Opinion: A few more cutting remarks


Last week, I gently chided my loving wife in my column for having no desire to mow the lawn. It was not one of her favorite columns.

“Dick, which is better, me not mowing the lawn, or you doing a lousy job of it?”

“Hold up! You think I’m bad at mowing the lawn?”

“Yes, you are terrible at it. I should write a column about that. Your rows aren’t straight; you get bored and change directions; you leave grass clippings all over the driveway and sidewalk; you cut the grass far too short; and then you wear your dirty shoes into the house. Not only that, you don’t put in the right mixture of gas and oil, so the mower is always smoking. Now, how does it make you feel when I make fun of you for a change?”

“A little emasculated.”

“Which reminds me: The blades need sharpening, too.”

“Anything else you’d write a column about?”

“The way you make a bed. Last night, the sheets hung way over on one side, and the pillows were twisted in the pillowcases. And then you tucked the bedspread in. When we got married, your mother warned me you had very little experience in the bedroom, but that’s not the kind of disappointment I expected.”

“Don’t stop now. You’re on a roll. What else would you write about?”

“OK, you have no clue how to load the dishwasher. You don’t scrape the food off; you put the glasses in completely upright so the bottoms collect water; you put the Tupperware on the bottom level; and worst of all, you put the forks where the spoons should be and spoons where the forks should be. That could be a whole column right there.”

“I hope that’s all you could write about.”

“Nope. Your whistling. You whistle all the time. When you are downstairs working on a column, I hear you whistling. Who whistles while they work?”

“Actually, I can think of seven people. Sleepy, Grumpy, Bashful …

“Oh, that’s right, I forgot to comment about your friends.”

“Last chance. Zing me one more time.”

“You have no sense of direction; you never read a manual when you buy a new product; you can’t follow a movie without asking a million questions; you never lock the doors when you leave the house; you leave the lights on in your office; and you stand up when you eat lunch. You also stand in front of the fridge with the door wide open for five minutes, looking for something to snack on, like it’s going to suddenly appear.”

“Mary Ellen, I have already written about every one of those topics. Don’t you read my columns?”

“Of course, I read them. I was just reminding you of my favorites.”