Background Switcher (Hidden)

Frivolous Purchases

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Have you ever noticed how, when you go to the Wal-mart pharmacy, that no matter how busy or unbusy they might be, and no matter when your prescription was supposedly called in, that it always takes twenty minutes to fill it? The marketing powers at this giant chain have figured out that twenty minutes is exactly how long it takes the average shopper to drop $60. Three dollars a minute. It's probably more, but that's my estimate. I should chart it someday. In my case, having nothing special to get, I wandered back into the garden center, where I bought some utterly out-of-season rose-colored snapdragons with fat yellow lips, a young lavender bush, and some purple stock, that smells of spice heaven. I will be moving them in and out of the greenhouse for the next month. Duhhh. Couldn't wait. The big yellow smiley face has me all figgered out.

Then I came back through the pet department to see if there was anything new there for Baker. Well, glory be. There was a durable stuffed postman, and a medium-sized baby-blue polo shirt that practically howled Chet Baker. I have finally gotten over buying Chet stuffed toys that are easy to rip apart. I can pull on one limb, listen for the subtle snap of threads, and know immediately whether he'll be able to unstuff it within seconds. This postman is built for the long haul--heavy canvas, tightly stuffed. And his shirt even matches Baker's. He has this horrified look on his face that makes me laugh, as if he's about to be torn limb from limb.
Chet dove into the cart full of grocery bags and had the postman unearthed before I could say HEY! WAIT A SECOND! When he tired of playing with it, I called him and told him he had one more surprise. He danced on his hind legs when he saw the shirt, ran up to me, and sat down so I could put it on him, even lifting his front paws to help me get them through the armholes. (Yes, I said armholes. What would you call them? Legholes?)They're arms, got it?
I wouldn't dress Chet up if he didn't clearly enjoy it so much. I think he enjoys the attention he gets when he's got new duds, but he also likes to be warm, and he probably associates wearing clothes with his puppyhood (he was born in December). He wore woolen tube socks with holes cut for his front legs for most of last winter, until he started looking like a stuffed sausage in them and graduated to real sweaters.
About an hour later, he came into the kitchen, sat down, and stared at me with his ears plastered back. He seemed to want something. I thought about it, felt his nose, which was cold and wet, felt his stomach, which wasn't tight or drawn up, when it suddenly occurred to me that he might want his jingly collar to complete the ensemble. Looking at it, the tags look sort of like a bolo tie. He's right--it needed accessorizing. When I brought his collar into the kitchen his face lit up and he danced on his hind legs, sat still so I could put it on, and then dashed to the door to be let outside to play.
Sometimes I think there's telepathy going on with me and that dog. I can't explain it, except that he gives me a picture of what he wants. It's rarely food--it's usually something more esoteric. He just makes me understand.
Here's my lanky love, relaxing with Baker on the couch, watching a Pirates/Reds game on TV. The furry thing used to be a howling monkey Jungle Launcher, now unstuffed and howl-free. I threw the howl box away when Chet got it out of the monkey. Yesterday Bill upended a big trash can into the dumpster and the howl box howled, OOO AH OOOO AH OOOO AH OOOOH! way down in the bottom of the dumpster, and he jumped several inches into the air, thinking he had just thrown garbage on a litter of kittens. It could happen.


[Back to Top]