Three Little Words


It was late and I was walking downstairs in the dark.  I was heading into the kitchen when I tripped over something in the middle of the living room floor.  I did one of those arm-wheeling, tap-dancing, out-of-control fling-forwards that I’m sure must have looked incredible to anyone in the area wearing night-vision goggles.  I hit the floor with a house rattling crash.  If that didn’t get everyone’s attention, the string of profanity that followed surely did.

“Who left the d%^& vacuum cleaner out in the middle of the floor?”  I roared, holding the offending hose in my hand.  Daniel sheepishly poked his head down the stairs and admitted that he had been the one who took the vacuum out of the closet in the foyer.

“What were you doing with the vacuum cleaner?”  I asked.

“Vacuuming,” replied Daniel.  I was a tad surprised (you would be too, if you’ve ever seen the state of Daniel’s room).  I asked him if he had made a mess; spilled something or broken it.  He shook his head.

“Then why were you vacuuming?”  I asked.  He shrugged.

“I don’t know.”

2009_0430_020335It’s amazing how those three little words cover so many situations.  Why did you put a raw egg in your pocket?  Why did you zip yourself up in a suitcase?  Why did you fill the cabinet drawers in your bathroom with water?  I don’t know.  Often times Daniel looks as confused and mystified as I do; he truly doesn’t know why he did what he did.  This was one of those times.  He remembered pulling out the vacuum and cleaning the area around the rocking chair.  And that was that.  He left it lying there without another thought.  So, I went easy on him.  I had him come down and put the vacuum away and told him it wasn’t a toy.  He went back upstairs and I followed.  Meka poked her head out of her office and asked what was going on.  I explained what happened.

“Why were you walking around downstairs in the dark?” she asked.  “Why didn’t you turn on a light?”

“I don’t know,” I replied, not a little sheepishly.

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