Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A Three Story Life: The Pounce
The Pounce is what happens when I wander upstairs. If I'm on my way to the kitchen, Dad will make a remark into the air. "I don't think those wing nuts are the right size." For years that would cause me to stop, turn and ask "what wing nuts?" and I'd be caught. If I'm on the way out the door, handbag on shoulder, keys clutched, The Pounce occurs concurrent with my hand touching the doorknob. "I don't understand this," he'll say. [Note the similarity to The Sideways Ask.] Slowly I turn, hand drops from knob, I ask "what?" and then I'm going to be late. Pounced again. Dad is so confident I'll respond, he doesn't even look up. If he's at his computer, he taps on the screen. "This." If he's in his globalpops-lounger, he holds up a piece of paper. No eye contact, confident in his power to stop forward motion. I drop handbag, keys, books, all things toted, and grab the paper or peer at the computer monitor, ready to explain "this." Used to work 100% of the time. I'm caught at about 45% now. As I adjust behavior, Dad gets wilier. Today I got flattened by The Pounce because he did make eye contact. He held up his hands, shrugged, rolled his eyes, in perfect imitation of a Jewish mom with an unmarried kid who's too skinny. He looked imploringly up. "What?" I asked. "Well, I went up to the hardware to get the back door window glass cut, you know, the broken window." "What size?" hardware man asked. "Standard." "Well, there's lots of standard, bring in the frame." "So I got some bolts to put the holder back on the wall." "What holder?" I ask. "The bathroom toilet paper holder." "So we've switched rooms?" I observed. "Well, yes, but the bolts don't work." "Take me back to the back door," I suggest as Pounce Tour Director. "Well, I've got all the screws out but one." "Let's go get it out then," I offer, thoroughly Pounced. "No, I'm tired from working the bolts." "What bolts?" I ask, apparently suffering short term memory loss from being Pounced yet again.