August 25th - EXT Bearden Household - Noon
As I pulled up to the house I had spent many of my high school years in I noticed Liz outside. She was midway through unloading her car, which was filled with the week's groceries. Her face lit up to see me.
She'd tell you it was because she was happy to see her son, but any chump who wasn't born yesterday would tell you she was happy to have someone to chip in on the chore. It's a little known scientific fact that when the doctor cuts the umbilical cord to a woman's first born, she is immediately endowed with the knowledge of how to lay a guilt trip. They don't teach that in high school biology class, but there's a lot they don't teach you in school.
We exchanged pleasantries, and I was soon unloading enough red wine to drop a circus elephant. As the last item was lifted from the trunk of her car I turned and paused. Out of the corner of my eye I had noticed something shiny and white in the back of the garage. Further investigation revealed that it was the umbrella. The umbrella. The one that this woman claimed to have never seen had been resting 3 feet from where she parked her car every night.
A lesser man may have exploded at this revelation, but that's a rookie mistake. Throughout my career I had learned that situations such as this call for a certain finesse.
"Are. You. Kidding me?" I stammered as I put down the box I was holding and picked up the item in question. "Remember last week when I asked you if you'd seen an umbrella?"
"Oh" she said innocently, with a genuine look of surprise, "That umbrella?"
Um yeah. We live in a city where it rains -2 inches a year. How many umbrellas have you seen?
"Uh. Yeah. That's the one. Have you seen the other?"
"Of course!" she replied, suddenly perky and happy to be helpful. She walked to the car and pulled the umbrella's twin from the back seat. "You know... I thought it was odd that it didn't have a handle"