Monday, September 16, 2013

It's a Form of Illiteracy

Woe is Val. So put-upon by the ones she serves...never asking for anything more than compliance with her strict household regulations that change daily at her whim, and are not posted on the premises.

Dear sweet Hick, maligner of Juno, midnight pillow-thief, inept icemaker repairman...just does not know how to survive a crisis. If attacked by a polar bear, Hick would not drop into the fetal position and cover his head with his arms, as any small child in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada knows to do. He would scream like a woman with her fingers sinking into the back of a warm tomato plucked from the vine, facing a leering green tomato hornworm over the top. Or like a middle-aged man reaching his hands into the pockets of the BARn coveralls he slipped into, and feeling pink hairless baby mice scampering across his calloused palms.

In fact, Hick creates crises where none are imminent. Tonight, for instance. His bowling night. The night his loving wife not only brought him a thin-crust pizza so he could save some of his bowling allowance for auction-going, but also cooked some onions to go on that single-topper. Onions on a foiled Pam-ed pizza pan, baked suitable for pizza garnishing, not sweated, not fried, not microwaved.

What did he do, our clue-catching-challenged Hick? He took the foiled pizza pan, scraped the onions onto his pizza, then looked Val directly in the eye, and REMOVED THE FOIL AND CRUNCHED IT INTO A SHINY BALL THE SIZE OF A HERSHEY'S KISS AND THREW IT IN THE TALL KITCHEN WASTEBASKET! In spite of Val standing at the stove, ready to take the pan back, with the oven still on, and a box of breadsticks open on top. In spite of Val giving him a momentary benefit of doubt, thinking he might be using that pizza pan to carry his meal to his La-Z-Boy before bowling departure time, thinking he would simply lay that sheet of foil on the stove top so she could use a different pan for her breadstick-warming needs. But no. Hick put the pizza pan back on the stove and carried his lovingly-onioned pizza on a mere paper plate.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? Obviously, Hick's path is broken. The path that Val tries to tele him her wishes through. If Val held out her hands and said, "Pick a hand, any hand, and maybe you'll win ten dollars for buying MEAT and cake plates at the auction," Hick would always pick the wrong hand. His gut instincts are always queasy.

I can't even work up enough rage to castigate him anymore. "Why did you do that?"


"The foil. I was going to use that on the pan for the breadsticks."

"Oh. I saw you looking at me, so I figured I'd better throw away that foil or you'd be mad."

"It was perfectly good foil. That stuff's not cheap. I don't see you bringing it home from the auction."

"Sorry. I was just cleaning up." And with that, he walked from the kitchen to the living room, stepping over the grass clippings that fell off his boots after mowing the yard.

I pulled the foil ball out of the trash. Too bad it wasn't laying on top of a once-bitten eclair laying on top of a doily. I pried it apart. Tried to flatten it again. After much exertion, I had a near-square that almost covered two-thirds of the pizza pan. It looked like a project I did in grade school, wrapping wrinkled foil over a rearing plastic horse, then painting him to look like he was made of distressed antique metal. The breadsticks were not judgmental.

Hick needs to enroll in a remedial class to brush up on his mind-reading skills.


  1. We men are all descended from Adam and I think my post today illustrates how dumb we are.

  2. When will you women learn? We do not know why we do stuff, we just do it, kinda like why did you blink. There is no thought. Sometimes we even do what you want.

    YOU HAVE TO SPECIFY!! "Hick, be sure to save me the foil!"

    Let it be commanded, let it be done!

  3. Men do not have the capabilities to read a woman's mind.

    Stop trying. Surrender.

  4. "What we've got here is...failure to communicate." - Cool Hand Hick.

  5. Sioux is right. When will we women learn that? Hope springs eternal.

    Now I have a question. Are crawdads and crawfish different names for the same thing--like 'taters and spuds? Or very different, or different but only to the discerning eye? Like my fisherman husband tells me chubs and suckers are different. Like a casting reel is different from a trolling reel but both are necessary, and require their own separate shopping trip to the sporting goods store.

  6. Lordy, I read too fast and thought you wrote you were going to castrate him. My husband watches me mop then watches the grass clippings fall off his shoes, and says, "You should be happy I am an easy going guy." I tell him to get going!

  7. Stephen,
    Actually, I thought Adam was quite insightful, what with his perception of Eve being such a hard-working genius. Your reverse psychology will not work on me, Sir! I know you think men are just as smart as women. Whoever told you that was certainly not a woman!

    As an enlightened house-husband, surely you realize that IT'S NOT THE SAME IF WE HAVE TO TELL YOU!

    I am such a sunny optimist, I sit upon my unicorn, stroking my basketful of kittens, waiting for the day I will see understanding flicker across Hick's countenance.

    Somebody really should make a movie about Hick. Or at least throw him in THE BOX.

    As far as I know, and not based on any sciency hierarchy of classification...around the Backroads area of Missouri, crawdads are the same as crawfish are the same as crayfish. We catch them in creeks just for fun, or for bait. Bear Grylls might eat one if he had the chance. But I don't know anybody around here who ingests them. Crawdads and crawfish are one and the same to me. Unlike Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.

    Not yet.

    What a fun game you and Bill play! Maybe you should give the "Recycled Foil Stare-Down" a try.

  8. I understand ...... I know EXACTLY how you feel.

  9. Kathy,
    Oh, I don't doubt that one little bit!