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The Two-Shoe Morning Begets the Two-Step Dance
Bob the Groaner rolls himself out of bed and begins searching for his shoes. It is one of those days when things don’t magically proceed as planned in Bob’s perfect-world imagination.
Bob groans, shuffles about, finally finds at least one shoe and, for a mystical moment, decides that maybe today will be a one-shoe day. This turns out not to be such a good idea, what with the limping and the off-centeredness of it all.
Finally, Bob the Groaner locates the other shoe, then contemplates the mystery of why it always takes two shoes to get through the day. This starts him thinking about Things That Come in Twos.
Let’s see, he mumbles, what else will have to come in twos today? Well, there are two socks—it just doesn’t feel right, wearing one. There are two scrambled eggs waiting with two biscuits and two paper napkins at the diner. The parking meter requires two quarters, since when does it take just fifteen minutes to eat breakfast? Two panhandlers double-team him a block apart, each inadvertently reciting the same fake story about getting stranded with no gas and needing to get back to either Jasper or Gadsden—the cities are always interchangeable.
Bob sneezes once, then again, and realizes that it’s almost impossible to sneeze just once. There now, all better.
Two ambulances whiz past, going in opposite directions—this seems vaguely counter-productive to Bob.
The salesclerk at CVS asks him for his CVS card twice, forgetting that she’s already asked him once. Later, a customer enters his shop. He says, “Good morning, how are you doing?” She says, “I’m fine, how are you?” He says, “Fine.” She says “Good. How are you?” Is anybody paying attention here? he wonders.
Just before he turns the CD player on, he automatically says, “Ah one and ah two…” An old Lawrence Welk/Stan Freberg gag that only he understands.
Reviewing his morning thus far, Bob contemplates the routines that get him up and going, and all the mindless habits that are taken for granted. Does he remember to place the right shoe on the right foot and the left shoe on the left foot? Don’t have to remember, he thinks, I just do it. Thank goodness I don’t have to figure that out from scratch each and every day.
Many decades earlier, when young, Bob has to learn to dance in order to make himself presentable at a school function. Slow dancing is imperative if he wants to get really close to a girl, so his friend Pat tries to teach him how to do the Box Step. Being a clumsy sort, he finds that too complicated. So Pat teaches him the Two Step, commenting that even a moron can do the Two Step. Pat is right, and Bob the Groaner for once does not groan during the dance—he just grins ear to ear and inhales the lovely perfumed fragrance of his date.
Life comes in twos, Bob thinks that evening. You’re born, you pass. Stuff happens in between, often in twos. You may be a two-time loser. You may be a two-timer. You may be two-faced.
As he prepares for bed this evening, he carefully places his shoes where he can easily find them, thus avoiding the serial two-thinking thoughts that distract him from his duties.
Tomorrow, something else could trigger Bob’s stream of consciousness. Maybe he’ll start thinking about Threes…three meals a day, three little pigs, the Trinity, three sheets to the wind, The Three Amigos…
Bob the Groaner groans, then smiles his goofy smile and snuggles deep into his pillow, to sleep the sleep of someone who, though off-center, at least knows how to entertain himself
© Jim Reed 2015 A.D.