I poured myself out of bed this morning and trundled to the living room; Bubba, sitting on the couch with his coffee, was reading the news.
Still groggy, I scuffled around the couch to the front door and flipped off the outside light. After pouring coffee in the kitchen, I settled in opposite Bubba.
“Did you just turn the outside light on?” he asked.
“Huh? No. I turned it off.”
“But it’s on,” he said.
I leaned forward so I could see. Dang. The switch was in the up position; on for sure.
Have you ever intended to say one thing—”look left,” for example—but the words that actually come out of your mouth are something else? Like “look right?” Your Bubba calls you on it and you insist you said “look left.” Of course, no one has a recording, and the next thing you know, there’s a row going on over just what was said, each person stubbornly insistent on the rightness of their claim.
This was like that. I was absolutely positive the light switch was up when I came out and that I had flipped it down. Bubba often gets up before me, and just as often forgets to turn off the light. So, habitually, I scuffle down the hall, see it on, and flip it off.
I think I’m awake when I’m doing this. Awake in the sense of paying attention to what I’m doing. Awake in the sense that someone is actually in charge of turning the light off.
If this was one of those “he said/she said” moments, I could’ve argued that I said “left” while Bubba argued I said “right.” In those moments, I knew I had thought “left” so I must’ve said it. Right?
But I couldn’t argue with this. I had flipped the light switch. I knew that. The light switch was now up, indicating the outside light was on. Which means I had to have turned it on.
I looked at him, the physical evidence in front of me.
“Yup,” I said, “I guess I did just turn the outside light on.”
So of course this will give me pause the next time we get into a contested language tiff, right?
I dun-know; I suspect the character that quibbles over these things doesn’t nitpick about evidence.