Living Retired — ‘Don’t Look Up’
Living Retired – ‘Don’t Look Up’
By Gary Chalk
Part of my exercise routine involves carrying the groceries from my Jeep into the house. First, I grab the handles of all the grocery bags at once. Then, I struggle coming in from the garage through the laundry room. All this extra weight brings pain to my baby boomer knees, so by the time I reach the kitchen I body slam the bags on top of the island like Haystack Calhoun used to drop Sweet Daddy Siki to the wrestling mat. I know there is no use crying over spilled milk, but every time I do this I think it is time to call the orthopaedic surgeon – right after I clean up the broken eggs.
Last week as I grappled with the groceries, Jan was nearby in the family room, so I said, “Hi Dear, I am home.”
Her response was well, unusual, “Don’t Look Up.”
“Well Jan if I don’t look up I may bump into the island and spill the beans.”
Jan reiterated, “Don’t look up.”
I did what I was told. Staring down at the hole in my sock the suspense was getting to me. Was she trying to hide my birthday present she was wrapping? Perhaps, she had given in to her allergies and was going to surprise me with a puppy? She wasn’t sneezing so I knew a dog was out of the question.
Finally, despite Jan’s directions ‘don’t look up,’ I threw caution to the wind, and slowly glanced up. This is what I saw: Jan sitting on our loveseat with the voice-activated television remote close to her mouth. Speaking into the remote she said, “Don’t Look Up.”
Then in exasperation she said, “Gary, I am going watch ‘Don’t Look Up’ on Netflix.”
Just then Alexa awoke, “Okay, playing ‘Up, Up, and Away’ by the Fifth Dimension.”
The music is blaring through the entire house. ‘Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon, We could float among the stars together, you and I…’
Jan smacked the television remote down. She gave me ‘that stare.’ That was my clue to exit, “I’ll go and close the garage door dear.”
A few days later…
Jan was laundering our large bedroom duvet. She thought it would be funny to cover herself underneath it and surprise me. She came up to me in the family room, covered head to toes.
My response was, “RUN!”
Concealed beneath the duvet, Jan said, “Run? Gary, why do you want me to run?”
This time I repeated myself even louder, “RUN!!!”
“Gary, I am draped under our duvet, and you want me to run? For heavens sake what is going on? Next you’re probably going to tell me to drop to the floor because there is an intruder in the house.”
Jan is pretty good at following directions, but she wasn’t buying what I was saying.
Imagine her surprise when she lifted the duvet and saw me with the voice-activated remote control to my mouth saying, “Run.”
“Jan, I am trying to watch the movie Run. It is on Netflix, stars Sarah Paulson.”
Jan was upset, “Gary, I thought you were telling me that I had to run.”
Just then Alexa awoke, saying, “Okay, playing ‘Da Do Ron, Ron’ by The Crystals.”
Suddenly, the music is ear-splitting. ‘I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still; Da do ron, ron, ron; da do ron ron. Somebody told me that his name was Bill; Da do ron, ron, ron; da do ron, ron!’
Once again Jan gave me ‘that stare.’ This time it was music to my ears.