I heard a woman in the checkout line brag that she beat her granddaughter and her cat with the same hairbrush. I assume that these events, which her tone made clear were habitual, didn’t occur at the same time. But the image of the woman’s fireplug form bursting into a room to chase a hissing feline and mischievous child came into my mind unbidden, which made me reflexively chuckle.
She heard my tittering and turned to fix a gaze on me that left no doubt that those hairbrush whippings weren’t the Tom & Jerry skits that I imagined them to be, but were serious affairs that even as an adult I wouldn’t want to be the recipient of. One eye green, the other black as if the pupil had burst to eat the iris, she looked at me and asked what was funny.
“God bless you,” I said in that Southern way that can mean many things, not least of all to ward off the evil of others.
Thoughts & prayers: The last refuge of the willingly impotent.