DeVos: They’re coming, they’re coming! |

DeVos: They’re coming, they’re coming!

Jon DeVos
Staff Photo |

You know how obnoxious people make “air quotes” with their fingers? My wife can do that with just her voice.

The other day she said to me, “You should clean up your ‘exercise room’ before my cousins get here.”

I stared for a moment, “Why did you do the ‘air quote’ thing when you said, ‘exercise room’?”

“Oh, I guess because the TV gets more exercise in there than you do. If there’s ever a cross-fit workout for channel-surfing, you’ll kick butt.”

The ability to ignore insults is a minor gift, much like tying your shoe while standing on one foot, or pulling matching socks out of the dryer. Not everyone can do it. My wife claims she mentioned (she says repeatedly) that her relatives were coming to visit for a few days. I treat bad news like a bulimic deals with dinner and paid little attention to the onrushing relatives.

Minutemen should have ridden through our yard yelling, “The cousins are coming! The cousins are coming!” but the only warning I got was a fearsome scowl and a dozen reminders to clean up my ‘exercise room’.

Day 5 BC (Before Cousins)

“I’ve told you my St. Louis relatives are coming,” she (no minuteman) said, “I’ve asked you 12 times to clean your room and get that old rusty bicycle out of the middle.”

“Can’t I just lock the door?” I whined, “I hardly know your relatives, why would they make me clean up my room? And it’s a rowing machine, not a bicycle.”

“You need to clean it up because I’m busy and the kids are going to stay there. Bicycle, rowing machine, it’s still all rusty. Let me know when it’s gone and I’ll vacuum.”

Day 3 BC

“Would you pick up a few things from the grocery store this afternoon?” she asked.

“I’d planned some computer work,” I said, and indeed I had. The Girls Gone Wild XXIV Blu-ray disc had just arrived in the mail and, naturally, I needed to carefully inspect the content for flaws. However, my best-laid plans were scuttled by a particularly fearsome scowl. Valor stood down, discretion arose and said, “Sure, what do you need?”

She tossed me something as weighty as a James A. Michener novel. I thumbed towards the back pages, staring dumbly at an index from Apples to Zucchini. “What is this?” I said.

“Your grocery list,” she yelled over her shoulder, running off to wherever she goes when she’s not in sight.

I flipped through the first dozen pages. It seemed impossible without a wing blade on the shopping cart. “Shouldn’t we get bids on this?” I shouted to her dissipating ghost.

Zero Hour plus 4

“Gee, that was a great dinner,” I said.

She leaned my way and asked quietly, “Would you mind tidying up the kitchen while I chat with the family?”

I whispered back, “Not if you wouldn’t mind me overheating a barstool at the Crooked Creek first.” Her scowl spoke volumes. I surveyed the kitchen. It looked like we’d hosted the no-rules Indiana State pie-eating contest. My eyes began wildly rolling.

“What is the matter with you?” she hissed.

“I … I’m just figuring out how to get a forklift in here to load the dishwasher.”

Day 3 AD (After Departure)

“That was sure nice, seeing all the family. We should go visit them next summer before it gets too hot.”

“That would be super,” I said, thinking about the good parts of global warming, “Maybe we could stay in their ‘exercise’ room.”

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