• ldstauth


It had been a fairly routine morning, as mornings normally go in our empty-nester home. Although not retired yet, both of us had the day off work. As I typed away at the computer in the kitchen, I could hear my husband’s snores roaring down the hallway as if a freight train approached. I couldn’t blame him for being tired. He’d been up early and swam his mile at the local YMCA. Being a former lifeguard, this was his favourite form of exercise. Not my idea of fun. But to each his own.

The phone rang beside me. Someone wanted to speak to Gary. Often I would take a message, but for some reason, I grabbed the portable and headed toward the bedroom. Yes, we still have a landline, even a working portable.

‘Phone’s for you’, I yelled to my husband from the doorway. In a flash, he whipped back the covers and sat, albeit a little wobbly, at the edge of the bed. What a sight he was! A black winter toque stuck up on his head in the form of an elongated triangle. His recent buzz-cut must have left him chilled. His eyes drooped and with his oddly-perched headwear, I couldn’t help but wonder when I had married Sleepy, one of the Seven Dwarfs.

As I handed him the phone, a sharp crack sliced the air while a powerful electric jolt passed between us. The phone sailed past me and landed on the hardwood floor with a clunk. What in the world had just happened? Could static electricity be that strong? Or had one of us panicked and thrown the thing. It wasn’t me.

Incredulous, I started to laugh. But Sleepy Dwarf was worried. Had we lost the caller? Was the phone broken? Cautiously, I picked it up. Phew! No nasty out-of-control jolts. Amazingly the call was still connected. But my amusement was unrestrainable … reaching a feverous pitch. I stumbled from the room, bent over and holding my stomach, while my husband chatted with the donut lady about the fifteen-dozen he’d ordered—a treat for his co-workers to celebrate his SPECIAL birthday.

Later in the day, I noticed the black toque sitting on the table. When I picked it up, my mouth gaped open in shock. Embroidered in white stitching was a hydro tower with a red zig-zagging lightning bolt running through it. Did I forget to mention that my husband worked for residential hydro?

The whole situation was ironically charging. Wouldn’t you agree?

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