Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Non-verbal Communication or Splitting the Atom

My wife gets me. I mean really gets me about most things. She wasn't happy though that none of my stories here never seem to involve her. And it's not that there aren't any, I just hadn't told any yet. This is a story about how she gets me.

We were checking out of a store. Don't remember where, don't remember what we were buying. The check out person couldn't get us checked out because some item was unpriced.

So the checkout person calls over the manager. And we're in committee. Runners are dispatched to where the item resides to see if other items are marked. "None of them were marked," I inform the committee. Runners confirm my truth-telling. Animals are sacrificed and entrails are examined. The gods are silent.

Negotiations begin amongst the staff. We look on expectantly to the tribe elders. Are there special savings at this time of year? Teeth are gnashed, clothes are rended, forelocks are pulled.

We finally escape with our purchase. "That was a real pain," my wife says. "Yeah, but then they were splitting the atom there."

Thus the phrase "splitting the atom" was born as our snarky little comment referring to incompetent people doing routine tasks.

Now whenever we're having a hard time getting out of a store, a simple "splitting the atom" comment whispered under our breath will have us erupting in laughter. Even worse was when she made a hand motion from across a room as if she was breaking a stick in two and I knew exactly what she meant and busted up laughing. And when you're laughing to yourself in a store for what appears to be no reason, people sidle away quietly.

My wife....she gets me.

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