Adults say the Darnest Things

March 7, 2014 

Beth Wiesemann

Don’t you just love those AT&T commercials with the man sitting around a table talking to four precocious little children? It’s adorable when children say silly things because they don’t know any better. And, of course, God purposely made little children cute so we wouldn’t be tempted to sell them to Gypsies. It’s not quite as precious, however, when adults utter absurdities. For instance, would we really be able to take someone seriously if they admitted out loud that they were competing to be the cutest adult? Most days, I suspect my boss may actually be in the running for this title. If you think it will make her mad to read this, you’d be right. But I can say with absolute certainty that she will totally forgive me once I tell her that I voted for her – twice.

My family, who is often fodder for my articles, once again shines in this category. Case in point: After my mom had a mammogram, the hospital called her back to say they would need her to come back in because they didn’t get a good enough view of her left breast. To which she replied, “your left or my left?” Apparently she had the technician who performed that new mammogram-with-mirrors technique.

My late grandma Hoffmann was fond of picking and choosing her medication for the day. When you’d ask if she took her pills, she’d respond, “I took the important ones.” She assured us she was qualified to make these decisions because her father had been a doctor and, as a child, she often accompanied him when he made house calls. To give you an idea of how long ago that was, HE WAS MAKING HOUSE CALLS. This was also back in the day when doctors hadn’t quite figured out that it was a good idea to wash those surgical instruments between operations. When they did operate, it was with hacksaws and pliers. The anesthesiologist was Dr. Jack Daniels. What I’m trying to say is that great grandpa Hoffmann probably didn’t have much wisdom to impart on my grandma about the importance of diuretics.

My sister, who is usually the normal one in the family, surprises me with doozies once in awhile. I had convinced her to come with me to walk across the new expansion bridge the day before it opened. I was anxious to get some great photographs, so when she stopped to talk to someone, I decided to move on without her. After a few minutes, my phone rang. It was my rather irate sister wanting to know where I was. Here’s a brief transcript of the conversation:

Sister: Where are you? Me: I’m on the bridge. Sister: Where on the bridge? Me: Straight ahead. Sister: Well, how did you expect me to find you? Me: Well, I figured you’d walk forward. It’s not like we’re at Woodstock. It’s a two lane bridge. You can only go forward or backward. Sister: Well are you even still on the bridge? Me: No, I dove into the Mississippi River.

I’m not really sure why she was so testy. After all, she was wearing her husband’s hunting camouflage. Wouldn’t that make it much harder for me to find her? I had no problem. I just had to look for a walking tree with a surly expression.

My mechanic recently told me it was going to cost $2100 to fix my car. Ridiculous, but not really amusing. While my car was in the shop, I had to rely on my dad to drive me to work. This basically means I’m destined to smell like a cigar for most of the morning. (Fortunately, the bathroom spray tends to cling after a couple of trips.) When I told him this, his silly comment was, “I don’t know why. I haven’t smoked a cigar in my car since yesterday.” There’s the dad logic. You can always count on the dad logic. IT’S A CIGAR! In an ENCLOSED SPACE! It’s going to take more than a mere 24 hours to get rid of that. I’m pretty sure the only way to successfully rid a car of cigar “aroma” is to roast a skunk over an open fire in the back seat, then garnish it with a clove of garlic.

Look at the thousands of YouTube videos showing us at our worst, and you realize that without humans’ imperfections, life would be rather dull. Years later, I still get a chuckle out of classic conversations like: Mom: Is the dog going to be less cranky after she gets her Distemper shot? Me: No, mom. Pretty sure Distemper is a canine disease, not a personality disorder. Or this oldie, but goodie: Manager: Don’t you check for things that aren’t scheduled? Co-worker: Blank stare.

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