Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Boy Who Yelped "Wolf!"

I regularly post about my husband. I regularly feel bad about posting about my husband, but he doesn't seem to mind. Now and again, I wonder if his idiosyncracies are just that: his idiosyncracies - or whether I've hit upon something peculiar to the adult male. The latter is something I often wonder about because many of his little quirks are shared by my father ... so I've either got a bad case of the Freudians, or these oddities may be shared by a larger group as a whole.

That's why it's good to have female friends, a kind of little self-help group, if you will. Last weekend I picked up my friend Miss P for a walk and found her almost spitting with temper.
"I. Would. Love. To. Slap. Him. Sometimes," she said, enunciating icily in her rage. "I heard a flipping shriek from the kitchen and when I ran in to help him, I found that he'd just knocked over a cup. I thought he was dead!"
Aha. So she'd fallen victim to The Yelp, I noted with pleasure. My father does it, my husband does it and now I know that Miss P's boyfriend does it. Interesting!

What's The Yelp?
Imagine, please, that you're engrossed in something important or delicate: you're correcting grammar exams, chopping garlic or re-attaching the 'end call' button to your ancient phone. Suddenly, your other half gives a blood-curdling yell: "Gnaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhh!"
Silence.
"What's wrong?" you shout.
More silence.
"What's wrong?" you shout again - but you're met with a deathly silence.
So you toss aside your exams, garlic and/or mobile phone and sprint into the next room, expecting to find your beloved in a heap on the floor, a severed limb protruding from the dishwasher, a pool of blood congealing next to him.
"What happened?" you wheeze. "What happened?"
And your partner-slash-spouse looks at you with big, blank eyes and says: "What? What do you mean?"
"You screamed!" you cry. "I heard you scream!"
"Did I really?" he says, bemused. "I don't remember that."
"You did! I heard you! You said: Gnaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhh!"
He shrugs. "Oh, that. Yeah. I couldn't get the olive jar open. So we're having pickles instead."
We.
Are.
Having.
Pickles.
Instead.
Eyes narrow and you think about the satisfaction of whipping the pickles out of his hands and sticking one up each nostril. But you don't. You return to whatever delicate matter you tossed away to run to your sweetheart's side in his moment of need. And you bite your fist.
Pickles.

"You say this was the murder weapon? Why, that's ... gruesome!"
Moments later, your ears are assaulted by a heart-rending moan. "Oh, nooooooo! Gneerggggghhhhhhhh!"
"What's wrong? What happened?"
"Aaaaahhhhhh! Friiiiinnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkk!"
Silence.
"What's WRONG?"
Silence.
I shriek: "What HAPPENED?"
He pops his head around the door, annoyed. "For crying out loud! I just dropped a tomato! Don't be such a drama queen!"
"One of these days," I warn, "you're really going to scream in pain and I won't come running. I'll just blithely ignore you and leave you extricate yourself from the innards of the vacuum cleaner or the drum of the washing machine. Then you'll be sorry!"

He shrugs, unconcerned. And why would he be? He knows that this is an empty threat on my part. We both do. As the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you - but fool me twice, shame on me. Or, in this case: Fool me 5,297 times, shame on me.

7 comments:

nursenikkiknits said...

OMG it's a male epidemic. That exact scenario happens at my house too (maybe not about pickles). I think it is the silent response after the yelp that drives me the most berserk.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Nope, my Hubs does not do this...but I get mysterious thumps from him. He is always hurting himself, but barely pays attention to it..but I laughed out loud at the pickles in the nose...still giggling...

Sandy said...

Ha! It is a man thing! Mine won't yelp, but curse. Then, when I ask him "what?!", he is silent too! It's always "nothing". I'll give him "nothing"!

Paul & Carla said...

I am inured to it after 38 years of marriage — heartless old lady, am I! (evil chuckle)

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

I don't have a significant other, haven't had for over 11 years, but my ex used to do the same thing, same quiet after. It used to annoy me to no end. I think it is a male thing.

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Yes, you're all right - the silence, that's the MOST annoying bit. And then he gets snippy because I keep shouting "Are you okay? Answer me! Please, answer me!"
Grrrr.

Rachel said...

Yep, same here, but swearing, not yelping. Same silence, too. I was so pleased to read this post!