The phone rings (Friday afternoon), and I see it’s my husband on the caller ID. I answer, only to realize almost immediately that he has “butt dialed” me again, and he’s busy talking… quite animatedly… to someone.

“Just back up,” he says, and then mutters to himself, *Idiot isn’t going to back up.* “Look,” he continues to whoever he’s talking to, “there’s a parade coming. Decatur’s blocked. You have to back up.”

I deduce that he was trying to leave the building; our street is a one-way toward Decatur. If Decatur’s blocked you cannot get out of the street unless you go backward, the wrong way, ’til you get to the cross street.

“Back up. No really, back up. Back up before it stacks up behind you and we’re screwed.”

“Dammit,” he mutters again, (while I am cracking up, listening. I called out his name, but he couldn’t hear me), “guy’s not gonna back up.”

I hear him get out of his Jeep, and walk toward the other car. “Good grief, the guy’s like a dear in headlights,” he mutters. (My husband mutters. A lot.)

“Look,” he says to the guy, “You have to back up or we’re stuck here for a couple of hours. There’s a St. Patrick’s Day parade on Decatur–they’re not letting anybody through.”

The guy says something I can’t hear and Carl says, highly agitated, “Look. I live here. I’m a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL. If you don’t want to back up, then pull over on that sidewalk and let me do it before someone stacks up behind you and we’re screwed.”

(I can now picture him, covered in dust from the job site, hair sticking out all directions, waving his arms, saying the TRAINED PROFESSIONAL part with a completely straight face. I’m laughing so hard at this point, I nearly fall out my chair. And people wonder where I come up with some of the Bobbie Faye stuff.)

He walks away, still muttering. “Idiot’s not gonna move. I’m gonna have to go around him.”

He must’ve looked up, because he said, “Crap. We’re screwed.” Then… oh… (and he’s laughing), “he might be more afraid of me than the cops. He’s backing up.”

[Yes, he really does narrate his day.]

I think I’ve managed to work in TRAINED PROFESSIONAL in about twenty different conversations. This may last me a whole year.