Fried Rice |

Fried Rice

“We are implementing a new rule in the house,” I announced firmly to husband-head. “You can no longer say the ‘F’ word on Saturdays.”

Husband-head rolled his eyes at my latest regulation.

“And what if I break this little rule?” he challenged. “What are you going to do? Wash my mouth out with soap?”

But I was serious. I did not want to hear the word “football” on Saturdays.

I implemented the rule because it is the one day on the weekend when I have husband-head all to myself to do fun chores or projects that I dream up without having to compete with a bunch of guys in spandex pants.

And on this particular Saturday, I wanted him to paint the living room.

“Do I HAVE to?” husband-head complained when he got up. “For Pete’s sake, I work all week long.”

I gave him “the look” which promised that I would stop paying the TV satellite bill if he didn’t.

“Alright, alright, what color are we painting it?” husband-head asked. “Please don’t say pale pink.”

“No, that’s the color I want for our bedroom,” I assured him. “With a little hearts and flowers border all around.”

Husband-head looked aghast.

“I don’t know what color to paint the living room, what do you think?” I asked, since he’s the one who works in the interior design field.

Husband-head looked at the room and I could see the wheels turning in his head.

“I know what would be perfect,” he finally decided. “We’ll paint the walls dark green and the trim gold and hang a big Packers banner in the middle.”

I bopped him on the head.

We finally decided on a color and husband-head reluctantly went out to the shed and gathered up the painting paraphernalia while I put newspapers down on the floor. Then I watched as he meticulously put tape around the trim on the windows and doors.

“If it was me, I’d just start painting,” I observed.

“Yeah I know,” husband-head agreed. “That’s exactly why I’M doing this and you aren’t.”

He cranked up the music, stood on a ladder and got to work.

“You missed a spot,” I pointed out after a while. “Right there … and there … and there.”

Husband-head turned around and gave me a look of his own.

“I know what I’m doing,” he said through clenched teeth. “Why don’t you just go clean something? Or call Marianne, that’s always a productive conversation.”

“I was just trying to help,” I sulked.

And the dogs wanted to help, too. To them, the roller going up and down the wall was a big game ” just like the vacuum cleaner and the lawn mower ” all of which must be furiously barked at.

“Hey lady,” husband-head yelled out after a couple of hours. “Any chance of some lunch in this slave camp?”

“Yes,” I assured him. “I need to fortify you for the next chore when you’re done painting.”

Husband-head took a break to eat his sandwich.

“You know, I am NOT the houseboy around here, missy,” he informed me between bites. “There are some college games on TV I’d like to see today.”

I looked at him in horror.

“I didn’t say it!” he immediately defended himself. “I did NOT say the ‘F’ word!”

Yeah, well it was darn close.

When the painting was done, husband-head stood back and admired his handiwork.

“That looks pretty nice if I don’t say so myself,” he said proudly.

“Yes Picasso, you did good,” I agreed.

But determined to get the most out of my “F-less” Saturday, I then had husband-head embark on a slew of other tasks I needed done.

At the end of the day, an exhausted husband-head sank into bed.

“Thank you,” I patted him on the back. “I appreciate all your help. And I’m proud of you for going the whole day without saying the F-word.”

Husband-head was already snoring.

But the next morning, he was up bright and early.

“It’s SUNDAY!” he shouted as he bolted out of bed. “Do you know what that means?”

I pulled the covers over my head because I knew what was coming.


Heidi Rice is the Rifle Correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at

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