A buddy of mine was wearing an expression I’ve seen before ... sometimes in the mirror.
“I’m in trouble,” he said. “My wife is mad at me, and only one of my daughters is speaking to me.”
(Such an arrangement is sometimes referred to as “keeping open a line of communication.” One of them interacts, observes and reports to the others, who maintain a discreet distance from the adversary. It also can be called “taking one for the team.”)
“What exactly have you done,” I asked, “that you’re in trouble?”
“I don’t have the slightest idea,” he said. “And none of them will tell me.”
“Been there, brother,” I said. And I have.
When one is in it — and deeply — it always helps to know that someone else has been in it, too, or might also be in it now.
I myself am not in it — deeply or otherwise — at present. However, like all things, that could change (and I might not even realize it until it’s too late). Even if I am not romantically attached to her, sooner or later, a woman will become angry with me.
Once upon a time, I told him, I was in it — and deeply — because of something I was supposed to have done (and didn’t even remember), while my lady friend was still married to her first husband (she now has had two of them, of which I was not one), and we were just friends.
That brought a smile to his face, so I went on.
Once upon another time, I told him, I fell from grace after doing exactly what this same lady friend had told me to do. She called to tell me that she was sick and couldn’t go to a dinner party that night, but said I should go to it and maybe come out to see her afterward.
This is precisely what I did. Got to her house about 8:30 p.m., as I recall. Earlier than I would have for a date.
“Where the hell have you been?” is how she greeted me.
When in a state of extreme befuddlement I explained that I was just following her directive, she got mad and told me to get out of her house. I didn’t need much convincing, either.
The last thing I remember about that night is that the phone was ringing when I got home.
Not once, in all the years that have passed, have I been able to recall what happened next. Did I not answer the phone? Did I answer it and go back to her house? Did I answer it and not go back to her house?
I have no idea what happened. But I do know that the conscious mind sometimes blocks out the most unpleasant memories, so ... .
My friend’s predicament reminded me of the old story about two men who were out fishing.
One tells the other, “I think I’m going to leave my wife. She hasn’t talked to me for six months.”
The other replies, “Buddy, you better think twice about that. A woman like that don’t come along every day!”
I was tempted to tell my friend to enjoy the silence while it lasted, but thought better of it.
More recently, I learned that he was on the way out of the doghouse. He had been put on probation after taking them to New York City and a concert in Washington.
It’s not likely that my writing about his recent circumstances will cause him any problems. Both he and his wife probably will read this, but they are reasonable people who have a sense of humor. I hope.
I’ve often been in trouble with a woman who was some other guy’s wife or girlfriend.
The question I always ask is this: “Why are you mad at me? I didn’t do anything.”
The answer I inevitably get is, “You’re his friend, that’s why!”
My friend’s wife isn’t like that. She’s my friend too, and so far as I know has never been mad at me — even though I’m her husband’s friend. (My desire to keep it that way has prevented me from asking why she was mad at him, although I certainly am curious about it.)
Being the only man in a household of women, it’s just a matter of time before he gets in trouble with all or most of them because of something he did (or something he did NOT do, which can have even worse consequences) with absolutely no help from me.
It will happen, even if he is doing his utmost to be on good behavior, attentive and the best husband and father he can be.
The last time I saw him, I told him how I had been sitting at my usual post in that little parklet at Baltimore and Mechanic streets when two men and a woman came to the opposite corner of the street and punched the button for the WALK signal.
As deer hunters would say, this is a good crossing. The woman was most attractive, dressed in a business jacket, short skirt, dark hosiery and tall boots. I thought to myself, “For what we are about to receive, may we be truly thankful.”
They made it across (which is not easy to do at this intersection, even with the WALK light) and passed in front of me — moving from right to left across my radio dial, as the late Jack Fleming used to say while announcing Pittsburgh Steeler and West Virginia University football games.
Three men who were walking one after the other from left to right across my radio dial passed the first group. They turned simultaneously to look over their right shoulders at the same woman I had been observing.
It always helps, I told my friend, to have independent confirmation of one’s opinion.
He grinned, looked to see where his wife was, and — seeing her nowhere — laughed.
After he went about his business, his wife came out to say hello to me.
“Just as I had a story for him,” I told her, “I’ve got one for you.”
She strapped on a grin and was all ears.
I said that while walking up the street a few minutes earlier, I passed three women who looked like they were in their early 20s.
One told the others, “I talked to him, and he has promised me that things will be different.”
My friend threw back her head and laughed uproariously.
So did I, and for the same reason: A mutual awareness that we both know very well how “things will be different” works.
I strongly suspect that she has a far better understanding of why I keep getting into trouble with women than I ever will.
A buddy of mine was wearing an expression I’ve seen before ... sometimes in the mirror.
- Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
- He was here long before Duck Dynasty
He means well, and this time they spared his life
Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.
They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves
So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.
Better read that french fry before you eat it
People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.
The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you
So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?
There are some debts you can never repay
Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.
It could have saved the county a lot of money
Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
• If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
• If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.
These two were part of the Not Top Ten
Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”
Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.
Coming soon to a highway near you?
People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”
In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.
This was a skill that proved very useful
The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.
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