A Naughty Story
By Ted Thompson
For the first 8 months of her life with us, Sugar, our Jack Russel Terrrier, was a notorious shoe thief. Our shoes would disappear and then show up in the yard, chewed and scruffed and unwearable. To our great financial and emotional relief we finally broke her of the ugly habit, and she hasn’t stolen a shoe in a long time.
Now jump ahead. Picture this:
Roxanne’s sitting on the sofa after work, getting ready for aerobics class. She has two socks on, but only one shoe. The other shoe is on the couch beside her, gleaming white, pretty and new. Her good workout shoes. Bought special.
Sugar lays at her feet. The phone rings.
While Roxanne’s on the phone I come into the room, take in what’s happening, and get a brilliant idea for a good joke. I’ll hide her shoe. Sugar will catch the blame, of course, but I’ll ‘fess up before any real trouble starts.
I sit on the couch and while Roxanne’s distracted on the phone, I slyly tuck the shoe under my t-shirt and make a slinking exit from the room. I’m feeling very clever.
I go into the bathroom to give the dog a bath, and I hide the shoe on the top shelf behind some unused beach towels, for just the few minutes needed to play this joke out. This is going to be funny, at least it will be to me. Roxanne will get pissed, I’ll laugh my ass off and reveal the hidden shoe, and Roxanne will pretend to get pissed all over again, but she’ll be smiling too. This won’t be what I’d call a great joke, but it ought to be worth a grin. Making someone else momentarily miserable usually is.
Everything goes according to plan — except for one thing.
I totally forget the shoe. I forget the joke. I forget everything.
After giving Sugar her bath I am called away to go pick up Shelly from band practice. Roxanne’s still on the phone when I leave, and she’s gone to the gym when I get back. I never think about that shoe or the intended joke again.
Don’t misunderstand. It doesn’t just slip my mind the way some things do. It goes away like it never happened. It never creeps though my thoughtpaths. There was no shoe. There was no joke. Nada.
That is, until today.
It’s now about one month later. Here we are, Roxanne is cleaning shelves in the bathroom which haven’t been dusted in awhile. Now she’s exclaiming, looking addled and angry. Now she’s stomping her feet and making a lot of noise. Hands on hips, steely intent in her eyes, demanding from anyone, from everyone, an explanation for a found shoe. A bright white brand new never-worn aerobics tennis shoe, size six, retrieved from a high shelf. Thelook on her face tells me this situation is very, very dangerous.
So I do the only thing I can do.
I say the only thing I can say.
“Bad Sugar! Bad, bad dog!”
Ted Thompson is a freelance writer living in Harrison, Arkansas. More of his work can be seen at his website http://www.phfft.com or he can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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