May 26, 2018
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Who’s the dummy? It’s me, Chief or Limey

By Emmet Meara, Special to the News

All right. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Thus I choose my friends very, very carefully to make me look (relatively) good. Take the other day, for instance.

Let’s call him Chief to protect dim bulbs everywhere. The Chief and I take occasional walks around the area golf course to fight off rapidly approaching vagaries of age. We call it the “geezer walk,” or simply “The Geez.” We take his killer shepherd Taser for protection against roving bands of squirrels.

We finished The Geez one day this week and Chief asked me for a favor. Would I drop in at Rankin’s Hardware to pick up his newly rehabilitated screen door?

Hey. What are friends for?

I pulled in to Rankin’s and Chief went to retrieve his screen door while Taser guarded the truck and me. Chief appeared shortly with the door, much to the pleasure of the dog who acted like Chief had been in Iraq for six months.

We tried to fit the door in the cab of the mighty Tundra. No luck. I suggested tying the door to the canoe racks, since I have about 22 different forms of tie-downs.

No, said Chief. He would simply put it in the truck bed. I was ordered to hold the mighty Taser, since he still was thrilled that Chief had returned from his two-minute trip. The screen door was slid into the bed, and the dog calmed down a little.

I let him go.

All right, not the smartest thing to do in that situation. But the dog and the door would have to coexist at some point.

I bet you can guess the rest.

Taser is a very large shepherd. He leapt to show his affection for Chief and promptly put two huge black paws through the new screen.

The estimated life of the screen since it left Rankin’s door was one minute, 22 seconds. Chief brought the screen back into the hardware store, where the crew has seen just about everything.

“That didn’t take long,” said the wit behind the counter.

“My wife slammed the door in my face,” Chief answered.

We argued about who was dumber, and I decided that Chief won, since I proposed the racks all along.

I proceeded from the screen debacle to a new truck project, moving a bed for another of my dim acquaintances. Let’s call him Limey, because he has affected an English accent to impress people.

The task was to move a bed from South Thomaston to his Rockland manse. Naturally, no one checked the weather report. For some reason the job included one truck and three cars. It got complicated with different people taking different items to different locations. I dummied up and just drove, awaiting my instructions.

We sat around, scratching various parts of our bodies while awaiting a solution to this multiple moving extravaganza.

While we waited and planned, it started raining, naturally. The rain got heavier and heavier, and requests for tarps were voiced. None available.

We fled the scene in a truck and three cars, moving only a few chairs and assorted items impervious to the downpour. The mattresses stayed, naturally.

Two disasters in a single day.

Returning home, I wondered where I ever found these people.

Then I realized that Limey had quickly added his rotting couch to the bed of my mighty Tundra. How did I get stuck with this relic? I thought he was the dummy.

I have decided I am the dummy. I bought a pickup truck.

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