Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! Have I had a morning...
It is mornings like this that convince me that my willful refusal to believe in a higher power, and yet continue to blashpheme in said non-entity's name as I did in my opening sentence,have come around to give me a big karmic bite in my undead ass.
Let me tell you how my morning started...
So - - I send Zombie Boy and WolfGirl out to the bus stop for school at 8:30. I'm working from home today, so I am looking forward to a few hours of uninterrupted writing. Working from home is nice like that - I don't have a million people coming up to my desk with problems that in their world are huge, but in my world are as annoying as the buzz of mosquitos in a Florida swamp. In other words - it's nothing more than an ever present drone and whine that jangles at your subconscious with the insidious promise of sucking the very blood and life from you. (There's a deeper, better metaphor in their - - but I really don't have the energy to look for it. Suffice it to say, they suck. )
Anyway - I glance out the door to see Wolf Girl come running back down the street from the bus stop. But she's not really running so much as hopping on one foot.
"What happened?" I yell to her from the front porch, "and why are you hopping down the street with all the grace of a blind epileptic having a heart attack!?!"
"Daddy!" she says as she hops across the street, "The boys and I were seeing who could kick higher and my shoe is on Anya's roof."
"Are you kidding me?" I groan, as I step from the porch and look to the corner house. Sure enough, sticking out of the highest gutter on our neighbor's house, is a blue and white converse low top.
"Shit." I mutter.
So after securing an alternate pair of shoes for Wolf Girl, we walk back down to the bus stop. As we go, I notice she's still hopping.
"Why are you still hopping? You have two shoes now." I say to her.
"It was so fun the first time, I think I'm going to do this the rest of the day,"she replies with the level of certainty that only an 8 year old can muster.
So I knock on our neighbor Anya's house. Anya by the way, is a 20 year old Cuban mom of two who barely speaks a word of English. She comes to the door, half asleep and looking every bit as hot as a twenty year old Cuban woman can look - especially in her underwear.
So, as I stand on her porch, trying to explain to her that I need to get a ladder and get my daughter's shoes out opf her gutter, I try to ignore the fact that she's half naked. My telling her what's going on is hindered also by the fact that I am fluent in English and American Sign Language, with a passable knowledge of Italian, French, and Japanese.
You'll note there is no Spanish in there.
My Spanish is limited to how to order beer and Tequila("Cerveza, Dos Equis, Negro Modela, e Los Mujeres Tequila - por favor!") ask where is the bathroom (“Donde es banos, senor? Muy mas cerveza!”) and a few key phrases to ensure I get the most value for my pesos when negotiating for guns - or perhaps a Tijuana whore. Nowhere in my repertoire is, "Hey gorgeous Cubana neighbor, standing there in your underwear... I need to bang a ladder on the side of your house, scurry up it like a second story man, and retrieve my kid's Chuck Taylor from your gutter."
So I finally get her to understand what's going on, she goes back in, and I step off her porch. All the kids are standing there - still waiting for the bus - when I hear one of the other kids say, "Wolf Girl, your Dad looks like he’s really mad at you."
"He's not mad," Zombie Boy replies, "His face always looks like that. Our mom says he's part ogre... just like Shrek, only not so green and a whole lot stinkier when he farts."
Fortunately the bus pulls up at that point - so I'm not forced to kill all of the children. I do note with some resignation that Wolf Girl hops on only one foot up to the bus, up the steps, and down the aisle of the bus – her brown hair bouncing as she merrily goes on with her newfound means of travel.
So - I walk back across the street, go to my garage, get my ladder, go back across the street, get the shoe, and head back across the street. As I was doing all of this, I realized that my two idiot dogs had let themselves out into the back yard. Apparently, all of the mornings excitement had worked the two of them into a frothing frenzy. So – the whole time I’m dealing with Wolf Girl's shoe issue - the Dogs of the Living Dead have been barking their idiot, walnut-sized brains out.
Suddenly I realize that there’s only one dog in the back yard.
“Awww noooo!” I groan.
You see - my beagle is an escape artist. To give you a little history - the beagle’s name is Charlie. His full name is Charles Parnell and he’s named after one of the heroes of the 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland; as well as the Charles Parnell Pub on Cedar Road in Cleveland Heights – a pub I spent a considerable amount of my youth in, drinking lots of Guinness. He’s also known around the house, alternatively and interchangeably, as Fat Charlie, Stupid Charlie, Lunchbox, Fatty, Tons of Fun, Tubby Tubby Two By Four, Fatty Boom Batty, Tub O’Lard, and Moron Number One. (Our other dog, Nicky Nootch, is – of course – Moron Number Two.)
Anyway, I throw down my ladder as I realize that, despite the natural dog impediment of having no opposable thumbs, Fat Charlie has managed to somehow slip past my supposedly foolproof and impenetrable anti-beagle escape system.
And there was only one place he could be.
To make a long story short – a week and a half ago, our other neighbor’s dog had caught and killed a rabbit. In deference to Wolf Girl’s and the neighbor girls’ sensibilities as they pertain to mauled fluffy bunny rabbits, I had surreptitiously gathered up the rabbit’s corpse and thrown it, still warm, onto the compost pile we have in the back corner of the yard. I covered it with some leaves with the intention of taking it out with the trash a few days later. Honestly, I’d forgotten about it until a day or so ago when, as I sat at my kitchen table, I looked out the window and saw a turkey vulture land in the back yard. It nosed about for the carrion, but couldn’t find it. I suppose I should have gotten rid of the rabbit at that point, but it was drawing vultures to the back yard and that was cool. I mean – seriously – it was a fucking buzzard, in my back yard!
All of this came back to me as I ran around the garage and saw, with horror, that Fat Charlie - Stupid Charlie - was rolling on top of the compost pile like a pig in shit. He saw me and sat up, his tongue lolling and his jowls pulled back in an almost human-like grin.
“Look at the fabulous smell I’ve found, Daddy,” his grin seemed to say.
“Get out of there, you fat, furry moron!” I yelled as I grabbed him by his collar and dragged him to the front of the yard.
He actually had the balls to look surprised.
So now – I’m sitting here typing this with a sore back because I had to lift his fat ass into the bathtub. He’s sitting on the back porch and giving me glares every time I walk by the back of the house. His reproachful glare seems to say, “I found the most wondrous cologne, and you washed it off of me! What’s wrong with you?!? Bad Daddy!”
“Too goddamned bad, you moron,” I told him the last time I went out to check on him.
Worst of all, the whole damn house smells like wet dog. I did find some small measure of satisfaction in the fact that his fur is all puffy and fluffed up, though. It’s like that because I thought it only fair that I use Wolf Girls fruity-smelling Fructis 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner on his stinky pelt. She started this all in the first place with her kicking contest. The only problem is that it makes the beagle look like he’s put on 20 pounds on his all ready overweight frame.
In fact, his glares are so funny, I took a couple pictures of him where he sits, wet and angry on the back porch. Check them out.
(And I know that some of you would rather I post pictures of the hot Cuban Chick from down the street, in her underwear. Too bad – this isn’t one of those kinds of websites. Instead, you get reproachful dogs. Deal with it…)
The worst part is – this all happened in the space of a half hour! Seriously – I’m not working from home anymore. It’s too fucking stressful!