We've always enjoyed family walks, and as such, we try to take one every night after dinner. We usually do the same route--down the hill, past the lake, turn right at the ice cream shop, turn right at Ted's Restaurant, and then head home.
Half way between the lake and the ice cream joint sits a tidy, little funeral home that gets a whole lot of play. That's just the name of the game in a town where fifty percent of the population drives an Oldsmobile, forty-nine percent of the population drives an automated wheelchair, and the other one percent of the population is named Amy, Jared, or James.
Last night as we approached the funeral home, I noticed a congregation of our neighbors wearing golf shirts and standing around in the front parking lot. Some were laughing, a few were crying, and there was quite a bit of hand-shaking and shoulder-patting going on. Obviously one of my neighbors had "relocated"...if you know what I mean.
As we approached the crowd, I bent down to James and said, "James. You need to get off of your tricycle so Daddy can hold it. Fold your arms, use your quiet voice, and be very, very reverent as we walk past these people." You would have thought my kid was in a shock collar, because he followed those directions like an arse-kissing employee with a raging case of OCD.
As we worked our way past the crowd, Jared carried the trike and I walked the dog. We offered up a few smiles and waves to our neighbors, as well as a couple of sympathetic head nods. As we gracefully passed our neighbors, serving as a reminder of life's true joy, I felt a sharp tug on Gracie's leash--like it was attached to a brick wall instead of a sixty pound greyhound.
When I turned around to investigate the cause of the leash tug, I was absolutely mortified. My dog--you know, the one with chronic canine IBS?--decided to take a big, fat, watery dump right there on the front lawn of the funeral home. In front of fifty-or-so grieving souls.
By the time she was finished, the poo had the approximate circumference of a regulation frisbee--or in other words, a little too much for my Target bag to handle. But rest assured, I did every possible thing I could with that Target bag since fifty grieving souls were watching to see just how well I handled the situation.
James earned a popsicle for his flawless demonstration of reverence last night--but Gracie? Let's just say that the old "glue factory" threat is becoming more heartfelt with every passing day.