I truly appreciate you, my loyal followers. For this reason, I have decided to impart two very valuable life lessons that I learned at an early age.
Never wear sandals when playing within 100 feet of a large Sheepdog. If you do not have access to a change of shoes, proceed with caution–and never, ever run. You are likely shaking your head and thinking, ” this woman is an idiot. I will wear sandals while playing with a Sheepdog if I want to. Heck, I’ll play with a whole herd of Sheepdogs in my bare feet.” I understand these thoughts. After all, who am I to tell you how to dress your feet? I can simply offer you the following cautionary tale.
I was nine years old and the world was my oyster. School was out for the summer and I looked forward to two whole months of stalking the cute neighbourhood teenage boys with my friends. And the lady down the street had just bought a Sheepdog puppy. I had never actually hung out with a Sheepdog–and my parents hadn’t yet given in to my whiny request for a canine of my own. This wizened neighbour decided to form a saprophytic relationship with the local children. We were blessed with the healthful benefits of walking her greatly coveted dog, while she had the luxury of remaining in front of her TV set, enjoying the latest episode of Three’s Company.
It seemed that the neighbourhood children all took the same root for these dog-walking excursions–the sidewalk in front of my house. Keep this information in mind because it will be important later.
Now, this is where I must interrupt myself and present life lesson number two. Never trust a slightly older childhood friend who offers you dried cherries from a zip-lock bag–no matter how well you think you know her.
I will now resume my tale.
It was a sunny day and my friends and I were sitting in the grass clump in the middle of our circle–we lived in garden home condominiums, in case our circle is confusing to you. It actually wasn’t really a circle. More of a rectangle with round corners. Anyway, the slightly older and presumably wiser member of our clan offered everyone some of her cherry delicacies. My fellow 9-year-olds exchanged nervous glances. Unfortunately, I was the child who was usually willing to try almost anything–I like to think of myself as adventurous, but others may have said I was stupid. The older girl recognized my
stupidity adventurous nature, and added, “They’re really good if you take a handful and let them melt in your mouth.” I should have questioned the ability of a cherry to “melt” and, I definitely should have heeded the snicker of the other older kid–the mean one with the massive freckles and bowl-shaped hairdo. But I am an idiot.
I popped a generous helping of dehydrated “cherries” and proceeded to find out what it would feel like to have a grenade go off in your mouth. The cherries were in fact some type of high grade pimento. I was sure that my mouth skin was actually on fire. Surely, my tongue had disintegrated. I leapt to my feet and sprinted towards my kitchen–a reliable source of flame-dampening tap water. That’s when it happened. I heard a barely audible squishing sound and felt something soft and warm ooze between my toes.
I looked down at my feet and wiped the fire-induced tears from my eyes. It was as I feared. My foot was completely covered in fresh sheepdog poop.
Now, I was presented with an entirely new dilemma–run into the house to put out the inferno that was formerly my mouth, but leave a trail of poopy footprints in my wake. Or look for a puddle or sprinkler to wash my shit-smeared appendage in, but lose several layers of mouth skin in the process. I stood on my front lawn in a state of utter confusion and discomfort. I must have been making some sort of noise–likely wailing–because suddenly my mother appeared. She was here to save me…and my mouth…and my poop-covered foot.
Thankfully, the flesh in my mouth did survive and my foot is no longer brown. But I learned two valuable lessons that day–never be the guinea pig when it comes to strange good. And sandals and sheepdogs don’t mix.
I invite you to check out the latest post on my other blog: http://searchingforbarryweiss.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/i-cheer-barry-cheers-we-all-cheer-for-thom-beers/
Photo credits: Sheep dog lineup (http://www.nocaptionneeded.com/2008/02/madonna-and-the-santa-clones-at-the-dog-show/), Three’s Company (http://www.threescompany.com/tcompany/www/history.html), usual route (http://bethedos.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-challenge-of-change/usual-route/), Gene Wilder 9http://memegenerator.net/instance/35985519), idiot (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=idiot), pelt (http://www.pointtrade.co.uk/191880/fancy-dress-old-english-sheep-dog),