"Hey, did you run some laundry?"
It was an innocent question full of promise.
It could have meant, "Hey, you ran some laundry and folded it and put it away! That was nice!"
Or, "Hey, thanks for running the laundry! You're so thoughtful."
Or, "Hey, I didn't expect you to run some laundry! What a nice surprise."
In fact, simple questions often require long, drawn-out answers and I'm always looking for a way to cut to the chase and move on.
So, when the kids asked, "Where does air come from?"
I would answer, "Ask Mom. She knows."
Ninety percent of all questions can be answered with those four words. Here, though, I was stuck. Yes, I had run some laundry but it was only my camping gear smelling of bug spray, sunscreen, smoke and whatever chemicals my feet produce. I'm sure they have scientific names, but they are collectively known as Ewww-What's-That-Smell.
To the question, "Hey, did you run some laundry?" I should have answered, "Yes, I did. I sorted all the laundry and I have two more loads to run, but I did my camping stuff first to protect your delicate nose."
That's what I should have said; wordy, but correct.
What I actually said was this:
"Yeah, I ran my stuff."
As soon as I heard my words with my own ears, my brain all the while screaming, "Noooooooooooo!" I knew I was doomed.
A deafening silence followed. There were footsteps in the distance and the sound of a door closing. With emphasis. The conversation, such as it was, was over.
Mouth said, "Sorry, Brain, I guess I let you down. Again. What do we do now?"
After a short pause Brain said, "We die."
I sloped off to the laundry room and got the dark wash going. Might as well finish it up, I told Brain, it's going to be a long night.