She’s back! The Inspector General is home! Let me say up front, “I am guilty as charged.” I wasn’t provided a Miranda Warning, but the evidence against me was pretty compelling. Evidence included: (1) A yellow empty cereal bowl, (2) A rose colored empty cereal bowl [Did I mention that I am not a fan of Fiesta Ware?], (3) A small glass that I used for two small dips of ice cream on Thursday night, (4) 3 spoons, (5) an ice cream scoop and (6) a large glass used for milk. All were discovered in the sink rather than in the dishwasher.


All of the evidence had been rinsed with hot water, but had not been properly placed out of sight (aka – the dishwasher). Consequently, when the General got home, she discovered “dirty dishes” (her term, not mine) in the sink. Forgive me please! There is one other glaring omission that I failed to mention. It was definitely cause for concern. I also left an empty large Styrofoam Sonic cup on the kitchen counter next to the sink. As you might suspect, I was in a world of trouble. I was responsible for disorder in the General’s kitchen.


To say that ours was a warm welcome is an understatement. For one thing, the thermostat in my car reflected an outside temperature of 100 when I pulled into the driveway. It had been 102 in Austin when I made my way home. The General pleasantly greeted me when I came through the door. She and the kids hadn’t been home long, but the Monopoly game was on the kitchen table. My youngest grandson and the General were playing.


I asked Jake what he liked best about their trip to Odessa. He responded, “I will need to give it some thought, but it definitely was not the car ride.” I thought that was a pretty clever response. I asked the same question of William. Without hesitation, he answered: “Visiting with Grandma”. That, too, was pretty clever. I predict that kid is going to go far in life. He has the skill set for diplomacy. I’m not suggesting that Odessa is a third world country, but like Jake suggested, the car ride from here-to-there-and-back is memorable.


The General gave me a hug and led me over to the kitchen sink. At that point the kangaroo court was officially in session. I bet you can easily guess who was serving as self-appointed judge and jury. I could see where this was going. The proceedings were simply a formality. The question of innocence or guilt had already been decided. There was too much evidence against me.


Her opening argument was pretty compelling. “You used to be neat. Now you live like a pig”. She then asked: “Why didn’t you put the dishes in the dishwasher?” Excuse me, but I thought the “living like a pig” statement seemed a bit harsh. In my own defense, I called attention to the fact that I made up the bed yesterday morning before I went to work even though I was running late because I overslept. For that matter, I made up the bed the morning before that. I wouldn’t consider leaving the house without doing so. After all, what would anyone think if they broke into our home and saw an unmade bed?  According to her body language, the judge (I mean the General) was not impressed. She added: “The pillows were a mess.”


Sometimes you just can’t win. That is particularly true when guilt has already been decided regardless of circumstances. I really did oversleep yesterday morning. I awakened at 4:45, looked at my iPhone and turned off the alarm. When I next awakened, it was 6:00 a.m. I am normally in the car and on my way to work at that time of morning. I intuitively went into double-time since I had a morning meeting scheduled. Even under that level of distress, I opted not to leave the bed unmade. Did I mention that I am not a pig? In addition, I carefully placed the pillows, all six of them, strategically on the bed where they belonged.


As it turned out, the pillows I reportedly left in a mess were the ones we sleep on. We keep them in the closet instead of on top of the bed. In my haste, I threw them into our closet yesterday morning as I made my way out the door. I apparently should have placed them neatly in a chair. Are you kidding me?


The General then asked: “What did you eat while I was gone?” I responded that I had eaten cereal. “That’s pretty pathetic,” was her reply. Okay, so I wasn’t going to turn over and play dead. Two can play that game. Besides that, I like Grape Nuts. I asked: “What did you have in mind for me to have for dinner while you were gone?” I didn’t wait for an answer.   I immediately responded: “There was nothing in the house to eat.” Again she replied: “That’s pretty pathetic.”


A short time later, I answered a telephone call on our home telephone. I guess I forgot about my resolve on Thursday to stop doing that. I never know the person calling and they either want something or they want to give you something that also generally factors out “they want something.” Last night it was Lisa who called. She had good news: “You have been selected to receive a free trip to the Bahamas. It was a recorded message. I hung up the phone and immediately regretted doing so. I might have wanted to go to the Bahamas. Actually going anywhere didn’t seem like a half bad idea.


I gave it some time and then I stepped it up a notch. I asked: “What are we having for dinner?”   Okay, I know what you are thinking: “I don’t know when to leave well enough alone”.  Like someone suggested to me yesterday, “I like being on thin ice”.  The General answered honestly, “I don’t know.” It was in my best interest not to suggest Grape Nuts. Besides that, I finished them off on Thursday or I might have made that flaw. Instead, I suggested that I go get something and bring it home. She responded that the kids like pizza. Why not, that worked for me.


The truth of the matter is that the General is no spring chicken. A six-hour drive from Odessa would have put me in a bad mood, too. Of course, a six-hour drive to Odessa would have put me in a worse mood, because at the end of the day I would be in Odessa.  That would mean  I had six more hours to drive before I was back home. At least the General was home and you can bet your life, I had the dishwasher loaded in no time.


I’m up early this morning. The General is sound asleep. I think I’ll go empty the dishwasher and get the “dirty dishes” from our pizza party last night out of the sink.  I didn’t see it as my responsibility last night, but who knows what enlightened insight the morning might bring.  I’d hate to start out the day in trouble.  In addition, I am not a pig.  Did I mention I’m glad the General is home?  I really am!


All My Best!




  1. Don, Don, when are you ever going to graduate from this boot camp? How many years have you been the grunt? This is such an enlightening Carpa Diem, my advice you should be in the Bahamas enjoying a cool drink with a little umbrella while relaxing under a thatched hut !!! imho We “Grunt’s” must band together…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too late for the free trip to the Bahamas. I should have thought better of it before I hung up the phone. I would say I am living a dog’s life, but Barnabas can get by with anything. Obviously, not so with me .


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