Q. My auto mechanic says I have a problem with my rear end. My gastroenterologist says the same thing. My dentist says it’s all in my endo so he sent me to an endodontist. My neighbor says I’ve got my head up my sigmoid colon. I was making dinner Sunday and burned the rump roast. I…
A. Excuse me. Do you see that sign? Frequently. Asked. Questions. Do you have a frequently asked question?
Q. Here’s one: Why do the swallows keep coming back to…um, what’s the name of that place?
A. San Juan Capistrano.
Q. No, that’s not it.
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Wait. I’ve got it. Capistoronto! It was on the tip of my tongue but I mistook it for a sunflower seed and almost bit it.
A. Almost biting only counts in almost sex. By the way: have you ever been to Capistrano?
Q. So, no.
A. Then how do you know the swallows came back? How do you even know they left?
Q. Uh, I guess because people said they did.
A. Which people?
Q. Um, the people who did the saying. I didn’t hear them say it directly, but I did hear the people who said they said it say it.
A. And have those people ever been to Capistrano?
Q. They…didn’t say.
A. Do you believe everything people don’t say?
Q. It’s hard to hear them when they don’t say. But I give them the benefit of the doubt.
A. Does that mean you doubt they said it or you don’t doubt they said it?
Q. It means I have suspended my disbelief that the swallows either a.) left; b.) came back; or c.) ever existed in the first place.
A. How is that a benefit?
Q. People don’t have to suffer the humiliation of being doubted by me. Given the times we are living in, that’s nothing to sneeze at.
A. Has anyone ever sneezed at you for benefitting from your suspension of doubt?
Q. Just once. But to be fair, that person was allergic.
A. To what?
Q. To me. It’s rare to be allergic to an actual person because…
Q. That sounded like the fake sneeze of sarcasm.*
A. Most people just say Bless You.
Q. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you have an allergy. Or, possibly, a bug flew up your nose.
A. You seem to have a large supply of benefits of the doubt.
Q. I buy them cheap on eBay.
A. How much?
Q. I’m not sure. I pay in butter.
A. Did you say butter?
Q. I’m pretty sure I did.
A. You mean you traded somebody some butter for…
Q. Six sticks. For two still-in-the-shrink-wrap benefits of the doubt.
A. How did you complete the transaction?
Q. PayPal. They take butter now.
A. I really doubt that.
Q. Don’t I get the benefit of the doubt?
A. The benefit is that by doubting you now, I maintain my grip on sanity.
Q. So, have you ever asked yourself why there’s a b in doubt? You wouldn’t say I’m going oubt. Or strike three, you’re oubt. Or sauerkraubt.
A. How do you know what I would or wouldn’t say?
Q. I have no dout.
A. Did you just doubt me…without a b?
Q. Stings a bit, no?
A. You know what I think the b stands for?
Q. Why baloney?
A. It’s a friendly reminder to the doubtee that some people don’t know what they’re talking about.
Q. Which people?
A. Generally, people with rear-end problems.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.