[The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased a punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris, author of My Wife and Times. We continue this entertaining series with Daniel’s observations about the quality (or lack of same) of the service from his phone company. —Ed].
By Daniel Will Harris
For a while there, I thought I'd lost my sixth sense. No, I don't see dead people. I don't really want to, either, since I hear they have very poor fashion sense. (I don't blame them, it's hard enough to coordinate your accessories in this life so you can go from day to evening—imagine the complexity in the afterlife where you go from dimension to dimension.)No, This is the sixth sense most of us share—a sense of humor. When I lost my glasses I had a hard time seeing—now I had a hard time laughing.
I always used to carry humor with me and it came in awfully handy. I remember laughing all through my wedding—watching our mothers cry. I remember laughing with my sister in my mother's hospital room. Even my mother laughed—it only hurt when she didn't laugh.
So last month I realized my sense of humor had disappeared faster than my hair (and trust me, it's better to be able to laugh about your hair of lack thereof), I started looking for it. My sense of humor, not my hair.
When I lose something I tend to look under the bed first—as if it has some kind of otherworldly gravitational pull. All I could find under the bed was socks. I seem to have some kind of karmic connection with laundry. I can't explain it. When I was younger sometimes I would see strangers and somehow know what their laundry hamper was like. Chalk this up as one of the more dubious of my many dubious talents.
Of course, I am not alone at this. My friend Brian always said he got the impression Debra Winger hadn't changed her underwear in days. Personally, I didn't see wicker in her bathroom. Maybe she used a pillowcase. But I digress.
I kept looking. I read a book by a favorite author. I thought I'd found my sense of humor again on page 72, but not quite—it was like when you can almost remember something—you know the letter it starts with, but you can't remember the rest. I tend to think things start with K (supposedly "K" is the funniest letter of the alphabet) then they turn out to have started with an S. It annoys my wife no end.
Maybe I left it in the car. Only a few days ago the glove compartment ate my cell phone. Well, more like swallowed it whole, since no chewing was involved. I knew I'd left it there but now it was gone. Then I heard some rattling in the dash and I could see the phone behind the radio. It was a good trick, but this is a very special phone. Maybe I shouldn't have bought the "stealth" model.
The only way to get it out was to butter it or remove the glove compartment door. I seemed to remember that the phone's warranty was void if it was covered with any kind of dairy product, so I removed the glove box door. It's the kind of thing you look back and laugh at. But I wasn't laughing.
I still hadn't found my sixth sense. After going through the kitchen "junk drawer" and finding only junk, I braced myself to delve into the domain of sofa cushions. This is always a last resort since they have harbored everything from a five-piece place setting to a live lizard. It was a small one (the lizard, not the silverware) and apparently felt very much at home there after sneaking in through the front door. I suspected it was entering a new phase of metamorphosis and was turning into a couch potatophibian.
The lizard was on my wife's side of the sofa (she didn't know about it until now). The lizard, not the side. Yes, we have sides. We got this double-sofa because on a regular sofa, my tiny wife can magically transcend dimensional confines and somehow cover every square inch so I'm left sitting on the arm (the sofa's arm, not hers, she wouldn't sit still for that, but sofas generally do).
My wife's side has had its own metamorphosis—into a new kind of home-office. She works there with her laptop, while watching two VCRs and broadcast TV and talking on the phone at the same time. I am lucky if I can do one thing at a time, and she gets bored unless she's doing about 17.
So I waited until she was temporarily outside, watering plants (something she hasn't figured out how to do yet from Command Central). I picked up the cushion and found no reptiles, no amphibians, not even a mammal. But I did find:
12 pens a drying, 11 pencils dulling, 10 scraps of paper, 9 colored pencils, 8 little tic-tacs, 7 yellow post-its, 6 remote controls and—5 stainless spoons! 4 paperbacks, 3 car keys, 2 TV Guides, and a CD of Ottmar Liebert.
I laughed. And with that, maybe I found what I was looking for, too. So remember, humor is the best medicine, and living well is the best revenge.