This is kind of an aches and pains tale, but I swear it has the best ending of any story, ever.
Today, I hauled myself in to the doctor to see if together we could make something better resembling a functioning human being out of me. Unfortunately, just as I signed in, I flew into a real torrent of coughing. I was out of cough drops by then, so hacking, I dragged the boys into the hall to look for a drinking fountain. I found one running white filmy water. The next several minutes I coughed and choked non-stop, doubled over, tears streaming down my face, unable to call for help. I drank the filmy water twice. What choice did I have?
At length, someone from the office came out and asked if I needed assistance. I sputtered out something. The boys in their little bomber jackets stood attentively beside me. “Mommy’s coughing.”
The office manager took me straight to an exam room, and the Doc ordered a nebulizer before they even took my vitals. As I sucked on my inhaler, the boys sat like little angels (who occasionally flick the lights on and off) side by side on the single chair. The nurse came back to see if I’d finished my steroids, and said, “Hi, boys!” To which, Pepper-pot said:
“Hi! My name is Peppers!”
Yes, he actually said “Peppers”, not his real name. Normally when people ask the boys their names or how old they are, I have to answer for them because teaching them how to properly interact with adults would take too much time from my Bachelor watching, so I was shocked and delighted that somewhere The Peps had picked up Week One of English as a second language.
Several hours and five (count ’em) prescription medications later, I related this story to Flufferella after school, and I could see that I was boring her, so I ended it with my classic boring story saver, “And then I found twenty dollars.”
Fluffs: Really? Are you kidding me?
Me: Yes. It’s a joke.
Fluffs: Oh, that’s too bad. I think that would be so cool to find twenty dollars! You could buy a–
Me: I know, I know! Everyone thinks it’s cool. Geez.
We all know the delight of finding a little unexpected cash in an old coat or on the ground. Somehow twenty dollars is the magical sum that seems at once small enough to be plausible, yet large enough to meaningfully impact one’s happiness.
I used the twenty dollar story saver the other night on Kent who totally knows this trick and still slammed straight into it.
Me: (Blah, blah, boring story about my boring life, clearly you’re grunting indiscriminately while focusing all your brain cells on that iPad)…And then I found twenty dollars.
Kent: (Head snaps up) You did?
Kent: You found twenty dollars?
Kent: What, was it just lying on the ground? Did you keep it?
Me: “And then I found twenty dollars?”
Kent: Oh. Oh, I get it. Dang. ‘Cuz that would have been cool.
Me: I know.