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5:04 a.m. - 2002-05-21

I'LL TAKE MY DOG'S BLOODY SKULL FOR $200, ALEX of hands...who's tired of the saga of my dog, my house, my nosy assed neighbor and me yet??

That's what I thought.

Too bad, so sad. One more chapter.

So yesterday, I take the dog to the Vet early to get the stitch removed from her eyelid.

"Would you like to leave her here all day or stay with her?" the receptionist asks.

My dog HATES the vet. She cries from the moment we pull into the parking lot until the moment we leave. I get the feeling that as soon as I leave the Vet's office, red hot pokers are inserted in my dog's ass and left there until I come back at 5 p.m. At least, that's what my dog tries to make me believe.

"I'll wait," I say. "But I have to be at work by 8:30, so I need to be assured this won't take long."

"This won't take long," the girl says. This girl has more rings in her ear then Zales has in its warehouses. She jingles and jangles when she walks. I decide, in my infinite wisdom, to dub her "Ring Girl" in my head.

"Last week you told me that and I waited 45 minutes before I was told they weren't going to take the stitch out," I added, thinking THIS would get me preferential treatment. Not realizing that when you get all smart ass with Ring Girl, there's a good possibility that she'll relay the message to the actual Vet and the Vet will take out his frustration on your innocent dog.

So we go into a waiting room and Ring Girl walks to the back to let everyone know that the big guy with the fucked-up-eye dog is in a hurry.

A nurse comes in and whisks Maggie away, telling me to wait.

I hear Maggie crying.

Then I hear Maggie whelping.

Then I hear Maggie making strange noises like her soul has been possessed by a hopped-up Mariah Carey.

Then Maggie comes back in the room with blood all over her eyelid.

The Vet's with her.

"Everything's fine," he says while my dog looks like she's been in a WWF hardcore title match. "Jennifer, get a cotton ball with some ambodextrousmaltinoxideporous and wipe her eye down."

Jennifer, fearing for her job, obeys the Vet.

My dog's eye is wiped down. Still, concern is of the issue for me.

"Doc, I'm going to be putting Maggie in a yard with two much younger, friskier dogs today," I said, trying to sugarcoat the Nosy Assed Dogs personalities. "Will she be okay in there?"

"Oh sure," he says. "The eye's healed. She'll be fine."

So I take her home and then leave, knowing NAN will come get her once I leave.

Get home at 5:45. The dog looks fine.

Last night, the dog wants petted. I pet her and she yelps.

Upon closer inspection, there's bite marks all over her neck and head. Apparently, she got into a tussle with the Nosy Assed Whippersnappers next door. She's 12, they're 3. And from the looks of her head, they ganged up on her.

Nosy Assed Neighbor's only comment was that it seemed like Maggie wasn't "having a good time" in her yard as much as she did last week.

Well, duh lady. She comes in there all sore from having a stitch removed with blood caked to her eye. Your dogs smell the blood and for the next eight hours, they treat her like a rawhide.

So today, because all other options have been exhausted, my dog gets enrolled in Doggie Day Care back at the Vet's office.

It's only $4.75 a day, which is less than a decent lunch. I thought it was much more than that.

But man...she HATES the Vet's office.

And I HATE paying $4.75 a day to have my dog caged up like animal while nobody looks at my house.

But it's either that or take her out back and shoot her.

And I don't have a gun.

Yet another old bastard from church died yesterday morning.

Once again, this was someone that was so old that they hadn't been to church since the 1950s.

Every single person I spoke with said the same thing: "Oh, I didn't know her."

I responded the same way each time: "Me neither, but it's my job to call you and tell you this. I'm a deacon. Don't talk while I talk or I can make sure that you're the NEXT person that I'm calling people about to discuss their funeral arrangements."

Finally ... I called Dot. Dot, the old woman who lives in a nursing home who was thought to be dead for several months until they found her in a broom closet, naked and playing Solitaire. Man. Was her family pissed about that.

I could tell from talking to Dot last night that she's taken a turn for the worst.

ME: "Hello Dot, this is Uncle Bob from church. I'm calling with some sad news. Mildred Taylor has passed away."

DOT: "Who?"

ME: "Mildred Taylor."

DOT: "Well hello Mildred. Do I know you?"

ME: "No Dot. This is Uncle Bob. Mildred's dead."

DOT: "Oh. Well, how did that happen?"

ME: "I'm not sure. I just know she's dead."

DOT: "Hello Mildred. I don't think I know you."

ME: "Dammit Dot, listen up. Mildred's dead. This isn't Mildred. You didn't know Mildred. Don't worry about Mildred. The only reason I'm calling is because someone at church figured it would be nice if you were kept up-to-date on people passing away when it's clear that you don't remember or know any of them. You can't even recall your last bowel movement, how should we expect you to remember people you've never met?"

DOT: "Do I know you?"

ME: "No Dot, we've never met. But about once a month, I call you to tell you people are dead."

DOT: "Why do you do that?"

ME: "It's my job Dot. It's what I do."

DOT: "Can you get me some warm fruit juice?"

ME: "Dammit Mildred's dead, I've got other people to call, I've got to go."

DOT: "Wait."

ME: (sighing)

DOT: "Will you...will you pray with me?"

ME: "Fine Dot. Fine. Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to say that Mildred Taylor's dead. She was a fine woman that Dot didn't know and that I didn't know. But she's the grandmother of someone who comes to church every now and then and for some reason, somebody thought it'd be a nifty thing if all the Deacons spent every single waking hour calling people in the church to tell them that random people have upped and died. This confuses Dot, O Lord. Dot's not the type to take news like this lightly. Please make sure that she doesn't die anytime soon because she doesn't want to be just another name that I call people to tell them that she's died. She wants better than that for her life and that's understandable. Nobody wants to be someone whose name invokes people to say 'Who?!?' when you mention it. And Lord, thank you for ending the current television season on an uplifting and positive note. I bet you're super glad that black lady won on 'Survivor'. She's a pretty good ambassador for you, don't you think? And help me sell my house. I know that you've got more important things to do with your time like try to organize peace on earth and keep Michael Jackson's hands off little kids but if you could find someone and tell them that they need to buy my house, I'll be forever obliged and might even give up drinking for you. Thank you Lord from the bottom of my black heart. It is in your name we pray...Amen."

DOT: "Amen."

ME: "Wow,'re still alert?"

DOT: "Barely. That prayer about lulled me to sleep several times."

ME: "Eat me, Dot."

DOT: "Hand me a fork, asshole."



I've gotta go shake the wife awake. She's now past her third wake-up call and she has a meeting at 7:30, plus she has to drop the dog off at the Vet's while I take the boy to daycare.

Plus, it looks like I've got some broken images to fix.

So peace out and all that jazz.

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