Still learning


Sal and I worked yesterday.  It was good.  Did some deck stuff.  Swung boards, operated saws, measured, cut and stacked.  Cracked silly jokes at each other (she is getting funnier all the time and, for the last few years, it has been on purpose!).

You know the drill.  Weather was cool, a smidge drizzly.  We were bundled.  Gloves and hair got wet. Took tea half way through, changed gloves.  Then went back.  We’ll resume again today.  Still have about 50 rough boards to process.  We are both looking forward to it.

Weird, eh?

I mean, I’ll soon be officially old at 65.  The ol’ Puddin’ is only trailing me by a few years and yet, we entertain ourselves by building a deck extension in the forest in January.  Who woulda thunk it?

“Don’t be a dickhead!” 

I broke up.  I had just made a minor error and Sal promptly reprimanded me with a typical (male) worksite jab.  And I was laughing.

“Well, that is what worker-guys say, isn’t it?”  she said with a lovely smile accompanying.

“Yep!  You’ve got it.  Goofy man-at-work-talk.  The stupider the better.  You’re learnin’ fast.”

“What’s to learn?  You screw up.  I cus. And then I call you rude names.  It’s easy.  The hard part is watching you screw up!” 

“Now, now.  The art of goofy man-talk is somehow finding a way to make it funny.”

“Oh.  Sorry.  …………You dickhead!”

I crack up again.  Somehow she made it funny.  I dunno.  Hard to explain.  Maybe you had to be there.

We are not the best team when working.  Not as a rule.  We prefer to do our own job rather than assist or cooperate with the other.  But as we get older, we need an extra pair of hands or a bit of extra strength now and then.  We seem to need each other more.  And so we are having to learn teamwork.

Sometimes it is hell.

Sal likes to ask a lot of questions.  She likes to plan the work.  She likes to know what we are doing and what comes next.  I hate that.  ‘Cause I am wingin’ it as a rule and I don’t really know what the hell is going to happen next.

But necessity is the mother and I have been doing more ‘splainin’ to my Lucy.  Of course, to ‘splain, I have to think it all out.  I have to plan.  And to plan, I often have to talk it over with her and so, reluctantly, slowly, inexorably, tortuously we are starting to work as a team.

Good timing, eh?  Eight years late.  Oh well.

Sal makes a mistake measuring.  We cut the board wrong.  I say with a grin, “Well, you wanna measure it again Hawkeye and I’ll re-cut it?”   She looks at me with eyes like a doe.  I think I see a tear.  “You don’t have to be so mean!”

I am thinking, ‘Geez.  Dickhead was considered funny’?  I guess these work-site jabs just go one way.

Like I said, we are both still learning to be a team.



3 thoughts on “Still learning

  1. I think it’s all about proportionality. I recall when I was a young mite and Monty Python was all the rage an acquaintance loosed the the following line of invective in my direction, “Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert.” But compression works just as well as in the words, ” You tool!” ‘Tool’ works just as well and is less taxing on the memory.


  2. I could be wrong (happens all the time) but I think he called you toffee-nosed. Not coffee-nosed. Toffee-nosed is a rather common old English expression. And you may have been a twit rather than a tit but that one is more ambiguous. As for being a vacuous, maloderous pervert, I will defer to him being there and me not. Sometimes you just have to trust the testimony of eye-witnesses. But otherwise I agree. A tool by any other name…………


  3. Nope it’s a direct quotation from a Monty Python skit that some one had memorized as a conversation starter but the more predictable response was to move away from the looney. As she screamed, “You puerile syphilitic bounder!”


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