Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And the NTB Award goes to...

So it’s my birthday today and from my daughter Grace Marie I got two CDs (Spoon and Ben Folds Five) that I hope will help me seem hip. From Darla I got this great new jacket, deep navy blue in color and just the right weight. It also has some cool, secret inside pockets, but the less said about them the better. I wore it on my walk to school this morning and discovered when I got here that two big store tags were still attached and had been dangling merrily in the breeze as I was walking. Another Alzheimers-like moment.

I have to report this incident to my family since we have an annual NTB (i.e., Not Too Bright) contest in which the person who does the dumbest thing during the year is given an award and has his or her name inscribed on a plaque for posterity.

You may think my NTB jacket action this morning makes me a contender, but you would be wrong. I can readily fess up with little fear of winning this award, knowing the great capacity for spectacular nincompoopery that flourishes in my family. A much more impressive screw-up is certain to take the 2010 prize.

Some examples of NTB winners from previous years: Once my Mom continued watering a plant for a year, marveling at the beautiful blossom that never seemed to wilt before noticing it was made of plastic. My brother-in-law Bob once glued his foot to the floor by accidentally stepping on a tube of glue that he had just used to fasten a fitting in a bathroom he was remodeling. Since he had to stand still holding the fitting in place while the cement dried, it was some time before he discovered the glue in the tube under his foot had also had time to dry. Bob is so ambitious with his fix-it projects that we can often count on him botching something up in grand enough style to grab the prize.

My Dad once won by coating his face with what he thought was sunscreen during a sunny day on the golf course but discovering at the end of the match that the white crusty coating on his face was actually from a tube of shampoo.

I confess I did win one year for driving Grace’s car around with the cap off the oil pan so that oil spewed all over the engine creating a veritable smoke screen around us. I might have avoided the award, had I not been so foolish as to repeatedly assure her that the smoke was undoubtedly from excess oil that I had accidentally spilled on the engine block. That was too bad because that year my nephew Brett had what seemed like a sure winner: Dissatisfied with his job as a salesman at a sports shop, he had announced over the intercom while his boss was in the store that said boss “ate boogers.” I still think Brett should have won that year, but sometimes justice is not in the cards.


  1. In high school I took what I thought was a ... chrysalis?... and put it in a jar with holes, waiting for the worm inside to become a butterfly. After three months I realized that I'd put a dried-up peach in the jar. I did not go into science as a career...