It was late at night. Elizabeth had the computer held hostage. I was bored. We were throwing things at each other, wads of paper, that kind of thing. It was her fault, it really was. She should have been more careful with her glass of water.
She should drink more water anyway, water is what keeps your brain synapses firing. Hers were sluggish, I'm sure of it. There's nothing more pitiful than sluggish brain synapses. Water makes your skin dewy, not old and wrinkly--I don't know what on earth has happened my skin because I drink a lot of water--in the kitchen, and not around the computer like some people with sluggish brains synapses that I could mention. Water removes toxins from the body--she should have drunk her water and removed her toxins. Water relieves headaches and dizziness--she probably was dizzy and didn't intercept my weapon. It is definitely her fault.
She recovered her glass of water after it emptied on the keyboard.
There was a great silence in the land.
"It's your fault," we both whispered, in case Phil was not totally asleep twenty-seven walking step and two sets of seven stairs away, through a closed door and could hear us.
"Nuh huh, it's your fault," we both whispered again.
She sat at the computer, like a dizzy person with sluggish brain synapses.
I stood up and frantically turned in a circle. That's what crop circles really are, aliens who don't know what to do next, so they just stand there and twitter. Twitterpated aliens make some amazing patterns in fields all over the world. I know these things. There was an interesting, twitterpated pattern in the carpet in the family room that night. We should have taken photos and sent them to the local newspaper.
Then our brain synapses started firing and we both turned the keyboard upside down and banged it on the desk. Water fell like rain.
"It's your fault," I said.
"Huh huh, it's yours. You were the one throwing things."
I stared in disbelief, pointing a rigid finger to wads of paper all over the room.
"I was only throwing them back," she said, "in self defense!"
I made a noise in the back of my throat, not a snort, not a growl but one of those unidentifiable noises all mothers learn to make when the their two-year-old says, "I have to go potty," and you rush them to the bathroom to find out they already did. In their big-girl-pants. The noise just gets more defined as the child grows and does more interesting things. Mine was well defined.
"Well," she said, "I was. It's a clear case of self defense." She says things like, "clear case" sometimes. She should be an attorney but with those sluggish brain synapses, maybe she will go into politics.
In hindsight I realize that the blow dryer might have been helpful. Much more helpful than the wads of tissue we squished in between the keys. Everything seemed to be fine. The keyboard was still working so we shut things off and went to bed. That's when the keyboard gremlins came out and switched wires, disconnected some altogether and fiddled with a bunch of microchips, using them as Lego's.
The next day some letters didn't work at all and others had an identity crisis. They thought they were someone else. The much used "e" thought it was an "x." We would have had to invent a new code if we wanted to communicate with anyone so we did what everyone who has committed a crime does, we decided to cover it up.
I called Michelle and explained what had happened. After she recovered from her unnecessary laughter she agreed that her husband, my son, Trent, the computer geek, had more keyboards than he needed and he would--without his knowledge--be glad to donate one to his mother. Trent's like that sometimes, being generous and doing good deeds without his knowledge.
Michelle had an appointment in Orem. We made arrangements to meet. Phil was working in the garden so I yelled over the fence, "I'm going to run an errand," and then I ran to the car, in case he asked where my errand was. I ran as fast as a person with old wrinkly skin can run when she is trying to cover up a crime. Dizzy Elizabeth, with the slow brain synapses, stayed home to guard the computer in case he washed off garden dirt and decided to check email.
Michelle and I met, we exchanged keyboards. Luckily they were identical except that the new one had a missing leg. We tried to pry a leg off the old defunct keyboard but, being weak and feeble, we failed so I grabbed the legless keyboard, hugged her and took off in a cloud of exhaust. I threw a kiss at her over my shoulder but she was laughing and wiping her eyes, and didn't see.
Once home we installed the new keyboard and put a child's orange block where the missing leg should have been. It worked beautifully. When Phil asked what happened to the keyboard leg I said, "It broke off," which is perfectly true. At some point in it's history, it broke off. I just don't know when.
"Oh," he said in a "it's no big deal" sort of way, which made me wonder if I should have just told him the story of the foolishness right then but I didn't, and now, one of these days he will read this blog and...well, he'll have a talk with Elizabeth about how she needs to drink more water in the kitchen and then we'll all have a good laugh.
PS Posted January 5th. I talked to Elizabeth tonight and she said, "It was your fault. You threw a pillow at me." Too bad she's not the one writing this, isn't it?