Sometimes, in between all the bad news, I wonder about things. Does the universe go on forever? Can life exist on other planets? Will Tide clean better than the next leading brand?
And then there’s bears.
Why are they so fast?
They’re big, they’re fat, they’re lumbering… how is it they can outrun a human being? An average man running for his life can reach 12 mph. A bear chasing that man can easily catch him at 35. Even Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, can’t outrun a bear. Why the discrepancy? Humans were designed for running. Bears, for hibernating up to 8 months out of the year. Just like my ex-wife.
What also doesn’t make sense is how a good morning can turn bad in the blink of an eye. You’ll remember in my last column (January 2023) I told you how, even though it was raining, my father insisted on going on his daily walk. Well, for every bad choice there is an equally bad outcome. I believe that’s one of Newton’s lesser-known Laws of Physics.
I was sitting in my favorite chair at the head of the kitchen table, enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee. I'm frugal, so that leaves me extra cash for the gourmet variety. I’ve learned in life that the money you don’t waste on nonsense you can spend on the things you really want.
My wife, meanwhile, was making breakfast. Not because she has to, but because she loves me. Also, she’s the better cook. The last time I cooked the flies got together and fixed the hole in our screen door.
“Good morning, dad,” she greeted my father, who walked in just as I was getting ready to eat.
I looked at my breakfast. Two eggs, crispy around the edges. Just the way I like them. Crispy bacon. Crispy hash browns. If my coffee were crispy, that would mean I was in Heaven.
“Good morning, pop,” I said, but my attention was elsewhere. I was eyeing my breakfast like it was Ann-Margret at the beach.
“Good morning,” he grunted, but I knew he was talking to my wife.
“Are you ready for breakfast?” she asked him.
My father ignored her question.
He had something else on his mind.
“Well, I'm feeling better,” he announced.
I didn't even know he wasn't feeling well.
“I blew my nose this morning,” he continued, settling in right beside me, “and some green stuff came out.”
I’m not easily grossed out, but I don’t care to hear about bodily functions, fluids, or failings when I’m about to eat. Unfortunately, my father's usual routine is to come in and tell me about his latest struggle with constipation. I don’t know how my father gets constipated, because he’s always complaining how much I annoy the crap out of him. Anyway, I was trying to tune him out, so I could eat my breakfast.
“At first, my mucus was light green, and slimy...”
I cut up my eggs…
“...but now, when I blow my nose...”
…grabbed a slice of bread…
“...the mucus is a darker green...”
…and looked at my eggs..
“...and even more slimy.”
Even more slimy?
Is that possible?
Slime is slime.
“I'm blowing my nose constantly…”
I dropped the bread on my plate, having lost my appetite.
“...I don't know what it is...”
My wife doesn't get grossed out the way I do. Maybe it has something to do with raising babies. Or maybe it has something to do with living with me.
“...but it sure is disgusting.”
I took a sip of coffee.
I couldn’t agree more.
Thank you, pop, for that wonderful report.
“I'm feeling better,” my father finally said. Then, to accentuate his point, he took out his handkerchief and gave his schnoz a good, hard honk. He concluded by taking a peek.
My breakfast concluded, as well.
I can't think of anything more revolting.
Unless it's green slimy stuff.
I’m not saying my father shouldn’t be allowed to have a handkerchief in his pocket. I’m saying he should keep it there.
He folded his handkerchief like sticky origami and stuffed it back into his pants. I'm always impressed by the decibel levels he achieves. He blows his nose so ferociously it's surprising he doesn't find his brains in that filthy rag of his. Why can't he just use Kleenex instead?”
Kleenex, I think to myself. Ah, the brilliance of American ingenuity.
Assuming, of course, that Kleenex was invented by an American. I’d look it up, but that would require something too close to actual work. Anyway...
My breakfast... the eggs... they began looking slimy to me as well.
“Would you like some toast?” my beautiful wife offered, sensing a disturbance in The Force. “Or a cracker?”
That wasn’t quite the breakfast I was hoping to enjoy.
I got up to leave the kitchen instead.
My father immediately hopped into my chair.
If I didn’t know better I’d think that’s what he had in mind all along.
If you think my story's funny, it’s snot.