For What It’s Worth: You Know It’s Going to be a Bad Day When…

You can usually tell when you are going to have a bad day, if you wake up and hear the emergency broadcasting system on your radio, if there is a SWAT team truck parked in your driveway, if the townspeople are standing in front of your house with torches or if there is an EMT person standing over you screaming “CLEAR.”

Last week, I had just such a day. It started with the smoke alarm outside my bedroom going off at 3 a.m. I jumped up out of bed, half asleep, running toward the bedroom door when my knee went out and my face hit the edge of the door, knocking the cap off my front tooth. As I fell to the floor, I heard my wife laughing in the background.

As I turned to her, missing a tooth, she said, “You look like the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

At this point, the alarm had stopped, there was no smoke and no fire, just a constant beeping that was driving me crazy. Since I was up I hopped into the shower, hoping to get an early start on the day. Now, as I was all lathered up and ready to rinse myself off, I slipped in the tub. My left leg went one way while my right leg went the other way and the upper part of my body went through the shower curtain onto the bathroom floor. Now, I am on the floor outside of the tub all soaped up, trying to scream for help which came out as a whistle from my missing tooth. When my wife came into the bathroom to see a soapy whale half in the tub and half out of the tub, the only thing she could say to me was, I guess, bumbles really do bounce,” and started to laugh.

The day ended with eight hours of a beeping alarm and waiting for the electrician to come to fix it. Fifteen minutes and $150 later, all was back to normal in the household except my wife wanted to see if I could hold out till Halloween with my missing tooth.

“We wouldn’t have to buy the great pumpkin this year,” she said.

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Tony has lived in Lake Hopatcong since 1987. He has a bachelor’s degree in American literature from Ramapo College, a New Jersey teacher’s certificate, and a master’s in business administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Tony’s column, “For What It’s Worth,” appeared in Aim Jefferson for nine years. He recently retired after 46 years in the corporate world. Tony can be reached at