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Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

I’m all verklempt, as Mike Myers’ Linda Richman character used to say on “Saturday Night Live.”

Talk amongst yourselves — maybe you can provide the definitive answer on global warming/climate change — while I ponder whether to narc out Kate and give you something to talk about.

OK, ponderation over, and I’ve gotta tattle — I’ve just gotta: I’m verklempt because she has kleptomaniacal quirks that could be catastrophic if she gets caught.

I’m a throwback who still wears a watch — one with a round dial, hands and numbers, like God intended. No digital display or heart monitor or step tally or sperm counter — just the time, pure and simple. (Well, truth be told, it has a couple other little dials, but I’m not sure what they’re for.)

I know the younger set doesn’t cotton much to watches, as I discovered a couple of years back when I gave my son, Brendan, one for Christmas. He told me he doesn’t wear a watch, so I asked how the hell he tells time.

“I just look at my phone,” he said, with a disdainful tone — as if I had asked a ridiculous question.

I realize that the time is coming when people won’t even know what a watch is, but in the meantime, that’s how I clock time.

But I digress. Back to Kate’s thievin’ ways. We were going out one recent afternoon, and outings with her always put me in a lather.

Regular as clockwork, I’m always ready on time and leave myself plenty of time for my final pit stop, but when Kate pulls the trigger to signal it’s time to go — well, let’s just say I don’t get time to go.

On this particular occasion, I was bustling around the house, frantically searching for my watch, which I was sure I had left on the dresser. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her raise her starting pistol.

“What are you looking for?” she said.

“My watch. I can’t find my watch. I thought I had put it on the dresser. I’ve looked everywhere — even in the leaf piles I just moved to the curb.”

“Well, you can get by without a watch for a few hours,” she said.

“Yeah, but it’s the watch you gave me,” I said, assuming she would cut me some slack time to find the watch she paid a premium for because it marks a special occasion.

The timepiece is a replica of one that Barack Obama’s staffers gave him to commemorate his first inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. An engraved message on the back records that for posterity (mine is No. 300428).

The watch is probably one of the few things that 45 hasn’t been able to reverse in his despicable drive to turn back time to erase all signs of his predecessor in a vain — and vain — attempt to elevate himself. (Even playing Button, Button — I’ve Got the Biggest Button” can’t do that.)

At any rate, I gave up the search — after one more sweep while looking for my billfold — and hopped into the car for our date.

We had driven just a few blocks when Kate mentioned that she was wearing a watch she didn’t even remember having. She expressed surprise that it was even running when she found it after dumping her jewelry tray onto the dresser.

I glanced over and saw that it was my watch, the one I had left on the dresser and, yes, the one she knew I had been looking for in a panic.

There she sat, with a look of realization and fake guilt as she said, “Oh, is this yours?”

To cover her blatant thievery, she made up some cockamamie excuse that it must have gotten mixed up in her jewelry and other watches.

The incident occurred just days after she lost a pillowcase and claimed that the house must be haunted. That was her story, and she stuck to it — until she changed pillowcases and discovered she actually had put one over the “lost” one the previous time.

I was willing to forgive and forget because, after all, the “lost” pillowcase seemed to confirm her claim of innocence.

Until her insidious intentions became a pattern of pilferage the other day when I heard her announce triumphantly, “Oh! I found one of your precious Gundersen pens — and it’s mine now.”

She was referencing my column of last week, when I mentioned my penchant for purloining pens from Gundersen Health System because they work the best, as pinched pens go.

“Aha!” I responded as I eyed her “prize.” “That’s a Respecting Choices pen, and they’re not as good as the Children’s Miracle Network ones. You can have it.”

She opened her notebook to stow it away, and I immediately spied something else she had swiped.

“HEY!” I hollered. “That’s one of my Cross pens!”

She feigned innocence, as she had with my wayward watch. But now I know I’m wedded to a woman of wily ways.

I’ll be extra vigilant to keep track of my Buck Nekkid underwear, though, because women are always wearing men’s clothes, but we don’t wear Victoria’s Secrets.

I’ll just accept her flaws, as she does mine. The closest I’ve come to upbraiding her was when I wrote her a note declaring, “Dammit, I’m mad.” Of course, I wrote it backwards so she wouldn’t catch the scolding snarkiness.


(1) comment

And the Award goes to

Today's award goes to Mike for finally catching them in the act! I have the same problem with my spouse only with my phone, and occasionally the keys. Great story, and although this award is completely meaningless, I present it to you anyways. Thank you for sharing.

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