Be Careful What You Write

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Ben Franklin is credited with saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It is said of Ben Franklin that he was a smart man. It is probably too late for me to earn that same kind of reputation. Actually, most would think that I’m not even in the line-up to get honorable mention when it comes to being smart. I am more closely attuned to what someone thinks of at the mention of Wile E. Coyote. How many Looney Tune cartoons did we watch as kids where Wile E. Coyote attempted to catch the Roadrunner through the use of a contraption of his own making that backfired in his face causing injuries?

Apparently stuff like that happens all the time in real life as well. It seems like I saw something on the news yesterday about a man in Georgia shooting his lawn mower. That puts a totally new spin on target practice. What was the man thinking? Riding lawnmowers are expensive. Whether by happenstance or otherwise, the lawn mower was also laden with explosives. If you’ll pardon the pun, there is no way to put a positive spin on this story. Perhaps it goes without saying, “It was explosive!” Rumor has it that the man firing the rifle also lost his leg. Very sad and not very smart!

Okay, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones! By my own admission, in my blog yesterday, I made reference to the fact that I needed to be very cautious in how I coined my blog. “Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!” are the three magic words that some of you may have thought when you read my blog from yesterday. I obviously did not carefully take my own advice. That was also not a smart move!

Actually, at least one person saw it differently. She wrote only two words, but the two words confirmed I had achieved my goal with at least that one reader. She wrote: “Very Funny”. She later telephoned to re-enforce the fact that the blog was hilarious. She thinks the General and I could vie for prime time television in a sitcom exchanging playful banter with one another. Sure we could! Talk about delusional thinking! Actually, she described the General and me as having the potential of being regarded by the viewing audience as a classy “Archie and Edith Bunker.”

Okay guys, do you ever do or say anything to your wife that gives you pause for concern that maybe you should have done something differently or expressed it in some other fashion? As I was making my way home from work yesterday, I had this sneaking suspicion that maybe everything wasn’t well in Denmark. On the other hand, that had to be irrational thinking on my part, wasn’t it? I had laughed all the way through my own blog. Yes, I know what they say about folks who laugh at their own jokes. Like I said before, I’m not all that smart.

I stopped for crushed ice on the way home from work. Why not get a cup for the General as well? No pun was intended in that statement. I didn’t really think the General would need to cool off.   In fact, when I got home from work, she didn’t give me the cold shoulder. She couldn’t have seemed more pleasant. At least that was my initial observation. Did I mention I’ve been wrong before? My not being all that smart seems like a consistent behavioral pattern.

Actually, I telephoned the General before I got through Dripping Springs to ask if she had picked up the mail at the post office. Since she had not, I volunteered to stop. She playfully said, “Okay, See you in a bit.” Getting back in the car, after walking out of the post office, I breathed a sigh of relief. It may have been by the fraction of an inch, but I had glided by without her taking offense at anything I had written earlier yesterday morning.

When I arrived at home, I didn’t walk through the door thinking the General would be saying my morning blog was exceptionally well written. More accurately, I thought there would be no mention of the blog at all. I was correct on that part.

Her countenance was relaxed. The General looked as though she didn’t have a care in the world. In fact, she was so calm and laid back, that it took me a moment to fully process what she was saying. Consequently, I can’t provide the exact script she used. It was something closely akin to: “I haven’t fed the fish. I quit. I’m done. I’m finished”.  So, what exactly was she saying?  I wasn’t quite sure, but I had enough sense to know I was in a heap of trouble.

She paused long enough for me to let her soft spoken words sink in.  Then she continued: “Don’t ask me to do anything in the yard. I’m not watering plants. I’m not doing this. I’m not doing that. I don’t like being outside when it is hot. I never have. I’m done. If you want the yard to look nice, I’m sure it will. If you don’t care how the lawn looks, that too, will be abundantly clear. It is all up to you.”

It may not have been as poignant or memorable as the Gettysburg address, but it was impressive. Was it a carefully rehearsed speech? It could have been, but I don’t think so. However, I will say the General is a persuasive and effective communicator. With the prowess of the pied piper she had me hanging on to every word spoken. It wasn’t a long address, but it was powerfully delivered.   Her poise and dignity never faltered.

By the time she finished, I had the sense that somehow I had inadvertently played out the role of Wile E. Coyote and my attempt at humor had detonated in my face. I know what some of you are thinking. That, too, is patterned behavior. After all, I am one of three that got a little too close to dynamite in school. I guess that I should thank by lucky stars that I was still intact.

Eating crow is a lousy diet.

All My Best!

Don

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