“Long haired guy came in. Casual.” Mom began Sunday afternoon at Dad’s birthday party. Thus began the story of how she met author Jim Butcher in an Arizona bookstore. “He sat down and started to talk, and he was absolutely hilarious. He has kind of a weird sense of humor, but we enjoyed listening to him. Didn’t we?” She shook the birthday boy and Dad nodded awake. “He lives with his wife, son and…how does he describe his dog…I can’t remember. He was talking about his vicious dog, but his dog is a little tiny one. When he first got the dog—”
“His books are right here,” interrupted my sister, stepping over her snoring finance to examine one of the tottering pile of birthday books left on the table after the red velvet ice cream cake was consumed. “It says, ‘ferocious guard dog.’”
“Oh, right, so you're thinking it's ferocious like a—”
“Chihuahua,” my sister filled in, as if she’d been there instead of miles away. (BTW, she's my OLDER sister. I'm much younger, always have been).
“Not that small. Ferocious like a—
“Doberman,” sister stated.
“No. Smaller than that, it’s just a little, tiny-bitty thing,” Mom noted, as if describing a Chihuahua. “When he first got the dog it came up and stood outside his bedroom door and barked. Just kept barking.” (I’m not sure if it lost something in the year since mom heard Mr. Butcher illustrate the story, or if it takes so little to entertain Mom).
“Mr. Butcher got up to tell the dog to get quiet. The dog walked down the stairs—I guess his bedroom is upstairs—Mr. Butcher's bedroom, not that dog's bedroom. Actually, I don't think he mentioned the dog's bedroom. Oh, and it's probably not just Mr. Butcher's bedroom, he's married you know, and well, you hope the best for couples. Anyway, Mr. Butcher followed his barking dog downstairs into their front room. The dog paced back and forth, then he just stopped. Butcher thought, ‘What’s wrong with this crazy dog?’ In the morning they discovered a bear had tracked the same path the dog had walked, same back-and-forth pattern in front of the house. Oh, it was snowy, that's how they saw the bear tracks.”
Okay, that’s funny...um...how?
“If he were to tell that story and you would be laughing,” Mom assured. “He was very relaxed,” she complimented.
So, here’s a salute to the clever, relaxed, hilarious celebrity who met my mom, and a shout out for the folks who listen, but can’t remember a good story. Love ya, Mom! And thanks to the guy who captured the moment on digital memory card. Happy Birthday, Dad.
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