A Hair of the Dog, or "Take Two WHAT and Call You In The Morning?"
It is 8:45 on a Monday night, not generally considered your prime "excitement" night of the week. Oh sure, we all know the guy who spends all of Monday at work quietly in his office, pretending he's got some important deadline, when in fact we know that he's looking forward to 8:45, when his hangover from the weekend will finally have subsided to a dull roar.
And on television, by this time on Monday night, the show "Chuck" is usually approaching it's climax, which I gather can be pretty exciting, although I don't partake because my doctor has warned me that my heart can't take such extremes.
But tonight, I'm a party animal. Tonight, I've got something on tap that's going to make the rest of you say "I wanna party with you, cowboy". Not to me, the Village People are performing in your town, and that Cowboy is one wild animal. But I digress.
Tonight, I'm sitting in my mother's house, waiting for her dog to throw up. And as much as that sounds like a whole pile of chunky fun, you don't really know fun until you've had to force a dog to swallow two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, because you WANT the dog to throw up. Yes, the dog is going to throw up, almost certainly NOT on the newspapers I've got her currently lying on, and if by some miracle she fails to do so, I need... wait for it... to give her MORE hydrogen peroxide. Apparently the vet wants my Mom's dog to be blonde. On the inside.
So now, of course, you're wondering why. What ever possessed me to think "Y'know, today has been boring, dull, and surprisingly vomit-free. How can I rectify this?"
Well, this afternoon, my son and I went out with Mom to go pick up my Dad and take him out to dinner. Dinner was tasty, but a fairly innocuous affair, after which I dropped Dad off at his home (he lives in an assisted living facility) and dropped Mom off at her choir practice (she'll be getting a ride home from friends) and brought Liam back to the house to put him to bed. As I was getting Liam his cup of almond milk, I thought to myself "That's odd, Mom's usually so good about keeping her house clean, why is that glass plate in the middle of the floor?"
Shortly thereafter, I noticed that a little further on was a little slip of wax paper... and then the metal top of the cake dish of which the glass plate was the bottom half, at which point I realized what had been on that plate: A freshly made entire batch of brownies. Not just brownies, gluten-free brownies, one of the few desserts my son Liam can eat (being allergic to both milk and wheat proteins).
Let's take a side detour here and suggest that perhaps Josie (that's the dog's name) has Celiac disease and is trying to tell us so. Because the last time I was here with Liam, in December, we made him a gluten-free cake for his birthday and promptly went out, coming back to find half of the cake gone. So either Josie is jealous that we go out of our way to make special things for Liam, or more likely she's a dog (I've long suspected as much) and will eat anything with even the vaguest resemblance to food, if left to her own devices.
But that was a yellow cake, while these were brownies, and as any baker will tell you, chocolate (or more specifically, cocoa) is a vital ingredient in brownies, and as any dog lover will tell you, the recommended daily allowance of chocolate for dogs is "none", and the last time I checked my conversion chart, "none" isn't even marginally close to "an entire plate full".
So now here's the really strange part: apparently this is a bad month for those who live too closely to my Mom, vis-a-vis overdoses of toxic substances. The reason Liam and I are down here this week is because my father, who has some significant medical issues that for privacy and medical ethics reasons, I will not go into (I'm not a doctor, but I play one in these essays, and so I don't respect his privacy, but I play as if I do), had a potentially fatal medication mix-up late last week.
So here I am, in North Carolina, because there was some question as to how badly my father was going to be harmed by the mix-up, and in fact, some question initially as to whether he was going to survive it, and just about the time Dad is doing better and seems to be mostly out of the woods, Josie decides to get in on the action.
Actually, though, I suppose the other interesting thing about Mom's house is that poisons apparently don't work here. Dad's fine, Josie looks like she's going to be fine, and the annoying grasshopper-like bugs that infest the lower floor of my Mom's house in spring are doing just fine as well, even though the exterminator was here this morning to treat for them. Which gives me an idea, there's a wonderful recipe I've been anxious to try: a strychnine torte with ptomaine jelly filling, dusted with powdered anthrax that's just to die for(*).
* * *
I've been sitting here for a while trying to figure out how to finish this without leaving a, er, bad taste in your mouth, dear reader, and so I think the best choice is to segue to a story of which I was just reminded, based on the discussion of chocolate and dogs and my upcoming (next week) trip to Belgium. To get from Gent, Belgium back to the United States, most commonly you take a train to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and then fly from there. In the train station in Gent, there's a little touristy gift shop, in which I usually stop to get a nice fresh Belgian waffle, because they're yummy. On one wall of this little shop are lots of Belgian chocolates, and up on a high shelf, there are some chocolates of decidedly... anatomical shape. There are breasts as well as genitalia of both the male and female variety.
It's momentarily entertaining to look them over, although I don't know as I've ever seen anyone buy any of them, but I was most amused on one particular trip, the first for one of my co-workers at the time, when he came rushing out and announced not that there was "chocolate shaped" er, lady bits, but instead referred to them as "chocolate covered". Which, I must surmise, would probably have been quite a different store, most likely in Amsterdam.
(*) I want to take this opportunity to apologize profusely for this joke. A professional humorist should be embarrassed to write such an obvious joke. And I promise, the moment even one of you sends me some money for one of these essays, putting me at least technically into the category of "professional", the first thing I will do is blush and hide my head in shame for having made it. Really, you have only yourselves to blame for not monetarily supporting my humor hobby! And before you think there is no low to which I will not sink, you'll note I went with "ptomaine jelly" instead of the comedically more satisfying "ptomaine jam".
Copyright © April 12, 2010 by Liam Johnson. http://humor.liamjohnson.net