What The Heck Is That?

Mom got up at 6:30 the other morning and tottered into the dining room for her 60-second view out the window.  Bill was a few feet away in the kitchen making coffee when he heard the dreaded question, “What the heck is that?”  He hunched his shoulders and, through gritted teeth, asked “What the heck is what?”  And so it began.

“That white stuff.” she said, still staring out the window.

“White stuff?” Bill replied, pouring water into the well of the coffer maker.  “What white stuff?”

“Over there,” she replied without pointing, nodding or otherwise moving any part of her body to indicate where ‘over there’ might be.

With a long sigh he pushed the ON button for the coffee maker and walked over to the window.  “Mom, what are you talking about.”

“There,” she said with a shake of her head in the general direction of South.  “That white stuff.”

“Do you mean the lattice?” he asked, noticing sheets of white lattice leaning against the back of Vivian’s house.

“Gladys?” she asked, obviously confused.  “Is that her name?”

“Who’s name?”

“The woman who lives there.”

“No, her name is Vivian.”

“Then why did you call her Gladys?” she asked somewhat petulantly.

“I didn’t call her Gladys.  I said lattice.”

“Oh?  Is it in that garden?”

“In what a garden?” he asked, totally baffled at this point.

“That green stuff behind the house.”

“No,” he said with a sigh.  “Those are overgrown rose bushes and weeds.”

“Then where’s the lettuce?” she asked.

“Lettuce?  There isn’t any lettuce.  I said LATTICE!”

“Okay, so who’s Lattice?”

“Not who, what.  That’s what the white stuff is.”

“Well what the heck is it doing there?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe she’s going to have something built with it.”

“Isn’t she the one who keeps pigeons in her sun porch?” she asked.

“Yes, she’s the one,” Bill said, turning away from the window and escaping into the Arizona Room.

“Well, maybe she’s building a big bird cage for them.  That would be interesting to look at,” she called after him as she made her way into the kitchen.  “At least they’d be outside instead of smelling up her porch.”

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