"I'm not," I replied honestly. "I've been too worn out to put any thought into it this year."
"I know you're planning something, you always do, " she went on.
"No, seriously. Haven't given it the first thought yet."
So she went on to suggest that I look for her a storage thingee. "I know it'll be more expensive than the usual..."
"Not a big deal," said I. "But how about this- we'll go together, you find what you want, I'll pay for it. Given my track record with getting you what you'll actually use..."
She protested, but let's face it. She is fifty-two this year, and she has probably used what I have gotten for her birthday over the last ten years or so once for each of those 52 years. So off we went, and she found what suited her perfectly- at least as perfectly as what could be had at Meijer. And as I nearly crapped my drawers trying to put the box into the shopping cart, I said, "This is your gift. Mine is not helping to put it together.
Several hours later, this is what she built:
Damn nice, damn solid. And plenty of room to store what doesn't get purged in the next wave of "Love It Or Pitch It."
In the meantime, I had been nosing around some nice wall hangings of old Jack Kirby Marvel Comic covers. (No, Bobby, that isn't what I got.) Laurie did suggest it, though...but I said, I don't know where I'd hang it. Next to them, however, was a reproduction of an 1863 world map. If you know me, you know I am a history buff and old maps give me hours of amazement. This was on canvas, 23X35, and more than what Laurie could justify to herself, which was fine with me.
"Besides," she said, "If you don't have a spot for the other ones, you REALLY won't have a spot for this."
"I'd MAKE a spot for this," I replied. "Stuff would fly outta the way."
So she gets the bright sneaky idea of getting in touch with my firstborn, and they decided to go together on it. So, later that afternoon...
Yup, right above the TV. I will post later on about some of the neat things I found on/learned about this map. Suffice it to say, that an authentic version from an antique dealer, about 2/3 the size, runs $235, and they paid a LOT less than that.
So Laurie's birthday is done, and mine's a-coming. I told my boss I wasn't going to be anywhere near work Saturday (I knew a Friday was out-o-da-question), and sometime during the weekend you will find us at Red Lobster consuming two piping hot ultimate feasts and adding another layer of plaque to our arteries.
Today, though, I have Scrappy's latest adventures at the aptly named Hump'n'Dump. Our cast of players for today...
The little gal on the left is Polly; the troublemaker in the center is Cooper; and of course, our hero on the right. Now let me say first that for a dog "not used to playing with other dogs", Cooper was rough yet gentle, and despite acting like a cross between Mike Tyson and Ron Jeremy, he was pretty good and did no harm.
However, being smaller, it quickly devolved for Scrappy into a rousing game of Run For Your Life.
These two went at it constantly, never getting mad, but just a lot of extreme (for Scrappy) roughhousing. Polly was content to run in a straight line and back once every minute or so, and then lay down under her mom, panting with a tongue I swear was longer than her tail.
Scrappy would try to get Cooper from behind, but Coop would just flop over, making it look like Scrappy was doing judo throws on him. He'd just roll over on his back and say, "Come and get me, big boy!" The little boy in the middle there belongs to Polly. He and I had a nice conversation on what pine needles were and how far he could throw a pine cone. He also showed me how he could jump over the back of a bench, to which I replied, "I could do that 50 pounds ago."
Finally, Cooper's mom got tired of trying to keep Cooper from looking like the horniest dog in the land, and they went home. Polly's people, who'd been there much longer, followed suit. Cooper, for his part, did NOT want to go. He lay down and wouldn't move. They coaxed him up, got him out the door, and he lay down again, as if he were part mule. After physically picking him up, Cooper's mom got the point across. Scrappy. Just sat there, p.o.ed that his new friends had left.
"Scrappy, you ready to go bye-bye?" No response.
"Scrappy! Come here! You ready to go?" Nothing.
"Boofus!!! Wanna go for a walk?" Amazingly, silence.
"You want to go home and get a dink (He doesn't really know "drink")?"
"Yip, yip, yip!!!" So home it was.