Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When good things go bad


Seeing a middle-aged guy taking a sledgehammer to a toddler booster seat on a driveway one hot Sunday afternoon could mean two things.

One - somebody’s in a whole heck of a lot of trouble or....

Two - somebody’s wife has been on the Internet again.

***

Earlier that day....

“You’re throwing out the old booster seat?” my husband inquired, seeing where I had placed it on the curb, ready for trash pick-up.

I looked over at the forlorn seat and nodded, “Yep, they said we had to.”

He looked at me questioning and asked, “Who are ‘they’?”

I shrugged, “You know, those people, the ones who make the rules about these kind of things.”

He asked, “‘These kind of things’?”

Ugh! Seriously. I wasn’t expecting to present a dissertation on the subject. I just wanted to clean out the storage room to gear up for our upcoming garage sale.

I said, “Apparently car seats have an expiration date.”

He walked over to the suddenly offensive item, leaned over, took a whiff then asked, “Did it go bad or something?”

I chuckled, “Once they hit the six-year mark after manufacturing, they can’t be considered safe any more.”

And that’s when he noticed the markings along the plastic back. Words like “Expired!” and “Do Not Use!” were written in red ink.

I further explained, “You’re supposed to mark it up so people won’t pick it up and use it.”

He smirked, “Oh, we can do better than that.” He headed into the garage and returned holding - you guessed it - a sledgehammer. 

Women are from Venus.

Men are from the anywhere that endorses high-range explosives and rocket launchers.
Is it any wonder the world is constantly at war?

***

“The garage door broke.”

Four words I wasn’t prepared to hear from my husband later that day.

So I eloquently replied, “Uh, what?”

He crooked a finger in the universal sign of “Come and follow me” then headed for the garage.

It was there I saw the closed garage door with one side separated from the rail and hanging precariously over my car.

Sure. It would be MY side of the garage, wouldn’t it?

A raised eyebrow was my only comment to which my husband threw up his hands in defense and said, “Hey, all I did was hit the button to close it.” He waved his arms wildly in the air, “Then bolts started falling and all hell broke loose.”

Sigh. Stupid home ownership.

I shrugged and said, “It’s Sunday, so I’ll call the guys in the morning.”

And then it hit me.

Both cars were INSIDE the garage. The door was permanently in the down position for the next 24 hours.

It wasn’t like we had planned to go anywhere.

But it was a completely different thing to not be ALLOWED to go anywhere.

It was like being grounded. Except without having had the pleasure of doing something really bad first.

Son-of-a-biscuit!

***

So what happened after we finally made our escape to dinner the next day?

“I’m just a big, old, dumb cock,” our seven-year-old son announced in the Chinese restaurant after reading the placemat and learning he was born under the sign of the cock on the Chinese Zodiac.

Damn literacy.

More than a few heads turned our way in shocked silence. A few chopsticks hit the floor and at least one older lady covered her ears.

See? 

This.

This right here is why our family isn’t allowed out in public anymore.

I’d like to say I reacted with stoic determination, with no hint of smile or adverse reaction what-so-ever.

But the spray of fried rice all over the table kinda gave me away.

I quickly grabbed several napkins from the dispenser and proceeded to clean the table while politely explaining to our son that people on this side of the ocean prefer to use the term “rooster” rather than...well...the other one.

“But why?” our little innocent asked.

I looked to my husband for help, who quickly answered by stuffing an egg roll in his mouth.
Coward.

I rolled my eyes and turned back to my son, “Nevermind. Hey, do you know what a sledgehammer is?”

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