April Men's Room Column
First, let me just say this: I am sorry. Very, very, very sorry.
I want you to know I’ve written similar letters to Wendy, Natalie, and the other members of your book club to apologize if I caused them (or their loved ones) offense, discomfort, physical injury, or emotional trauma.
Good news! I’ve already collected three estimates to repair the damage to Wendy’s living room, and it does not appear that it will be nearly as expensive as her husband so loudly suggested as he chased me to my car Wednesday night.
I take complete responsibility for the events that took place. To be fair though, was I the one who decided it was a good idea to light a dozen aromatic candles in a room with nine highly-flammable paperback copies of Little Fires Everywhere? (Ironic, right?!) Was I the one who drank waaay too much sparkling rose? And, was I the one who jumped over the coffee table knocking over said candles and igniting said paperbacks?
Plus, it was April Fools’ Day. Had it been any other day of the year, I’d get it. You wouldn’t expect to get pranked. But, isn’t getting all freaked out by a practical joke on April Fools’ Day like being shocked when presents appear under the tree on Christmas morning?
And, how could I have been expected to know that three women in your book club are clinically diagnosed with coulrophobia? Who even knew that the mortal fear of clowns has a name? I didn’t until I received a letter from Wendy’s attorney yesterday. (By the way, I was served with papers from Wendy’s attorney yesterday.)
And, who could have guessed that Kelly and Kiley’s Girl Scout troop would be in the kitchen cooking for a merit badge while their mother hosted a boozy book club in the next room? Honestly though, I don’t buy Wendy’s claim that the girls are traumatized. It’s hard to believe they even managed to drag their eyeballs from their phones as you ladies sprinted through Wendy’s kitchen as if chased by a clown wielding a machete (Well, not “as if” since you were indeed being chased by a clown, or at least your humble hubby dressed in said costume with a very realistic looking plastic machete I found in Tyler’s room).
To be honest, I thought you and the rest of the ladies would be momentarily startled then you’d just roll your eyes and ignore me like you usually do when I drop by uninvited to one of your book club dinners. Wendy, especially, is someone who it’s generally impossible to get a rise out of. How could I predict that she would suddenly become uncharacteristically frantic? I can’t predict the future.
And, while I’m not blaming it on him, of course, I had planned to spend that night at home, just watching TV and chillaxing, when Tyler looks up from his phone and says, “You know what would be an awesome April Fools’ prank? If you dressed up in my Pennywise costume from Halloween and went by Mom’s book club.” Again, not his fault, but still …
Well, I guess that’s about it. Again, please know, I’m very, very, very sorry.
P.S. Am I picking Tyler up from soccer today?
Dylan Patterson is a writer and filmmaker who teaches English at Cape Fear Community College.
To view more of illustrator Mark Weber’s work, go to markweberart.blogspot.com.
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