At this point in our relationship, I need to introduce you to my neighbor and my dog. First... the puppy. She eats her own poop, masturbates on her dog bed, and costs me a small fortune every month. She eats my glasses, pisses all over my home, shits on the carpet, and cries all night if she’s locked in her crate. In fact, at one point, the crying got so awful that the neighbors started complaining.
Now, let me introduce you to my neighbor - a mean, little man who hates dogs, children, and... well... me. This person is the reason I cannot win the lottery. The universe would never allow me to have millions of dollars because it's wise enough to know that I would waste large sums of money just to fuck with him.
To give you an idea of the level of animosity between us, the other day at Barnes and Noble, I saw a "Do it Yourself Crop Circles" kit and I immediately texted TB to say, "This is not a drill. Want to help me carve 'ASSHOLE' into my neighbor's Kentucky Bluegrass?" The only thing she texted back was, "What night?" Clearly, this is why we're best friends. Sadly though, both of us are pretty busy these days, so we didn't do it - even though he deserves it. That said, I bought the kit just in case. After all, it's better to be prepared for an opportunity that never happens than to not be prepared for one that does.
So how has it come to this? How does one get to the point where "lawn art" no longer means gnomes and flamingos? Instead, it means dressing in black and carving graffiti into a person's yard. Well, I guess it starts at the beginning. See, TB hates him because he yelled at her. In her defense, she had been drinking and was in the front yard, on her phone, bellowing in a drunken whisper, "Let me in." When I asked where the hell she was, she replied, "I'm outside... in your bush... and not in a hot way." In his defense, she happened to be standing in the wrong yard, and it was his.
Personally, I hate him because he answered the door in his underwear when I took lemon bars over to welcome them to our street. Really. What if that’s the last thing I think about on my death bed? I think if you traumatize someone like that, you should have the common courtesy to never look them in the eye again. Or, if you happen to do so by mistake, you at LEAST have the decency to not speak to them. It's still how I treat most of the people who've seen me in my underwear.
ANYWAY, after he complained the second time, I called my vet who suggested that I move the crate to another (more secluded) area of the house. That way, when she cried, it kept neither me nor them awake. So I did it. I moved her and I didn’t hear her at all. It was heaven. It was my first night of undisturbed sleep in months, so I left the crate there. And it worked. For several days and nights I crated her on and off in the guest room. No cries from her and no complaints from next door. I was convinced I could do Cesar Milan’s job… in pumps, but alas, hubris was the downfall of the gods.
One night, I came home from the movies, went to take the puppy out of her crate, got half way up the stairs and started gagging. There was this God-awful smell that was getting stronger as I got closer to the guest room. Against my better judgment, I opened the door and no kidding – I almost vomited. My guest room was like Amityville Horror, the home edition. I have NO idea how that psychotic dog got a hold of A TUB OF VASELINE, but she ate AN ENTIRE BUCKET OF PETROLEUM JELLY. Do you know what Vaseline does to a puppy’s digestive system? It’s like Ebola, but it’s limited to your asshole.
She was literally leaking poop… and it was EVERYWHERE! She had shit in her crate… repeatedly… and what she didn’t eat, she rolled in and shook off. It was on the walls, the carpet, the furniture, the bedding, the curtains, and the ceiling. She was literally SMEARED in glossy, greasy poop and she smelled like dog shit flavored Chap Stick. To this day I believe that I could have buffed my car with that dog’s ass. And do you know that it doesn’t come out of carpet when you clean it? It just gets smeared in and it gets BIGGER. After three minutes of trying to clean it up, I did the only respectable thing a woman who works sixty hour weeks could do. I called my cleaning lady, the carpet guys, and my sister (in that order), and all of them said the EXACT same thing, “Really… it smells like dog shit flavored Chap Stick?”
Clearly they missed the point.
Now I’m sure you get the whole ‘sister and the cleaning lady on speed dial’ thing, but you might be wondering why the carpet guys are in my cell phone’s emergency contact list, too? That’s because I call them every two weeks. They are at my house so often they know my neighbors (the nice ones anyway) and my garage code. Honestly though – I love them. I’m a complete germ-a-phobe, and they have saved me on more than one occasion, the worst of which was not the “Vaseline incident.” It was the time I got a phone call at work, in a meeting, with co-workers from Asia, from the sitter, who said, “The dog pooped.” So I step out of my meeting and reply, “She shits in the house ALL the time! Why are you calling me? Clean it up.” That’s when this person ACTUALLY said to me, “We did clean it – that’s why I’m calling you. How am I supposed to get dog poop out of the vacuum bag?”
Yes, they did it. They sucked dog shit up with my several hundred dollar vacuum.
So I’m in a meeting with a bunch of people who EAT dogs, and I’m thinking to myself, “Self… their culture clearly knows something I don’t.” And I excuse myself again and call the carpet people, who tell me they can meet me at home in one hour. I get there, and once again – I can smell my home before I enter it. I get out of my car in the garage and my vacuum is sitting there staring at me like, “I hate you and I quit.”
So I go inside, and I see that they have literally gone over the dog poop REPEATEDLY… just to get it ALL out (which really means that it’s smeared into the carpet… again). Luckily, the carpet guy walked in two minutes after me (cause they don’t even knock anymore) and tells me it looks like I killed a deer in my living room. I thank him, and as I’m writing the check, he says, “I’ll go hook up the hoses. If you could vacuum the room that would be great, it’ll make the carpet cleaner when I’m done.” Then it dawns on me – I haven’t told him what happened. So instead of telling the story, I say, “You don’t want me to do that.” He assures me that I do, so I go to the garage, I get the vacuum, I hand it to him, and I walk away. Honestly, he turned it on, and that was the hardest I’d laughed in months. Do you know how funny it is to see a grown man who also cleans carpets at crime scenes screaming, “OH MY GOD! SHUT IT OFF! SHUT IT OFF!” I mean really, you think you do, but you don’t… It’s funny.
Anyway, instead of taking the vacuum cleaner to my mean, little neighbor’s garage and swapping mine with his while he was at work, I took the carpet guy’s advice, and I carried it to the curb and put a sign on it that said, “Free to a good home.”It was gone by morning. To this day I laugh as I think about the poor college kid who must have passed my house, picked it up and thought, “Cool – a free vacuum cleaner.” But I still think it would have been funnier to give it to the asshole next door. Then both he and his vacuum would be full of shit.