#41 – An Understandable Misunderstanding

One of the Bar associations I belong to has issued the first call for volunteers — to man our booth at a metro area festival this fall.  Though I’ve participated the past several times, and undoubtedly will sign up once more, I can only hope nothing like last year’s misunderstanding happens again. 

Last September, the event coordinators sandwiched our booth between the NRA and the local suicide prevention hotline.  Like most of the participating vendors, we’d prepared literature about our association for distribution to passers by.  I did everything I could to place our brochures in as many hands as possible, including exchanging materials with both the NRA and suicide people. 

The NRA literature proved especially handy when one of the festival attendees shared her recipe for Mac and Cheese with me.  Using the paper as a makeshift notepad, I wrote a reminder to myself to “buy shells” so I could try her dish. I left that reminder note, as well as my other festival paraphernalia, on the kitchen counter when I returned home that night.  Then I forgot about it. 

The next day, I suffered an unfortunate setback in court, in a case involving my sleazebag nemesis.  I couldn’t believe the rat bastard had gotten away with his B.S. again.  In my state of pique, I happened to tell the Mrs. how I’d like to line both my adversary and the judge against a wall for a personal firing squad. 

Sophia seemed unusually solicitous – and clingy – for the rest of the evening.  To my astonishment, when we went to bed, she offered to do for me what she usually reserves for my birthday and national holidays. But I remained so worked up about the day’s fiasco that I declined. 

You can probably guess where this story’s going.  Unbeknownst to me, Sophia had read the NRA and suicide hotline materials and seen my note written on the NRA brochure.  Those documents, combined with my comments about the firing squad, led her to an understandable though incorrect conclusion.  Unfortunately, rather than asking me point blank about her deduction, she decided to take immediate preventative action. 

The next afternoon, I returned home to find Sophia waiting at the door with a stranger she introduced as her “friend” Tim.  Tim, it turned out, was a psychiatrist specializing in patients having suicidal tendencies and violent delusions.  Of course I didn’t hear his bio until later, which explains why I didn’t take him seriously when he asked me, in a roundabout way, whether I held thoughts of hurting myself or others. My wise-ass answer was: “Hurt myself?  No way.  Blow myself up?  Absolutely, but only after I take out the twenty-two people on my hit list!” 

Matters got sorted out, eventually … after Tim surreptitiously dialed 911 and six Sheriff’s officers arrived.

NRA brochure

Doubles as a makeshift notepad


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