Saturday, December 05, 2009

Different Jokes For Different Folks

We knitters have a joke. Sometimes you'll see it on a T-shirt:

I knit so I don't kill someone.

If you're an impatient type of person, you'll understand that joke. When I'm in a doctor's waiting room, or waiting for a dental cleaning, or even sitting in the pharmacy for a few minutes, knitting is what keeps me from pacing around the room like a caged tiger.

Actually, sometimes I knit and pace. I'm tightly wound like that.

So I was knitting on a scarf while waiting in line yesterday at the post office, whereto I had blithely journeyed, completely forgetting that it is DECEMBER - the month when everyone on earth goes to my local post office to mail packages in preparation for the yuletide festivities. There were 20 people ahead of me in line.

I knit. I stayed calm. I didn't think about the 4 young ones I had left to fend for themselves at home, I didn't think about the dinner I was not starting to cook, I didn't think about anything except knit 2, knit back, purl one - over and over and over.

Soothing. Peaceful. Meditative. No one gets hurt.

Ahead of me was an older woman with a package addressed to an APO box. Being terminally extroverted, I had to strike up a conversation (while I knit, of course): "Where's he stationed?" I asked.

"Iraq," she said, "he just got there."

"Son? Grandchild?"

"It's my nephew, actually.

Looking a tad uncomfortable with being accosted by a stranger who was reading her package address, she still attempted to return the courtesy and said, "What lovely knitting! That's a good idea, with this long line and all."

And, trying to be amusing, I said, "Yes. I knit so I don't kill someone."

How to describe the look of alarm that crossed this woman's face? It was, let's say, a look that made me realize what this poor lady was seeing. What she was seeing was a maniacally-smiling stranger holding two sharp sticks (Harmony circulars, no less - handy for stabbing or strangling!) - a stranger who was violating all rules of proper line conduct by reading the addresses on other people's packages and asking for personal details of their lives.

In short, she was looking into the face of crazy. Postal, even...

She smiled nervously, turned around, and faced front.

While I kept knitting, sinister-like, behind her...


  1. I read so I won't kill anyone.
    And...truth be told...I also EAT so I don't kill anyone.

  2. BWHAHAHAHAHA!! This is so like something I would do! The public at large generally just doesn't get me!


    I need to learn to knit.

  4. I was at the round-the-clock-football-watching inlaws' house over Thanksgiving. I finished three knitting projects and watched a fourth.

    It was either knit or scream.

  5. You're much better than I am, I don't think I'm coordinated enough to knit while standing.

  6. Great story! Reminds me of the time someone asked me if we were going to have more kids, and I was so tired of hearing this question that I said: "We're going to keep going until we get an ugly one." But the lady I was talking to did not know I was joking. It was painful. For her.

  7. And all she could hear behind her was a menacing, "Click, click, click, click, click..." Bwaaa-haa-haaa!

  8. Guess I should learn to knit! This is a great post, thanks for sharing!

  9. This made me want to learn to kill people. I mean knit. Really. You made it sound like a great way to pass the time and you can ignore people or talk to them if you want too. S'cool.

  10. You need to turn this into a script--a la Serial Mom!

  11. Who knew knitters were such psychopaths?

    Good to know. :)

  12. I can so imagine me having that conversation, hoping my smile disarms her before she reaches for the Mace.

  13. With the clicking of the needles behind her, she glanced nervously around the room. Her eyes landed on a photograph of a woman who looked so familiar. She took a step closer, to what she now saw was a "wanted" poster, labelled "armed and dangerous," and squinted at the mugshot, when the clicking of the needles behind her stopped....

    Do they still have wanted posters in post offices?

  14. You're frightening me, too.

  15. That is too funny. I'm sure she was on high alert status until she left the building!

  16. I just love it. I found your blog through another blog and i'm glad i did!
    Have a great time!

  17. I do the same thing. Only I don't have knitting needles in my hands. I just get lonely in the line!

  18. Absolutely hilarious!

    Have you seen Wooly Bullies?

    It seems like the kind of video you would appreciate.

    I'm a crocheter, myself.

  19. Ha!

    What does knit 2, knit back, purl one make?

  20. Knitting definitely gives me a sense of calm like no other. I'm a TERRIFIED flier. Probably because someone told me when I was 16 years old that I was going to perish in a plane crash when I was 38 - and guess how old I am now? Whenever I would board a plane, if I had my knitting needles with me, it was almost as good as Xanax.

    Unfortunately for me, during a recent flight, I completely spaced and brought along my big aluminum needles in lieu of my smaller bamboo needles, and they were confiscated at security check in, because I didn't have time to run back and pack them in my already-checked luggage. I was able to pull of the blanket that was 2/3 completed but ... gah ... the flight was bad enough without the knowledge that I had 120 stitches to cast back on once I could procure a new pair of needles.

    Suffice to say > I was the one jamming the call button and chanting, "Drink please! Straight up! Seat 20E! Make it SNAPPY!"

  21. Some people have no sense of humor....I can't count the number of times that I have discussed the perfect murder and yet I am completely sane. Completely. Ask my therapist.

  22. Funny, I wanted to knit in court (we do foster care and are trying to adopt our son)talk about being wound up. And do you know, my husband thought it would look funny??? He thought it wouldn't make a good impression on the judge and would classify me as being crazy with the other family we are in court over. I laughed and told him if the judge thought that, I bet he's single!!! So instead I wrung my hands and tried not to chew my lip while trying to pleasantly smile as if this was a normal occurrence to be in court! I am sure I looked more deranged than if I had been knitting! Oh well, the secrets to being happily married!