While most of the news aimed at us is designed to aggravate, distract, and divide, I tend to focus on the unifying themes of the human condition. Case in point: No matter your lot in life, there are many phrases no one ever wants to hear.
Whether you’re the President of the United States or the guy hired to check Pete Davidson for deer ticks, you never want to hear these phrases:
“We need to talk.”
“Please pull up and we’ll have your order out in just a minute.”
“Oh listen, there are three heartbeats!”
“Your set of ‘Alf’ commemorative plates is not an acceptable form of collateral, but feel free to try another bail bondsman.”
“It’s not me, it’s you.”
“I have it narrowed down to you and seven other guys.”
Last Tuesday I walked in the door and I was greeted with this instant classic:
“I don’t think anything is broken”.
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The Wife and our two Tax Deductions were standing around the kitchen table, all looking as if I’d just caught them planning a bank heist. I stood in the door without shutting it, because when you hear “I don’t think anything is broken” as soon as you walk in the door, you want to make sure you have an escape route.
I kept hoping the dog would bark so I’d have an excuse to go out in the yard. If only that unhelpful fleabag would’ve had a thorn in her paw I could’ve killed a good hour or two while the “I don’t think it’s broken” soap opera reached a conclusion.
Usually, our dog Lucille goes into hysterics if so much as a butterfly lands on our property, but today – when I really needed her help – she stood mute, wagging her tail in quiet contentment. Of course, later in the evening, this alleged dog would pick up the trail of a deer that trotted through the yard a week ago and bark like a busted sprinkler for hours.
After giving up any hope of being spared, I summoned the courage to ask, “what is it you think isn’t broken?”.
TD#1 hobbled over to me and held up her foot. It was purple and the size of a canned ham.
“How did that happen?” I asked.
“A chair fell on it,” she said.
“Have you been moonlighting with a moving company?” I asked. “How does a chair end up turning your foot into a topographic map of Cambodia?”
I don’t have enough space or medication to recount, dissect or explain TD#1’s answer. The crux of the biscuit is TD#1 was talking to The Wife, and while doing so was standing next to the chair. Being as graceful as Twyla Tharp in a spacesuit, she was leaning the chair left to right with her hand while she was talking. At some point, the chair apparently made a run for it, slipped out of her hand, and landed on her foot.
“First of all, your nickname is now and forever The Chairman,” I said. “Secondly, do you think it’s broken?”
Neither The Wife nor The Chairman thought the foot was broken, but I wanted to be sure. The best way to make TD#1 leave the room in a hurry is to deliver a bad pun. I love puns more than honey buns, but TD#1 hates them. My plan was to wait until the 8 p.m. hour to unleash a couple of puns in an attempt to see if she could walk on her injured foot which now resembled a mangled toaster oven.
Later that evening as we were watching an episode of Columbo, TD#1 asked The Wife what was available for a snack. At that moment a candle on the table next to me inspired the first pun of the night.
“You can have this candle over here,” I said holding it up. “It’s a light snack.”
“I hate that!” TD#1 said with her blanket pulled up over her head. “Stop!”.
A few minutes later Columbo ended (he busted Leonard Nimoy by the way), and a show called Collector’s Corner came on. The episode featured a guy who was a Lego collector.
“You know, Lego collecting is a snap,” I said proudly.
The next thing you know, a tall, skinny person with a blanket pulled over her head and a foot the size of a bread box ran out of the living room, begging me to stop. She even made a constant droning “AAAAHHH!” noise to prevent any further pun-age from entering her consciousness. It seems her foot wasn’t broken after all.
I really want TD#1 to wrestle “The Chairman” nickname away from Frank Sinatra, because, well, at this point I believe she’d win the fight. Also, TD#1 is going to outgrow her tax deduction status in a few short years, and we must be prepared with a new nickname. If “The Chairman” nickname doesn’t stick, my only other option is “Tall Person Who Eats All of Our Food and Drops Furniture on Herself”, which would make for a cumbersome business card.
Jon Dawson’s books are available at http://www.JonDawson.com.