The Ploy

Ploy is defined as “a cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one’s own advantage.”

When my son was around 10 or 12, we would watch Pink Panther movies. Inspector Clouseau was a complicated guy who had an intense interest in ploys. His existence was based entirely on ploys. Had a great day today! 578 ploys! Feeling much better after yesterday’s brutal 123… He was the king of ploys. “The “bumb” at the front door ploy” or the “He’s not my dog ploy” or the infamous “Closet ploy”. The Pink Panther always had a ploy. Or the ploy had him…I was never sure which way it went.

I‘m not sure he paid enough attention to the “to one’s own advantage” part. In his mind, he sees all these ploys everywhere and they’re all in boxes. He doesn’t see walls, chairs, windows, trees, houses, the sky, the dirt, the garbage can or anything…Just all these boxes and there’s a ploy in every one of ‘em.  Some are the size of a cell phone and some require a forklift.

So all day we wanders from one box to the next in an intentionally aimless manner. He has mastered this skill. But I wonder is there a time limit for ploys? Is there a maximum number of ploys per day? Do ploys have to be approved prior to deployment? Are they all gone at the end of each day or do you sometimes have leftovers? Are there any restrictions with regard to subject matter?

For many years, Inspector Clouseau had a very hard time sleeping. He was convinced that sleep was a ploy to get him to not pay attention. He would miss everything if he continued to sleep. His brain was working 90 hour work weeks every single week for many years and eventually he realized that the purpose of sleep was to rest the mind and body and not part of someone’s master plan to rob the cupboard.

He eventually settled into a well-deserved retirement. I’m not sure if it was his decision or Chief Inspector Dreyfuss’s. We will never know and that’s ok.

This whole story is based on the happy memories I have of watching these movies with my son and acting stupid after watching them. I’m not speaking for my son, but only myself in saying that it doesn’t take much for me to act stupid. Stupidly?…

Jeff and I would just throw out quotes from the movie at dinner. While everyone else was saying things like “How was your day?” or “How was school today?”, we were exchanging Pink Panther movie quotes…”It’s not my dog” or “It’s a bumb.” This would go on for a while as we laughed. And we would calm down. The ladies of the house didn’t quite get the humor, but it worked for us.

Those are moments that I miss…

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