Hi Kids. Today a short story about Roger and Stan. I dunno why. Just because.
A week ago last Thursday Roger and Stan headed to the local lighting store- Light and Bright,
to buy a new pair of ceiling fixtures. Stan- the half of this pairing with a taste for indoor decor, had wanted new ceiling fixtures for the den for more than a year. Roger on the other hand couldn't care less one way or the other.
This pissed Stan off just a smidge but he dealt with it just as he had always dealt with it- with a modicum of taste and a heavy use of his inside voice.
After seeing an ad in one of the local papers, Stan managed to convince Roger to come along to Light and Brite with him to add his opinion regarding the two fixtures Stan was prepared to purchase.
They jumped into their little maroon-coloured Fiat 500 and tore down the street- as best a Fiat 500 can tear, with Roger behind the wheel.
Arriving at Light and Bright's parking lot, Roger wheeled into a convenient space marked "for small cars ONLY" and shut off the engine.
The boys climbed out of the Fiat 500, strapped masks over their ears, mouths and noses and headed for the entrance. Light and Bright was a huge store. Who knew there were so many lights, bulbs and fixtures in the entire world?
Stan loved this store.
Roger not so much.
Stan also loved "Winners".
Roger not so much.
Stan loved spinach.
Roger not so much- especially boiled and slopped on a plate next to mashed potatoes- bleeck.
Once inside Stan dragged Roger down aisle 23 and stopped at shelf number 22A.
On the shelf were the fixtures in dainty little boxes.
"Not much of a fixture..."- Roger commented.
"Like you should know!"- Stan countered. "Look up there Rodge. That's what they look like."
Roger looked to the wall above where the boxes sat on the shelf and saw the shiny fixtures Stan was obsessed about. Make no mistake, Stan was kind of obsessed- like his obsession with photographs of Hugh Jackman- shirtless.
A story for another time I'm afraid.
"Well, if that's what you came here to buy, get it." Roger's tone was less than supportive.
Stan didn't care.
It usually was.
Stan grabbed two boxes of the fixtures shown above and spun on his heels and headed for the cash.
"Anything else you wanna look at Rodge?"
"Huh?"- Roger says. "I can't hear you through that damn mask plus you're turned away from me. I can't hear you. Just a mumble."
"Look."- Stan turned to face Roger. He was becoming miffed. "We are a country of mumblers now so get used to it Roger. Covid is the way of the world and wearing masks is part of this world."
Roger grimaced and slid past Stan heading for the check outs. Over his right shoulder he yelled-
"All I said was I can't hear you through that mask. I'm not asking for a lecture!"
"Good Grief. 'The Jesus'- give me strength." He followed Roger to the checkouts like a dutiful hubbie.
In a few minutes they were back in the Fiat 500 and on the road to home with a short stop at Tim's for a large triple milk and an iced tea.
Roger loved iced tea.
Once inside the house Stan set the boxes holding the fixtures on the kitchen counter and sat on a stool to sip his coffee.
Suddenly, Roger- who had plopped himself on the living room couch to nurse his iced tea, came into the kitchen. He took a deep breath-
"Let's get these lights up so I don't have to listen to you whine all day and all night!"
"I wasn't whining Roger, I was sipping my damned Tim Horton's Coffee. That's all!!"
"Whatever. Let's get at it. Grab the step ladder and I'll get the screwdrivers."
Roger disappeared into the depths of the basement. A few minutes later he returned with the tools. Stan was already in the den with the step stool in position. "Stan, do and turn off the breaker switch will ya? It should say den or small bedroom or office something like that. You should be able to figure it out. Pick one."
"One what?" Stan almost wished he had called an electrician. Roger always got so short with him when they worked on a project together.
Roger grunted. "Funny Stan. Real funny."
Now Stan was becoming irritated but he held his tongue and slipped into the pantry just off the kitchen.
Once inside he opened the cover plate on the breaker panel.
Speaking loudly he called out to Roger-
"Geeze Rodge, this panel should have been marked better when we had that wiring done last spring.
I can barely read the handwriting. I'm not sure what some of it says!"
"Will you just pick one and forget about last spring!"
Roger was not happy and Stan could hear it in his voice. He was about to reply but decided to hold his reprisal and just make a choice as Roger had directed.
Flick. The breaker clicked off.
"Have you done it?" yelled Roger from the Den.
"Yes, I think so." Stan closed the pantry door and walked back to the den to find Roger on top of the step stool. He had removed the old fixture from the ceiling and was about to take apart the wires.
Roger look down at Stan- "You have it turned off Stan. The breaker that says Den? Did you do what I asked?"
"For fuck sake Roger. Yes. Yes. Yes!!" Stan was raising his voice at this point. "I turned off the goddamned breaker switch. Just once can't you fucking well trust what I am doing? The switch is not on. It's off. Happy? Check it yourself if you don't trust me!"
Roger shrugged his shoulders, ignoring Stan as usual and reached up to untwist the wires that gave juice to the old fixture."
Roger screamed and fell from the step ladder to the floor below, landing at Stan's feet.
Roger's memorial service is the first Tuesday of next month.