If I was a horse they would have shot me by now. And I suspect that Brenda, my long-suffering wife (her words, not mine) would have rushed to the head of the line in order to do the honours.
I’m on the waiting list for a knee replacement; actually two knee replacements. My gait now most closely resembles an aging, bowlegged, crippled cowboy. My ‘friends’ think it’s hilarious and fall down laughing while imitating me. Great fun. The replacements were to be done at the end of August, at least that’s what the doctor told me in early March. Now God only knows and He hasn’t submitted a new date as of yet.
So the pandemic hasn’t done wonders for anyone’s predicament nor, especially, our moods. I was downstairs one weekend afternoon watching television. I heard Brenda coming down the stairs. I knew that purposeful stride, so I didn’t bother even looking away from the screen.
“What are you watching… a hockey game from the 1980s?”. I was pleasantly surprised she was able to recognize the decade. It was the Canada Cup from 1987, when Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux performed their artistry. My wife doesn’t share my enchantment with the wizardry of the two now long-retired hockey players. “You have nothing better to do than watch a hockey game from 33 years ago ?”
I looked up and said nothing. Actually,I would have preferred to be watching one from the 1960s, when my all-time idol Jean Beliveau was still around. Best not to admit that, however.
Actually, Brenda had something else in mind. She wanted to tell me about a young woman whom she had read about who married a man for his money. “A gravedigger,” she started up with her story.
“Don’t you mean, golddigger?” I gently asked.
Hopefully she had made only an honest mistake and not a Freudian slip. A man’s fate can go south in a hurry when his wife brings up the subject of graves being dug. I’ve already got a list of people who would love to do me in if they could find a way to get away with it. So I decided to change the subject; the digging of graves wasn’t going to improve my mood and no one had ever found much gold around me. “Do you remember the winning goal in this series, the pass that Gretzky made to Lemieux and Mario roofed…”
“Ah, no.” Her reply hinted to me that she had not come down the stairs to relive 1987 in all its glory. ” But at least the subject was moving on from gravediggers. “Do you want to invite the Hunters over for a get-together on Tuesday afternoon?” It was something we had started doing a couple of weeks ago, inviting a neighbourhood couple over for beer, wine and refreshments. All done with the proper physical- distancing of course and only in our fenced-in backyard. One can’t be too careful, what with all the stories about overly-zealous Covid-19 municipal security agents patrolling parks and neighbourhoods and as enthusiastically handing out $800 fines for physical-distancing infractions as Justin Trudeau distributing CERB payouts. I’m not as social as my wife but I go along with the socializing thing as best as I can. To each their own. Not everyone wants to spend weeks at a time hunkered down in their basement watching hockey games from three and four decades ago I’m told.
So my talking points are limited. Hockey’s out… despite being married to me for 33 years my wife seems to, ah… hate it. Maybe that’s why. Politics? Forget it. If I wanted to walk through a minefield I’d visit Afghanistan or Angola. And speculating about the end date of the pandemic is a non-starter. As the ex-great Yankee manager Casey Stengel said, “Never make predictions. Especially about the future.” I hear ‘ya, Casey.
So that leaves me with little else to do than sit back with my beer and listen. Can’t get into trouble there. Except that it seems to be all over the news that the medical authorities have decided that alcohol, even a little, is putting our health into grave danger. That’s okay.. I’d rather meet the Grim Reaper in a wine bottle than one of those nursing homes. Those places will kill you, I’m told.
Nursing homes, gravediggers. I’m going to start thinking about switching from blogs to horror stories. Last I looked, Stephen King hasn’t published anything new in more than a month.