I am tempted to nominate Mandy, my dog, as dumbest dog of the day. DDOD. That is until I called Jorge to complain about today's weather-combination of rain, fog, sleet, snow and ice-through Sunday afternoon. It is after eleven in the morning and he's asleep on the couch. I can hear the TV news announcer in the background. I'd woken him up.
"Why are you asleep?" I ask. "Didn't you go to bed last night?"
"Naw, didn't get much sleep. Chase was barking at something outside most of last night," he tells me.
"So Mandy is the second dumbest dog of the day, " I tell him with the following explanation.
It's a dark and dreary rainy 7 am Saturday. Mandy climbs on the bed. Pooch the cat is comfortable at my feet, stretched out in a thin line. Mandy licks my hand, then decides there's more nutritional value in my whiskery face. Plus, she can clean her tongue of morning catarrh on two days growth of beard. I decide that since I am an old fart, I should look like one, but only a debonair old fart. I'll grow a goatee.
"Oh Daddy, I luff you so much," she tells me with wet kisses. Geez.
I ignore the dog, hoping that she'll fall asleep. No such luck. Lick, slurp, lick. Slurp some more. Then she turn her attention to the cat. Snip, snurfle, nip.
I get up and walk downstairs. Pooch the cat follows like the good dog he is. I let him out. Mandy doesn't follow. No click-click of toe-nails on the stairs. I open the door to the storage space under the stairs where we hang all keys: the house ( five doors-five keys), the garage, outbuildings, three cars and twenty-nine master locks. This is usually a signal, "He's going outside".
No Mandy. Next, I jingle her collar. The tinkle of rabies vac tags says, "We're going for a ride." Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than, "going for a ride." When I was a kid I remember pleading with my Dad to take me for a ride, anywhere. I taught her well.
Finally, I walk up the stairs. push her off the bed and cajole her to go outside in my most pleading, pretty- please voice. I can see the cartoon balloon above her head, "Oh well I'll humor the dufus." She stands in the breezeway looking at the falling rain. I slip on my overcoat and don my muck boots. She follows while I put the log propping the door to my Chevy closed to one side. Once it's safe inside the garage, I can find out why the door handle sticks and so the car can drip water all over my workshop floor. I walk to the dog pen to check on the tire of the truck. I'd overloaded the truck with slab wood from the Amish and a back tire went flat.
"Crap." I forgot to close the driver's side window. The bench seat is soaked. The tire is OK, therefore I drive the truck to the front apron of the garage in case I have to get out the compressor to fill the tire. My sweatpants feel like I peed in them from the soaked seat. The truck bed fills a depression in front of the garage with rain water collected overnight. One more, "crap."
Ahah! I remember, Mercury went retrograde according to Dawn, the astrologer. Mechanical things will go awry. Communication will be difficult, legal issues and signing contracts are to be avoided.
Dawn and I spend a good deal of the morning trying to figure out how to get out of Dodge City with our hides intact and a reasonable amount of cash in our pocket. We want the positive things we moved to this area for like clean water and a pristine natural environment without a depressed economy ( we reached a low point when one of Dawn's framed paintings sells for $7 at the Amish auction and a wooden barrel with a quick sketch of a chicken is quickly snatched up for $20) , lack of amenities( forty-four miles for decent Chinese food) intellectual poverty of the residents ( Scooter, the local cop is still on suspension without pay-the town has no police force) and a climate without the bipolar lows of -22 degrees in January and near 100 degrees in the height of summer with cloying humidity.
Jorge Googles St.George, Utah. Oh boy. Road trip!
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