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In Timeout

[FONT=&amp]This past Monday morning the governor of Indiana put our state in time out, but honestly it was the mom version. You know, she loves you, knows you’re good, knows that all you need is a nudge in the right direction. So she gives you a faux grounding. Later that day, the mayor of Indianapolis acted like the dad in this relationship who’d come home, heard about what we’d done, and put the hammer down. It felt like punishment. “Go to your home and don’t come out until I say it’s ok. I don’t care what this does to your social calendar and if you try to push me. So help me God, I’ll make it last longer!” Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it. No back talking from me. Well, according to my parents and my wife, I’m a button pusher. So, no promises. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]This is the first time I’ve ever been in timeout. I came from the spanking generation. My mom had a sorority paddle and a bar of Lava hand soap. Nothing scrubs bad words off of a kid’s tongue, like foaming pumice. She only used the paddle once. Not that it only took one time to turn me into a choir boy, I did a little surveillance and found out where it was kept. Let’s just say that mom’s paddle and Jimmy Hoffa have something in common. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]As a parent, I only to delivered timeout once. It was to our middle daughter, Carly. Before the door was even closed I heard her say, “It’s not really grounding when you send me to a place full of toys.” So I made her stand in the corner of the dining room for a half hour.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]At home, where The Man in the High Castle would like me to set up my office. We are sharing space with two dogs, our oldest daughter and her twin third graders. It should be an empty nest right now. Big mouth Carly and her younger sister have flown the coup. They’re feathering their own, socially distant nests, in different parts of the city. The “why’s” of our current home scenario have been laid out to my therapist in a rambling 220 page document that reads like a John Steinbeck novel. Right now the twins are in eLearning every day. Our dog, Geoffrey, (yes we have a dog with a pompous name. It’s a long story.) is practicing social dominance over their dog, Luna. In his spare time, Geoffrey is chasing every squirrel and bird on this side of the equator. Then he freaks out at the door to come in, drinks half a bowl of water while the other half trails out of his mouth on the way back to the door where, quoting Steely Dan, he goes back, Jack, to do it again. Over and over and over. I’m laughing in a straight jacket while trying to get on a conference call. In between business proposals and demos I’m leaning Mandarin as the twins blast their foreign emersion program throughout the house. Yes, they’re studying Chinese. The irony![/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]They moved in three years ago and for the first year it was manageably glitchy. What does that mean? Kid stuff, like painting on cabinets, wiping their toothpaste face on my dress shirt...that was hanging up and regularly using $1,000 worth of toilet paper for 1 wipe. Ok, back then it wasn’t worth that much. But what’s the value of a half a roll of Kirkland two ply on the black market today? $500? I find myself fantasizing about opening a dispensary...for foaming hand sanitizer. Dude, could you sell me a lid, of Clorox soft scrub? In the background, Brewer & Shipley are singing, “One Toke over the line, sweet Jesus.”[/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]Thankfully a year and a half ago, my wife and I bought a little 600 square foot cottage. We rehabbed it ourselves. The word “rehabbed” paints a less than accurate picture. This place had been ridden hard, hung up wet, filled with something dead that came back to life and died again. We totally gutted it to the studs and rafters, removed the smell, a few walls and cobwebs so densely woven, they looked like a trawler’s net. We finished putting it back together just in time for the Coronapocalypse. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&amp]After 1 day of timeout in my bedroom, I ran away from home. So I’m writing this piece, socially distanced. I did bring food and Geoffrey. After work, he and I go for lakeside walks. He looks longingly into my eyes at dinner. He puts his head on my shoulder as We sit together on the couch as I write. When I read that description, It sounds like we’re dating. I really like going into my office, but if I have to be grounded, this beats standing in the corner.[/FONT]

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hikerpoet
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