Desperately Seeking a Straight Answer

It’s a simple YES/NO question: “Is it hot outside?” Pose it to Ma, pose it to Grandpa, and their answer? Always, always, always something like: “All I do is sweat.” Restate the question: “So it’s hot outside?” Respectively, their reply’ll go something like: “You don’t believe me, do you? I’m a liar, that’s what you’re thinking. How dare you call me a liar.” And so you’re lambasted when all you’ve done is ask a simple question. In sooth, nobody in my family—save for me, unless the remark I make is facetious (which, if it is, it’s typically as plain as Wonder Bread)—will limit themselves to a simple Yes/No response. In fairness, it isn’t as if they enjoy bloviating at the drop of the hat. You will receive many “I don’t know” answers—especially from Grandpa. Exempli gratia, he never knows what he wants for lunch or dinner. Ask him, point-blank, what he wants for any meal and he’ll say, “Not much.” 

19 July 2006

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