Walk Of Blame

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 10, 2018

(Back in 2005, just after we moved cross-country, we met a family who lived in the house behind us. With backyards connected, we chatted with them frequently. They were a kind family, and their teenage daughter was very nice to little me and my three-year-old brother. Skip ahead a year: it’s 2006, and we have a new baby brother, as well as a new puppy! The puppy is gentle with the baby, and is overall enjoying his toys and treats. The teenage neighbor from behind us knocks on our door. I am in the room when this happens, but my mother answers. Most of this is from my mother’s memory.)

Neighbor: “Hello! Aww, you have a puppy! What’s his name?!”

Mother: *cheery* “Scooby. He’s nine weeks old.”

Neighbor: “He’s so cute! You know, I walk dogs to make a few extra bucks. If you ever need someone to walk him, just let me know!”

Mother: “Thank you! Though I think my kids enjoy walking him around the block with their dad. Thank you for the offer, though!”

Neighbor: “Oh… I mean… okay. But seriously, I’d really like to walk your dog! He’s just so cute, and like I said, I need to make a few extra bucks for school. I charge 15 bucks for every 30 minutes.”

Mother: “Fifteen for thirty minutes?! How long do you expect to walk our dog? That’s a little much.”

Neighbor: “Puppies need a lot of exercise. Geez, you obviously have no idea what to do with a puppy. Let me walk him, and I may consider lowering my price.”

Mother: “Again, we’re fine. Thank you for coming.”

(She’s about to close the door when the neighbor forces it back open.)

Neighbor: “No. No, no, no. You don’t know what you’re doing. Why even have a puppy if you won’t walk it? I’ll call animal control for puppy neglect!”

Mother: “We aren’t neglecting him, though. We just want to walk our puppy on our own. Now, please, leave. You’re scaring my daughter.”

Neighbor: *grunts and leaves*

(My mother closes the door and immediately locks it. Life goes on normally for about an hour or so before we hear a knock on the door. My mother answers once again.)

Mother: “Hello?”

Animal Control: “Ma’am, we received a call that you were neglecting a puppy. This is a serious charge. We’ll have to have a look around.”

Mother: “Animal neglect?! We aren’t harming our puppy, though! We just refused to let our neighbor walk him. We want to walk him ourselves.”

Animal Control: “Ma’am, I’ll need to have a look around, anyway. Just to be sure.”

(My mother lets him in and he notices the abundance of toys, the puppy bed, the filled water bowl, and the semi-filled food bowl. He spots the puppy snuggling next to my baby brother and me as we are watching TV.)

Animal Control: “Hmm, seems to be fine. This is your only pet?”

Mother: *nods*

Animal Control: “All right. I’m sorry for the disturbance, ma’am. I’ll alert the teen and her parents that nothing is in the wrong here.”

Mother: “Thank you.”

(She closed the door the moment he left, and instantly ran off. I can only assume she went to tell my dad, as the last thing my mother and I remember of this is my dad telling the teen off one day. I never saw that neighbor again, and her parents would glare at my mother whenever she was out in our backyard. Thankfully, we moved away a few months later and found a new home with kinder, less-intrusive neighbors. We had that puppy until he was ten, and he was happy and loved until the end.)

Should Have Sent Your Spidey-Senses Tingling

, , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2018

I don’t know if kids are still encouraged to bring things in for “show-and-tell,” but when I was in elementary school in the early 90s, we each were told to bring one thing from home to share and describe to the class.

Once, in fourth grade, this kid brought in one of those small, plastic reptile containers with the slotted lid, like the kind the pet stores give you to transport your new pet home until they can be put in a proper habitat. Inside was a bunch of leaves and grass, and one twig with a large pod attached to it. He said it was a butterfly cocoon, and he wanted to leave in the class so we could see the butterfly emerge. Most of us had never seen a cocoon in real life, and apparently our teacher hadn’t, either, because it was most definitely not a butterfly cocoon.

The box was left in our classroom over the weekend, and when we arrived the following Monday morning, the room was filled with baby spiders! It was a spider’s egg nest!

Our teacher flipped out, herded us back to the gymnasium, and left us with the PE teacher so she could go report the situation to the office. We ended up having our class in the art room for the next few days while they sprayed for the spiders, and then waited until it was safe for us to go in without breathing the fumes.

After that, we weren’t allowed to bring in “nature” related items for show-and-tell, anymore. I was never sure if that boy actually knew what he had or not, but he didn’t seem too surprised when a thousand spiders came out of that thing instead of a butterfly.

They Usually Go For Black Cats

, , , , | Friendly | April 9, 2018

(I own a very fluffy, friendly, and adorable puppy. It has gotten to the point where hearing somebody say, “Oh, my God!” while we are walking will make me stop so my pup can meet his new adoring fan. Most people will ask what breed he is or make generic comments about the amount of fluff and how sweet he is, but this one stands apart.)

Random Lady: “Oh, my God! That is not a dog; that is a stuffed animal you brought to life with black magic, you evil witch! Ooh, who’s a good doggie?! Oh, I just love how soft he is!” *continues with the usual praise I’ve heard a million times before*

What A Croc!

, , , , | Related | April 8, 2018

(My family is visiting Florida and we decide to go kayaking with a group. My brother and I pair up, with my brother at the back and me at the front. My brother is infamously lazy and is just sitting enjoying the scenery while I’m doing all the paddling.)

Me: “Are you doing any paddling back there? We’re barely moving!”

Brother: *lying* “Yep.”

Me: “No, you’re not! Quit lazing around and paddle!”

Guide: “Ooh, a crocodile!” *points*

(We all look over, except my brother, who’s still daydreaming. A huge crocodile just entered the water, and we’re closest to it! I panic since I watch a lot of nature programs and know how powerful they are, and start paddling away like a madwoman.)

Me: “Oh, my God! It’ll eat me!”

Brother: “Hey!”

(I looked over and saw that while I was paddling my end away, the boat turned a 180 so that my brother’s end was right next to the croc! At least my brother finally woke up and started paddling, and we were able to get away from the overgrown lizard. Then he accused me of trying to feed him to it!)

A Monstrous Tale

, , , , , | Related | April 6, 2018

(My parents have taken me on my very first camping trip.)

Me: “Mommy, I have to pee! Can I go in the woods like Daddy?”

Mom: “No, you can’t go in the woods! You’re not a boy! There’s an outhouse right here you can use.”

Me: “No! It’s yucky in there and there’s monsters!”

Mom: “I know it smells bad in there, so you’ll just have to go as fast as you can. And there aren’t any monsters in the outhouse, I promise.”

Me: “Yes, there are, and they’ll pull me in and eat me, and you’ll be sad because you won’t have a [My Name] anymore!”

Mom: “Look: there’s no monsters in the outhouse. I’ll go first and show you.”

(My mom opens the door and discovers that there’s not one, but two timber rattlesnakes curled up together on the floor. They must be asleep, because neither of them start rattling until after my mom slams the door shut again.)

Dad: *later* “Why did you decide to let her pee in the woods? I thought you were taking her to the outhouse.”

Mom: “No way! There are monsters in there!”

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