Snickerfodder

Archive for the ‘Viv's 'Ventures’ Category

 

 

  

The week or so before a holiday is a hectic and dangerous time.

  

  

  

There are a lot of IDIOTS on the road.  

 

 

 

 

I don’t know what happens to folks as the holidays approach, but they all seem to kick into panic mode, as if there will be a frozen Butterball or themed tablecloth shortage or something.  This panic affects their driving skills. 

 

In just the last few weeks alone, I have had several ‘near-misses’ with other drivers pulling incredibly STUPID stunts. 

 

It really burns me when others take MY life into THEIR incompetent hands.  IDIOTS.

 

Fine; you wanna fishtail out’a the high-school parking lot in your piece o’ primer truck, you go right on ahead; just don’t slam into me on your way, pal.  

 

What, Grandma?  You don’t have time to wait for me to cross the slushy crosswalk, escorting my beautiful little girls, all gussied-up in their Christmas duds for a visit with Santa, — which just MAY be the LAST year they BELIEVE?  Where the hell ya gotta go?   Senior discounts are on TUESDAY!  Chillax, ya old bat!

 

Our entire family almost became so much roadkill the other night when some MORON pulled out right in front of us.  El Guapo swerved a hard left and we missed a collision by mere millimeters.  The idiot tore away without a care.  Thank God I’d emptied my bladder before we left the house.

 

My folks are always making fun of me, asking me about how many ‘IDIOTS‘ I’d encountered on the road that day.  But it’s TRUE!  (Just ask Fluffy/Bowzer!) 

 

 

 

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who run red lights. 

 

 

 

Po-Po should have the authority to shoot those sumbitches on sight.

 

 

 

 

Look, I know I don’t have ONE, SINGLE OUNCE of common sense, but at least I am extra careful when it comes to getting behind the wheel.   I save up every smidge of sense I possess for when I’m driving. 

 

And I AM a good, careful driver.  I obey all traffic laws and signals.  I refuse to go more than 5 m.p.h. over the speed limit (unless I am late for church).

 

I actually SLOW DOWN for the yellow.  I come to COMPLETE stops.  If the sign says I may not turn right from 2:30 – 4 pm, and it’s 2:31; I don’t freakin’ turn right.   You can honk and flip me off all ya want, honey, but I promise ya:  I ain’ goin’.

 

I ALWAYS give the road my full attention and care – even when I am suckin’ down a ciggie while belting out Paradise by the Dashboard Light or chair-dancin’ to I Wanna Be SedatedTHIS girl can multitask.

 

 

 

 

But you throw one

 35-lb. Cocker Spaniel

 into the mix, and

it’s all over, folks.

 

 

 

 

Toby is a sweetheart of a dog.  He’s smart and loving and playful.  At 1½ years old, he’s still a pup.  He is never without his ball or his ‘squeaky’.  He learned to fetch the morning paper!  He’s such a good boy!

  

 

 

But as a traveler,

he’s an absolute

 NIGHTMARE.

 

 

 

Toby gets car-sick.

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter how many Dramamine I disguise inside treats, he’ll puke’em up.   He starts retchin’ and chuffin’ an’ chukkin’ before we make it to the end of our street.

 

 

Last year, we decided to take him on a 3 ½ hr. drive for a visit with the grandfolk.

 

 

 

 

BIG MISTAKE.

 

 

 

 

 

We hadn’t even gone 50 miles and he’d already yakked 7 times and taken a healthy, steamin’ liquid crap all over the M & Ms in the backseat.  We had to pull over because we couldn’t breathe and our eyes were burning.  We couldn’t turn around and take the mutt back; who would care for him on such short notice?

 

Poor little M2; she slept through the dog shittin’ all over her.  She woke up as were were wiping her off, gagging and retching ourselves.  She got a good whiff of the stench, and then SHE puked.

 

I used every single precious paper towel I brought in the clean-up and had to buy more.  We also bought some Hefty bags, ripped’em open and layer-lined the entire car.   That way, we could just peel off a layer of plastic with each subsequent puke.   

 

  

 

 

Good Times.

  

 

 

  

 

That was the LAST time Toby was in the car for longer than 10 minutes.

 

My vet, Dr. Bruce, keeps encouraging me to take Toby out for short jaunts, and increase the length of the ride in small increments to strengthen his intestinal fortitude. 

 

 

 

I gotta say, it’s not a task that’s high on my to-do list.

 

  

   To Do:

  

  • Sleep
  • Smoke
  • Write
  • Smoke
  • Curse
  • Smoke
  • Eat Smoke
  • Take Toby for ride in ‘car-car’ (11 minutes)
  • Scrape contents of Toby’s stomach (partially digested IAMS Minichunks, rubber ball remnants, assorted hair ribbons, coffee grounds and cucumber peelings) from car’s interior and windshield (1 hour)
  • Smoke
  • Use commercial-grade carpet extractor to cleanse and sanitize  (Smoke) car interior  (2 hours)
  • Kick fuckin’ dog
  • Smoke

 

 

On the way to Toby’s last visit to see Dr. B., he did a great job of keepin’ the chuck down***.

 

 

*** El Guapo told me the secret was to keep Toby in the front passenger seat so that he can see out the window (apparently, this is key in avoiding car-sickness).   The only thing is:  ya gotta hold on to his collar to keep him from climbing all over you.

 

 

When we saw Dr. B., he asked how Toby had done on the ride to the clinic.

 

 

I told him it was super, and he reminded me to keep increasing car-car-time, little by little.

 

 

Just to be on the safe side, though, after Toby got his shots, Dr. B. gave me treats to hold onto — until we got back home.

 

 

When we left the vet’s office it was raining cats and dogs (sorry; couldn’t resist).   Truly, the floodgates had opened up on us.   I was glad we didn’t have far to go in the downpour.   I prayed that my pooch-puke-luck could hold out just a little longer.

 

 

I helped my soggy doggy into front seat of the Suzie.  Toby was was actually enjoying looking out the window, and he wasn’t even attempting to move from the seat.  I had a firm grip on his collar, though.

 

 

I kept reminding him of what a ‘good boy’ he was being, and how ‘priddy’ he was.   He was lookin’ so proud, lappin’ up all the praise.

 

 

I was feeling so positive about Toby’s puke-progress that I decided to give him just a wee-bit more ride time on the way home. 

 

 

 

 

He was being SUCH a good boy!  

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of turning into the main entrance of our subdivision, I decided to add a mere .2 of a mile to the ride and use the side entrance which leads through the adjoining subdivision.

 

I made a nice, slow, easy right; my right hand still gripping Toby’s collar.   I  made sure to stabilize the dog with my right elbow so he wouldn’t lose his balance. 

 

 

 

Good Boy!

 

 

  

 

Before I could straighten out the Trooper’s wheels, Toby stood to all fours, and started doing that full-body-lurching and retching.

 

 

Before I could blink, he leapt at me.

 

 

 

 

I saw nothing

but honey-colored fur –

 and a mass of warm, wet, brown

dog-chow upchuck –

 

 

 

which hit me about mid-chest and slid down to rest and fester on my thighs.

 

 

 

 

Toby morphed

 into a 35-lb. friggin’

Lipizzaner  stallion

prancin’ an’ dancin’

on the 2 goddam pounds

 of puke on my lap –

and spewin’ more by the millisecond.

 

 

 

  

  

I couldn’t SEE.

  

 

 

I didn’t THINK.

 

 

  

Instinct took over.

 

 

  

  

My right hand still wrapped around the mutt’s collar, I jerked/shoved him back over to ‘his’ seat.

  

  

Did you know that at a certain point in every infant’s development, there is a period of time when, while lying on his back, if you stretch his little right arm out to the right, his little LEFT arm will follow, crossing over his chest? 

It works the same in the opposite direction.  It’s funny, it’s cute, but it’s a stage that doesn’t last long.

  

 

Except for The Viv – a virtual Darwinian mystery – unfortunately, she still possesses this infantile reflex. 

 

 

 

UNFORTUNATELY, my LEFT hand, firmly gripping the Trooper’s steering wheel,  INSTINCTIVELY followed my right hand in throwing off my chow-chukkin’ chum.

 

 

(***the only thing her left hand is capable of doing of its own volition: 

 flippin’ off the aforementioned IDIOT DRIVERS)

 

 

 

 

As Toby heaved the chow,

I hopped the curb and  

PLOWED

right into some poor schlep’s

green, plastic MAILBOX.

 

Now, granted, being the careful driver I claim to be, I was doing 10 mph – at most.

 

So, truly, I was going about as fast as a PLOW; instead of some corn crop,

 

 

 

I mowed down a MAILBOX.

 

 

 

 

Though it happened in an instant, it played in SLOW-MO.

 

I felt the impact – a dull THUD – accompanied by the grating crunch of plastic being bulldozed down sidewalk cement.

 

I slammed on my brakes, launching the damn dog from the catbird seat down into the footwell. 

 

At least I had the sense to flick on my hazards and open the windows a crack  — God Forbid the dog suffocate – while I got out into the pouring rain to survey the damage.

 

 

 

 

What a mess.

 

 

(Have I mentioned I have a propensity for getting myself into messes?)

  

 

 

 

The Trooper’s right tires were up on the sidewalk, the poor homeowners’ letters were littered all over their front lawn, getting soaked in the torrential downpour.

 

At least 10 feet of sopping sod separated the mail box itself from its plastic-encased 4×4 wooden post.

 

 

 

 

Confession Session:

 

 

 

I squelched a nearly overwhelming urge to jump up and down

like I’d just won on Jeopardy, screaming,

 

 

 

 

Yea, BABY

I mowed that muthafucka DOWN

Boo-ya!”

 

 

 

 

 

With shaky hands, I dragged the splintered post back to its general original position, and I gathered up the soggy envelopes, stuffed’em back into the box, and trudged up to the house’s front door.

 

 

 

 

What the hell do ya say?

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m totally sober,

but my DOG made me hit your mailbox. 

I’m really sorry.

 

 

  

 

  

Lucky me, nobody answered the door.

 

 

 

 

I wrote a brief apology (minus the doggy defense) and my contact information on the back of the paper that claimed my mutt had just received his rabies vaccination.  

 

I stuffed the sopping paper into their decapitated mailbox which I’d positioned next to the door as a nice greeting for its owners when they got home.

 

I called El Guapo and told him what I’d done, and for ONCE, he was in town when I really needed him. 

 

He drove over directly and helped me with damage control.

 

I was able to leave my info. with the next-door neighbor.  She looked at me like maybe I was gonna drive my truck into HER house, to boot. 

 

In the end, El Guapo went back to talk to the folks.  He humbly apologized for his dipshit wife takin’ out their mailbox and offered to buy and install a brand new one.  (God Bless El Guapo; he remained my hero for several more hours after that — a record.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out, this is the 7th mailbox

those poor folks have lost to

 

 IDIOT DRIVERS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Viv is now the

BIGGEST IDIOT DRIVER

on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She has been court-ordered

to flip herself off

before driving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Christmas fast approaching,

she’s not to be trusted behind the wheel of a car,

dog or no dog.

 

 

 

 

 

If you see her plowin’ down your street,

PLEASE move away from your mailbox.

 

 

 

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HOLY LIGHTNIN’ MIGHTY,  



 can I get myself into some MESSES. 



  



Truly, I don’t wake each morn and say to myself,



  



“Now, what kind of crazy-assed, unbelievable,



FUBAR quagmire are you gonna git



sucked and stuck into  TODAY?!”



  



Crazy shit just HAPPENS to me.    



  



I am a completely unwilling participant in 50% of the



cluster-fucked jams in which I find myself.



  



I’m just the poor dumb schmuck who happens to be
in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time. 



As for the other 50%;   I ATTACK those



with a flyin’ leap and a big, ‘ole



  



“YEEE-HAAAWWW!”



  



  



This here is NOT a Yee-Haw yarn. 



  



  



I am a SUCKER for ANY poor, helpless, defenseless or injured life form.



 



As a little girl, I rescued and nursed back to health countless injured fauna:  baby bunnies, baby birdies, turtles and the occasional baby snake that wended its way up through the drain of the downstairs shower.  



I made these little critters as comfortable as possible by setting them up with hospice care in my Barbie Dream Home and RV. 



I force-fed them sugar water from a medicine dropper.



They all died within a couple of days.



Although, there was one plucky little black snake that hung on for over a week.   I loved him.  



I had to keep him in a shoebox, though, ’cause he could slither right through the Winnebago’s invisible windshield when I tried to make him drive it.    My mother made me keep all of my patients outside (especially the scaly ones).  



I must have forgotten to put the lid back on his box one day; when I came back, he was gone.  I was heartbroken.



My only hope for him was that he would grow fat and strong for many years before he met his end at the tip of my father’s shovel.



 This past September, I rescued a near-death field mouse from my sidewalk.  He was adorable.  He made the cutest squeaks. 



 



He made it less than a day.



 



I went to Petsmart only hours later and bought a replacement. 



 



(YEEEE-HHHAAAAWWWW!)



 



The Dingus was NOT happy.



 



A few weeks ago, M1 had big Economics project due at school. 



(A THIRD-GRADE Econ project — using terms such as economic specialization, scarcity and opportunity cost, for crissake!)



 



 



Hell, I didn’t learn those terms until junior year! 



 



 



They did come in handy though as El Guapo and I walked from class to class at good ‘ole KHS.



 



I’d point out all the other high-school-hottie-boys and say,



 



  



“See him?  Opportunity Cost.”



 



  



So, anyway, I have to schlep my kiddies to school the day the project is due ’cause ain’t no way M1’s big-assed poster board was bus-bound.  It wouldn’t even fit in my fun bug; we had to take Suzie (aka the Trooper/aka the Dump Truck).   



 



 



Does The Viv LOVE animals? 



  



She names her freakin’ vehicles. 



You decide.



  



  



 



 



When we pulled onto the busy road



 from our development,  



I spied the poor cat lying



 in the middle of the oncoming lane. 






 


 





 



My heart clenched up. 



 



 



I was about to look away, not able to stand the thought, let alone the sight, of a pet that had been run over – when the poor little fella



lifted his head from the road and looked right at me.



 



Our eyes locked for a millisecond.



 



I let out a pathetic yelp and then an



 



 



“Oh, my God! 



 



He’s STILL ALIVE!!!!”



 



 



 



I aimed Suzie for the berm, threw ‘er into park, told the M & Ms to



 



‘STAY PUT AND DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!’



 



I ran into the busy road without care for my own safety or that of my two children on the roadside WITHOUT the HAZARD lights flashing.  



(I’m up for ‘Mom of the Year’;



That decision clinches it.)



 



The kitty lifted his head again and issued a weak and liquidy meow at me when I reached him. 



I couldn’t see very well because I was crying too hard. 



 



(Yes, The Viv cries;



 even sassybitches



have a heart once or twice a year.)



 



 



Even though he was bleeding from his nose and rump, I could see he was a gorgeous tabby.



 



He was SOMEBODY’S beloved pet. 



 



 



BUT, if he’d started out the day with all nine lives,  



he’d just SHAT a good seven o’ them on the road.



 



 



 I HAD to help him! 



 



 



I bent over and tried to slide my hands under him as gently as possible so as to do no more damage.  He meowed in pain, but allowed me to cradle and cuddle him back to my car.  



I was utterly oblivious to having caused quite the traffic snarl in every direction. 



Luckily, most folks around me probably thought I was the one who’d hit him or that he was MY cat and I’d just had to scoop him off the asphalt.  They gave this cat-scrapin’ crazy lady  wide berth. 



(However, any of those drivers who know The Viv probably just shook their heads and wondered just what fresh hell I’d gotten myself into THIS time.)



I gently placed my new flat feline into the passenger footwell and covered him with a blanket I yanked from the cargo area of the Dump Truck.  Thankfully, the M & Ms could see only the kitty’s head from their backseat perches.  They were whimpering and worrying over the fate of this little fella.



 



I, on the other hand, was a basket case. 



 



A passionate person, I have no ‘medium’ setting.  Every emotion I own goes from zero to 150 in the blink of an eye.  I’m never just sad; I’m MOROSE.  I’m never  just a little happy; I’m ECSTATIC.   I’m never merely miffed; I’m FURIOUS.    I know only the extremes.



 



 



This stripey fellow BROKE MY HEART.



 



 



I got back onto the road and tried to calm my own nerves and those of the M & Ms.






 



(GEEZ, M1 had a big presentation to do!)    



 



She’s already PAINFULLY shy and reticent to speak before an audience of ONE as it is.



 



 



I’d just thrown her into a tizzy



with my SPCA special-op o’ the day. 



 



 






I may have just DOOMED my kid’s chance of success then and there. 



(Again; MOTY material)



 



We said some flimsy little kitty-prayers in the next few minutes’ drive to school.  



I THINK I wished M1 ‘GOOD LUCK‘ as she hopped out of the car.  The forces of the universe must have been smiling down upon The Viv;  M2 did NOT hop out of the car and tell the teacher’s aide on car-duty to look in the front seat ’cause Mama scraped a flat cat off the road on our way to school.  



 



 I whispered and murmured sweet-kitty-somethings to my friend as I raced to my vet, not a few miles away.  Again, the gods graced me as I hit 35 mph through the school zone (with the fuzz sitting RIGHT THERE).



 



With my kitty in arms, I burst through the vet’s doors.



 



 



“Please help me!”



 



 



The staff flew into action.  They whisked away my whiskered pal and asked me about his story. 



Whatever I’d held back until then came flooding out. 



 



I was a bawling, blithering idiot.



 



It wasn’t even MY damn cat! 



 



I must have looked quite the fright with my mascara smeared all over, babbling nonsense about  



 



How could someone just mow him down and drive away?!”



 



and



 



HE LOOKED RIGHT AT ME!!!”   



 



 



A receptionist led me over to a bench to sit and collect my sad self.   A few minutes later, a tech came out to let me know they’d put my fuzzy buddy on an i.v. and oxygen. 



 



Although, to me, all cats are male until I learn otherwise, I asked if they knew ‘his’ sex.  The tech said they couldn’t tell yet as there was too much blood down about his nether-regions to get a good looksee.



 



This prompted another bout of bawling.   



(from The Viv; the tech was fine.)



 



 I decided to ‘busy’ myself by perusing one of the many



volumes of patient-photos resting on a table. 



 



BAD IDEA



 



 



It was pretty much a freakin’ ‘MEMORIAL-TRIBUTE’ album, chock-full of snaps of hundreds of beloved pets that had bitten the dust.



 



(more boo-hooing ensued)



 



Another quarter-hour elapsed and my tech came back to chat.  



 She asked if I would be willing to assume the charges for treatment.



 



 



In such a state,



 I’d have signed over my damn house. 



 



 



Then she asked me what I wanted to call the cat since they needed a name to enter under my bill.



 



I blurted out,



 



“FLUFFY.” 



 



(And I call myself a WRITER?!)



 



 



I couldn’t have coughed up something sassy like  



 



 



“FLAT STANLEY”   



 



 



or  



 



 



“SLIM“?!



 



 



 



 



What the HELL?!



 


 


 


 The Viv NEVER misses



an opportunity to be a smart-ass.



 



A near-death experience should be no exception; 



 



 



NAY!



 



  



‘At dere’s a godsend of fodder



fo’ da snicker, in my book.  



 



 




I disgust myself.



 FAILURE!



 



Perhaps I could have been lucid enough  



to come up with something ‘aaawww’-inspiring as



HOPE  or  “FAITH  or   “LANCE”.






 



Hell no!



Freakin’ “FLUFFY” was my best shot.



 



(Sorry, my new flattened feline friend;



your hero is a MORON.)



(At least it speaks to my mental incapacity —



which, AT capacity, operates at barely-above-retard)



 



 



The tech then led me into an exam room.  The vet came in to share the x-rays with me. 



Miraculously, he (confirmed at this point) had no broken bones!  He did, though, have severely bruised lungs.  Plus, his lungs and heart had been jammed up under his ribs and were not resting where they should. 



 



Poor little fellow.



 






Twenty minutes later, the tech came back to give me an ‘estimate’ for the cost of Fluffy’s care should he have a necessary operation and two nights in the clinic:



 




 



$1,111.00  



 



 



 I wailed and moaned like a paid mourner



followin’ a flippin’  funeral parade, for God’s sake.



 



Honestly, I’m not sure which upset me more:  



Being the one responsible for deciding whether Fluffy lived or died



(I pay; he livesI don’t pay; sayonara, Fluffy.)



 



OR



 



The knowledge that The Dingus would



snuff out MY LIFE when he found out



about my little CAT FANCY (FIASCO).



 



 



 



Hell, The Dingus



would put ME down



 for anything over $200.



 



 



 



What to do?



 



(bawl and wail some more)



 



I told the tech (in between great, heaving moans) that there was NO WAY that I could pay that much for a cat that wasn’t even mine, and that my husband wouldn’t pay that to save ME, let alone a pet.



 



The sweet tech consoled me and put her arm around me as I sat and blathered on about only wanting to help this poor animal, and now it would DIE just because I have a pucker-tight spouse and the fact that I enjoy living at home. 



 



I’ll admit –  though I BRIEFLY entertained the flickering idea;



 



 



 



The Viv ain’t turnin’



no tricks for no damn cat.



 



 



 



(So long, Fluffy, my flat feline friend —



it was nice to scrape you



and your entrails off the pavement —



now I too know how it feels to be eviscerated….)



 



 



Even if I chose to euthanize the cat, my bill for what had already been done for him was a whopping



 



 



$481.00



 



 



In the back of my mind



I was frantically trying to recall



the location of every homeless



and abused-women’s shelter I knew.



 



 



I begged the tech to please let me try to find Fluffy’s owners; what if I decided to kill the cat when his family may not even know he’d been missing and then hurt?



 



The clinic agreed — if I paid my $481 first — to hold the cat until 4 o’clock.  It was only around 11 am, and I figured I at least owed Fluffy (and my maimed conscience) the chance of locating his owners. 



 



Surely, surely – with some prayer



And some luck —



and my bull-dog-determination



I could find his folks.



 



 



(and yes, The Viv fuckin’ prays;



happy now?)



 



 



 



So, the tech took a picture of  Fluffy and his outstretched, iv’ed and bandaged left paw on my new Crackberry (I didn’t even know how to take photos on it; she had to figure it out). 



 



 I coughed up my VISA and went out in search of Fluffy’s family.



 



I returned to the scene of the hit’n’run, and parked in the development across the road from my own.



 



I started knocking on doors.  It was a weekday, so many folks were working.



 



It  was evident that many were indeed home, though, as I could hear and/or see them about in their homes, but many didn’t answer the door. 



 



I can’t imagine why not;



 



Perhaps it was my old, ridiculously baggy, paint-splotched sweatpants, neon-green-and-black-striped Grinch socks, brown house-shoes and school-bus-yellow reflective raincoat



 



OR



 



my tear-stained, mascara-streaked, frantic and desperate face that caused them question the prudence of opening their door to this bedraggled STRANGEr.



 



I canvassed three streets, door-to-door.  I fully expected to be taken down by a SWAT team at any moment; in MY ‘hood, someone lookin’ like me would’a  had a free ride in a sheriff’s sedan by the fifth harassed house.



 



Only a very small few, brave women answered their doors, looked at the photo of Fluffy, and shook their heads in the negative. 



 



No one recognized him.



 



Somehow,  I lost my bearings deep in the development.  I’m sure I knocked on a few house’s doors at least twice.   It was nearing 2:30 pm, and I was mentally, physically, emotionally EXHAUSTED.  



 



 



It was time to toss in the towel.



 



(Sorry, Fluffy-boy;



I gave it my my best shot.)



 



 As I was meandering along, arguing with myself whether or not I’d already hit this house or that, or which street led back to my dagum car, I turned a corner and spotted my Suzie-truck. 



 



Whew!



 



Since I’d recovered my sense of direction, I got a little second-wind.   



 



I realized that I didn’t hit the few houses between there and my vehicle.



 



Not one happy to give up, I tried the six or so houses.



 



 



Not one answered door



until the house which was only



 two houses away from my damn car.



 



 



Even though there were two cars parked in the driveway, I was not really expecting anyone to answer the door.



 



But, as The Big Guy does work in oh-so-mysterious ways, a sweet, middle-aged couple answered my buzz.



 



“Hi, I’m really sorry to bother you, but this morning I found a cat that had been hit on the road.  Do you have a cat?”



 



The woman said, “Yes, I do, but he’s out now, and I don’t know where he is.”  Her face was beginning to register worry.



 



I held out  my Blackberry.



 



“I’m so sorry, but could you please tell me if this is your cat?”



 



The woman took my phone.  Her husband peeked over her shoulder.



 



Then she whimpered and winced and put a hand up to her mouth  —  and my phone to her chest.



 



 



“Oh, my God!  It’s Bowzer!”



 



 



She and I both got teary, and I crossed myself,



 thanking God that I had found Fluffy/Bowzer’s family.



 



 



I  think, in one breath, I said, “I’m so sorry to just knock on your door and break this news to you like this.  I didn’t hit him.  I don’t know who did.  I was taking my girls to school this morning —  I just live across the highway —  and as I pulled out of our development, I saw him lying on the road – in the oncoming-traffic lane.  He picked his little head up and LOOKED RIGHT AT ME!  I HAD to help the poor, little guy.  He’s down at the [local] vet now, and they’re taking good care of him.  He doesn’t have any broken bones, but he’s on an iv, and his lungs and heart aren’t sitting where they should be.  He’s going to need an operation, and it’s going to be AT LEAST another 500 bucks, just so you know.  But the thing is, you HAVE to call or go down there and tell them he’s yours because…I had to sign papers to euthanize him…in case I couldn’t find you.  You have only until 4 o’clock TODAY.   Please, please, call them.  He’s listed under ‘Fluffy’.”



 



The woman told me it was such a strange coincidence; Fluffy/Bowzer had a scheduled appointment at that particular vet clinic —  the VERY NEXT DAY.



 



Wow.  That was freaky.



 



 



It gets even freakier:



 



Bowser’ is my Nana’s maiden name.



 



(although, the woman shared that the cat was named for the big-mouthed guy from Sha Na Na, not for my Nana.)



 



We did quickie-introductions, and the couple thanked me profusely. 



 



We hugged and said goodbyes; they had a kitty to claim.



 



I  crossed myself a few more times on the short walk to Suzie.  I felt as if I were in the middle of some hazy dream; the whole morning had had a surreal feel.  I couldn’t help feeling that God was sending me a message of some sort, or that He meant for me to come to know Fluffy/Bowzer’s family – and he nearly killed the damn cat to accomplish His will.



 



I climbed into Suzie and just sat there; numb and dumb – for a couple of minutes – still considering whether or not I’d just been a part of some grand Creator scheme.



 



I had to call 411 for the vet’s number.  When I called, they told me that the woman had already called and was coming to see Fluffy/Bowzer in just a few minutes. 



 



Though I was kinda still dazed, I drove Suzie around town for the next half-hour or so.  I didn’t have anywhere to go (at that point, I’d already decided that I’d get the M & M’s off the bus, fix my family a nice dinner, then pack my kerchief and hitch a ride to the shelter).



 



When I got home, there was a message from the vet on my answering machine.  The couple told them I’d given them only my first name and that I didn’t tell them I’d already paid $481 for Fluffy/Bowzer’s care. 



 



They wanted my contact information – to reimburse me in full.



 



Though I hated like hell to do it, I agreed to accept the reimbursement. 



 



How I wish I could have said, “Don’t worry about it!  I was happy to do it; I absolutely refuse to take your money!”



 



On the other hand; I rather enjoy having a roof over my head, a daily shower and spending time with my kids without a Social Services escort.



 



I am most happy to say that, though The Dingus was none too happy about the mere POSSIBILITY of ‘pissing away’ 500 bucks on ‘some stupid cat’, he was happy that the M & Ms saw SassyMama show compassion and charity (almost) to another living being.  They did witness Mommy ‘doing the right thing’ – something we’re forever preaching.   Perhaps they will one day ‘do the right thing’ without thought to how much it might hurt their wallets.



 



Bowzer’s mommy calls me with updates; he is on the mend!  Although he’s got a long, slow recovery ahead, he’s got at least one life still in him.



 



When he’s ‘all-bedder’ as my little one says, we’ve been invited to visit Bowzer. 



 



The M & Ms simply cannot wait. 



 



In the end, whether it was part of Divine Intervention or not, two families have come to enjoy a new friendship because of  that CAT FANCY. 



 



And ya know what?



 



 



I’d  do it all over again



in a purring-kitty heartbeat.



 



 



 

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I am in pain.

 

I feel as if I’ve been put through a grueling crunch session.

 

As ‘exercise’ is not a word found in The Viv’s lexicon, the pain in my gut could come only from laughter.

 

I love to laugh, but even I have to say ‘uncle’ when laughter reduces me to a shivering, quaking ball on the floor as, only by the grace of God,  am I able to control my bladder.

 

Such was the scene at Friday night Bunco.

 

Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Bunco, it’s a silly little dice game that the gals in my ‘hood use as a flimsy excuse to take a once-a-month-mini-vacation from their families and drink and eat…and drink…and drink…and talk…and drink a bit more…and…

 

 

LAUGH LIKE HELL!

 

 

Honestly, we could just eliminate the damn dice and call it

 

‘DRUNKO’

 

This year, I decided to relinquish my ‘regular’ status and take a post as a ‘substitute’. 

 

For one thing, I am NOT an entertainer; holding a DRUNKO party game at my humble abode throws me into a terrifying stress that all the ‘happy pills’ in the WORLD could not squelch.

 

As a sub, I enjoy ALL of the fun of DRUNKO — and none of the commitment (and accompanying panic attacks and ensuing soupy poopies).

 

Incredibly, I think I’ve been to more DRUNKOs this year as a sub than ever before as a ‘regular’!

 

(Plus, it’s a well-known fact that the subs clean house!  I’ve extracted a jaw-dropping $25 from the regular Bunco Babes in the last month!)

 

But, I gotta tell ya;

 

These are no ‘regular’ babes.

 

 

These are 12 of the funniest people on Earth!

 

 

These are 12 incredible, intelligent, warm and beautiful women.

 

These are 12 amazing, accomplished women with the super-power to ‘hyper-task’.

 

Each of these 12 has the ability to simultaneously bitch-slap ya in the face with a stinging verbal assault, throw three dice and keep track of how many 5’s she’s rolled (as well as her win-loss-booby-ratio), insult the host’s menu, toss back the remainder of her fourth goblet of mango punch and hit’cha with a lip-ripplin’ man-belch and a follow-up-

 

 

‘FUCK YOU!’

 

 

I worship these women.

  

 

To be fair, not every Bunco Babe imbibes; there are a couple of teetotalers.  These are also the ones who, like hawks, watch me keep score, fearing I may cheat or screw up our team score — due to wine or ditsy, they’re not sure. 

 

(Geez!  Ya make a couple of calculation errors — to your own detriment, I might add — and you’re labeled for life!  ‘Don’t let The Viv keep score!’  There is NO MERCY at DRUNKO!)

 

No topic is taboo at DRUNKO:  kids, sex,  music,  your kids having sex to music, sex, gossip, PTO, sex, bus bullies, dead-beat-hubbies, sex — you name it, it’ll come up.

 

Now, this game is always fun, especially if you have the right combination of people.  There is one gal in particular, who happens to be THE FUNNIEST PERSON I’VE EVER MET.  (We’ll call her ‘Deb’.)  

 

Deb is just one of those folks who is naturally funny — in everything she says and does.  Her delivery, her mannerisms and her facial expressions:  priceless! 

 

If Deb’s at DRUNKO, you’re GUARANTEED to narrowly miss a piss in your pants at some point that evening.

 

Deb filled us in on her kids.  She told us about her son (now in high school) when she gave him the ‘sex talk’.

 

“The summer between 5th and 6th grade, he learned about the birds and the bees and Santa Claus in the same conversation.   Then he spent the rest of the summer calculating how many times each of his neighbors had had sex — by the number of kids they had.”   He was shocked to learn his grandparents were such horn-hounds — with 5 kids! 

 

Deb’s impression of her kid counting his grandparents’ sexcapades on his fingers did me in.   I was crying, crossing my legs, holding my aching abs and pleading for mercy.

 

Things got worse when we started talking about the joggers in our area. 

 

Evidently, there is some ADONNIS runnin’ around, bare-chested and wearing teeny-tiny running shorts that accentuate the fact that he has ONE HUGE MUSCLE along his leg.  We’re all now finding lame excuses ‘to run to the store’ to scout the surrounding area for the newly monnikered  

 

 ‘Mr. Muscle’.

 

Our moral compasses, Christian kindness and all hope of ever seeing Heaven tanked when the talk turned to a female jogger with the strangest gait known to man.

 

Now, rumor has it that she is the kindest, sweetest lady who happens to be one helluva nurse.  

 

I give her credit and admire her effort (at least she’s exercising!),  but just watching her run makes me hurt! 

 

Remember the way Seinfeld’s Elaine dances?

 

Now picture her palsied…

 

And running…

 

That’s it.

 

After several strong impressions of this poor woman’s stride, a  brainstorming session erupted:

 

 

‘Why the HELL does she run like that?’

 

* cerebral palsy?

* hip displaysia?  

* stroke victim taking back her life?

* prosthetics?

* hoping folks will take pity and throw money?

 

 

Each subsequent suggestion was a subsequent nail in our own coffin (however, in my case, that equates to just one more millenium of matching socks in Sheol).  

 

 

It’s a done-deal:  the DRUNKO BABES are gonna BURN!

 

 

 

But we’re gonna have a ball before we go.

 

 

 

   

 

This summer, my parents gave us their portable basketball hoop; after all, they have three bad knees between them.  Plus, it’s just common knowledge that white grandfolk can’t jump.

Now, back in the day, before my hubby morphed into The Dingus, he was El Guapo (and ‘Elm’, ‘Elm Street’, ‘Jr.’, and ‘Marcus Welby’ – just to name a few).   At 6’4” and born with uber-athletic genes, my El Guapo was quite the ball player back in high school.  (I mean, his family was serious about basketball and baseball; his dad even cut holes in his pockets so he could squeeze in a little extra practice during down-time.)

As a middle-aged man, El Guapo was thrilled to receive this hoop – to share sport with his little girls and to get a little exercise, to boot.

Fab-O Dad that he is, he even lowered the hoop’s height to ‘make it easier for the M & Ms to make baskets’ (…and maybe to make dunking a wee bit easier on his creaky 40-yr.-old-self?  Maybe?  Maybe just a little bit?). 

El Guapo has thoroughly enjoyed having the hoop in our driveway.

 

Unfortunately, it’s not there anymore.

 

A couple of days ago, the M & Ms and I walked up the street to M1’s piano lesson.  M2 and I walked back to our cute’n’cozy two-story trailer to work on her homework.  I have to set the oven timer for 25 mins. so I don’t get distracted and forget to walk back and pick up m’damn kid (like a did last week…oops; slipped my mind I had TWO).

When the oven bell chimed, M2 and I walked out the front door.  We stopped short on the stoop, dumbfounded.  There, lying cattywhumpus across the driveway, was the basketball hoop! 

 

What the heck happened?

 

There was a little wind in the air, but not the freakin’ tempest that would dump my hoop to the concrete, for cryin’ out loud!

Though I desperately didn’t wanna be late to pick up M1 (especially after last week’s fiasco; my poor kids are SO ‘parentally-challenged’…), we inspected the damage.

The hoop’s pole was bent in half at its base!  Even one of the pole’s support struts had been ripped away; its screw stripped and the nut and washer lying in the brown, dead grass.

I was utterly perplexed!    It was fine 25 minutes ago, for heaven’s sake; WHAT happened?!

I didn’t know, but I decided to figure it out after I collected my kid.

At the end of the driveway, we turned past the shrubs between our trailer and the neighbor’s mansion.  We nearly collided with another, new neighbor and his little guy.

Now, this guy is a stocky-boy, from just-this-side-of-Pudgeville.  He moved in three doors down this summer.  He’s an odd-bird.  He’s not just unfriendly; dude is just downright rude (unless he’s a deaf mute).  He will not look one in the eyes; hell, he won’t even acknowledge another’s presence, let alone greet or speak. 

(But, ever Viv, my wicked wont knows no bounds; I turn on my sugar and SMOTHER him with kindness and nauseating CHEER – eh, ‘simple minds, simple pleasures’….)

His kid is only five or six, and he’s a little doll-baby.  It’s too cute; he’s been practicing riding his two-wheeler for weeks.

As I drag M2 across the street to make way for the fledgling biker, I yell back over and make a huge fuss over the little fella getting really good at riding.  The little cutie just beams at my praise.  Chubs simply ignores me (actually, I love being ignored; that’s proof that I’m gettin’ to’im!).

We walk a few steps more up the street, and I’m kind’a relishing my little victory, and that’s when I hear it…a basketball bouncing….over by Big Fat Dad with the Ruditude.

Viv’s wheels of enlightenment start  a’churnin’….

 

Did that fargin’ icehole bend my hoop?

 

No freakin’ way!

 

He may be mean, but he’s an adult!

Noooo!  A grown man – a father – would never drive a dunk in someone else’s driveway AND then not admit to- nor apologize for having done so! 

NO WAY!

Would he?!

WTF????!!!!

 

The Dingus, mi amor El Guapo, is going to be crushed!  Adios, family fun!   

Now, here’s The Viv, trying to be a responsible, role-modeling adult herself — trying to see God in everyone, trying to give Rudy the benefit of the doubt (that which Viv wholly doubts he deserves, but so…).   She tries to conjure other ways in which her hoop could have been so verily mangled.

Raucous wayward teens bent on neighborhood destruction during the light of day?

The mild little wind rustling a few leaves?  (perhaps; but the water-filled counter-balance box would have been up-ended; it was not.)

A more-than-a-bit-rusty pole base doubling over under its own top-heavy weight?

 

OR

 

Was my hand-me-down-hoop toppled by an amoral ASSHOLE attempting to impress his kid with a half-height half-wit dunk & run?!

 

MUTHAFUCKA!

 

 

That’s IT!

 

This Viv is goin’ down to Body Art, and gettin’er knuckles tattooed with:

 

BBALL KILLA

 

Then, she’s freakin’ hijackin’ THE BONEBOX off’n Slingback Susie, and she and Rudy and SpongeBob are gonna take a little joyride — right after she jams a basketball up the sphincter’s sphincter and stuffs’im in the homemade coffin.

And if, on the way out’a the  ‘hood, she see’s that little pucker-in-training fall off his fuckin’ Spiderman two-wheeler; she’s gonna honk like hell.