"Jul!" Dad called, in the standard "something is wrong and you better fix it" voice he uses for perceived emergencies.
He walked back toward me, one hand concealed behind his back and waited for Mom to open the door and come away from her new curlers, which were burning her hands so severely she resorted to putting on the pink John Deer (Deere? I'm not a farm girl) gardening gloves Dad bought her at the church auction as a joke.
"What?" Mom asked, removing a glove.
"I have good news, and I have bad news," Dad said.
"Tell me," Mom replied. At this point, I was actually curious. What was with the hand? Had Myst slaughtered an innocent that Dad callously brought into the house to show us? Was he injured? He did that when he got hurt sometimes...
"The good news is that the lawnmower actually still works--"
"You cut yourself!" Mom exclaimed.
"No," Dad said, moving his hand to show us what he held. "But I think I may have run over my cell phone with the lawn mower."
This is what we saw...
The "may have" is what got me. Maybe he hit his cell phone with the lawn mower. Maybe the blades mulched it, twisting the battery, shattering the circuitry, shredding the leather case that "protected" the phone beyond recognition.
This is your cell phone on lawn mower.
Or maybe something else did all that.
Maybe it wasn't really his phone. It could have been mine, or Paul's.
And in Dad's happy world of denial, his phone was safe, waiting quietly on some table top or in a pocket somewhere, unharmed and ready to receive all the emergency calls he could want, at three in the morning.
I laughed so hard, I could not breathe. Then I grabbed my camera and took all the pictures, burning them on a disc just in case the Best Buy people decided to keep my laptop, trapping the pictures on it, for weeks.
Then I vowed to share the pictures with the church, you, and anyone else that would look at them. What are daughters for?
Dad and Mom went out to look for the SIM card, which was not in the debris, but they could not find it. Most likely, it is resting peacefully, embedded in a tree three miles from the accident site.
And someday, maybe, we'll find it out there. But not before Dad has put all his contacts back into his new phone, one number at a time. Because that is how we do it at our house.