Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a white dog, a washing machine and an elephant named Freckles

Yesterday was one of those days that felt like three days. And not because it was boring, either. To begin with I had only a short predawn nap and had accomplished a few things over night. I did some housekeeping, balanced the checkbook (ouch! June stay away from the mall already!) I also watched a movie from start to finish without interruption commercial or otherwise. Too bad it wasn’t an entirely relaxing movie experience because it’s two in the morning and the film had a wonky soundtrack to it that meant the dialogue was very soft and quiet and the music WAS VERY LOUD so I was constantly moving the volume around, rewinding so I could hear and jamming my finger over the minus button so I didn’t wake up The Girl. At least, I got my exercise and a few adrenaline jolts, right?

You know about breakfast and moon pies. I didn’t mention while we were at breakfast we again discussed the feasibility of moving to Texas after Beav graduates from high school. We did come to the conclusion if we do move it will be problematic to our travel bugs to actually have goats, chickens or a yard cow. The Girl sagely suggested the only wise solution to this was a Yard Elephant. Which would be made of awesome and no one would venture down our road unannounced. Keeping Freckles (I’ve already named him) out of the pool will be problematic so he will need a pond to call his own. I’m guessing elephants can fend for themselves while people are away. It’s not like a chicken hawk or fox or javalina pig would carry off our yard elephant like they would chickens. Thank goodness we got that settled over breakfast, right?

Wally decided yesterday was the day to do laundry because the Army wasn’t calling him back (grrrr…don’t make my kids promises and then fail to keep them…that’s my job!) and the washing machine just sort of whirled down to a complete stop and was making an ominous loud buzzing noise.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Girl’s Papa for noting her ken mechanical sensibilities and helping her develop gifts because three hours later she was finished fixing it and we were not six hundred bucks poorer and still had time to go out for dinner per our original plan. Had I been alone with Wally we would have called Sears and The Girl would have returned from work to find me weeping over a bill. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In the midst of a mini flood in the laundry room I had to prove the towel I grabbed wasn’t a “good” towel. My line of logic was any towel was a perfect towel for the job in the face of a big gush of water issuing forth from the bottom of the washing machine. (Yes Dad, the breaker was off and the machine unplugged before the bottom was opened) It took about 15 seconds and free flowing water for her to see the bleach stain on the towel and agree it was just fine to put it on the floor. After many failed diagnosis TG found the reason for the clogged drain. Jesus smiled on us because it wasn’t the drain leading out of the house but rather a bunch of left over goodies from our pockets in the washing machine drain. Mostly my leftover work goodies like IV line caps, needle caps, alcohol wipes and empty pill packages.

Meanwhile, TG is almost finished with her repair job and discovers the back yard gate is open. She was on her way to the breaker box to restart the washer to check the integrity of her genius. (Yes Dad, the floor was completely dry and the wires were even dried off with a towel but not a good towel because that would be a crime against towels and womankind everywhere) She sticks her head back into the house and asks my least favorite question:

“Is the dog with you?”

Fuckity. The dog escaped from the backyard. My family has become a well oiled machine when we have a breach in the back yard dog compound. It’s like someone hollers: “Dog Escape!!” and everyone knows their position. TG took one bike in one direction, Wally takes the other bike the opposite direction and I run down the path towards the park, staying close to the house and MINI van so I can pick up the dog we apparently are holding prisoner in a grassy backyard . All of us are armed with cell phones.

Kip hadn’t been gone very long because fifteen minutes before the alarm was sounded, I had heard him yelping at a passing dog. He is a lot slower than he once was and is really supposed to be dead so I was guessing he wasn’t a mile away at the golf course like last year. After about five minutes of panting through the park I got the much hoped for phone call: “Do you have a white dog?” My first inclination is to ask: “Is he dead?” But I always hold back because most people wouldn’t think it was funny unless you knew Kipper or me and my gallows humor.

“I do, is he fluffy, friendly and named Kipper?

“He is”

“Oh thank you! Thank you! He’s old and not terribly healthy. Does he seem ok?”

“He …I thought it was a ‘she’ because of the pink toe nails…but yeah, he seems ok.”

“So where are you?” (Another dreaded question because God knows where he is: Limon? Watkins? Downtown? Cheyenne Mountain?)

The dog wasn’t very far away and I knew either Wally or TG would be passing the bridge at any minute because we have Operation Save The Dog From Himself down like a special ops team. Sure enough, as I was talking to my new boyfriend Brad, TG rolled up on the bike and I could hear her saying: “Hey, that’s my dog!”

Brad wasn’t going to be fooled into surrendering the dog to just anyone (bless him):

“Do you know someone named The Girl, riding a bike? She’s in a white tee shirt.”
Once we established Kipper was not being taken off by a stranger for a Korean dinner party or vivisection at the medical school, Brad asked me:

“Is your dog deaf? I heard people calling his name but he didn‘t notice.”

Oh he noticed all right. He wasn’t ready to return to the yard at Cleaver Prison Camp For Dogs. The smells on the outside are just too good to give up.

I’m really thankful Brad didn’t ask why his toe nails were pink. I don’t like to sully my karma with lying about having a silly twelve year old daughter at home and the truth is too embarrassing.

We earned our pre dinner martini last night. The dog can explain to you why his toe nails are pink. My lips are sealed.

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