Uppermost House: We have a situation

PeterLewisTreehouseCMYKBy S. Peter Lewis

BN Columnist

The first clue was the pile of broken glass — it was on the wrong side of the storm door.

“How did you break the window out of the door,” I asked my teenage son.

“I was shooting at a crow and I missed,” he said, casually.

And so I pondered this simple statement, visualizing the chain of events: the young lad eager for a legal kill, sneaking out the back door and onto the deck, but not wanting to make any obvious movements, and so standing way too close to the door. And then the great blast and boom and the recoil and the lurch backward and the impact with the door and the surprise and the shattered glass falling into the house and onto the carpet. Yet there I stood, staring down at the glass, not on the carpet, but outside on the deck.

“But the glass is out here,” I said, pointing down.

He just stood there and smiled. “Yeah, I missed him,” he said, trying to throw off my powers of deduction.

And so I squinted and pursed my lips as my brain curled around the facts for a few seconds.

“Oh, so you were inside the house at the time,” I said.

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “Mom cleaned that window really well.”

And so here is exhibit A in the case against my family: Lewis vs. Common Sense. On paper, we are a well-educated bunch with almost six college degrees between the four of us, but we sometimes have trouble with really simple things.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I walked into a mattress store and I held my hands up in front of me as if stopping traffic as the eager salesman approached.

“We’re just here to look,” I said. “You won’t sell me a mattress today.” (I didn’t add, “buster” but it was clearly implied.) And then I gave him my most resistant and determined smile.

Twenty minutes later, as my wife was writing the check, we made arrangements for her to come down a few days later and pick it up.

“We’ll just strap it to the roof of your Toyota,” my new friend said, with the kind of glee that accompanies an easy commission.

On the appointed day, I parked off to the side of the driveway after work to give my wife and I as much room as possible to maneuver the new memory-foam mattress and box spring off the car and through the garage and into the house and up the stairs and into our bedroom. Then, I opened the garage door and went inside to make a cup of coffee and watch a rerun of Gilligan’s Island.

In a little while, my wife came home and walked in and stood in front of me and announced, in the same way that you might announce that the soufflé was out of the oven, “We have a situation.”

My first response was always my first response to small life emergencies: I smiled and laughed and hugged my wife and said, “Let’s sort it out.”

I hadn’t heard the crash, but there certainly had been one, for the Toyota was in the garage and the box spring was in the driveway, a bit crunched. Frayed ropes hung off the car. The mattress was still on top, crooked but apparently undamaged.

“I wondered why you’d given me so much room,” my wife said, “And then I just drove right in.”

As I knelt down to check the pulse of the victim on the tarmac, she continued the play-by-play.

“I heard a really loud noise and wondered what that was and so then I backed out and ran over the box spring.”

We slept well that night, the best we’d slept in years, in fact — memory foam is great stuff.

As “situations” go, this one (and the earlier blast out through the storm door), was really nothing. Just a funny speed bump in the lives of a goofy family that sometimes make the simplest things look complicated. And I’m not just picking on my wife and son (although they well deserve it); for I am most certainly the reigning champion in the family when it comes to violating the rules of common sense. It’s just that I’ve run out of room to elaborate on that.

Please follow and like us: