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Memories of graduation deadline projects

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(This one is from about 1992)

Around this TeePee right now, things are turmoilish, what with The Second Young Girl graduating from high school. It doesn't pay to stand relaxed in one place for too long, since the general theory around here at the moment is: If it moves, it needs gas money; if it doesn't, paint it.

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Projects which have been on hold for a quarter of a century, along with projects yet to be defined or discovered, have new completion deadlines: Graduation. There's still time. All have top emergency priority. Full speed ahead. Insanity reigns.

You know how thrilled husband-fathers are about all this graduation deadline ecstasy. There are so many girls running around in circles it makes my back ache and my eyes dizzy. Collisions are frequent. Sharp words rampant.

I hobbled my bad back over to The Old Girl and told her that, in my humble opinion, if it has been good enough for us the last several years, it's good enough for graduation guests, too. Judging from her reaction, one more helpful comment like that and I'll limp off into history needing a chiropractor and A New Set of Girls.

Look, said I to The Old Girl, whom I caught momentarily motionless for the first time in three weeks, let's gut the kitchen, remodel it, put new windows in the entire house, renovate the pantry and get married again. After all, three days is a long time. We can still squeeze it in.

She looked thoughtfully at me, her arms crossed akimbo, and said, "Except for the fact that I'm a lot choosier now about whom I'm going to marry, let's do it."

Then she said: "You're in charge of those undertakings, of course." She thought I was serious.

Of course? No. Those were just sweet nothings whispered in your ear to gain your favor. Ahem.

Her reply was strained, romance wise: "Pick up your feet, dipstick, I'm trying to vacuum here." Ah, ma cherie: Cleaning-ese, the language of love, n'est-pa?

"The drain under the kitchen sink has been leaking longer than time itself, Mr. Plumber. Fix it. Quick!"

She was warming up to me, now that I had her attention. I had been standing in one spot for several minutes, and no one had tried to paint me.

I said to her: Necessity is the sweet mother of love, your need is my slightest wish. (She wants me. She's just bashful.)

She feinted at my head with the drapery attachment on the vacuum cleaner. She's such a joker. She said: "The entry light hasn't worked for years. We're tired of hanging up coats in the dark. You're the electrician, get your working screwdriver out and do something worthwhile." Oooooooo. "Screwdriver." A Freudian indication of underlying romance. A sixth sense told me that good loving was on its way tonight, hot watts for me.

I looked at her with my warmest regard, told her that she was the light bulb of my life, I don't need no other.

I wiggled my eyebrows suggestively at her. She said: "What you need and what you get are two different things, bub." She threw a wet dishrag at me. She's very demonstrative. The rag missed me and took the house cat alongside the head. The cat went up the freshly cleaned drape. The Old Girl went after it with the vacuum cleaner.

Well, I said to her, that was a bit of good fortune. See there? I pointed. You missed a dirty spot on that window. Then I said: Let me get my guitar and play songs of love to you while you bathe in the rapture of perfumed window cleaner. First, here's my rendition of "You said you were the gold miner's daughter, but all I got was the shaft."

She looked love-sick daggers at me and asked: "Can you play 'With a broken arm?'"

Then she told me to do something nasty with the guitar. Not only nasty, almost impossible. Then she said: "The freezer blows the fuse once a week. Why is that? How come the storm windows are still on the living room when it's eighty degrees outside? The bathtub won't hold water, and I'm tired of emptying the pail under the utility tub in the laundry room. There's ... two year ago ... too much ... and there's ... hell freezes ... damn little ... when ... all over the floor!"

Oh darn, my darling, I told her. There went my back again. Perhaps another night.

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