There was a knock at the door. Dad looked up from his sudoku puzzle. “Oh good,” he said. “That must be Uncle Dan.” He got up and looked through the little window at the top of the door. “Yup, it’s him,” Dad said. He opened the door wide and did a little wave with his hand. “Come in.”
Uncle Dan frowned. “You did it wrong.”
Dad scrunched his eyebrows together and frowned. “What do you mean?”
Uncle Dan folded his arms. “You answered the door wrong. Tell him what he did wrong, Tim. I’m sure you know.”
Tim looked at Dad and Uncle Jim and shook his head. “He did it right. He checked for bad guys and opened the door for you.”
Uncle Dan sighed. “It’s a good thing that I came over today. You all obviously need a lesson on the proper way to answer doors. You forgot a very important step. Let’s call the whole family in so I can teach everyone at once.”
Dad smiled. “All right. Come on in so that I can shut the door and keep the bugs outside.” Dad turned to Tim. “Tim, can you call everyone in. Tell them Uncle Dan is here and has something important to tell us.”
It didn’t take long to gather the family. Everyone likes the idea of important news. Mindy and Mary sat on the couch, and Mom stood in the doorway to the kitchen. Allen sat on the floor and sucked his thumb.
Uncle Dan clapped his hands. “Great! It looks like everyone is here. Now, I just learned that your dad here doesn’t know how to answer doors correctly. Shall we test your mom? Watch and tell me if she’s doing it right.”
Mom folded her arms and raised an eyebrow. “Is this a challenge?” she asked.
“Of course it is,” Uncle Dan said.
“I accept.” Mom said.
Uncle Dan went back outside and closed the door. Then he knocked on the door again. Everyone looked at Mom. She crossed the room and looked out the little window in the door. Then she opened the door. “Come in,” she said.
“BZZZZZZ,” Uncle Dan said. “You forgot a step. Can anyone tell your mom what she did wrong?”
“First, Uncle Dan needs to come in and close the door,” Mom said. Uncle Dan came in, and Mom closed the door. Uncle Dan clapped his ands together again. “So, any ideas?”
“She didn’t turn on the porch light?” Mindy asked.
“It’s not dark yet,” Mary said. “She should have asked what he wanted.”
“But we already knew Uncle Dan was coming over,” Mary said.
“Do you have any ideas, Tim?” Uncle Dan asked.
“No, she did it right,” Tim said.
“Anyone else?” Uncle Dan asked.
Allen crawled to Mom and she picked him up. “Just tell us,” Mom said.
“You forgot to say ‘who’s there’,” Uncle Dan said.
“But they both looked out the little window,” Tim said. “They knew it was you.”
“No, it’s cheating to leave out ‘who’s there’,” Uncle Dan said. “It’s one of the most important steps of answering the door. Let’s practice. Tim, you answer the door this time.”
Uncle Dan went out and closed the door. He knocked on the door with two sharp raps, knock knock.
“Who’s there?” Tim said loudly.
“Boo,” Uncle Dan said.
“I’m not scared of you Uncle Dan,” Tim said.
“No, say ‘Boo who?’,” Uncle Dan said.
Mindy and Mary started laughing. Mom rolled her eyes. “Of course this was all about a joke,” she said.
Mindy hopped off the couch and opened the door. “Don’t cry Uncle Dan, we’ll let you in,” she said.
Uncle Dan frowned. “This family still doesn’t know how to answer doors correctly. I can see that this may take a while.”