My brother stopped by one day and said, “If you go shopping with me, I’ll buy you dinner.”
I wasn’t keen on going shopping with him, but when he said the magic words, bells, horns, whistles and lights went off in my mind.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Nothing sweetens the pot more for me than someone offering to buy me dinner.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ So off we went.
The reason I don’t like shopping with my brother is his ability to talk to anyone, anyplace at anytime about anything.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Don’t get me wrong-it’s a great ability to have, but when it takes an hour to buy a box of facial tissuesÃ¢Â?Â¦.
I made it clear I didn’t want to spend ten hours shopping, but he couldn’t help himself.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ After three hours and very little to show for it, we entered our last department store.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ My brother knew I was nearing my breaking point, so he handed me his watch and said, “Take this to the jewelry counter and get a new battery put in while I go look at fishing reels.”
The jeweler, who was a woman, asked me a bunch of questions.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ I answered them the best I could.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Then she told me she didn’t think it needed a new battery; it needed repair.
You can imagine my surprise when I got to the sporting goods and my brother was nowhere to be found.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ So I headed back to the jewelry counter.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Halfway there the PA system broadcasted, to the entire store, that I was wanted at the jewelry counter.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ When I reached the counter, my brother stood there with a fishing reel in hand and primed for a good, long conversation with anyone who was willing to listen.
“After he explained more about what the watch was doing,” the jeweler said, “it does need a new battery.”
I handed her the watch.
My brother watched while she popped the back off.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Then he asked, “Do you know what I’ve always wondered about?”
I expected him to say, why watch batteries didn’t last longer, or why watches weren’t cheaper, or why jewelry was so expensive, or even why he couldn’t get a cute woman like her to go out on a date with him.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ But I certainly didn’t expect Ã¢Â?Â¦
“Why women can’t put the toilet seat down themselves?”
The jeweler acted like she didn’t hear him.
“I mean,” he went on, “women leave it down and expect men to pick it up.”
I tried to defuse the situation.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ “Because a woman doesn’t want to stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night, sit on the toilet and fall in.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before.”Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ My brother brushed me off and turned his attention back to the jeweler.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ “Why are women so lazy, they can’t even put a toilet seat down?”
The jeweler kept working on the watch without saying anything.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ But her face turned primrose.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ My brother didn’t even notice.
“Men are expected to do all the work.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Women expect men to put the toilet seat down for them.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ But a woman won’t pick it up for a man.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Why can’t a man just leave it up?Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ It’s not even as hard to put a toilet seat down as it is to pick it up.”
The jeweler’s tool slipped.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ The innards of my brother’s watch popped out and took a couple of bounces across the counter.
“Sorry.”Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ She popped the innards back in and tinkered with it before saying, “It still works.”
My brother continued his assault without a clue.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ “I just don’t understand.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ It’s not that hard to put a toilet seat down.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ You can even let it bang down if you want.”
The jeweler quit tinkering with my brother’s watch and said, “I think it’s extremely kind when a man puts the toilet seat down.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Sort of like a man holding the door open for a woman.”
“Why can’t women be just as kind to men and pick the toilet seat up?”
The jeweler snapped the back of his watch on and told my brother the cost.
“I can pay for my reel here too, can’t I?” My brother held up his fishing reel.
The jeweler smiled sweetly and said, “Sure.”
He paid and we marched to the door.
Bells screamed.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Horns blared.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Whistles screeched.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Red, blue and yellow lights flashed.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ Everybody gawked at us as if we were ripping something off.
The jeweler strolled over, gave my brother a wicked little smile and took the shopping bag from him.Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½ She open it, pulled out the reel, removed the anti-theft device and handed it back.
“Talk about embarrassing,” I said.
“Bingo!” was all she said.
“We could have been arrested!” I told my brother as we exited the store. “Next time, leave the toilet seat where it belongs – on the toilet. “