Another bone of contention that keeps my life interesting is the thermostat. WHN has a strange body thermostat. Georgia Power recommends setting the thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter, and 78 in the summer. Her comfort settings seem to be almost exactly the opposite, 78 in the winter and 68 in the summer. Without my intervention, I’d be the only one in town who sweats in the winter and freezes in the summer, rather than vice versa.
Evidently I’m not the only husband to have this problem. My friend Don Black reports the same thing at his abode, where his bride also prefers warmer winter time settings than does he.
“I told her that Georgia Power recommends a winter setting of 68,” Don told me.
“Georgia Power doesn’t live in this house,” was her argument-ending reply.
THIS TEMPERATURE DISPARITY reminds me of a couple who lived here in Rome many years ago. They purchased an electric blanket, with separate temperature controls for each side of the blanket, so that each could select their own heat level.
“This thing is no good,” grumbled the wife the next morning. “All night long I was cold. And every time I turned up the temperature, it seemed to get colder!”
“I agree,” said the husband. “I was hot all night, and every time I turned the thermostat lower, I seemed to get even hotter.”
Only then did it dawn on them that they had installed the temperature controls backward.
“WHO WAS THAT?” I ASKED WHN after she hung up the phone following a pleasant six- to eight-minute conversation.
“Wrong number,” was her unbelievable reply.
“You’ve been conversing for all that time with a wrong number?!!!”
“Well, she didn’t know it was a wrong number when she dialed it,” was her bewildering explanation.
Only WHN could turn a wrong number into a long conversation that sounded like she was conversing with a long-lost friend! At least she handled the wrong number call better than I did a few years ago. My phone rang in the middle of the night and only partially awake, I stumbled, grumbled, tumbled, fumbled and mumbled my way to the phone.
“Oh, I have the wrong number. I’m so sorry to have awakened you in the middle of the night,” said the errant caller.
“That’s okay,” I later remembered having said, while still half asleep, “I had to get up to answer the phone anyway.”
ALREADY ESTABLISHED IN EARLIER episodes is another of our main differences — WHN is a sweet person, while I, although basically loveable, have also been known to be a mite crotchety at times. However, beneath her sweetness lurks a devious mind that is wont to deliver occasional, effective “needles.” Two examples:
“You’re crazy!” I told her, following one of her strange escapades.
“I agree,” she replied. “I’d have to be to live with you.” And:
“You’re easily amused,” I told her when she got tickled at continually dropping her church bulletin on the floor.
“I know it,” she replied. “That’s why I always laugh at your jokes.”
BUT I GOT EVEN. She is a rabid Alabama football fan, due to her father’s influence, he having graduated from there. So I told her about the Alabama football star who became ineligible due to flunking his math course. Not wishing to lose their star player, the coaches got the administration to agree to give him another final test and further agree to make it consist of only one question. Also to prove the whole thing was on the up and up, the test would be given during half time at their next game, so the whole stadium could witness it.
“How much is three times three?” he was asked at halftime of the next game, on the loudspeaker so that the whole crowd could hear.
“ Nine?” asked the star uncertainly after deep cogitation, head scratching and finger counting.
“Give him another chance! Give him another chance!” screamed the 80,000 Alabama students and alumni in the stands.
Jack Runninger of Rome is a retired optometrist and state and national award-winning humor columnist. His most recent book, “Funny Female Foibles,” is available now. Readers may contact him at email@example.com.