Sunday, January 8, 2017


Walking outdoors was partly a mission of mercy and partly a life-saving measure. Let’s just say that the Alien C.W. doesn’t stand up well to prolonged exposure.

And brother had we been exposed.

The so-called “polar-vortex” had swept down and brought with it enough snow to keep us off the roads. What my sainted mother called “that old windshield factor” had been well below zero, so melting was minimal. This all meant that we had been locked in our farmhouse for a prolonged period. Our patience had worn as thin as prison soup.

What happened? C.W. had gone into high gear with his bored-games. First, he got the dogs at the farm all agitated. Have I ever told you that he can talk to animals? Well he can, when he wants to, and when they will listen. The biggest problem in communication with animals is not a limitation of ability, but rather a general feeling of distrust mixed with a gigantic belief in their superiority of intellect. In short, they look down on us and don’t believe a word we say.

Anyway, it seems he was telling them about some files that folks on this native planet of Falloonia had hacked into recently. He reported that the president-elect had a plan—and it was a great plan—to bring about peace with North Korea. It was to be called “Puppies for Bombs” and everyone would love it, especially their species for it would offer them travel to exotic places.

Even though he had assumed the shape of Cesar Millan, “The Dog Whisperer,” it took my wife half a day and two bags of animal crackers to restore calm.

Then he taught the cats a game called “body skipping.” The best way to visualize it is to recall when you have counted the number of skips a rock makes when you sail it out over water. The first time one of the cats set a new record, it ended on the lap of my mother-in-law.

She used language that I never imagined an 87-year old had ever known or could remember. She claimed later that she was only repeating things she had heard me say. I dunno.

Anyway, the game ended when one of the kittens sailed off my wife’s lap, overshot a dog’s back, flattened itself against a wall, and slid to the floor like the last piece of clothing floating down a stripper’s legs. Now the cats stay in a sullen mood. They tend to huddle together and mumble amongst themselves. Occasionally, one points at me and says something that sounds like, “him,” and the others all nod.

Next, we caught Tymber Elysibuth, the 16 year-old high school student, making phone calls to our neighbors. The script went something like this, “Uh, like, this is Tymber Elysibuth calling on behalf of the President. He requests that you would, like, get all your guns out for inventory so his people can, like, uh, confiscate any that are, like, over the limit while there is still time.”

A day later we had made the necessary apologies. There are still a number of holes in the farmhouse, and one of the dogs still howls at any loud noise.

Big Dope keeps repeating, "The woods are
lovely, dark and deep." I wonder why? - C.W.
After a half-day of relative peace and quiet, we were preparing a big pot of chili, just the fun thing to do on a wintry day. I had just remarked how pleasant life was when we smelled smoke. I ran into the living room to find Rusty the teenage boy trying to drill into a large Native-American artifact that my wife's family had preserved for nearly 70 years. Not only that, he was using her favorite cordless power drill, the one I gave her for our 30th wedding anniversary.

A few minutes later, we, C.W. and I, were walking outdoors with a breath-taking north wind in our face. He had retained the shape of Rusty, and he turned to me, his face red from the chill. “Snow days are fun, ain’t they? Want to build a snow-Izstawiroouwut?”

I was thinking “I could be featured on national news and probably get a cabinet position for capturing and killing an alien.”

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