We Are Still Married (Hounds from Hell)

We Are Still Married (Hounds from Hell)

By the time you read this, fall-like weather will make it difficult to imagine that it’s been a scorching, humid miserable mess in the backyard. Our Hounds from Hell – a lanky Labrador mix and a stodgy Badger-Woodchuck mix – have made the summer weather unbearable. Last fall, our duo used their teeth to pull all the wiring out of our air-conditioner.

In a decision unencumbered by the thought process, I chose to not fix the air-conditioning. It was amusing at first living in a household reminiscent to the days where my dad ruled the thermostat with an iron fist. But then I caught a gastro-intestinal bug, becoming less entertained by it all. Next, my good wife broke her foot while stepping off the backyard deck, sentenced to wear a big, black boot.

So there we were, sweating while just lying in bed with the overhead fan pushing around body odor and not affecting the sweat inside my wife’s enormous boot, which was soon to be pointed at my rear end.

So I fixed the air-conditioning. It did not repair my esophagus, nether regions or my wife’s foot, but it fixed our demeanor. As radio personality Garrison Keillor once observed, “We are still married.” If the repairman had only known what he was really fixing, he would have padded the bill, and I would skip merrily to the post office box to send the check.

Before this train wreck occurred, I was well on my way to a healthy lifestyle, walking mornings and riding my bike during my noon hour lunch. My early 40s was dedicated to running half-marathons; my late 40s, I refer to as the ‘whiskey’ years… another decision unencumbered by the thought process. I was on a high-speed locomotive to change when that baby derailed and, to that end, my wife and I – now that her foot is mended – are making a grand attempt to get it back on track. Our first day went like this:

Alarm sounded off at 5:10 AM. Wife turned off alarm. I got up to make coffee and returned, gazing lovingly at said wife. Wife says, “Don’t be looking at me like it’s a happy moment. It is not a happy moment. Go drink your coffee and come get me at 5:23!”

“5:23?” I thought to myself. “Uh, could you be more specific?” I’ve found that in married life, sarcasm is best thought and not actually uttered. It’s one of my few skill sets, and I can’t use it regularly. Now that I don’t address by beloved until 5:23AM, we have smooth sailing for our new morning routine.

If all of this wasn’t enough, our internet has been on the fritz for the past two weeks. I called the company rep who told me to unplug the coaxial cable, flick the metal pin thing, unplug the unit, curl my tongue while standing on one foot, and then do it all in reverse. When that didn’t work, I called again and the kind lady told me I was also supposed to remove the battery backup and the other silly representative should have told me to wiggle my ears, not curl my tongue.

I really didn’t mind going through this convoluted routine because it was the internet Wi-Fi after all, not something inane like a broken air conditioner. Unfortunately, none of this worked and our complaint got escalated to a person who was to come out to the house. “You did not say they could come tomorrow morning,” said my bride disbelievingly. “The laundry room is a disaster!”

The laundry room is not just where the kids find their clothes clean as if by magic; it’s also where the mystical black internet box of the gods is located.

“Love,” I said. “We have two kids and two dogs; none of them picks up after themselves. There may not even be a trail to the laundry room if we delay!” The sarcasm filter sometimes fails.

And, as fate had it, repairman didn’t even have to go to the laundry room. “The problem is out back,” said our hero. “Your dogs chewed the cable right to the wire.”

Having adopted these mutts, we officially have the most expensive ‘free’ dogs in our fair county. My wife and I know, however, that these Hounds from Hell love us unconditionally even if no one else does – another rationale totally unencumbered by the thought process. Thankfully, we have air-conditioning and Wi-Fi – for the time being – and we are still married.

About the Author