A Taut Post

March 9, 2008

I mentioned that it is very difficult to do comedy for small children. The best joke Random Granddaughter ever laughed hysterically at was when Sylvie (my daughter’s small black with a little white cat) ran downstairs in RG’s pajamas.

I’m not too proud to steal jokes, but it just doesn’t work when I run downstairs in RG’s pajamas.

It is also very difficult to do comedy for spouses. Unfortunately, I do unintentional comedy for my wife all the time. I was wandering around looking for my exercise shoes yesterday with a befuddled look on my face so I could go on the treadmill, but then observed my wife choking so hard with laughter that she was almost falling out of her chair at the dining room table. She could hurt herself doing that. (She could hurt herself by provoking a spouse to striking her with his exercise shoes if he ever finds them is what I mean.) Actually, the exercise shoes were on the other side of my closet. How should I know that?

On the other hand, I tell my best jokes and she just looks at me. That look. Every spouse knows that look. On yet another other hand, my wife listens to CBC2 radio (though we are not Canadians and do not live in Canada) every morning. The morning “drive time” announcer is named Tom Allen, who hosts a classical music program called Music and Company. Should a host for a tasteful classical music morning program be call the “pirouette time” host?

Anyway, my wife listens to Tom Allen’s show every weekday morning and laughs at his jokes, chortles at his wit, exclaims with wonder at the interesting tidbits of musical lore and other eccentric tidbits of information he drops in between spinning discs, while she just sighs with irritation when I do material just as good and says, “Please, not while I’m eating breakfast.”

I suppose shooting at our stereo with my air rifle would not even the score.

However, the other day my wife laughed at one of my jokes.

Signs of spring are upon us and my wife is preparing the berry beds. We finally planted the tayberries Pete kindly sent us years ago. Pete worried they might have expired while we neglected them in pots, but they seem to still be alive. Because they were not my wife’s idea, she regards them with great suspicion and wariness. She is afraid they will take over the garden.

(This from a woman who last year planted zucchini from Roswell, New Mexico!)

Blueberry plants have only yielded a few blueberries per plant so far. My wife planted more blueberry plants. We have a blueberry monster (aka Random Granddaughter) to support.

We had to put up new, taller stakes for the demanding boysenberries and equally insistent raspberries. Both vines think they will be called up for Prime Time Theater because the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk wilted just before the Sunday matinee performance. Putting in the new taller stakes involved standing on a ladder and awkwardly pounding them into what looks like soil but is in fact large, unyielding glacial rocks (who crawl into our garden at night).

“Do you have a post-hole digger?” I asked the Friendly Neighbor (who has a huge garage/workshop full of every tool known to man).

“No,” he answered. “Why do you need one?”

When I explained, he said that pounding the stakes was the better way to do it. How my wife got to him I don’t know.

Anyway, after the stakes were in, we attached the wire. “Pull! Pull the wire tauter!” my wife kept insisting. She fears the wires will not have enough tension to support berry vines loaded with fruit.

Wires want to be loose just like information wants to be free.

I saw a wire tautener at the farm and garden store where we went to a presentation on raising chickens. My wife said, “It won’t work and we don’t have time to look at it because we have to go listen to the chicken presentation.”

Anyway, after many tangles in coils of not very taut wire, we got the berry wires up.

After we went inside, I said that we really should look at the wire tautener again. “I don’t know if it will provide enough tension to support the berry vines, but it might reduce marital tension.”

My wife laughed quite a bit at that joke. I guess you had to be there.


8 Responses to “A Taut Post”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Your wife has the same taste in classical music and radio that I do. We don’t live in Canada either, but are close enough to it to get CBC Radio 2. I love Tom Allen! We’ve listened to him for years, and he’s probably the number one reason why my son is studying piano performance. He has a limitless knowledge of music and makes it all so fun. (Have you listened to his weekly Cagematch? Hilarious!) I’ve also been fortunate enough to have met him at our symphony.

    Oh, and that was a very funny joke. Although my raspberries are free and encumbered by wires.

  2. modestypress Says:

    Thank you, pandemonic.

    I have listened to Tom Allen’s Cagematch? However, after 42 years of marriage, I have lived Cagematch.

  3. I listen to CBC too. I’ve been reading “Vinyl Cafe Diaries” the last little while.

    There’s a thing that’s symmetrical about this. When I used to watch TV, my favourite channel was PBS.

    I’ve noticed that when I do things that I think are funny, my sweetie laughs. I’ve also noticed that she doesn’t laugh because of the part I think is funny. Oh well. It all works out OK anyway.

  4. modestypress Says:

    We’re all in matching cages.

  5. I’m mildly amazed that I don’t know who Tom Allen is. The fact that I never listen to the radio might explain it, though.

    “It won’t work and we don’t have time to look at it because we have to go listen to the chicken presentation.”

    This just isn’t something most people ever get to say, or hear.

  6. modestypress Says:

    My life is full of saying and hearing things that most people don’t get to say or hear. I have no idea why this is so. Perhaps I am the Boswell of the Twilight Zone.

  7. modestypress Says:

    It is probably difficult to listen to Tom Allen in Portland, though it might be possible through streaming radio over the Internet. He is one of several CBC broadcasters who inspire thoughts in me of what you might be like as a classical disc jockey thought I am fairly sure you would be unique. More unique than the other unique broadcasters, so to speak.

    There is an Internet radio network (to which I listen while using my treadmill). Various people seem to have set themselves up as do-it-themselves broadcasters in this manner. I doubt very much if very many of them make much (if any) money in this fashion, so it’s probably just an expensive hobby for most.

    In fact, life is an expensive hobby for most of the world’s population, when you get right down to it.

  8. pandemonic Says:

    Yes, David, you can get Tom Allen via stream. That’s how I listen to him once I get out of the car and into the office.

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