Galloping zebras, nose-picking gorillas, scrambling monkeys and sleeping lions; the zoo was filled with all of them and more. Jason Whyme, like most ten year old boys, enjoyed the nose-picking gorillas the best. He was sitting in the backseat of his parents’ sedan imitating Samson, the large captive Silverback he saw an hour before.
“What are you doing back there, Son?” Jason’s dad asked as he drove.
“Pickin’ my nose like Samson. He was neat.”
“Well, get your finger out of there. It might get stuck.”
“No way, Dad.”
“Yes way, Son. Your mother got her finger stuck up her nose once.”
Mrs. Whyme shook her head. “Please, dear, don’t tell that story.”
“Come on, Dad, please. I want to hear about it.”
“Son, I never did what your dad is NOT going to tell you.”
Mrs. Whyme shot at glance at her grinning husband.
“Son, you wouldn’t believe it, but 11 years ago when I first met your mother…”
Jason’s mom spoke curtly. “Glen, I’m warning you.”
“Okay, Claire. I won’t tell him about how you got your finger stuck in your nose on our first date.”
“Da-ad! How’d she get her finger stuck?”
“I’m warning you both.” Mrs. Whyme’s face was flush red. “If this conversation continues I’m feeding you both liver for a week.”
“Liver!” Jason exclaimed. “Yuck! But, I think I could suffer through it one time to hear this story.”
“I said all week,” the mother threatened. “And I’ll send you to school with liver sandwiches.”
“But Mom, it’s just a story of something that happened a long time ago. Were you just playing around, or really digging?”
“Enough, Jason, I’m not kidding.”
“It was at church, Son.” Jason’s dad was almost laughing.
“At church? Wow. How far? Up to your big knuckle?”
Jason’s mother quickly spun around in her seat and pointed a finger at her son.
“I did not get anything stuck up my nose. Now this conversation is over. Understand!”
Jason thought quietly.
“Can I ask you a question, Mom?”
Mrs. Whyme sighed deeply.
“Is it okay to fib about something that happened at church?”
Jason’s dad laughed. His wife’s face turned a deeper red.
“What I mean, Mom, you know, with God there, the Bible, the preacher and everything. Is it okay to fib? You always told me God sees everything.”
Jason’s mother let out an exasperated gasp.
“Son, I’m not fibbing. I’m just choosing not to remember.”
Mr. Whyme was laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.
“Oh, you think this is funny, Glen? I think I’ll be choosing not to remember some other things for a couple of weeks, of NIGHTS.”
Mr. Whyme’s smile disappeared.
“Come-on, Claire. Let’s not overreact.”
“Oh, you’ll see overreact, Dear husband of mine.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Jason asked.
“Nothing, Son,” Mr. Whyme muttered. “Story’s over.”
Claire shot a pursed grin back at her husband. “Oh, no its not.” She then turned to face Jason. “The truth is your father asked me to go to church with him one night for a special singing service. Well, he was wearing some awful smelling cologne, and lots of it.”
Jason’s dad got a little defensive.
“It wasn’t that bad and I didn’t put too much on.”
“Oh yes you did. I think you bathed in it. Anyway, Jason, the stench was making my nose itch and I got a little carried away trying to itch it.”
“Is that when you got your finger stuck in your nose, Mom? How did you get it out?”
“Did everyone see it?”
“Oh yes, the whole congregation was laughing,” Jason’s mom said matter-of-factly.
“I did not wear that much cologne and it did not stink.”
“Glen, you did and it smelled.”
“Then why did you buy me some for our anniversary last year.”
Jason‘s face lit up. “I know, Dad. She told me it reminded her of when you first met.”
“That’s when I knew I could love you,” Mrs. Whyme spoke softly. “You were the only one who didn’t laugh.”
“What-do-you-know,” Jason’s dad responded, “I asked you out again because you laughed along with everybody else.”
“So let me get this straight,” Jason said with one eye closed. “You guys fell in love because mom got her finger stuck up her nose?”
Jason’s parents reached for each other and clasped hands.
“Gross.” Jason exclaimed. “Let’s go to the aquarium next summer.”
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