Old Dogs

Well, I don't know what the deal is, you know, with me not posting anything
and all for the last fourteen years.  It might be because I've been really
busy.  That is a possibility.  Or, it might be because I've been trying to
come up with an extra-funny essay that will make you laugh until you just
fall down with all the hilarity.  That also is possible.  Or, you know, it MIGHT
be that I have actually written THREE ESSAYS, all of which have somehow
DISAPPEARED, possibly because I cannot remember how I SAVED them
on this COMPUTER, because I am RETARDED.

So you will not hear about the Swan Pageant Drinking Game(tm), where
you drink whenever the words "Journey", "Amazing", or "Transformation"
are uttered.  And you will not hear about the American Idol Drinking Game
(tm), where each person chooses their own drinking word, and Dig chose
"dream" approximately seven seconds before Fantasia busted into her
rendition of "To Dream An Impossible Dream" or whatever it was, and the
look on Dig's face was a perfect combination of pure joy and abject
horror.  And then he got very, very drunk and the last I remember from
him, he was muttering something about moose.  

Mooses?  Meese?

Anyway.  No, you won't hear about these things.  But maybe you'd like to
hear about how I seem to have gone completely batshit crazy, and I am
not exaggerating or kidding when I say that I seem to have lost my mind,
and y'all, that's pretty sad, isn't it?  A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Anyway, it all started with El Dukay, as most catastrophes do.    About a
week and a half ago,  I had a few people over for drinks.  Out of nowhere
(and I mean, literally, OUT OF NOWHERE, because we were talking about
the economy or something), El Dukay announced, to all of us, the

"Did you know that, at some point, every day, you think about a monkey?"

We all fell silent, obviously because we were pondering the import of
these...important words.  And even as we made vaguely agree-ish noises,
like, “Ah, yes, a...
monkey.  Every day, you say! Isn’t that just something
else,” we were all thinking, “No, I do not think about a monkey every day.  
There are no monkeys living in my home or competing in this season of
American Idol.  So why would I be thinking about a monkey?”

Well.  BEFORE I was not thinking about monkeys.  But now, this is what my
brain does:

Doo dee doo.  Hmm.  Oh, I should totally stop by the grocery store on the
way home, because I think I need some more dog food, and hey, I don’t
know if I have anything for dinner, so I could pick up some chicken breasts
I wonder if I have any Cokes MONKEY.

See how that happens?  It just pops in there.  Y’all, I never have any
peace.  As I drift off to sleep at night, there’s the monkey.  As I try to
review important legal documents...monkey.  Monkey, monkey, MONKEY.

This is totally all El Dukay’s fault.   Because he is an ass.  An ass monkey!

But that's only
one piece of evidence.  There's so much more.  Like, last
week, I couldn't find Evil Dog Number Three, better known as Gimmme.  
He was supposed to be playing in the back yard, but he just wasn't
THERE, which is not POSSIBLE, because there is a big FENCE in my yard
that I paid a lot of folding money for that is SUPPOSED to keep the dogs
INSIDE the yard and not gallivanting through the streets.   

Well.  I couldn't find him.  But before I went completely ballistic, I saw
something moving along the bottom edge of the fence.  Guess what it was?

No, not a monkey.  It was Gimmme!  Or, more specifically, Gimmme's tail
end.  Which was wagging.  Now, Gimmme had constructed an elaborate
tunnel UNDER the fence, into the NEIGHBOR'S YARD, and was attempting
to squeeze his fat ass through the opening.  But this was not working,
because, I mean, the dog really
is fat.   So he was stuck.  And I had to
grab him by the tail and pull backwards, and he came unstuck with a
satisfying "pop!" and that is when I realized that he was also really quite
dirty, and also immensely pleased with himself.  

I surveyed the rather large hole he'd made, and tried to find something to
patch it.  But know what there is not any of when you need one?  Besides
monkeys?  Rocks.  Why are there no rocks in my yard?  There are only
rocks in my yard when I try to plant something, and then they are beneath
the surface and just exist entirely to make it impossible for me to use a
shovel, and then I give up and buy something in a pot.   But now that a
rock was needed, to patch the Gimmme-sized tunnel under the fence,
there was no rock.  

So for the next few days, I used a variety of things to patch the hole,
including a trash bag, a pizza box, and a pair of boots.  But none of these
items really screamed "permanent backyard addition."  What I needed, I
knew, was the perfect (
MONKEY!) rock.  

Which I found, quite by accident, in the parking lot of the Longhorn's last
Sunday night.  Where I was eating dinner with my father, my eighty-seven
year old grandmother, and El Dukay.  As we were leaving, El Dukay and I
in one car, and Dad and Grandma in the other, we walked past the
Longhorn Steak House Outdoor Concrete Garden in the Parking Lot.  And
guess what it had in it?  ROCKS!  And guess what I totally stole from the
Longhorn Steak House Outdoor Concrete Garden in the Parking Lot?  A
rock.  I absolutely did.  I made El Dukay drive the car over to me.  Then I
grabbed the rock, tossed it in the back seat, and jumped in the car
shrieking "GO! GO!" like a wild woman.  El Dukay peeled out of the
parking lot at eleven hundred miles an hour, and then we both turned
around to see my father in his car, shaking his head at the sight of his
daughter not only stealing a ROCK, but doing so in front of her eighty-
seven year old grandmother, who was now asking "What did she put in the
car?  Why is she driving so fast?", and then driving away hollering like a
damn banshee.  

So, theft.  Add "theft" to the list of ways I have apparently gone insane.  
And, monkey.

But you know, even these two things alone are not so bad, and could be
tolerated, were it not for the way I spent my Sunday evening, which is just
so sad and horrendous that I really shouldn't even write about it, which
means I am about to write about it, in painstaking detail.  

Oh, y'all.  This is...this is really bad.

Okay, so.  We're at my parents' lake house, me and El Dukay and Timmy,
and we've been drinking, maybe just a LITTLE, and we wander down to my
parents' dock, where we engage in Very Important Conversations about
space and time and religion, and everything is going fine until Timmy nails
us with the Big Question, which is, of course, "You guys, what was Matthew
Sweet's first hit single?"  

And this tossed us directly into pandemonium.  DIRECTLY.  Because you
can't just ASK a question like that and not know the ANSWER already.  
Because now, we're all sitting on a fucking dock in the middle of fucking
nowhere with no possible way of finding out the answer, and why did you
DO that and are you TRYING TO DESTROY US, and I remember
"Girlfriend" but, dear God, there was another one, and please, please,
Jesus, help me to remember what it was WHAT THE HELL WAS IT.

And we went on like that for a good ten minutes, until the very last
remaining circuits in our brains were beginning to fizzle, and that is when
we came up with The Plan.

Step One:        Call the radio station.

Okay, not a bad idea.  Timmy had his cell phone, and we all remembered
the number of one local station.  We'd just ask whoever was on the air.  
FOOL PROOF.  And then we could relax.  

So we tried to call.  And it rang.  It rang and it rang and it rang and it rang
and it rang.  Because it is not, apparently, a priority to answer your radio
station phones at 12:30 a.m. on Memorial Day weekend.   Evidently, you
have better things to do.  Crappy radio station.

So, that didn't work.  Then Timmy came up with the idea that he would call
his old college's student union, because there was this hot line, and you
could call and ask them
anything, and they have to answer, and it's great
and one time he called and asked them how many Oreos it would take to
get to the moon and they
had to answer, and this would be such a good
idea if he hadn't graduated three years ago and if he still remembered the
number, but fortunately his roommate in college has a photographic
memory, so all we have to do now is:

Step Two:        Call Timmy's old college roommate who has a
photographic memory and whom Timmy has not spoken to in two
years, and then:

Step Three:         Call the Student Union that Timmy once called to
ask how many Oreos it would take to get to the moon.

Okay.  Allright, we actually did that.  BUT THEN THE STUDENT UNION

So, misery.  Misery and sadness.  In the middle of nowhere.

This is when El Dukay has his first idea of the evening.  What do we
need?  We need information, people.  We need
Information.  What should
we do?

Step Four:        Call Information.

Obviously.  Duh.

El Dukay was chosen as the official spokesperson for our cause.  Before
he called, we planned out what he would say.  It would be something like,
"Good evening.  I have a query that is a bit outside of the normal template
of requests you generally receive.  I was wondering if it would be possible
for you to minimize the screen before you and to click on the Internet
Explorer icon, then to please go to a website we like to call "google."

This was the plan.  Timmy and I were made to swear that we Would Not
Laugh, or El Dukay had permission to beat us.

So, he called.  This is how THAT worked out:

                                         El Dukay:

Hi, I've...question, and can you...do you...um.  Minimize your screen!

                                Poor, Poor 411 Lady:        
                                        Excuse me?

                                         El Dukay:

 Okay, see the thing is...the thing is, we have a question, and it is
    KILLING US, it is KILLING US, and we are in the MIDDLE OF
               NOWHERE, and YOU'VE GOT TO HELP US.

                                 Poor, Poor 411 Lady:


                                         El Dukay:

 I mean, we have a question, and we've just, we've just got to know,
 and we're so willing to pay
anything, and can you...please, please
just click out of your screen, and get on over to the Internet, and
                                         then you can...

                                 Poor, Poor 411 Lady:

                            Sir, I don't even have a mouse.

                                         El Dukay:

                              You don't have a mouse?

                                 Poor, Poor 411 Lady:

                                              No, sir.

                                         El Dukay:

                 Wow, that's messed up.  What are you, on DOS?  

                                 Poor, Poor 411 Lady:

                 I'm going to transfer you to my supervisor now.

                                         Miss Doxie:

                                         El Dukay:

        Okay, yeah.  Hey!  Do you know who Matthew Sweet is?

                                 Poor, Poor 411 Lady:

                         Okay, yeah.  Here's the Supervisor.


                                 Poor, Poor Supervisor:

                                       Can I help you, sir?

                                         El Dukay:

         Yeah.  Okay, look.  I was going to ask if you guys could
         get on the Internet and look something up for us, but do
                            you really not have mouses?

                                 Poor, Poor Supervisor:


                                         El Dukay:

                         ...Mouses, or...mice?  You know.  

                                 Poor, Poor Supervisor:

                                                 Sir, I...

                                         El Dukay:

             Never mind.  Look, do you know who Matthew Sweet is?

                                 Poor, Poor Supervisor:


                                         El Dukay:

                 (Growing irritated)  Well, then how are you
                 supposed to know what his first single was?

                                 Poor, Poor Supervisor

         Okay, sir, do you need a phone number or an address?

                                         El Dukay:

                                          Not really.


El Dukay:


This, of course, has gotten us nowhere.  Except Step Five.

Step Five:         Call information back to find out whether or not
they have mouses or not, because El Dukay can't get over the
feeling that that 411 bitch was lying to him.

They really don't have mouses.  Aint that the damnedest thing?

Step Six:             In a moment of random desperation, Timmy tries
calling the radio station again.

AND THE DJ ANSWERED!  Thank you, God!  Except when Timmy asked
the DJ our question, the DJ was all, "Huh.  Yeah, I don't know.  Girlfriend?"  
And Timmy was all, "DUDE, you can FIND OUT, because you work at a
RADIO COMPANY."  ("Radio station," I whispered, helpfully.)  "RADIO
STATION," Timmy corrected himself.  "YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN."

So the DJ put us on hold, and when he came back, he said, "Sick of

"THAT'S IT," I announced.

And we rejoiced.  We whooped and hollered and hugged each other.  
I mean, the relief we felt was sweet and overwhelming. Until El Dukay
spoke up.

"Sick of myself," he said.  "Yeah.  Baby, how does that...go?"

"Oh, you know," I answered.  "It's all...um.  Oh, sick of...myyyyseeeelf?"

But y'all.  We didn't know.  We couldn't remember.  We had the name of
the song, but we
still didn't know the song.  And we were still stuck in the
middle of nowhere with no way to find out.

So, you knew it had to happen:

Step Seven:        Call the radio station again, and ask the DJ to
hum the song for us.  Please.  PLEASE.

Yeah, I know.  I KNOW.  And then we passed out.

So, I guess it's official.  I've lost my mind.  I'm obsessed with monkeys.  I
steal rocks in front of my geriatric grandmother.  And I am part of a
contingent of people who call information in the middle of the night to beg
them for the name of a song that was mildly popular ten years ago.

I'm not proud.  I'm not sane.  But I am one thing.  And that thing is

Sick of Myself



Old Dogs

New Tricks


The Lesson I Learned when I tried to put the dogs in
a pen.  And that Lesson is No. No, we do not do that.

Special love box!

The following people are the
coolest.  For varying reasons.

AB don't mess around,
because she loves me so, and
this I know fo sho.

Coleen knows what's cooler
than cool--ICE COLD!

Lauren don't want to hear me,
she just wants to DANCE.

Allison don't want to meet your

Hannah Beth just wants you in
her CADdy.

Amy don't want to meet your

And Miss
Sarah B. is shaking it
like a polaroid picture RIGHT

Y'all!  Don't you want to join my shiny
new Notify?  Why not?  Is it because
you like making me cry?  Or is it
because the damn thing NEVER
supposed to? Fucking Notify.



In Which I Offer Three Pieces of Evidence
Proving That I Have Officially Lost My Mind.