Saturday, January 3, 2009
“Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.”
-Henry Wotton, Sr.
We might be on a perfectly ordinary excursion to do our grocery or attend the local library when all of a sudden Spouse, at the helm, will sing out "4TD" or "215" or "welcome" or some such sequence unreasonable to my ears.
I will invariably be perplexed, and by the time I determine that he was reading the figures he saw on a licence plate or a billboard sign or a bumper sticker, it is too late and the notice is behind us.
Last week, for a change, it was "nine twenty-six," and we were not on the road. We were at home, Spouse illuminated by the inanimate glow of the computer screen as he peered over my shoulder.
"Nine twenty-six," he said cheerfully, nodding to himself.
It was not nine twenty-six at night, nor in the morning. It was not the twenty-sixth of September. My brain reeled and spun in knots in vain attempts to best him and break the cryptic phrase.
"Tell me," I pleaded at last. "What did you mean by 'nine twenty-six'?"
Spouse, by that time, had retreated to his own computer; he had never intended to set a riddle for me to chew on and had simply been reading something of note that he chanced to say out loud.
"Oh, that was nothing," came the offhand reply.
"Nine twenty-six is the model number for our scanner, right beside you. I was just checking it."
I did not even have the luxurious excuse of claiming that the scanner zoomed past in a blur at seventy miles an hour.
Spouse claimed not to have done it on purpose but when one's neighbour mutters "nine twenty-six" out loud, one always wants to know what it is about.
I might have to set about constructing my own alphabet, or at least a code of my own, in order to thwart Spouse's fun.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 7:02 PM