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 cynic’s ban.”
“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.