True Story

{August 31, 2011}   North Alabama Vacation

True Story:  I live in LA.

That would be lower Alabama. But, I was raised in North Alabama, therefore I can make fun of it later on.

G Monkey was out of school for 3 weeks and I needed to be in North AL 3 weekends in a row, so we decided to take a little 10 day North AL walkabout.

Things that happened:

1) Dog Boy

The Monkey and I, along with some family, camped for about a week on Lookout Mountain, in the northeast corner of the state. Not tent camping, but relaxing in the woods in cabins camping. For most of the time we had 4-5 dogs and 3 small kids with us.

What used to transpire on these trips to Mentone, AL, was long lazy naps and 1-handed Champagne croquet. Now, with motherhood, what transpires is the following:

I am in the cook house which is sort of like the “living room” cabin of the property where everyone gathers. I look out the front door on to the path leading up to the door and see my 4-year-old son standing there with a dog leash clipped to his shirt and his pants at his ankles. Hmm, I think. I should probably investigate this.

 I stand to look out, and am not very happy to see a very large, human turd behind him on the ground. That’s right. I don’t know any other way to describe it.

Me:  Monkey, WHAT are you doing?

G Monkey:  Being a dog… I go poopy on the ground like the dogs.


I look around for anything… Anybody to blame this on. There are dogs around but there is no hiding what this really is. It’s also right in the human walk path.

I consider for a moment kicking or throwing it into the bushes. Fertilizer right?

I decide that is not moral. Where is a husband around when you need one?

UGH!!!! What else to do? I grab a LARGE wad of paper towels and the “thing” in one hand (I can’t bring myself to type that other word again), and my son’s hand in the other.

I drag him across the property with his pants around his ankle. He is trying to quick run with his little legs to keep up with me.

I run into the big cabin where a bathroom is. My stepmom is blow drying her hair in the bathroom. I run into the room very quickly shouting over and over, “I’ve got a situation here. I’ve got a situation”.

She doesn’t say a word, just puts the hairdryer down and walks out.

Oh, good times.

2) Dog Boy #2

Only G Monkey and I, and about 4 dogs are on the property. Everyone else had gone out for a little while. I was feeding the Monkey his lunch in the cook house when all of a sudden I hear a man yelling, “HEY! HEY! STOP! JAKE!”.

I step out the back door just in time to see a Jack Russell stop suddenly in front of me. I reached out to snag his collar as it occurs to me that this might be “Jake”. Just as I got an inch from him he took off again.

A few seconds later his human daddy came running by, “Did you see a dog?” he panted breathlessly.

Me:  Yes, I just missed him. Sorry…

Before I could get it out Doggy Daddy was off again.

Me:  He went up that hill.

I pointed up a thickly wooded hill, well, small mountain really.

As the man runs up the hill all I hear are desperate, painful, wailing cries, “JAKE! STOP! OH HE’S GONE!”

I thought, man this guy is serious about it. 

A few minutes later a car pulls onto the property. A woman gets out with a leash and some dog treats. I walk down to her. She looks at me desperately. I point up the hill.

Me:  They are up there.

She begins yelling at her son up the hill, trying to help.

He wails back, “Forget it Mom, he’s gone. He’s GONE!”.

She looks at me with a tear in her eye, “I just left the door open for a minute and he was gone. They just came up for the afternoon, oh what are we going to do?”

Me:  It’s okay. He will come back.

Mom:  No, no you don’t know this dog.

For about 10 more minutes I console this woman and her husband who had by now driven up. The entire time we are listening to sobs from on top of the hill.

Dog Daddy finally appears out of the woods. He is missing a flip-flop, sweating, crying and has scratches on his face from running blindly through the woods.

Me:  Listen, our dogs run up those hills all the time. He’ll come back. It’s hot as hell. He’ll come down for water or food or to hang with our dogs.

Dog Daddy (wiping tears):  No he won’t. He’s gone. You don’t know this dog. It’s over.

He stomps off down the road with one flip-flop. Not only is he a cry baby but he’s a bit of a brat as well. Did I mention this guy is about my age, 35 maybe.

His mom yells after him and he whips his arm back at her to leave him alone and continues the pout walk.

I exchange numbers with Mom and Dad and tell them not to worry, I’ll return the dog if I see him.

True Story:  5 minutes, maybe. Might have been 3 minutes after they leave the property, I look over and lo and behold if it isn’t little Jake sitting there panting like crazy from his romp through the woods.

I said, “Hey Jake, want some water?”  He follows me to our community dog water bowl while I slip a leash on his collar.

I grab G Monkey and tell him we are about to go make someone very happy. The 3 of us, me, Jake, and the Monkey head down the road to a cabin “Mom” had told me they were staying.

We get about half way there when an SUV pulls over suddenly in front of me and blocks traffic on the entire road. Dog Daddy hops out of the car, still crying, and goes,”No way. NO WAY. God bless you. Oh, wow, thank you so much.” He gives me a sort of sweaty, tearful hug. I told him no problem, as I know how dogs can be.

In my head I thought, “Good Lawd, get a grip.”

So later on I tell the rest of the crew this story when they get back.

I had also mentioned earlier in the day that today was a full moon, and supposed to be one of the sweetest ones of the year. Also, I might mention, my horoscope said it would be my most romantic time of the year. I didn’t really see how this was going to work out for me as I was camping in the woods with my family.

I know what you’re thinking. Well, you are in Alabama. When in Rome, right?

My Dad decides that this has to be full Moon fate. It has to be:

1) My dad has the same first name as the Doggy Daddy. 2) Jake is my dad’s alter ego’s name. 3) It’s a full Moon. 4) The dog was a Jack Russel just like my dog, the Demanding Paw.

My answer?

I’m way more of a man than that dude is.

True Story:  There are more stories and observations from North Alabama Vaca to come later. But I am too dog pooped to type them right now. Pun intended.

{August 22, 2011}   Tuesdays with Monkey

True Story:  Last Tuesday was Docky Doc Day. (That is Van Coulianese for “the Doctor”).

The Monkey and I had a good morning. I worked on my computer while he watched some boob tube. They were discussing hair color on some show he was watching.

Me:  Monkey, what color is your hair?

GM:  Brown.

Me:  What color is Mommy’s?

GM:  Greasy.

Me:  Allrighty, then.

I took a shower.

It is 4-year-old check up day. I really like our pediatrician. He has 3 kids, the youngest being 1 week older than G Monkey, and he worked for 11 years at Birmingham children’s Hospital’s ER. We have not been to see him since our 3-year-old check up, which is awesome and we know how blessed we are.

G Monkey suffers from a common preschool age illness of molluscum bumps. Many of you parents may know what they are, small wart like bumps caused by a virus that lasts normally between 12-18 months. They usually go away on their own. I knew what they were and was waiting on the 4-year-old check up to deal/treat them.

Talking with G Monkey about the check up for 4 days leading up to it, he told me several times a day, “Mommy, I want to keep my bumps”.

True Story:  About 6 months ago the monkey and I held a baby kangaroo at the zoo.

He tells me the day before the docky doc visit that he wants to go to the zoo and to his kangaroos.

I say sure, hating that he has to get shots I think we probably have time for a quick run around the zoo and to hold the baby kangaroos before our doctor’s appointment.

We have a famous small zoo in Gulf Shores, AL. It has been featured on the Animal Planet as the only zoo that has had to completely evacuate all animals 3 times due to hurricanes. I love the little zoo, but also fear for our lives every time we are there. It just looks like the tigers could jump out of their rickety cages at any moment and eat us, but are choosing to be polite.

I don’t know why I showered before we headed to the zoo. $35 later and 2 minutes after arriving I was dripping in sweat. I normally only “zoo” or play putt putt October through March, but this was a special situation. Anywho, of course I have to drag him around in a $4 cart they conveniently place by the pay counter and buy $2 worth of nasty dog food to feed the goats with.

I am hurrying through the zoo mainly because I am about to ignite, and we are running out of time to hold the kangaroos. I don’t do reptiles. You may remember this from a previous post titled amphibians, so I purposefully run past the snake house.

GM:  Mommy, you missed the snakes.

Me:  I know.

GM: Uh, uh. We have to see them.

Me:  Grrrr.

Snakes done, I continue running through the zoo. I keep telling the monkey we got to get to the kangaroos so we can get to Docky Doc on time.

I finally pull up to the kangaroos looking like I just stepped out of the gulf of Mexico in my clothes.

GM:  No, Mommy. Not these kangaroos… Kangaroos!


“Kangaroos” is a warehouse filled with jumpy things. I stupidly did not make the connection before that that was what he meant. Had I, I probably wouldn’t have had to stop off on the way to the doctor’s office at a truck stop for a 2nd shower.

I don’t “do” Kangaroos. I think those jumpy houses and obstacle courses are dangerous, claustrophobic, nasty and potential death traps. Especially when the big kids run over your little kid the whole time.

Every time G Monkey brings up Kangaroos I tell him he needs to talk to his Daddy.

Now you learn in the required Divorce Transparenting class that you are not to use your kid to get back at your ex-spouse.

Examples:  1) When weaning your toddler from passy don’t hand the child off to Daddy for the weekend and purposefully not include said passy in the diaper bag, so that Daddy has a wailing kid at bedtime. Nor, do you, 2) knowing that Mother has forbidden motorcycles from teenage son, buy him a brand new crotch rocket.

I have no intention of acting that way, OR going to Kangaroos. So, of course, I had to tell Ex-Pump when I dropped the monkey off later that afternoon, that the Docky Doc visit went well, and “Oh, by the way, you need to make a tent tonight and you are going to Kangaroos tomorrow. Sorry.”

Before that conversation, G Monkey and I leave the Zoo and head to the Docky Doc. It is a 25 minute drive. The entire time he repeated, “Mommy, Mommy, I want to keep my bumps. Okay, Mommy. I want to keep my bumps”.

Me:  Son, you can have your bumps. The doctor is going to check other things besides your bumps.

GM:  Okay, I’ll take a deep breath and then I can keep my bumps.

True Story:  We arrive at Docky Doc’s.

He told the check in lady, the nurse and the Docky Doc that he wanted to keep his bumps.

He is climbing all over Docky Doc while we are discussing his behavior.

GM:  Docky Doc, are you talking about me?

DD:  Yes.

GM:  I want to keep my bumps.

When he got his shots he screamed out, “Mommy, I hurt myself!”.

We walked out of the office and he says,”That was a great time”.

True Story:  Just your average Tuesday with Monkey.

{August 3, 2011}   Mr. Bill

True Story:  Some years back Ex-Pump brought home a Weimaraner.

I know, right? WTF? That’s what I said too.

We lived in a 1000 square foot house with a 13 pound dog that wanted absolutely no other animals in her castle.

So, it would only make sense that Ex-Pump would show up with this giant dog. Not sure if you are familiar with the breed but the are very large, beautiful, and CRAZY. This one was only about a year old to boot. And had apparently tormented his way through many homes across the south before he found us. So, no real training whatsoever.

There were 3 major events that lead to Mr. Bill’s going to “a nice farm in the country where he could run”. I can not remember in what order they happened or even how long he lived with us. It was all a nightmare.

Event #1) This is really 2 character flaws I found with this giant dog. One, he demanded on sleeping in the bed with us and kicking us out of a queen size bed. This dog weighed 650 pounds and his giant paws were like bear claws hitting you in the back until you either submitted or were knocked unconscious and slept.

Second, he was tall enough to reach the kitchen counters and would eat anything sitting out on them, including about 40 Christmas cookies I had cooling on the counter.

Event #2) Our dining room table at the time had an iron base. At the bottom the iron rods came together. My dad and ma’am were over visiting when all of a sudden we heard the highest pitched dog yelping you have ever heard. You would have thought Michael Vick was over training in our back yard.

We discover the problem. The 700 lb. dog has 2 toes of his giant paw stuck between the iron table base support rods. He is thrashing around bleeding and screaming. The 4 of us jump in and try to help. It took about 7 minutes to free him. When it was all said and done. I was bleeding from a dog bite. Ex-Pump had 2 puncture wounds we considered having stitched, and everyone’s nerves were SHOT!

Event #3) Ex-Pump was out-of-town. I left Mr. Bill and The Demanding Paw at home for a couple of hours to run errands.

Upon my return I walk in the house to find dog diarrhea EVERYWHERE. When I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE. It was sprayed up on the refrigerator, countertops, floors, walls, carpet, furniture, etc… 

I am not sure how or why this happened. I don’t believe that God punishes us, but I look back on this day as one of my “tests”. I am dry heaving as I type this.

I cry about twice a year. I think I have mentioned before that I am cold as ice. Well, I went outside, sat down, and cried like a baby.

I gathered myself, called Ex-Pump and freaked out for a while. I think he laughed. That might be why we are divorced.

Then, I went to the store and bought everything that they sell that will clean something.

I entered the house and put the dogs in the back yard (where they stayed for a LONG time, and I periodically went out there to kick them. Just kidding. Not really…)

I had a dew-rag on my head and one over my mouth. I dragged all rugs and furniture into the front drive. I scrubbed the house from top to bottom all the while tears running down my face. Why me?

I had to reach 2 feet above my head to cut down some blinds that were covered in poop. I repeat, 2 feet above my head. Did the dog stand on his front legs to spray his poop? I think he did it on purpose.

I scrubbed every piece of furniture outside and had a carpet cleaner I couldn’t afford come over and do the rugs. My neighbors would drive/walk by and ask what happened. I waved them on and told them to save themselves.

I finally got it all cleaned up and scheduled 3 appointments for interviews with Mr. Bill’s “new parents” for in the morning before I cracked a beer after the hardest labor day of my life.

True Story:  I don’t really know if it was the poop day or the high-pitched, slow building scream that the Demanding Paw would do every time Mr. Bill got within 6 feet of her. I just know that this suppressed memory just resurfaced, and I had to share.

et cetera