Friday, May 1, 2015

War Footing

In these uncertain times, our family has discussed various family responses to probable or imagined emergencies. We have a war room—with maps and little plastic army men. It’s a wooly booger to dust.

After a recent run-in with a Florida reptile of the highly toxic persuasion, I have concluded that our emergency response team is largely inefficient and possibly pointless.

When my husband and our two dogs (a lab/boarder collie mix and a Yorkshire terrier) burst through the bedroom door breathing heavy and wagging their tails—well, the dogs were wagging—my husband was just breathing heavy, I knew that something was up.

“Where’s the shotgun?” my husband asked. 

Looking up from my computer, I peered at him over the rim of my glasses and said, “I thought we’d talked through our budget issues.”

“No, it’s not about that. There’s a huge cotton-mouthed moccasin behind the barn.”

“Shotgun—closet.” I tipped my head toward the closet. He bent and unhooked the dogs leashes and wandered to the closet. The dogs padded after him. With the shotgun in hand, he wandered out of the closet, and out of the bedroom. I heard him stomp down the hallway, through the living room, down another hallway, and into the guest bedroom. Several minutes later, he wandered back into the bedroom, dogs in tow.

“Where are the shells?” 

“Well, they’re not where you were. Check in the black drawstring bag in the closet where you got the shotgun.”

He disappeared into the closet. The dogs followed. Shuffle, rustle, rustle, bump, shuffle boomed from the closet.

“I can’t find them.” He yelled.

I pushed back from my desk and went to play find the shotgun shells. The drawstring bag was brown, not black. My husband and I emerged from the closet, dogs under foot.

Sherwood dropped the key for the gun-lock once and then twice. The dogs sat watching my husband trying to unlock the shotgun.

Approximately 23.78 minutes had passed since the danger was first spotted.

I took a hard look at our emergency response team: Coco Channel, the lab/collie mix with an irrational fear of dump trucks, Ploodle, the Yorkshire terrier who weighs five pounds, and Sherwood, a guy with no ACL in his left knee. 

I sighed and then said, “You realize, of course, that in the time it has taken you to lock and load we would have been raped, murdered, dismembered, and raped again.”

Sighing harder than I had sighed, he said, “Come on dogs.” Out the door they went, the daring emergency response team to face whatever danger might still be lurking in the high grass behind the barn.

The snake got away.

We were planning to run emergency response drills this weekend, but we’ll probably take naps instead. 

Linda (Snake Oil) Zern 
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