de Vos: They walk among us
The Friday Report
My wife said, “Let’s go to town tomorrow. You can spend the day watching movies.”
I stared back incredulously, thinking, okay, try not to show fear. This was obviously the first wave of that long-anticipated alien invasion. My God, to think it’s started right here in Grand County . . . that was not my wife!
I knew this with utter certainty because my wife was born in Kansas, itself a strange, strait-laced land where they would never, ever utter those words. As I saw it, the alien’s presence left me only two choices: I could leap to Earth’s defense or dive behind the dog. As I readied for my dive, the alien patted both hands in the air, the universal slow-down gesture.
“Would you can it with the theatrics,” she said, “Just drop me off at Cherry Creek and you can go watch movies until your eyeballs fall out. Maybe you can find an auto parts store and get new door knobs for the car, whatever. I’m sure you’ll find some way to amuse yourself for a few hours while I shop.”
Clever, these aliens, but I played along, alert for any sudden moves. And probes. Always be on the lookout for probes.
It was a nervous ride to town but sure enough, she hopped out of the car and spirited off into some fancy store with doors that looked stolen from an Italian basilica. I took a deep breath and headed for the Cineplex.
Later, at the anointed hour, I parked back in front of the retail cathedral, half-expecting to see my wife standing next to an overburdened pack mule, laden with packages bearing rich people’s names like Magnin and Chanel. I’d cleared out the back to make room for them.
So, I wasn’t quite prepared when my purported wife hopped in, buckled up and sat back expectantly. I didn’t move. After a long pause, she looked over at me, “What?”
“Where are your packages? You’ve been in the mall all day.”
She shook her head pityingly, “I’ve been shopping for cosmetic products, you know, little things,” she said, shifting her coat to display a tiny, jewel-tone bag that might hold a few sea-salt caramels, but I doubted it.
“Oh, wow,” I said, using my two favorite words, “Over five hours? And just that teensy bag? What’d that cost?”
Enter Mona Lisa, “Why would you ask me something like that? Did you suddenly become an auditor while I wasn’t looking?” And then we went home, she in silence, me in wonderment.
The next morning, I stood in front of the bathroom sink looking down at the Ultra-Calming Day-time Moisturizer with Conditioning Soy Extracts that I was brushing my teeth with. I picked it up and read the label.
I was delighted to see it was clinically proven to reduce visibly tired skin. I was also thrilled that it would not over-dry rejuvenated skin cells. Although, truth-be-told, I had never thought about these things when brushing my teeth.
But on the other hand, I was immensely bummed-out that it tasted like road tar mixed with Crisco. I was also dismayed to see it in a squeeze bottle shaped like the toothpaste next to it. I was holding it up like Hamlet inspecting Yorick’s skull when my wife walked in. Her eyes narrowed until she became that gunslinger in a spaghetti Western, “What’re you doing with my product?”
My teeth remained ultra-calm.
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