|Maybe you haven't caught on to this yet, but... life ain't always pretty! All in all, I've gotta admit that things are pretty damn good for me. No, not perfect, but pretty damn good none-the-less. So what we're really talking about here isn't some kind of human tragedy... just a run-of-the-mill not pretty moment. (Sorry if you found the first sentence misleading.) ANYWAY...
In my not-so-humble opinion, LIFE is a game of inches. Profound huh? As I recall, that is actually a saying common to football or some other manly past-time like that. Admittedly, over the years I've proven myself to be a really lousy sports fan, but I'm pretty sure I've heard my brother saying that about football. Regardless, in my rather astute observation of the goings-on around me, I often find myself amazed by the difference a split second can make. Countless times I've said to myself, "If I had just been driving a little faster, that cop never would have seen me and I could have avoided this speeding ticket!" But try as I might, no matter how fast I drove, I always seemed to end up getting a speeding ticket. I suppose this is a great cosmic mystery that will never be explained.
Well, today I did not get a speeding ticket (although I do know a couple of guys that did). Actually, I was just sitting around the house looking at the bottom of my cocktail glass and my short-lived peace was shattered by a screaching from upstairs. Naturally, my fatherly in-stinks kicked in and I quickly pretended to not hear a thing. Since everybody knows that The Wife can hear a mosquito fart from a hundred paces away, she was duty bound to come to the rescue. (Naturally she doesn't believe the "didn't hear" crap, but she's a good enough sport to play along.)
Just as I'm settling back into a semi-comatose state, The Wife calls from upstairs. "There can be no good coming from this," says I. Springing into action, I race for the stairs in time to catch the last bit of what she was yelling "... Barfing!" * * *SCREEEEEECCCHHH! * * * It only took one word for me to realize that I wasn't really in such a hurry after all. Damn near hurt myself sliding accross the kitchen tile from locking up the brakes too! Anyway, once I made it upstairs, we worked as a team and set about cleaning the mess, calming the child (Megan) and restoring peace. I got the easy job of holding a half-asleep two-year old that just threw-up while The Wife did the rest. As the two of us (Megan and I) stand at the doorway to the bedroom, she notices a stuffed dog lying on the floor.
"DaaahhhhGG DahG!" she shouts. This appears to be a perfect diversion so I pick up the "dog-dog" and start using it as a prop to sooth her (and to help myself ignore the chunks of curdled, regurgitated milk being smeared on my shirt). Noticing that the beasty's front paws look as if they would hold something, I say, "Look Megan... Dog-Dog is holding onto my arm!" Naturally, it drops to the floor like a sack of wet underwear 'cause it can't support its own weight. AH-HA! I'll wrap the paws around Megan's leg and by squeezing her leg against my hip I will make the dog hold onto her. This works like a charm and dog-dog happily holds onto Megan's leg while she chuckles and mumbles in some foreign language.
It is about this time that I get a very clear "Kodak Moment" in the grey matter: It's a very touching scene really... the caring father snuggling his sick, almost-two-year-old daughter.... she looks as if she has just awaken from a terrible dream... he rocks her gently... they both reek of sour milk and vomit... and in this nearly perfect Norman Rockwell image I see that the caring father has a stuffed dog humping her leg! Oh Great, the child protection services would just Luuuuuvvvv to see this! While quickly ditching the dog I say outloud (in a very sarcastic voice), "Oh look Megan, the dog-dog is humping your leg... geez!"
It is precisely at this moment in time that The Wife walks out the door of the bedroom to witness the scene... complete with me explaining it to Megan. If only she had walked out the door a split-second later.
If she had, I wouldn't have to try and explain this.
Life's a game of inches.
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