“Cold up here”
ROOFTOP -- Forty-seven degrees is a lot colder than I thought it’d be. This metal roof is beginning to numb my feet. If you hadn’t waited so long to get your buns up here, I’d still have more feeling in ‘em.
But, you’re here, and it was well worth the climb, was it not? Just think how many people wish they could be us tonight. No, it’d be more than four. Look, Barbara, I wasn’t asking you to GUESS how many people. You’re really ruining the moment. -- No, sit back down. I’m just messing with you.
Reminds me. Saturday morning I went out real early to get the newspaper. I usually peek out the door first to make sure nobody is in the vicinity. I just hate to start up a conversation early in the morning. Kay will back me up on that.
Anyway, the new neighbors (a mother and two teenage kids) were across the street sitting on the driveway like waiting for something, or someone. I didn’t know how long they were going to wait, but I couldn’t wait to find out. I needed my newspaper.
So, I just took the bear by the horns and walked right out to the street, knowing that I would have to say something. I’ve threatened to do that before, but an appropriate time never showed itself. This would be a new neighbor icebreaker. (Sounds like a song.)
Well, you want to know what I said? Keep in mind they don’t know me. I don’t know them. I said, “Howdy neighbors! You do know the Popsicle man doesn’t come till Wednesday, don’t you?”
Yep, that’s what I said. And, do you know what I got back? Heartache. I got the “What an idiot” look. I invented the “What an idiot” look, and now one was being delivered to me. -- “Popsicle man? What? He thinks we’re waiting for a Popsicle man this early in the morning? Okay, everyone stay away from the neighbor.”
After a time-stopping pause, the lady said, “What?” That meant I had to repeat the stupid line. “It was levity,” I said. “You’re waiting out here, and I say, ‘The Popsicle man doesn’t come till Wednesday.’” It didn’t sound any better the second time. I knew it wouldn’t.
Then I had to turn around and make the long walk back to the house. I imagine the girl was doing the weird twirling finger thing around her ears. I’m not sure people still do that. I was tempted to turn around real quick to see, but I didn’t. How do you recover from something like that? Can’t be done.
Sometimes it works when I say silly stuff, and sometimes it bombs. That’s pretty much why Kay hates it when I talk to strangers. She can see it coming a mile away. Sometimes she walks away in anticipation of the encounter. She’s really missed a lot of cool moments doing that.
Some people enjoy it when you say something silly to them. Like you guys. Hey, you wouldn’t be up here if you weren’t somewhat silly. Uh, Barbara, you do need to work just a bit on your silliness, though.
Speaking of Kay, she had to go to singing practice tonight. The girl has never been to singing practice before. I thought it odd when she told me she was going. Seems a group of friends from church are having a Christmas party next week, and the ladies want to do some kind of singing skit. So, they have to practice.
I enjoy stuff like that about as much as I enjoy a bunch of waiters in a restaurant singing happy birthday to me. It’s what separates the men from the women. One of a bunch of things.
Along with their skit, the girls will probably have the men do one of those 12 Days of Christmas things where you have to act like you’re a maid milking a cow. I see humor in a “waiting for the Popsicle man” comment. But, milking an imaginary cow is just not funny. Could be worse. I could be a goose a laying. That’s just sick.
Oh, there is one scary thing about Kay not being here. It means that if the last person up happened to knock over the ladder, we’re in for a two-hour sit till she comes home. Everybody is going to have numb feet and rears.
Barbara, you weren’t the last person up, were you? – It’s a joke! I joke. -- Oh, my goodness. I just thought. What if the new neighbors see us up here? There will be a Mayflower truck in their driveway tomorrow.
Oh, well, I’ll loosen ‘em up. I’ll come up with a better line. “Howdy, neighbors! Did you have to milk any imaginary cows over the Holiday?” Yeah, that’ll work.
You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org