Monthly Archives: November 2012

I Had The Biggest Apple EVER.

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I have been being a very good riding horse!  AND I have been a going out to the paddock with all the other horses horse.  That is almost as good as being a riding horse, but being a riding horse means that I am also being the Wonder Horse some more.  I do not think I got to be the Wonder Horse much at all with my owie.

Last week I was the lunging horse.  I had to lunge before my rider rode me.  She said I might have bugs in my brain because it was windy and the weather was changing.  I said I am a GOOD horse!! But she said Sometimes even GOOD horses get bugs in their brains, so maybe we will lunge before riding.

But I did not have bugs in my brain that day.

did have bugs in my brain later though!!!  My rider came one day and she was not in riding clothes.  But she said she was going to brush me up and take all of my dirt off because we were going to Have Company.  She said it was a Holiday and that meant there were lots of people around who wanted to come over and see me!  Well, I had spent a lot of time out in the paddock putting mud on, so I was not happy that my rider took it all back off.  She missed a little spot under my elbow, and I said Hahahah I am not a perfectly clean horse!!!  And she said You are not even close to being a perfectly clean horse, Huey.  Look.  If I slap you on the neck it makes a big dust cloud.  And I said Yes! It does!  That is because I am good at getting the dirt on!!!

But she said People want to see a shiny clean horse, Huey. Not a huge pile of moving mud.  I said I am not a pile!  I am a horse!!  But she took my mud off any way.

Then we had to go into the round pen. She said I had to show that I could mind her before I had Visitors.  So I said I can mind you!  And when she said Walk on Huey, I said I can mind you so good I will not just walk, I will trot!!!

But then you know what happened?

I trotted around, and then!

There were ROCKS!!!

BIG SCARY ROCKS outside the pen!! And I said I am not going near those scary rocks!! And I cut across the middle of the pen.

But I did not know, and my rider said Huey! You are in my space!  Get your big butt out to the fence.

But I said I cannot!  I am too scared of those rocks!! And I cut across the middle again.

This time, my rider pointed the whip at my shoulder! Usually this means I need to go away and go to the fence, but when I looked, those scary rocks were STILL THERE.  So I went to cut across the middle again, but my rider gave my shoulder a Stink Eye and pointed the whip at it, and because I could not go to the scary rocks, I had to run faster.   And you know what happens when I run fast in the round pen.  It makes me buck.

Then I was really in trouble!  Bucking and running faster and going too close to my rider.  And she let me know it!!!  But I said Rider! I am too scared!

Then she said Huey. You are being one big silly horse.  And she came over and put the halter on and said Let’s go look at the scary stuff together.

We started walking, then I stopped and said There is a scary thing on the fence.

She said Huey.  That is not a scary thing.  That is some kind of fly trap to keep the nasty flies off your tummy.  And I said It is?  So she held it up and I saw.  It was a fly trap. So I said I am not being scared of that rider! And we walked on.

Then I said I am scared of those rocks!  But she said Huey.  Those rocks have been there all year and you have not been scared of them yet.  But I said I did not see those scary rocks before!  The grass hid them!!!  But she said Stop and look at those rocks, Huey.  They are not jumping around.  They do not have teeth.  They are not making big noises.  They are just sitting there.  Like rocks.  And I said Oh. You are right.  They are rocks.  I am not being scared of them any more.

Then I said There is a scary thing on the fence! And I stopped.  But my rider said Huey.  It is another fly trap.  It is not a scary thing.  Look.  And I said Oh. You are right.  It is just a fly trap.  I will not be scared of that.

Then there were some scary logs on the ground, and I said I cannot go close to those logs!!!! But my rider said Huey.  You watch the mares walk up and down through those logs every day.  It is an exercise for their stifles.  The mares are not scared of those logs.  Those logs are not moving around, they are not making noise.  They do not have teeth.  They are not going to eat a horse.  They are just logs, lying on the ground.  So I said You are right.  They are just logs.  I am not scared any more.

And we kept walking, but then!  There was a scary thing on the fence!!!!  And I put my hoofs on the ground and said I cannot go past that scary thing!!!

But my rider said Huey. You have got to be kidding me.  It is the same fly trap you just saw!!! You just told me that you are not being scared of that fly trap!!  And then I said Oh, you are right. I did know about that fly trap.  OK.  But then!

There were scary rocks!!! And I said NO! I am not going near those scary rocks!!

And then my rider made the noise like wind in the trees and said You are one huge idiot, Huey.  I do not know how you have survived this long, you are that much of a dummy.  I bet Elvis would not keep being scared, over and over, of the same pile of rocks.

But I said Pumpkin would.  And she said You are probably right.  But Pumpkin is not much more than a baby.  And you are a big, old, wise horse.  Sometimes.

Then, it was good, my Visitors came.  And everyone stood around saying My what a beautiful horse! and giving me treats.

That was being good.

Then another day we went riding.  Frankie the cat was running around in the barn even though he was supposed to be in the tack room.  He escaped. He told me so.  I was standing around getting my dirt taken off again and Frankie ran under my feet.  I jumped a little and said Frankie, you should not do that.  It scared me.  But he said Huey, you are a horse.  Everything scares you.  But I said No it does not.  And he said Yes it does. And I said No it does not. And he said I will show you, Huey.

And he did.  I am sorry to say.  But we were riding, and there went Frankie the cat in the grass.  I did not see him because he is the same color as the grass.  All I heard was some scary slinking around, and I jumped a little bit.  My rider said Huey!  Stop that!  So I did.  But then there was more slinking noises, and they made me jump again!!  And my rider said HUEY.  STOP. THAT.  But I said It is not my fault, rider! There is a scary monster next to the ring!!!!  But she said Huey.  You are being silly.  It is just Frankie the cat looking for mice.  Please.  Frankie and Sparky the dog are always running around, and you are not scared of them, you dummy!  But I said I am scared today.

She made that noise like the wind again, and she said Frankie!  Get away from the ring or I will kick your butt.  I will let HUEY kick your butt!  But Frankie said Huey would have to catch me first, and he is scared of his own mane!! So I said I am not scared of my own mane!! And Frankie said Yes, you are! Scaredy butt!  Like a little foal you are such a chicken!  And I said I am not like a little foal!  I will show you!!

But my rider said HUEY.  Stop that right now.  Better yet, move out.  And then she made me do serpentines and circles until I forgot about Frankie, and then it was good again.

Today my rider showed up but she was not in riding clothes.  Yesterday, it snowed! I like snow because you know what?

It is wet.

And you know what wet things do?

Right.

They make mud.

It is very easy to put on a lot of mud after it snows a little!!! And I did!!!!

So my rider said Huey, you are so dirty!

But I said Rider, I think you have an apple.  I can smell it.

She said Huey, you are too much.

But she did  have an apple!

And it was not just some plain old apple like any horse could get.  It was HUGE.

That apple was the size of a hoof!  And not a little hoof like Elvis has.  It was the size of a big huge hoof like I have.  That is because I am being a very large horse, and very large horses are having very large hoofs!!

I had to do some stretches to get that apple, and Clay said I looked like a trained pony.  I said Ha ha Clay.  I do not see you doing tricks and getting any apple.

He said that was because he was a big, serious horse, not a trick pony like me.

I said I am still eating this huge apple, Clay, and you are not eating any apple.  This apple is all for me.  Maybe if you did some trick you would get a huge apple too.  But maybe not, because I am going to get all the apples from my rider.  I am not leaving any apples for you.

Then my rider had to go, and you will not be believing this!! On her way out, Clay stuck his nose over the fence and said Can I have an apple too?

That horse has some nerve.  I said Clay, you leave my rider alone!

And she said Sorry Clay, Huey had all the apple!

And I said I told you so Clay!  Hahahahahaha

Then Clay stood at the fence and called me a bunch of bad names while my rider left.  But that is OK, because I still had the apple and he did not.

This is me. I am having to be clean for this picture. But I am STILL having that huge apple.

I Am A RIDING Horse Now!!!!!!!

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Yesterday, the V came.  My rider brought me out and said to stand still while he looked at my owie.  He looked at it and I stood still.  Then he wanted to touch it, and I stood still.

Then he put cold wet stuff on it and I said I do not like that cold and wet.

My rider said You go out all the time in the cold wet mud, and you are not pissy about that.

I said Mud is different.  It is a Horse Thing, mud is.

She said This cold wet stuff is for his magic wand.

I said What magic wand is that?

And my rider said It is the magic wand for looking at owies.  He used it when he was here before.

He did.  I remember that now.  It was more owie then.  It is not owie at all now.  But I did not like the cold wet stuff.  So I stamped my foot.

My rider said Huey. Stop that.

But I said I do not LIKE that cold wet stuff!! And I stamped my foot again because that might make it go away.

Then my rider gave me a Stink Eye.  It was only a little one, but she said STOP THAT.  Leave that foot ON THE GROUND. NOW.

I do not like getting Stink Eyes from my rider.  Even when they are little.  I know that they can start out little, and then get big, and I really do not like big Stink Eyes from my rider.  She makes the worst Stink Eye in the barn!!  So I put my hoof down and I left it there.  It was not for very long anyway, and my rider dried my leg off before I went back into my stall and had some hay.  There was a lot of talking, and my rider was excited about something, but she just left so whatever it was it does not matter.

Then she was there this morning.  And she was wearing her special pants and boots that she only wears when she goes riding.  I do not get to be a riding horse any more because of that owie.  I knew she was going to ride some other horse again, maybe Elvis.  And I do not like that, but now when she goes riding another horse I get extra hay in my stall, and I do like that!  So I thought maybe it was going to be time for more hay.

I thought maybe we were going to lunge.  I lunged the other day and made a Wild Horse in the pen and I got into trouble.  My rider says there is an OK time to be the Wild Horse and a time that is not OK to be the Wild Horse, and if she is in the pen with me, it is the not OK time.  I mostly know that anyway, but I forgot.

I reared.

Yes.  I know.  Only bad horses rear.  That is what got me into trouble.  I was in so much trouble my rider made me run in small circles until snot came out of my nose.  I made a sweat!  I ran that much!!!  I like running, but I do not like running like that.  My rider says maybe I will remember this next time I decide to be Wild in the pen and think about lifting my front hoofs off the ground.

Maybe.  I do not know.  That is in the future, and who can know the future?  Not a horse.

So I thought maybe I was going to lunge, and the lunge line was there, and I got my new boots on.  But then my rider went away again, and when she came back she was wearing her special riding hat.  And she had my SADDLE!! And I knew it! We were going to go riding together!!! She was not going to be riding on some stinky old horse from the barn! She was going riding with me, Huey!!!!  I put my head up and I stuck my ears out and I said RIDER!!! WE ARE GOING TO RIDE NOW?

And she said YES!!!!

I was so excited I started dancing around in the ties, and she had to say Huey, stand still, I cannot do these buckles with you dancing like that.

Then I did have to lunge because she said I might still have some bugs in my brain.  I did not think so, but I did what she said anyway.

And then we went to the block.  She cannot just jump up on my back because I am a very big horse.  So she has to step on something.  But the block was not where it was when we were riding before, and it scared me a little bit being in a new place.

My rider said Huey. Do not be silly.  It is just the block.

And it was, so I stood next to it.  Then she got up, and I gave my very best walk ever.

Yes.  That is right.  I was so happy and I put my ears out and I made a huge walk.  And we walked around and across and made a circle, and I just wished Elvis was there so I could show him how a really good horse carries my rider around.  Yes.  It was just me, Huey, and my rider.

Then she asked me to stand for a minute, and I was listening so good I stopped right away.  I remember this.  It is the part where I have to be the standing still horse, and I was the best standing still horse ever.

But then do you know what happened?

She got down.

I said Why did you get down?  My saddle is on right.

But she didn’t say anything at all.  She just ran the stirrups up.  You know what that means?

It means we are done.

I said We are done?

And she said Yes, you are a good horse!  We are done.

But I said How can we be done?  We just started!!!

And she said We have to take it carefully or that leg owie will come back and stop us from riding again.

But I said I can go some more!!!  I want to go with you!  We have not even trotted yet!!!

But she said I know.  I want to ride more too.  But we have to be slow about this!  You are the best horse Huey!! And then she gave me a huge scratch.

am the Best Horse.  I will be the Best Horse again tomorrow, because that owie does not hurt at all!!!

It was only a little walking around, but now the other horses will have to stop calling me lazy! I am ready to work!!!

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’…

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The moment I have been waiting for with bated breath, irritation, frustration, and depression has finally arrived.

Huey The Wonder Horse has been cleared for riding.

It has been seventy-five (75) unbelievably long days since I have had the pleasure of riding The Wonder Horse.  Seventy-seven if you disregard the two days where I thought he might be going a bit “off” and curtailed the riding after five minutes swamped in anxiety.

Seventy-five days of cold hosing three times a day, then moving to alternating ice and heat twice a day, and dispensing the hated bute paste twice a day, and three-times-per-week cold laser treatments, and going to the barn every evening to wrap his legs and every morning to take the wraps off and check them.  In the Immortal Words of Madeleine Kahn, “I’m so tired!”

Seventy-five days of being greeted more than once per day by The Wonder Horse, who considered it his primary objective to make sure – to make really sure – damned sure – that I knew he was bored. Really bored.  Damned bored.

Seventy-five days of watching other people get to ride their horses while I put something cold on him, or something hot on him, or argued with him about standing still for some treatment.  I have watched the autumn – the Wonder Season for horseback riding – come and go while I tinkered in his stall with wraps and packs and lasers and hay nets and the cribbing collar.

Seventy-five days of slowly sliding into a head space where I have forgotten what it is like to ride my horse.

I’ve ridden other horses during this time, but not frequently.  I have a health problem that means that I have a relatively more…finite…supply of energy for the day than other people do.  And, unfortunately, that finite supply hasn’t run to grooming, battling, cajoling, and treating my horse and THEN fetching another horse and grooming, tacking, riding, untacking, and putting away.  And, then, of course, there’s the “riding” part of that.

I don’t remember what it’s like to ride my horse.  I have this absolutely crystalline, entirely sterile, completely factual recollection that there is something I like about riding my horse.  He’s not known as The Wonder Horse because of his manners on the ground, that’s for sure.  On the ground, he’s a big, goofy, pushy, kind of obnoxious creature with a very poor sense of boundaries.  I know – in the same way I know that New Zealand is an island off the coast of Australia – that he’s The Wonder Horse despite his impetuous, rambunctious, unruliness.  I know – in the same way I know that the boiling point of water at sea level is 212F – that he isn’t that way under saddle.

know – in the same way I know that there are 31 days in January – that there is something special about riding Huey.

know – in the same way I know that the moon is about 239,000 miles from the earth – that I enjoy riding Huey.

I know these things in the same way that I know I like to ski.

They’re facts. Dry little facts sitting in my head like I read them in a textbook.

They’re not real.  They lack depth, and color, and feeling.

know I like riding Huey, but I can’t remember what that feels like.

The closest I get to touching that realization is when I’m riding another horse, and some niggling voice squeaks away at the very bottom of my brain, and it says “This isn’t as good as it would be to ride your horse.”  They’re good horses…and riding them is good for me, because – another fact that I know – my horse teaches me some bad habits.  These other horses are almost certainly better horses than mine is, to learn on.  But that squeaking voice keeps assuring me that Something Is Missing.

I remember the moment I realized that this had happened.  I realized I no longer had any understanding of what it was like to ride my horse.  And even when I went rooting around for a memory to connect me to that experience in an immediate sense, I couldn’t find one.  It was easily the most depressing moment of my last three months, and I burst into tears right there, over dinner.

How awful is that?  Think of what it would be like if your partner died, and all you knew was that you had loved that person, but you couldn’t remember loving that person.  I felt like something important had been stolen from me in my sleep.

On the other hand.  This is the same thing that happens when ski season is over.  I know it the same way. I enjoy skiing.  Twelve letters. Five vowels and seven consonants.  One capital.  Dusty, dusty, dry.  There’s no crisp cold air, no exhilaration for me, no sense of the snow under my skis in that.  Just twelve letters.

I like riding my horse. Eighteen letters.  Four “i”s.   Dusty, dusty, dry.

I can’t remember the way the world looks from between his ears.  I can’t remember the way he feels moving under my seat.  I can’t remember the way it feels to move with him like we’re one unit – a slightly disorganized, not-t0tally-sure-where-we-are-going, mildly clumsy unit…but a single entity nonetheless.  I remember that this happens, but I can’t remember it happening.

It’s a sad loss, that.

On the other hand, it’s maybe a mercy.

If I remembered that happening and what it was like, how ghastly would the last seventy-five days have been, when there was no chance of experiencing that sensation any time soon?  To have the currency of knowledge constantly standing as a benchmark for every other experience?

To be tormented by dreams of riding him freely over endless terrain, only to wake and have to limit our interactions to cold packs and hot packs and wraps and bute and short walks on the road?

I don’t know if I could have borne it, any more than I could bear dreaming in July of the white, white snow like a blanket on the earth, and myself carving figures on my way down, best friends with gravity.

It’s a devil’s choice: would you have the memory and be scoured by it daily, or not have the memory other than stored in a safe-deposit box in the mind?

I still don’t know which is better…or worse.

What I do know is that the vet came this morning and ultrasounded my horse, while my horse tried repeatedly to steal The Enforcer out of my hand.  This is the new dressage whip I bought last week at the Equine Affaire, the better to relay requests to my imperious, pushy, BORED horse.

The verdict came in, the one I’d hardly been willing to whisper aloud.

Time To Ride.

The injury is healing well, and still has a way to go, but we’re out of the Standing Around Waiting phase, and into the Active Working phase.  There will still be cold hoses and wraps and lasers.  But there will also be remembering things happening.  Because they’ll be happening again.

Or I hope they will. It’s been so long, and I’m hoping that I haven’t, somehow, forgotten how to ride my horse.

Tomorrow will tell.  Today, of course, has been soaking wet and a day when we couldn’t have gone out anyway.  The forecasters are promising me sun for tomorrow’s trip.  Let’s hope that…well, maybe, let’s just hope.

Huey the Wonder Horse

Dilly What? Retro Rewind

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Most of the interesting things that are going on here aren’t mine to talk about.  There have been two dreadful storms, and one of the horses at the barn passed away. No, not Elvis.  I know Elvis has a certain Fan Base out there, and I want to reassure you that he’s just fine.  But I don’t feel like I can write about any of that stuff because it’s too close to capitalizing on someone else’s grief.  In lieu of that material, then, I present to you another Oldie But Goodie.  This one has the twist of putting me in the seat of the Straight Man, and Roy in the role of the Comic.

Without further ado, I give you “Dilly What?”

April 5, 2009

Roy and I have been down in Dallas with some friends – we’ll call them Sharon and Neil – for the weekend.  There are two things you need to know at this point.

1. I hate Dallas with a passion that only a Houstonian could have.  If you want to understand the relationship between Dallas and Houston, you can develop a suitable frame of reference by regarding the Capulets and Montagues, the British and the French, Milan/Venice/Florence in medieval times, or the Crips and the Bloods.  There is no baseball team I hate more than the Texas Rangers, because it’s just like Dallas to arrogate the name of the entire Great State to themselves.  Everyone with sense hates the Cowboys, and if you want to know why, just ask a fan why Texas stadium has a hole in the roof.  Dallas, itself, is not worth the breath it would take to discuss its failings.  Note that Fort Worth is not rolled into this snowball of contempt and disdain.  Just Dallas.  And it’s one zillion soulless bedroom communities.

2. Roy is Mister Itinerary.  Show him a trip and he reflexively generates a plan.  I’ve been Working With Him for years on this, because his plans tend to be a bit short on opportunities for sleeping and sitting down.  He’s come a long way in the last ten years, but he still – definitely – likes to assemble a plan.

Now you’re armed for the story.

So when we planned the trip to see my friends, I requested him not to cram a bunch of stuff into the weekend, since what I really needed was some quality bonding time with S & N, who I hadn’t seen in nearly 2 years.  After we arrived on Friday, Roy and Sharon had a brief pow-wow about how to spend Saturday afternoon.  It seemed that there was some landmark that Roy was particularly interested (in Dallas? really?) that Sharon thought would be a good idea.  Dilly something.

Now, Dilly is a town outside of San Antonio, so I registered it that far. Then I tuned out, having collected just enough information from their dialogue to conclude that we were going to go down and look at some plaza, probably something like the Hemisfair, with sculpture, a water fountain, and some flowers.

“Sure” I said, and went back to playing with a cat.

Saturday we rolled out around noon, and laid tracks for a San Antonio-style TexMex restaurant (of the nicer kind, with waitstaff and a patio).  Terrific ceviche, great ritas, plenty of food.  Shrimp with garlic sauce, caldo, and I was feeling Happily At Home back in Texas.  Then we piled into the car to drive off to see the flowers.

Roy parked the car on one a relatively empty downtown street and we piled out.  While Neil trotted off for change to feed the meter, one of those guys who sells papers to benefit the homeless zeroed in on Sharon and started a sales pitch for his paper.

He interrupted our conversation on Scenic and Exciting Amsterdam, and I expected a quick brush off to be delivered. To my total astonishment, however, I watched Sharon cut loose not with some pocket change, but with an entire five dollar bill (the stated price) for the Homeless Guy Paper.  She’s a lawyer and very into Public Interest Work, so I assumed this was More Of The Same, but I also wondered why the Homeless Guy Paper had an article in it about JFK.  Neil and Roy caught up with us and were chatting away.  I caught the word “Kennedy” and wondering what the devil the Kennedys had to do with Texas.  They’re all over the place in Massachusetts – Roy ran into Jackie O riding her bike on the Vineyard one summer, but I didn’t know they’d had much of a family presence in Texas.

We were moving down the street, Sharon with her nose in the Homeless Guy Paper, Roy and Neil rattling along about some political thing also involving JFK.

“What the devil are you people on about the Kennedys for all of a sudden?” I asked.

They stared at me.

“What do they have to do with Texas?” I said.  “Does JFK even have a presidential library?  It wouldn’t be here, certainly.  Up in Massachusetts, maybe.”

Another round of blank looks.  “We’re moving, we’re moving, we’re moving” Neil said, while shooting me another perplexed look.

Roy said “Assasination. Book Repository.”

“Huh?” I said. Another neuron fired. “Oh yeah. That’s right.  He was shot in Texas, wasn’t he?”

That brought everything to a halt.

“Ah.” he said. “Yes. From that window, right up there.” and pointed up at the building we were walking toward.

“What?” I said. “JFK was shot in Dallas? Here?  How did you know that? Is there a plaque on the building?”

“Ah.” he said again. “Ah.”

About that time, Neil reached for the handle on the door, which a third neuron firing permitted me to read.  Something about a Museum.

“Where the hell are we?” I said. “This is a museum? There’s a museum here? In the middle of Dallas? For what?”

I got another set of blank stares.

“What did you think we were doing?” Sharon said finally.

“I thought we were going to some plaza to look at flowers and fountains.”

So.  Not Dilly Plaza, but Dealy Plaza.  And the Sixth Floor Museum with a 45 minute multimedia exhibit all about the assassination.

Jesus.  It’s not like I was even born when it happened.  And who the devil would have thought that someone would erect a museum on the spot?  I had always assumed that the building had been torn down, or turned into condos or something – if I thought about it at all.

Am considerably better informed…NOW.

Serves me right doing the Spousal Multiprocessing Thing, I suppose.

 

Retro Rewind

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It’s been a while because I’ve been up to my butt in storms, household preparation, and the academic administrative fallout therefrom, and the usual slew of stuff that hits any college professor at this time of the term.  So in lieu of an uninteresting gripe about the Vagaries of Fortune, I present this Classic Piece of Literature from the Vaults.

Dateline: January 22, 2010

Last night I woke up to the smell of overheated metal.

I poked The Spouse, since I consider it to be the Responsibility of the Man to investigate strange noises and odors in the middle of the night.  I don’t mind plumbing issues, home repairs, and contractors, but I draw the line at insects, vermin, and intruders.

Roy was minimally cooperative with this agenda.  He staggered out onto the landing (the third floor of four) and asserted “it [was] nothing”.  I had visions of some appliances shorting out, or the furnace blazing up, and let him know that he needed to actually canvass the whole house, not just blow smoke out his butt in the hopes that he could go back to bed.  He did a 3/4-assed job of it, barely enough to satisfy me that the house was NOT in immediate danger of going up in smoke, and came back to bed.

This evening at dinner I broached the issue.

“As the Official Woman in this house, I feel strongly that it is YOUR gender-based obligation, as the Official Man, to deal with Controlling Vermin and Investigating Strange Nocturnal Sounds and Odors.” I said. “You failed in that duty last night.  You had a poor attitude, and you did a minimally-acceptable job.  You need to step up to the plate in future.”

Therein followed a conversation which one-quarter of the way through led me to assert that gender-based stereotypes or no, *I* would be assuming the obligation of Investigating Strange Nocturnal Sounds (leaving him with Odors and Vermin Control).

I opened by mentioning my commitment to acquire a baseball bat to keep by the bed, in the execution of my Nocturnal Noise Investigator.

Roy countered with an increasingly absurd list of alternative ideas for Things To Subdue And/Or Deter Nocturnal Invaders.  I, myself, thought that the BEST option would be a shotgun, as I understand that the simple sound of a shotgun being cocked nearby can offer a powerful deterrent to the would-be thief.  Roy refuses to have guns in the house, so the baseball bat it will be.

His ideas?  He could sneak down and hit the intruder with a vase.  I regret to say that he pronounced that “vahz”.

He felt (sincerely) that this would be a “less violent” solution than the bat.

“Why do we need <shudder> a ‘vahz’?  I’ve got just the thing if you want to go that route – whacking huge jar candles from Yankee Candle.  Remember when you came home unexpectedly at 4am after the World Series?  I’ve already *done* this analysis.”

He felt that the ‘vahz’ would be “less violent” than the jar candle.

“I don ‘t understand what your problem is with violence,” I said. “We’re talking about how to deal with someone we catch committing a felony in our house in the middle of the night.”

I assured him that it would be quite difficult to cause life-threatening lacerations, or put some guy’s eye out, with a bat; whereas both of these could be easily done by breaking a big glass container over someone’s head.

Then he moved on to Genius Plan #2.  I regret to say that he was Most Sincere in this whole discussion.  Genius Plan #2 was to Cause Confusion by bombing the burglar with water balloons.

Maybe if they were filled with Drano, I said.  He neither appreciated the pragmatic issues involved in keeping a sufficiently large stash of water balloons primed and at hand on the  off-chance that someone should break into the house.  Nor, I suppose it is almost needless to say, did he appreciate that bombing someone with water balloons is unlikely to have the effect of immobilizing the perp until the cops show up.

At this point, he diverted the discussion into Why It Is Wrong To Wallop Burglars.  “Because they’re mentally ill or they might be poor” he said. Where does one even start with something like this?

“That’s exactly why I refuse to join the Democratic Party” I said.  “Because it’s full of people who think it’s actually *reasonable* to spout that kind of arrant nonsense.  For pete’s sake, stop making such a ridiculous spectacle out of yourself.”

Then he hit on the brilliant idea to stun the guy into submission by throwing eggs at them. “And then I’ll tackle him!” he said, proudly.

“You’ll have a hell of a time with that,” I said. “Since I’ll have rocketed downstairs with my bat to deal definitively with the situation, while you go find the eggs in the fridge, and then loft them at the writhing mass on the floor – hitting me too, I’m sure, for which I will NOT thank you – and then you, Princess, are going to try to take this guy down with a TACKLE?  On a floor covered with broken eggs?  Please.  If we’re going to have this discussion, I need for you to at least Dabble a Toe in the Pond of Pragmatic Reality.”

He protested that he “was just trying to brainstorm non-violent solutions”.

“Only if you’re in the Yiddish Theater,” I said. “Who the devil do you think you are, Harpo Marx?  Why not just oil the floors every night?  Or keep a stack of cream pies next to the stairs, just in case? Or – no, I’ve got it – you could get a fake flower for the buttonhole on your pajamas, and confront the burglar with a lecture, and squeeze a bulb so that the flower squirts him in the eye!”

“You don’t need to make fun of me for being peaceful,” he said.

“I’m not laughing.  I’m engaging in Derisive Mockery,” I said. “And it’s not because you’re ‘peaceful’, it’s because you’re being absurd.”

I think we settled on the solution that I will have a bat and go down to engage the intruder, while he calls the police.

In the meantime, he will still be in charge of investigating Strange Odors and Controlling Vermin (at least, the vermin that the cat doesn’t get to first.)