9 Pineapples for a Dog in a Tomato Cage
Last night, I learned a jarring personal truth borne of an inherited chromosomal glitch:
I will never (ever) be able to tell a linear narrative.
The proof, they say, is in the pudding.
In this case, it was in my dad.
The phone call home began smoothly enough. And then, pain.
Dad: Did mom tell you what the boy did today?
[Quick translation: "the boy" is a moniker attributed to my family dog, Sprint. A 45-pound beagle. If you are unsure, yes, that is huge.]
Jayne: No. What?
Dad: Mom will tell you. Hangs up. [Mom on other line]
Mom: So...Sprint had gone outside...
Dad: [picks up phone. interrupts. mom is done.] So, Sprint had gone outside...
Jayne: Yup, I'm there. Right there. Go.
Dad: So, Sprint had gone outside, and after a half-hour or so, your mom's wond'ring why he's sleeping in the middle of the garden.
Mom: I'm wondering...wondering, you know?
[I do. I do know.]
Dad: So, after a while, mom goes out there to see what he's doing, you know, because it's like 70 degrees out there, and he's got fur, and he's hot, you know, he's panting, and that's hot to be sleeping out there, you know, for a dog with fur..."
[I know. Yes. Definitely. A dog (with fur, especially) could/would get quite warm. True.]
Dad: Mom goes out there, and the boy is stuck in a tomato cage. Jaynie, he must have crawled in the wide part and then put one leg through the wire on one side and then another leg through the other part. and he got stuck. Jaynie, he was a dog stuck in a tomato cage. A dog stuck in a tomato cage!"
[Wait. A what in a what? I didn't get that.]
Mom: Crrrrazy, huh hon?
Dad: And it was, like, it was the perfect fit. He was the perfect size for a tomato cage [what is all any of us can hope for, really]. If he was a little bit smaller...nope...he woulda slid right through. a bit bigger...nope...he wouldn't have been able to even get his noggin through the smaller part..."
Jayne: Perfect? Nutty.
Dad: So I had just left work, so mom couldn't call me [the cell phone, obviously, must stay inside the house], but when I got home...there he was, still... a dog in a tomato cage. We need to get some wire cutters, because we didn't have any."
Jayne: Yes we do, we have some, those ones that you cut the little branches with.
Mom: No, no, I tried those.
Dad: Mom tried those.
[Um, okay, I heard mom.]
Dad: Anyway, yea, we'll get some this weekend.
[right, you better, because that will definitely happen again on Monday.]
But, can you believe that?
Craziest thing I ever saw.
Craziest thing I ever saw.
Jayne: Was he freaking?
Dad: No, no, he was so good. Such a good boy. I got him outta there and he trotted a few feet and looked back at me and barked...arf, arff...'thank you,' it was like he was saying,'thank you.'
[of course. of course he was thankful. He was a dog in a tomato cage.]
Dad: Yea, he was so good. Crazy... A dog in a tomato cage. Huh.
**hat tip to www.uwgb.edu for the crucial img.