Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hot Dogs From Hell

This was just published in "Wheel Issues", the newsletter of the Red Dirt Pedalers out in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Susan Walker is the editor and a real sweetheart. Don't tell her I said that! Our agreement is that I'll hold a piece meant for RDP and post it here after it's published. So, here ya go! Remember, though, that this is a work of fiction. My ex-wife wasn't a great cook, but I tend to exaggerate....Ed

Susan asked:

“What sets dogs running . . . in the other direction?”

Here’s the easy answer: my ex-wife’s cooking. When she reduced perfectly good food to yet another inedible mess, and I refused to eat it, she put it in the cat’s bowl. The cat sniffed once, and tried to scrape the linoleum over it, covering it like she would something offensive in her litter box. Even Molly, my springer spaniel, a dog known for eating sauerkraut, jalapenos, and even cantaloupe, wouldn’t touch anything that woman cooked. Feeding that stuff to an animal may have resulted in cruelty charges from the ASPCA. After our divorce, she got a job cooking in a state prison, but retired a few years later after selling her chicken and biscuits recipe to the Army’s chemical warfare group.

Most dogs can be repelled by a squirt of water or Gatorade. Outside dogs in particular have an aversion to getting wet. But once in a while I’ve run into a dog that isn’t deterred by a quick spritz from a water bottle. There was one terrier I encountered who seemed to LIKE Gatorade. I hoped the sticky mess attracted some bees; hostile, angry bees with sharp stingers.

It’s difficult to gauge a dog’s intentions. Some want to run off the intruder. Others want to take a chunk of flesh out of your leg. Regardless, never stop pedaling! The motion makes biting difficult for the dog. I’ve watched their heads bobbing up and down, trying to figure out how to grab that ankle, while they ran flat out. Sometimes this is more than a dog’s brain can process.

There’s one dog along my commute who’s smarter than average, a huge German shepherd as big as an old Buick with tailfins. You can almost see him working out the problem. “If cyclist A is traveling at X miles per hour, and my top speed is Y miles per hour, when given an intercept angle of S, how many seconds will elapse until I can take a chunk out of his leg?” This dog is very difficult to cope with, mainly because his mathematical ability is better than mine. I had a hard time with those Train A vs. Train B questions. For a long time, I just relied on speed, but one morning I discovered a more effective way to discourage him. I started singing.

My singing is known to repel most animals and humans. My own mother wouldn’t sit next to me in church. It was too painful. I do to music what my former spouse does to food. I was riding along one morning, mangling the lyrics to some old pop tune, when the dog turned tail and ran as fast as he could! And I wasn’t even bellowing all that loud. So if any of you are having similar problems with dogs, I have cassette tapes, CDs, and MP3s available for a nominal fee. For a much larger fee, I won’t come to your house and provide live entertainment.

Last week, the dog upped the ante once again. He came roaring out to the road wearing a noise-canceling headset! Fortunately, I’d already planned a countermove. I had a photograph of Dick Cheney hanging around my neck. This is extremely effective as it repels all dogs with the exception of Ann Coulter. (Note to Ann: Please stop hanging around my front door. It’s embarrassing.) Furthermore, it’s very effective on vampires, chupacabras, and aliens from outer space, but avoid use around small children as they may require extensive psychiatric care. I tried other photographs, but Cheney is the best. Definitely avoid using Bill Clinton’s photo, unless you want to be at the head of a howling dog pack. I hated that.


Blogger Andrea said...

What a fantastic post. I strugled not to use the F-word there.

I find a full-size frame-fitted pump (15" long at least) weilded above the head like a big stick works well, but if you have to strike, be careful not to lose the handle and piston off the end.

A large doberman came running at my dad and I one morning. Dad yelled, "Sit" at it at the top of his voice and the dog turned tail and ran away yelping. Much amusement.

12:53 PM  

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