Thursday, January 8, 2009

Truth or Dare

I know its absurd. Playing Truth or Dare with yourself. Then again, "What is truth?" And the dare part...? What? What? So the following is more or less the truth.

My wife and I mangle the truth frequently with humor, sarcasm, word plays, outrageous antics-never, never mean. We try not to be cynical but skeptical-yes, quite often. Par exemple, mon ami: Dawn(that's not her real name-I get tired of The Wife) used to embarrass our three children (we have four actually) by crowing loudly in the parking lot of our local grocery store. It was part of an ongoing experiment. Dawn wanted to see if she could attract the attention of a crow flying overhead. She was often successful, causing the crow to change direction mid-flight. Driving from Phoenix to Flagstaff, at about 6,000 feet on I-17 where there was a distinct climate line, we'd burst out laughing, "I'm swoooning, I'm swoooning," in response to the altitude change. The kids avoid us now.

I wrote a piece called "Thwack." In it, I document Dawn's experiences with a yearly mammogram. I thought it hilarious when Dawn approaches the receptionist's desk with the medical record envelope and says in a monotone; Mammogram mimicking the Saturday Night Live skit, Candygram. I interspersed the narrative with thwacks. Each thwack was another bird hitting our picture window. Note to birders out there; We have suction cups with attached plastic Chinese good luck gremlins, two pewter images of Milwaukee landmarks, a Buddha, Aunt Jemima, a jade frog the cat thinks is a toy and numerous other holiday items hanging in the window or on the ledge. Still they thump into the window. My eldest was frightened by the narrative. Go figure? Why bother!

There's not a normal thing about the two of us. Dawn's a kick boxing champion. Watching a movie late one night, the setting is downtown Minneapolis. Dawn offhandedly remarks, "Oh, that's where I scored number 4 in the nation." I gulp thinking about the times she could have killed me in one of five swift ways. Later,she shows me a few protective moves prior to a business trip to less than savory parts of the USA. Remember, I've already spent the sum total of 18 years teaching and living (one year) in the inner city of the country's most segregated city.

Dawn taught dance for 20 years, was involved in theater for a short time, almost got her degree in fine arts before life stepped in and warranted that she spend 19 years in a tedious job at the USPS. Eleven months was the normal length of time anyone survived in her position. Everything you hear about the post office happened to Dawn.

The inspiration for this post is a dream. Thanks to the Pooch who felt it was important to wake me three times last night climbing over me, licking the bridge of my nose(Oh, Pucci my nose is clean!) and settling next to my face. Each time, I lapse into weirder and more strange places. I'm working at Wal-Mart. Sitting in the break room, I'm upset that my corn-on-the cob is covered with ketchup. Outside the employee's break room is a new chart outlining the seven steps to determining your schedule for the following week. It's incomprehensible. No one will help me figure it out. The last time the Pooch jumps on the bed and grunts his arrival, slaps my face with his tail, I realize, I'm retired. I don't have to go to work. Oh what a relief.

Wal-Mart??? A Bachelor's degree in Political Science, courses in pre-law, degree credits towards an ME ( Masters of Education) a lifetime teaching license, 20 years experience as a successful business man, corporate President, ne'er do well(my favorite title)... There was only one other occupation that could rival my time at Wally World-that was cleaning the air-ducts at the AO Smith corporation.

Yes, I have documented the fun. No I will not share it here. Although we (a friend and I) gave our supervisors names like The Horse Faced Woman and Minnie Mouse fear of big brother Walton still Looms large. After lengthy consultations with legal representatives, I may release a memoir under the title Working at Star Marketsubtitled " A Twang for a Whore.

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