Big Billy – Out, damn spot

Minnie bought new towels.

Now, if you’re a man and you just read that sentence, you’re probably thinkin’ – so what? But if you’re a woman, the possibilities are probably expoldin’ in your head like a big fireworks show. You’re probably wonderin’ what colour they are, and whether they got flowers on them, and are they big bath towels, or little hand towels? How fluffy are they? Do they fold funny, or can you stack them with the ones you already got without causin’ the whole stack to topple over?

And the most important question of all – the question that would never occur to men Big BIllyin a million years – Are they for usin’ or just for show?

I found out the answer to that one pretty fast.

Me and Cyril was out in the yard the other day there workin’ on my truck. He was under the hood, workin’ on this weird knockin’ sound the engine seemed to be makin’, and I was under the arse end tryin’ to screw in some new brackets for my exhaust so the muffler won’t be draggin’ and catchin’ on pot holes.

Anyways, we didn’t even go out to take a look at it until after supper, so it was startin’ to get dark, and after I got the new brackets on, I helped Cyril for a while, but he said – ya know what? I think it’s your transmission. Let’s call it a night and we’ll take a look at the transmission tomorrow when we got the light again.

Great, I says. And Cyril left to go home and I went in the house. Now – how many times over the years do you think I came in from workin’ on my truck and Minnie blasted me to get upstairs and wash my hands before I touched anything? I’d say probably three or four thousand times. To be fair, there’s a few times I’d come in without thinkin’ about all the grime on my hands and there’d be a trail of black, greasy fingerprints from the cupboard to the teapot, the handle of the fridge, the milk jug, the silverware drawer and the sugar dish.

So rather than get blasted like that again, this time I go upstairs, wash my hands and dry them on the towel hangin’ on the little towel rack right by the sink. Just the same way everybody has always washed their hands in this house.

I’m not back downstairs ten minutes when Minnie comes over the stairs after me. It was like a scene from one of them adventure movies where there’s a big boulder chasin’ the hero and he’s tryin’ to outrun it. That was Minnie comin’ after me, holdin’ this dainty blue towel all balled up and covered in grease.

MY GOOD TOWEL! She screamed at me, and there was somethin’ about the way she said it that told me I did somethin’ wrong. WHY DID YOU RUIN ONE OF MY NEW GOOD TOWELS?!

I stammered and stumbled out some of the three or four thousand reasons she gave me over the years about how I’m supposed to wash my hands before I touch anything in the house after I come in from workin’ on the truck. Now if you’re ever in this situation, where you’re usin’ your wife’s own arguments against her, I’d recommend ya try to just get the gist of it across. There’s no need to try to imitate exactly what she looked like when she was yellin’ these same things at you. If I had it to do over, I probably wouldn’t have scrunched my face up the way she does when she’s mad, and I wouldn’t have made my eyes as big as fryin’ pans the way hers get, and I definitely wouldn’t have imitated her voice, especially not the way she growls her R’s when she’s mad.

Cuz see, when I said it like that, she just got even more wild that I was makin’ fun of her and I got blasted twice as hard about messin’ up her new towels. Needless to say, the new towels were just for show, and I came along and showed her how good they are gettin’ grease off fingers. Why she put them on the same rack were we always had the towels we use, I got no idea.

But of course, I did what ya gotta do in them situations. I apologized up and down and said I was sorry and gave her a hug and everything, and that was that.

So, the next day Cyril comes back over to work on the transmission and we’re out there all day. We were both up to our elbows in grease again, and after we get ‘er all fixed up, the two of us come in to have the tea.

I go upstairs and wash my hands – and I remember – don’t use the towels on the bar, they’re the good towels. So I look around and see there’s a couple folded on the back of the toilet. I grabbed one of them and wiped my hands off and balled it up and threw it in the hamper.

I passed Cyril on the stairs as he was goin’ up to wash his hands, and when I get to the kitchen, Minnie says – You were right – it was a bad idea to put the good towels on the towel rack we’ve always used, where anybody who comes in the house would think it’s OK to use them. So I moved them to the back of the toilet.

I was about to freak out when I remembered Cyril was still upstairs.

That’s OK, hon, I seen that, so I used the one on the rack.

And you know somethin’? After Cyril went home and she found her other good towel all balled up and dirty, she never even mentioned it. Ain’t that funny?

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