Spouse-Cam Reveals Mysteries of Universe

Out to Lunch, 2001

Camcorders have become almost as ubiquitous as personal pagers, beepers and cell phones.out to lunch

It should be readily apparent to everyone that you’re not on the cutting edge of society unless you’re selling beepers or cell phones. Notice that I didn’t say you’re behind the times if you don’t own a beeper or cell phone; simply owning one is now passe, old hat, tire, dated and definitely not hip.

To be cool, you have to be both a beeper owner and a beeper dealer. If you deal both beepers and phones, all the better. This is patently obvious upon a mere cursory examination of the yellow pages. There you will find Joe’s Pool Hall & Beeper Wholesale, Johnson’s Carpet Barn & Cell Phone Emporium, and Ed’s Hot Wings & (Hot) Beepers. And let’s not forget the most infamous of the bunch, Ed’s Woco Pep & We Fix Cell Phones.

Camcorders are next. Just about everything that occurs in the universe has probably been recorded by some would-be cinematographer and sold to America’s Funniest, Most Redundant, Home Videos & Beeper Kiosk. So, that time you “spilled” coffee on the squad car when you thought no one was looking…tune in to see yourself on next Tuesday’s episode. It will play right between Dad Gets Hit In Face with Soccer Ball and Unidentified Stranger Gets Blindsided by Skateboarding Teen Wearing Beeper and Cell Phone.

Quite a few videographers use their camcorders to catch people doing things they shouldn’t, such as the babysitter raiding the wine cellar, throwing a pizza party on your Persian rug, and allowing the baby to fall headlong into the litter box while grasping your favorite beeper and cell phone.

For much the same purpose, I decided to install Spouse Cam in our house to uncover the truth regarding some of the most mysterious happenings of the known universe. What follows are transcribed excerpts from the Spouse Cam Tapes.

Monday, 9:36 am.

My wife, Carrie, peers out the front window, and apparently satisfied that I am not home, grins mischievously and walks toward the laundry room. The dryer beeps, indicating that the cycle is done, and she begins to unload dry clothes. She carefully separates all my socks, matches them into pairs, and stacks them neatly on the washing machine. Once the entire load has been removed from the dryer, she takes one sock from each pair and places them in the basket of clean clothes. The remaining socks she collects, carefully carries to the kitchen, and unceremoniously dumps into the garbage can. Universal Mystery #1 is solved.

Monday, 3:14 pm.

Carrie enters the master bathroom. “Master bathroom” is misleading, implying marbled floors, saunas, Egyptian linens. Carrie enters the lavatory. She retrieves the tube of toothpaste from the drawer. The tube appears neatly folded from the bottom. Carrie unfolds the tube, grasps it firmly in the middle, squeezes, and replaces the tube. Universal Mystery #2 is solved.

She then retrieves my toothbrush and uses it to remove debris from the bottom of her shoe. Universal Mystery #3 is solved.

Wednesday, 10:42 am.

On her way out of the lavatory, Carrie removes the toilet paper from its spindle and turns it so that the end of the paper falls to the back, instead of to the front. Universal Mystery #4 is solved.

Thursday, 4:27 pm.

The 13-month-old, Brooks, toddles into my library alone. “Library” is misleading. Brooks wanders into the coat closet where there happen to be some books. He pushes every book to the back of the shelf, then removes the contents of the trash can and distributes them randomly around the room. Universal Mysteries #5 and #6 are solved.

Friday, 11:03 am.

Roger, the German Shepherd Dog, enters the walk-in closet. “Walk-in closet” is misleading. Rogers enters the broom closet with the really wide door. He then brushes repeatedly against the previously clean and fur-less slacks and coats hanging there. On his four heels is Brooks, who takes one who of every pair, and those he doesn’t place in the bath tub he hides under the bed. Universal Mysteries #7 and #8 are solved.

Saturday, 6:47 am.

Carrie plays with the toddler in the living room. She retrieves the remote control, removes the fresh batteries recently installed by me, and exchanges them for batteries from the toddler’s well-used remote control car. Universal Mystery #9 is solved.

The unblinking eye of Spouse Cam will continue to report suspicious activity, so watch yourselves.


Rob Faircloth spends much of his time recovering socks from his children.

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