Friday, October 15, 1999

Fat Bulldogs, Alabama Bullfrogs, and Peanutbutter Sandwiches

I hadn't planned on adding to the journal quite so soon, but being home for the weekend allows me to see so much more of the activities (oddities) that happen around the house than when I'm at work Monday through Friday.

I was awakened this morning by what I thought was a bear attack as I lay sleeping in a tent in the great outdoors of Pennsylvania.  Actually, I was in bed and Mo had "palmed" my face looking for a boost up to cuddle with Mary and I.  I had to get out of bed to accomplish this because Mo is no lightweight.  Sporting an 85 pound barrel shaped body, it would take a firm stance and a bit of sweating to elevate him the 2 1/2  feet required. He and Boomer get lifted up every night before we go to bed, but Mo usually manages to fall off the bed sometime during the night.  Never has there been such a funny sight as Mary attempting this lifting feat.  Mo is almost as big as her, and the two of them straining to accomplish the "Mo-Jack", is quite a sideshow.  I must interrupt for a second for a sidebar giving a description of how Mary does, in fact, accomplished this.

  Imagine, if you will, a child on the beach.  The child wants to go and play in the water and bring along her floating
mattress to ride on.  The only problem is, the air mattress is larger (taller) than she is so it's a bit difficult to carry it.  She successfully figures out a  way by grasping the mattress at the seam that runs between the pillow part and the mattress itself.  As a result, the mattress portion sticks straight out (perpendicular to her body) and the pillow parts swells and looks like a basketball.  Now, apply that same mental picture to Mary & Mo.  She grabs him just below his front arms (armpits) and lifts. His heads swells up, and all of his additional skin crowns on the top of his fat underbitten head, and his body sticks straight out allowing her to rotate her body and slide his back side onto the bed.  Upside down now, and a bit dizzy from lack of oxygen, Mo will usually sit there for a couple of minutes regaining consciousness.  This is a daily event for the Watts House in Lansdale.

S I D E B A R  E N D
                                                           Mo & Boomer                             "Thugs"

Anyway, having completed the "lift" I noticed that it was still quite early in the morning so I figured I'd get back in bed and rest from the recent workout. NOT HAPPENING!  Mo had conveniently stretched his non-gazelle like figure, width ways across my side of the bed and the only spot left available (after Boomer had also taken advantage of the extra space) was to lay width ways along the windows seal and pillow area at the top of the bed.  Not only is this extremely uncomfortable, but the glass from the windows is quite cold on my "cheeks".  Besides that, the neighbor's might call it in! The neighbor's were also part of the gathering only 3 nights before as Otis went sight seeing.

Instead of admitting defeat, I tried to think of a way to fake 'em out long enough for me to reclaim MY BED.  I walked to the bedroom door and said loud enough for them to hear, "I wonder if there are any biscuits left in the kitchen"? I felt the flow of air as their ears shot skyward.  But still, neither moved from the warm, comfortable bed that I longed to be in.  Hmmm, I then moved farther down the hall and began making animal sounds. First a chicken, then a cow, and finally a 3 legged bullmoose, except, I added a lisp.  I accomplished the last one with a loud HAWOOOO, but with a pouty face. I could see by the reflection in the window that both were interested, but given the choice of sleeping in MY bed, or investigating the noises in the hallway, both elected to let whatever "it" was eat me so long as it didn't interrupt their sleep time; any of the 18 hours they require daily.

I was still too tired to wake up and face the day, but I had to do something.  Simply pushing one of them out of the way wouldn't do it.  Just as one begins sliding, against his will, the other slips right in. They work well together at making my hair fallout.  Have you ever tried sitting in a single-seated living room chair that 2 plump Bulldogs also want to? As much as I'd like to have them as lap dogs, having a combined weight of 150 pounds makes it difficult to watch TV and breathe too.

That's when I noticed the Alabama Bullfrog!  Remember it's still early morning and a bit dark outside and inside. Sat there at the end of the hallway was a 3 pound bullfrog that was crouched down, ready to jump 17 feet in my direction. This is getting serious now I thought.  Do Alabama Bullfrogs have teeth?  I slipped through the doors in the hallway that lead to the living room and eventually ended up in the kitchen.  I was looking for a baseball bat in case I had to fight my way back to the bedroom, but again, no furniture yet, so I had to settle for an electric belt-driven floor sander.  I figured if I got the first strike, at least the frog would be smooooooth, naked, cold, and dis-interested in fighting back.  I plugged in the extension cord and edged my way along the wall so he couldn't see me.  I figured I had to act fast so he wouldn't attack prior to me getting into a defensive posture.  In one quick movement, I turned on the sander and sanded him good!   sniff sniff, what's that smell, and why is the bullfrog gooey.  The light switch was near him so I hadn't advanced far enough to turn it on yet.  This bullfrog stinks!  I turned on the light and found that I had made a big mess, and mistake.  The bullfrog turned out to be a present Boomer or Mo left for us in the hallway and now I had catapulted Doo Doo the entire length of the hall, from floor to ceiling.  ASK MARY!

The entire house is awake now, check that, half the block is awake now.  Between the dog's losing their minds and Mary flying out of the bedroom to see what the commotion is.  WATCH OUT! The hallway has taken on the appearance of the Carlsbad Caverns and we now have chocolate stalagmites hanging from the ceiling, 'cept they stink.  Boomer and Mo think its a game so they get in to a wresting match.  I look up at my darling Wife down at the other in of the hall.  I'm still in a bit of a daze.  I have just successfully sanded a Henry and painted the hallway in less than 2 seconds. If I'da just had a bat, but definitely not a golf club.  I spent the next hour with 409 in one hand and a sponge the other.  I'm so glad we have a steam cleaner - that spot is barely visible now.

I'm way too awake now to even think about going back to bed.  I did more before 9 a.m. than ALL the Armed Forces did the whole day.  I've weight lifted, flanked the enemy, did a little sanding, painting and spring cleaning all before 6:00 a.m..

Mary has gone into the kitchen where I can hear her in conversation with Mo and Boomer. "No, not right now, not until you two finish playing down stairs.  Leave Dad alone, he's cleaning right now". "Woof Woof"..... " I said in a little bit".

Don't ask me, I thought they said something totally different.  I see Mary getting out the bread and Peanut butter.  I asked her if it was a little early in the day for a sandwich and she look's at me (I'm still speckled) and say's "Didn't you hear a word they said"?  What can you say to that? I tried to comfort Mary and say it'll all be alright.  She can't see me looking up the straight jacket people in the yellow pages behind her back. Remember I work Monday through Friday and apparently miss family hour each morning.

Mary prepares 2 sandwiches, chips, and a dog biscuit for desert.  As she walks my way, I turn to her, and prepare to accept the sandwich that she had made me(I didn't notice previously that the dog biscuit was added).  She walks on by like one of those comical love story's where the man and women are running towards each other and the lady keeps running.  I turn around to see what's going on and there sits Mo and Boomer like 2 alter boys.  Mary sets a plate in front of each one of them, gives them a little pat and heads back into the kitchen.  Have I lost my mind or has my Wife just prepared a meal for the boys and didn't feed me too? I don't know if I should say something or not.  Certainly spraying doodie all over the house hasn't upset her.  "Honey, uhmmm, how's the weather? Wanna, uh, go fishin?"

Ah - that's what it was, here comes the skillet and the eggs and the bacon and the fried bread.  One, two, three, four, five plates!  Wait a minute. Are we having company and I wasn't told, I'm sitting here in front of the computer in my Trick-or-Treat boxers and we're having company!  "No, I told the boys that after they played they could have breakfast with us".  Now Folks, I know you're probably not believin a word of this, but it's the honest truth.  Mary makes the boys and Otis breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.  Maybe that's why our good ole Major stayed with us until he was 18 years young.

Breakfast was delicious, except I had to share the bacon and fried bread with  Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumber.  The day is early so I'll close for now and get to work tearing out a wall or two.  I've been making mental notes about my journal entry that will be completed after the study is the way we want it.

No worries, I did contact a friend to ask his advice on how I could be 100% sure, or not,  that the wall that I'm about knock out isn't a supporting one. He told me if I knock it out and the roof caves in, I can be 100% sure that it is a supporting wall.

Geza's on his way over to take a look for me now.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Sunday, October 3, 1999

Otis Runned Off Explorin' The Town, News At Eleven

As you may or may not know, Otislipps Watts, our oldest bulldog, happens to be the CEO of Otis aviation.  Obviously the position of CEO requires much travel, meetings, and time on the road (literally).  As you shall soon see, Otis accomplished all 3 of these events this evening.  She even had a Fire Rescue Escort. A Dalmatian she's not, she may think she is, but trust me on this one.
It all started just before 6:00 p.m. EST. 
Mary and I had just begun an evening of......tearing down wallpaper.  Mary had bought a gadget from home depot that was supposed to be the one step wonder wall paper puller offer and quicker picker upper.  It's this contraption that you pour water into, plug it in to the wall, and it produces steam.  The steam is vented through this flat plate that you hold against the wall, which in turn liquefies and heats the adhesive, and the wall paper just jumps off the wall and into the garbage.  Lemme tell you, it ain't happenin.  Besides burning the snot out of you, the adhesive does liquefy and now it goes everywhere.  I glued myself into a corner and had to almost get naked to get unstuck.  My right pants leg has become a semi-permanent part of my body, atleast until I decide to shave my right thigh hoping to release my favorite pair of blue jeans.  I hope they don't mind at work when I show up wear two pairs of pants with different legs in them, one being blue jeans.  I have a multi-colored tie that may go quite well.
Anyway, midway through gluing each other and the dogs to the wall, we took a break and gave the kids (bulldogs) some animal crackers.  Otis, being nearly blind, totally deaf, and bo-legged was quite happy to have desert.  She needed energy for her journey; the one we didn't know about.  Anyway, we took about 5 minutes off and then went back to work.  Soon afterwards, Boomer stole a piece of wet and steamed wallpaper and successfully glued it to Mo's butt - honest.  Mo almost whistled Dixie when I had to snatch it loose.  I've never seen a bulldogs pucker so tight - water tight!  We got distracted......
Taking advantage of the impending surgery to unwallpaper Mo's behind, Otis made a run for it.  Now for those of you that don't know Otis I'll brief you right quick.  Otis is, in dog years, approximately six hundred and seventeen.  Her idea of exercise is straining to toot, which she does very well.  Her normal day's travel is about 11 feet, with bathroom breaks included.  All the other distances traveled she is carried, usually puckering up while we run her to the backyard, sometimes "it's" playing peak-a-boo or peak a poo for those that didn't get it.  Oh yeah, I can do this in layman's terms too, don't you know.  If fact, Otis has successfully took a dump and never once had to touch the ground, it all happened enroute as we ran her to the yard.  Realizing that she had
completed her business before we put her down, we just continued the wind sprint right back inside and sat her back in her bed.  She never knew any of this even took place - she was just happy to not be sharing her bed with a "Henry".  I must remember not to send this to anyone named Henry in fear of getting in trouble.  Let us continue.....
Oh, back to the "quick" description of Otislipps.  Otis was born in approximately 1986.  Sadly, she was born with water on the brain and her mommy rejected her shortly after birth.  She was nursed by the vet (who also did surgery on her reference her water-head) with a bottle and as soon as she was old enough, a family adopted her.  She spent a few years with them but ended up being given up, after the families young daughter sat inside of Otis's (Whose registered name is Nato's Explosive Force, I Promise) food bowl and Otis, er, Nato's Explosive Force snapped at her.  The Family had moved to Spangdahlem Germany prior to this; the same base that Mary and I were at. The next family to get her was a cruel family (we hear) and kept her locked in a basement. That lasted probably too long and she was dropped off on the side of the road one day and the German Politzei (Police) picked her up and brought her to a Teirheim (Kennel).  A buddy of ours whom we worked with had heard us, SLAP, Mary just said US NOTHING, HEARD YOU (as in ME) talking about wanting a Bulldog and told us about her.  We went down and got her in 1993 and she's been with us every since.  We found out about her history when one day in Germany we had a knock at the door and this guy says, "I'm not here to ask for anything, but that dog in your back yard used to be mine when I lived in Washington".  Wow!  We talked for a while and then he went on his way......
OK OK, on with the story.  Where were we, OH, I was just doing surgery on Mo's behiney.  Otis made a run for it, actually a brisk walk, ok a lethargic stroll.  We were laughing so hard at Mo's designer diaper that we hadn't noticed Otis's escape.  She successfully got down the stairs, or rolled down them, and off she went.  Otis's distance vs time is usually 15 feet per hour, but tonight she more than doubled it.  About 20 minutes went by and we took another break.  Mo's was eye-balling Boomer and Boomer was eye-balling a fresh, wet piece of wallpaper, so we figured we better tidy up a bit before we continued.  That's when we noticed, "WHERE'S OTIS"?
We walked around the
house looking for her - which we usually find her standing in a corner studying the architecture.  She can do this for hours on end and never realize time has passed.  Poor thing is now deaf and almost blind.  She's just happy being able to float an air biscuit without falling over, so if you give her a corner, or even a wall for that matter, she'll stair at it and watched the shadow of the trees slowly crawl across the wall.  This is top entertainment for her.   We walked through the ground floor and then headed down in the basement.  We thought that she may have made her first trip downstairs and had gotten lost, or perhaps found a better wall to watch in case it moved.  She wasn't there either.  We both looked at Mo and Boomer, who began whistling and looking in different directions.  We knew that they knew something and they weren't talking without getting more treats first.  We still weren't worried because we knew it would take 17 days for Otis to reach the property line so we had time for dinner, a short vacation and a stop off in Doylestown so we took our time.  Mary and I then walked outside and took a quick look around the house.  No Otis!  Mary had just said tonight that Otis had walked out the back door and got lost, and ended up at the front door asking for directions.  She (OTIS) was so proud when Mom opened the door and greeted her with a hug and biscuit, not one of air.  We figured we had missed her inside somehow and mistook her for furniture. That would have been hard to do though since, as of this date, we don't have any furniture yet.  It's all on the way from Vegas - that'll be another log entry.
Anyway, we made another sweep of the house, inside and out, and came up with nothing.  This was beginning to get strange.  A Cessna 172 could make a trans-oceanic flight there and back before Otis could make it to the neighbor's so this was really strange.  The sun was starting to go down so I went down to PEP Boys and bought a couple of flashlights.  The powerful kind with the battery the size of a Pinto battery.  One of those 6V kind that are so heavy you need to tote that dadburn thing in a wheelbarrow. Oh, my wheelbarrow tire went flat last night (just to let you know). We have shallow woods at the edge of our back yard boundary so we thought Otis has walked or rolled down there to take a look at what was on the other side.  She wasn't there, nor was she in either neighbor's yard who I contacted for permission to have a look.  I walked down the road one way while Mary walked the other.  Both of us waving flashlights and hollering OTIS OTIS.  She can't hear but we figured we wouldn't get put in jail so quickly if people thought we were on a mission.    We searched the house again.  Keep in mind that we are convinced that she had not left the yard. She never ever has before and the possibility of losing Otis is about as plausible as someone losing their house-boat while standing on the dock - it just don't happen.
That's when we saw Fire & Rescue roll by with their lights lighting up the night sky like a Friday Night football game.  I had a weird feeling come over me so I jumped in the car in hot pursuit.  The Rescue vehicle made a turn about a quarter of a mile down the road and came to an abrupt stop.  I caught up, turned and noticed that a small crowd was huddled on the corner.  I couldn't see inside of the huddle, but it looked as if they were huddled around camp fire roasting weenies, except of course they were in the middle of the road.  I overheard someone say, "was it hit".  I almost sucked up my bucket seats.  I jumped out and without even seeing what "IT" was, I shouted "that's my dog, thats my dog". Sure enough, Otis was in the middle of the huddle hoping that someone would feed her.  She had just traveled a further distance in 2 hours than she has in the last 2 years. She was tired and hungry and still bo-legged.  I ran up and someone said, "Look at her legs, they are bending in all directions, I think she's been hit".  I looked down at her and smiled and replied, "Negative, that's Otis, she's retarded, deaf, blind, bo-legged, & 483 years old.  The neighbors had started to come out in numbers now.  The crowd was growing and I thought one of us was gonna have to start singing or something to give the audience something to see.  I reached down to pick up Otis and the pressure on her belly sent out a Fart that was loud enough for the folks in the seventh row to hear.  Keep in mind that I was bending over too so I had a terrible time trying to convince the closest 100 people that it wasn't me, it was the bo-legged 812 year old dog.  Some of the older women were frowning at me.  It was one of those 20 second Wal-mart toots that kind of change pitch like it's climbing a ladder or something.  It started down in the lower ranges and peaked after about 8 seconds.  There it held a perfect C note for about 12 seconds more.  I couldn't drop her and the quicker I straightened out, the more pressure due to centrifugal force was put on her tummy and the louder it got.  I heard one lady say, "I bet his Mom doesn't know he does that".  I thought about running home and leaving my car there but since I had Fire & Rescue blocked in I had to drive away.  I told the one spokesman for the crowd where I lived and the fact that I'd like to make it up to them but didn't even have my wallet with me.  I just told the whole crowd that I'd buy them all a Turkey and left it at that. 
Otis is home now.  I just saw her sticking her tongue out at Boomer.  By the way, Boomer and Mo are terribly afraid of her even though they easily weigh twice as much.  Every now and again, Otis will walk up to them and just bite one of them randomly to keep them on edge. 
As you can see, it's been quite a night.  We're all at home now and I have to go to work in about 22 minutes so I better try and get some sleep before I shower.
I'll send another journal entry out whenever the movers come and go and let you know who bit who and how much we're being sued for.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

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