DogHouse Manifesto

The Backyard Party

She snuggled in next to me, nuzzled the nape of my neck, nibbled my left ear lobe, which sent a shiver to my toes, back to my ear and then down again-twice- and then whispered,

            “Darling, I want an intimate…”

I leapt to my feet.

            “I’m off to the corner grocery for a bottle of whatever is on sale- no Guinness, especially room temperature, don’t ask- and a CD of that girl singer you like so much! Give me twenty minutes and don’t start without me! Hooyah! Be right back!”

And then she finished her sentence.

            “…little backyard party.”

Rule # 359, Section ‘G’ of the chapters on the STAGES OF INDIFFERENCE- states clearly, “Never let on that you are thinking about sex. this will only confirm to her that all you think about is sex.”

            “A dinner party, idiot! What did you think I meant?” She asked.

In the rather large and extensive section of the Doghouse Manifesto appropriately titled: WOMEN: WHAT YOU DO NOT SEE- there’s a rule from the BAIT & SWITCH- chapter that says, “If it’s too good to be true, then you can bet it has nothing to do with sex!” (For subsections of this regulation pertaining to FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT- substitute red meat and/or explosive devices or firearms for sex.)

            “A barbecue?” I ask hopefully.

Only a woman would ask that question and actually expect an answer. Boy, of all the times to be behind Eightball in the Doghouse, this would be one, because then she wouldn’t be talking to me and I wouldn’t have to answer her, but as luck would have it, lately I have been wonderful.

The difference between her backyard dinner party and my barbecue is: pork, open flames, a galvanized tub full of beer, two fistfights, Lynyrd Skynyrd on a prehistoric 8-track player and the cops arresting half of my guests or towing their cars at three in the morning. But that’s not what she has in mind. She’s thinking: no pork or open flames, those nasty little sandwiches you’re not supposed to eat with your fingers, even though they call them ‘finger sandwiches’, white wine- probably Chardonnay- no tubs, galvanized or otherwise and Mozart. Oh, yeah and no cops, handcuffs, tow trucks or fistfights. In other words, a Dead Poet’s reading in a Mausoleum.

I should know better. It’s the proverbial Pavlovian response. I know, as a confirmed latter day Cro-Magnon with no hair on his knuckles, only because he drags them, I shouldn’t know who Pavlov is, but I do, so sue me!

The point is; there’s no sex, not even any real hint of sex. All there is, is the appropriate time, place and the sound of her voice and I go off like a bell! Of course, nature’s autonomic clutch ensures that my brain is sufficiently disengaged, so that I fall into even the simplest trap, which in this case is, not an open-fire pork barbecue, but a backyard dinner party… the post-modern day prehistoric equivalent of a tar-pit for Neanderthals!

Well, even Pavlov’s dogs got fed. Feeding them was the whole reason for the bell, the conditioned response and all that slobbering in the first place. Okay, I’m not going to be getting any flame-seared pork with beer and Skynyrd, but I’m also not in the doghouse behind Eightball, trying to avoid his amorous advances in a cramped smelly space. Talk about your Pavlov’s dogs!

No leg in the world is safe around him! Not even mine. Hers is… don’t ask.

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