Sunday, July 7, 2013

Are They?


My wife and I used to look for opportunities to come back home to Arkansas for visits when we were in graduate school at Auburn University on the eastern side of Alabama. If we were going to have a three-day weekend, for example, we would have the 1966 Dodge Dart all packed and ready and for departure at the end of my last class in the afternoon or when she got off work. In those days, we didn’t mind driving practically all night long. It was a nine or 10 hour trip from Auburn to El Dorado no matter how you cut it.

On one such trip, late one Thursday night (or in the wee small hours of Friday morning) in the middle of Mississippi, I put the pedal to the metal on a straight stretch, hoping that Smokey was snug in bed with Mamma Bear in this seemingly backwater region. My wife was in the back seat of the Dart with our infant daughter, keeping me alert with a huge thermos of coffee and intermittent sparkling conversation. At one point, my speedometer read the incredible speed of 79 miles-per-hour. Simultaneously with noticing this breakneck speed, I thought I saw the fuzz behind a billboard. As I took my foot off the accelerator, I heard from the back seat, “They are coming!” I thought, Oh my, this is going to be an expensive trip. I replied to my wife’s statement, “Are they?”

She said, “What are you talking about?”  I replied, “Didn’t you say the cops were coming?” She laughed and said, “No, Danny, I asked if you wanted more coffee.” We laughed about that misunderstanding off and on all the way home. “The cops are coming” sounds nothing like “Do you want more coffee,” does it? I don’t know what that was I saw behind the billboard.

I still have some communication problems with my wonderful wife. We are now living in a home that is new to us. We are trying to understand the computerized air conditioner. It is one of those that you have to tell that you are home. Otherwise it goes to 78 degrees. One night recently I went to bed before she did and was just about asleep when she came into the bedroom and said, “It is really warm in here. We need to adjust the AC.” I wanted to know what temperature it was set on so I asked, “Where is it?” Her response was, “The air?” That misunderstanding brought forth peals of laughter that lasted much later that I wanted them to. But, I’m told, uncontrolled laughter is good for your health. If that is true, I should be well.

I guess you have heard the story of the three hearing challenged men playing golf. One said, “It’s windy.” Another said, “No, Thursday.” The third man said, “I sure am, let’s go get us a drink.” I know such infirmities are not laughable, but we may as well have a sense of humor about it.

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