|I will call him . . . the Mighty Mini Micron.
And finally his name is no longer ironic.
Being a somewhat new empty nester, I find myself in that awkward limbo of having no kids in the house. With the Favorite Kid off on his own and biding his time before filling my order of a grandkid, some things in life are, well, just not as much fun.
Yet I still feel a calling to be involved in youthful activities, especially around the holidays. I know, y’all. There’s nobody stopping me from creative pumpkin carving in October or in the spring, getting out the vinegar and food coloring for Easter eggs. I’m totally free to do these things in the privacy of my home in spite of my advanced years. And I do so love these occasions to use the right side of my brain, but emotionally there is something missing without a child’s imagination to spur me on.
So I’m left with the next best thing of Post Holiday Clearance shopping. The day after Easter is a bonanza of discounted chocolate at our local market. A veritable cornucopia of diet busting temptation at reasonable prices. Really, like Butterfingers in the shape of tiny quail eggs would lose their crunchy goodness outside of a pastel basket. (Hint: they don’t). And there’s enough unsold chocolate bunnies that it looks like their reputation for enthusiastic procreation holds true for these genre of Lepus* as well.
The clearance table is not just a display of empty calories, of course. My attention shifts from wondering why Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs are never on clearance over to the shelf of cutesy stuffed plush toys. What’s this now? A box of miniature dogs wearing tiny bunny ears. Genius! Ignoring the sidelong glance of the shopper next to me (did I say Genius out loud? Yeah, I think I did), I’m going in with both hands trying to find a stuffed dog that is not a Dalmatian or bulldog. Yes! I cry. I’ve scored me a mini Micron. It’s gonna be a good day.
Ooh, the photo shoot is appearing in my mind’s eye. Micron in white bunny ears smiling while posing next to his teensy doppelganger. Perhaps another one of him sniffing it, nose to button nose. I think I can do that. This is going to be so stinkin’ adorable, I can’t wait to go home and set this up.
We’ll do this outside where the light is better. Euka can play with a frisbee while I spend some creative time with Micron. But I see a need to resolve a little problem first. The frisbee is fresh from the store and brand new, which makes it a High Value item. Both dogs want to play with the thing and have no intentions of sharing this OMG experience with each other. Ever. At least not today.
Youth gives Euka the advantage of speed and agility. She ducks and dodges Micron’s valient attempts to reclaim the priceless red disc. Euka puts a cap on the exercise by positioning under some brush to neener at Micron’s failure to outmaneuver her. He’s defeated and he knows it. And he’s not happy about that. Not at all.
So in retaliation, he does the only thing that comes to his canine noggin. This will show the little bratty, he thinks.
|Aliens with dreadlocks can’t see me.**|
[sigh] Why am I always the loser in these deals? I’m standing, mouth agape, still holding the mini Micron and bunny ears in my hands. Wait a sec . . . he’s not looking at the puppy. That eye contact is lasered on me. That expression, the canine body language. Holy cow, I think the dog is giving me the finger.
|Love you, says Micron. Mmmwah!
|Um, Food Lady. says Euka.
You may not want to turn around.
He knows about the bunny ears. And it would seem the yeller feller has had just enough of this.
Ugh. You know what? Fine. Just, well, that’s fine. We came out here to get a picture and so you’re still getting the ears. So deal with it, big guy.
I slam the mini Micron on the fence (Stay!, I growl at the insentient being) and pose the muddy Micron in the foreground. White bunny ears are affixed upon the yellow noggin. While I shift my attention to focus the lens, Mr. Passive Aggressive pretends to work on an itch and wiggles the head bopper off. Nice try there, Buster Brown, I say. This is actually happening. You can wipe that smirky grin off and let’s do this thing.
Before we came out here, I had a dreamy vision of what I wanted.
This wasn’t it.
|It was so worth it, says Micron.|
Oh, but it gets better. My usual answer to this would be to simply spray down the goober dog with the garden hose. But as a matter of poor planning, we’d turned off the water supply while awaiting a plumbing repair to that particular pipe. Hey, no hurry, we thought. It’s winter. We don’t need the hose for a while.
So, what to do now? Take him to a self-service doggie wash? No, that would involve chauffering the dripping fur monster in the car. Put down the top on the old convertible and run the whole shebang, dog and all, through the automatic car wash? Oh! Maybe all three dogs? Hey, that would be rather thrifty, wouldn’t it? But darn it, can’t find the keys to the Delta 88. I think The Husband hides them from me.
The final answer, and the only option at hand, is the very one I’d been avoiding. I’ll have to put him in the bathtub. Upstairs. Moving through the kitchen, I hold the big dog by the collar while spouting open threats of a very cold bath if he dares to shake his muddy self on my stainless steel appliances. We negotiate the stairs, slime down the hall together and finally make it to the bathtub. The good news is that the bath should go a lot easier now that we left a muddy wake along our path to get here.
Befittingly to the topic, this mud is the consistency of melted chocolate, like a Hershey bar with crushed almonds. [gag] Is that an earthworm? And mmmh, so aromatic, but not in a good way.
But oh my, as my beautiful dog emerges from his self-imposed swampiness, he looks at me with those root-beer brown eyes of his. A softer version of eye contact than we shared before in the backyard. Thanks for using the warm water, Food Lady, says Micron. Can I still have a Good Dog cookie after?
Micron, you big goober, I say. You can have two.
|No, I wasn’t eating mud. I’m your Good Dog.|
|Gimme some credit here.
At least I wasn’t eating the mud.
*The only reason I know the latin name for rabbit is from the 1972 SciFi classic “Night of the Lepus.” See this movie just once and it stays with you forever. No matter how hard you try to drink the memory away.
**That’s a Predator (1987) joke, people.
UPDATE TO POST:
So after reading this post, my Other Half informs me that not only has the plumbing to the garden hose been repaired, it has been indeed been in working order for quite some time. Apparently my failure in getting water to successfully expel itself from said hose was a matter of user error. This shaming accusation is brought to life when he turns the spigot handle and soaks my sandals as I stand there, again with mouth agape.
Huh, I say. Not that I was thinking myself as the kind of chick who could handle a garden hose with expertise, but I really do know how to turn a spigot on without a Getting Started guide.
I smell a gaslighting here. No, not that kind of gas. This kind. Anyway, I think he’s messing with me because I threatened to go cruising with the dogs in his Delta 88 convertible without him.
No matter. Ha ha, that was funny, Dear Husband. Anyway, good luck finding your truck keys today.