Friday, February 09, 2007

what 'cha gonna do when they come for you?

It started off the same as any other day.

Every day, I am awakened with sweet puppy kisses at the crack of doom. I find my shoes in the dark and head downstairs to where the dog races by me to the front of the house. When I reach the door, she normally she backs up a step or two as I've learned not to let her out first in case a wayward squirrel, cat, schoolkid or old man is walking by and I end up chasing her down the street in my nightgown.

I'm in my nightgown. Not the dog.

Then she usually walks, nose to the ground, sniffing where the cats and opossum have also walked across the lawn, stopping occasionally to lift a leg and pee ( Yes, SHE lifts a leg. Go figure.) leaving her own message on the neighborhood bulletin board that is my front yard.

While the dog is perusing the daily deposits, I'm searching the bushes for my newspaper as the delivery guy has lousy aim. And that's how our days usually begin.

But not today. Today was unusual in that she started kissing me way too early. She then resorted to barking until I got up and came downstairs. My dog very rarely barks. But I was so tired and it was so early I didn't really give it appropriate consideration.

So it was then, as I paused in the door, one foot holding the dog back from the space, opening it slowly to look for any movement that the dog might seem interested in chasing, that I found myself staring into the eyes of a strange man not 7 or 8 feet away.

He apparently had been crouched down by the bushes and began to stand up straight when I opened the door.

My first thought was that he was stealing my newspaper but he quickly cleared that up after I introduced my presence by saying: "Oh."

See how smart I am. See how quickly I can think on my feet.

The gentleman wearing the print cap with the tag still attached at the top, took a step toward me, looked me right in the eye and said, "I'm sorry ma'am. I'm just looking for my gun that I threw in your trees when the po-lice were chasing me this morning."

"Oh." I repeated so intelligently, backing up ever so slightly, prepared to slam the door and turn the lock in one swift movement should he appear to move any closer to the porch. "Okay. Well. I haven't seen it. I was actually looking for my paper."

He bent down as if to look for my newspaper under the bushes where only moments ago he was looking for his gun.

"That's ok," I said, not wanting to prolong this encounter any more than absolutely necessary to inch myself back inside without causing him to be alarmed or angered, "It's usually late."

"I'm sorry ma'am," he repeated, taking another step in my direction, "I'm just looking for my gun."

"Okay, well" I replied, unable to think or utter anything even remotely useful, "Good luck with that."

And I pushed the dog back with my foot, moving my entire body inside in one movement and shut the door.

The dog was very disappointed.


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