Humor in Uniform: A Pregnant Pause


August 12, 2015

Photo: © frooms

Photo: © frooms

When I was 19, I spent the summer as an outdoor technician for my dad’s company. I did all of the power sprays, wasp jobs and ant treatments. I had just finished spraying the exterior of Mrs. Johnson’s home one hot day in August, when she walked out to sign the paperwork. Mrs. Johnson was nine months pregnant but looked two months overdue. I’ve never seen a person seem more physically uncomfortable. The afternoon’s heat and humidity obviously weren’t helping matters. As she handed back my clipboard, she asked me to make sure the back gate closed behind me.

“You have to pull it hard behind you so the dogs don’t get out,” she said.

“I already did, Mrs. Johnson,” I responded and continued to fill out her paperwork.

As her words echoed in my head, her boxer and Labrador retriever galloped past me, nosing open the gate.

When I was younger, my dad would take me to the lanes to watch him bowl. The talk at the bowling alley could get raunchy sometimes, but I never heard any of those men swear like Mrs. Johnson swore at me that afternoon. 

She quit cursing and waddled after the dogs as fast as her swollen ankles would allow her. She looked like she was going to topple over at any moment, so I chased after her. Between the two of us, we were able to corral the dogs back to the house. I helped her sit down, and after a few minutes, the redness started to drain from her face. Her breathing returned to normal. We made small talk, and she apologized for swearing at me. Suddenly, she looked past me, and her eyes grew to the size of saucers. She shot up out of the chair and grabbed her pregnant belly.

“Are you having your child?!” I asked, fearing the worst.

“No! Those (bleep-bleeping) dogs are out again.”

Schopen is owner and founder of Schopen Pest Solutions, McHenry, Ill. You can email him at or reach him via Twitter: @schopenpest; Instagram: @peteschopen; or Facebook: Schopen Pest Solutions, Inc.

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