The telephone rang. I answered it. It was my friend, Tony.
“Hey man, are you still in the Doghouse, or can we go fishing?” He asked.
“Uhm,” I hesitated, “I’m not sure. Hang on…”
“Honey?” I called out meekly. “Tony wants to know if I am still in the Doghouse, or if we can go fishing?”
I wasn’t holding out much hope. There was still that whole Garbage Day/Garage Sale misunderstanding, thing hanging over my head.
“Yes!” She yelled back.
“What do you think she means by ‘yes’?” I asked him.
“Careful.” Tony whispered in the receiver. “It’s a trick!”
The extension clicked.
“I heard that!” She snapped.
I could hear Tony shudder.
“Yes. He’s still in trouble and yes, he can go fishing. Take him, please.” The line went dead.
“So… when did you get out?” I chuckled.
“I didn’t.” He answered matter-of-factly. “I got R.O.R.’d, (Released- Own Recognizance) just like you. I am only allowed in the garage, the driveway, on the boat with you and on the lake, but not in it. She was real clear about that!” He whispered again. “I’m still paying for the last time we went fishing…”
“Hey- that wasn’t our fault.” I whined. “That girl was naked before we got there, and besides, we were only trying to help…”
“And, we could have sold that story,” Tony interrupted me, “except for the blaring 8-track- Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Greatest Hits- all those empty beer cans; a pissed off boyfriend, three girls- one of whom was naked- two Cops and a Deputy Sheriff…”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little.
“And a half-drowned and really confused dog. “I reminded him. “Don’t forget the dog.”
“I heard that!” She yelled from the other room.
It was my turn to shudder.
In the Big Book of the DHMF, (Doghouse Manifesto) in the: NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED- chapter: rule 1071 states, and I quote: “No matter what your original intentions, if you are caught with a naked girl- you’re going to be in trouble.” Rule 28e of the following entitled subsection: KNOWING WHEN TO SHUT UP- states: “If your boat is generously littered with empty beer-cans, and you blather on incoherently, the police will reasonably assume you are drunk and arrest you.”
For more on what to do with your bologna sandwich if you are stuck in a cell with a ‘tatted up’ hardened criminal doing a twenty-year jolt, see the index under, ANIMAL HUSBANDRY- PRISON STD’s and THE CARE AND FEEDING OF YOUR FAVORITE PET SHEEP.
“So…” Tony continued, “you grab a six-pack and your cooler, a couple of sandwich-shop subs, I’ll gas up the boat, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning at five.”
“Far out! See you tomorrow.” I answered.
“Oh, yeah-” he continued, “there’s a new plastic bait I can’t find out here. Why not go online and see if you can find them? They’re supposed to be great!” He hung up the phone.
I scribbled the fishing lure name down, switched on my computer and typed it into the search engine.
I should back up here. My wife has always been pretty sure that I’m up to no good on the computer. I never am, of course; well… anyway, I never am of course, but that doesn’t stop her from being real suspicious.
I know, right?
I should back up again. You have to be real careful of what you type into a search engine anymore, and you should be doubly careful of your family safe filter settings, but, since I am never up to ‘no good’, I didn’t worry over that.
I didn’t even hear her coming down the hall. I was already blasting Skynyrd on the stereo and had typed the name of the new plastic fishing lure into the computer-
Man, you have no idea the kind of, and how many pages of pictures that began to spill like a porn avalanche onto my computer screen! And, lucky for me, my new computer is rocket fast!
Just about that time, she poked her head into my office.
“A-ha!” She shrieked.
You know that cartoon cat from the Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes cartoons that jumps skyward every time the mischievous puppy sneaks up on him and barks?
“Rawr, rawr, rawr, ra-rawr!”
After I peeled myself off of the ceiling, I tried to explain-
“But… but… but…”
“A-HA!!” She shrieked even louder.
Completely ignoring the DHMF (Doghouse Manifesto) Rule 28e of the following entitled subsection: KNOWING WHEN TO SHUT UP- I kept trying to explain:
“But… but… but…”
“A-HA!!!” Honestly, I didn’t think she could screech that loud. I couldn’t hit notes in that octave, even if you pinched the inside of my thigh with a pair of snub-nosed pliers!
The neighborhood dogs began to howl in unison. For his part, Eightball tucked his tail between his legs- which is a pretty good trick, since he is a Bulldog and doesn’t really have a tail- slinked away and crawled under her chair in shame and fear.
“No. Honey. But. No. Really– sweetheart- fishing. I mean- boat. PU-LEEZE (!) Tony- uhm… HE MADE ME DO IT!”
It was sheer survival instinct. I sold him straight down the river, or in this case, the lake. I mean, I served him up, plate and all and threw myself on the ground at her feet and began to weep, grovel and pee all over myself. Eightball covered his eyes and began to whine. Sad doesn’t even begin to cover it- but cowardly comes close.
I never made it to Tony’s house. We didn’t go fishing. It took three phone calls- one from a very recalcitrant and subdued, Tony- and two from his wife to convince her that I REALLY was trying to find fishing lures, but it didn’t help much. I’m still in the doghouse.
Eightball is pissed. She’s pissed. I’m not very happy, and it’s all because somebody named a damned fishing lure, “Sweet Beaver™!”
What the hell?
Somewhere, some redneck, cracker, hillbilly is laughing his ass off! And it’s probably funny to him, but I’m not laughing.