A Tale of Two Liams
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But mostly, it was just the most boneheaded of times.
Regular readers of mine will no doubt recall that the main recurring theme of my oeuvre can best be described as "What stupid thing has Liam done today?" And generally, the Liam in question is I, your humble scribe, and so what makes today's little missive so special to me is that it BEGINS with something stupid Liam did and ENDS with something stupid Liam did, but only one of the Liams is me!
The first Liam tale begins at the end of a morning commute in to work, perhaps three or four weeks ago. Now, I think we can all agree that when we arrive at work, we rarely are thinking "Yahoo! Let me jump right out of my car and race in to my desk, counter, lab or other workspace". Usually it's something more like "coffee... like coffee... must get coffee... coffee good."
Morning is not a good time for Liam, and it's generally best if he doesn't try to do anything complicated or important before he's reduced the amount of excess blood in his caffeine system(*), and on this particular morning if there were any coherent thoughts in his head as he pulled his car into the parking space, they would have been along the lines of how important it was that he get some coffee stat, before having to do anything important or dangerous, like operating heavy machinery.
It is never a good idea to interrupt an established pattern in life. Such as in the evening when one is showering and dressing for bed, being interrupted by a telephone call can lead to one waking in the morning to discover they've slept all night in a pajama shirt and no pants... and drooling toothpaste foam.
On mornings such as the one we are discussing, such interruptions-of-routine can mean the difference between a good, normal, boring work day and a morning spent frantically trying to figure out whether the engine (which is still running) will run out of gas before the locksmith can arrive to free the keys which are now locked inside the car, thus causing the battery to have to power the radio which is blasting loud enough to be legally classified as "demolition equipment" until that battery is reduced to a smoldering pile of battery parts, unable to generate enough spark to power a wristwatch, to say nothing of an internal combustion engine's starter motor.
And so you see where we're going here when, on successfully halting his car more or less evenly between two white lines on pavement (in much the same sense as wealth in this country is more or less evenly distributed), Liam decided to sit in the car for an extra minute and a half to hear the end of a radio news story which had caught what little pre-coffee attention he had on this particular morning.
Now, understand, this Liam owns a car with a key system which does not, technically, involve a key. It involves something called a "fob", which is basically a little rectangular block that somehow knows whether it is inside or outside of the car, a car which will stubbornly refuse to start unless authorized to do so by this little plastic know-it-all. And this "fob" is equally adept at authorizing the car to start from within Liam's pants pocket, so there's really never any need to take it out, nor any risk of its actually being locked in the car.
And actually, when the radio news story was over, Liam did somehow muster the wherewithal to turn off the car, so walking away leaving it running is not where this particular story is headed, either.
No, in this case, the net result of this break-in-the-routine came in the form of Liam learning what it feels like to be the pellet in a sling shot, as he opened the door and began to exit the car, only to be slammed back into his seat with all the grace of a whale on a bungee jump.
And thus did this Liam learn that seat belts can leave vicious seat welts.
Which brings us to the second Liam who, just this evening, concluded bath night and climbed out of the tub to towel off and begin dressing for bed. He was in the bathroom for some time, and when he finally emerged it was with the words "I'm having trouble."
A nearby casual observer looked up to find this Liam had managed to get his underwear so badly messed up that he was grimacing from some small discomfort, and what had ultimately happened was that he had accidentally put both of his legs into the same leg hole of his underpants. And although something had seemed wrong to him, he just couldn't figure out what, so he'd just kept pulling until the whole undergarment was around his waist, squeezing painfully.
One imagines that this casual observer had to work very hard to look concerned and comforting and not burst out laughing at the sight of a Liam, naked but for a pair of underpants twixt his waist like an overly tight belt, saying in all seriousness "Um, Dad, I'm having trouble."
And so now you've heard the tales of the two Liams, and all that remains is for you to figure out which one was me. But if you do figure it out, please don't tell me, I think the embarrassment might kill me... assuming I survive my ordeal.
Now where did I put those scissors?
(* In fairness, I can't claim ownership of this joke. This is a phrase originally given to me by my ex-wife. The first one. And by the way let me tell you, THERE is a differentiation I really never wanted to have to use.)
Copyright © November 15, 2011 by Liam Johnson. http://humor.liamjohnson.net