Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 4, 2013

Wolfsie: Tricky to-do lists

I don’t care if my wife goes through my pockets looking for money. I have no problem with her opening mail that is addressed to me. She can peek at my text messages all she wants. No big deal. But please, Mary Ellen, do not mess with my To Do list.

For almost 30 years, I have created such a list each night, having resisted technological advances: I have successfully poo-pooed Palm Pilots, bypassed BlackBerrys and ignored iPhones. Instead, I write my daily obligations on a mini yellow legal pad, each entry carefully arranged in chronological order, taking into account the route that must be negotiated the next day and the importance of the event. I fiddle with it all evening, often reconstructing it to account for each new activity that crops up. Just adding something to the bottom of the page would be unconscionable, so it must be recast to accurately reflect the change. The next morning I am comforted by the list, knowing all the work behind its apparent simplicity. I consider it a piece of art.  

I knew something was amiss last week when I left Greenwood after a meeting, drove back to Indy to replace a burned-out light bulb in our garage and clean the cat’s litter box, then raced back to Greenwood for lunch.

“Mary Ellen, have you done anything lately behind my back?”

“A bright guy like you? I’d never get away with it.”

She had a point. Nevertheless, I had just driven 60 miles to clean a litter box and change a light bulb, so I was in no position to dwell in the intellectual limelight. My wife has always had unique ways of getting me to do chores. She resists coming right out and asking. Instead, she resorts to trickery and skullduggery.

“Dick, you know those Colts play-off tickets? I think they flew up on the roof. I’m sure you’ll find them while you’re cleaning out the gutters.” I mean, how dumb do I look? It only took me three seasons to catch on to that little game.

Sometimes she leaves me notes in lipstick on the bathroom mirror. “Dick, you great big handsome guy, just look at yourself. By the way, please unclog my shower drain.” My wife seems to find me more attractive immediately after she’s washed her hair.

And then there was the time a few years back when I accidentally overheard her talking very loudly on the phone to her friend. “Pat, this will be such a great surprise for Dick’s birthday with all his friends flying in from all over the country. I just hope they don’t trip on that broken step at the front porch.”

The next day I fixed the step. Never got a party. This was a bigger surprise than I thought.

“Mary Ellen, I’m tired of all this chicanery. We are going to start a new system. If you want me to do a chore, you just come right out and ask me. Is that a deal?”

“It’s a deal. Now could you please clean up the storeroom downstairs?”

“Not this weekend. I’m watching a big golf match on TV.”

“Could you fix the latch on the screen door?”

“Sorry, I don’t have the right tools.”

“Well, could you clean the fireplace?”

“You need a professional for that.”

“Dick, this new system of yours doesn’t work.”

“Works for me.”

Dick Wolfsie is a television news reporter, syndicated humor columnist and author. He can be reached at Wolfsie@aol.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 22, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Indiana Democrats deal with divide on education On the face of it, the battles between Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and supporters and staff of Republican Gov. Mike Pence have been a unifying force for Indiana Democrats. But the scrapping has exposed a deep rift within the party o

    July 22, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Is Evan Bayh contemplating another gubernatorial run? This could be the saga of “LeBron Bayh.”Like a thunderhead brewing in the distance, you could see this one coming. This was the progression: former state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker announces he will not become a candidate for mayor of Indianapoli

    July 21, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Please go away already My wife is planning our summer vacation, which we will take in the fall. We took our spring vacation this summer. We got behind in 1984 and still haven't caught up. I don't have much input into the planning of these trips, but Mary Ellen did assign m

    July 21, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Internet, and future of communication One morning, I was chatting with some retired folks and the subject of paying bills on the Internet came up. One woman said she disposed of her computer years ago and pays her bills by mail. I commented she could get by just fine doing that. The othe

    July 20, 2014

  • FAITH BRAUTIGAM: Learning from others' mistakes through literature If you’ve ever been locked out of somewhere — your home, your car, your workplace — I expect you could tell me all the details of the incident, even if it was years or decades ago. Why? Our brains remember major events, and it’s a big deal to be stra

    July 20, 2014

  • RAY DAY: We need to get tough Last year I said I was going to quit trying to do anything about the shooting off of fireworks in the neighborhoods. But as anyone who knows me can say, I don't give up on things that are of utmost danger. Here it was, a week before the Fourth of Jul

    July 19, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Is this country doomed to ceaseless polarization? We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don't much like the way it's performing. The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in recent years detail a polarized nation, divided both ideolog

    July 18, 2014

  • DAN COATS: Solving border crisis is a moral obligation More than 60,000 unaccompanied alien children — mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been apprehended on America’s southern border during this fiscal year. Another 40,000 family members — one or both parents traveling with their chi

    July 18, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Road to funding Ind. highways is jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.The report, issued by the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on T

    July 15, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller