for the much more cheerful they've-been-killed- by-a-pack-of-raging -house -cats-and-I-hope-that-Nicholson -barfed-on -them-while-she -was-gnawing-their-knees scenario, which is a much more forgiveable excuse, when you think about it in the right kind of way.

And it rained (Hello, outlier drops from Tropical Storm Hanna!). And then it stopped raining. And I walked the last mile, across countless interstate exit and entrance ramps and an overpass, and I reached our neighborhood and I made a decision: I would walk in our house and not say anything. I'd see how long it would take before someone realized what they'd forgotten to do. And then I'd blast 'em. And send them to bed without supper.

But my husband was sitting outside and he rose to his feet at the sight of me trudging up the driveway and said incredulously, You walked? We were waiting for you to call before we came to pick you up and take you out to dinner.

It turned out that when one of the males that I share a home with was making ready to go pick me up at the appropriate time, the other male caused him to lose the power of his convictions that I needed to be picked up by telling him that he was sure I was going to call. Because I had called years ago when I needed to be picked up late at night. And they'd sat around with growling stomachs for an hour waiting for Godot, er, for the phone to ring.

Because obviously, if you don't have the brains that God gave a billy goat,** it would never occur to you to call the library yourself, to put an end to all the speculation as to why I hadn't yet called, because you think the phone lines run only one way.

One final fact: After dinner at the restaurant, I told the one who'd intended to pick me up sans phone call that he was now old enough to stop falling into line with every one of his dad's notions unless he can provide evidence to support it.

And later this weekend, I intend to offer him this post as an exercise in spotting errors of thought.

Because you have to use the brains you've got.

*another fun saying from my childhood: If they had any brains, they'd take them out and play with them.

**and, when God was handing out brains, they thought he said trains and ran and hid under the front porch; that was fun to say, too.


  1. Use 'em or lose 'em. Which is fun to say.

  2. "One final fact: After dinner at the restaurant, I told the one who'd intended to pick me up sans phone call that he was now old enough to stop falling into line with every one of his dad's notions unless he can provide evidence to support it."

    Oh my! Not funny at all, but your storytelling voice was very amusing

    Hope your blisters go down soon.

  3. LOL sorry I'm not laughing at your blisters, but at your fantastic way of telling a story.

    If it helps at all just be happy you only have the 2 men in your house. I have 3 and it would have happened this way for me:

    #1 - we just go, no phone call needed.
    #2 - but she called last time, let's wait.
    #3 - (after an hour waiting) let's just go to the restaurant I'm hungry.
    #1 & #2 - ummm OK.

    Btw, when I get blisters from hiking I use witch hazel in the mornings and some aloe vera gel at night. (On unbroken blisters)

  4. The question is, Would they have brought you carry out when they came home from the restaurant? ;)

    What bugs me is I know if my daughter had been home, she'd have suggested someone call when the others couldn't agree on the strategy. And I know good and well I shouldn't have attempted walking that far in the shoes I was wearing, but I hate having to micromanage perfectly capable people.

    And the blisters are fortunately unbroken, but one of them is itching like mad. I hope that means it's healing quickly.

    And my son--he's taking Argument Based Research this semester. He ought to get in the habit of questioning everything.

  5. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Oh, Susan! I hope dinner was fabulous. And that they let you put your feet up.

  6. oh dear!! I haven't laughed this hard in quite awhile!!! You poor thing with your blisters!!

  7. Crissy, it was only K&W (I'd been walking in the rain, remember?), but the salmon was good.

    And I really ought to quit milking the blisters story, because really, the look on my husband's face when I came walking up was simply priceless.

  8. Anonymous2:24 AM

    You have my sympathy. I adore the men in my family, but sometimes they are complete airheads. (one of my favorite slurs, by the way - airhead! airhead! ahhh.)

  9. Oh my goodness. I think you're being a pretty good sport about this. I would have lost it!

  10. We used to say, "When God was passing out brains they thought he said trains, so they asked for a big, empty one."

    Ah, the memories.


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