Opinion: In a flash

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

I had just gotten home after giving a speech, pulled into the garage about 11  p.m. and entered the house through the door inside the garage. Mary Ellen was asleep upstairs. I undressed, but before putting on my sleeping shorts, I ran downstairs to grab a small bottle of fruit juice from the garage fridge. I retrieved the drink and turned the knob to re-enter the house. The knob refused to budge.  I was locked out. Buck naked.

I banged on the door, bellowing Mary Ellen’s name, but the bedroom door was closed and the ceiling fan was whirring. On a scale from 1 to 10, I would need to make a disturbance that was a four.  On the Richter scale.

My cell phone was in the car! If I called the home phone, that would surely get Mary Ellen’s attention. It rang and rang but no answer.  It went to voicemail. Out of habit, I left a message: “Hello, Mary Ellen. If you get this, I’m in the garage with no clothes on. When you have a moment, could you come downstairs and let me in?”

I’m not a pessimist, but I knew she wasn’t going to check for messages at 11:15 p.m. Then, I remembered that sometimes I leave the back door of the house unlocked.  All I had to do was sneak around and go through the entrance on the deck.

I needed to give some serious consideration to my wardrobe. What was appropriate for this occasion? I had two choices: A 40-gallon black garbage bag or the 34-gallon clear plastic bags. I look terrible in black, but the other option seemed, well, redundant. Instead, I just opened the garage door and made my way along the side of the house. Then, as I neared the back yard, I bolted toward the deck and into the living room.

The next morning, I didn’t tell Mary Ellen what happened, but she called from work later that day. “Dick, I just listened to the oddest message. Apparently, last night, there was a naked man in our garage. Who in heaven’s name could that have possibly been?”

“I haven’t the slightest idea, Mary Ellen.”

She’d never find out. I didn’t leave my name on that voicemail.