I will carry many warm and happy memories of this holiday season into my old age, tarnished just a tad, perhaps, by almost killing my dog Boomer on Christmas Eve.
If Charles Dickens drove a
Ford F-150 pickup truck ...
Until Christmas Eve afternoon, we were having the typical Dickens-esque run-up to the big day. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and several nasty-looking inch-long tacks. The tree was tricked out with the usual baubles and doodads and precious family heirloom, which is to say, tacky, ornaments. The tree also was vertical, which is more than could be said for last year's tree, which fell over and shattered every expensive decoration. The heirloom ornaments miraculously survived that disaster, not surprising since they could just as easily miraculously survived a good thrashing with a hammer or a run through one of those car-crushing machines. This year I Bob Villa'd the tree to the wall with metal braces, screws and brackets. This bush was going nowhere.
So we were set, Christmas-wise, with hours to spare. That's when I decided to make a few extra bucks to offset the ridiculous amount of money I had been spending on presents for my loved ones and, well, mostly on me personally. Our family currently finds itself with a glut of wave skis and kayaks, and I figured I could unload two or three on desperate holiday shoppers on the side of the highway. So I tossed them in the back of the pickup truck, along with Boomer, who insisted on going along for the ride. I set up on the side of Kahekili Highway next to a guy selling some ratty-looking red Christmas plants. Droves of people refused to stop, either because they were suffering from a kayak glut at their houses or because of the "No Vending" sign directly behind my truck.
I decided to find a location with a higher kayak appreciation quotient. Back in the truck went the boards and Boomer, and off we went. I had Boomer firmly tethered between two leashes, so you can imagine my surprise when I looked in the rearview mirror to see him hanging by his neck on the side of the truck. Thankfully, we weren't going very fast, because the dog slipped out of his collar and tumbled onto the road. I slammed on the brakes and ran barefooted toward him, waving at oncoming cars to stop. Boomer, not the most secure animal in the world, assumed I was yelling at him for doing something wrong and started limping into the other lane of traffic. He became distracted by cars screeching to a stop, which allowed me to scoop him up and run back to the truck. I raced for the animal hospital with him lying on the seat next to me looking as good as a dog can who just fell out of the back of a moving pickup truck.
It turned out he had only some cuts and third-degree road rash. He was bleeding, but not bleeding to death, so we had to wait for an hour to see the doc. Which was a fine way to spend Christmas Eve afternoon, considering the possible alternatives. A few stitches later, Boomer was back at home trying to figure out what the hell had just happened.
The final tally for this bust of holiday hijinks: Money brought in by selling kayaks: 0. Gas: $5.78. Vet bill: $124. The cost for a good example of what my family has come to call a TCE (Typical Charley Enterprise): Priceless.
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Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
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