What?

Four-year old Betsy was in her bedroom. Seven-year old Billy was in his room. This is what I heard them saying.

“Billy.”

“What?”

“Shut up.”

“Billy.”

“What?”

“Shut up.”

“Billy.”

“What?”

“Shut up.”

Please leave a comment with your first 50 words on the topic “what?”

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

5 thoughts on “What?”

  1. Damned it! I’m getting sick and tired of my eighty year old husband responding with “what?” whenever I speak to him. This has been ongoing for several years. When I ask him to have his hearing checked, he drags his feet and says that his hearing is fine; that he wondered if I’d had mine checked. Finally, during a recent medical crisis when he was responding to a nurse filling out a form at the ER he indicated that he was hard of hearing. Aha! He can’t admit it to his wife, of course. What’s interesting is that he doesn’t seem to hear what I say when I speak but when I’m on the phone with someone he doesn’t have any problems picking up parts of the conversation. How do I know? Because he will bring it up eventually. Ah – the eternal battle of the sexes. It just doesn’t change even as we move into our twilight years.

  2. “Don’t say WHAT,: my 73 year old, Italian-born father groused when I once again responded with ‘what’ or ‘what NOW’ when he said my name. “Say yes,” he said, giving me a cross look.

    “I don’t have to say yes,” I said as patiently as I could, “I know you WANT something, and so I say WHAT in hopes you’ll tell me what it is you want without going off on a six hour tangent.”

    “I want that you should get me the antacid from the bathroom,” he said, letting out a loud belch, “this fra diavolo sauce is too spicy. And,” he said when I brought him the antacid, “why you don’t put an ad on the Catholic Singles,” he swallowed a handful of antacid like they were candy, “meet a nice guy…you’re not gettin’ any younger.”

    I rolled my eyes…and there it was, the other shoe had dropped. I knew when he asked for the goddamn antacid that that wasn’t what he REALLY wanted. WHAT he really wanted was for me to do something I didn’t want to do.

    “Catholic Singles is an online dating site for Catholic PEOPLE,” I patiently explained, as though he were a child. “I don’t consider myself a Catholic,” I said, for what felt like the millionth time, “WHAT you fail to understand, because you don’t want to understand, is I don’t believe in god.”

  3. What? is a delightful term. Context, punctuation and/or emphasis make(s) all the difference. “What?” Please repeat. “What….?” Please describe or identify. “What!” Surprise. “WHAT!” Exasperation or frustration. “What?” An opposite of “That” “What!” prelude to “Oh, yes.” or “Oh, no.” or “Maybe” And “what” with no punctuation at all becomes a different story all together… What fun!

  4. What is it about a beautiful day that lifts our spirits? It’s the sunshine that peeks through our shades announcing that a new day is out there for the taking. It’s a gift from God telling us to look around and enjoy His creation. It’s His way of lifting our spirits amid the many tragic events that are occurring around us.

  5. “What?”
    “You heard it , I used the detergent lying in the bathroom cabinet, if it is okay with you ?”
    “But there is no detergent there !”
    ” Come on , it smelt like soap,but did not froth in water.”
    “That’s what !! It was starch , for my cottons !”
    “What !”
    Now , the teenagers look up from their respective devices.
    “Our undies will be rock hard now!! ” Someone expressed regretfully.

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