When it comes to food, Babe doesn’t complain about my cooking because he doesn’t do kitchens, he does football and golf. His remote speed clicks ESPN. He easily swings a golf club and catches a football with one hand, but so domestically challenged is he that he could get government assistance.
B.C. (Before Cappy), he was the go-to guy who knew everything there was to know about microwavable food. The day he married a Southern gal who could cook was the day his epicurean fantasy came true. He hasn’t strolled down the frozen food aisle since strolling down the aisle with me over twenty years ago. Generally, his culinary lack of interest doesn’t matter to me, but today it does I was hit with a horrible stomach virus twelve hours ago.
Having finally managed to fall into a fitful sleep, I am startled awake by Babe not so quietly pacing back and forth at the foot of my deathbed. It could be delirium, but I get the insane feeling that he may actually be concerned about my health or lack thereof.
“Babe, don’t worry. It’s only a bug. I’ll be okay.” My tone is sugarcane sweet and well-water weak. I sound like Melanie Wilkes in GWTW when she tells Scarlett to take care of dear Ashley after she’s gone to that big plantation in the sky.
When I look up, I catch Babe as he sneak a glance at his watch.
“I’m sure you’ll be fine, sweetie,” he says. “But, um, I was wondering …”
“Wondering what, my dear, considerate husband?”
“Well, maybe that you should eat some food,” he says.
The man owes his life to the fact that he happens to be pacing at the foot of my bed as opposed to the side of it. I shove the covers back faster than the speed of light and dash to the bathroom, breaking Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s world record.
Five minutes later, I crawl on my hands and knees back to my rumpled bed while holding a small plastic wastebasket clamped between my front teeth. Babe, on the other hand, is walking the floor like he’s the title of a country/western song.
“What is that you want, Babe? Tell me quick so I can die in a quiet room.” I pray to the Kitchen Goddess that he won’t say anything else about food before I get a better grip on the wastebasket.
“I realize you’re not feeling a hundred percent yet but I’ve got a nine o’clock tee time and I was thinking maybe …”
I glare at him through sleep-encrusted, scary eyes and a mouth so dry it could hold a flame. He doesn’t even notice. Indifferent, he is humming to himself and trying to sink a golf ball into my bedroom slipper with his putter.
“Tell me what you want, Babe, then go play golf and let me die in peace.”
He pauses in mid-putt. “You wouldn’t want to get up and fix me some bacon and eggs before you croak, would you?”
Back in the day, Babe was a college football linebacker and that may well have saved his life for the second time in less than five minutes. I reach for something heavy to throw at him. He dips left and then right as if he were Peyton Manning avoiding a block. I don’t know what I threw but it sounded like glass when it hit the wall. I hope it wasn’t Waterford crystal.
While rushing from the room (no doubt going for a touchdown), he yells, “You could go to jail for that.”
For a tiny fraction of a second, I ponder what he’ll eat for breakfast, but the thought flits through my mind like everything in the past twelve hours raced through my body.
When I hear a noise in the kitchen, I think maybe the man has finally figured out how to pour cereal into a bowl. Turns out, it is only the sound of the back door slamming shut as the ever-resourceful Babe makes a bump and run to the nearest Waffle House.
Huddled alone and experiencing what feels like my personal end zone, dying thoughts quickly turn to payback. If there is any justice, then Babe will catch my contagious bug and gain plenty of yardage running to the bathroom. When that happens, I’ll be standing on the sidelines cheering. Loudly!
You got the power,
You got the beat,
You got the spirit,
Now get on your feet!
Editor's Note: Cappy Hall Rearick is a humor columnist for the Lowcountry Sun in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of seven published books. Visit her at www.simplysoutherncappy.com. www.simplycappy.blogspot.com