Black Friday at our house

November 28, 2009

I had a great Black Friday, spent at home with my already-purchased Christmas gifts, listening to Christmas carols.

Everything’s wrapped and tree-ready.

Those going to distant friends and family are boxed and addressed. They’ll start their journey Monday.

A couple of festive mail orders lined up by phone, as well.

Sounds calm and bright, right? Here’s how it really was.

I woke up at 3:30am. By 4:30am I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep. I tried to make coffee. The electric coffee maker crapped out. I made single-cup drip.

At 7am I headed for Target to get a deal on a programmable coffeemaker. The store was almost empty. Very few deals. I found the last pot on sale and took it.

I wrapped gifts for hours, (which is fun) while trying to referee Riley and the other dogs (which is not fun). Periodically, Riley would have to face the consequences of his excessive barking at his siblings and I would have to stop wrapping to crate him in isolation.

After he was good for a while, he’d come out. He’d be good for a while. Then he’d just be unable to stand it, and the cycle would repeat.

Finally, sensing her vulnerability, and being the mean dog he can be, he bit old Tinker in her weak hindquarters. She squealed, traumatized. We grabbed him and crated him.

Five minutes later, Li’l He accidently bumped into Tinker, and she, senile and half-blind, thought it was an attack and screamed that awful doggy scream. M. got the Xanax and gave her an extra dose.

Meanwhile, the garage door had crapped out the day before. The repair people called to say they’d be a few hours late. When they finally arrived, His Highness had a barking spree non pareil.

And I don’t mean the candy, either.

After Riley’s been punished, he’s very contrite. And obedient. Yes, he does whatever I command. “Come.” “Sit.” “Up.” He looks like the perfect little dog.

But we know the truth.

He is the canine embodiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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