Sunday, August 16, 2015

269. Anniversaries

I took C.W. for a ride yesterday to get him out of my wife’s hair. Given a chance, he can start to annoy her. This time, he found an old photo album of her high school days and, using a secret process he calls “enphasing,” began to appear in the form of one after another of her old classmates. Just imagine what might go wrong.

Let’s just say that it was good to get him out of the house. I told him to take on the form, more or less, of a typical person you might see at Walmart. His first attempt wasn’t too good. He appeared as an unkempt man with a belly extending nearly a foot over his belt, a backward NRA cap, and a sleeveless tank top revealing tattoos on both arms, one stating “The South Rools,” and the other “Remember Gettisbirg.”

“Whut?” he said when I shook my head in disapproval. “I’ll fit right in.” He picked at his nose. “Better’n you anyway. Remember the time you wore your ‘Support Our Public Schools’ tee-shirt and they asked you to leave?”

“Back,” I said. “Try again.”

“This time he looked quite a bit like an old Navy buddy from a photo of the two of us after we had used our day off to visit some enlisted clubs. I frowned in disapproval but let it slide.

Once in the car, he instantly started to get on my nerves.

“What’s wrong with Mrs. Big Dope?  

I just looked over at him and said nothing.

“Did you mix paint with her favorite measuring cup again?”

It didn’t seem worthwhile to respond.

“Don’t tell me you spilled more wine on her ZZ Top CD.”

“No,” I said, “and that wasn’t me, if you will remember. Someone lied about it.”

He ignored me. “You didn’t badmouth Matthew McConaughey did you?”

“Could you ever imagine,” I said, “that it might be something you did?”



He didn’t speak for almost a minute. “Can’t imagine a thing.” He said, after the pause.

“That last shape you took.”

“Oh,” he said, “that real pretty girl with the big …”

“That’s the one.”

“Weren’t they good friends? I mean back in high school?”


He truly seemed dumbfounded. “Why … what … how could it be? You mean they weren’t best friends?”

“That’s what I mean.”

“They didn’t like each other?”


“What was the the cause, explanation, or justification for the action or event?”

“The reason, as I understand it, was a boyfriend. I learned long ago not to ask.”

“She had another boyfriend before you?”"

“Well yeah,” I said, mimicking the young folks.

“How could that be? You’ve been married for how long now?”

“Tomorrow marks 43 years,” I said. “That’s where we are headed: to buy her a gift.”

And Big Dope tells me that you see
some weird-looking people at Walmart. - C.W.
“Hey,” he said. “Maybe she would like a new Astrocelestial Sound Synthesizer. You know how much she likes to mimic that woman with all those kids.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I read where the women in California all want a new A…”

I cut him off. “Forget it,” I said. “I think she wants a new tool box and a set of metric wrenches.”

“A true romantic,” he said and we continued in silence.

Later, at Walmart, I had to rush over and intercede when I heard him tell a vacant-eyed adolescent “associate” that he wanted to buy a card for “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event.”

Would anyone like to keep an alien for a while?

Click some ads. I spent all my money on an anniversary card.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

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