Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pistol-Packin' Mama

So on Sunday, Mr. Pug and I went to the local Koi emporium.

For the uninformed in the Fish World, Koi are not the type of fish that supply those much-needed Omega-3s. Nope, they’re more like “black gold, Texas Tea.” Some of these bad boys and girls are as big as a cat and cost a car payment. At a certain point, they’re more valuable than your grandmother’s silver tea service.

Here in the Pug household, our requirements are more modest. We have a pond the size of a sink on steroids and three smallish fish who are the survivors of our three seasons of fish-perimentation. That’s not a problem. And, at this point, we can’t afford any more actual fish  because all of our money goes to upgrading their environment.

We’ve put more money into this pond than BP’s put into the Louisiana wetlands—with about the same results.

Anyway, we went to the fish store, where I wandered among tanks of huge, hungry fish who bobbed to the surface whenever a humanoid figure approached, apparently thinking we would all carry Koi pellets with us. Each time I’d return to the “show room,” which apparently had been the tiny living room of a 50’s brick ranch-style house before it became Koi Central, Mr. Pug and the owner would be deep in conversation about pumps and money and power sources and money and filters and money. I would roll my eyes and inquire about some vital facet of fish-raising (“ooooh, look honey, they have puppies here in the back room!”) and the owner would drag the conversation back to money.

Finally, on my third pass through the Money Pit, I interrupted a deep discussion about valves and hoses and clamps and input and output (Mr. Pug: "so if I want to backwash the filter, I just turn this knob?” Owner: “He-ah-al no, man! That’s the input, not the output! Do you want to spray fish excrement all over yourself?”).

Okay, let’s interrupt here. Why would a 50-year-old man think the best way to advertise his no-doubt considerable experience and expertise in fish-raising and money-taking is to wear his old college sweatshirt? To me, a college sweatshirt on a middle-aged man just says “Hey, look at me! My best years are 30 years behind me!”

And don’t get me started on the guys with GED in their resume wearing the local college mascot. That’s just false advertising in my opinion.

Okay, back to fish guy. At this point I said, “so, cutting to the chase, how much is this new system going to cost?”

You would have thought I’d spit in his scuppernong wine. Both of them, for that matter: Mr. Pug wasn’t any happier with my question than Mr. Bulldawg. They exchanged “The Look,” and I saw where this was going.

“I’ll be in the car,” I said. And left to my knitting (Ulmus, in Malabrigo SockYarn, Indecita and Abril, if it matters, ).

When Mr. Pug returned to the driver’s seat, after filling the back of the car with 20+ feet of hose and several large boxes, and after spending approximately the equivalent of two months utility costs (think height of the summer with the AC going full blast 24/7), he was proud. He had acquired Tools. He was a Happy Camper.

I’d already decided I wouldn’t mention the cost—after all, it’s no worse than a smallish bag of yarn would cost.

“You know what he said about you?” Mr. Pug grinned.


“He asked how long we’d been married.”

“What’d you tell him?”

Now, mind you, if I’d had to answer that question, I’d have pulled out my pocket calendar and calculated “uh, about negative three weeks,” but he took the Guy Way Out.

“I told him we’d been together more than 24 years. Then he said you were 'some kinda pistol, ain't she?.' What a hoot!"

“Uh huh.”

Now you and I know that’s code for “can’t you control your woman?” A woman might have said, here in the South, “bless her heart,” and it would have meant the same thing. Basically, “sorry, man, that you have to deal with that.”

Not, Mr. Pug. He thought it was a compliment.

Bless his heart.

1 comment:

ddknits said...

Oh how you make me laugh! You are a pistol & that is a compliment.