Monday, April 8, 2019

The Grabber

When I stepped into the back seat of my neighbor's very large SUV I noticed Shirley seated on the other side of the console.  She reached across, gave my arm a big squeeze, and said, "So good to see you Lou."

I said, "Good to see you, too."  

I was lying.

Shirley and I have little in common.  Sure, we live near each other, sit down to pee, and have 46 chromosomes.

But that's where the similarities end.

Unlike Shirley, I do not feel the need to grab hold of someone's arm when speaking to him or her.

In fact, I can imagine very few scenarios requiring me to latch on to someone's arm.

--One of my daughters is attempting to escape when I'm giving her advice.
--A waiter is about to give my wine to someone at another table.
--A stranger has slipped off a cliff and is screaming for help.

Truth be told, the stranger would probably fall to his death before I could react.  He'd likely be partially digested by crocodiles before I could finish my dramatic gasp.

And, even if I was able to successfully grab his arm, chances are excellent that I would lack the strength to pull him back to safety.  He'd have to weigh less than 25 pounds if he expected me to save his life.  And considering my subpar stamina, the emergency response team would have to arrive within two or three minutes.

So, after stepping into the back seat of the large SUV and being manhandled by Shirley I groaned.  

I remembered too late that Shirley was a grabber.

How could I forget?  She assaulted my arm for seven and a half minutes last summer at that neighborhood picnic.  She'd had me cornered in the kitchen.  By the devilled eggs.

And here we were.  Sharing the back seat of a car.

I should have driven.  Damn.

It is physically impossible for Shirley to utter a word without touching the person to whom she is speaking.  She grabbed hold of my arm no fewer than ten times on that torturous twenty minute trek.

But she shared the love.

Shirley massaged the front seat passenger's shoulder a dozen or so times during the drive.  The only person immune to the assault was the driver, whose shoulder was just beyond Shirley's reach.  She'd desperately extended her hand, fingers wiggling, falling just short of the target.

(Think Tyrannosaurus Rex communicating with Helen Keller.)

The evening was a frustrating, yet somewhat entertaining, social experiment.

A few days later I was having lunch with another neighbor.  I asked her if she had noticed Shirley's propensity to latch onto the arm of everyone and anyone she spoke to.

Laura quickly defended Shirley. 

"Oh, she's very nice.  When you get to know her you'll like her.  She'll be more friendly."

More friendly?

Will she caress my face with her hands?  Stick her tongue in my mouth?

I suppose I'm being too hard on Shirley.  I should be more kind.

So what if she's grabby?

She may come in handy some day.  Like if I ever find myself falling off a cliff.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Prank

It was better than hitting the lottery.

I had just stepped into my car when the garage door opened and Dave pulled his car into the empty space next to mine.

I waved at him but he didn't notice. 

I watched as he turned off his car and tapped on his remote to close the garage door.

Since I had to leave, I tapped on my remote, which stopped the door's descent and reversed its direction.

I then gave Dave another wave.  Which he didn't notice.

I watched with amusement as he tapped his remote to close the garage door.  Again.

That's when I realized that I was experiencing something monumental.

As the garage door began to close, Dave turned to gather his packages.  At which point I tapped on my remote to reopen the garage door.

This was really big.  

A first for me.

I giggled.

Dave looked over his shoulder to see if he had pulled far enough into the garage.   He turned on his car and moved it forward approximately 3.29 inches.

He then turned the car off and tapped his button to close the garage door.

I waited until the garage door was nearly closed before tapping on my remote.

And I nearly peed my pants.  

OMG!  I was doing it!

I watched with great pleasure as Dave got out of the car to locate the phantom obstruction impeding the garage door's progress.

And I began to snort.

Just when he was certain that nothing was blocking the garage door's path, I pushed my button to close it.

And poor Dave didn't know what the hell was going on.

I rolled down my window and said, "Gotcha!"

Dave said, "Oh.  It's you."

I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard.  And I was brimming with pride.

I had succeeded in pulling off a practical joke.

You see, my failed attempts at pranks are legendary.  It's physically impossible for me to keep a straight face in the midst of one.  The more I try to contain my laughter, the more distorted my face becomes.

If you didn't know better, you might think I was in the need of medical assistance.

HEY! I had pulled off a prank.  And Dave fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

I think it's time to pull out the ping pong ball/fake eyeball trick.

Dave's going to be so scared.