Water Pity

He and She were working at the lab …

She: “Here, take this pot and fill it with water for me, would you please?”

He: “Will do … Hey!!

She: “What? Something’s wrong?”

He:I’ll say something’s wrong!”

She: “Too late. I already did that.”

He: “Fun-neee. Not. I’d say you were all wet, if I weren’t already soaked myself.”

She: “No, dear. The water goes in the pot.”

He: “Right. You tell the water that. It won’t listen to me!

She: “What’s so hard about putting water in a pot? You’re at a sink, right? You’re not trying to wring water out of a cloud or something?”

He: “No, I’m at a sink, it’s got a faucet, water comes out of the faucet. But it won’t stay in the pot!

She: “It .. won’t .. stay …”

He: “Dangdest thing. I turn on the tap, and … I’ve never seen water fall up before! I tried clamping the lid down on the pot to keep that water in there, thought I had it for a moment, then blooey. Water all over everyplace. Including all over me. Everyplace except in the pot. Which is bone dry. What the …”

She: “Love, is there a sign over that sink?”

He: “I don’t … oh, yeah. There is.”

She: “Read it?”

He: “‘K … ‘Non-potable water.'”

She: “Thought so. Go find a sink that has potable water. You won’t have any trouble.”

He: “Right. I’m off.”

She:I’ll say. Scrub that pot first!

He: “Yes, dear.”

This Lane Is Your Lane, This Lane Is My Lane

He and She were driving down scenic roads (the signs said so) on Hawai‘i Island, He in search of plants to study, She in search of plants to photograph. Part of what made these roads so scenic was their profusion of diamond-shaped yellow signs, most of them announcing that They were approaching a “One Lane Road” or “One Lane Bridge”:

He: “Does scenery always have to be so narrow-minded?”

She: “Narrow-sided, anyway. I guess.”

He: “Whatever. But if they’re going to have all these one lanes, they may as well name ’em. Like – geez Louise what a squeeze – this one.”

He and She together:Lois!

He: “Now that, love, was super.”

She: “But of course, dear. Nathan!”

He: “Fast!”

She: “On this road? Are you kidding? Slow, if ever there was one.”

He: “How ’bout a sloe gin? This keeps up, I might need one.”

She: “Stay thirsty. Bryant!”

He: “Bryant Lane? I know a Bryant Gumbel …”

She: “Lane Bryant.”

He: “Uh uh. I am not going to try to drive backwards on this road, any more than I’m going to find a fancy clothing store on this skinny trail through the woods.”

She: “Chicken.”

He: “BucbucbucbuDAAAK!”

She: “P!”


She: “Not that! Just P.”

He: “P lane …? Oh good grief! That’s a Lane Violation if ever I heard one!”

She: “So you’re going on strike?”

He: “No, I’m going to strike!”

She: “What? Where?”

He: “On my Ten-pin Lane!”

She: “Right. You’re just trying to bowl me over, aren’t you?”

Candle iPower

It was well into what should have been a long winter’s nap. She walked into the room just as He was blowing an unidentified object off of the keyboard of his laptop:

She: “Sorry, love, but that won’t work.”

He: “What won’t?”

She: “Trying to turn the computer off by blowing it out. You have to use the shutdown routine.”

He: “The shutdown what?

She:Routine. You know. First you press the ‘Start’ button …”

He: “And it sits there and laughs at you. Are you OK?”

She: “No worse than usual. Though it’s past my bedtime.”

He: “Ah. That explains it.”

She: “Explains what?”

He: “How you could have forgotten that, with a computer, nothing’s ‘routine’. I did wonder, though, if somebody down in Silicon Valley had done something clever.”

She: “You mean, besides putting brains the size of a planet in little boxes so you can do word processing and complain about it?”

He: “I mean, solving the power problem.”

She: “You told me there wouldn’t be math!”

He: “Not that power problem. I mean the one about batteries and stuff. Trying to get some really good and reliable way of keeping the computers running, without filling up landfills and having to plan mining trips to the moon and Mars for raw materials, ‘rare earths’ and things like that.”

She: “Yeah?”

He: “So I was working on this computer, and put it on my lap and it was hot!

She: “And?”

He: “So I went looking for the candle.”

She: “Right. Running a computer with candlepower. I know steampunk’s all the rage these days, dear, but this isn’t one of your brightest ideas all the same. It’s obviously past your bedtime, too!”


He: “So I’m standing here trying to fix dinner …”

She: “Fix dinner? I didn’t know it was broken.”

He: “Right. How ’bout you give me a break?”

She: “Where?”

He: “Um .. as I was saying. I get a saucepan, open the box, pour the contents of the box into the saucepan, add water … and now the box tells me to stir thoroughly.” Where do I find this thoroughly thingy?”

She: “No clue. I’ve been looking for years. Never found one. Carry on without it. You’ll probably do fine.”

He: “OK, I … dang it!!

She: “What?”

He: “The blamed instructions tell me to bring to boil. No way! I ain’t bringin’ nothin’ noplace! Even if I knew where to find boil any more than I know where to find the thoroughly. That saucepan is on the stove where it belongs, and it’s stayin’ there until it’s done!”

She: “[Sigh] Relax, love. Boil figured out this flaw in the instructions a long time ago. Leave the pan on the stove. Turn on the burner. The boil will come to you. Trust me on this.”

He: “OK. I guess I’ll just keep cookin’.”


He:What ‘no’?? You want me to try to put this wet, slimy stuff back in the box? And go hungry??

She: “I want you to cook your dinner. Not you! Are you wearing your suntan lotion?”

He: “In the kitchen?!

She: “In Hawai‘i. Where you’re broiling under the hot sun!”

He: “Not in the kitchen two hours after sunset, I’m not.”

She:Phew! For once, I get a break!

He: “Where?”

You Can’t See Him In the Dark Anyway

She: “Help!”

He: “With what?”

She: “I need to find something about David!”

He: “Sorry. Too late.”

She: “Too late? Since when?

He: “Since after sundown. About four hours ago now.”

She: “What does that have to do with it?”

He: “Just, like, everything.”

She: “Are you being difficult on purpose?

He: “Do you see an aquarium in here large enough to hold a porpoise? Even if one would let me ride it? Look. It’s simplicity itself. You said you were looking for something about David.”

She: “Yes. I was.”

He: “Well. It’s night now. For David, you need light to see by. Says so right there. Day. Vid. So you’re just going to have to wait until tomorrow, after dawn.”

She: “Why, thank you, love. I won’t have to take out zombie insurance after all.”

He: “Zombie …”

She: “When they come to the house, all I have to do is push you to the door. ‘See? No brains here!‘ I couldn’t buy better protection!”