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Monday, October 19, 2009

Fetch Me the Duct Tape Woman!

One nice quality of duct tape is that you can use it to tape your own mouth shut and it will not only hold your lips securely together, but when you are done, it comes off without causing permanent damage to your face. For a man with a beard, this is an important feature.

My problem is that I never learned the ultimate truth about women that my grandfather tried to teach me all those years ago. Grandpa believed firmly that all men were henpecked. That is because my grandfather was absolutely raised to believe that no man should ever strike a woman. His father absolutely adored his mother and grieved away within a year after her death. Like his own dad, Grandpa was utterly devoted to my grandmother, who rode him like Seattle Slew all his life. My grandmother was still griping at Grandpa about the quality of his workmanship for two years after he died.

"That man!" she would puff. She did love him though and missed him terribly. I could tell, but she stayed mad at him.

My Grandpa was a quiet man for most of the years I knew him. I thought that was just his nature, till I started prospecting for family history. Turns out, as a young man, my grandpa was quite a talker. He was tough as nails, opinionated and played a mean piano. Near as I can figure, my grandmother was the one who silenced him.

If I got him out under the tree in the backyard and away from the house, Grandpa could tell stories till the cows came home - literally. I have a recording of him telling stories to my son and it is priceless to me. He was funny and witty. He’d pull out his harmonica and play scurrilous old songs to the grandkids, who for years bought him new harmonicas for Christmas and birthdays when his old ones wore out.

When my grandmother was in attendance, however, he was as silent and taciturn as Calvin Coolidge. He had learned a valuable lesson about getting along with women that I have been slow to pick up.

If you shut up, there are only a limited number of things they can argue with you about.

Good advice. I may, however, need a little duct tape to heed it.

I’m just sayin’

Tom King

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