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Sunday, June 23, 2024
HomeOpinionThe Papa Files: Everything After To

The Papa Files: Everything After To

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Nicked my left shin on the new box of cat food my wife put in the garage, and I almost needed an amputation.  It hurt, made me leap back and almost fall down, and the front of my leg bled into my pants.  She buys big boxes, tall boxes of food for her pets of dogs and cats, and as long as she stores them in the same place every time, I will not encounter them.  But when she mindlessly pulls such containers out of the SUV and drops them on the floor in the middle of the garage, or leaves them out after filling the bowls, I may not see them and will damage myself in passing.

Oh, there have been other wifely surprises.  Once I stepped on an Exwork bag just inside the garage screens, a bag my wife dropped when carrying in groceries, and it felt and sounded crunchy.  I didn’t know it was there because I had a case of diet Pepsi in my hands.  Later I learned it was my original Frito Lays, and I discovered when I opened it that half was crushed to bottom-of-the-bag dust.  Being always the considerate husband, I didn’t tell her about it (well, now she knows).  But I have repeatedly annoyed her with the shin thing.  I can sprinkle crushed corn chips into a bowl of chili, but I can make no use of a bloody shin.

“Please,” I told her, the next time we were pulling products of her purchase from the car, “please don’t set things anywhere different or change locations of establish obstacles (she’s known for moving furniture around when I’m not there) and please, please don’t set sharp-lidded boxes of pet food, cat litter, or crates of fruit in the middle of anywhere I walk.”  She nodded absently at my request and set a case of paper towels right in the middle of our path.  It wasn’t something I could nick myself on, but I might trip over it, or kick it.  Personally, I don’t like kicked paper towels or toilet paper.  I saw it in time and gently, with a foot, pushed it to a safer place.

I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose; I’m pretty sure she’s simply only hearing the last part of anything I say: “…set sharp-lidded boxes of pet food, cat litter, or crates of fruit in the middle of anywhere I walk.”  I know this is happening because now and then I’ll remind her, “I’m going to do the dishes” and “I’m going to do the laundry” and she does those chores, as though all she heard was everything after “to.”  (Hmm, I might try an experiment and tell her “I don’t want you to…get rid of your pets” and see what happens.  Yeah, no, she’ll hear every word then!)  So now I don’t tell her what I’m going to do; I just do it.

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When I die, I hope to live in all the good dreams I’ve had, breathing underwater and flying.  But mostly I’d like to live in a world where my shins are safe.  Oh, I’ve bloodied other bits of me, from scalp through fingers and toes, but nothing has annoyed me more than denting the lower front of my legs.


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