hen Dr. Fauci gets done with this pandemic thing, I’d like to see if he could provide a scientific answer for where lost socks go. I am not advocating shutting down the economy or anything, just simply solve the mystery for me.
My wife and I are celebrating her luck in being married to me for 31 or 32 years this week. She’s gone slightly crazy in the last few weeks; I am worried about her. She is mostly a pretty normal person until lately. We have started getting packages nearly daily around here. Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair and a host of other retailers are apparently her new “go to.” I never even knew most of these places delivered, until now. She works out of the home. I work at home. I now have an ongoing relationship with a host of FedEx, UPS, and USPS delivery drivers. I did not willfully engage in these relationships and I want them to leave me alone. I feel like a less sexual version of Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction. I want them to quit honking their horns and I want them to quit ringing my doorbell.
The breaking point came last Friday afternoon. A Ryder rental truck pulled up outside my house. I was working in the yard because what the hell else can I do? A beleaguered dude got out of the truck. He was wearing a FedEx uniform. He looked haggard. I gave my usual hello. He unloaded his feelings. Said he had wrecked his truck earlier in the day. Had to change trucks. I mercifully told him to just drop my package in the yard. Do not take another step. He did. Dropped it right in the grass by the street. I am not sure if he was going to cry or go on a shooting spree, he seemed teetering on the edge of sanity. He drove off.
I picked up the package and walked it in the garage. Yelled at my wife that she had another package. She burst out the garage door with the excitement of a toddler on Christmas morning. The package was from Walmart.com. She exclaimed, “You won’t believe this, this is an essential product and they delivered it early.” I was silently calculating the cost of committing her to an institution. She said, “this was only $50 or so, which is about right.” Depends whose $50 we are talking about.
She ripped open the package. It had two six packs of Charmin toilet paper. She did some sort of victory chant and promptly returned to the house to store the essential goods.
I quietly Googled mental health hotlines.
I’m pretty romantic guy and I did take her on a day trip through north central Kansas and southeastern Nebraska.
If you’re into small towns and big feats of patriotism, trek up to Seneca, Kan. someday. A random stop turned into a memorable experience. Right on Hwy. 36 in Seneca, we stopped at a roadside pull off. A man in an old beat up truck was dutifully tending to a beautiful green patch of grass and impressive monument. It is a wall memorializing those who have fought for and those who lost their lives fighting for this country. The “man” tending the place was 84-year old Ray Rottinghaus. He told us he was a retired carpenter and wanted to do this and he got it done. It’s a 150k+ memorial. Ray was a fantastic host, spraying weeds at the same time he gave us a history of the monument. He offered to put us in his truck and show us some history around town. He was everything you want in a small-town conversation on a random Saturday morning. He made me feel a little better about this country. The world has a lot of Ray Rottinghauses; you just got to go find them.
(Guy Speckman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting his wife at the looney bin)