The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 28, 2013

Mike Pound: Paying attention to wife can be hard work

By Mike Pound
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — My wife thinks I have the intelligence of a bowl of warm mashed potatoes.

Speaking of mashed potatoes, I can’t make them anymore. I used to make them all the time. Well, not all the time. That would be pretty silly. But I made them a lot.

And people liked them.

But now, because of my wife, I’m not allowed to make them. Well, “not allowed” might be stretching the truth. What I am is encouraged not to make mashed potatoes.

The reason is because my wife started making mashed potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream mixed in.

I don’t think that’s fair.

Our 15-year-old daughter Emma loves my wife’s mashed potatoes so much that she no longer wants me to make my version.

Children can be so cruel.


What was I talking about before the mashed potatoes?

Oh right. I was talking about how my wife doesn’t think I’m very smart.

When my wife needs me to do something important, she always talks to me as if I am kid who has trouble paying attention, which is crazy because the other night I was able to pay attention to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, an NBA playoff game and an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.”

It’s funny, I never used to watch “How I Met Your Mother” until they started showing reruns approximately 24 hours a day. Now I love the show.

And seriously, didn’t you want Robin to be the mother?

But back to my wife. It’s like she thinks I have a short attention span or something. It’s as if she thinks — to borrow a great expression — my train of thought doesn’t have a caboose.

Speaking of that, have you noticed that most trains don’t have a caboose anymore?

I bet it’s Obama’s fault.

The other day, I was sitting in front of my computer staring at the blank screen. I do that a lot, by the way. When I can’t think of anything to write, I stare at my blank computer screen and hope that words will magically appear.

They never do.

Anyway, while I was staring at my blank computer screen, my wife walked into my office.

“What are you doing here? I thought you were at work,” I said.

My wife rolled her eyes.

“I told you this morning. I had a meeting in Carthage and needed to print off the order forms for Emma’s dance pictures and fill them out,” my wife said.

“Right,” I said and went back to staring at my blank computer screen. While I stared, my wife said  something, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy staring at my blank computer screen.

“You’re not paying attention to a word I’m saying, are you?” my wife said.

“That’s not true,” I said. “I heard every word.”

Technically, that was true. I did hear every word my wife said. I just didn’t understand them, what with me not paying attention and all.

“I said, ‘The check for the pictures is pinned to Emma’s costumes. She needs to write down on each form what dance routine and costume she is in. You also need to find out if she is going to the play with me. If she is, she needs to be ready by 6:15,” my wife said.

“Right,” I said.

My wife noticed that I was staring at an empty computer screen.

“What are you doing?” my wife said.

“Working on my column,” I said.

“You haven’t written your column yet? What have you been doing all day?” my wife asked.

I wanted to tell my wife that:

No. 1: Of course I hadn’t written my column yet. If I had, I wouldn’t still be working on it.


No. B: I had been staring at my blank computer screen all day.

But I didn’t think she would be impressed with either answer, so I didn’t say anything.

Instead, I thought about mashed potatoes.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.