Moments after joining him in the pizza joint, she said, “It misted here all day today. It didn’t really rain. The air just stayed thick and damp, but the ground never looked wet.”
He said, “You’re lucky. It poured in Manoa all day.”
She said, “No mud puddles formed here. In fact, nothing really looked wet. After work I headed for the parking lot and when I got to the bare patch in the field — the bright red clay — looked perfectly dry. I was walking along and then, splat!, I was sitting in the mud.”
He provided her with a lovely, scientific description of the mud’s composition and explained why it was red.
She said, “My shoes will never be white again. Luckily, I was wearing my black slacks.” He made sounds of agreement. She said, “I was walking along and my foot just slipped. There’s this two and a half foot long gouge in the field where I fell. It only took a second. My foot just shot forward, plowing clay in front of it like a bull dozer. There’s the gouge, and this little mound at the end of it. The mound would be bigger, but the clay piled up on the end of my toe. When my butt hit the ground, a big glob of the stuff shot into the air and came down on my right knee.
“Are you laughing at me?” She demanded.
He shook his head, tried to straighten his face, and said, “Of course not.”
“Because not even Jane, the janitor, laughed when I showed up with both my hands covered in mud. Jane just asked if I wanted her to unlock the bathroom. That’s when I turned around and showed her my backside and said I thought a hose might be a better idea.”
He had a squeaky little coughing fit and covered his face in his hands. She stared at him suspiciously and demanded, “Are you sure you’re not laughing at me?”
He said, “Darling, I am just happy you weren’t injured.”
She said, “Jane took me to the fenced lanai behind the kitchen. There was hot and cold running water — looked like a set up for a washing machine — coming out of the wall about waist-high. I went ahead and showered in that. I figured soaking wet clothes were better than muddy clothes.”
He made more choking noises. She frowned at him. He took a gulp of soda and blamed the pizza. Then he changed the subject. “You say the ground never looked wet?”
“It looked just the same as it always does, red and powdery, but underneath it was slippery as snot!”
He queried, “How wet? How far down did the water go? Did it look wet underneath?”
She said, “I really don’t know. It wasn’t like I sat down to investigate the mud, you know, and I don’t have eyes on my butt.”
He made some warbling noises and stuffed a chicken wing into his mouth. She frowned and accused, “You are laughing at me! You aren’t in the least bit concerned!”
He said tried valiantly to assure Her that he was indeed concerned, but there wasn’t enough pizza on the table to stifle his laughter.