See, when ya think yer gettin’ away with somethin’, all yer really doin’ is delayin’ the inevitable.
Of course, I know better, eh. After this many years together, there’s a delicate rhythm to these things, and I wasn’t gonna go upsettin’ it. Ya know by now, the first time Minnie mentions somethin’, the best thing for me to do is ignore it.
Ugh, she says the next day, makin’ a tsk tsk tsk sound. Look of the mess of them steps. We should get some paint and do them. The weather’s supposed to be nice on Saturday.
Again, I stick to my guns and pretend not to hear her. And did ya see what she did there? The second time she mentions it, she says WE should get some paint and do that. Oh yes, I’m sure when the time comes, it’ll be the two of us out there doin’ it, eh?
The third day, she says – Look of the mess of them steps. Why don’tcha get some paint while you’re out today and we’ll paint them steps tomorrow? Remember I told you yesterday, the weather’s supposed to be nice.
Ohhhh, now it begins, see. You young fellas can barely notice the difference between the second and third days, can ya? Well let me explain. She’s still sayin’ WE, still pretendin’ like she’s a part of it, but this is where the responsibility starts to shift to me. She does that when she asks me to pick up the paint, but also, by askin’ me a direct question, she makes sure I have to answer her and can’t pretend not to hear her anymore.
Another thing ya might not notice until ya stop to think about it, is this is the first time she introduces a gentle reminder that she’s already told me this. (“Remember I told ya yesterday?”) Seems like a helpful little reminder, but believe me, at this point we’re already two mentions away from “I told ya a million times” and three away from “get off yer lazy arse”.
What’s that? I says, like I’m just hearin’ about these steps for the first time in my life. I’m such a good actor I’m like Steven Seagal without the kung fu. Good I idea, I says. I’ll pick up the paint for that.
Now, notice I didn’t say – Yes, dear, I’ll pick up the paint today.
So two weeks go by and I still never picked up the paint, but it so happens last Friday night all the fellas were gettin’ together at Tommy’s to play cards. I wanted a case of beer to take with me and I knew Minnie wouldn’t give me the money for it, so what I did was, I told her I needed money so I could pick up our paint while I was out.
Now God love her, I don’t know where she thought I’d be goin’ to get paint on a Friday night, but she gave me the money anyway. Of course, I bought a case of beer with it and when I got to Tommy’s I asked if any of them had an old half-a-can of paint layin’ around left over from somethin’. Turns out Tommy had some left over from one of them lawn swings he painted for his mother-in-law. Perfect, I says, I’ll take it!
So the next mornin’, even though my mouth is so dry it feels like I’ve been chewin’ coal all night, I get up bright and early and while Minnie’s still asleep, I go out and get the can of paint and start paintin’ the front step.
I pried the crusty top off the can and holy cripes, ya shoulda seen the colour of this paint. It was just about the brightest blue ya can imagine. Glow in the dark blue, if there is such a thing. And normally that wouldn’t be so bad, but our house is kind of a beigey-brown colour. Of course, I could see as soon as I opened it I wasn’t gonna have enough paint to do the back step too. So I just slapped a quick coat over the front and then ran back in the house to collect my Husband of the Year Award.
Blue!! Minnie says, when she came downstairs. Why in the hell would you get paint like that to go with a house like this?
It was on sale, I lied. It cost twice what you gave me, but it was half price. (Can I think on my feet, or whuh,eh?)
Well, just leave it, she says. Don’t even bother doin’ the back step.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, since I had no paint left to do it anyway.
All right, I said. Good thing you caught me in time, I was just about to paint the back step.
She stormed away, and I spent the day watchin’ the Blue Jays in the afternoon and then the hockey game at night. I figured I got out of that one pretty good. The whole week, we had this bright blue front step, and Minnie never said another word about it.
Cyril invited all the fellas over Wednesday night to watch the first game of the Cup finals, and I was thinkin’ I’d catch Minnie as soon as she got home from the store to get some beer money.
Of course, she comes in the door and plunks down two cans of dark brown paint, with the ungodly price tags still on them.
Buddy at the store said ya might have to put a few coats on the front to cover up that colour, she says. Now, for the millionth time, get off yer arse and do it right.
I swear to cripes, bye, ya can’t get away with nothin’ around here.