November 29, 2003
Had a very strong day working on art yesterday. Must have cranked out a dozen gouache roughs, etc. Got a good one of Old Man Clanton and Jim Crane around the campfire. Nice effects, and a decent likeness of Clanton.
Yesterday afternoon, Mad Coyote Joe called me and said he did a big catering feed (1,200 people) and had some juicy tri-tip, and salads left over. Invited me to bring over a bowl and some tupperware containers and he’d fill’em. Went over to his ranchito around two and loaded up. Had a great little feast for lunch.
Got an irate call from my neighbor at about four. This is what he said, “I’m supposed to go hunting in the morning and I’m missing a boot.” I instantly knew exactly what he was talking about, because on our patio the dogs have drug in a fine variety of footwear including Birkenstocks and black tennies. I thought the notorious little thief Peaches was the culprit and just this very morning I took them all over to the Swami’s house (we have a transcendental guy catty-corner to our property) and piled the booty (get it?) on a big rock just outside his driveway. But as soon as Ed called I knew the expensive boot that showed up yesterday was his. I told Ed I’d meet him on the road, went and retrieved the boot from the Swami rock and met a very bugged neighbor near his barn. “Here you go Ed, I’m so sorry. It looks like you’ll need some new shoelaces. It’s probably Peaches and you have my permission to kick her ass when she sneaks over.” Ed looked at his boot and shook his head. “It isn’t Peaches,” he said disgustedly, as Buddy Boze Bell lumbered up with one ear cocked backwards like a gangbanger on a crack heist. Ed held out the boot and Buddy looked up at it with a “Hey, where’d you get that, it’s mine” kind of look. “He ate the tongue,” Ed said pointing at the chewed out interior of the footwear. Buddy started to jump up and grab it, but I clipped his ass good. The boot was ruined and so was my afternoon. I realized my parenting skills are just about non-existent. I did such a lousy job on two kids, what made me think I could train a dog?
“You know,” Ed said fixing me with the bad parent stare I deserved. “I got a lame mare in there,” he said, pointing to the barn with his chin. “And she’s expecting and he’s over here every day attacking her.” I, of course, started mumbling and promising things I can’t deliver: “I’m gonna take care of this Ed. We bought a shock collar (this is true, $130) and if we have to, we’ll build a dog run ($1,300 we don’t have) and a new gate ($800, but he jumps the wall anyway). Ed turned and walked off.
I called Ed’s house later and left a very contrite message, telling him to go buy some new boots and I’ll pay for them, but he never called back. His truck is gone today and I wince every time I imagine Ed, up on the Mogollon Rim, hopping through the brush on one leg trying to sneak up on a bull moose.
”Never make a promise in haste.”
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