I write this column from the office I will be occupying for the next five days while the battered floors of our IHOP are being refinished:
The beer cooler at the local Spinx station.
It’s not a bad idea, really. As the heat and humidity of each day soars, and the wall unit of the Unabomber Shack (the less endearing and more accurate description of my abandoned, unplumbed, radio studio that sits directly behind both the barn and manure pile) struggles to keep the temperature below 80, I find myself making excuses to drive over to the Spinx to cool off.
Namely, a six pack.
One beer at a time.
Paul and I abandoned our idea of climbing up a ladder to reach the the second story deck behind the house and holing up in the master bedroom and bath, namely because the thought of carrying Bonnie up and down during multiple ‘business’ trips during the night, along with the chorus of cries from both readers and friends:
“You’ll kill yourself!”
“What if Bonnie jumps out of your arms?”
“A ladder is nuts, why not build stairs?”
Actually, I liked that third idea until it was pointed out to me by a friend that, indeed, a set of stairs leading up to the deck off our bedroom’s french doors would be ever so appreciated by the psycho, in a mask, wielding a machete in the middle of the night. So, it was decided to settle into the shack (after Paul gave it a scrubbing worthy of the film “Silkwood”) like refugees and, as we had to remove the downstairs contents of our home before sanding could commence, we even have our sofas in there, as well, and can bed down on those.
It is also fervently hoped that none of the horses will need an emergency trip to the vet clinic this week or they will have to share space in the horse trailer with the oven, coffee table and assorted lamps.
The night before the sanding of the floors, it dawned on me that there was not a better time to slap up a new coat of paint (and who cares if any spilled) to freshen the walls and hide all those dreadful scuff marks made from paintings, bookcases and Paul hauling his bike up the hallway, from his back office. It was in that very hallway as I stood back, to admire my handiwork and note that both Bonnie and Rosie, insecure and hovering in their now empty, echoing, home, were sitting directly behind me, leaning their haunches against the freshly painted wall.
“Is that a new painting technique?” Paul asked, coming inside to grab one, last, luxurious, indoor shower.
“Yes,” I quipped. “You’ve heard of rag rolling? This is terrier twirling. I pick them both up and smear their bums all over the place. Leaves quite a nice texture. Particularly their tails.”
“It’s going to be a long week,” Paul remarked.
“Yes, it’s going to be a huge pain and a massive inconvenience,” I agreed, “but look at it this way: There are literally millions of people around the world that would give anything to move into the shack. Think of everybody with no roof over their head, all those fleeing ISIS terrorists ... we’ve really got it good and it’ll all be worth it in the end.”
Remind me I said that, by Tuesday. Until then, off to the Spinx.