There are no bad owners, only bad dogs


My dog smells like Fritos, not Tostitos.

I’ve been formulating a short list of tasks that really, really need to be accomplished around my house or it will fall in on itself soon. The list includes:

Change wax ring on toilet.
Difficulty level: Gross, it’s a toilet. It has poop in it every day. I don’t want to touch it.
Repave lawsuit-in-the-making also known as my front walkway, which is difficult to navigate even on the rare occasions when I’m sober.
Difficulty level: Could break a nail and get sweaty.
Window over kitchen sink.
Difficulty level: Impossible. Appears to need the attention of a licensed carpenter or chartered magician. The window leaks like a mother fucker when it rains, thus water damage to the frame of the house.
Install built-in shelves in dining room to replace bookcase et al.
Difficulty level: Easy. If you have tools and skills. And aren’t me.
Remove nasty paneling in “apartment” behind house.
Difficulty level: Actually easy, except before the removal can happen, the space has to be cleared. I suck at space-clearing.

I am one of the most moralistic, snotty people anyone would ever (not) want to meet. I have never shoplifted anything in my life, I always return extra change to the cashier, I have never worn a garment and then returned it, if the cashier forgets to charge me for an item, I always pay for it. I know, there’s a word for that kind of didactic moralizing: Stupid. But I just can’t deal with the guilt, so there you go. All of the above was true until recently. On Sunday I was at PetCo or PetPals or PetsMart or PetTron buying several stretchy cat collars*, an ID tag, and some hooves. As I was waiting for my turn at the pet tag machine (Engraved While U Wait!), I was browsing through the pet books, all of which were crappy. My turn at the machine, blah blah, engraved while I wait, blah blah, tag’s done! Out to the car. Crap, I still have a crappy pet book in my hand. I didn’t pay for the book! Oh no! Panic in the streets. But, shit, it was really hot. And the parking lot had little wavy lines all over it from the heat it was radiating. And I was already at the car, and I would have to turn around, walk all of the way back to the store (30 yards), and either put the book back or hand it to someone and confess my petty thievery. So I got into the car and said, “Turn the air conditioning up, bitch!” A lifetime of superiority, ruined.

Next week I am going to Orlando to see the insides of meeting rooms and hotel rooms. The last time I went there, I was food poisoned by some cafeteria potato salad at the EduMart mother ship. I started vomiting during the meeting, although I had fortunately found the ladies’ room by then. I continued all day with projectile liquid pooping and even more vomiting. At the airport. On the plane. I could stand to lose a few (million) pounds, but I think I’ll avoid the mayo anyway.

In order to avoid sounding like a cheesy version of “The Bell Jar,” I am going to avoid reference to my mental health, or lack thereof, for the time being. I mean, if you want a cheesy version of “The Bell Jar,” you’ll just read “Girl, Interrupted” or “Prozac Nation,” right?

*The cat collars were for Junebug, who lost his collar some time ago. The tag was for him, too. He wore the collar for approximately 24 hours (or less), and returned to the house nekkid.

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