Mrs. Wigglebottom Saves the Day

There’s no need to do chores when Mrs. Wigglebottom is more than happy to go on a walk. And so, instead of doing the dishes, we went out to see what was going on in the neighborhood.

Nothing much.

We have a peppering of birds in the sky and someone is being lifeflighted to Vanderbilt, judging from the helicopter.

When we do our usual walk, we make a giant P, with us living at the foot of said P. When we got back to the point we turned right at, Mrs. Wigglebottom and I wasted a good half hour playing three of our favorite games.

Mrs. Wigglebottom’s favorite game: Stick (or Ball). She finds a stick she thinks must be irresistible to me. I pretend to want it and she delights in keeping it from me. I’m sure Mrs. Wigglebottom would enjoy more traditional games like “Fetch,” if only she could understand the concept of letting go, but it’s safe to say, Mrs. Wigglebottom lets go of nothing.*

My favorite game: Jump (which may be combined with Stick, if one can get the stick from her). I find a stick I think must be irresistible to her and I hold it up at about shoulder height and she flings herself into the air and tries to get it.

The other game we both like: Smack your bottom. In this game, you just say “Smack your bottom! Smack your bottom!” while hitting the dog on the butt repeatedly. Fuck if I know why she likes this, but she does. Of all the games we play, this is the one I most hope no one notices.

I also caught myself singing while we were walking. It’s weird, because I was thinking how much I like Audioslave, but I was singing “Worked all the summer, worked all the fall, had to take Christmas in my overalls. But now she’s gone and I don’t worry. I’m sitting on top of the world,” which has to be the saddest happy song I know**. I mean, my god, if your heart doesn’t break for a man who works so hard that he’s even working on Christmas (and what a nice phrase “take Christmas”), it must break when you realize that, once his woman left, he was all out of things to fret about.

If you aren’t a fretter, you might not understand just how low it is to have nothing left to worry about, but, let me tell you, it’s pretty far down.

You’d think there’d be more blues songs written about dogs, but I don’t know of any off the top of my head. Here, though, is a bit of dog blues written millennia ago by Homer***:

While he spoke
an old hound, lying near, pricked up his ears
and lifted up his muzzle. This was Argos,
trained as a puppy by Odysseus,
but never taken on a hunt before
his master sailed for Troy. The young men, afterward,
hunted wild goats with him, and hare, and deer,
but he had grown old in his master’s absence.
Treated as rubbish now, he lay at last
upon a mass of dung before the gates–
manure of mules and cows, piled there until
fieldhands could spread it on the king’s estate.
Abandoned there, and half destroyed with flies,
Old Argos lay.

But when he knew he heard
Odysseus’ voice nearby, he did his best
to wag his tail, nose down, with flattened ears,
having no strength to move nearer his master.
And the man looked away,
wiping a salt tear from his cheek

Shoot, if old dying, loyal Argos doesn’t bring a salt tear to your eye, you’re just lacking a heart. Ugh. Let’s not leave this post on such a sad note.

Homer, give us something we can dwell on this evening:

That was the scar the old nurse recognized;
she traced it under her spread hands, then let go,
and into the basin fell the lower leg
making the bronze clang, sloshing water out.
Then joy and anguish seized her heart; her eyes
filled up with tears; her throat closed, and she whispered,
with hand held out to touch his chin:

“Oh, yes!
You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not
see you until now–not till I knew
my master’s very body with my hands!”

Tee hee.

*Those of you who want to make smart-ass comments about the ways I resemble my dog may do so at this point.
**As opposed to the happiest sad song ever–”You are My Sunshine.”
***Fitzgerald’s translation.

Grouch

I told the Butcher to take the car so that I would be forced to clean the bathroom and do the dishes and do some shit for work.

So, I’ve called the Professor and tried to call the Man from GM and I’ve read all the blogs I can think to read and I’ve watched a shitload of rap videos and now I’m listening to classic country and I was working on the afghan, but it’s apparent that I’ve both misjudged how wide the thing should have been* and how much yarn I’d need to make something that wide long enough. So, now working on it just depresses me because I’m going to run out of yarn before it’s done.

And I don’t have the car, so I can’t go to Walmart, which is too bad, because I’d even rather go to Walmart than face what awaits me this afternoon.

I’m really going to have to go upstairs and scrub that tub unless the phone rings right now.

Okay, now.

Well, fuck me. Thanks for nothing, citizens of Earth.

*I imagine all of Duluth, Georgia will be able to wrap itself comfortably in this fucker. I considered unraveling it, but decided that was just madness and procrastination talking, and will just forge ahead.

Bitching About the Bitchin’ Camaro

If I could have one thing back, I’d want my first car–that gold 77 Caprice Classic–the car we called The Beast.

I drove The Beast, most of the boys had Camaros*, except the jackass who had a Grand Am, and the guy who had an old two-toned F150, Shug’s cousin drove a minivan, the snotty girl drove a little S10, and so when we’d play cat and mouse out in the country, The Beast was the best chance at escaping the Camaros, for the same reason I could always beat them drag racing, if I got to pick the quarter mile–I never had to slow down for gravel.

Just a minute ago, it sounded like rain (though it doesn’t look like it’s raining, so I suspect it’s just an audio trick of the interstate traffic against the retaining wall–a river of cars sometimes sounds like water) and that got me thinking of driving The Beast around in the dark through the corns and the beans listening to Jim Morrison sing “My Wild Love,” which, like all Doors songs, I suspect, in real life sucks, but I love it.

On my way back from Georgia, I heard “People are Strange” on the radio and I was kind of brought up short. It’s so hard to hear songs you love with fresh ears, but sometimes circumstances align and you can hear what you heard that first time when you realized you were hearing something new and strange and that you must hear it again.

I’d love to see if a girl can slide behind the wheel of a car she still dreams of, and feel something new and strange that she must drive again.

*GM discontinued the Camaro** because they thought it was a car for trailer trash and they felt that it was bad for their image (Ha, ha, I bet you wish you had something to compete with the Mustang now that you need the money). After that, I didn’t feel too bad about buying a non-GM car, jackasses. I’m glad the Corvette is the car of old rich men overcompensating for their lack of self-esteem and that driving one doesn’t say “bad ass” so much as “rich fucker.” (Except the Stingray, which I love.) I’ve reveled in your marketing problems since the day you sold us rural kids out. Don’t believe me? I’ll put you on the phone with one of your engineers, who can attest to my weekly mocking of your crappy commercials.
**HOLY SHIT!!! I had to footnote this footnote to point out that this will be the topic of conversation with the Man from GM today. I bitch about this all the time and he’s been totally silent. Fucker. But that is beautiful.