Friday, September 1, 2017

Deafer than a Doorbell

I recently read both E.M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady and George and Weedon Grossmith's Diary of a Nobody and was inspired to keep a journal. It reminded me of how entertaining ordinary happenings can be. I also began to feel that as I continue to live with my aging (and sometimes hilarious) parents, I should record some of these events for the sake of my brothers and for my niece and nephews. If I can manage to keep up the habit, I should have plenty of blogging fodder. Below is an excerpt.

August 31, 2017

In the evening, I heard Mom in the kitchen frantically calling out for help. I got myself unloaded from underneath my laptop and came down to her. She was making a chicken and biscuits recipe for the Instant Pot and needed me to whisk the sauce in the pot while she was cutting chicken. She was nervous about neglecting her sauce while she did that task. I got to work on that. Later, she called for Dad too and got really frustrated that she couldn't make him hear her, announcing he was “deafer than a doorbell,” probably imagining him upstairs at his computer with his headphones on. At that expression, I burst into laughter and made Mom laugh just as vigorously, and soon, we were both laughing so hard we could barely function.

I thought of the famous opening paragraphs from Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooges' name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.”

I don't know what makes a doorbell particularly deaf either. Does that mean it can not hear its own sound? If a doorbell rings, and it can not hear itself, does it still make a sound?

At some point, we both left the kitchen. I left to go to my bedroom and Mom to her bathroom. The phone rang. I answered it. It was Dad … calling from his cell phone … from the parking lot at the T-Mobile store. I remembered then that he had told us he was going to the store before he left the house. Both Mom and I had completely forgotten he had even gone. I had to repeat to him Mom's mixed up expression. Dad answered, “I guess I should have rolled the car windows down so I could hear her from the highway.”

I found Mom later at her bathroom sink and informed her how Dad had called from T-Mobile. “I guess that's why he was deafer than a doorbell.”

That would explain it,” she said and burst into laughter again.

© Susan Joy Clark 2017