Sunday, January 21, 2018

Where we learn to play the new hit game: Rib-A-Sib

Two days ago.

I had just scrunched up my serviette and tossed it onto my plate after a laugh-a-minute lunch with my big sister Charlene. We were at a place called Fran's in downtown Toronto. And at the exact time the server placed the vinyl folder containing our tab on our table, Charlene's cell rang.

She looked at the phone and then at me, and smiling a smile so bright I could almost hear it, Chuck--as we sometimes call her--showed me that it was her youngest son Jesse calling. Chuck took the call. (I'd have done the same if it had been one of my  kids.)

I handed the bill folder back to the server with a couple of 20s folded into it and asked her: "Do you have any older sisters?"

"Yes, one," she said.

"Did you see what mine just did? She pretended to take a call from her son at the very same time as the bill arrived so you-know-who gets to pay it."

Server: "Sounds like something my big sister would do, too."

I'm kidding of course. It was a terrific coincidence and we all laughed and laughed and I know if it had been my phone that rang Chuck would have picked up the tab. But still.

We Carters have teasing brothers and sisters down to an art form. I think that's what they're for, now that I give it some thought. After all if you can't make fun of your siblings, who can you rib?
WANNA MAKE FLIES LAUGH? Feed spider a Timmie's double-double

Not your spouse, that's for sure.

And you'd have to be a pretty bad dad to tease your sons or daughters.

Then again, I do recall one incident, a long long time ago. I was probably eight maybe 10. And I built, out of scrap wood, one of those downhill go-carts. Only problem was, I didn't have tools, help, or brains enough to ask somebody how to do it.

The first of many  obstacles: I couldn't find four same-sized wheels so three of my wheels came off an old tricycle and the other from a grocery cart. And who knew how to build like, an axle? Or a brake?

I persevered.

When it was done, I dragged my creation down to the garage where my dad worked.  Funny that we were always made to feel welcome around our father's workplace, even though much of the time all we did was get in the way. And I wanted to show off my new hand-crafted vehicle.

I remember where Dad was standing when I pulled my go-cart up to his side and while he didn't quote unquote comment on my craftsmanship, I recall him telling a co-worker, "Don't you let me hear you say Carter boys aren't good with their hands."
LUMBERJACK SOCKS: An elegant addition

If you've ever seen one of those videos about a spider web created after the spider was fed caffeine, you'll get an idea of the end results of my go-cart building effort.

That said, I'm forever grateful that he and Mom gave me so many brothers and sisters to write about and make fun of.

Which brings me back to the point of this story, and I forget what the hell that was.

All I can think is I can't believe my dad let us hang around his workplace so much.

P.S. Remember what I said about not teasing your spouse? While I was writing this, my very own spouse Helena noticed I was wearing these beautiful new socks, which I got as a Christmas present from my sister Mary. Helena mentioned that they make an elegant addition to my already sophisticated outfit (jeans and a hoodie).

I think she was being sarcastic.

Now that's a street that only goes one way.

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