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Slice 3 of 365

Such a large word for only three consonants (yes Y is sometimes a vowel, shut up). If you ask only “why?” literally millions of answers could follow it.

Because I said so.

Because it was god’s will

Because there was a tornado

Because they have oil and we don’t

Because I wanted to surprise you

Because the devil told me to

I don’t know (a favorite of my kids)

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Usually you don’t just ask “why?” without hearing some kind of statement first like, “I drove the car through the front door.” WHY? Choose one of the above, they could all fit.

When I was a kid my father used to tell a joke where the punchline was, “Why me god?” and god would answer in a deep reverberating voice from above, “Because you piss me off.” I don’t remember the whole joke, just this part.

One night my parents were having a party with some of the new neighbors not long after we’d moved to Jersey. My brother, my sister and I had been promptly put to bed but as I always did when there was company I got up and went to the first landing on the stairs so I could listen.

When we still lived in the Bronx in a one bedroom apartment that the five of us shared (thus the move to Jersey) I used to get up when there was company too. One night I fell asleep behind the bedroom door that separated me from the adults and my folks couldn’t wake me or move me and ended up spending the night on the living room floor.

So here I am at the top of the stairs and I hear my dad telling the joke and he says, “Why me god?” and at the top of my lungs in a cherub-like six-year-old voice I bellow down the stairs, “Because you piss me off!”

There was about three seconds of silence for me to think that I had just given myself away and was in for a whooping. But then one of the neighbors starting giggling, and then another and then my mom and finally I heard my dad laughing and I knew I was ok, whew…

“Go to bed!” he yelled up the stairs without getting up and I ran for it and leaped into bed happy to have an unharmed butt.

“Why me” is used often by most of the world I would guess, myself included. I try not to ask that question but eventually it comes out in frustration when I have no self-control, self-respect or any self at all.

I would often ask my father “why?” and his answer was always, “because why is a crooked letter.” I never understood this at all, even now I wonder if he meant “why” was a criminal or if he just meant the letter y was actually crooked. I’d say it’s more bent than crooked.

I have a love/hate relationship for when kids go through the “why?” stage, asking questions almost constantly. It felt like my kids went though that stage for about a hundred years. it starts out very cute and innocent but boy it gets old fast. Then the questions start to get more complex and you can’t make things up any more plus they start remembering things better. Darn kids.

But inevitably when my kids asked the question “why?” when they were in that young life stage I would on occasion slip into my dad’s persona and answer, “because why is a crooked letter.”

Until tomorrow…

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