I’m a creature of habit.
A couple of them I like and have come to depend upon—like sleeping, eating, and general brain function reliability.
One or two have stuck around that I’m not terribly fond of—like hitting the hay too late, forgetting where I’ve parked the car, and stalking Neil deGrasse Tyson in hopes that he’ll change his mind and finally decide to co-author a scientific paper with me on the plausible objectives of time travel through human-sized, uncooked rigatoni noodles.
I think he’s afraid he’ll have to do most of the authoring. But I’ve assured him I will pull my weight. I will keep our coffee cups filled. I will keep all the pencils sharpened. And I will do my best to man our Twitter page and keep it filled to the brim with pithy, clever snippets that reflect our opinions on all things hyperspace bypass related.
This bad habit could turn into a big bonus for the both of us.
My creatures are creatures of habit too.
The cat is awake to eat.
And then isn’t.
My hound has a slightly more varied routine, but he too keeps a predictable schedule, which is why at around 11:30 last night I was surprised to see him wander into my bathroom while I was finishing my evening ablutions.
“Shouldn’t you be outside making your last security rounds?” I asked him with a mouthful of toothpaste.
Ran into a tiny snag.
“Why are you bleeding all over my bathroom floor?”
The tiny snag had teeth.
“This does not bode well for my precious Italian faux marble tiling,” I said, wondering if the pooling blood would stain.
A little help here?
I sighed. “Go get me a bucket of bleach and a wire brush.”
A Band-Aid would suffice.
“And if I go into that housekeeping cupboard tomorrow and notice you’ve stolen all my camphor moth balls again, there’ll be a reckoning.”
I had a stuffy nose.
“Use the Neti Pot!”
And so it went.
I cleaned him up and noted the two deep puncture wounds on one side of his hind leg and the graze of teeth marks on the opposite side.
“Who did this to you?”
I didn’t catch his name.
“No. I mean what animal did this to you?”
Something massive that obviously hadn’t had dinner yet.
“Well, it’s bedtime. No more prowling about tonight—got it?”
The look I got in return was one that suggested I had an IQ equal to that of tapioca pudding. We shuffled off to bed. But sadly not to sleep.
As is wont to happen round about this time of year, the whippoorwills make their annual appearance and settle in around the woods and meadows surrounding the house. From far away, they offer a dreamy, somnolent tune, echoing through the cool spring nights.
Sitting beneath your window, they are shrill, piercing, and an aberration of nature–as anyone would attest they surely have three lungs.
For thirty minutes I did my level best to ignore the siren song which was truly much more of an honest to God siren and less so a beautiful, mythical sea creature calling me out to the crashing waves and hidden jagged rocks.
I got up, opened the porch door and encouraged it to take its evening serenade elsewhere. “For the love of all things holy, I’m begging you, PLEASE BE QUIET!”
I soon gathered that the bird balladeer and I did not speak the same language, or perhaps he interpreted my hand clapping as applause. He simply relocated to the space beneath another window.
The following thirty minutes was difficult to breathe through as I had my head beneath two pillows.
It was clear this bird was hoping to make it onto the Avian Olympic team and that his training facility was any perchable place within 12-24 inches of my house walls. The incessant aria, the rigorous, methodical whooping warble was worthy of a gold medal for effort. And a twelve gauge for the likeability factor.
I got up, went to the window and gave it a couple of good solid thumps. When this achieved nothing, I opened it and began shouting into the night. “I know where you live! I will not be fooled into looking skyward! I know you’re all ground nesting birds!”
I looked at the dog who was still tending to his wounds. “You’re wel—”
WHIPPOORWILL, WHIPPOORWILL, WHIPPOORWILL!
And then there were three.
This bird had called in for backup. The flock now positioned themselves on all sides of the bedroom walls that faced nature. It was a trio of torturous, ill-timed tunes.
I groaned and found a pair of previously owned earplugs. I shoved them in so far they practically met behind my nose. I burrowed down beneath two pillows and a quilt. I hummed. I made ocean-like white noise.
After ten minutes, I got up and called for the dog. His head was firmly wedged beneath the bed.
“Okay, I’ve changed my mind. Go gettem, tiger.”
No, thank you, he said, glancing at the fang imprints he now sported.
We both spent the rest of the night being miserable and met up in the kitchen at breakfast—me fresh from a shower and him coming in from outside.
So, this might be of interest. He dropped a greeting card in my lap.
“What does it say?”
He snorted. You know I don’t read. But it was right outside my dog door.
I read it aloud for the both of us.
‘Hey, bud. Sorry about the bite. I thought you were a whippoorwill. Those things are driving me crazy.’
I looked up from the note. “Well, apparently some of Mother Nature’s brood has manners.”
Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.