View from the Basement

Conversation Killers by Dee Baby

Conversation Killers
I love to live in a small town where friends will stop in the middle of the street to roll down their windows and chat with you with absolutely no fear of being rear-ended. Keith Wolf (affectionately known to all as Brother Wolf) was that friend last week. We agreed to meet and toss back a couple of beers. I sat down and found myself between Wolfie and Letcherite Dick Heinzmann.  The blizzard had been the day before, and I was surprised to find him wearing shorts.
I said, “Hello, Dick. You’re showing a lot of leg.” Dick replied, “Well, I only have that one to show.” Then we laughed at my poor choice of words. Those unfamiliar with Dick don’t know he had the misfortune of forfeiting his other leg to diabetes. I applaud Dick’s ability to maintain his humor. The only thing worse I suppose, Dick, is if I had said I put my foot in my mouth.
I do have a history of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. One that sticks out in my mind is in school literature class and there was a poem whose hero was named Roland. I said out loud, “Who in the hell would name their kid Roland?” My classmate, Suzanne Amick, turned around and said, “My dad’s name is Roland.” (I wanted to eat my words.)
Gay maintains that so far I haven’t had any cooking failures. She threatens to chain me to the stove so I can’t leave in the spring. (Kinda reminiscent of Kathy Bates torturing James Caan in the movie “Misery”.) I did have to remind her of the night I made short ribs for a meal. (I prefer long country ribs.) They were fatty, which Kent mentioned tactfully, but Gay just blurted right out, “Geez, they are kinda like chewing on dog bones.” Cole replied, “That’s kind of an appetite killer.”
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, but still people told the joke about if you have it, you always make new friends. Of course, I was foolish enough once to repeat such a tasteless phrase. The guy next to me said, “My mom has Alzheimer’s.” These are the moments when I want to crawl in a hole.
Pregnancy is a touchy subject at any time, and woe to the person who makes the mistake of commenting on weight gain. Thankfully, it wasn’t me in this incident. Esther ran across an acquaintance and asked when her baby was due. That woman replied, “Two weeks ago.” In Esther’s defense, she said there was a rack of clothes they were talking across. So a word to the wise—never, ever, ever comment if you’re not absolutely sure.
I made a salad recently that was labeled “Amish Salad”. After his second helping, Kent declared it should have been called “Mormon Salad”. I asked, “Why do you say that?” Kent replied, “Because I have two wives now—one to cook and one to clean!”
I attended a Super Bowl party at Terry Hill’s shed. Georgia was busy inviting people and instead of saying that Dick Regynski would be making mountain oysters, she called them “oyster nuts”. (Georgia is an assassin of language and grammar.) I inquired, “Just how big are those?”
I actually want to do physical harm to people who pronounce the town of Huron as “urine”.
When parents attempt the “birds and bees” talk—awkward conversations. My mom sat Gay and I down for lunch and started the conversation with the phrase, “Girls, I want to ask you something.” Immediately, your stomach takes a high dive. She calmly asked, “Have you two girls ever run across anyone who likes to French kiss?” Gay primly said, “No, Mom.” (I was thinking, “Liar, liar!”) I remained silent, but Mom persisted and said,  “Dee Ann?” I solemnly said, “Yes.” Mom, with a shocked look on her face, said, “Who?” I replied, “Me.” We never had a sex talk ever again. End of conversation.
Dee Baby

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