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Full disclosure – after all these years | Pat Cashman | Fun Times
Today is Friday the 13th, 2013. If you’re superstitious, grab a flashlight and hide under your bed so you can continue reading. Because the good news is this essay has nothing to do with Friday the 13th. But it does have something to do with long-held secrets, treachery – and larceny.
Last week, my wife and I unearthed some old boxes, dusty, crusty and more than a little bit musty. They were filled with photos, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia – the kind of stuff long married people put away and forget about for years.
The boxes contained lots of things that no reasonable person would save: keys to doors long forgotten; automobile documents for cars sold 20 years ago; ink ribbons for typewriters; 8-track tapes and photos of people I cannot remember ever knowing – and yet, that is definitely me standing in the picture next to them.
I noticed something in one of wife’s old boxes: A letter of the alphabet – ‘S.’ It was made of wood, eight-inches high, painted yellow – and vaguely familiar.
“What is that?’ I asked her.
“Beats me,” she shrugged. But she quickly looked away.
I wouldn’t let it go.
“Was that the first letter of your old boyfriend’s name?” I said. “What was his name? Sam? Seamus? Skippy? Sulu?”
“Sulu? Yea, that’s close,” she said. “His name was Carl.”
I kept rummaging through the boxes, but the wooden letter was still bugging me. I knew I had seen it somewhere before in the distant past.
I first met my someday wife in high school. She had transferred from another town – and I immediately liked her. For one thing, she was funny. Really funny – and always up to a bit of mischief. That made her seem more boy-like than girlish.
She spoke as she sifted through another box, “Remember how I used to come with you to your dad’s clothing store when we walked home from high school?”
I did remember. Dad’s store was so big he had a whole section of pants and shirts upstairs, too. There was a lot to explore.
In my next box of memorabilia – almost on cue – I found old photos of the store, exteriors and interiors. And there, in
one old picture, I saw the staircase leading to the store’s second floor – and noticed the suddenly-familiar individual, wood letters spelling out the word: STAIRS.
It was my “aha” moment.
“That ‘S’ you have is from my dad’s store!” I declared.
My wife copped to it.
“Yep,” she fessed. “I unscrewed it one day when nobody was looking, and made off with it.”
“But why?” I asked. “Why did you do it?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I just thought it would be funny to have a sign that said: TAIRS.”
I was thunderstruck at her perfidy – and wondered if I should contemplate divorce.
“You have to admit,” she finally said. “No one ever noticed it.”
I had to admit it. And I also had to admit that it was a pretty cool bit of daring for a high school girl.
“Did you ever swipe anything else from the store?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said. “It took a little longer, but I eventually stole Mr. Cashman’s kid.”
That she did.
Pat Cashman can be reached at email@example.com and at his podcast at peculiarpodcast.com. Pat's new weekly local comedy sketch show, "the 206," airs following SNL on KING 5.