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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: Say What?
By Joy Bach


It was time to go to bed, so my husband and I headed for the bedroom, but he left the light on beside his chair. I turned my light off … and then turned his off for him.

As I sat down on my side of the bed, my husband remarked about it taking me so long to get to bed. I explained I had many things to do, including turning off his light for him. That’s when it all began.

He assured me he had, indeed, turned his own light off. I, of course, knew that he hadn’t. We finally gave it up and went to sleep.

The very next night, as I was getting in bed, my husband pointed to the lamp on the nightstand by his side of the bed and said, “I’ve made sure to turn my own light off tonight.” I cracked up laughing. I understood immediately that on the previous night we had been talking about two different lights. The poor man was almost convinced that I really had turned his bedside lamp off for him.

My middle daughter, Lyn, loved to climb. One of her delights was to climb the door frame and drop on her unsuspecting little sister, Rene’, as she passed through the door. One day, just after she completed a drop, I said, “I don’t ever want to see you do that again”.

An hour later, from another room, I heard Rene’ howling in anger. Sure enough, the body bomb had dropped on her. I looked Lyn in the eye and asked, “What did I just tell you?”

Quickly she responded, “That you didn’t ever want to see me do that again. And you didn’t.”

One day my husband came home with a watermelon and Lyn asked, “Is that for me?”

As he slid the watermelon into the refrigerator, he answered, “Sure”.

Later that evening, Lyn went to band practice. My husband headed to the refrigerator for a slice of watermelon. It was gone.

Lyn had a fun time at practice and came bouncing through the door on her return. He met her with a question. “Did you do something with my watermelon?”

Her response, “I asked you and you said it was for me. I took it to band practice and shared with everyone”.

He had meant she could have some. She had taken him literally.

When my husband and I took our trip to Europe, we were not allowed to make our seat assignments until we got to the ticket counter in Seattle. British Airways will not let you make assignments over the phone. We were given Row 52 H and J. Sounded like it was pretty far in the back.

So my husband asked if we could get some seats closer to the front of the plane. The British Airways attendant at the counter replied, “Just talk to the stewardess when you get on the plane. Maybe she can help you get knocked up.”

One time my sister had a very bad cold, so she went to bed prepared to blow her nose if needed … handkerchief in place. However, she failed to notify her husband of this. They got settled in bed, she curled up to his back and then, without moving, she blew her nose as hard as she could. Her husband jumped out of bed, quite sure his back was covered with … well you know. Only after he calmed down did he see the handkerchief in her hand.

My husband and I took a trip by car … and had to wait while a wreck was being cleared from the highway in front of us. When we got home, our granddaughter asked about our trip. One of the things we shared with her was that there was a wreck and we just sat on the road and waited while it was being taken care of. We told her since we were on vacation, we got out our books and a snack and sat there reading.

Her question: “But what did you do with your car?”

One day my cell phone rang and a man’s voice I did not recognize was on the other end. I asked, “Who is this?” Then began a comedy routine.

“This is your son”.

“I have a son? What would my son’s name be?”


A pregnant pause … “Are you my mother?” And then a click.

I have no sons.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 12/23/10
Funny! I enjoyed these snippets which excellently conveyed "communication breakdown". My favorite is the 'body bomb' -- I could picture it exactly!
Joanne Sher 12/29/10
Fun little vignettes - lots of fodder for this topic, that's for sure!