We had a laundry chute in my childhood home. Aside from being useful in collecting dirty laundry, it provided entertainment for my sister and me. We would play “office” by attaching strings to messages which we sent up and down the chute. It also provided other kinds of entertainment, most of which I don’t recall.

One thing that DOES come into mind is the time I scribbled with crayon all over the inside of the chute. I am not sure what possessed me at the moment to do this, but I do recall feeling guilty during the act, so I decided to sign the masterpiece with my sister Susie’s name. At the time I wasn’t exactly sure how any lines were needed to make the letter “E,” so I added a few extra just to be sure.

When my mother found the drawing, she asked my sister and me about it. “Who me?” I replied, “I didn’t do it.”The letter “E” turned out to be the smoking gun that identified the criminal, because as my sister pointed out SHE knew how to write her name. And thus I was identified as the culprit.



Well I just identified another criminal.

My dog isn’t supposed to sit on the white chair; the one with the fluffy red pillow. When I got home from work, Buddy was lying on the floor with a sweet little innocent look on his face.

I asked him if he had been sleeping on the chair, but that didn’t get me very far, because when I speak, this is what he hears:


He looked at me with a look on his face as if to say, “Who, me? I didn’t do it. I’ve been sleeping on the floor”

Not getting far with the interrogation, I looked at the pillow on the chair.

Yup, it was squished.




An Overly Active Imagination

I was told as a child that I had an “overly active imagination.”

This label may have been assigned after I was pretty sure that Little Green Men from Mars lived in my closet. I slept with the light on in my closet for longer than I care to admit after a tonsillitis-fever induced nightmare convinced me they were there.

Unfortunately, this trait appears to run in the family.

When my older son was in elementary school, he was suffering from an inability to fall asleep. He told me when I turned off the light he saw “scary things.” After a couple of months I convinced him to tell me what he saw in the dark.

“The School Principal,” he said, holding back tears. When I probed further he told me he had broken a school rule by throwing a snowball on the school playground. Since it was by then the month of May and in the mid-sixties every day, I told him that he really didn’t have anything to worry about. That said, he still wanted to sleep with a night-light on.

So it really doesn’t surprise me that my dog Buddy is a victim of these darker imaginings too.

He is afraid of plastic bags.

I try to reassure him and explain to him that in my knowledge no dog has ever been attacked by a plastic bag, but when I talk to him it all sounds like this to him:


On his walk today we encountered a small plastic bag blowing ominously in the wind. Tail curled under, he pulled away on the leash, certain that horrible things would happen to him if he got any closer.

That’s O.K. Buddy, I understand.

Let’s walk in a different direction.


Illusions of Grandeur

I think that Buddy is suffering from illusions of grandeur.

He thinks he is a BIG dog.

He isn’t. He is a sixteen pound little puff ball

Apparently he doesn’t think so. When I take him to the doggy park, he jumps up on benches and rocks so he is eyeball-to-eyeball with the biggest dog in the park. He has absolutely no use for dogs that are his size. He wants to run with the BIG BOYS. He wants to carry the BIG stick.

I understand.

I remember announcing at dinner one evening when I was around ten years old that I had something important to discuss with my supposed parents. I had read about Princess Anne of England in my Weekly Reader, and of course had come to understand that I had been switched at birth with her. The intention of the switch was to ensure that I wouldn’t be spoiled, and that when I reached the age of 18 I would return to England and take my rightful place among British royalty.

I was indignant when my parents burst into laughter. Worse, after that my mother began to call me “Queenie,” as in “Go pick up your toys, Queenie.”

I am not going to burst Buddy’s bubble. If he thinks he is big, then he IS big.

“You go get ‘em, Buddy, you are a BIG BOY!”

photo: http://www.tiaratown.com/princess.html
photo: Buddy with Stick by Andrew McIntyre