I am married to a very smart woman, but still she occasionally has her “Lucy moments.”
Younger readers might not understand the reference. Lucy, played by Lucille Ball, was the star of the extremely popular sitcom of the 1950s, “I Love Lucy.” Although the show ran before the advent of color TV, you knew Lucy as a sometimes ditzy redhead, like the time she unwittingly became intoxicated while doing repeated takes of a commercial for a health tonic. Or when she and her sidekick Ethel couldn’t keep up with the conveyor belt at a chocolate factory and started stuffing the candy into their mouths and down the front of their uniforms to keep from being fired. The show went into syndication after it ended, and its reruns have kept people in stitches for decades.
One day at lunch this past week, Betty Gail told me that she was cleaning the large jetted bathtub in our bathroom. Her sister had gifted Betty Gail several months earlier with Oh Yuk, a chemical solution that works well at cleaning out the gunk that builds up over time in the jets.
The instructions call for filling up the tub with hot water to where it covers the jets, adding the solution and letting the jets run for 15 minutes, then drain.
After finishing lunch, I was headed back toward our bedroom, and Betty Gail casually asked me to drain the tub while I was nearby.
There was, I soon discovered, nothing to drain. There was, instead, water all over the place. On the bathroom floor, seeping onto our bedroom carpet, on the walls, dousing the vanity. About a quarter-inch of water had even puddled on the top of the commode seat top.
Betty Gail had “jacuzzied” our bathroom.
Best we could figure out is that the drain in the tub was not sealed properly, and the water level fell below the jets. So they began shooting the water out of the tub — buckets and buckets of it — until there was nothing left to shoot.
The only thing that would have made this funnier is if Betty Gail or I had walked into the bathroom while the downpour was in progress.
Thanks to the assistance of Mike Alford, who cleans our carpets and came quickly when we called for help, the damage will be temporary.
But the memory will be permanent.
It almost tops the time when Betty Gail had to sleep with a hairbrush sticking out of the top of her head.
Our daughter, Elizabeth, had left behind a cylindrical brush in the guest bathroom during one of her visits. Betty Gail had decided to use that brush to try to add a little bounce to her hairdo after taking a shower one night. We learned later that Elizabeth had not taken the brush with her because she thought it was poorly designed.
Betty Gail rolled several strands into the brush, as you would with a hair curler, but when she tried to unwind it a few minutes later, the brush wouldn’t budge. Not an inch. Her hair had gotten tangled into it.
I had already gone to bed, and Betty Gail didn’t want to wake me up. But for the next couple of hours, she worked at the tangle, only to make it worse with each attempt. She finally gave up and went to bed, too. When I woke up the next morning and turned to look at her, I could tell we had a crisis.
It was a Sunday morning, and church services would be starting in a couple of hours.
Betty Gail called Annette Smith, her hairdresser, who rushed over in her housecoat to try to extricate the brush. I took pictures, trying hard to suppress the chuckles. Betty Gail warned me that it would be grounds for divorce if I shared them with anyone but the closest family members.
After 30 minutes or so, Annette had gotten loose all that she could. The only thing left to do was to cut the remaining knotted mass.
She did, we made church on time, and the hair grew back.
In our marriage, we are keeping score on major goofs.
For a while there, I had difficulty living down the time when I had put raw chicken into the garbage disposal. I didn’t know that was a no-no.
It clogged up not only the kitchen sink but our entire plumbing system. We discovered the problem when we ran the dishwasher and the water started backing up into the appliance and onto the floor. It was a Sunday night, not the best time in the world for plumbing problems.
It would be the next day — and a nice check later — before our pipes were clear again.
By my count, Betty Gail is now ahead, 2 to 1.
She can laugh with me about it, but I’m not so sure she is thrilled about my sharing these episodes with others. I had to get her permission to do so.
That she said “yes” is one of the many reasons that I love “my Lucy.”
• Contact Tim Kalich at 581-7243 or email@example.com.