Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I May or May Not.

"Chris, I may or may not be in trouble."

That was the first thing Youssef said to me. I was at the Columbus Zoo with my niece, Gracie, checking out the flamingos. Children were frolicking all around me, and yet on the other end of a cell phone I had a friend who seemed to be caught in a terrible mess.

"What's going on, Youssef? Are you ok?"
"No. I may or may not be in trouble!!!"

That's a peculiar statement. You're either in trouble or you're not...right?
"Ok ok, what did you do?" I asked.
"Well...I may or may not have parked illegally."
"...that's it?"

I stood there puzzled. Why would he call me about parking illegally? "Well, why don't you move the car?"
"I did."
", what's the problem?"
"Well Chris...I may or may not have gotten a parking ticket."

I was silent for a moment.
"...ok. Then pay it. Is that all?"
"Chris, I may or may not have been receiving the ticket as I was driving away."
"Oooohhh...yeah, that's a problem. You can't run away from a parking ticket."
"That's not the problem."
"So then, what's the problem?"

Youssef took a deep breathe, and then said, "Chris, I may or may not have run over the meter maid."
"She asked for it."
"No, Youssef, she didn't! Youssef you can't just run over Parking Enforcement Officers!
"Did you really do this?"
"I may or may not have."
"Where are you right now?"
"I'm driving."
"To where?"
"Washington D.C."
"No, no. Not at all. I'm just...well, taking an unplanned vacation."

Shock. Awe. Jaw-dropping incredulity.
"Youssef, you have to turn around."
"I may or may not continue to live in Columbus."
"Don't tell me it gets worse..."
"I may or may not have yelled something out the window at her." (The way he said 'her' was so scathing!)
"Oh gosh, please don't tell me--"
"Youssef, you did not run over a meter maid and then call her a whore."
"I may or may not have."