I have written before about having inherited the absent-minded-professor gene. I’m not the only one in our extended family. Among other mishaps, my nephew lost his wedding ring two months after the wedding and locked himself out of his car the day of his white coat ceremony at medical school. We blame my dad for passing on this unfortunate DNA. Opa, as he became affectionately known, notoriously lived with his head in the upper stratospheres.
For example, after my mother’s gall bladder surgery, he wanted to do something special for her. He arrived at the hospital with a bouquet of flowers and a card that read, “Congratulations on the arrival of your new little one!” Mom, of course, never let him live that down. Luckily, Opa always remained good natured about any teasing.
Opa drove forklift for Georgia Pacific lumber mill. His admirable work ethic bore down hard on his clothes as well, but appearances never mattered to him—he usually preferred comfortable old duds over anything new he owned. All well and good until one notorious day when he arrived at work.
“Hey,” a co-worker said. “You have a hole in your caboose!”
“Choo, choo, so do you!” Opa retorted, enjoying the morning banter.
“Yeah, well, MY pants ain’t showin’ no tighty whities.”
No, could it be? Things had felt drafty. Mortifications upon mortifications, the pant seam had parted all the way to Timbuktu! Needless to say, he quickly whisked himself out of there and rushed home to change.
The following day, soon after he left for work, Opa’s truck came roaring into the driveway again, much to Mom’s surprise. He marched into the house, and I understand there was some yelling involved as he headed to the bedroom. Fortunately, though, this time he had noticed his defective knickers before anyone saw him, but was he ever mad at himself.
Mom, however, could not stop laughing.