Tell Me About It - By Brian Law

“Welcome, everyone, to today’s radio broadcast of ‘My American Life’, the only radio show that celebrates the lives of everyday Americans. I’m Bob Olney and today we have as our guest June Wesley from Tripto, Michigan. June, welcome to the show!” the host began. 

“Thanks, Bob, it’s an honor to be with you, even if it’s only over the phone.” 

“So, June, you and your family like so many others are ‘sheltering in place’, and you’re having to make-do. Can you elaborate on how your family is coping?” Bob went on. 

“Sure. I have four kids, ages three through fifteen, and their hair doesn’t stop growing, Bob! So, I’ve had to learn how to cut hair for both the boys and the girls. It’s been quite a ‘learning curve’,” June joked. 

“I can imagine. What else have you had to learn that you would normally rely on others to do?” 

June excitedly answered, “Okay, well the refrigerator went out last Wednesday. And if there is anything that is critical for a family who can’t leave the house, it’s the refrigerator, Bob! So, I had to learn how to ask the right question of some internet experts on those DIY sites. Then I had to order the right parts online, and then I had to learn how to install the parts. It took me a while, but I got it working again.” 

“Well, good for you, June. I’m sure our listeners are getting some much-needed inspiration from your good old American gumption and resolve. Anything else you’ve done for your family that might interest our listeners today?” Bob asked. 

June paused, then added, “The gas fireplace stopped working. And out here in Michigan it gets really cold, so I had to fix it fast. But working with gas is tricky, so again I went to experts online. They walked me through the diagnostics step by step. Turned out it was a couple of electrodes that were a bit corroded. Cleaned them up and got it working before the sun went down, Bob.” 

“Marvelous, June. By the way, where’s your husband in all this? Sounds like you’re doing all of this by yourself. Is he helping or what?” the host asked. 

“Vern’s been laid up for a few weeks with a bad ticker, Bob,” June explained. “He’s been weak as a kitten, so that’s been a real problem. So, when the emergency generator started acting up, I knew I was going to need his help, and fast.” She paused, and then continued, “You see, Bob, Vern’s an electrician when he’s working.” 

“Okay, but what about his heart problem? That sounds serious, real serious, June. How did you work around that problem without a doctor?” 

“Well, Vern and I talked about it some. And you know, Bob, he’s a real gamer, that Vern. He’s always been one who’s been up for anything. And he’s a hunter, too, Bob. So, he knows a bit about animal anatomy ‘cause he’s gutted so many. So, he talked me through it!” 

Bob said nothing as he digested that last comment. His producer was in his earphone insisting that he quickly change the subject. DO NOT ASK HER WHAT HAPPENED! But Bob trusted his instincts and instead asked a question whose answer he didn’t know, “Ah, June, so you performed some sort of medical procedure on your husband that allowed him to fix the generator? Is that it, June? I’m sure my listeners are waiting to hear how it all worked out.” 

Bob and his listeners could hear June talking in muffled tones to someone else in the background. It sounded like she was telling her kids to ‘shut the hell up’ or something like that. Anyway, June quickly came back on the line and calmly continued, “Well, Bob, the generator is still acting up. And I’m now trying to teach myself how to run this darn backhoe Vern left in the backyard.” 

“Backhoe, June?” Bob asked cautiously. “I don’t understand. How does a backhoe figure into all of this?” 

June chuckled and then replied, “I can tell you’ve never tried to dig a six-foot hole in Northern Michigan in late March, Bob.” 


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