Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Oh Crap.

First, let me once again open with a correction. In yesterday's story, I noted how The Mrs. was empathetic primarily with StinkyJ's wife, Sweetie, when he broke once of the misc. bones in his leg. This evening, when she finally got around to reading the post, she immediately claimed I misquoted her.

I had quoted her as saying, "I bet his wife is furious." In fact, today she claims that what she actually said was, "I bet his wife is really pissed off."

I apologize if the misquote gave you the impression that The Mrs. was unsympathetic to the plight of temporarily differently-abled. It was not my intention.

Last night was one hell of a night. And I don't mean that in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink kind of way. I was happily asleep, dreaming of a carefree world that exists only in my mind, and then I'm dreaming about a dog barking. After a while, I realize there is no dog in my dream. Just dog barking. Oh. Not a good sign. I wake up and listen.

Yup, FreddyC is barking. Look at the clock. It's 3am. Stoopid dog.

It's my job to get up when The Dogs needs attention. It's The Mrs.'s job to get up for The Childrens. I don't complain, as The Dogs needs attention about once a week vs. 3-4 times for The Childrens. I got the better end of that deal, but really God decided that when he gave The Mrs. the boobs. Then, of course, she cemented the deal by marrying one more...

I get up and go downstairs, where FreddyC is staring intently out the patio door and whining. Now, there is a big white cat that like to hang around in our yard at night, and if FreddyC sees the cat, he simply cannot rest until he has gone out to chase it away. So I lets him out.

He tear-asses around the perimeter of the yard giving out little barks here and there. He's doing some kind of territorial thing. I lie down on the couch and snooze a bit. Pretty soon I realize I am dreaming about a dog barking again. I wake up and let him in. Then I go back upstairs to bed, but he's beaten me there. I remove him from my pillow and climb in.

An hour later, I am dreaming about a barking dog again. The whole thing repeats almost verbatim, except this time when I return to bed, I have a new obstacle. The Dogs is where my feet go, but MaxieC is now where my middle goes. MaxieC is a lot harder to move, because if I wake him, I incur the wrath of The Mrs.

Back about 2 years ago, I had this same problem with HannieC. I solved it by letting her be and going to sleep in her bed. When she realized this, she got quite angry that I was sleeping in her bed (while she was sleeping in mine), and she slept in her bed just to keep me out. MaxieC, however, is still in a toddler bed. It's only 4' long. HannieC's new bed has not yet arrived, so we haven't been able to waterfall her bed to MaxieC yet. So I have to move the little punk when he takes over my spot when I take The Dogs out. He wakes up over half the time that I move him. But not last night. My lucky night.

Or not.

About a half-hour later, I hear FreddyC barking again. Now, those of you who know me (which I assume is everybody reading this cuz I certainly don't know why any stranger would be reading excepting if somehow they stumbled across it by hitting the "next blog" button in the upper right corner and were smitten by my rapier wit) know that I am a remarkably patient and even-tempered guy. Able to put up with an incredible amount of annoyance. I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: I'm a different person when I'm asleep.

I know, it may be hard to believe, but I'm grumpy and short-tempered when I am trying to sleep and I am disturbed. I've been like this at least as far back as high school. I don't really recall if I was prior to that. I don't recall being all that tired prior to high school. So maybe it was just a lack of opportunity.

Anyways, I'm pissed off at The Dogs now. 3 times in 2 hours to go out and bark at cats is more than I can take. Screw him. I'm not getting up.

Bark. Bark. Whine. Whine. Bark. Bark.

The Mrs. gets up.

Now, this is horrible. I'm lying there wracked with guilt. It's my job to get up with The Dogs, but I'm trying to wean him of his incessant needing to go out in the middle of the night. But he'd now disturbed The Mrs., and nothing good can come of that.

I pretend to be asleep.

A bit later they both come back up. She closes the bedroom door, which is unheard of in our house as it might give The Childrens the impression that they are not welcome in our room, our bed, at all times of day and night. But I figure it's cuz she's caught on to FreddyC barking at cats or rats or raccoons or the moons or whatever, and if he's trapped in out room, he won't see whatever it is that is bugging him and will shut the hell up for a while and let us sleep.

No such luck.

About 15 minutes later, he's whining at the bedroom door. This time, it is The Mrs. that feigns sleep. She is a much lighter sleeper than I, so I know that if I am awake, she is awake. She likes to fake sleep if she thinks I am awake, cuz if we're both awake at the same time, I might see that as a recreational opportunity, and we can't have that. You married guys know what I'm talking about.

I get up and start cussing about The Dogs. I let him out of the bedroom, and he goes downstairs to the patio door and stars up again. I go back to bed. Forget it. He's been out three times in 2 hours, and I need to go to work bright and early the next day.

He barks and whines and barks and whine for maybe 10 minutes. Then it all stops, and he comes upstairs and jumps on the bed, pushes MaxieC out of the way, and goes to sleep. He's a lot less persistent than either of The Childrens, I think, and drift back off to happy dream land. That's why you never hear anyone say that childrens are a man's best friend.

In the morning, I get up and go downstairs to start the coffee and unload the dishwasher. FreddyC comes down shortly thereafter and heads to the patio door for his morning constitutional. I go to let him out, which is the first time I go into the fambily room this morning. I see two piles of dog poop on the carpet on the way to the door and a puddle of pee by the TV.

I let The Dogs out. I take a couple steps back to survey the land. Is it just two piles and a puddle? Hmm... No, wait, there are a couple more smudges I hadn't noticed before. Wait. Those look like regularly spaced footprints. And they lead right to me.

Uh oh. Dog poop! Yup, I look down at my slipper, and the bottom of the left one is covered in poop. How in the hell did that happen? I look back toward the door and discover right at the door, on the throw rug at the threshold, there is a big cow-pie kind of pile of liquid poop. It blends in with the brown throw-rug and is not particularly visible. And I had stepped right in it.

Oh crap.

So I go to the sink and wash off the dog poop from my slipper. Then I start thinking how just two nights before, FreddyC had barfed in HannieC's room behind her Barbie Dream House, and how when I had gone to clean it up with the carpet steam cleaner, I had noticed a definite lack of performance. I had root-caused this to a split hose that caused the cleaner to primarily suck air through the split rather than suck the water up from the head or the hose.

This was the second time that the hose had broken at the exact same spot, and the cleaner is only a little over two years old. The first time, I had tried to fix it with duct tape. This had not worked at all, and I had to order a new hose assembly from a vacuum store. This had taken 2 weeks and cost about $75.

This time, I had been determined to fix it. So I mixed up a little "Plastic Fusion" epoxy and glued the thing together. Plastic Fusion is the best epoxy I have ever used. It almost never fails. It's ugly as hell when it dries, but it hold plastic like nobody's bidness. I mixed this stuff up, globbed it on the broken hose, and held it together by hand for 10 minutes. The hose is basically a rubber-coated spring, after all, so I had to hold the spring compressed the whole time. It was a very similar experience to when you sprain something and have to hold ice on it. The first couple minutes are fine, then it starts to hurt like hell, then it's fine again.

It seemed to work, and I put the cleaner back together. Here's a picture of the repair. You will also note that there are a couple of zip-ties here. This is cuz when I replaced the first split hose with the new one, the little plastic clip that holds the hose on immediately broke off. It's good for one attachment of the hose. So I put one zip tie (the one on the right) around the hose coupling for a connection point, and then wrap a second on around the vacuum housing that the thing plugs into, using the first zip tie as the attachment point.

Now, maybe at this point you're thinking how my carpet cleaner is a piece of crap. Well, yes, it is a big hunk of Chinese plastic. But compared to the Bissell I used to own, this Hoover is a Lexus. That Bissell broke a seal the very first time I powered it on, and it completely stopped working within 2 years.

Happily, the repair held, and I was able to clean up all the dog poop by the time The Mrs. showed up downstairs this morning. Then, at 5pm, I got a call from The Mrs. that it cleaned up the new doggie-diarrhea, too. Oh, and she was off to the vet.

Poor FreddyC. He has to take some pills and eat a special diet for the next few days. I'm wondering if I should sleep on the couch so I am right next to the patio door, in case there is poop-urgency tonight.

I don't think I have that kind of dedication, though.


Wife said...

Has there ever been dog poop that you haven't stepped in?


gets a roll of Gorilla Tape whigbxm

CherkyB said...

Not since I married you.

ellie said...

what a hoot! sounds like freddy has some sort of attachment disorder.

my word verification is ygpfu! so there!

blogauthor said...

LOLLLLLLLLL! (I am laughing with you, not at you. Really.) This happens to me all the time. And I too use zip ties for all repairs. But Gorilla Glue is my fave - I'll have to try that plastic fusion stuff.