Sunday, July 5, 2020

Hick, the Jilted Lover

Thursday, Hick said he'd found a family for That Dog. Remember him? The poor young dog dumped out on the road by our mailboxes last week?

Anyhoo, Hick said Dog Wanter sent him a private message, saying he and his wife and four kids would love to give That Dog a home. I believe his words included, "We will spoil him." Dog Wanter also asked, "When can we set up a time to meet him?" Hick said that 6:30 would be a good time, and that he'd meet Dog Wanter in town at the storage units, and show him the way out here. Dog Wanter lives in a town an hour away. He said that would work. He would get back to Hick about the arrangements.

Hick didn't hear any more from Dog Wanter. He changed his plans. Hung around the house from about 4:00. Didn't mow grass. Didn't get in Poolio. Because he was waiting to hear back from Dog Wanter. Hick sent several messages to see if he still wanted That Dog, and if the plan was still on. Tried to call a couple times. 6:30 came and went. Shortly after 8:00, Hick saw that Dog Wanter had sent him a message. That his 4-month-old had gotten his shots, and they were trying to get him to settle down.

Dog Wanter and Hick made plans to meet halfway on Friday at 5:00, with Hick bringing That Dog. Hick was assuming they would take him from there. He had a travel cage that he paid $5 for at an auction, and was willing to let them have it to get That Dog home. He certainly couldn't ride loose in a car!

They exchanged vehicle descriptions, and Hick changed his plans on Friday so he could be home in time to load That Dog in the back of SilverRedO and get there in time. I made sure he took some water to give That Dog after his ride. Because it looked like rain, I offered the use of A-Cad, with the stipulation that Hick put down a tarp under the travel cage. Hick said it wasn't going to rain. He'd be fine. It was only a half hour trip.

All the while, I was having second thoughts about giving up That Dog. I surely didn't want to keep him, but I felt like something was hinky about Dog Wanter. Just my hinky-sense raising an alarm. I didn't think a family with four kids was right for That Dog. Especially not with a 4-month-old. Did they have property for That Dog to run on? Surely they wouldn't put him on a chain in the yard! I told Hick,

"Something is off. That guy is flaky. He should have let you know he wasn't coming Thursday night. It only takes a text."

Hick said I was overreacting. Off he went with That Dog, having lured him into the travel cage on the porch, by putting some food in there, and having The Pony reach his hand in for petting, then shoving That Dog's hindquarters in after him and closing the door. Hick and The Pony carried him to the bed of SilverRedO.

Of course you realize by now that Dog Wanter never showed up! Hick was there on time. Sent more texts, saying he was parked under the awning of a financial institutions driveway, since it was raining. No answer. No sight of Dog Wanter's car. Hick was afraid the police would come question him for sitting there so long, and drove to a nearby park so That Dog was under a tree and not getting wet. Don't you worry about That Dog! It was 92 degrees when they left.

Hick stayed until 5:50, then started back home. Got here at 6:15. He let That Dog out of the travel cage. That Dog ran into the yard and pooped, then started patrolling around and around our porch.

Hick was hot-to-trot over being stood-up like a bride at the altar!

I, on the other hand, was as relieved as if someone in the pews had stood up, refusing to forever hold their peace, and proclaimed that I should not be joined in holy matrimony with someone who was not right for me!

Of course Hick never heard another word from Dog Wanter. I have a theory that Dog Wanter might be DOG ABANDONER, MESSING WITH HICK! Then again, I have a penchant for conspiracies...

Dog Wanter said he had an aunt that lived in Backroads. Just maybe, Dog Wanter came here and drove five miles out of town to dump That Dog. Then he saw it on our county Lost and Found Pets Facebook page. And got mad that Hick said he was seen dumping That Dog. So decided to tie up Hick's time on this holiday weekend, to get back at him. That could explain the extreme desire to get That Dog, and the odd communications, and the no-show. Just my far-fetched theory. Hick is a believer in humanity, and I am a cynical curmudgeon.

Anyhoo... I printed out a nice color picture of That Dog for Hick to take up to his Storage Unit Store on Saturday. One of his cronies wants That Dog. He was going to come get him Saturday evening, but didn't know what time. Hick said they'd do it on Sunday.

Crony wants Hick to bring That Dog up to the Units on Sunday. He's a seller there, too. He says he'll have a bowl of water, and keep That Dog on a leash until time to leave, which is usually around noon or 1:00 on a Sunday. I said it was going to be too hot for that, and probably not good for That Dog to be around so many people.

Hick agreed. He says Crony will follow him out here when they close up, and get That Dog to take home. He lives up toward the little city north of us. He and his wife LOVE dogs, as Hick says. They have two small ones right now. That Dog gets along with our dogs, so I'm guessing he will be okay with theirs, since That Dog is going into their territory, and not defending his own.

"Didn't you say he lives close to the highway? I don't want anything to happen to That Dog!"

"Yeah, but they'll keep him in the house. That's how they are with their other dogs. And they have three acres. So they can take him out for walks."

I'm not sure it's the perfect situation for That Dog, but I think he'll be quite happy being a house dog. All he does around here is try to run in the house, and dig at the front door, and lay under the front window and whine, and make laps around the porch looking for us. He doesn't romp in the yard with Jack, or show much interest in dogs at all. But he sure loves US PEOPLE, and sticks to us like glue when we're outside.


That darn Hick! Not 12 hours after I wrote this up, he has changed the adoption plans AGAIN!

He took That Dog with him Sunday morning, to his Storage Unit Store. Crony's Wife was there. She said, "Don't give him any more dogs! We have enough dogs!" So the new home was suddenly unwelcoming to That Dog. However, Hick had a customer who admired That Dog, so he offered That Dog to her and her husband. She wasn't sure she wanted him, but Crony's Wife talked her into it.

Hick says they're an older couple who have a farm.

"Where IS this farm, anyway?"

"I don't know. I didn't ask them where it was."

Said The Pony: "Hopefully, not a farm upstate..."

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July Kicks Off With a Clang! The Clang of More COINS in Val's Future Pennyillionaire Coffers!

If slow and steady wins the race to become a Future Pennyillionaire, I must be winning!

Sunday, June 28, I almost missed a waiting penny at the Gas Station Chicken Store! I had stepped out and gone inside for my magical elixir without noticing! Good thing I was focusing on the running board before hoisting my ample rumpus back into the driver's seat!

Pardon T-Hoe's filthiness. He's never pristine, but we've had some rain, which translates to MUD on the gravel road. See my penny? Right there in the upside down V of sunlight!

It was a face-down 1997 penny, at the top of this sunlight pyramid.

Thursday, July 2, I spied a penny while I waited in line at the Sis-Town Casey's. Casey's is becoming almost as good for harvesting pennies as Orb K!

I had to wait for two people to move up before I could gather my partial-copper crop.

It was a face-down 2015 penny, waiting patiently for a ride in my shirt pocket.

FRIDAY, July 3, I struck it nickel-rich again at Orb K.

While I was standing at the empty register, perusing the scratcher selection, I spied this face-down 2019 specimen, and threw ample rumpus to the wind to make it my own.

I also thought I saw a dime in the crack of the sidewalk. I've been fooled before by those foil lids on 5-hour energy supplements. So I didn't try to pick it out with one of my keys. Not that I thought about it, of course... When I came out, I had half a mind to bend over and take a picture and blow it up to see if that was really a dime. But two workers were standing in front of T-Hoe, dumping the big trash can and talking about their weekend. So I didn't do that. I certainly don't want to look like a WEIRDO!

Two pennies and a nickel, which means 7 CENTS added to my coffers this week! It's been a profitable summer so far.


Penny       # 69, 70.
Dime         still at 13.
Nickel       # 7.
Quarter    still at 1.

Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5

Friday, July 3, 2020

I'll Never Bear That Beast's Burden

Hick has grown quite creative in the methods I'm pretty sure he's using to try to kill me! Oh, on the surface, it may seem like an innocuous request. But when you really analyze the favor he's asking, his covert plan is revealed.

The Pony and Hick were in their respective supper seats, the floor at the coffee table, and kicked back in the busted-spring La-Z-Boy, enjoying a fluffy-crust deep-dish Chef Boyardee pizza... when Hick blurted out:

"I need to get me a case of beer. If you go to Walmart, get me some."

"Um. First of all, tomorrow is the Friday of a holiday weekend. Also the first Friday of the month. I flat-out told The Pony yesterday that if we needed anything from Walmart, we should go today. We didn't, so we didn't. NO WAY am I even getting on that parking lot on a first-Friday/holiday weekend combo!"

"Oh. Well. You could get it at the liquor store."

"I AM going to the liquor store tomorrow! For my lottery tickets. Last Friday, both of them were winners."

"Good. You're already going there."

"What kind? You mean in cans, right?"

"A case of Michelob Ultra, bottles."

"Wait a minute! I can't carry a case of beer bottles! I can barely walk down the liquor store's little blacktop ramp. They're not going to carry it out for me!"

"They might if you asked. Get it at the Gas Station Chicken Store. The Man Owner will carry it out for you."

"I hate to ask him to do that, but he would. I'm not sure they'd have it. Their cooler is only along the back wall. It's not very big. Oh! Casey's would have it! Isn't that why they remodeled? To put in a beer cave? Remember? I didn't understand what it was. I didn't know it was just a walk-in cooler. I thought it was something cool. Which I guess, technically, it IS."

"Yeah. Casey's probably has it."

"WAIT A MINUTE! Why can't YOU buy your OWN beer? You go in Casey's twice a day! YOU can go in the liquor store! You drive right by it every day, on your way to Casey's! I don't know why I should have to do it!"

"Yeah. I guess I could."

Seriously. When did I become the liquor-procuror? The Pony even added that I could buy him a bottle of wine! At least that would be easier to carry. Although I know NOTHING about wine. It's one thing to put a case of beer in my cart/walker while I'm shopping at Walmart. At least I can push the cart out to T-Hoe.

SHEESH! Even with his PopArm, Hick is still stronger than me. I can't imagine trying to carry a case of bottled beer out to T-Hoe.

It would pretty much kill me.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Way Down Yonder With the Catahoula

Friday morning, I sat on the end of the living room coffee table, in front of the window, tapping away on HIPPIE. Our La-Z-Boy replacement has not yet arrived. Hick and The Pony act as if nothing is different, but I don't feel like having my ample rumpus pinched every time I get up from that chair.

Anyhoo... while laptopping, I absentmindedly starting sweet-talking my Sweet, Sweet Juno. She claims that area of the porch under the living room window. Juno always looks in as she comes to her post, tail wagging. Then lies there like a sentinel, where I can just see the top of her head.

Something was different. I took attention off of HIPPIE's screen, and glanced outside.

"PONY! I have been talking to Juno on the front porch--and it's NOT JUNO! There's a strange dog laying here! Come look!"

The Pony trotted to the front door. Flung it open. And was immediately beset with a jumping dog that clawed his arm and ran inside!

"I can't help it! He came in. Hey! Come here! Get out! OUT!"

His actions got the dog's attention, and it ran to jump on The Pony some more. They went out onto the porch, where more jumping occurred. Every time The Pony tried to get back in the house, that dog got halfway in.

"You'll just have to shove him out with your foot! Close the door in his face!"

"I'm TRYING! He's strong. No. No. NO! GET BACK!"

The Pony finally won the battle. His arm was scratched seven ways to Sunday. That Dog galloped back and forth on the porch, all excited to find PEOPLE. He went to the metal chair where The Pony had left some wet Adidas slides after a wade in the creek with his friend. Tried to grab one to chew on, but it got hung up where the seat joined the chair back.

"You're going to lose your shoes unless you bring them in!"

"I'm not going back out there! It will be hard enough when I leave for town later, to meet 2nd Bestie for our visit to the Mineral Museum."

Indeed! That Dog tried to get under The Pony's car. He finally made a getaway. I sent Hick a text about a strange dog.

"I know. It jumped in my truck with me this morning. I like to never got it out. I'll deal with it tonight. I'll put it on our Facebook group, to see if anybody lost it. It has a collar and a tag."

Here's a picture Hick took a couple days later. Of course he caught him with his eyes closed. He looks like a Catahoula to me. Hick thinks maybe a mix with a Great Dane. He's still a pup, about half grown. All gangly and goofy.

Here's what we found out from Hick's inquiry.

A lady who lives behind us, across the creek, said she stopped at the mailboxes because she saw the Bad Hay-Baling Lawyer's kids parked there in their side-by-side (a cross between a 4-wheeler, a golf cart, and a car).

"I thought maybe they were broke down, and needed a ride. They said they were waiting to see if a man came back for his dog. That's it. They said he stopped and let it out and drove off."

Now That Dog has found his way to our house, and thinks he lives here. The tag only has a rabies number. Even if we call all the vets in the county, looking for his owner, I doubt the vet would give out that info. Besides, the guy LEFT THE DOG in the middle of nowhere. I don't think we'd have much luck reuniting them. We really can't keep him. He's going to be WAY too big. I don't think we have the energy to deal with a typical Catahoula.

Hick put his picture and description on the county Lost and Found Pets.

Found, young male dog, neutered. Has collar and rabies tag. Friendly, gets along with our dogs and cat. Was abandoned at low water bridge on Thursday, June 25, outside of Backroads. We can't keep him. I will take him to the animal shelter if no one can give him a home. [It's a no-kill shelter.]

He's had 19 comments so far. One lady wants him, but knows that her other dog won't get along with That Dog. I printed a color picture for Hick to hang at his Storage Unit Store this weekend. FREE TO GOOD HOME. We're hoping somebody wants That Dog. He's the kind that country dudes like HOS (Hick's Oldest Son) would like. Don't even think of HOS taking him, now that he lives in town!

That Dog has stopped jumping on me (after one dose of Big Old Purse to the ribs), and Hick (after many swats from This Old Hat to the neck and shoulder). The Pony is still Jump Target #1. Nothing he does seems to dissuade That Dog from jumping.

That Dog seems pretty smart, even though he's young and stupid. When I get sharp with him as he leans back for a jump, he sits down and looks at me like "I'm so sorry. That won't happen again. I don't know what got into me. Love me. Just love me. I need people. Don't go! No! Let me in!"

Hick has trouble driving the Gator. "That Dog didn't get the memo that he's supposed to bark and run along with them other three. He JUMPS IN the Gator with me, and I have to push him out."

He's just too much dog for us, especially after he's full-grown. He's a broken hip waiting to happen, and/or a pending lawsuit. If he's as aggressive with other dogs as his online breed description warns, he could really hurt my little Jack, who's a bit temperamental himself. Jack currently gets along with the youthful version of That Dog. Juno doesn't want to come out of her house, but I DID catch her sniffing noses with That Dog yesterday.

Sheesh! It's hard enough to get packages delivered and repairmen to come with Copper Jack the neighbor dog baying at them. I can imagine how heads might explode if someone drove up and saw Copper Jack AND That Dog waiting for them to get out of their vehicle.

Meanwhile... I feel like a hostage in my own home.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

I Am SO Thankful That I Have Hick

No, Val hasn't lost her ever-whinin' mind! I am SO happy that Hick was home, underfoot, at 3:40 on Thursday, June 25th. Because he was there to rescue me from


Which I saw when halfway down the basement stairs, carrying my lunch tray and 44 oz Diet Coke. It was on a 12" x 12" floor tile, and I swear it occupied 1/3 of that square! That means it was 4" x 4", people! A big-a$$ spider!

Gallant Hick, sitting on the long couch droning to The Pony about amps and kilowatt hours to discern how much of our month's electric bill to attribute to his nightly 2-hour soaks in the big triangle tub, jets roiling the water... was at the ready to rush to my rescue at first gasp.

"Oh, that's just a little spider."

"LITTLE! It's half the size of a floor tile!"

Okay. Maybe I exaggerated. It as more like 1/3 the size of a floor tile. Which is still colossal in spider dimensions. IMO, anyway.

Hick edged past me down the steps. There's no railing, you know. He was BAREFOOT! Getting ready for a dip in Poolio. He looked around for a killing implement, and grabbed an empty cardboard box from a 12-pack of canned Diet Coke.

"I need something to smash it with."

"That's EMPTY!"

"It'll work."

With that, Hick slammed the end of the box on Colossus Arachnida. Then he PICKED IT UP BY A LEG!

"What are you doing, showing The Pony?"

"I don't want to see it!"

"No. He ain't dead yet."

"Wait! I want a picture. DON'T bring it over here! I'm still on the steps! I'm not putting this down to take a picture."

"I'll get one when I take him outside."

Uh huh. Took him outside, and posed him for a picture on the retaining wall under the back porch, right next to Poolio! He doesn't look mortally wounded, or even lame, to me!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Val and T-Hoe Get Ample-Rumpused

Most days, I drive through Dairy Queen to pick up lunch for The Pony and myself, off the $2 menu. We like the chicken with honey mustard, and soft pretzels with queso sauce.

Thursday, I had made it from car #13 in line, to car #3. Dairy Queen's line usually moves at an acceptable rate. About 1 minute per car, sometimes faster. So people creep along, foot on brake, advancing to the pickup window.

I looked down at T-Hoe's clock, checking my wait time.


My foot held on the brake, as my head rocked back, then forward. A quick look in my mirror showed the old green truck behind me backing up a couple feet.


I put my window down, gestured with my arm like WT actual F? A guy got out and walked up along the building, almost to my window. He was late 20s/early 30s. Kind of stocky, with curly unkempt reddish hair. Wearing none-too-clean rust-colored cotton duck work pants, and a bright green t-shirt favored by road crews.

"I don't know what happened. My brakes give out. I didn't hurt your car, though."

"Well. You SAY you didn't."

"Yeah. There's no marks."

"I hope my neck and back are okay..."

For the first time, he lost that WhoGivesAnEff look off his face.

"Are you all right?"

"I guess I am."

"Okay then."

Wham Bammer skedaddled back to his truck. I was shaking from the adrenaline. The line moved up. Then my turn. I drove around the building, and pulled into the first parking spot by the exit. I got out, shaky-kneed, and walked around to check out T-Hoe's rear. It DID look okay. I didn't see any marks. I guess that truck bumper was just the right height to hit T-Hoe's bumper. In my mirror in line, I had noticed a crunched-in/broken fiberglass spot under the driver's-side headlight of that green truck. Don't know if it was old, or happened in the crash.

My intent was to get a picture of T-Hoe's (non)damage on my phone. And a picture of Wham Bammer and his truck as he came around.

Apparently, he was in training for the NASCAR circuit, because he sped out that exit like he was in second place on the final turn. I think he probably crapped his pants as he pulled from the side street onto the main road. A police car was turning in! And I know Wham Bammer had seen me and T-Hoe parked there by the exit.

The police car was headed across the street, to Hardee's. Where a small silver sedan had its snout all crumpled and a headlight displaced. It must have been hit coming out of the drive-thru there. The corner of the building blocks the view of oncoming traffic. A tilt-bed car-hauling wrecker was parked in the road, so I had to go out Dairy Queen's back exit.

Hick was not happy that I didn't get that guy's insurance information. HA HA HA HA! As IF that guy would have had insurance! No damage was done to T-Hoe. I don't believe the story of Wham Bammer's brakes failing. How did he stop when he backed up, and how did he keep from re-bamming me in line? I think he wasn't paying attention, and hit the gas instead of the brake. No other way he could have hit me so hard. Hick says MAYBE he could, if his idle was set too high, and he took his foot off the brake to creep forward. hour later, the left front side of my neck was sore, after all my adrenaline wore off. Then the back right side of my neck started to hurt. It's still stiff and sore. Crackles when I turn a certain way. I've had a headache off and on for three days. Don't know if any of it is wreck-related. It's not bad enough to go to a doctor, to get a cervical collar, and sue Wham Bammer for half a million dollars (but settle out of court for $10,000) like Harry Morgan (before he was MASH's Colonel Potter) did The Partridge Family when Shirley rear-ended his Studebaker.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Some Disenchanted EVENing

The very day after my big jackpot, Even Steven set about balancing my life. It was Thursday, my errand day. What could possibly go wrong?

Val plans, Even Steven laughs. Laughs, after throwing a monkey wrench into those plans. Monkey wrenches. Monkey wrenches that he first juggles like a medieval court jester, then spins atop each other like plates on poles in a circus act, then flingss at Val like Chinese throwing stars.

On the way to the post office to get a box for mailing Genius his requested old Gameboy and games, I heard something rolling around in the back of T-Hoe. What in the Not-Heaven? A quick inspection outside the post office revealed two jugs of vinegar, four of which we'd purchased on Tuesday, to clean hard water scale off the inside of the big triangle bathtub. The other two of which The Pony had carried inside that day. One of them had leaked on T-Hoe's carpet. So I stood them up in my soft-sided insulated cooler, zipped the lid, and stuffed my winter coat around it to keep them from tipping over.

Of course the Backroads post office didn't have any Flat Rate boxes. Only Priority Mail. Which costs by weight, not a flat rate. Gameboys and games and a case are surprisingly heavy. So that stop was wasted. I'd have to go inside the main post office in Sis-Town, get a Flat Rate box, bring it out to T-Hoe, and pack the games in it there.

On the way to the main post office, I stopped for scratchers at the School-Turn Casey's. I took in my winners for cashing in. But the clerk said, "I can't scan them. Our system is down. I think Corporate is messing with it." So I had to spend cash that I'd earmarked for something else.

At the main post office, I brought out the Flat Rate box, packed it, affixed my already-addressed label, and took it in for mailing. I was a nickel short. So I had to go back out to T-Hoe to my change cup.

At my next stop, for gas at the Sis-Town Casey's, I was able to cash in those scratchers. But when I got back in T-Hoe, my keys fell down between the seat and the console. It was difficult to retrieve them with my own ample forearm, rather than The Pony's dainty appendage.

The very worst atrocity occurred at Dairy Queen, when I was picking up lunch for myself and The Pony. Let's just say another vehicle was involved.

Oh, and the Dairy Queen girl at the drive-thru window DROPPED A PENNY OF MY CHANGE, which slid into the slot they use for donations to some charity. So I was an accidental donator.

The second-worst unfortunate event was at home, involving an eight-legged intruder as I carried my lunch down to my lair.

Those two most unfortunate events will have their own individual posts.