You've probably seen so many pictures of these boys that you're probably sick of seein' them by now. MarkyBear in the front is my sweet little "muush". He's sweet til somebody he doesn't trust comes along, then he shows his snappy side. I'm not even sure he wouldn't bite the "Oops Guy", if given a chance. Now, SparkyBear in the back there, Cappy calls "our little ambassador". He loves everybody. Cappy thinks he'd merrily go home with anybody. Strangers only need fear his unceasing tongue. I'd like to find a sign that warns, "Dog can't hold his licker". He'd never bite anybody.
Well, with Cappy being gone on the boat for weeks and sometimes months at a time, we get kinda bored around here, especially on Sundays for some reason, so I take the 'boys' in the SUV and just go. I saw an ad for a Farmers' Market along the River Road, so I asked these two if they wanted to go for a ride to get some ice cream and fries. Whoever said dogs can't understand our language was RONG-guh. The second I asked, they were dancing around, 'high -fiving' each other, 'laughing' and nudging the back of my leg toward the door.
I decided to drive to LaPlace, on the way and stop at Wendy's, a supposedly safe place for celiacs to be able to eat, without accidentally getting any wheat or gluten. Oh, and I have to mention this: As you know, I've been working on the house. I got a sheet thin of masonite board, 4'x8', and had been carrying it around in the back of the SUV til I needed it, figuring that was as good a temporary place to store it as any. It laid flat, for the most part, filled up the whole back area, and curved itself up in the front toward the front seat, looking much like those skateboard ramp thingys. When the dogs got in the front seat with me to go, I forgot all about my 'building supply' in the back.
We got going down the road, and Mark decided to crawl in the back for a better view out all the windows, as he is often wont to do. We were in a 65 mph zone when I heard scraffing and sliding around back there. I passed a couple of slow-pokes and out of the corner of my eye saw AND heard Mark, toe-nails clawing across the shiny fiberboard, from one side of the SUV, to the other. It reminded me of the beginning scene from the movie, "Dumb and Dumber". I didn't want to pull to the shoulder in that high traffic area, so kept going, and talking soothingly to him as we went. He tried running up the slope, but just about the time he thought he'd made it, he'd slide back down toward the rear window. He never made a sound the whole time. The only thing I heard from back there was him sliding and rolling around, like a watermelon. I figured the ice cream would win me back into his good graces, once we got there.
We picked up most of our order at the Wendy's drive-thru, drove across the plaza to a shady spot near a bank drive-thru, then I got out,went back and maneuvered the ol' COWboy MarkyBear to the front seat with his 'brother'. As I was divving up our spoils, I noticed that Raleigh's, our "Katrina Hurricane Rescue Dog"...his large french fries was missing. (Raleigh always stays home, he does NOT want to ever go for a ride...ever.)I checked the receipt...yep, we paid for them alright. Somehow they hadn't included them. Dang. Just as I was starting to put things back in the bags to drive back over for them, this tall woman who was walking by, walked up to the SUV, on the passenger side, waving at the dogs. SparkyBear leaped into the back inviting her on in and licking the window. Mark, in the front seat, spat all over the window in an angry froth, warning her not to even try it. I put the window nearest SparkyBear down a couple of inches, to hear what she was trying to say to me. I thought she was going to say how nice the dogs looked, because it happens a lot. She said, "You 'spose you cud hep me wid a liddle money so's I cud get muh-self sumpin' teat cuz ah been walkin' two days now wid nuttin' to eat". Here we sat with a sumptuous spread of salad, hamburger with no bun, french fries and ice cream; and what if she was telling the truth? And it was Sunday. Being a good Samaritan I gave her $5. I remember thinking, as I watched her walk away, in my rear-view mirror, I hope she at least got her fries included with her order. Meanwhile the dogs were complaining and whining that they wanted their food NOW. "Oh alright", I said, and gave them back their burgers, etc.
As I ate my salad, I remembered our friend, Pam, recently mentioning to me that LaPlace had gotten "terrible" since Katrina, and especially lately. Yeah, that was terrible, them forgetting Raleigh's french fries like that...BANG!!!...What the heck was that??! The sound was something loud hitting the window on my side of the SUV. There stood 'Laquineesha' back again, asking for more money. "Ah couldn't git me what ah needed, so ah wuz wonderin' if you had any more money, so's ah could git me sumpin'...jes fi'e dollars more...jes fi'e, das all". I kinda pursed my lips, so she said, "foe...jes foe, if you ken...foe, please...an ah'd like to git me sunthin' fo tomorrow, too, if you could." Mark was in the back by now tearing at the window behind my drivers' seat, barking at her at the top of his lungs, but not able to make it to the front seat again, what with his 'skate board ramp' back there. SparkyBear was in the front seat over there, panting adoringly at her and 'smiling'. I sighed and started looking in my purse for some change, then she spotted the water bottles, and asked if she could please have one of them. I was dumb-founded about the whole situation, and stupid me said, "Oh sure", because it was hot outside. As I reached over to the other side to get one, she lunged in through the window to get at the money. It all happened so fast...I had leaned over away from her, she dove her upper body in, in front of me, SparkyBear leapt at her face, barking furiously and earnestly tried to bite her. (Uh...SPARKYbear???) She shrieked and pulled herself back out in one swift move. You hear stories, and I didn't know if she had a gun, so as I rolled up the window, I handed her a couple of quarters and sat there shaking and watched her slowly walk away. Well now what...report her? I should have, I guess. I watched to see where she was going this time. I didn't want her sneaking back up on me again. I saw her meander down toward one of the stores along the plaza, where she met up with a couple of people, acting as though she knew them, and got into the car with them. As they slowly drove away, passing us, she and the other people all gaped over at us. I just made sure they drove out of the plaza...I watched. The dogs were back to their meal...the well-deserved dessert portion, and didn't notice. I hurridly got the 'junk' stowed away, got Mark back into the front seat and 'got the heck outa Dodge', thinking "hang the french fries, I'll have to make it up to Raleigh some-other- how", and vowing not to venture to LaPlace again for awhile, least not without Cappy...and for sure without the Killer Kurlie Bichon Tag Team brothers who were spoiling for a "smack-down" that pretty Sunday afternoon, as we sat under the shade of a live oak tree.