Friday, October 9, 2009

Cupcakes & Blue Star

I had to hit ‘pause’ on my DVR to write this post. I’m on the sofa watching FlashForward, the new show on ABC. Good God is it good. I don’t know who writes this stuff, but I wish it were me.

Anyway, so I woke up this morning to my wife reading me her CNN Breaking New text that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Outstanding! And then the realization set in that she would be leaving in about an hour, on her way to Chicago to run one of the most famous marathons in the world, and that I wouldn’t see her for three days. Bummer.

On the flip side, I will be very busy/distracted with a full agenda of my own. Gotta run our son to school, then I’ve got to ferry a Basset Hound to the vet for a very long overdue checkup, moving swiftly on to lunch, right by the Harris Teeter to grab cupcakes and Capri Suns for a class full of fourth graders to belatedly celebrate my son’s birthday, and then a drive-by from our house to the football field for practice. Whew. And that’s just today. Tomorrow brings a football game, a cookout, and an experiment in making fried chicken. On my own. Without help. Wish me luck.

As it happens, the only things I’ve accomplished today are taking my son to school, and chauffeuring my ‘please don’t get car sick’ doggy to the vet. Where I got a talking to. You know how southern women have the ability to curse you out without uttering any four-letter words? Well, I have no idea where she’s from, but the vet practically skewered me. (I just looked at Beauregard, splayed out on his sofa cushions, eyelids trying desperately to stay up, and wondered what I wouldn’t do for him. I’d take a thousand punishing conversations from a vet if it meant he’d live forever.)

Before our appointment, though, while we were in the waiting room, an elderly couple and their tiny poodle walked in. I was, quite literally in a poodle sandwich, as a tea cup poodle sat in its owner’s lap to my right – the elderly couple and their little baby were to my left. The lady on the right told me that her dog is so small (something like less than five pounds) she is building a sun room on the back of her house. You see, he or she – I didn’t think to ask, and wasn’t paying close enough attention to remember what she said – is so tiny, in fact, that it can’t stay outside by itself for fear of being whisked away by an eagle or hawk or something just as menacing. I didn’t tell her this, but if your dog can be mistaken by a bird of prey simply by its size, you might consider a new, perhaps much larger pet.

The lady with the bird food poodle was called back into a room, so I turned my attention to the elderly couple. I have no idea how old they were, maybe in their early eighties, but you could tell they’d been together for a long, long time. They smelled like their old house. They wore old clothes, but were still as stylish as they could be. And they each doted 100% on their dog. I heard their doctor say that their preciousness might have kidney stones. It was going to require an overnight stay, some x-rays (at $130 a pop!), and some special medication. I hope it was just my imagination, but you could hear the unspoken how can we afford the treatment and x-rays question in the elderly woman’s voice as she slowly agreed to whatever it would take to make her baby better. She actually said something like ‘we’ve got to keep him alive.’ I felt so horrible. I didn’t know them. I had never met them, and I will never see them again in my lifetime. But I still felt bad.

Beauregard has some issues, yes. The vet thinks he might have picked up a little case of ring worm. That’s some kind of Immaculate Conception if you ask me. How the hell does a dog that only goes outside for five minutes twice a day because he’d rather nap on his sofa cushions than commune with freakin nature get ring worm in the first place? He’s also got some dirty ears. Whatever. He’s a Basset Hound. Isn’t that just how that goes? So when the vet told me how much everything was going to cost, and what I needed to do to fix his issues, I gladly handed over my debit card.

Later today, I’ll be buying cupcakes and Blue Star (ring worm, jock itch, psoriasis, tedder….nobody really knows what the last one is); party treats for my son, and topical medication for my doggy. Tomorrow, an elderly couple will find out whether or not their baby is going to have to have an operation to ease its pain. Sunday, my wife will have completed the Chicago marathon; I will have made my first foray into making soul food. And for the rest of his life, Barack Hussein Obama will be a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

What did you see in your vision?