“Outlet!” I heard Tom scream as I got out of my car at his jobsite. “Outlet! Outlet! Out-let!!!” he repeated. I could only imagine what was going on.
“O-U-T-L-E-T!” he spelled. Then to make sure he was clearly understood, he added, “That spells OUTLET!”
I came around the back of the house under renovation and saw the target of Tom's rage: his helper, whose name, I think, is Jimmy. Tom was waving a duplex electrical outlet in front of his terror-stricken worker. I could see by the veins popping out of the back of Tom's neck that this tirade had been going on for some time. And I knew Tom well enough to know it would continue until at least lunch.
“No need for me to stick around,” I thought, planning to walk silently back to my car, back slowly out of the driveway, and catch up with Tom tomorrow...
“Hey! It's the pencil pusher!” Too late. Tom had spotted me.
“Let me ask you something,” he said to me as he waved the outlet in my direction. “What is this?”
“That?” I asked, frozen like a deer in headlights.
“Is it a switch?” Tom asked, in a loud, deliberate tone.
“No,” I said meekly.
“Are you sure?”