3.30.2022 – just ‘not right’ you know?

just ‘not right’ you know?
touch of the flu, a slight sprain
a tad overwhelmed

I am not sure how bad a ‘touch’ of the flu is.

I am not sure how bad a ‘slight sprain’ is.

How much overwhelmed is a ‘tad overwhelmed’?

You got the flu or you don’t.

It’s sprained or it’s not.

If things get worse, are you more overwhelmed?

Then just ‘not right’ does seem to work.

It is not right.

It is not what I would choose.

Is it not all the way to being wrong, well, gee whiz.

Then I think of this line from Wobegon Days, by Garrison Keillor.

When I was a boy, if I came around looking glum and mopey, [my mom would say], “What’s the matter? Did the dog pee on your cinnamon toast?” and the thought of our old black mutt raising his hind leg in the pas de dog and peeing on toast made me giggle.

Well it might be just ‘not right’ but no dog climbed up on the table and peed on my toast.

And the picture does make you laugh.

And I don’t feel so fluish.

My ankle doesn’t hurt.

And I seem to hold off the incoming tide for a bit.

And I’ll go make some toast.

Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in a family of 11 kids, we all had our days and we all had our favorite things to do.

My little brother Pete loved to have toast for a snack, morning, noon and night.

We could be watching TV and Pete was gone soon to return with a plate of two pieces of cinnamon toast.

It could be late at night.

Middle of the afternoon.

For some reason it was those moments when our family would return from being somewhere, anyway, the store, a family party, church or anything where we were all gone and we would pile out of the car in fall into the house and Pete would make a beeline for the bread box and the toaster that stick in my mind.

We all knew about his habit.

And we all knew when he made toast.

We all knew because Pete never ever, so far as I know and I will have to check with his kids, learned how to operate a toaster.

Or, Pete like burned toast.

For him, the smell of burning toast was the signal the toast was done.

I don’t know what you remember about your home as a kid but in the days before people started burning popcorn in a microwave, there was few household smells worse than burning toast.

I came to hate and still hate that smell.

I would see Pete get up with the ‘I need toast’ look in his eye and start feeling just ‘not right’ right then.

It made me sick though I am not sure if it was the smell or worrying that I would have to smell it the rest of the night.

And then Pete would get up and burn some more toast.

He would come back to the TV room with his plate of charcoal and I would ask him, why, why do have to burn it.

I think I even offered to make toast for him.

I can smell it to this day.

The next time I am feeling just ‘not right’ you know? A touch of the flu, a slight sprain or a tad overwhelmed, I am going to think of a dog coming in a peeing on Pete’s toast.

Not sure what good it will do but I bet it will sure make me feel better.

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