Old bachelors die hard

by Ken Carpenter



            As time goes by, or to be more specific, as the past two months of married life go by, I am beginning to notice a few things about myself. The most important is, I am more like an old dog than I would have guessed.

            You know the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I always thought it was bunk, that any old hound is capable of learning something new no matter how set they are in their ways.

            Well, it may not be as easy as I thought. As I sit here scratching myself furiously with my toenails, I am given time to reflect.

            The other day Joy turned on the oven to preheat it for a coffee cake she was making. Within minutes black smoke started boiling into the kitchen, sending all four dogs scurrying for the back room in fear of their lives.

            When questioned about the origin of this phenomenon, I tried to play dumb, tilting my head to the side and adopting my best expression of blissful innocence. She saw right through it and said, “What did you cook those hot dogs on last night?”

            “Do you mean those gourmet hot dogs with the perfectly blackened skins and moist interiors,” I asked.

            “The very same,” she smirked.

            Upon further analysis of the evidence, it might not have been a good idea to just lay the wieners on the oven rack and broil them. But gee, who wants to dirty up a broiler pan just to cook wieners?

            That kind of thinking has become known around our house as a bachelorism. Even though I am no longer a bachelor, I spent seven years honing my bachelor instincts and those instincts appear to have been honed better than I thought.

            A bachelor will go to great lengths to avoid dirtying too many dishes, often using the same coffee cup for a week. Whatever he cooks food in will be the same thing he uses to store the food in the fridge.

            Socks, underwear and T-shirts should always be sniffed before being tossed in the corner. Oh, excuse me, in the hamper.

            You should go to great lengths to murder any fly in your house, because if you don’t they will fight you for that sandwich that has been sitting on the counter for two hours.

            Flatulence is funny and foods that promote it should be eaten in abundance.

            Unfortunately, that brings another short tale to mind. I informed Joy that I was going to cook pork chops on sauerkraut for dinner, and she informed me that she wouldn’t touch another bite of kraut without taking some Bean-O. That prompted a trip to the grocery store, and after filling the cart with enough items to cover up less savory purchases, we headed to the drug aisle.

            While she perused the different gas reducing products I checked out the Preparation-H section, having remembered I was running out on the way to town. Seconds later a sweet lady approached us to tell us she liked our movie review, we thanked her, and then we looked at each other.

            She was holding a box of Bean-O and I was holding a box of Preparation-H, and a look of mortification crossed her face.

            “What must she think!” she muttered.

            Resigned, I shrugged my shoulders and muttered back, “She probably just thinks she discovered the definition of Mr. and Mrs. Anal Retentive.”

She cringed and I giggled. A bachelor grows used to life’s little indignities, another of our isms.

            Oh yeah, I am not a bachelor anymore.

            Maybe bachelorisms should just be called manisms, if ya know what I mean. Of course, no matter what our isms are called, our spouses have to live with them.

            Or re-train us, whichever comes first.