Me and Mortimer, Chapter five—”My Wife is Still My Boss!”

“Sheesh! What a week!”  I had to work ‘till nearly seven o’clock last Friday night to get all those files put away, and my wife would come and check periodically to make sure I was filin’ them right! When I finally was done, and could go home, I was so tired I didn’t even want supper, nor watch any television. I just went straight to bed. Workin’ overtime—and especially not gettin’ paid for workin’ overtime, is downright torture on a fella’s constitution!

When I have times like last week, I think my wife can be a worse boss than ol’ Jason, my Straw Boss. Sometimes she can be sweeter than a Baskin-Robbin ice cream—’specially to the kids, but when she sets her mind on something, she can demand more respect that her will be done than a muleskinner’s bullwhip on a long haul! And on top of her bein’ my temporary boss, she gives me a warning that I gotta get every piece of that filing done before five every night or no supper and no television!

At first, I tried to convince my wife on my view of things regarding filin’ all those files, and why I wasn’t filin’ them all the time. Like, I sez to her, “what’s the use of filin’ all them files when, in the mornin,’ someone’s gonna come down from the office and take back one or two of them files ‘cause they needs them again that day. I know it don’t happen often, but I remember it has happened,” I tells her, “so I figure, “why bother filin’ any of them in the first place?”

My wife just scowls at me. “Very funny, but no cigar!” I don’t see her laughin’ so why’d she say it was funny? Then snaps, “Get ‘er done, or no supper!” Then turns her back to me and goes over to chat some more with Mortimer.

Oh, and I also gotta tell you, she’s been comin’ in to my office here in the Maintenance Shed real early every day—about three in the afternoon, to make sure I get all the filing done. Sheesh! As if I need someone to tell me how to do my work. Who’s she think I am? Still a kid?

She’s also been getting’ friendly with ol’ Mortimer. When she’s not watching me file, she’s chattin’ away with ol’ Mort about all kinds of things. Last Tuesday Mort even took the time to show her how to properly—at least that’s the way he calls it— sharpen a lawn mower blade. Hmph! As if my sharpenin’ wasn’t good enough for her. Mind you, the way I figures it, a lawn mower blade don’t need sharpenin’ more than once every five years—and we’ve only had our new mower for not even four years, so why’s she taking Mort’s advice instead of mine?

And speakin’ of lawn mowers, I gotta tell you what Mort did last Wednesday. That absolutely took the cake and made me so mad! Mort’s been brownnosin’ to the boss for quite a while already to let him take every Wednesday off so he can go over to some of the senior’s homes in town and cut their lawns for them. Personally, I think it’s just an excuse to get an extra day off of work every week. Anyway, what he does on his day off is his business, but what really got me mad is that he offered to come over and also cut our lawn on Wednesdays! Sure, maybe I don’t cut our lawn as often as it should be cut, and sometimes I have to bribe my oldest kid to cut the lawn for me, but as head of the house I demand that I don’t need no welfare—’specially from Mort! And to make my point even more clear, I like dandelions in the lawn. They’s pretty little yellow spots of sunshine, that add color to my lawn.

Of course, as usual, my wife wouldn’t listen to my superior reasoning, so I just gotta swallow my pride and let ol’ Mort come over every Wednesday and cut our lawn! Sheesh! What an insult!

… Oh gosh! I see by the clock that it’s after two already, and my wife will be here any minute, so I gotta take a few minutes off from talkin’ to you and do some filin.

Be back in a minute.

——————-

There! That’s all done for another day—I mean, the filin.’ There weren’t many files—only about a dozen, so I finished early. My wife even complimented me on the good job that I did. I feel proud of myself!

Because I finished early, and she had some shoppin’ for groceries to do so she could make supper, she didn’t stay around ‘till five like usual, but left early. that gave me a few minutes to myself here in the office to just catch my breath and relax before I can go home. Mort’s still outside replacing some light bulbs in the lamp posts on the company’s parking lot. He uses the company’s cherry-picker to lift him himself up high so he can reach the light fixtures, always careful to strap himself in to the bucket with a safety harness.

Chicken! Thinks he’s gonna fall or something. He tells me he straps himself in all the time ‘cause it’s the company’s safety policy to do so. I still think he does it ‘cause he’s clumsy and scared of falling.

Anyway, I got these few minutes all to myself … sure quiet with nobody else around … Did I tell you that I got a week’s holiday comin’ due me next week. It should be two weeks holiday with pay, but ‘cause I’ve only been with the company for six months, all they’ll give me is a week. I’d like to go campin’ during the holidays up at Pine Lake—maybe get some fishin’ in, but my wife wants to take the kids to Marine Land on Vancouver Island. Should I put my foot down and insist, as head of my house, that what I say, goes? Sometimes I think I should be more of a man and insist on things be done my way!

I can’t get over a feelin’ there’s something I forgot to tell you about what happened between me and Mortimer last week … Let me think …

… Oh, gosh darn, now I remember what it is that I almost forgot to tell you about. It’s the reason why that little runt—straw buss, Jason, couldn’t fire me last week. It’s all really quite simple. You see, my wife’s best friend’s sister, Gertrude, is married to the CEO of this company, and between the three of them women, they convinced the CEO—Arnold, to hire me—and to keep me employed as long as I behaves myself and don’t do nothin’ really bad.

Personally, I think ol’ Arnold’s a bit of a whimp, knuckling under to his wife like that, but that’s his business. Of course, my wife also had to agree to make sure I don’t do nothin’ that would get me fired, so that’s why, this week, she’s sure put her foot down on me, and that’s why the CEO overruled the Straw Boss’s decision to fire me.

All I can say is, this business of my wife bein’ my boss better end soon!

“Sheesh! What a life!”

 

 

About Albert Schindler

I was born on the 27th of February, 1931, on a farm near Hubbard, Saskatchewan. As far back as I can remember I had a spirit that would not stay earthbound. In junior high, I remember taking first place for a short story in which I described my terrifying encounter with a dinosaur. In outer space – that is, when the teacher wasn’t directly speaking to me, I went where Buck Rogers wouldn’t dare go. I was more of a Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes type of guy, with my own, personal, very powerful, transmogrifyer always at the ready. In my ‘teens and twenties, I pushed aside my Calvin alter ego in favour of making a living and didn’t take seriously again my ‘writer’s bug’ until my late 30s. I still saw that the world as full of exciting things to learn and investigate, which my writing reflected in the several articles and a couple of short fiction pieces that I wrote and sold, including over 30 children’s radio plays for Alberta’s ACCESS Radio. Unfortunately, I abandoned my budding writing career in favour of starting my own business as a sign painter. Now that I can officially call myself ‘retired,’ I plan to resume my writing career, only this time, writing mostly fiction. Why fiction? I have lead a great, adventurous life in which I made many mistakes (the ‘adventure’ in life), that have taught me some very important lessons and allowed my spirit to grow to unimaginable proportions, inconceivable to me while still in my thirties. In fiction, I believe, one can adventure into both the inner and outer consciousness of man and the universe to infinite levels where only the boldest dare peak. Convention holds that article writing has to be factual – oh, you can be creative in how you present your information, but ‘fact’ (whatever that means) still must have its parameters in article writing, whereas fiction is limited only by the size of a writer’s spirit, and so far, I haven’t been able to fathom my limit.
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