Tuesday December 19

The Legend of Tommy D.

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at www.imood.com

Why must dogs wake you in the middle of the night with the frantic urge to relieve themselves? Then you've got to go out with them and stand around while they sniff every single leaf, twig and clump of snow looking for just the right place to piddle. Meanwhile, you're standing there in your Garfield nightgown freezing your ass off and wondering if it's possible to have your feet actually stick to the wooden deck like that kid's tongue to the flagpole in "A Christmas Story"

The backyard is fenced in but there is the matter of the goldfish pond. It's a small pond and it's got a clearly defined layer of ice with a hole in it where the water constantly runs through the filter. One would think that nature would endow her creatures with the intelligence to NOT walk out onto the thin ice to try and get a drink of the fish water. Pawprints in the light layer of snow atop the ice convince you otherwise, however, and so now you must escort your dog outside at all hours of the day and night. I'm sure the neighbors appreciate hearing "Hurry up Aph, it's cold!" and "Aphrodite! NO ice! No. Gooood girrrrrl. That's right, no ice. Aph! No ice!" but then they're all warm and snug in their beds. Except possibly the neighbors to our immediate left. Upon hearing my voice they probably got fairly nervous.

The neighbors on our left tend to regard me with no little suspicion since last 4th of July. We had a party and I invited a few friends from Boston whom I don't get to see as often as we'd all like. One of them, Tommy D., brought a homemade cannon. Nothing lethal, mind you. Very small and looked about as innocent as it's possible for a projectile-hurling weapon to look. We talked, laughed, ate my dad's Bar-B-Q'ed hot dogs and burgers. My parents and their friends eventually drifted inside and my gang was hanging out on the back deck. Now, at some point Tommy D. had snuck numerous rolls of toilet paper into his cannon. Possibly while the rest of us were doing drunken recitations of lines from "Army of Darkness". I didn't see him do it... but around 3am, filled with hot dogs and liquid courage, he told us he was going to shoot it off. I said that was fine so long as he didn't point it at anyone. The thing looked so harmless that I almost expected one of those little flags that say "BOOM!" on them to pop out the end like a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Instead, the toilet paper payload exploded over the fence with a fury. I swear there may yet be a roll of Charmin in a low Earth orbit. Most of it went into the neighbor's laundry which had been hanging on the line to dry. The next morning there was toilet paper on the grass, black stains on the laundry and an odd smell hanging over both our backyards. Tommy D. was supremely proud of his invention and it's dubious success. We all advised him that in the future he should use his powers only for good. I apologized to the neighbors but they laughed it off. Possibly because you don't want to get on the bad side of someone who has friends with a penchant for building tiny weapons of mass destruction. Tommy had promised that next year he will fill it only with glitter and perhaps some confetti. I think that'll look quite good, actually, on the neighbor's clothes.

Have a good night everyone and let's all hope Aph's bladder doesn't rouse her again until morning.

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