“How do you do it?” Hunka Burnin’ Hubby and I have been asked this repeatedly since we started working together in the stucco and stone application business.
“How do you keep from killing each other?”
I know our working relationship looks odd to the outside world. Spouses shouldn’t spend so much time together, right?
It works because we make it work.
There are jobs to finish and bills to pay. After 35 years of marriage, we know which buttons to push and which to avoid like a plague of locusts. We usually get along famously. Occasionally it’s a miracle nobody takes a mystery dive off the scaffolding.
Such is life for the unconventionally self-employed.
Spotify playlists help. From rock to country, acoustic to pop, the jobsite radio diverts our attention from dirt and debris, makes us laugh, and keeps us entertained.
“Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and The Americans is Hunka’s favorite song, and he hams it up whenever it plays.
“Come a little bit closer, I’m your kinda man,” he wails, “so big and so strong!” The scaffolding shakes the more we laugh, and the clock ticks a tiny bit faster to the end of the day.
When playlists grow stale we turn to podcasts. From faith to crime, and mystery to history, there is a podcast for every taste and mood. The weirder they are, the more we like them.
Then we found Sasquatch Chronicles.
As you might guess, Sasquatch Chronicles is packed with episodes of people sharing their shocking encounters with the hide-and-seek champion of the world.
We were skeptics at first. Bigfoot is a myth. Believers are misguided and all that jazz.
But there were emphatic narratives from paramedics and law enforcement officers, hunters and soldiers, campers and truckers. Some were brief glimpses of shadowy figures disappearing into the woods. Others were close-up encounters worthy of chronic insomnia, and a lease at the top of a 20-story building wrapped in razor wire.
The more we listened, the more we wondered how every story could be a hoax or misunderstanding.
There was genuine fear in the tellers’ voices. We weren’t sure they saw Bigfoot, but they definitely saw something that rattled their cages.
We kept the volume low to keep from being discovered. Keen-eared folks stopped in their tracks and asked, “What the heck are you listening to?”
We flushed crimson and laughed nervously. “It’s weird,” we admitted, “but wildly entertaining.”
They looked at us like our cornbread wasn’t cooked clear through, and hurried away to create some space.
Weird-podcast fans can be spooky, I suppose.
Word spread about our guilty secret, and we joked to lighten the mood.
“If you’re in the woods and get an eerie feeling,” we warned, “turn around and run away.”
Sasquatch Chronicles taught us plenty about elusive and hairy, eight-foot forest giants.
Sometimes their eyes glow. Sometimes they smell like wet dog and rotten garbage.
They hunt in packs. Sometimes they’re curious, and sometimes they want you dead.
They can be many colors and weigh 800 pounds. They grunt, growl, chatter, and whoop. They shake trees and move with supernatural speed.
They toss rocks big enough to remove your head. They have enormous feet.
I’ve never seen Bigfoot and hope I never do. If I’m ever driving through the spooky woods in my armor-plated tank in the dead of night, I’ll be packing a flamethrower, a Gatling gun and a cannon.
While I’m not ready to sign up as a true believer, I’ll never ridicule anyone with a tale to share.
Plus I’m a sucker for a good story.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to listen with the volume turned low.
Be safe out there, Squatchers!