“I swear it’s not what you think!” Paul screamed from the doorway. Watching as his date Stephanie all but ran to her car and zoom out of his driveway, he had the sneaking suspicion there wouldn’t be a second date. “Another one bites the dust,” Paul uttered under his breath and, as the last plumes of exhaust from Stephanie’s car dissipated, he turned to go back inside.
Shutting the door behind him, Paul shoved his hands in his pockets and just stood in the empty hallway for a few seconds. His luck with the ladies had been anything but, and he didn’t have far to look to understand why. Glancing to his left down the hallway, Paul let out a sardonic chuckle before turning in the opposite direction towards the kitchen. Grabbing a few things from the fridge, he began to make himself a sandwich, the date with Stephanie hadn’t even made it as far as dinner.
As he licked the mayo off his fingers, Paul grabbed a plate for his sandwich and made his way into the living room. Clicking on the TV, he searched around a bit before landing on the Mel Gibson movie Signs. Settling back into the couch, Paul took a giant bite of his sandwich, and thought about the events that led him to this moment. After months of coy flirtations he had finally worked up the nerve to ask Stephanie out. He knew this little French bistro that would have been perfect, they would have ordered everything on the menu, talked and laughed for hours. They would have shared one, maybe two bottles of wine and then, perhaps some espresso and crème brulee. But, thanks to a fluke, he never got the chance.
Deciding originally to meet at a bookstore up the corner from Paul’s house, they had ended up back at Paul’s when the top of Stephanie’s head became the unfortunate target of a large bird with no sense of romance (or timing) as they exited the store. Horrified, Stephanie initially insisted on calling off the entire date, citing the need to shower repeatedly before curling into a ball of mortification for the rest of time. Eventually, Paul convinced her to come to his house where she could use the bathroom to freshen up, claiming he was a very impatient man and the ‘rest of time’ might be pushing it for a rain check.
Minutes later they arrived at his house where Paul graciously showed his guest to the bathroom and retreated to the living room to give her some privacy. After fifteen minutes, Paul decided to check up on his email, he was expecting a proposal from work he was anxious to get, and walking past the bathroom where he assumed Stephanie was diligently washing away any trace of bird droppings, sat down at his desktop. That’s when the screaming started. Jolting up from his computer desk, Paul ran towards the bathroom, now vacated, and saw Stephanie staring into one of his guest bedrooms. “Crap”, he thought to himself as he raced to where she was standing, “I thought I closed that door when I left”.
“Paul, what the hell is all of this?!?” Stephanie screamed as she pointed around the bedroom. Knowing what she was referring to, Paul attempted an explanation. He never got a chance. Stephanie took one more look around the room and then sprinted past him and out the front door. She was speeding down the street less than thirty seconds later.
Paul shook his head and took another bite from his sandwich, returning his attention to Mel Gibson as he boarded up another room against the impending alien attack. Smelling him before seeing him, Paul turned towards the kitchen and sure enough, there stood his 145-pound mastiff, Butch. “Hey Butchy, baby,” Paul said affectionately as he rubbed behind the giant beast’s ears. Dropping the bone he had been savoring in order to pant appreciatively, Butch sat back on his haunches, rolling his eyes back in his head. “What do ya say we go clean up your room, boy?” Walking with the dog down the hallway, he paused outside of Butch’s room, or “The Bone Yard” as he liked to call it. Edging past his owner, Butch entered the room and immediately began chewing on what looked to be a rib bone. One look around the room and Paul could definitely understand why the uninitiated would react as Stephanie had only an hour earlier. The room was littered with gnawed on bones of every shape and size. Butch was on a strict ‘raw diet’ which meant Paul fed him primarily raw chicken, turkey, beef etc., bone and all. Being a bit of a poor housekeeper, Paul had allowed a few days’ worth of bones to accumulate in “The Bone Yard”, making for quite the gory scene for any unsuspecting visitor- like Stephanie.
“Well,” Paul said as he began picking up some of the bones, “guess I’m just gonna have to find a butcher to date”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: As many of you may or may not know, I share my home with a wolf dog named Zorro. Zorro is on a raw diet, primarily composed of raw chicken, and some other types of meat. One of his favorite treats are beef marrow bones, or ‘babysitters’ as we like to call them since they keep him busy for a good amount of time when we leave the house. Joey-the mini dachshund, is a big fan of these as well, and when Zorro is done, Joey takes care of the rest, usually for hours (another plus). The only downside is on busy days, these bones somehow end up everywhere- like tonight. And let me tell you, stepping on one of these babies is enough to make you want to cry like a four-year-old. Time to tidy up! (Oh, and if you’re interested, here’s a clip of Zorro and Joey playing a bit in the backyard… those two crazy kids).
TWO: Was in the mood for a flick tonight, and since I had the cable turned off a few months back (this whole writing thing doesn’t exactly allow for a ton of TV time) I was left with the few options of my DVD collection. I settled on Signs starring Mel Gibson… love that movie.
Love & Squirrels.