November 1, 2012
Help! I am a French foreign national who was abducted when I was 7 years old by a Fraser couple who have forced me into a stultifying life of drudgery.
I fear they are growing increasingly unbalanced and may be growing violent. I’ve been locked and chained for the last 28 years, sleeping on the floor and doing their menial chores while they lead a life of indolence and excess. I worry that I am a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome because, despite the harsh treatment and meager food they give me, I still try hard to please them.
I was balancing all their bank accounts the other day, neatly arranging all the checks into tidy little piles when I realized the cover of their checkbook was leather. From a cow. I buried my nose in it. The odor was irresistible, carrying me away to my happy place where I ruminated with my chew toy.
Without any warning, the front door of my office door flew open and SHE was there, shrieking something about some “bad dog,” if you can imagine. Surely she was talking about that stupid Pekinese down the block but I hustled my corpulent posterior through the dog door just to be safe.
Hmm, accounting is so much fun, I must’ve forgot to put down the checkbook. I love beef. She’s still shouting, I better crouch down behind this tree until I can sneak back in. Why is she pounding on the window? See what I mean about them being unbalanced? If I don’t seem worried, it’s because I know they don’t fit through the dog door and they lost the combination to the padlock on the gate years ago. Na-na-na-na.
I ran downstairs to find my wife pounding on the window and waving her arms like a turkey headed into the wind. These danger signs I often associate with radioactivity or the strong presence of cobra venom. She greeted me warmly, “Your mutt ran out the dog door with the checkbook,” adding words no man should ever hear, “Do something!”
I pondered numerous scenarios leaping a six-foot chain link fence. Many of them involved EMTs exclaiming, “Good Lord, this guy’s heavy!” So we called someone perfectly sized for the task: our 10-year-old niece, Lydia.
“Lydia, your aunt and I need to hire you for a serious mission. Freeta stole our checkbook and left it out in the dog pen. You have to squeeze through the dog door and get it back. We’re willing to pay the princessly sum of 50 cents if you can find it.”
Lydia stared back, “Uh-uh. It’s dark, it’s cold, I get a dollar whether I find it or not.” They grow up so fast, don’t they?
She easily wiggled through the dog door, holding her little flashlight bravely in front of her. I shouted encouragement, “Do you see anything?”
“There’s nothing but poop out here. I want another dollar.”
Eventually, calm was restored and the checkbook, minus a small piece out of the corner, found a new spot on higher ground. Everything we own will soon be balanced on top of the refrigerator, one of the few places the basset can’t reach.
Yesterday the mutt raided a bookshelf and left a pamphlet propped up against the windowsill, open and looking like she’d been reading it. The title was, “9 Tips for Dealing with Annoying People”. I paused for a moment.
Nah, had to be a coincidence.