At 20 degrees below zero it’s usually a safe bet that you will be the only person at the dog park. Okay maybe it just feels like 20 below…it’s actually just 20. And that’s cold ladies and gentlemen. I am alerted to every bit of metal in my underwire bra at that temperature. So I try to keep moving. I kick a few frozen tennis balls, pick up a turd or two.
And then I begin to sing. (naturally)
But I don’t sing “The Top 10 at Ten” variety. No, no…I pull out some freakish tune (that I only know the chorus of) from a time when it’s doubtful I could even spell my name. The year is 1973. The song is “Leroy Brown”. This song has it all; bad grammar, cuss words, a reference to King Kong and of course a story about messin’ wif da wife of a jealous man.
Song Sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooq3JbWbdjk
So no, I have no earthly idea of where this song came into my head. But I was singing it unabashedly loud with a really sad little “I’m f*cking cold” dance move around the 75 acre dog/county recreational facility as my backdrop. No amount of North Face winter wear is gonna make this cool. It looked like a person having a seizure while attempting to push imaginary shopping carts away from themselves. Lots of arm movements and dramatic head switches.
This performance had started as a mere hum and mumble session in the car. But you only really need to kick a few frozen tennis balls to realize that it hurts your toe - and you look for less painful acts in your repertoire. You see the damn dog just looks at you expectantly. He’s so dumb. And so pretty. It’s the reaction people get when they come across an infant in one of those containment chairs. You immediately start making weird faces to see if you can impress an under developed human blob.
So I’m looking at Thor, the one and a half year old, 107 lb chocolate lab who smiles too much. He does this expectant clock dance when he wants to play. I am the center of the clock and he hops from minute to minute in a circle around me. I’ve got no idea what he is expecting – but he looks deliriously happy at the thought of what ever it is that might happen. [idiot] So I do stupid things. And it occurred to me…[wait for it]…that Thor had never heard Jim Croce’s masterful version of “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”. And that his only chance of this cultural exposure would rest on me. So I decided to ‘goof it up for him’. Thor, having no entertainment comparison value – would likely see me as a white Aretha Franklin, with my passionate possession of the tune.
Okay fast forward – the whole time this is going on (or possibly just most of this time) there is a fricking park ranger that has pulled up to the dog park in his deadly silent John Deere ATV thing. James Bond should get one of those. Fricking silent as the night. Anyhow. In one broad, wide-open armed, Jackson-esque pivot and thrust I saw the guy hanging attentively on the chain link fence. It took no longer than one nano-second before I started yelling at him. I think I started with “Oh you a**hole!”.
It was not a shining moment. In diverting my eyes from the laughing face of the icon for “nothing to do at work today – but still wearing the uniform” I caught a look from my other dog. The basset hound. I will not say his name – because he is no longer on my team. This dog usually barks at leaves that fall on my yard. Today, all he has for me is a look of pathetic consternation. He saw the park ranger’s approach. He was sitting there the whole time. He was my own personal Simon Cowell. Fricking traitor dog. Meanwhile the big brown idiot dog is like “no finish! Finish! That was fun! 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock. Just get in the car.
Brown dog hits 12 o’clock and sees that there is a park ranger at the fence and barks.
Thanks. Where the hell have you been?