I’m not sure, but maybe it’s the water in Hope. Or maybe it’s genetic but man, sometimes my kids are not right bright. I mean, downright dumb! But like I said, it’s probably in the water, I hope it will wear off.
One nice spring afternoon, I received a call from Stephanie. She was on her way to my house and had pulled over on the interstate. “My car is driving funny.” She informed me. I asked her what she meant and she told me that it was shaking all over the road. I asked if she had gotten out and checked to see if she had a flat tire. No, she told me. I waited while she got out to check.
Steph: “Yeah, it’s flat.”
Me: “Okay, well do you have a spare?”
Steph: “I don’t know. I did have but I used it last time I had a flat.”
Me: “Well, did you put it back in the car after you used it?”
Steph: “I don’t know. I just had new tires put on.”
Me: “Do you have a jack?”
Steph: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Well, can you get out and look? I can come and change it but I need to know what to bring.”
Steph: “I know I don’t have a jack, someone borrowed it and didn’t bring it back.”
Me: “That’s okay, I have a jack I can bring but I need to know if you have a spare tire.”
Steph: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Do you know where it is?”
Steph: “No, I don’t know. The last time I seen it was when I had the flat before.”
Me: “Do you know where in the car it is?”
Steph: “I don’t know. I told you I’ve not seen it since I had the flat.”
Me: “Do you know where in the car it would be, if it was in the car?”
Me: “Well, can you get out and look to see if it’s there?”
Steph: “I’m parked beside the road.”
Me: “That is usually where you are when you get a flat. I need you to look, so I can stop and get a spare if you need one.”
Steph: “I’ll call you back in a minute.”
Well, the next communication from Stephanie was a text telling me that some man had stopped to help her. I finally figured out it was the emergency roadside assistance our state provides. So, they got the tire changed and she continued on to my house. By the time she reached the house, Randy had made it home. We went out in the driveway, to check out the damage. We wanted to see if the tire could be repaired or just needed to be replaced. She opened the trunk to show us the offending piece of rubber. When my husband lifted it out of the car and set it down on the ground, Stephanie pointed to it and said, completely seriously, “See, it’s only flat on the bottom.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
This isn’t the only instance of not quite brightness. Randy convinced “Pole” (Stephanie’s nickname) and Daniel Boone (our thirteen year old) that he had purchased a toll bridge and he needed them to work it. He told them that one of them would stand on either side of the bridge to collect tolls. He would then split the tolls collected with them. They nodded but didn’t say much about it. A couple of months after that, we were sitting in the living room one night when the two of them asked when we would be opening the bridge so that they could start work.
He also had them convinced he needed them to count the crawdad holes in our front yard so he could buy some chemical to put in them to kill the crawdads. He told them that the chemical was very expensive and he needed to know exactly how many crawdads there were so we wouldn’t waste money by buying too much. Finally, his guffaws alerted them to the ruse. I don’t know how many they counted before that time. Of course there was the night that after watching wrestling with Randy, Pole looked at him very seriously. “You know that’s not real, don’t you?” She asked him. He was speechless.