Friday, November 19, 2010

Well played, Fuzzy One

Some people think waterboarding is torture.

Me? It’s missing the regular season’s biggest game because of a slight intestinal abnormality (no details, please).

Priorities a little messed up?

Sure, but I recycle. I figure it all evens out on the big morality counter.

First Quarter

From the first snap, it’s apparent this game will be a close one. So 12 seconds into the gridiron battle, I jump up and announce to the dog, “I can’t take this anymore.”

If George Washington had to count on me during the cold, harsh winter at Valley Forge, we’d be speaking the Queen’s English and taking afternoon tea breaks now.

So I head upstairs, throw open the closet door and assess the laundry. I hate doing towels. They’re big. I can wash — like two — at a time and end up spending the length of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy just on towels.

So I wait until we’ve used every one in the linen closet. Even the what-the-hell-is-that-stain? ones that look like they came over on the Mayflower. And judging by the size of the pile of towels in the corner of the closet, it might take until Thanksgiving to wash them all.

Second Quarter

I cannot sit still as the score remains close. Apparently screaming at the radio until a vein in my right eye pops isn’t proving helpful to my team. So I decide to put restless energy to a more productive use and give the dog a bath.

Understandably, she does not agree.

It takes six treats, four trips around the dining room table, three dropped F bombs, a near concussion (mine) and one strategically timed body tackle to convince her otherwise.

Just as I move to heave her through the bathroom doorway she arches her back and throws out her hind legs, hooking her paws on the doorjamb.

Where’d she learn that move?! She’s like some Chinese acrobat on crack!

Stunned by the sudden stop and shift in weight, I fly right over the top of her and land in a heap next to the toilet.

She woofs something that suspiciously sounds like “loser,” scrambles her legs back into a fight or flight position…and chooses the latter one.

Well played, fuzzy one. Well played.

But we humans didn’t claw our way to the top of the food chain by being stupid. Well, the dinosaurs going extinct helped a bit but – darnit! – there is something to be said for old-fashioned, caveman ingenuity.

I call it ground chuck.

One hamburger patty later, the puppy is in the tub, slathered in shampoo and contemplating her revenge, if the wicked slant of her brown eyes is any indication.

Third Quarter

The other team’s offense wakes up in the second half and begins playing decent ball.

I am not amused and proceed to plow through three-quarters of my son’s Halloween candy. Since he’s actually at the game, I figure he owes me.

Fourth Quarter

Somewhere around the middle of the fourth quarter I realize the dog is missing.

For some people that might not be a big deal if — say — your dog is a Pomeranian that can hide behind a fruit basket in the kitchen.

But it’s a little more difficult when it’s a 60-pound Golden Retriever who’s probably still miffed about bath time.

So color me curious.

Since my team has the ball but is trailing by two points with just seconds left on the clock and no time outs, I fear it’s over and I should go look for the dog. You know, just to make sure she hasn’t packed her Milk Bones and headed to a neighbor’s.

Six…Our field goal team flies across the grass and scrambles to the line of scrimmage.

Five…Mass chaos ensues. So I think maybe I should stick close and see how this plays out. The dog knows where we live. She’ll be back before dinner.

Four…The radio announcer mentions something about something. I am unable to comprehend because the blood is pounding so loudly in my ears that I’ve gone deaf.

Three…The kicker lines up.

Two…I start thinking now would be a good time to have one of those at-home defibrillator thingies.

One…The ball is snapped as time expires, and I’m on my knees in front of the speakers waiting for the call. A small eternity passes before I hear, “It’s good!”

And that’s when my head explodes.

What a GREAT way to spend a Saturday.

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