We have a standing law around the house; it’s called the 24 hour rule. Now in reality it’s pretty simple, anything left in the house over 24 hours is fair game. That means if you bring something home and you don’t want some body else to eat it, you best don’t leave it lying around. Because the little man in the refrigerator is going to get it. That’s what Momma used to tell us when we were trying to figure out why the light went off when you shut the door on the fridge. There was a little man who sat in there all the time and it was his job to turn off the light when you shut the door.
Okay, I know that sounds a little crazy now, but to a three- or four-year-old, it did kind of make sense. Besides what’s the best way to explain stuff disappearing other than to blame somebody else?
But now my kids are older, and the little man in the fridge doesn’t cut it anymore. So we came up with the 24 hour rule. Which to be honest works out pretty good for their Ole Dad. Anytime they go out, they are sure to bring home a doggy bag, with full intentions of carrying it to work with them, or at least that’s the plan. Let’s put it this way, I usually eat pretty good, when they forget to carry it with them.
Well most of the time anyway, the other day one of them went out to a steak place, and made the mistake of telling me when they got home. Sure enough the next morning, she forgot it, and I’m thinking steak and eggs for breakfast! That is ’til I opened the box, I think it was a set-up! She had some kind of garlic potatoes, sitting right beside that juicy steak, but those potatoes would have gagged a dog off a gut wagon. I couldn’t shut the lid fast enough, when she got home that evening, the first thing she asked was, “How was the steak?” I told you it was a set up. “But Daddy those potatoes are delicious.” Yeah, right!
Then last night we went to Antonio’s in Andrews, for a late supper. My KT got her a small pizza, and just as she finished half of it, she said “I’m full.” Aw boy’s pizza for dinner tomorrow, she looks at me and says, “Forget about it, this is going back to school with me!” And just to make her point, she wrote her name on it, like that’s going to stop me.
Well she had to leave early to get back, so she was gone when I got up. And guess what was lying in the fridge, that box of pizza. Then she had to go and ruin it. As Mel caught me looking at it she said, “She didn’t forget it Robbin, and she left it for you.” Well I’m grateful, but that kind of took all the fun out of it. That’s like that candy bar, THEY have all forgot about, I know where it is, but it’s been there over a week, it’s no fun if they don’t know the little man took it.
Maybe I just walk in here and be eating it while they are looking, then some one will say, ‘That’s mine.”
Nope, 24 hour rule.
As I write this, in the back of my mind, I’ll be waiting on a phone call that will never come again. Just about every other week, on Friday afternoon, my phone would ring, and the first thing, I would hear would be, ‘HAYYY”. Somehow, my cousin Judy could turn that one word into a paragraph. She would wind up telling me I must be crazy, or I had made her cry, I sometime think she was my biggest fan. Through the years I have said, Cousin Judy said this, or Cousin Judy said that, because she could turn a phrase better than just about anybody I knew.
But we lost her this week. And our lives will never be the same. She never left my house, seen me somewhere, or hung up the phone without saying, ‘I love you.” And she meant it. But it wasn’t just me, it was everybody. Because that was just the way she was, a loving spirit.
Goodbye Cousin Judy Altman, we loved you!
You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at email@example.com.
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