I swear I thought the Missus had said the doglettes did not mind the duck family that she had adopted, which have eaten my bread and shat on my driveway with abandon for a week.
Wouldn’t it be cute, I thought, to get the doglettes to walk near the ducks so I could take a lovely, inter-species family photo for this blog?
Oh Lordy. Lordy. Lordy.
This was so NOT a good plan.
The instant they saw the ducklettes, you would have thought these wee doglettes of mine were friggen saber toothed demon beastsfrom hell.
They went absolutely insane.
The poor, defenseless, three-quarter grown baby ducklettes were too young or just too stupid to fly away.
So they sort of exploded this way and that, running for their lives, wings outstretched and screaming at the top of their lungs the internationally recognized duck distress signal:
While simultaneously dumping their ballast of green duck shit all over my yard and porch and driveway.
In a word, it was chaos.
In another word, it was stinky.
Mayo, the wieniest Bichon in the world, zoomed off to the left, like an Exocet missile flying at warp speed, with his aerodynamic nose just inches off the ground.
His canine radar was totally locked onto one totally freaked out ducklette, so my screams and threats and lunging attempts to grab him were for naught.
In less than two seconds, he and his target had lapped the yard and were gone into the bushes.
My bigger worry was off to the right, where the normally bark-mad-but-totally-sweet Crack Puppy — Ling Ling the adorable Maltzu — had mutated into some kind of demon-werewolf-zombie-lion.
On speed. And steroids.
I am not kidding when I say she swole up twice her normal size and had a totally psycho look in her little eyes.
Thank the Lord that her genetics are from lap dogs and not terriers. She couldn’t decide which of the totally freaked out ducklettes to devour.
So she’d thunder after one for a second, and then another, and another, and another, growing crazier with every near-miss.
I realized that if I did not somehow stop Ling Ling The Terrible RIGHT NOW, there was going to be blood spilt — the blood of the innocent wee baby ducklettes that the Missus had adopted and, of late, lovingly raised.
And if that happened, I would be dead.
Dead. Dead. Dead.
So I made the strategic decision to stop wildly chasing and screaming “BAD DOG! BAD DOG! BAD DOG!”, and to just freeze.
Thankfully, this prompted one of the totally freaked out ducklettes to do a 180-degree turn, race right by me and through the front archway, with the deranged Crack Puppy getting ever-closer to its tail.
It was at that point that I realized drastic action was critical, if I were to save the lives of the ducklettes and ensure that I did not spend the rest of my life on the couch.
So I booted the feral Crack Puppy as she charged by.
Not a “hard” boot, like I was kicking a 50-yard field goal.
More like an extra point.
That stunned her long enough for me to grab her, pull her to my chest, run to the front door, and throw her ball of fuzzy snarling duck rage into the house and slam the door.
About that time Mayo the Exocet Bichon missile blasted by, still locked on the same very-tired-but-no-less-freaked-out ducklette. I leaped on Mayo and soon thereafter hurled him into the house, as well.
And, all of a sudden, it was peaceful and quiet.
Just like it had been before.
Except for all the feathers and duck shit.
I had to fight my urge to just get in the car and drive, far, far away to my happy place.
But I decided I better man up and search the yard for any survivors or, God forbid, any casualties.
I could just see the headlines in the local paper.
“CRACK PUPPIES TURN CUJO IN DUCK SLAUGHTER; OKIE MAN GIVEN LIFE”.
Thankfully, I saw no casualties. Not a one.
Just a driveway, covered with approximately 10,000 gallons of duck shit, and a bunch of ducklettes that were only a bit worse for wear.
About half a dozen of them were huddled at the bottom of the driveway, quietly calling out for Momma Duck, who had totally flown the coop.
I apologized profusely, while trying to slowly herd them to the top of the driveway and out the gate to freedom.
But they looked at me with distrust in their eyes.
They knew that, mere moments ago, I had turned the hounds of hell loose on them, as they were lazing ever so peacefully in the shade, after having eating their weight in my bread.
They just knew that I was trying to herd them back into the RABID JAWS OF CANINE DEATH, so, understandably, all but one chose to double back on me or hide under the car.
I did manage to get one ducklette out the gate, with much coaxing and more profound and effusive apologies.
It went begrudgingly, giving me a look and I’m pretty sure calling me very bad names as it waddled onto the street.
I decided it was best to leave the gate open and let the rest of the ducklettes find their own way to freedom.
I felt sooooooooooooo bad.
Soooooooo aware that, by the skin of my teeth, I’d avoided an absolute calamity.
But there remained a very real possibility that I could still find myself in deep duck schtuk with the Missus.
Who had just walked outside to see what all the fuss was about.
I quickly explained exactly what had happened, in sort of a condensed version, you know, just to save time.
“The bad dogs got out and chased the ducklettes.”
And that made the Missus so mad.
At the bad, bad dogs.
Which meant it was not my fault.
So there was no reason at all to do anything but put this incident behind us and move on.
But don’t be fooled by their butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-our-sweet-little-mouths-as-we-laze-so-innocently-on-the-bed.
These are savage, wild animals. Just waiting to pounce. Beware.
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I Was Just thinking …
I miss the “Turkeydays” of my youth, when you pulled the drapes shut to keep out the bright sun, camped out in the living room, sat in front of the TV, and gorged on turkey and dressing and fixins piled THIS high on your TV tray.
Until you exploded.
Followed by punkin’ pie a la mode, watching Tom Landry’s Cowboys ALWAYS win, then, finally, undoing your belt, saying “waugghhhhh” like Buddy Hackett, and napping until dinner, the second NFL game, and a Charlie Brown TV special.
At least that’s what the menfolk did in the living room. I have no idea what the women folk did out in the kitchen. I guess they were eating and napping, too.
(Editor’s note: This is a serious blog post which was, of course, prompted by the 50th anniversary of the horrific assassination of the 35th President.)
I have not thought that much about the JFK assassination in the last 25 years.
But when I was in my 20s, I spent untold hours reading over 100 books and papers on the assassination, and on the Camelot of Kennedy.
When I was a reporter on the student newspaper at the University of Texas at Arlington, I wrote a long story about the assassination after monitoring a many-weeks-long course taught by Jim Marrs.
As a public service to my fellow Okie Boomers, I offer this useful list of Okie-alisms from my youth.
Hootis (N): \who-tiss\
A thing that can be used to do something else.
My Dad, a shade tree mechanic, and his cousin often had this conversation when my Dad was halfway under the car and his cousin was “supervising”, i.e., looking down into the engine as he drank coffee, smoking cigarettes and offering helpful suggestions.
“You’re making a mistake if you don’t use that hootis to loosen the alternator, not that wrench, because it will slip off the bolt.”
To which my did would respond: “BANG (sound of the wrench slipping off the bolt and Dad’s knuckles getting bloodied), followed by: “Take your @#%&*/+!## damn hootis and @#%&%#%&!” at which point they would break for a…
Colorado Kool-aid (N): call\or\add\oh\koo\laid
The beverage of choice (Coors beer) that my Dad drank by the tanker load, especially after crunching his knuckles or his bald head while doing mechanic work.
Putter-Onner-Thingee (N): \put\er\on\er\thing-ee\
A device that can be used to put one thing onto another thing.
While, theoretically, a hootis or hootisses (plural) could be used to put anything onto anything, or take anything off of anything, my Mom was not of the hootis school. She was more a putter-onner kind of woman, or, to be more precise,a putter-onner-thingee woman.
Her putter-onner-thingees were mainly kept in kitchen drawers, but some were stored in the attic and only brought down for the holidays. Mom would turn on the Christmas music and commence to give marching orders to my two older sisters, like a drill instructor wearing an apron:
“I’ll start making the stuffing and cranberry sauce while the turkey is cooking. Lynn, roll out the dough for the pumpkin pies and prepare the punkin’ goop. Cathy, mix the chocolate cake batter and find the putter-onner-thingee for the icing. *Billy, you go play in the traffic.”
But last week, every time I took my battered police flashlight into a shop, the clerks would back away like they were about to be robbed.
Fair enough, I guess. This battered old flashlight speaks volumes about melon-thumping.
I bought my Kel-Lite more than 30 years ago.
I had been most impressed with the wiry Waco Police Department Lieutenant who, despite his small size, taught Waco cops “street defense”.
“He is little but he is mean; do NOT turn your back on him,” advised one the larger students, who the Lieutenant had just thumped.
I was enthralled as the Lieutenant demonstrated how quickly he could go from “using my flashlight to read your driver’s license” to “using my flashlight to smash your head like a melon.”
After the Lieutenant demonstrated how to “Kung-Fu-Flashlight” a street punk who thought he was Bruce Lee, I just knew that I had to have one ASAP.
Those Fatherly/Old Man/Okie moments when…
… You are informed that there was really no need to buy the expensive microphone stand to replace the one Junior lost, because at his birthday party he is reminded by a friend that the missing mic stand has been at his house for months…
… The sun is shining just right through the bathroom window to illuminate the white, three-quarter-inch Old Man Hair that has been growing out of your ear hole for who knows how long…
… Junior advises that the new Thor movie is now screening in Nu Zillans and you can go see it in approximately an hour, which rekindles the decades long Father & Son tradition and rebalances the universe…