The important thing — or the headline, as we say in the news biz — is how I got out.
It happened like this:
I had to make a toy for two young folks named Maddie and Tyler. I found the corks first. The toy monkeys, about as long as your index finger, were harder to come by. But I found them in a toy shop on Wisconsin Avenue.
Once I had all the working parts, I stopped at a drug store to get some glue. That failed because the do-it-yourself checkout screens weren’t working. The clerk, who was supposed to assist, couldn’t work them either. It didn’t occur to any of us to return to the olden way and use one of the two cash registers that are now, I guess, obsolete.
I finally went to a hardware store on MacArthur Boulevard. It had human helpers. One helped me find the glue I had long searched for. There are several kinds of super glue, each claiming to be more super than the other. I finally got one that said it was a jell. I figured it would be easier to work with than something that dripped or squirted.
When I got home, I was so anxious to finish the project, I didn’t bother to change out of my dress suit. I had the monkeys, a cork and the glue in my lap, and I carved out a piece of the cork so the monkey would have a place to stand. Then, I put a little glue on the cork, a little on the monkey and (unbeknownst to me) a little on the front of my pants.
The glue billed itself as a jell, but it was unlike any jell I’d ever seen before. It was a clear liquid, and it dropped on my zipper. It also bonded four of my 10 fingers, but I finally got loose. I may have altered or lost my fingerprints in the process. But I digress.
After freeing my hands, I was faced with the problem of a frozen fly. It wasn’t going anywhere. And where do you go with a problem like that? It wasn’t worthy of a 911 call, even though they have probably seen worse and dumber situations.
So I went to a neighbor’s house. He has got a tool shed that actually has tools in it. I needed some sturdy scissors or a cutting implement for a delicate job.
He asked why I needed it. For a flash, I started to say that I had glued my fly shut and would he help free me, but that seemed wrong on so many levels. So I told him I needed to cut some heavy burlap. He gave me some large shears and — as I walked away — said, “don’t cut your fingers off — hahaha!”
I was thinking the same thing.
Back at the house, I decided the suit pants were ruined anyway, so I started cutting … from the back. I had almost finished and was starting to step out of my trousers when I sensed something.
I looked up and it was my neighbor … outside … looking in through the glass door.
I started to say something (not sure what) but he turned and disappeared.
I left the shears on his doorstep.
I’m sure we’ll talk about this someday and probably share a great laugh. It’s not everyday you see a neighbor cutting himself out of his pants — with your tool.
But for the time being, I find it more convenient to come and go by the back door.
Mike has spent the majority of his life inside the Beltway and has an interesting and humorous perspective that he will share every Wednesday. Mike has spent his career covering the federal government for the Washington Post and now for Federal News Radio.