The dog and potty show


It’s become a cliché to step outside the box, so, let’s step outside your house, stand in the street or on the sidewalk, depending on traffic–turn, and look at your house. Don’t worry how it looks because you’re going to have to imagine how you and the other occupants of your house look to your neighbors. And so, another lesson to be learned by my criticizing Christian with a big “C” roommate (RM).

It all began this afternoon after I emerged from my room whining about how she and the Boy gave me the “crud” (a sinus, body aching thing that is too nasty to describe further). As I was sitting at the kitchen table like a zombie, RM brought up, again, that the Boy thinks the neighbors across the street are a sleeper cell of Russian spies leftover from the Cold War. And so, I began my rant about how we look to our neighbors….

We are three adults and a golden retriever, named Shadow, who is as smart and personable as are all goldens.   On any given day at any given time, the circus that we four are, bursts out the front door. Okay, maybe circus is a bit harsh–how about “side-show”?  There’s the Fat Lady who is very loud with the co-dependent golden retriever who brings outside all his toys. The Fat Lady is going deaf so the entire street of quiet neighbors hears her yell at the dog to go potty, over, and over again. Then she yells for him to pick up his toys and has to point them out to him while yelling.

The Boy is quiet. Extremely so. We have “Boy” sightings and visits from the ninja living in the back bedroom. He is very tall and thin. He purposely speaks so softly just to his mother just to make her strain to hear him.  He has friends who ring the doorbell, over and over and over…just to annoy. Oftentimes, they park on the lawn and the Fat Lady goes outside and yells at the cars (the boys are already inside the house). The dog is with her and so begins the potty and toy show.

Yes, I am a member of this sideshow. I have been wearing PJ’s at home all the time for about a year. I feel that with my large assortment of “Disney” jammy bottoms and “Dickie” t-shirts I am well-dressed. I even wear them to the gas station to get ice and cigarettes.  I water the plants out front in my pj’s.  I  move the plants around and talk to them.  When using the walker, (victim of a total knee replacement) I yell from wherever I am in the yard for someone in the house to help me. And, of course, if the dog is with me you hear me tell him to go potty and to go get his toy, repeatedly.

There’s more, but why subject you to it. It’s bad enough the poor neighbors have to endure it.  Actually, Rm tried to explain away a lot and to offer examples of the neighbors’ eccentricities, but I shot them all down like a fighter pilot. My last statement to her nearly blew her off her chair:

“We look like a bunch of hillbillies”.

Well, that did it. Did I tell you she grew up in Appalachia? It was Pennsylvania, but she lived out in that part where the Appa and the lachia meet. Her grandma use to shoot “critters” with her shotgun from the front porch. “Sounds like Ma Kettle”  I have told her when I have to endure another “grandma” story.

I grew up in Connecticut, attended private schools…we dressed up to go to the Bank. As an archaeologist or any type of anthropologist in the field–another country, generally a developing one–there was always a feeling of anonymity and being unfettered by the rules at home. When I first moved to New Mexico, I felt like I was living in a Third World country and so….Now, however, living in Florida, I’m back in the States, so to speak.

I am not proud of my part in the sideshow. Well, maybe just a little….

Disclaimer:  If you grew up in or live in Appalachia, I apologize–this was not about you. Also, if you have a weight issue–this was not about you, either. If you’re a “hillbilly”, well, I don’t know what to say.  If RM or the Boy read this–I was with fever, and very ill. Hallucinating, perhaps?


15 thoughts on “The dog and potty show

    • Our Shadow is almost 10. He can get 3 tennis balls in his mouth or two along with a toy. So, yelling for him to get his toy in the front yard requires him to get all three back in his mouth. after collecting each from a different part of the yard. It’s a regular project. Lucy .

  1. When I was flying to Pittsburgh to attend my older daughter’s graduation from Carnegie Mellon, I sat next to a young man who managed to make “Coke” a two-syllable word. He wasn’t interested in making conversation, so I didn’t find out where he was from. My daughter later told me that Pittsburgh was the “big city” for people living in Appalachia; when they needed to fly anywhere, they used the Pittsburgh airport, which may have explained my seatmate’s strange inflection. Later, when visiting the natural history museum, I encountered a couple of children, who, on seeing me, pulled the corners of their eyes up and sang out, “Ching chong ching chong!” again in that odd inflection. My daughter indignantly muttered, “Hillbillies!” I mused about what it must be like to be from an area so isolated one rarely saw a person of Asian descent. It was a little offensive, but then I probably seemed as strange to these children as their speech was to me. Perspective is everything, indeed.

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