Everything stopped. They all looked at me like I was the cruelest, sickest, most dispicable creature that had ever crawled upon the earth.
To be honest, I can understand why they felt like that. I cursed God for giving me a tongue, in the first place. I should have been muzzled from the moment I uttered my first “Mama.” I am the original loose cannon. I cannot even trust myself anymore.
It was a Sunday afternoon like any other. Where I come from, Sundays are for visiting. Sometimes they come to us, sometimes we go to them.
On this occasion we were visiting my wife’s parents. A humble more welcoming couple you could never find. Their house on a Sunday is like those Christmas Family Gatherings you see in the movies. So many people, so many voices, young and old. Such a warm and happy home.
We were all squeezed into the Sitting room as usual. One of my nieces was reading a big hardback Annual, Ripley’s Believe it or not. As you might imagine, she was reading aloud about the amazing facts from around the world. All the inlaws would then give their take on things. Impressing each other with the little nuggets of facination they had aquired down through the years.
Somewhere in the foggy half light, that is my mind, I found a little nugget of my own. I think I learned of it (as with most things I’ve learned) from the radio in the truck.
“Did you know,” I spoke with authority. “..that if your ring finger is longer than your index finger, on your right hand, that you are most likely the sort of person who takes big risks?”
Silence! Instant silence! Of course I mistook it for confusion. So I elaborated.
“Look,” I said, holding up my right hand. “If this finger is longer than this one, it means you are more inclined to take risks.”
My wife broke the silence. “Would anybody like tea?”
They all agreed that tea would be a good idea. Except me and my father-in-law, we were beer men. He went to the kitchen and returned with a chilled bottle for each of us.
“Don’t worry about it.” He whispered, as he handed me the bottle with his right hand – minus a thumb and two fingers! He had lost them a year previous whilst taking a risk with a lawnmower, of all things!
I couldn’t even muster the strength to say Sorry. Why me? Why is it always me who doesn’t know when to zip it?
I have to hand it (there I go again) to my father-in-law, he is the kindest hearted man. Always generous. Especially with his forgiveness. A sound man, as they say around here.
Now where did I put that muzzle?
Thank you for reading