So my husband just called me to tell me about some excitement at work………
The phone rings and I immediately recognize the crackle on the phone line as his phone syncs with his hands-free device.
He only works about 20 miles from town, but strangely it always seems like we are having one of those CNN satellite interviews with a 2 or 3 second delay.
“Good morning!” I answer cheerfully because well….he is at work and I am at home drinking my coffee and enjoying my day and I want to sound grateful.
“Judy, you will never believe what just happened!” he said breathlessly.
Worried enough to put my coffee cup down and switch the phone to the other hand, I say quietly, carefully enunciating each and every word “What!…What just happened?”.
After 31 years of marriage I still can’t pin down when something is an emergency or not. I mean, he can calmly call me and say, “Hey, you will never guess what just happened” and it could turn out to be that he just stabbed himself in the upper thigh with a filleting knife and was now driving himself from his ice fishing location into the hospital whilst compressing the wound with a diaper he found in the truck.
“Hey, you will never guess what just happened” is also a phrase also used for happy things like, “I just rescued a baby deer that was stuck in the ditch”.
So….forgive me if I prepare myself for the worst-case scenario.
“You remember yesterday when I told you that I had poked that hornet’s nest outside the door of the building?”
I nod in response on my end of the phone; whether or not I actually listened to him yesterday and paid any attention to what he was saying was irrelevant at this point.
He must have realized that fact as well, because he didn’t wait for an acknowledgement, he just continued talking. “Well today I knew that I was going to have to deal with the nest because it can’t be left there…..someone is going to get stung. The hornets out there are not hornets like when we were kids; these white faced hornets are angry buggers and easily pissed off. They act like you do when you suddenly have no Wi-Fi….hahahahahaha”.
Yeah…you are funny Bob.
Chuckling to himself at the funny he just made, “So, I park the truck a ways away and I leave the door open in case I need to have an escape plan. I look for my long stick that I used yesterday but for some reason I can’t find it anywhere. Crap! Like Tom Cruise in Top Gun I realize that it’s too close for missiles, I’m switching to guns and I have to go to Plan B which is: a shorter stick. I reach behind the seat to look for my snowbrush that I KNOW is there because, have I told you I am like the last Boy Scout? I am always prepared. I am so prepared I have a snowbrush in my pickup 12 months of the year. Anyway…..I find my snowbrush and begin psyching myself up for the crash and dash. Coveralls have been zipped and snapped up to my chin. Hardhat is in place. Shoelaces on boots have been knotted and then knotted again. Gloves are on. Safety glasses are on. I am goin’ in.
Realizing that this story time with Bob is going to take a while, I put the phone down and place it on speaker so that I can continue drinking my coffee.
“Wow….what happened next?” I say, hoping to match my excitement to his level of excitement and relaxing a little because the story wouldn’t be taking as long if there were any arterial bleeds.
“Well….like I said, I left the door of the truck open in case I needed to escape and I creep up to that hornets nest and I can hear them….they are mighty pissed off at something, which is ridiculous because it was a beautiful day and that proves that they are crazy because there was nothing to make them angry. Yet.”
At this point the phone crackles and gets all staticky (new word I just made up) and he pauses his story until it clears again.
“So, I get close enough to the nest and realize how short the damn snowbrush really is and figure that I basically need to be directly underneath the nest in order to knock it down. I look at the truck and judge the terrain (level but lumpy with gravel) and distance (30 feet) and hope like hell I can make it to safety unscathed and unstung. At this point, every muscle is tense, like a Olympic runner and I am prepared to Usain Bolt my way to the truck”.
I am completely engrossed in his story. Will the hornets survive? Will Bob survive? Will he make it to safety in time? Why does he get himself in these situations? I am at the edge of my seat and wish I had popcorn.
Sensing that he has me completely engaged, he decides to go all in, “I suddenly decide to go for it and I hit the nest whilst simultaneously pivoting and springing forward to launch me back towards the truck, hoping to outrun the angry hornets. But……just then….SNAP! SNAP! The sound is like a gun shot and I immediately find myself on the ground writhing in pain”.
“Oh my goodness! Were you stung? What happened?” My mind is racing with possibilities.
“Well Judy…the unthinkable happened. I pulled not one, but two muscles in my leg, and down I went. It must have been because I was so tense and in hindsight, I probably should have done some stretching. Frantically, I begin dragging myself towards the truck because I am certain that the hornets are a heartbeat away from attacking me”.
A weird noise interrupts the conversation and I get a bit irritated until I understand that it is the sound of me snorting with laughter. Thankfully I had placed him on speakerphone because it allowed me to cover my face to attempt to disguise the noise. I don’t want him to think that I don’t care……
“When I was about 20 feet away I managed to get to my feet and limp to the truck. My right leg was stiff in spasm and I walked like I had just filled an adult diaper.”
“What about the hornets? Did you get stung?”
“Pfft…the hornets ignored me completely! It was as if they knew that there was more chance I would hurt myself than hurt them. This being over 50 sucks…..you know that? If I was ten years younger……well….it would have been different”.
I could not contain the laughter and I began to whoop and snort at the same time which elicited sharp flatulence that scared the dog.
“Oh.My.Gawd. You are a sooooooo funny”, I am completely relaxed now because I know that nothing horrible had happened, that my stiff legged hubby would return to me this day.
“Yeah….it was funny wasn’t it” and Bob chuckles with me, knowing that the story was pretty darn funny. “Do we have any of that muscle rub stuff? It really does hurt”
“Of course we do sweetheart…..of course we do”.