Dear reader, last night my daughter practiced her violin, read aloud from Fordyce's Sermons, kissed me on the cheek, and skipped off to bed. The next morning, over tea and crumpets, I noticed she was sporting in the neighborhood of twenty-six tattoos.
Twenty-six tattoos, dear reader.
I doubt there's a parent on the planet who can boast that kind of track record.
Mind you, the other day I received a letter in the mail from my nieces.
Of the Chicago branch of the family.
Nothing that could be remedied by a few smelling salts, either.
Thank goodness I was able to sift through our glitter rubble and come up with a goodie to stave off his appetite, or I fear there would have been nothing left of the poor little kimono girl but gristle and mash.
What kind of establishment is my sister running anyway, wherein young girls are free to conjure up the likes of his ilk, scoundrels who mightn't think twice before devouring a beloved auntie in two cavernous bites?!
Goodness knows what this world is coming to.
It was these thoughts and more which occupied my head this morning as I sat outside the car dealership, reading a book, awaiting the outcome of an auspicious oil change.
Suddenly, I sneezed.
"Bless you," said a voice.
I spun around and who should be sitting at the table with me but a little old man!
Where did he come from? How did he get there?
"Thank you," I said, smiling and returning to my book.
"Are you sick?," he asked.
"No," I assured him, "I'm feeling fine."
"Well, you sneezed," he persisted.
"Yes, but I rarely do that. Almost never."
"Really? Is this your first sneeze of the season?"
At this point, I put the book down and turned to get a better look at my benefactor. He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, wearing glasses and a hat bearing the insignia of the United States Naval Forces.
Clearly a gentleman of the most distinguished order.
He held my gaze and raised it by an eyebrow.
Okay. I see how it is. Conversation on. And I couldn't have asked for a lovelier way to pass the morning.
But the funny thing is, and perhaps this reveals my highly suggestible nature, I left the dealership some time later and have been sneezing ever since.
And what I didn't tell you is my entire family has been sick for the past week or so. I didn't bother mentioning it, darling, because I felt affliction was too dreary a topic. But all that has changed now that I'm feeling poorly.
Why, illness in all its nuances has suddenly become the most engaging conversation piece in all the world!
Just ask my eminent friend who solicited an inventory of my sneezing and quite possibly wished to lecture me from Fordyce's Sermons on the ill advised behavior of ladies who loiter about car dealerships: how brazen, how coarse, how unrefined.