Inner hyenas? Blame it on the genes

Categorized as 10/17/11 Goshen News column

It was a status update on Facebook that started it.  “Goodbye, shrub,” a friend wrote.  “Hello, teenager with very fragile, tenuous cellphone privileges.”  I could only guess what had happened.  It cracked me up, and so I mentioned it.

They help preserve our marriage, too.  Take what happened the other day.  The dryer had stopped.  Finding a preponderance of The Mister’s clothes inside, I snatched them up, calling for his help.  “I don’t do pants,” he said in his pulpit voice as I thrust an armload his direction. “You need to learn,” I said briskly, clipping a pair of khakis onto the hanger.  “What if something happens to me and I’m not around to do it?” From the bowels of the closet came his voice.  “The thought of another woman hanging up my pants will keep you alive.” I couldn’t help the chortle that escaped.  Recovering, I snapped, “Maybe it really wouldn’t bother me if someone else hung them up, and maybe I really wouldn’t roll over in my grave.  I might not, you know.” He grinned that annoying grin, the one with cream and feathers all mixed up in his whiskers, and skewered me with a knowing look.  Rats.  I didn’t mean to let that one bark.  Then there was the close call at the dinner table.  Tom Brokaw that I am, I was reporting the day’s events to Mr. Schrock, the CEO of the DNN (Dad News Network). “He did it again,” I said soberly, referring to Little and his recently-acquired bad habit.  His brow scrunched sternly.  “Then he rushed at me with confessions and pleas for forgiveness, completely bypassing the person he’d wronged.”  Here, his father turned, leveling a penetrating stare at his small charge who, I noted, was happily spooning up applesauce from his plate with the monkeys on it.  “He filed for total absolution on the spot,” I continued, “and asked me to sign a waiver, verifying his acquittal from all charges and resultant penalties.” By now, Father and Brother were swallowing grins and studiously peering at the ceiling.  My own shoulders were shaking as the little sinner in blue jeans finished his meal.  They were noticeably silent, however, when the phone rang last Monday.  “Mom?” said a tentative voice on the other end.  “I forgot to bring my clothes for pictures today, and I need you to run them up.”  Seeing as how I’d driven past the school mere moments before, it wasn’t an urge to laugh that was welling up.  Just in case, though, I stopped, listening for any hint of merriment coming from my inner pack.  In the silence, crickets chirped.  A car went by.  The ice maker kicked on.  Nope.  I’ve got nothin’.  Living in a male-dominated household, working hard to keep my small, pink life raft afloat on a sea of testosterone, there’s plenty of stuff that’s not funny.  But there’s a lot that is.  Whether they like it or not, Mother came wired with a funny bone, and they should give thanks.  After all, it’s done wonders for their life expectancy.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if there’s a diagnosis and a cure, an official medical term that would let me claim a congenital condition.  Something like hyenamegaly, perhaps?  For now, I’ll go with that and chalk it up to heredity ‘cause I have some folks in my upline that have these symptoms in spades.  Yeah.  I’ll just blame it on them.  Tagline:  Rhonda Schrock heartily thanks her readers who came through when asked and helped her choose a column name.  She thinks it captures both her love of coffee and her life in an all-blue household.  Yup.  That’s “Grounds for Insanity.”

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