Things to read...

If time is short, I'd suggest reading at LEAST The Prologue and Legend of The Pinto Bean Posts!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Ernie and his balls...


Well the end of my trip draws near, but it's not done yet! Today I'm hanging out in The House of Whoop A$$ which was so gracious as to host me. I made my way here from Pensacola along I-10 which is pretty desolate up in the norther climes of the panhandle. An interesting thing there are the rows upon rows of pines growing in the sandy Florida soil. Obviously they are tree farms, but it's just odd that everywhere they are in long straight lines like giants arranged in phalanxes, ready to do battle with nothing more than the Florida weather which is a formidable adversary in and of itself. Once I made it through Tallahassee I headed down south on HWY 19 which is supposedly a faster way to Tampa according to that great dashboard deceiver, the Garminator. What the Garminator never tells you is that there *might* be 145767923 stoplights to slow ya down.... Not that I cared but don't you be fooled!




Sadly, one thing I noticed was that Florida away from the coast is kind of poverty stricken. A lot of trailers with cars up on blocks in the front yard, kinda like my place. I felt right at home. Where there aren't trailers there are huge groves of trees covered in the hanging shrouds of Spanish moss, reminiscent of portraits of the civil war era. That or Forrest Gump... Once I got close to Tampa I came into the strip mall and powersports dealer nirvana that is the Gulf Coast economy, and palm trees and other Florichic vegetation and architecture reminded me of the money that is still in Florida.




In Tampa, I made my way over to my buddy from flight school's parents place where they'd agreed to host Rocky and I. This is an agreement they probably regret now. See RTD has never seen certain things, like screened in porches. As soon as I let him out the back door, he ran headfirst at full speed into the screened in porch, and thankfully was rebuffed. Then he ran around and tried to figure out how to get out. I mean, the grass and trees are RIGHT there! There MUST be a way to get to them! When he was again confounded, he finally gave up and decided just to pee on stuff through the screen. With all that out of the way he was able to turn his attention to Oreo, their maltese/shitzu mix. Oreo was busily running around and trying to sniff RTD, and then humping his leg. RTD just looked at me with a confused look... He's never interacted with a fog this small and was unsure how he was supposed to go about humping Oreo's rear. Finally he gave up and just peed on Oreo, which nobody found amusing except me. After all that, RTD finally let go with the coup d'grace and dropped large Rocky Bombs on the cement next to the pool. I guess he figured if he was outside, that's good enough. After dinner we all settled in and hit the sack, where Rocky then decided to go do a little marking on the white furniture. Now he's NEVER done this before unless it's somewhere another dog marked, so I think RTD might have been trying to cover a little Oreo milk. I was dispatched to petsmart to get cleaner shortly thereafter...




After Tampa I made my way down south to the Ft. Myers area to meet Ernie who, had offered food and beer both of which I could not refuse. If there ever was a need for a "North American Guy" call, it would bellow "Steak and beer over here!!!" when activated. It would work well. Here we hit the local pub and downed beverages before heading home to play in the pool, which had already been the source of amusement today. Can you guess how? If you said "Rocky The Destroyer" you would be correct.




As I've learned, Rocky fancies the pool. Well his pool is different than any others I've seen in that it just overflows over an edge into a "well" about four feet below it that acts as a skimmer/trap. Well after a while of playing with the ball, RTD decided to try to play with two. This worked for a bit, but eventually one managed to fall over the edge into the well. Well RTD then swam over and peered over the edge ad the orphaned toy and contemplated his next move. While he did this I screamed "Rocky NO!" which roughly translates to him as "You better hurry up and do whatever it is you're planning!!!" Upon hearing this Rocky crawled up on the thin edge of the pool wall and teetered precariously while eyeing his ball. I unassed my seat and yelled at him "you better not! No!" Which again roughly translates to "Now or never!" Rocky opted for "now" and into the well he went. Once in there he realized that there was no way out and began thrashing around as I laughed at him. I finally got down and was able to grab his handy dandy Rockstar Carrying Handle that I make him wear at all times and pulled him out. Well as soon as he was out, he realized that while he was out, the ball wasn't. Luckily I was able to catch him midair as he jumped right back into the well. We had to restrain him until Ernie could fish both of his balls out with a skimmer. (How's that for a sentence to take out of context....) Finally Ernie took his balls away from RTD so we could dry him off. But the fun wasn't over yet...




With Rocky now dried and ball-less, he soon became bored. This was right about the time the pool was back to smooth waters, and RTD was able to see something he hadn't seen before. Where the jets blow water out just below the surface, it creates a ripple in the water. Rocky was intrigued. He sat there and watched it for a bit, debating on what to do. His first action was to try to paw at it. He managed to lean over and balance enough to paw, but he kept coming back emptyhanded. Odd... the ripples are still RIGHT there! Next he got on his belly and sniffed at it before jamming his head underwater to try to get a closer look. Still nothing. He then sat back and watched some more before choosing his final course of action. I looked over in time to see him on his haunches wiggling trying to judge how to jump onto it. I yelled another "Rocky NO!" which we all already know means "Do it! Do It Now! Get to the Choppah!" RTD immediately jumped in and once again came up empty mouthed, but alas, this time he could FEEL whatever it was making the ripple. Sensing that the prey was close, Rocky made his way over to the jet and then did his best to drown himself attacking the underwater jet. Once again the Patent Pended Rocky Carrying Handle was used to haul him back out of the water for some more drying off. At least Ernie was happy that this time his balls were safe and dry.




After all that RTD was put back inside and we headed out for the steaks and beverages. After dinner we headed to a little outside pub where I regaled all within earshot with my tales from the road and whatever else came to mind. As mentioned before, nothing makes me happier than an audience. Eventually, no doubt sensing I was nearing the point of no return as the area was starting to get more crowded, Ernie wisely hauled us back to the house where we were able to hang out and drink with the Captain, though the Doctor couldn't make it. Those who know me know what I mean (think Morgan and Pepper). Ultimately the night wound down and everyone headed to their places of rest where tragedy struck. apparently sometime during the night, a band of bat wielding thugs broke in and popped us all on the head. At least that what I think happened. that's what my head keeps telling me...




Well today it's back to Tampa to see my friends who recently found out that they are about to be parents. Times three. After that I'm headed to Jacksonville to see the Wounded Warrior Project people and a few more friends and then it's back to TN. I still have several stories to post so keep coming back to see what's new!!




Also if anyone here happens to work with a book publisher, feel free to lie and tell them this is the best thing you've seen since chocolate was invented and see if they're interested in helping me publish any of it!






5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing obedience classes are out of the question and I doubt they have etiquette school for dogs -- so once again I have to say, it's all big fun reading it on here and THANK GOODNESS he's not at my house doing all that.

You guys are welcome to stay if you ever come north again, but he might end up more on the patio than in the house!!

Kath

Sheila said...

I will be disappointed to see the post coming to an end. I have enjoyed all of it and learned a great deal along the way.

pjamas said...

Unfortunately one of our dogs went thru oh maybe 5 screen doors before we decided to remove it. Good thing AZ doesn't have too many bugs. That pool has what is called a negative edge.

Anonymous said...

I hope your book deal pans out. This could be a new "on the road". Ain't America great?

drumbugg said...

I'm beginning to get worried about my new condo...and Rockstar's visit to Jax. I do have medication I might be willing to share with him! haha