“Why? Why? Why?…”


I thought I’d been shot.

My wife came running and was startled to find me flat on my back, expecting the chalk police to arrive any second to outline my perimeter on the hot blacktop and wrap our house with yellow ‘crime scene’ tape.

“What happened”, she asked, with a bit of worry in her voice.

“I misread the ‘psi’ on the tire and over inflated the damn thing, it blew itself to smithereens”. Sometimes, I impress myself with how quickly I can answer her deposition-like questions, but she saw right through me this time, as I tried to misplace the blame on the tire, itself.

wheelbarrow 1

‘How could you be so careless (you nincompoop)’? Wow, that hurt more than the ‘shot’.

She didn’t actually call me a nincompoop, but after decades of marriage, a husband knows his better half’s thoughts. Her eyes spoke ‘Nincompoop’‘.

However, it seemed a good time to employ a favorite troubleshooting tool of quality control personnel, the ‘5 Why’. State the issue, then ask a series of ‘why’ questions that lead to the root cause.  Let’s try it…

My wheelbarrow tire blew apart.  Why?

I over inflated it. Why?

I misread the psi number on the sidewall. Why?

I didn’t look at it carefully. Why?

Because I’m an old guy with bony knees and if I get down on the ground to look closely, then I may not get up again. Why?

It’s Life!

There, it works, doesn’t it. I seemed to have discovered the irrefutable and undeniable root cause of the tire explosion and deafening sound, Life, and I’m not sure there’s a ‘corrective action’. More ‘Whys’ might help, but Life is very challenging. Agree?

Fortunately, no injuries were sustained other than a momentary loss of senses, a temporary deafness and total embarrassment.

Have you ever crossed paths with ‘carelessness’? A friend cut a live electrical wire at home with nary a tickle. A brother-in-law used an electric hedge clipper to trim fingernails and only suffered 32 stitches. ‘Lady Luck’ was on their side this time. Or a Guardian Angel!

Unlike cats, we have 1 Life, so let’s be careful with it, not careless. And if you are the latter, try asking yourself, ‘Why?’. Ask it as many times as necessary to find the root cause of your ‘nincompoopness’. And, yes, while she may not say it, you’ll know she’s thinking it. Just look at her eyes…the ones that have been watching your faux pas for years.

July 2018

To husbands, everywhere, but especially Steve P and Gary C for ‘giving’ me a story!  Be careful!

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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

19 thoughts on ““Why? Why? Why?…””

  1. Good one. Nice to hear from you. I died and was recalled as you know during a surgery so I perfectly understand why you say.
    All the best for you and your family

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laughing so hard I’m almost in tears Steve! Be careful! Next time carry a magnifying glass so you don’t have to get down to read 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Steve,

    So glad you are OK. Once again what a wonderful telling of your story.

    A long, long time ago, just after I left high school and was away in the service I
    heard that a friend had been in an accident. Didn’t see him until years later when home on leave. He had been blowing up a truck tire – split-rimmed- without a cage and it exploded. To this day I am amazed that I recognized him when I saw him years after his injuries. His eyes were saved but most of his face had to rebuilt.

    So very glad you escaped unharmed!

    Stay safe!



    1. Wow, that’s a heck of a story. I guess I can count my blessings. And isn’t it interesting how a story can stimulate memories of something that happened long ago. Thanks for sharing that comment, Jim.


  4. Oh dear, Steve, accidents do happen and yours wasn’t serious. My Dad decided to use an angle grinder to cut down a metal fence a few years ago. The blade was defective and it broke. My Dad sliced into his leg and missed his main artery by a centimeter. I was in a meeting at work when I got a hysterical call from my Mom and hi-tailed it home and rushed him to the emergency room. Such is life, indeed. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My story is getting peeps to react with some pretty serious stories of accidents. Wow! It’s why they call them ‘accidents’, no one planned them. Be careful and thanks for your comment. And remember to try that ‘5 Why’, it’s a fun process.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There’s never an answer he’ll like. It’s always either, because I am an idiot. I thought he’d never miss the……………..I tried to do it with, I was taking a shortcut, or It seemed like a good idea at the time. I don’t know why he asks. He never likes the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, you actually tried the ‘5 Why’, or you’re just assuming those are the answers? Haha! Actually, it does work if you’re trying to find the ‘root cause’ and that will lead you to corrective action so you don’t repeat it. But I see some of those answers in my own progression at times. I tell my wife, ‘…because I’m a knucklehead’ and she agrees! 😂🤪


  6. I know it’s a quite serious situation that could have gone very wrong but you tell it in a way that made me laugh. You see evidence of these things on America’s Funniest Videos. Under the subtitle “what were they thinking” Don’t think I’ve ever had to ask the 5 why’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We wives KNOW that men wait till we’re out for the day to do something stupid, because if we were home they would not be allowed to prop that wonky ladder up to the chimney pot… but we can’t anticipate every accident scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First, you pick out our diets, then comes the clothes (I hate shopping for clothes and when i do pick out something, I ask. ‘What do you think, honey?’ Lastly, you manage our chores with your ‘honey-do’ lists. 🤪😂

      Liked by 1 person

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