There are two things he cannot tolerate

There are two things about me the guy-in-the-garage simply cannot tolerate. One is my driving, especially when it’s his truck and two, is the way I break up ice.

So the first might be fairly self-explanatory, but the ice? Who could know something so seemingly simple could drive a man mad?

We live a long way from the grocery store. And on a hot summer day in the desert, it seems even longer. So every trip involves taking ice chests for carting home groceries. Which means bringing home 20 to 50 pounds of ice to keep the ice cream and other various food items nice and cold.

The ice always melts a little on the way home, and then when it gets back into the freezer it turns into one giant block of ice instead of hundreds of perfectly formed ice cubes.

The problem starts when I need some of those perfectly formed ice cubes and our ice bin is empty. Now usually the guy-in-the-garage is the one to keep it filled, but occasionally I want ice and it’s empty. I don’t have a problem filling it myself. The problem comes if he happens to be anywhere in hearing distance of a 10 pound chunk of ice being banged around in the kitchen. Because I can guarantee you, no matter how I do it, or where I do it, he will not be happy. Just something about me and a frozen bag of ice really annoys him.

It’s gotten to where I cringe if I realize I need ice and he is anywhere within a half mile radius of me and the frozen bag of ice.

Okay, I understood finally, why it annoyed him that I would slam the bag of ice against the kitchen floor. I did notice the dog laying on the kitchen floor and I did finally realize that, probably some of that dog hair is getting on the bag of ice and then up on the counter and then who knows where else? But why did he have to wait so long to tell me he really had a reason for being annoyed about that.

So, next time I break up the ice in his hearing range, it's on the kitchen counter. “What are you trying to do? Break the kitchen tiles?” he kindly asks. Did I say kindly? I think I misspoke.

Next time, I break up the ice on the kitchen table. “You can’t do it right on the table like that,” he says, “You have to put some padding down so you don’t damage the table.”

Lest you’re starting to think I deliberately wait until he is watching to break the ice, that’s not it at all. He will be nowhere around. Nowhere! And like magic, if I start breaking open the ice, he appears.

So the next time he is getting ice, I watch because I am now going to do it exactly like he does it. Exactly! He won’t have one thing to complain about.

And sure enough, the day came. He was sitting at the table eating lunch when I needed ice. I get out the placemat he uses. I doubled it up like he does. Then I start banging the ice and what do you think happens? He stands up, takes the bag out of my hand and says “That’s why the plant is falling over!” and points to the cactus plant that is resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a terrarium on the table.

What?! I want to scream. But I’m not a screamer. So I very quietly say “That is exactly how YOU do it.” He said “Well, I guess I never noticed the plant falling when I’m doing it.”

So now if I want ice and there is no ice, I have a new plan. I go without.

That seemed to solve my ice problem at home, but then there are those times we are on the road and I happen to have some responsibility connected to bags of ice.

Take the time a few years ago at the Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa, California. At the end of the show, the guy-in-the-garage was out at the trailer loading up all the vintage bikes and I was cleaning up the last of the items in the booth when I noticed that our ice chest had leaked water all over the floor.

Along comes our awesome building manager Rocky and even after working the long, long show hours, in his always friendly voice he says, “Don’t worry about it, I’ll clean it up.”

      I really didn’t want to leave that mess for him and I told him so.

    He started laughing. “Oh, this is nothing!” he said. “You should have seen what a lady did last year.” And he laughs even harder. “She dumped the whole entire ice chest out all over the floor. Ice and water went everywhere! You should have seen it! It was a mess!”

I just looked at him without laughing. “I did see it,” I told him without laughing. “That was me.”

He laughed louder. “That was YOU?! I completely forgot.”

I surely didn’t forget. I remember that Rocky helped me carry the last of the items from our booth that day while the ice and water was trickling along the showroom floor.

When we got out to the trailer he said to the guy-in-the-garage, who was getting ready to go check our booth one last time: “You don’t want to go back in there. Trust me!”

And then he wandered off chuckling, back to the river of water and ice awaiting him in Building 14.

And thankfully for me he saved my neck from the guy-in-the-garge who would have had one more ice incident to give me never-ending grief abou

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