'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
TIME TO INVESTIGATE A NEW LIFE
The other day my wife said to me, in a very serious tone of voice, “We have to investigate a new life.” Then she walked out of the room.
Investigate a new life? What does that mean, I wondered. And what did she mean by “new life”? Is that her way of telling me she’s pregnant? Oh man, that’s not exactly what I had in mind now that I’m in my late 40s (forty-thirteen, to be precise). But maybe she was trying to say that she is about to leave me. That would be terrible if she walks out. I mean, I don’t even know how to run the washing machine.
So I chased after her and exclaimed, “Hey Hon, what did you mean by ‘investigate a new life’?”
She looked at me as if I had asked yet another brilliant question, such as the one I asked last year at this time: “You don’t really want flowers for Valentine’s Day, do you? Wouldn’t you rather have new windshield wipers?”
After a deep sigh, she said, “Well, do you think I want to keep doing THIS forever?” Then she started to walk away again.
Sometimes when the emotions of fear and guilt start to well up inside of me, my mind begins to race and I have a difficult time forming complete sentences. This was not one of those times. I clearly and concisely said to my wife, “Muh, what, um, um, HUH?!”
Sensing my panic, she asked, “What have we been doing for the past three hours, dear?”
Oh no, a pop quiz! And I didn’t do the homework! My mind raced even more as I tried to remember what thoughtless things I may have said or done during the previous three hours. Whenever my wife and I have serious discussions, it’s almost always due to my lack of sensitivity or a reluctance to share my emotions and feelings.
But it couldn’t have been those things, I thought. We weren’t anywhere near each other during the past three hours, because my wife was shoveling the front steps and the sidewalk, while I was over on the side of the house clearing yet another 14 inches of snow from the driveway.
“I, I don’t know what you mean, Hon,” I finally muttered, resigned to another “F” on a pop quiz. At this point in my life, my only hope of passing the course will be to ace the final.
“Do you like shoveling snow?” she asked. “Well, of course not,” I replied. “Especially this year when we’ve gotten a major storm every five days.”
“That’s what I mean,” she said. “We need to investigate a new life. A life without shoveling snow. A life without constant yard work. We need to investigate a condo.”
Oh, I get it now, I thought with relief. She’s talking about concrete, physical stuff, not psychological, emotional stuff. I can definitely get a “C” on that kind of a pop quiz, even without doing the homework.
“Yeah, I’m with you, Hon!” I said excitedly. “Let’s sell this place right now!”
“Wait a minute,” she said. “First, we have to get the house ready to sell, which means we need to spend every weekend for the next six months doing repairs and cleaning and painting.”
“Great,” I said. “Let’s start this Saturday.”
“No, that won’t work,” she said. “It’s suppose to snow again.”
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