The missus and I have had a house guest for the past few days — a friend of my wife’s, from back in graduate school. The two go way back — two cities, several jobs, and a number of years, in fact — and the friend is moving out of the country soon, so I’ve been giving the girls a bit a space to do some catching up.
Okay. To be fair, I’ve steered clear of the estrogen-fest nearly completely, due mostly to scheduling conflicts. And my deep-seated instinctual fear of estrogen-fests. When confronted with the presence of multiple women — not to mention multiple women with alcohol — a man’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction kicks in rather quickly. And since we’re not allowed to hit girls, we usually run like hell in the other direction.
(This doesn’t apply to young single men, of course, who spend most of their waking moments looking for multiple women, together in one place with alcohol.
It’s one of life’s little ironies that guys can never catch a break when we’re looking for a woman, but when all we want is to sit on the couch in our underwear and watch baseball, they’re everywhere. It’s like they can sense that we’re being lazy pigs somehow. It must be some sort of slob-dar.)
Although I’ve managed to stay mostly out of the way this week, I did have one interesting encounter with our guest. It was triggered, oddly enough, by our toilet clogging up on the night she arrived.
“It’s one of life’s little ironies that guys can never catch a break when we’re looking for a woman, but when all we want is to sit on the couch in our underwear and watch baseball, they’re everywhere.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not pointing the plunger in anyone‘s direction here. All I know is that I came home that night, spent several hours not using the bathroom, only to be informed by my wife that the toilet was essentially non-functional. How it got that way, what was stuffed into it, how many bean ‘n’ bran burritos the ladies had been eating — I don’t pretend to have those answers. I was uninvolved, until unclogging time came around. That’s all I know.
That ‘unclogging time’ happened to be the next day. By the time we’d identified the problem that night, we were too tired to tackle it. Plus, we have a perfectly serviceable second set of facilities downstairs, so there was no real emergency. We went to bed, and the problem was forgotten for a few hours.
The next morning, I woke up. With needs. Toilet-based needs — not the other kind. A man’s got to have his priorities, you know. First things first.
Now, I’m not a morning person, under any circumstances. If you need to talk to me before ten AM, you’d better be sending a message via Freddy Krueger. And having had just a few hours’ sleep the night before, being somewhat out of my normal routine, and really needing a bathroom, I was even less coherent than usual. Assuming such a thing is possible without an ice-pick lobotomy.
So, I shuffled my way to the bathroom, where I found a reminder note from my wife, written on a Post-It and pasted to the toilet lid:
Sweet girl. She knows my considerable limitations, and she’s looking out for me. She’s a keeper, that one.
She also knows that I’m not a morning person, and gives me some time to degroggify, before turning on the sunshine. Her friend — the one whose arrival coincided with the out-of-ordering of the commode I was just steered away from, remember — had no such knowledge. I passed her as I shuffled towards the stairs, to find the other bathroom. She’d apparently already had her coffee for the morning — and for the next three weeks, too:
‘Good morning! Beautiful day, isn’t it? Man, I can’t wait to get out there and get the day started! Come on, sleepyhead — up and at ’em! Hah!‘
I looked at her with the one eye I was able to open. I didn’t want to be rude, certainly not to a guest… but really, what choice did I have? She’d bright-‘n’-earlied me into a corner, and none of my conversation filters had come online yet. I tried to respond with a cheerful:
‘You got it, sister. Let’s go get ’em!‘
Instead, what escaped from my lips was a guttural, rasping, Sling Blade-style:
‘You ought not clog our terlet with yer offal. Mmmm-hmmm.‘
And I moved along to the restroom.
We didn’t see her for a while after that. Eventually, my wife found her hiding under the guest bed with a kitchen knife in one hand and ‘9-1’ dialed on the phone in the other. By that time, it was after noon and I was able to cheerily invite her out for lunch.
Quite naturally, she declined.
So, I left the girls alone and fixed the toilet. I’m still not sure what happened with it, but the timing of the clog was… let’s just call it unfortunate, for all involved. And if that poor girl wasn’t moving out of the country before, she’s sure as hell buying a ticket out now.
It probably didn’t help at dinner tonight, when I passed the bread to her and said:
‘Some folks calls these Kaiser rolls. I call ’em sling rolls. Mmmm-hmmm.‘
Those conversation filters should be kicking in aaaany time now. No, really.Permalink | 4 Comments