Translation– Please!


Oh, you know there are more to come.

Urgency Day 336

500 Things Items 157-165: 9 Stuffed Friends

  • History: Remember the Beanie Baby craze?
  • Value: Oy.
  • Parting pain: Okay, I will miss Elmo (but we have another)
  • Un-possessing: Yard sale

I speak in code, everyday. I bet you do, too.

If you’re in a long-term relationship—such as having been married for 22 ½ years– you know the good things to say and the things you should never ever say. It is very powerful knowledge, and, when wielded in the wrong mood, very dangerous.

Paul and I still ebulliently enjoy each other. He can make me laugh quicker and messier than anyone in the world. All he really has to say is Ping Pong and liquids come out my nose. Every time.

I’ve learned that “Ping Pong” doesn’t translate well beyond our wacky relationship, so you’ll be spared the attempt. It is enough to say that for us, it’s code for somethin’ funny! But we do have one phrase that’s code of a different kind, which just might resonate for a few other people.

Paul: “We’re here; we might as well have a look-see.”

[Shivers literally just started at my hairline and cascaded down my spine.]

Back in the days before GPS technology, an Eagle Scout was a pretty handy person to have around. If you were stranded in the wilderness with only a pocket knife and a Q-tip, he could build you a shopping mall [bonus points if you get that reference]. And you might reasonably conclude, having traipsed across much of the country for most of my adult life with an Eagle Scout as my companion, that I have never been lost.


The other thing about Eagle Scouts is that they are really adventurous. Like, no tent/no toilet paper/no problem! adventurous. To properly convey his bright-eyed excitement at moments of potential adventure and exploration, I should quote Paul with a subtle variation in text and more insightful punctuation:

Come On!! Let’s Have a Look-See!!”

If he had a tail, it’d be wagging.

Now, it’s not that I think Paul should never get to make this exhortation. Not never. Just somewhere between the number of times he does and never.

I think our most famous real life “look-see” adventure was in 1990 on a remote logging road in remote western Oregon. With less than a quarter of a tank of gas, no map and really no idea where-in-the-hell we were, I hear the words. The. Words.


That day, I was pretty sure all logging roads in Oregon wound up at the business end of a black bear. Or at the wrong end of Deliverance. Or with me trying to roast a chipmunk Paul had snared with his pocket knife and my Q-tip.

Yeah, okay, we survived. We got home. I think it was something like two more left turns, and we were out of Danger. But you see, for me, it’s about security. I like a map. I like a plan. Friends of this blog will know I even like my maps and plans to be—wait for it—laminated!

But laminated plans fly in the face of the “Come on! Let’s have a look-see!!” spirit.

So here we are, not just in the Wilderness but in our Life, and we’re having a look-see.

There’s “kind of” a “plan:”

  • Get jobs;
  • Get Sam into college;
  • Get out of this house.

But I’m sure you will recognize that there are plenty of look-see opportunities within this very unlaminated plan. For example:

  • Jobs: Hey, we’ve never tried running a bike repair shop! Why not?!
  • College: Hey, Wabash just guaranteed Sam 17K! Okay, it’s in the Midwest, which he said he didn’t want, and there are no chicas, which he said he did want. But other than that, why not?!
  • House: Hey, no buyers can qualify for a mortgage anymore, but our house will surely sell! Why not?!

Is that a gleam in Paul’s eye? A waggle in his tail? <shiver>

And what’s code for “That’s a good one, Honey:”

Ping Pong!

Update: The long-rumored, recently scheduled Yard Sale has had to be rescheduled. The cloying stuffed animals (and Elmo) pictured above will still greet you when you arrive. Unless you’re late. But hey, come have a look-see! October 3rd unless otherwise noted.


3 Responses to “Translation– Please!”

  1. There’s a coda to this story. 90 minutes after I gave up trying to go over the mountain in Oregon and settled for going around, the thingamajiggy broke on our Toyota pickup and the engine stalled. By luck, it did so right in front of a Toyota dealership, and we practically coasted into an open service bay. Whew!

    That was the day the gods installed the tuning knob that finally allowed me to hear Suzanne’s concerns — not that the device doesn’t still malfunction periodically. But, 22 1/2 years feels like 2 years, Zippy. Wanna go for a bike ride tomorrow? I know a great route.

  2. sthibeault Says:

    Anywhere with you, Ernie. Let’s go have a look-see.

  3. boysgonewild Says:

    Steven did this just this weekend! We got lost in Portsmouth (I don’t recommend it) and he said, “Well, let’s just look.” I nearly died.


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