Monday, September 25, 2006

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time

During The Kid's bedtime story, it's discovered that his favorite blankey has been left in the car. After tucking him in (under a clearly substandard blankey) I rush out into the night to retreive the favored blankey. Standing on the sidewalk in front of my house is an old woman in a bathrobe holding a cane in one hand and a flashlight in the other. She quite calmly asks me if I wouldn't mind checking my back yard for her lost dog. Sure, no problem. Except that every time I try to make my way to the back of my house, she starts talking to me. At first, it's to tell me that the dog is small and red. Okay fine - so now I know what I'm looking for. But then it's to tell me that the dog is blind and deaf, which is sad... but isn't really necessary for me to know in order to check my yard. And then it's to tell me that the dog had a seizure earlier in the day. And that he's 17 years old. And her only friend. And all she has. And she just can't take it anymore. And that she just got out of the hospital. And that she has a huge scar from the surgery on her inner thigh (here, let me lift my robe numerous times so you can see it). And that she isn't supposed to be walking at all. And that she has a fever. And that she broke something in her mouth and it's bleeding. And that she's going to have a heart attack. Right now. On my drive way. And that it's all her fucking daughter's fault.

So yeah, at this point I'm wondering if there ever was a dog to begin with, or if the woman's pain meds have gotten the better of her. But like a good neighbor, KB is there - so I dutifully check my back yard for any signs of a small red dog. Nada. Zilch. Zero. I return to the driveway to tell the old woman the bad news and, oh dear lord, find her kneeling in my drive way, sobbing, praying to god to save her dog. (And by the way, every time she raises her arms heaven-ward, she inadvertently beats the crap out of my car with her cane.)

I certainly can't leave her in my driveway like that, right? So I go in the house to get the phone, and ask if there's anyone I can call to help her. She rattles off several numbers, which I dial... only to get voicemails. She informs me again that this is all the fault of her fucking daughter and that I must help her find her dog because her fucking daughter certainly isn't going to do it. When I tell her that, sadly, I can't help her find her dog because I have a small child in bed in the house, she puts both hands on my shoulders and shrieks, "BUT MY DOOOOOOOOOG!!!"

At this point, another flashlight-carrying woman approaches and quite calmly, as if the sight of one woman screaming the word "dog" in another woman's face isn't at all unusual, informs us that there are "no carcasses in the road, so I think we should check this way." And without another word they head off arm in arm, away from the carcass-less busy street and toward the quiet bowels of the sleeping neighborhood, leaving me standing speechless in my driveway clutching The Kid's favored blankey retrieved from the (now battered) car as was my original intent.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I fear should have asked more questions about the neighbors before moving...

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