I have this thing that I do. I think it’s fun. Trish at least acts amused. Most of the time. In fact, if I suspend doing it for more than a few days she thinks something terrible is wrong with me.

But it’s one of those things that’s going to come back to bite me. Like cursing. In fact, it’s very much like cursing.

Sensitivity alert: If you were offended by “Superbad” you might want to stop reading, because this thing I do is highly sophomoric. Very juvenile. However, unlike the Superbad characters, I have no illusions that it makes me cool.

All right. Here it is. I constantly turn everyday phrases spoken in our house into sexual innuendo. Or downright sexual requests. Or verbal illustrations.

For instance, we were watching the National Geographic Channel last night. There was a story about some kind of big ship that acts like a natural gas pumping station (if they’d called it that I would have had a field day!) and the voice-over dude was describing a big cable. And I said to Trish, “do you want to reel in my cable?”

Trish will tell Ella to get off the counter or the sofa or whatever, and I’ll say to Trish, “I wish you’d tell me to get off.”

Cooking provides a goldmine. “Is it hot enough?” “Oooooh, yeah. It’s hot enough for me. Is it hot enough for you?” “Would you stir this?” “I’ll give you something to stir with.” Even something as simple as, “I’m going to cook dinner,” prompts, “I’d like to cook your dinner.” Some comments, say, inquiring about whether or not I’m ready for a meal, result in a pause and a sly smirk, which has the same affect.

The garage is a pretty rich environment, too.

I’m not misogynistic. Really. I don’t objectify women. While I like Hemingway I can see the flaws in his characters and plots.

Some of the time it’s just a lot of hot air. A silly way to bide the time.

But I really do like my wife. And I enjoy our … recreational time together. It’s not just the recreation, either. It’s her. These aren’t just generic sexual pheromones going off like fireworks. These are woman-specific chemicals.

Remember how Mrs. Cunningham would tell Howard that she was feeling frisky and then run upstairs? It’s kind of like that. Happy Days meets Porky’s.

But Trish says that one day Ella will open her mouth and announce to the neighbors that “my dad says he likes to butter my mom’s bread!” Or in the middle of the grocery she’ll yell, “My dad says he loves to take my mom downtown!”

I figure I have a window of time when I’ll have to curtail the solicitous flirting. Ella is starting to come of her shell, starting to talk to people more. Pretty soon she’ll start repeating things without knowing what they mean. Thus begins the dead zone. But before long, say when she’s 13 or 14, she will know what I’m talking about and she’ll probably think it’s so gross that she would never repeat it.

And when that day comes, I’m in the clear!