Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning at the Higgins House

(Warning: The following is based on a true story. This normally happens sometime in spring.  It could happen in a garage near you.)

My Wife: “When are you going to clean out this garage?  Look at this mess!”

Me: “I’ll get to it. I’m just looking for something out here.”

Wife: “It’s all junk. What’s this metal thing?”

Me: “I don’t know, but I’m going to save it. I may need it sometime.”

Wife:When was the last time you needed it? You don’t even know what it is.”

Me: “It looks important and if I toss it I’ll probably wish I had it the day after I toss it. That’s a universal law.”

Wife: “When you die, the kids are just going to throw all this stuff out. You should do them a favor and get rid of it all now. The garage is supposed to be for cars.”

Me: “We can fit a car in here. I can move this stuff around. I’ll build some shelves.”

Wife: “Come on…when have you ever built anything.  The last time you changed a light switch you didn’t turn off the power and melted the screwdriver.”

Me: “You yelled at the dog and my hand jerked.  But shelves are easy.”

Wife: “Just think…if you toss this junk out it’ll make you feel clean, free, and unburdened and it’ll make me feel better too. I can’t even walk around in here.”

Me: “That’s not true. You can walk around in here. Look – there’s a little path over there. If you follow that path you’ll find my old Triumph motorcycle. The one I rode around Europe back in the 60’s.  You just have to work your way around things, but be sure to stay on the trail.”

Wife: “That’s ridiculous. I’m not going back there.  It looks like a rat tunnel or something. There could be a dead body in here and you’d never know it.”

Me: “I’d smell it.”

Wife:  “Seriously. How do you know there aren’t animals living in here?  Or upstairs?  It’s even worse upstairs and I can’t even get to the stairs.”

            MeGood. Don’t try it.  You’ll never make it back alive. There’s something very big living up there.  If you stop talking and listen you can hear it breathing.”

Wife: “Don’t say things like that. You’re scaring me.  I just want to find a mop. Where can I find a mop?”

Me: “Just follow that little path and keep your eyes peeled. And carry this knife.”

Wife: “If I follow your stupid path I may never be seen again.”

Me: “Go for it…”

Wife: “Seriously. It’s like a black hole in space. You should carry a cell phone when you’re out here in the garage and some water in case you get lost. What’s in this box?”

Me: “That’s my old Cub Scout uniform.”

Wife: “Here. Put that Cub Scout hat on.”

Me: “Looks good doesn’t it?”

Wife: “It barely covers your bald spot.”

Me: “Yeah. It is a little small.  I must have had a small head.”

Wife: “Now why in the world would you save something like that? That must go back to the 40’s. Do you think you’re going to need it someday?”

Me: “The kids may want to have their dad’s Cub Scout uniform to show the grandkids. You never know. It’s got sentimental value and it’s an antique.”

Wife: “Speaking of antiques…”

Me: “See that old duffle bag? That has all my old army stuff in it. I can’t toss something like that. And that box of clothes…when I lose weight I can wear those again. ‘Waste not, want not.’  Didn’t old Ben say that?”

Wife: “That’s ridiculous. I’m sure you would look great in a polyester leisure suit, a white belt and white shoes.”

Me: “Look. This was my first baseball mitt. I got this when I was about 8 years old.”

Wife: “We need to get you into therapy.”

Me: “Hey. People in China would love to have this stuff.”

Wife: “Well why don’t you send it to them and get it out of the garage so we can get the car in here?”

Me: “I don’t think they have Cub Scouts in China and when was the last time you saw a Chinese baseball game.  They’re small people.   Imagine a pitcher trying to hit the strike zone on a three foot tall batter.”

Wife:  “You’re a sick puppy. Your daughter said they have medication for your condition.”

            Me:  “It’s too late for that…”

Wife: “Ralph!”

Me: “Okay, okay. I’ll start working on it tomorrow. Nah, there’s a baseball game on tomorrow. Maybe next weekend. No. Can’t do it then either. Maybe this summer when it warms up. Or…

WifeI give up.  I’m going back in the house.”

            Me: “Hell of an idea.”


  1. Having heard Gayle mumble about not going inside the garage, and you quickly backing the 'tank' out so we could get in last summer I understand that there is indeed a true amount of friction between you two about this.
    By the way I didn't know there was an upstairs. Glad you didn't let on about the sounds of breathing with me sleeping so close to the garage.
    Ralph, you are in need of therapy, at least.

  2. Malcolm - I didn't want to tell you about those sounds coming from upstairs in the garage. If I had, your car would still be there and you would have hired a pilot to fly you out of Quincy.

    It's too late for therapy. A lobotomy is the only option left, but I enjoy insanity.

  3. When you're through with your garage, you can come and clean out mine... or better yet, let 's follow the practice of some Indian tribes who traded their sons off to a male member of their family somewhere around puberty. The "uncle" finished the job of raising the son. And, Dad, raised someone else's son. So... here's what I propose: YOU CLEAN MY GARAGE OUT AND I WILL CLEAN YOURS. Eh?

  4. If I clean it out, I'll have nowhere to hide.

  5. Been there, done that!

    One advantage I have - I have seen your garage! Fascinating, it is! Much history in that garage! I think I even saw Jimmy Hoffa buried in the back!

  6. You're a witness, Ed. My garage is not as bad as I described it. Actually, I've been able to fit a couple of cars, two motorcycles, a library of books, and living quarters for Amelia Earhart, although I haven't seen her lately. Maybe that wasn't Jimmy Hoffa that you saw... You're also a witness to the fact that I never exaggerate.

    1. Of course you do not exaggerate! You know where exaggerators go!

      Any garage that you could park a motor home on a Lincoln frame in can't be that bad!

  7. Uh oh...Sounds like I'm in trouble, Ed.