For about ten seconds, I’ll get serious. Maybe a bit longer would be better, say the amount of time it takes me to pee. See? I can’t even go ten seconds.
Harriet Slusher dropped by the other day. She came by to talk to my wife. Instead, she got to see my fine figure and a beard that could use a shave.
“What’s up, Harry?” That always gets her into a tizzy. She hates being called Harry. That’s why I do it. I know it. She knows it. I know she knows I know it. I still do it. It’s a real ice- breaker. She sputters and gets red in the face.
“You men are all the same.”
“With your wide ranging experience, I guess you’re somewhat of an expert on that. If we’re all the same, why am I always worrying about size?”
“See! Another instance. I say something to you and you think of your private parts, right out of the chute.”
“Harry, I was thinking about the size of my brain and feet. I think you women are the ones fixated on sex.”
“Right. Blame the woman. Where the hell is Rosie?”
“Gone to town. Shopping.”
“Shit just when I need someone to talk to.”
“What am I mashed turnips? I’m somebody. You could try talking to me.”
“Right. And I could win the lottery too but I understand you have to buy tickets.”
“Come on Harry, it might be interesting to see what a real man’s perspective is.”
She turns around. Then she turns back and looks me in the eye. “Did the invisible man just walk in?”
“Suit yourself. You don’t want to talk with me, no skin off my teeth. Don’t whine about how men aren’t good listeners, though.”
“Don’t call me Harry! OK?”
“Sure.” I almost added “Harry” but didn’t. “What’s buzzing your bonnet?”
“A certain man.”
“I know him?”
“I sure as hell wouldn’t be telling you this if I thought you knew him. You’d run off and talk about me with him. You think I’m crazy?”
“Ok. So what’s he done?”
“Not a damn thing. That’s the problem.”
Now that right there got my attention. It’s not often that a man is accused of being wrong by not doing anything. Me? I get told that I forgot something or that I didn’t want to do something. That’s different than not “doing” anything. Trust me. So dumb old me, I ask, “And what was he supposed to do?” Well, that was like lighting the fuse for the grand finale at the Fourth of July fireworks show.
“He says he cares about me. He tells me I mean something to him. To a woman that means something.”
“I almost interjected, “Yeah a ring on your finger and a ring through the man’s nose.” But I decided that Harry might kick me hard.
“What exactly do you want, Harriet?”
“I want more.”
“You ever go into Black Mountain Creek in the middle of February?”
“What the hell does that have to do with this man?” Her stare could have peeled a hundred years worth of wallpaper off a plaster wall.
“Some folks dive in. Some folks kind of tippy-toe in. Me? I’m the tippy toe type of guy. I’d just as soon get numb slow like rather than shock my system.”
“You think I’m as cold as Black Mountain Creek?” She shrieks at me.
One of these days I’ve really got to think about my metaphors.
“Didn’t mean you’re cold. I’m just trying to tell you that some men are shall I say cautious. That’s all. I think you’re a pretty hot woman.” It turns out that I stuck my foot in my mouth again.
“So now I’m a hot woman? You want to jump my bones? You men are all alike!”
“Harriet! Give me a break. You’re not too hot. You’re damn sure not too cold. You’re just right. You know like that bowl of oatmeal in the three bears.”
“Bowl of oatmeal! Now I’m a bowl of oatmeal?”
“Calm down, Harriet. Tell the guy that you like guys who jump in the water. Tell you what. When Rosie gets home I tell her to call you up.”
Harriet calmed down. I sure hope that when she tells this man she likes a guy who jumps in with both feet he doesn’t drown.