2006.07.19 Tuesday night torture

Written by David Green.

I worked in the office, I took photos at a BMX race, I mowed the lawn, I attended a post-wedding hoo-hah in Grosse Ile as a total stranger, I ate ice cream, I watched a movie—I did all sorts of things this weekend, but I didn’t write a By the Way column. So here’s one from a hot July day 20 years ago.


By DAVID GREEN

This column has to be written on Sunday afternoon. Why? It’s just a tradition spanning several decades. I think my mother made my father bring his home before press time so she could serve as censor. Fortunately, I haven’t gotten into trouble yet with my wife for her to make similar pre-publication demands.

More importantly, if this doesn’t get written on Sunday, it has to be done Monday night when there are much more important things to be doing down here, such as writing the news.

But here I sit Monday night already feeling trepidation of what will come tomorrow night. Tuesday evening at our house is known as Torture Daddy Night (TDN). It’s the night after I stayed up late working on the paper and the night before getting up early to take the papers to the post office. What a life.

Colleen and Ben—and now Rosanna—are becoming perfecters of TDN.

I read a book to Ben and begin to doze off halfway through, maybe somewhere around number 230 of Bartholomew’s 500 hats. Ben won’t allow me to continue sleeping nor does he gently nudge me awake.

Instead it’s a slug to the chest along with a verbal attack. “Dad! Dad! Wake up!”

9:30 p.m.—things are quieting down, but Colleen decides that she really should go shopping for a few things.

10:05 p.m.—The fateful discovery of a basket of wet clothes is made. They were quickly brought in from the line earlier when rain threatened. (On some Tuesdays, someone will remember clothes are still hanging from the line and must be brought in, maybe to protect from bats, I don’t know. This generally happens after 10:30 p.m.

10:32 p.m.—Rosanna performs an act common to babies that requires the attention of an adult.

10:42 p.m.—Colleen’s co-conspirators join in TDN and phone calls begin to arrive.

10:51 p.m.—Ben is becoming demanding. It’s either another book or else we build a tunnel for rats with Legos.

11:01 p.m.—The phone rates are down. Let’s call Minnesota.

The details are different every week, but overall it’s the same general pattern Tuesday after Tuesday. Sometimes something really unusual breaks the tedium. The best one yet happened last week.

It must have been about 2:30 in the morning when Colleen dragged me out of the dream state to ask me this question: “Why in the world is the furnace on?”

I just rolled around making strange noises while she went downstairs to move the thermostat down from 80°. The answer to her question was simple enough: Ben.

The heating season started early for us this year, just a few hours before the long heat wave moved in.

   - July 19, 2006

 

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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