Male/Female Instructions

a cat eating

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today I am grateful for male/female instructions.  Probably 20 years ago we bought a piece of furniture that required assembly.  I have no recall which bookcase or shelf it was, but I’ll never forget the instructions to build the beast.  Here’s sort of how they went. . .


“Good job, buddy.  You got the box open.  Now don’t be an idiot and throw these instructions away or spill your beer on them.   Too late, right?  Wife already hollering how you never listen?  Don’t worry there is another set taped to the bottom of the box.  Didn’t throw them away?  Good for you.  Start with one (1).  One means one so don’t think you are smarter than everyone else and start with six (6).  Go back to one. . . . .”


You get the picture.  Women loved them.  Men not so much.  They were funny and sarcastic and brilliant and very, very clear and easy to follow. . .and probably highly criticized because I never saw anything like them again.  Sometimes politically correct is just wrong.  It sucks all of the humor out of life.


I thought of that construction project the other day when I was listening to my daughter-in-law give her sister and brother-in-law instructions on how to feed her cat because she couldn’t be there. . .and of course I am taking creative license. . .and I know cats. . .and their servants. . .


“Take one of the little Fancy Feast cans, probably not liver because she might throw up at this time of night, so make it beef, then mix it with maybe a little bit of the chicken and four bits of eye-of-newt.  Be sure to wash her dish with the soap that’s on the right side of the sink.  If you use the soap on the left side she’ll know the difference.  If you put food in her dish when it is not squeaky clean she won’t eat it.  She might look at you weird.  If she does then wash the dish again.  Then take about ten pieces of dry food and put them in her dish.  Be sure she hears them land or she will think you didn’t feed her.  If it looks like she didn’t hear them land, then scoop them out and try again until you get her attention.  Then wash her water dish the same way as the food dish and fill it from the bottle of water in the fridge.  She likes her water very cold, although she usually doesn’t drink it until it has gotten to room temperature. . .”


I watched the brother-in-law listening with rapt attention as the instructions droned on and on.  When they were finished I asked him, “Did you get all of that?”


“Yup!  Feed the cat!” he said, without skipping a beat.   Male/female instructions.  No worries, a second set is probably pasted under the cat.


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