The Suburban Survivalist
There are days when I should cover myself in bubble wrap and sit in the corner.
My morning routine is just that, routine. I wake without the aid of an alarm clock because I have something more efficient than any flashy LED box. I have an Alarm Corgi.
At daybreak, the Alarm Corgi wakes and jumps on my chest, providing chest compressions to assist my heart in starting for the day. Granted, Emma the Alarm Corgi is only twenty pounds and the compressions are startling, but not of rib cracking intensity.
I will pretend that I did not feel the Alarm Corgi CPR and keep my eyes shut. After a few more chest compressions, the Alarm Corgi sets its “snooze” and lays on my chest staring at me, daring me to open my eyes.
When you crack an eyelid you see a Corgi nose – game over.
So, the Alarm Corgi wakes me. I stumble out of bed and throw on some clothes, because the reason the Alarm Corgi goes off is not to shower me with puppy love. No, she has to go outside and pee. Now.
Wifey is sleeping the “Sleep of the Innocent” and is unaware of the Corgi Alarm. Tanner the Sleepy Corgi is not amused at the younger Alarm Corgi’s “Buttcrack of Dawn” approach. Nonetheless, Tanner joins in the morning pee procession downstairs, through the kitchen and out the back door.
It’s cold, grey and foggy. That misty soup of a fog that sticks to your skin, you know the kind, that fog every B-Grade horror flick includes as set dressing. I’m in a tee shirt, jeans and I’m cold. I shift from foot to foot, silently urging the Corgis to do the pee thing so I can go in and start some coffee.
(I do not do well without my morning coffee. That may be a bit of an overstatement. I do not function without coffee. Do not approach me, before I’ve been caffeinated. But, I digress…)
The morning routine demands that the Corgis go in for breakfast kibble. They return from sniffing, peeing and peeing some more to line up at the door for feeding time. Then. It. Happens.
I’ve locked myself outside. How in the ever-loving Hell did I manage that piece of witchcraft? I’m locked out, in the cold, without coffee, with two hungry Corgis. The dogs look up at me and they give me that “Stupid Human” look they have practiced more times that I can count. But, now I’m standing between them and food and the sweet little puppies are transforming into Were-Corgis.
In a state of coffee-less panic, all the options run through my brain. Break a window? Front door left unlocked? Deflate myself like a New England Patriot football and squeeze in through a crack under a door? No, no, and no. Now, I have to pee and living in a suburban puritanical environment, the neighbors frown on public urination.
I can’t go to one of the neighbors and pick up a key (or use their bathroom) because I have two dogs with me. (And I’m that grumpy guy in the neighborhood – the “Get off my lawn” guy.)
I’m at my last resort, hungry dogs circling me, a full bladder and coffee withdrawal. I have to wake “She Who Must Not Be Awoken.” If I were to attempt to toss a pebble against the windowpane, I would likely break the window and shower Wifey with glass shards. She would not look kindly on my request for assistance.
Part of my blind morning ritual includes grabbing my cell phone and shoving it in my jeans pocket. I make the call feeling like a drunk from jail, soliciting a bail bondsman.
The phone rings…once…twice…three times. Christ, she’s screening her calls. Then she picks up. “Why are you calling me?”
“Um…I locked myself outside.”
I can’t begin to describe the laughter from her side of the phone. After she caught her breath, she said, “I’ll be right there.”
A few seconds later, the kitchen door unlocks and Wifey is standing there to rescue me. The Corgis burst in to await feeding, but not before they cast me a damning glance that said, “So much for all that opposable thumbs superiority crap.”
I survived, this time. Like Bear Grylls, I could have eaten fish from the pond, trapped birds and built a shelter out of tree branches. I could have. The rest of the day I sat in the corner, with coffee, and stayed out of trouble. Bubblewrap is staring to look like a viable option.