Deep in my black little heart, I knew by two this morning that I would not make it to Bridgestone to take pictures. That was roughly the time that HH the Doggy Lama Niklas Lidstrom decided that he could not bear to sleep quietly one more minute and stood in the middle of the hallway to howl at...well, to howl at something. I had initially dropped off to sleep at around 1:15 am.
When big dogs howl, there is a magnificence to it. There is something primal and grand and bigger than the present in the howl of a large dog.
That magnificence was not present in my hallway as far as I could tell. Well, maybe it was there in Niklas' little bitty mind. Niklas is a shih tzu. He weighs nine pounds and is roughly a foot tall standing on all fours. Watching him try to howl is like watching a dust mop throw a tantrum.
I opened my bedroom door a little wider and he trotted in, hopped on my bed and then creatively sprawled in a way that made my sharing it with him almost impossible. His predecessor was a bearded collie/sheepdog mix who weighed roughly 125 pounds, was taller than me when he reared up on his hind legs and yet he and I managed to share my bed quite comfortably during storms. I'm not sure where this "What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine" ethos is coming from with the current Dogboss.
So I attempted sleep, failed, then got up and took my mother to her doctor's appointment. While I was waiting and pretending to be productive by editing the roughly five thousand pictures that are currently sitting on my hard drive, my phone rang. I saw the exchange and immediately assumed it was Sarah making her initial salvo in the now eight year old War To Make Jas Go To Bonaroo With Sarah.
I answered the phone with: "I don't need to go to Manchester to see hippies. All I have to do is talk to my mother."
There was a pause and then Amy asked me if I was really turning down a chance to go to Bonaroo. She counseled me to sleep on that decision. After I asked her how she and her very lovely and wonderful husband were doing, she caroled a single word into the phone:
Oh, crap. I was so ready for sleep. But...butbutbutbut...JUNKET!
Okay, you're probably picturing some outing where a hand full of women pile into a car and go to Green Hills or Cool Springs and squee over mass produced cuteness.* Nothing could be further from the truth.
All of us, right down to the girliest of the group.** hate to do that kind of shopping.
There are two kinds of junkets we make.
Food and Books - In some ways they're kind of the same thing in terms of where they fit in our lives. A real score is finding something on any of our PaperbackSwap wish lists for less than five dollars. I would tell you where we look at/for books but then I would have to apply for the witness protection program.
Art/Phography Supplies - No big secrets. If there's a good sale at Plaza or Jerry's, that's where we go first. If not, we check out the clearance aisles at the local home improvement stores and those temples of home schooling craft genius: Joann, Hobby Lobby and Michael's.
Today we got a shock as we stood in the wedding wares aisle at Michael's and stared dumbfounded at the wall of baskets that had replaced their clearance section. A sweet, perky clerk walked up and asked who the lucky bride was. Alice pointed at me.
The clerk squealed and started wiggling my arm.
Don't ever squeal at a group of artists, especially if two of them are wearing hockey sweaters.
"Awesome! I love it when older people find loooo-uuuuove!" She squinched her cute little nose. I considered pinching off Alice's cute little head. "What does he do?"
"Well, there's not really a he," I said.
Perky's eyes widened and she nodded slowly and said, "Oh... I don't think we have a cake topper for that, but we could make one. So who is the lucky girl?"
I glanced at my friends to see who was going to volunteer. Amy raised a finger.
"Actually, she's coaching hockey in Saskatchewan right now. They made it to the postseason! I hope they manage to have short series so she can come to Tennessee before she gives birth."
By this point, PerkyClerky had the same look that I've seen animals in PeTA ads have when they've chewed off a limb to get out of a trap.
"You never really can tell..." she stammered.
"Tell what?" I asked.
"I don't know!" she practically shouted. "Um, okay. If you ladies need anything. Holler." And then she speedwalked away.
We watched her go, all of us silent as if we were waiting for the Chuck Jones dribble of gravel that inevitably follows all good cartoon mayhem.
"Our work here is done." Alice bowed her head, looking almost beatific.
"Was that really necessary?" I asked.
Amy nodded. "She started it. Bitch shouldn't have taken away our clearance section.
* We are nothing like the ridiculous radio ads that seem to be in high rotation on every station advising women to get surgical or chemical help to make them all 25 again and to withold sex if they don't get a big, sparkly product of forced child labour from a third world country. They suggest "getting a headache" if you don't get a diamond. Excuse me? Sex is actually good for headaches.
**I am actually the second girliest although my standing might have slipped now that the phrase "punch (x) in the junk:" seems to be a permanent part of my idiolect.
copyright 2011 Jas Faulkner