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Chuck Hinman: Knock Knock - May I Borrow A Cup of Soap?

IJMA: Knock Knock -- May I Borrow A Cup of Soap? Chuck is in the laundry room at 5 am but has no soap. What to do?
Next earlier Chuck Hinman column - Thou Shalt Not

By Chuck Hinman

Knock Knock -- May I Borrow A Cup of Soap?

I wasn't sleeping well this morning. It's Saturday morning and I decided to wash a few clothes while the washing machines aren't busy here at Tallgrass Estates. It was 4 am so I just slipped into my robe and paddled barefoot down a few doors from my room to the laundry room with my basket of dirty clothes. As usual I forgot to bring my laundry soap. So, I put my clothes in the machine, started the water and waddled back to my room only to remember that I am out of soap and never remember to get any when I am out.

Remembering "Mom wants to borrow a cup of..."

Oh Lord, what to do. I wanted to wash now and not have to run to Wal-Mart's to get some soap. Besides, it's dark and I don't drive except in daylight hours. Copying my Mom, when she was in a dilemma, she would put her hands on her ample hips and say, "Now, let's see...." And Presto, she would have an answer with which to proceed.

The only thing I came up with when I put my hands on my ample hips and said, "Now, let's see," was a reminder of what Mom used to do. She would give one of us kids a cup and tell us to walk down the road to Allie Dillow's and say, "Mom wants to borrow a cup of (whatever we were out of). She will pay you back when she gets the groceries." It always worked and it worked in reverse.

Friend near laundry room but it's 5 am

My good friend, John McCanne lives between my apartment and the laundry room and I am sure he would give me a cup of laundry soap at the drop of a hat PROVIDED he understood what I wanted and why I was asking him at 5 am in the morning. It just doesn't happen in this day and age -- borrowing a cup of soap from your neighbor. Too bad.

The problem is I am 84 years old and John is much older than me. He must be 88 years old and his hearing is worse than mine. I could just picture his frustration with my waking him from a sound sleep, standing at his door in my robe, barefoot, and holding out an empty coffee cup to him?

Misunderstanding likely

What are you saying? What! W-H-A-A-T! Speak up! What in the world is going on -- he is thinking. Why are you holding that cup out to me. Are you crazy or something?

I was sure that even as good a friend as he is, that he would close the door on me. So I beat him to it and turned around and went home.

Longing for the gold old days

So it's getting daylight and I am on my way to Wal-Mart's, dolefully longing for the good ol' days when you could appear at your neighbor's door with an empty cup and they would loan you whatever you needed.

Knock, Knock -- anybody at Tallgrass Estates. Can I borrow a cup of soap till I go out this afternoon?

Written by Chuck Hinman -- October 2006. Emailed: Wednesday, 11 October 2006.

This story was posted on 2014-08-24 05:16:07
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