Dream of:03 November 1999 "Telling A Joke"
My father and I were in the living room of the Gallia County Farmhouse, watching a small blond-haired boy (about 3 years old). My father frequently baby-sat for the boy, who was somehow related to me. I liked the little fellow and had always remarked how well-behaved he was when he was around me, even though I knew he wasn't always so well-behaved around my father. I wasn't bothered when my father stepped out onto the back porch and left the boy with me.
I was occupied with a tall floor lamp sitting in the room. The lamp, which had a round bowl-like milk-glass shade, had a problem with the socket where the light bulb screwed in and I was trying to fix it. In the process, I held the lamp up over my head as I bent over and examined the wiring. Suddenly, I felt something on my back, and with shock realized the glass shade had fallen off the lamp onto my back. I gingerly grabbed the shade, safely pulled it from my back and set it down. I could hardly believe I had come so close to breaking the shade. That would have been a disaster; the lamp was such a fine old piece.
While I had been working with the lamp, the boy had been running around the room, and to my surprise, had begun acting very obnoxiously, even mouthing off to me. I was disappointed to realize the boy must be passing through an obstreperous phase. As I turned to him to address his baleful attitude, I was still holding the long stem of the lamp in my hand. Immediately when the boy saw me turning toward him with the lamp, he ran out of the room toward the back porch where my father was. I knew exactly what the boy was going to say even before he said it, and I was unsurprised when I heard him blurt out to my father, "Steve tried to hit me."
My first reaction was to go out to my father and defend myself, to say that I hadn't tried to hit the boy, that I had simply had the lamp stem in my hand and the boy had mistakenly thought I had intended to hit him with the lamp. But I refrained. I decided my father would surely not think I had intended to hit the boy. If my father had any questions, I would simply tell him what had happened when he came back into the house.
Instead of my father and the boy, two men walked into the house from the back porch. I recognized the men as carpenters who had been working on the Farmhouse. One man was about 40 years old, while the other was a young fellow about 20. I couldn't be sure, but I thought the younger fellow looked as if he might be one of my step-uncle Ivan's sons.
As the two men proceeded with their work, they were very friendly. The younger fellow told me a joke which I didn't understand, but at which I laughed anyway. The older fellow then decided to try his hand at a joke, and he asked me if I knew what a "Russian Nigger" was. I liked a joke as well as anyone and I appreciated the men trying to be so friendly, but I wasn't interested in hearing a racist joke. At that point, I only felt disgust for the man.
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