HURLING THE CYNIC’S BAN (a Wifey moment)

The poet Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911) wrote the following:

Let me live in a house
by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I don’t know whether this verse applies to what Wifey called me this morning or not. You be the judge. On the news, we were watching a recital of what we must do to protect from the Virus. “...wear a mask, social distance, hand wash after touching door knobs or common surfaces, etc.”

Turning on me suddenly, Wifey declared, “You’re a COMMON SURFACE in my life.”

“That’s a little de-humanizing, don’t you think, Sweetie?” says I.

“No, you go to the Y, the market, and walk the dogs every day; you’re probably covered with virus. I should wash my hands after being in the same room with you.”

“Well, could I just be a SURFACE then? It’s the COMMON part that hurts a little,” says I, tears welling.

“Stop joking! Get serious. We both have compromising conditions of age, you know. Sanitize or ship out!”

“Are you hurling the cynic’s ban?” I whimpered.

“The what?!”

“The cynic’s ban.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, a cynic is a pessimist, a skeptic, a doomsayer. A ban is a veto, an interdiction, a stoppage. Is that you?”

“And where does all that come from?”

“I read it in a pome this morning.” And here I read for her Foss’s verse.

“Is EVERYTHING poetry to you? I’m trying to discuss a pandemic, life and death situation!”

“But, you called me a COMMON SURFACE. C’mon, ‘be a friend to man.’ ”

“OK, you’re a DOOR KNOB!”

“That’s fer sure cynical.”

“Oh, boo-hoo. Go ‘live by the side of the road’ somewhere then?” says she leaving the kitchen.

“That’s HURLING if I ever heard it!” I hurled.