Ah, springtime. Nesting birds, blooming flowers, itchy eyes, and raw, basic desires – barely constrained by the laws and mores of society – to engage in acts of longing and desire…like “freshening up” my kennel.
Yes, this is the time of year when Dad feels compelled by the tug of the season to don his ever-expanding tool belt and rudely invade my private space. He calls it remodeling. I call it laying siege to my fortress. Last year, he got off easy. Sprained thumb, a hole in his foot, diverticulitis, double hernia a nail through his right nostril and a near-decapitation. This year, he said, would be quite different.
He looked like a knight going out to do battle: Hard hat, full eye shield, steel-toed shoes, shin guards, chain mail body armor, and most importantly, a cell phone which automatically dials 9-1-1 when it detects him screaming, bleeding, or unconscious (his phone dials 9-1-1 on the average of twice daily).
Today, he was half-way finished in his quest to totally destroy my home. Every time he completed the smallest task, he looked at me as if I should be impressed. When I rolled my eyes and turned my back, he was undeterred. My kennel made the devastation of recent news-worthy disasters look like the cover of Good Housekeeping. In the dust rising from the ruins, there was Dad..obliviously doing God knows what, without a hint of a plan or a clue as to how to implement one if one existed.
Then, at precisely 2:07 p.m. – a moment that will live in infamy – it happened. Dad was standing victoriously atop a large pile of debris when he lost his balance. The weight of his chain mail alone was enough to bring him crashing down just as a large tree branch (which he had inadvertently severed while he was chain sawing everything in sight) fell on his head. His cell phone was crushed…so much for the auto-9-1-1. I calmly went in the house and called the paramedics. When they arrived, I embarrassingly escorted them to my pathetic companion. They asked me if this had been a suicide attempt. I said, “Definitely, but not knowingly.”
Doctors assure me that Dad’s head will be back to its normal huge size in a month or two, but that I shouldn’t be surprised if a sapling starts growing out of his ear. My dog homeowner’s insurance is processing my claim, and I have called a reputable contractor to repair the nightmare that once was my home. After repairs, I will once again live in peace. Until autumn clean-up is upon us.