At least I won’t be around to chastise myself.


I’VE MADE THE MISTAKE for years of thinking that I’m smart.  But the longer I live the wronger I am.  One thing for certain is that I am definitely smarter than many men.  Used car dealers, assistants at Lowe’s, and plumber’s helpers top the list.  All of whom will try their damndest to sell me on some theory that just because I’m a woman they think I’ll believe them with no questions asked.

I have a whole repertory of the “She’s a woman, she’ll believe anything I say” examples.

This one remains a classic in my experiences.  One blitheringly cold, rainy spring morning, we discovered wet carpet in the office in a corner near an outside wall.  Outside that wall is an outdoor faucet.  After I saw that the plumber’s helpers intended to wade through the house with muddy feet to inspect the wet carpet, I raised my hands and voice.  “Do not even think of entering this house with your muddy shoes.  Either put on those plastic boot covers or take your boots off and walk in here in your socks.”  I think I heard, “Dang. She’s a bitch.”

“That’s right.  I have no intentions of spending the next few days cleaning up after you guys.”  Man, I know how to tell’m off.  Serves them right.

Picture this: one of the bathrooms is across the hall from the office.  I walk into the bathroom to find two plumbers on their knees at the edge of the tub.  Now where these two imbeciles came up with this frollicking idea, I can only chalk up to not wanting to work outside.  “Mam’m, we’re looking at this here tub and it’s gonna have to come out.  The leak is coming from under the tub.”

“Are you joking?  You think you’re going to tear out all this tile and remove a porclain tub that probably weighs close to nine hundred pounds.  I don’t think so.  Don’t you touch one thing.  I mean it.  I’ll be right back.”

I trot across the hall, grab the phone in the office, and call the plumbing office.

“This is Jenny McCutcheon.  I need to talk to the manager or whoever works there that has a lick of sense.”   I know how to lose friends and influence true hate.

I have to admit that a “boss” man promptly arrived.  He took them outside and showed them that the culprit was the burst outside water faucet near the wall of the office.  Every time I think that I could have been at work and would have come home to find the tub and tile outside in the yard, my blood pressure does a whirly-gig.

I am a storehouse of anything but smart ideas.  I don’t know the true bounty of my range, but I expect it’ll follow me to my cremation, which, by the way, is already planned.  And is probably the best of my smartest dumb ideas.  Hey, I won’t be around to chastise myself.

There was the time on a blistering July day a skunk died in our French drain.  John dug it out piece by piece much to the heated rebukes of neighbors.

John:  What am I going to do with this stinking thing?  I don’t know if I can dig a hole big enough to bury it in in this hard clay.

We did have enough fissures in the backyard that if they were as wide as they were long, we could have buried a whole community.

Me:  I know,  we’ll double, triple bag it in plastic bags and put it in the garbage.  It’ll be like one of those body bags.  The garbage pick-up is next Tuesday.  Today’s Thursday.  Should be okay until then.


The stench was unmerciful.

By Saturday morning John was in our pet cemetery with a pick chiseling a hole deep enough to bury the skunk.

I praised John on the muscle strength he was sure to acquire from using the pick.

He did not look proud for even a moment.  Instead he came in and dropped on the tile floor and tried to play dead.

One morning smoke rolled out of my hair dryer.  I convinced John he could rewire it – not that he knows a thing about wiring or electricity.   But he toiled away at a kitchen counter.  The main problem I have with John’s repair work is that he never finds a place to return all the little pieces he takes out of one of his projects.  He finally reached some stage of completion and plugged in the dryer which he had accidentally left on the ‘high’ position.  At which time the telephone beside the dryer rang.  He thought he was electrocuted and threw the dryer across the room.  It landed with a crack and stopped blowing any air at all.

Those of you who are some of my faithful blog readers are well aware that I have a propensity for ‘smart ideas.’   Furthermore, I have a true talent for getting my husband of thirty-nine years to try them.


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