I somehow became the talk of the neighborhood. Like I told the wife, it was all a simple misunderstanding.
“Yeah,” she shot back with a pointed finger, “just like the time the women at our card party ask me why my husband was seen fishing in the front yard. I was never so embarrassed in my life.”
“I was just trying out a new rod and reel,” I pleaded.
“For an hour? And what about the time Missus Dawson across the street watched you for three hours sitting in your boat…on its trailer… in the garage… with a fishing pole in your hand, and just staring off into la la land. Three hours! Dear Lord, if you’re going to do something so weird, the least you can do is keep the garage door down. And now this.”
“Honey,” I replied with a smile as I wrapped a reassuring arm around her, “you can’t let those women bother you. Now stop that scowling. Some day those facial lines will be permanent.”
“I’m not scowling, you nincumpoop!” she yelled as she threw my arm off. “That’s my normal face!”
“Aaahhh…and you look so charmingly mature–Hey, that was a compliment!” I quickly blurted, stopping the forward momentum of her fist.
As Maxine was more than happy to share with me, the lady’s at their monthly auxiliary meeting approached her and just wanted to apologize for their misconception that they thought I was cooking drugs in the garage, and selling them at the community garage sale. “Wha…?” my wife replied in total bewilderment. “What did he do this time?”
It seems I was spotted on several occasions melting plastics for new bass worms. Not knowing a plastic worm from a field mouse, and knowing my past history, they came to the conclusion that whatever I was doing was not good by any stretch of the imagination. Finally one of the husbands drew the short straw and was designated to confront me.
One afternoon I was out in my man cave, better known as the garage. But it does far more than store vehicles. Leaving my truck out in the elements, it also stores my bassboat along side my wife’s car. But there is more. The walls of the garage have rows of shelving filled with enough of everything imaginable to easily stock a Good Will store. I put the shelving in when all our junk threatened to push my bassboat outside. But in one small corner is my designated “man cave.” There I have all my fishing rods, and storage bins filled with assorted fishing gear. But lastly it contains the source of my neighbor’s rumors: Where I make my plastic worms.
Finally the designated husband dropped in when he saw the garage door open and me in my little corner.
“Hey, how ya doing?” came a loud voice behind me.
Instantly my rum and coke flew in one direction while my wits flew in several others.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said while nervously glancing at my humming microwave and cups of strange-colored liquids.
“Oh that’s okay,” I replied while smoothing down what hair that had not rocketed out of their follicles. “I really didn’t need that last drink anyway.”
“What’s cookin’?” he asked, nodding his head toward the microwave.
“I’m making a new batch to take with me fishing tomorrow,” I replied, “and I’m trying something new. With everybody and their brother using them, you never know what might be the next hot item…By the way, I take it you live in the neighborhood?”
“Aaahh what?” he sputtered while looking back toward his escape route. “Yes, I live a few houses up…Are there others in our neighborhood who use…what you make?”
I smiled proudly. “Well I did have a neighbor’s wife stop by at our last community garage sale and tell me her husband might be interested in buying a couple bags from me. I guess he’s as much into these as I am. And I sold several bags to others who dropped by.”
“Yo…you sold your…product at our community garage sale?’
“Seemed like the perfect opportunity,” I continued. “And anything I can do to help our little community just felt right.”
“It felt right?’
“And now that I’m retired,” I continued, ” my wife complains I spend too much time out here. But like I told her. Hey, if someone loves doing it as much as myself and wants to buy my goods, I can always use the extra money.”
His eyes widened. “Your wife knows what you’re doing out here?”
“Heck yeah,” I replied with a wave of a hand. “I was using the microwave in the house until she started complaining it stunk up the place. Women! You can’t live with them, and you can’t–”
Suddenly the beeper went off on the microwave. “Here, I’ll show you some I cooked up.”
“Wha…No, that’s okay,” he said with a quick wave of the hand. “I should be going.”
I watched him as he backed out the door….
“A policeman just stopped out front,” my wife said while glancing out the window, “and he’s walking up to our door.”
His voice seemed bored and matter-of-fact. “It was reported something strange is going on in your garage.”
Maxine’s shoulders slumped. “Honestly, my husband sits in his boat all the time. Why? I don’t have the the slightest–”
“No, it wasn’t that,” the policeman interrupted.
“Was he casting out in the front yard…He didn’t cast a lure through the neighbor’s window again, did he?”
“Maam, please!” he interjected with a raised hand. “He was seen cooking something in the garage.”
It was then, being the supportive husband I am, that I walked to my wife’s side. “What?” I replied. “Oh, you heard I make my own plastic worms. Man, when a guy makes a quality product, word does get around. Obviously you are a person who knows where to find plastics that will catch bass. Come on out in the garage. I’ll show you some of my favorite colors.”
Maxine gave me her groan of encouragement.
Once out in my man cave, and only half way through my sales pitch on some of my hottest colored worms, he raised a hand. “Okay, I don’t need to see anymore. I appreciate your time.” He then left.
I guess what I had to show him didn’t give him the high I thought it would….