My jaw floated open in a lazy T-Rex yawn, and words
tumbled out as I searched frantically for the remote.
“Daughter! I need to watch the news; it’s important.”
The TV droned on, “…we need to make a baby, and I
read that practicing different…”
Good night! What are we taping here? I jabbed buttons,
pushed arrows, and finally found the mute control and
extinguished the noise.
I flew down the hall looking for daughter number two,
who I knew DVR’d every cable show that I might find offensive.
She was texting on her phone, checking homework on
her iPad and trying on shoes in a Cirque du Soleil multi-task that I certainly could never accomplish.
“Dad, I’ll be with you in a minute.”
In a minute. That was the new buzz phrase in my house.
“Can you clean your room?”
“In a minute.”
“I need some help putting away groceries.”
“In a minute.”
“Zoey, I need some help in the garage; there’s a snake
“…the shutdown of the American government will have
a resounding effect on the global economy and each and
every life in…”
ALERT! Scheduling conflict. Your former channel has
been preempted by “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”
Check with your provider, or modify the existing schedule
to return to your previous program.
By Tom Webb
“ Zoey, I need some help in the garage;
there’s a snake biting my lip while I’m
holding up the engine in your mom’s car
with my bad arm.”
“My gear bag burst into flames on the
118.” “Tyler stole my helmet for a paintball
event.” “Both my tires went flat during the
biting my lip while I’m holding up the engine in your mom’s
car with my bad arm.”
“In a minute!”
My friends don’t use the phrase in such a casual abuse
of the facts.
“Mental, can you hand me that wrench?”
It’s either “yes,” “no” or “done” without syllables. It’s
never, “Give me 60 seconds” or “Hang on, Ashley just tex-
ted me that her boyfriend is addicted to wheat products,”
or “I’m masticating on a sandwich. I’ll clock in with you the
next time the sweep hand does a 360.”
I say, “Let’s go riding,” and brother Mike never retorts,
“Give me some additional time to absorb your query.
Possibly 3. 7 minutes. I will return your call and either con-
firm or deny your request.”
When Roost says, “Get your caboose in here. There’s
a giant bug on the couch with teeth bigger than yours,” I
don’t reply, “Hang on, honey, I’m going to require 84 sec-
onds, possibly 90, to absorb, commit and reply to your
request.” I do what she says, because I know the conse-
quences of not doing it.
Dirt folks realize this; it’s ingrained in their DNA.
“The enduro starts at 8. We need to leave the house at 5,
gulp down chow at Mickey D’s, check in and get dressed
by 7, and then get nervous and go to the can 19 times
before the event starts.
There is no debate. There is no banter. There are no
There are those who abuse the trust of enforced and
prompt decision-making, or use a form of “in a minute” that
is clouded and vague.
My little brother Tip has never been on time to a Mental
ride in the last nine years. His defense is always unique:
“My gear bag burst into flames on the 118.” “Tyler stole my
helmet for a paintball event.” “Both my tires went flat dur-
ing the night!”
It’s never, “I was over-served last night and didn’t hear
Brother Mike is much more succinct and a full-blown
time enforcer. But, he fails miserably in bringing fuel,
always knowing that I’ll have a full can with me. His “in
a minute” is “Dag, I had 5 gallons, but James needed it
for his truck.” It’s always a flagrant miscarriage of proper
Fortunately, I hold the line perfectly, unless you ask
Roost. She’ll tell the entire planet that in over three decades
I have never come home from riding when I said I would.
“But honey, if you give me a minute, I can explain…” q