Monday, November 13, 2006

The Whoopee Cushion Incident

If you know my husband, you know he's a quirky guy. I've never met anyone else who so wholly exemplifies that "big kid," lighthearted approach to life, and yet inspires complete confidence in his ability to be responsible and conscientious when it counts.

Still, the "big kid" can be interesting to live with...

Over the last few months, SuperHusband and I have been remodeling our office. We've added built-ins all around the room, including a countertop desk with computer and sewing machine stations, cabinet uppers, and my favorite piece -- a custom designed island against the opposite wall. It incorporates space for the mountains of paperwork we generate (six lateral file drawers), a nice large work surface for projects (especially my sewing and his mat-cutting), and nooks and crannies for all those large or awkward-shaped tools we use.

As excited as we are about this monolithic undertaking, it's forced us to confront the mounds of disorganized stuff that had taken over the deep dark hiding places of our home. We're finding things we'd long since forgotten -- old books, broken childhood artifacts, and well, other useless items.

I came across one such item last week as SuperHusband and I combed through boxes. I rolled my eyes as I pulled a massive whoopee cushion -- the largest I'd ever seen, about the size of a basketball -- from one of the bins.

"Honey, you don't need the whoopee cushion do you?" I asked with just a tiny hint of sarcastic emphasis on the word need. "We can get rid of it, right?"

A shadow came over his face.

"Yeah, I guess," he said. "Just let me do it one more time."

I stifled a giggle.

"Okay," I said.

Just then, my cellphone rang. On the other end of the line was the PR representative for a prominent local non-profit (the Special Operations Warrior Foundation) that raises money to take care of the families of fallen special operations troops.

Every year, this group hosts a charity fundraiser at a gorgeous beachside conference center on Okaloosa Island. We've never had the opportunity to attend, because the fee is approximately $100 per plate just to get in. But this year fortune smiled. A few months ago, the Foundation's president heard me sing the national anthem at an event on base. A few days later, his PR rep contacted me about singing at the dinner.

So, on my cellphone, Ms. R. had called to ask if I could send her some information for the event's program. As she spoke, I walked back toward the office. Type-A and task-oriented, I determined to continue sorting even while conducting business.

My foot had barely crossed the threshold into the room when the deafening roar of the world's largest whoopee cushion shook the foundations of our home.

The sound so overpowered the airwaves that Ms. R -- on the other end of the phone -- stopped mid-sentence and waited for the blast wave to pass. (Although I realize it's just my highly-embarrassed mind playing tricks, I could have sworn it lasted for 20 minutes.) A shocked silence of perhaps five seconds followed.

I don't know that I've ever been so mortified in my life as I tried to explain in spluttering, broken sentences the events that had transpired. (Days later, when I spoke to her again, I would continue to apologize profusely.)
*** Epilogue ***
SuperHusband blames my mother: Apparently, he couldn't fathom that I'd get a weekday morning call from anyone else.

"It your fault, Gran," he says mischievously to her. "It was supposed to be you."

As for the offensive weapon, well, my sweetheart was so proud of his antics that he decided he simply couldn't part with it. He proudly took it to work with him when he left to fly that afternoon.


  1. I love it! I was a whoopie cushion for Halloween! Keith can borrow the costume if he wants for next year.

    Can't wait to see you in a few weeks!


  2. I have been sitting here laughing until tears came to my eyes. That was the funniest thing I have read in a while.

  3. YAY! :) Believe me, now that I'm past the dinner -- which has its own drama to report -- I can look back and laugh, too.

  4. Olivia, that was hilarious.


  5. Olivia, This is your bro Jauffer, and I will agree that was exceedingly funny! I would expect no less of Keith, but as you so well put, know him, I also have the utmost confidence in him when IT'S important. When it "ain't" important though, he will be the first to make ya laugh.


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