Let me preface this by saying that my husband is a brilliant man. He's an Electrician and Electrical Contractor, runs a business and manages the forty employees or so in our company, and he can do math in his head that for me would require a pencil, paper, calculator and I'd also have to remove both my shoes so I could count on my toes, too.
Words, though, aren't his thing. He likes to read, but don't expect him to read anything quickly. I, on the other hand, took speed reading as an elective once upon a time, so rarely do I read everything word for word. I have to make myself slow down and take extra pleasure in a book that I'm reading for fun. The result is that Nolan's retention of what he reads is nearly 100% where mine somewhere around the 50% mark.
My story today, though, begins almost twelve years ago. We were on the very first business trip as a newly married couple. We were meeting his clients in a delicatessen in San Antonio, TX for dessert after dinner. Nolan has a habit of reading sign aloud, like that old guy in Forget Paris (it's one of his quirks) and as were passing a store for grills and outdoor furniture, he says aloud, "Bar Buh Quay."
I look at the sign, raise an eyebrow and ask, "Barbeque?"
Nolan frowns and blushes before he tries to play it cool. Because he is so smart, it must be hard to be wrong, and because he was embarrassed, I've exploited this incident at every possible opportunity during the rest of our marriage, probably losing a few jewels in my crown in the meantime (but hey, I say God awards points for the funny stuff. Man I hope so). And often times the nickname I call my husband, "Hey, bar-buh-quay!" is freaking hysterical, especially if you're me.
There have been exactly two other instances successive to "Bar-buh-quay," the sort that leave me in a puddle of helpless laughter on the floor, clutching my sides from giggling so hard. The first happened about five years ago. We're frequent visitors to the Drive In in the summertime; you get two movies for the price of one, the concession stand is cheap and fabulous, and it was free for the kids when they were little. Now AJ conks out in the backseat about 8:30, and doesn't bother anyone else but us with all the snoring. My point is (did I have a point? Oh, yeah.) they have a marquis on which they advertise their movies that you can see from the highway. Currently is says Iron Man 2 and How to Train Your Dragon, but when we were going past the sign one day, it read, "Open Seven Days a Week."
Nolan read the sign aloud, as he is wont to do, and then murmurs, "I wonder what that's about."
I just stared at him for a moment, and he looked guilelessly back at me until I said, "Open Seven Days a Week is not the name of a movie." Nolan's head hit the steering wheel in frustration and he was so mad that he didn't speak for quite a while. My laughter filled the silence, though. Rest assured.
Fast forward to our recent romantic getaway to San Fransisco. We sit in a very posh, five star restaurant, and Nolan's already had several glasses of wine, followed by a gin and tonic, and as we sit at our linen clothed table with its candle light and wine lists, we hold hands while we decide what to have. Several suggestions are thrown out; we like to share, so it's very important that we don't get the same thing. It's a fancy shmancy menu, and I explained what aioli and frisee were and we talk about what swiss chard is, and Nolan decides that he's going to have the "tenderloin with 'chee vay' aioli."
I look at the menu, raise my eyebrow and ask, "Chive?"
He immediately sets his jaw and gets that mad look on his face before starting to laugh himself, giving the excuse that there were so many unfamiliar words on the menu, he was trying to make it harder than it was. I was nearly making a scene I was laughing so hard, to which he replies, "You're going to get a lot of mileage out of this one, aren't you?"
I couldn't answer. I couldn't breathe through all the laughing, but I manage to stutter, "No, Chee-vay. I wouldn't do that."
It might be genetic, come to think of it; some years ago when his family was watching Jaws on TV, in the part where Richard Dreyfuss lowers the safety cage into the water, my very smart and put together Mother-in-law says, "They can't put that shark in that cage."
I'm going to let that sink in for a second.
Though this happened probably nearly twenty years ago, it is now the pat response in the family when anyone says anything mildly stupid. You ask an obvious question at a family gathering? The safe bet is that the answer will be "You can't fit that shark in that cage."
When I bring these things up: "Bar-buh-quay," "Open seven days a week" and now "Chee-vay", Nolan's response is to say, "You're short, you can't do math, and you have no sense of direction."
I smile in response because these things are very true, but in no way do they cause me enough pain that I'm EVER going to give up the joy of teasing him.
I don't know if this will be funny to anyone else but me. :D But I think it's stinking hysterical.