Monday, I told you a little about our boy, Leo.
So many of you responded with stories of your beloved pets. Thanks for that. One of our friends, Laurie of Adventures of Writing blog, sent me an email and photo with his story. I’d like to lead off Go Ask Daddy with it.
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He slept on top of the fridge in summer and on the floor in front of the fire in winter. Some nights when the wind blew hard and the tin roof rattled he would leap onto the end of the bed. He wasn’t scared, I think he wanted to make sure we were okay.
He came into the world in our laundry in 1986 and ended up the only survivor of six. His mother was a Himalayan chocolate point Persian. A real lady, that is until she met his father and showed him a good time in the gutter in front of the house. I’d read the novel Rambo and decided that would be his name and he lived up to it in spades.
When he didn’t like being with us he would go across the road and spend a day or so under the house opposite. We lived in suburbia then and he made sure he knew every household within the block. Who could resist those deep eyes and thick grey hair a la Russian Blue?
I ran over him in my jeep when he was six months old and I was devastated. The Vet said he shouldn’t have survived but he did. He never fought me when I took him home, his lungs had protruded from his mouth and now they were back in place. Even though I’d hurt him, I think he knew it was an accident.
My life was in a downturn at the time and he would come and sit next to me on the front steps. He’d rub against my side, wait for the scratch behind his ears then sit quietly. I’d talk to him, then he’d purr now and then.
When his therapy session ended he’d wander off.
Rambo was a mouser par excellence. We moved to the country when I left the police and settled in an old farmhouse. He’d found his niche. He didn’t wander off, no he hunted and brought dozens of mice back to the house so we could admire them.
We had to watch him eat them, then he’d wash his face and strut away to lie down in the barn. When he wasn’t charming us with his prowess and company he spent time sleeping on the fridge. He’d nestle among the stuff that found it’s way there and if you didn’t pay him any attention, then he’d flick things off.
We never had a snake in the yard, he’d catch them and bring them into our bedroom and let them go. He brought a 4-foot brown snake in one evening (Worlds 2nd most venomous land snake) and jumped on the bed with it. It slithered onto the floor, the wife screamed and he thought it strange that we didn’t applaud him.
After several crunching sounds from under the bed, we knew the snake was dead. He gave cuddles until he felt you’d had enough and then bound away. We moved twice after that and ended up back in the suburbs, he wasn’t impressed and sat under the house opposite for a week before coming home.
I’m sure he thought we’d suffered enough. He settled and became the neighborhood favorite. The last year of his life he began to lose weight and slowed a little. He slept more and stayed close.
My marriage was on the way out and when my wife was away for three months he became my confidant and sounding board. He sat by the fire one morning and I saw that he was in great pain, he was 18 years old now. I picked him up and he cried, I knew what had to be done.
I never thought that his going would affect me so much, even as I write this the tears are flowing. I still miss him.
Thanks Laurie. That’s a hard act to follow, mate.
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1. Will my bike work OK if it’s wet?
It should. But that’s no reason to leave it outside when it rains.
Because you’re not allowed to ride beyond the end of the road, you won’t have to worry about painted lines. They can get slick in the rain. Rain won’t immediately damage your chain, either.
When I was a kid, I was afraid it would. Your brakes might not work great when they’re wet, so take it easy. In fact, why don’t you just put your bike in the garage and come ride one on the Wii? We’ll even have snacks.
Put your bike away, first. I just put gel in my hair.
2. How many words do you have to have on your blog?
I aim for 400-600 words. I have better aim at the disc golf course, in grocery store parking lots and even at the urinal.
I tend to write … over. Right now, this post is nearly 900 words, and we still have three questions to answer! Some bloggers like the quick hit. We’re talking 250-300 words, sometimes less. A trendy thing now is the long-form post.
A long-form post goes on for more than 1,000 words. We’re almost there.
The real key in all this? Photos. And paragraphs. Lots of paragraphs. Very rarely will you see a post with graphs bigger than three lines on this blog. I love me some white space – and I’m not talking South Charlotte. It’s a little air to breathe and read.
3. What’s the difference between a cinnamon roll and a cinnamon bun?
Every father waits for the day his child asks this question.
That’s just me? My bad.
It’s an age-old battle, one that philosophers have debated for centuries. The FDA is non-committal on the subject, and Secretary of State John Kerry famously declared in his presidential campaign in 2004 that he preferred cinnamon rolls to buns.
Then he was overheard at the NATO summit declaring his love for cinnamon rolls.
Albert Schweitzer and Aristotle were in the roll camp. Bertrand Russell and Epicurus were staunch bun men. That doesn’t sound right. Anyway, call it what you’d like. Just not something stupid, like a cinnamon snail or cinnamon scroll (these are things).
And please … daddy gets the biggest one.
4. Did you ever bicycle?
I’ve owned three bikes in my life.
One had a banana seat. One was an actual Seattle Seahawks bike, right out of the Sears catalog. The last one I had, I sold for $10 in a yard sale. Low, low price. I was going to charge $12, but it had a broken pedal.
The pedal broke just as I turned onto a busy street.
I heard a crack, then had a closeup of the pavement. I walked home and guestimated which of my internal organs might have ruptured. The Seahawks bike was so heavy I couldn’t pop a wheelie on it.
That first bike though …
My parents bought it for me at a flea market. It was bright yellow, with a banana seat that seemed 17 feet long. I rode it with my socks pulled up to my knees. It was ugly, even for the 1970s. It’s a wonder I didn’t get my ass kicked.
I didn’t know how to brake, so when it came time to stop, I’d run myself aground on our front lawn in a controlled crash. So, maybe my last ride was much like my first. It’s the cycle of life.
5. Why do punks wear a belt when their pants are saggy?
First, the cinnamon buns debate, now this?
Hippocrates and John Locke have asked the same thing. It’s a mystery of life, such as why there are 10 hot dogs in a package, but only eight hot dog rolls? (Or are they buns?) Why is Clint Black white, and Barry White was black? And why do the Pittsburgh Steelers have a logo on just one side of their helmets?
In my quest to uncover the truth, I learned the origin of saggy pants. In prison, it begins as an indicator of … um, status. (There are no Facebook status updates in prison).
I suppose they wear the belt to keep the pants down around the sub butt-cheek level, and no further down. Because … anything lower would just look silly.
Love the pants question – that’s hilarious.
I totally agree with that, Cynthia!
I was surprised to find the Barack Obama quote to go with it!
It’s nuts, isn’t it Cynthia? Like ordering a double bacon cheeseburger, extra mayo, large chili fries … and a Diet Coke.
Haha – the pants question is definitely a good one. Why the belt indeed.
Ah, banana seat bikes…my first one can really only be described as fuchsia-ish. But the more purple fuchsia, not the more pink fuchsia. The banana seat was white with fuchsia flowers – or was it the other way around? It was awesome. My cousin and I got our first bikes on the same day and learned to ride them together that afternoon. I remember it like it was yesterday. (Her bike, if one must know, was red with a red and white gingham banana seat – such a girl!)
Laurie’s cat story made me cry – what a wonderful boy she had!
I really loved Laurie’s post about Rambo. Cats have such strong personalities. Why can’t they live forever …
Sometimes nine lives just isn’t enough.
He was at the end of his second lot of nine Mate.
Thanks Yvonne, he was a good mate and better company. I miss him.
Hey, Laurie… If pets come into the world in our laundry, is the same true for human babies? Asking for a friend.
Eli, on cinnamon rolls and buns: obviously shape and icing differ. Who really cares, though, I want one!
Did you know cinnamon does good things for your health? It helps regulating your blood sugar, lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, fighting stomach bugs, preventing cancer, mitigating the effects of PMS – oh, you can skip that, or share with the girls – and many, many more.
Plus the house smells heavenly when you bake them.
Reason enough to make them more often!
I think my mom found me in a potato sack.
You might think shape and icing made a difference, but even when they’re rolled, they’re sometimes called buns. This is like arguing over Emma Stone vs. Kirsten Dunst for Spiderman’s leading lady … either way, bun or roll, it’s heavenly.
I wish Michelle Obama knew about the magical traits of cinnamon buns – maybe she’d allow the kids here to have dessert in their lunches again!
Did you know Coloradans eat cinnamon rolls with chili?
Wait a minute, not only can’t the non-allergic kids bring PBJ sandwiches, they are also not allowed sweets as per the first lady?
I didn’t know that about the cinnamon / chili rolls, but I put cocoa powder in my chili.
Speaking of Colorado, I don’t buy it, that your Mama found you in a potato sack. I’m pretty sure you came in that Rockies hat of yours.
She’s squeezing everything off the plate that isn’t vegetable or whole grain. I wonder what Marco Rubio’s wife will do …
Cocoa powder?? How’s that turn out?
I was found long before the Rockies were founded. By the looks of my Rockies cap, though, it likely supports various forms of life on its own.
It’s where his mum decided she wanted her litter Tamara. We tried moving her bedding, she kept bringing it back. Tell your friend she can have hers in the laundry, it makes it easier to clean things up.
Better than on your lawn mower, mate.
Sure is, that’s sacred territory.
Thanks for running my story about Rambo Mate, he was a lion amongst cats. Cinnamon buns or rolls, if there’s enough icing on them I’ll eat them. Buns and buns! How easy a post can go astray. My blogs go into short story mode I think. Bicycles? never had one as a child, the closest I came was running after my mates who had one. It as good for the cardio I guess. When I was 13 I found one in the garage of a house we were renting and rode it downhill to the shop. Halfway down the brakes stopped working. Choice 1. Ride into 3 foot high brick wall at rear of shop. Choice 2. Flash through the intersection on the main road. Crikey those walls hurt. About 20 years ago I rode one for a little while until the pedal snapped off while pedalling uphill. My ankle bone was never the same. I think the bike is still where I hurled it. I think pants being worn like that has got to be the worst fashion statement since those puffball pantaloons in the 16th and 27th century. I do know what they indicate, nudge nudge, wink wink.
Thanks for sharing Rambo with us, Mate. I think you made the right choice. A bloke has a better chance against a wall than a car when he’s on a bike.
You might have just solved my great ankle pain mystery, friend. It was the left pedal that broke off, and that’s the ankle that has pestered me for years. Docs always asked if I’d suffered an injury and I could never think of one!
So this is forever, then, this bum ankle?
I’d much rather today’s youth go back to the puffball pantaloons. Or even MC Hammer pants. I’d be ok with that.
I wonder if these boys realize the origins of their fashion statement …
You’re very welcome Mate. Yep, the wall didn’t hurt half as much as the traffic would’ve. Yes that ankle on the pedal can cause a few problems later in life, other than the stinging tears at the time. Yes it’s forever I’m afraid, although mine was also kicked by a horse and had a trail bike land on it. I’d go with the MC Hammer pants any day of the week. You never know they might know why the pants are worn like that and are touting for a little business.
Wouldn’t want to false advertise, mate.
ah, the age old cinnamon roll/bun debate. i believe this is older than the ‘chicken and the egg’ question. and i think the dalai lama could not have answered it any better.
it’s philosophy at its finest, beth. because you need eggs to make cinnamon rolls (or buns, for that matter), i think the chicken-and-egg debate had to come earlier.
i tweeted the dalai lama about this, seeking the knowledge only he could give. his dm back: idk. #passmeone
I can relate to Laurie crying while he wrote about his mate, Rambo — I cried when I read it.
Have you been to his space, Lyn? Excellent stuff.
Yes, but I did so with trepidation. The very mention of the brown snake was enough to have me trembling in my boots. I do not like ‘joe blakes’ (Aussie slang for snake) especially the King Brown…they’ll come after you. As far as I’m concerned, the only good snake is a dead snake
So long as you’re not afraid of kangaroos, you’ll be safe at Laurie’s blog.
I won’t tell you about the two brown snakes that lived in our ceiling for a while then Lyn.
Why thank you Lyn. I obviously hadn’t grieved enough for him but can you ever?
No, I don’t think you can. Pets burrow under our skin and into our hearts. People who have never had a pet just wouldn’t understand — not in a million years.
They are kind of special aren’t they.
Now I am laughing and crying, as well as wanting a cinnamon bun all at the same time! Seriously, how do you do you get me to have so many range of emotions all at once, lol!! 😉
Maybe my page is hormonal, Janine. At least we covered the sentiment first, the decadent second, and the belligerent last!
Hormonal totally now made me spit my coffee out!! 😉
I wish this was on a Vine somewhere.
Now that would be something!!
Do all punks have saggy pants? Or are all saggy pantsers (?) punks?
I need to find out if I should stage an intervention with my son or not…
Now I want a Cinnamon Escargot. A fancy cinnamon snail.
Talk about deep philosophy. I would say not all punks have saggy pants. I suspect it’s probably because if you’re wearing Spongebob boxers, you probably don’t want that look that day.
Also, not all saggy pantsters are punks. I am not a punk. But without a belt, I spent an inordinate amount of time pulling up my shorts on the disc golf course yesterday.
At once point, I said hell with it, and just let the BVDs fly.
Do you need to use a fancy fork to eat a cinnamon escargot?
Lots to ponder here…hmmm. Thank you for your thoughts on this important subject.
Nah on the cinnamon escargot, you just tear into it and hope it heated evenly in the microwave.
Welcome to psych Friday on the CD. Pants and pastries are of utmost importance here.
Now that’s the way to eat a roll.
Or bun. With an element of abandon.
My first bike was also bright yellow with a banana seat… with a picture of The Yellow Submarine on it! I was so proud.
Sounds way cooler than mine, Cassandra. I’m pretty sure mine had a rainbow on the chain cover!
(I remember feeling so badass when I took the wheel cover and kickstand off my bike. Rebel.)
Laurie’s story was a moving saga–and challenge to the twisting of my gut-wrenching intestinal tract. It recovered slightly when we moved on to cinnamon and pastries. I could feel everything starting to boot up again into working order. I’m one of those that would refuse to join in the battle of choice. How could any one go wrong with either? It’s all manna from heaven.
Love your post, Eli. What a pleasure to read!
We covered it all in 1,000-plus words, didn’t we? We do try to placate such feelings with sweets. It’s good for the digestive, nervous and, I’d suspect, endocrine systems.
There’s a place for Switzerland and Libertarians in this debate, for sure. It’s all icing.
You have an awful lot of gold over at your site. Look forward to mining some out soon.
Thank you, I specialise in sagas. Rambo was a friend I have wanted to immortalise for a long time. Nor am I averse to cinnamon buns.
Laurie told a sad and beautiful memory about Rambo. Cinnamon sweets are scarier than pants with belts that still fall downish.
Thank you. I think the cinnamon saga rounded off a great CD post.
I’ll take my chances with the cinnamon sweets! (I can always just share one. The saggy pants are for everyone to see.)
I must mention one more Rambo story. At the farm we had a huge Moreton Bay fig tree in the front yard, it would have been 120 years old. Of course in summer the Flying Foxes (fruit bats) would come after the small fruits. Rambo caught one of the bats and another one attacked him. it bit a huge hunk of flesh out of the back of his neck. Naturally he went and hid, dragging his prey with him, and when we found him the cut had festered. The flesh gaped open and you could see his spine. A daily dose of a charcoal/antibiotic powder fixed him up. it didn’t stop him from hunting though.
holy smokes, laur. Your cat earned him medal, didn’t he?
Medal indeed Mate, I think he earned a few purple hearts.
My first bike was a used boys’ bike – you know how they (used to?) have an extra bar where the girls’ didn’t? Why is that? Anyway, as a tomboy I thought having a boys’ bike made me cool. It really didn’t.
Yes – we boys never could figure out how that made sense for us to have. A soprano maker, that’s what I’d call it.
I kind of think you’d be cool on a boys’ bike, though Dana. Like I’d want to ride bikes with you.
I’m gonna throw a big ole wrench into the cinnamon debate with 2 words: Monkey Bread.
The droopy pants thing is because in prison, they take away your belt so that you can’t hang yourself with it when you realize “oh sh%t, this isn’t a fun place actually.” and thus, your pants hang low. So brothers on the outside wear their pants low to pay homage to their brothers doing time. weird. The more interesting thing, is how I know this. 🙂
Monkey bread is the carb load of the gods.
In fact, it’s a different category all together.
1. Send me your best monkey bread recipe.
2. Write a post about how you know so much about prison. I know a lot, too, but that’s from two seasons of starry-eyed watching of Orange is the New Black.
Such a sweet story about Rambo. Our pets really do become such an integral part of our lives!
Such a brilliantly confusing, robust, sentimental and wacky post. Really. hard to keep up, but so glad I did.
In all the time I’ve confused people, this is the first time it’s been called brilliant! This is like “around the feelings spectrum and randomly specific,” as I look back!
Glad you pushed through the challenge.
First you make me cry, then you make me laugh. That story Laurie wrote broke my heart but I loved every word. My goodness.
Next thing you know, I’m dying over here about the bike. The whole segment had me in stitches although it probably wasn’t nice of me to laugh so hard at the fact that you might have ruptured something. Sorry!
I can’t even comment on the pants thing. That bugs the crap out of me.
Better than the other way around – laugh and then cry. Glad Laur sent that one in. With a picture, even.
I think the worst injury I had was to my pride – and my ankle. It could have been much worse. It just proved I was no threat to Lance Armstrong, that’s all.
I really think if dads started to wear their pants like that, the kids would stop.
Hey! There’s your awkward…..