I’ve spent a good part of my life not being able to see things right in front of my face.

“Mom, where’s the Miracle Whip?” I remember asking as I stood with the refrigerator door open for longer than the two-second rule.

Growing up, my sisters and I had to know the contents of the fridge before opening the door because every millisecond cold escaped we were throwing money away. Too bad those X-ray glasses I ordered from the back of a comic book didn’t work. They would have saved me a lot of grief.

She reached in and grabbed the jar of Miracle Whip.* The jar was at eye level six inches from my face, the label turned toward me.

Things didn’t get any better once I started wearing glasses. Throw in that I’m loud for an introvert and I’m one “look at that” comment away from being arrested.

It’s awful going to the store with me.

“Honey,” I said to my patient wife. “I can’t find the ChapStick.”

She pointed to an end-of-the-aisle rack next to me. Let me repeat – next to me.

“Are you $&#*%^@ me?” I said.

I also have a foul mouth for a loud person; not the greatest combination. … Or is it? No. I’m not a stand-up comedian. … Or am I? No, definitely not.

“Shhh,” she said. “You realize people can hear you, right?”

Yeah, I guess. However, I’ve never considered my casual conversation something anyone would care to process into their day. Maybe I should pay more attention to what I say.

Standing in the checkout line, I did. In the next checkout line was a mother with a baby. As a parent, there’s nothing more adorable than a baby we don’t have to care for.

I gently prodded my wife with an elbow. The elbow was mine, for anyone keeping track at home.

“Hey,” I said, my voice about the decibel level of a tractor. “Check it out. A baby.”

To my wife and I, babies aren’t just adorable, they’re potentially dangerous.

“It’s so cuuuuttteeeeee.”

The next few sentences are from a purely fictional transcript. I must stress fictional because this could actually happen.

Police officer: Please describe the people involved.

Cashier: There were two. The woman had dark hair. The man smelled of ChapStick.

Officer: What did they do?

Cashier: They were looking at a baby.

Officer: That doesn’t sound suspicious.

Cashier: But the man said he wanted to smell the baby’s head.

Officer: Again, not suspicious. Baby’s heads smell amazing.

Cashier: But the woman (pause).

Officer: What about her?

Cashier: She said she wanted to eat the baby’s toes.

Officer: How did you hear their conversation?

Cashier: The ChapStick guy was loud. He also said he couldn’t find the $&#*%^@ Miracle Whip. (Gasps.) Do you think they were going to use it on the baby’s toes?

Officer: Maybe. I’ll get right on it.

Wow. That gave me a chill. Maybe my wife’s right. I should probably keep quiet in public.

 

*What is Miracle Whip anyway? I’ll check the internet. It’s a “sauce condiment.” Yum.

 

– Jason’s newest novel, “Bad Day for a Road Trip,” is available at jasonoffutt.com.