I’ve often said that Wonderbutt is a literary dog. He tends to eat books rather than read them, however. Lately, though, he has shown great interest in attending my reading sessions in my daughter’s bedroom in the evening. This started while we were reading the James Herriot book, so I thought he just enjoyed animal stories. But, we’ve since moved on to an adventurous fantasy novel, and he continues to join us each time. (When I say, “join”, I mean that he leaps up out of a deep stupor whenever I head toward her room, and races me to the usual spot by the beanbag where he then collapses by my side as soon as I begin to read.) I would feel honored by his eagerness to participate – if he didn’t start snoring and passing gas in the middle of my orations.
I came across this the other day.
So, I tried to find out what a group of Wonderbutts is called. It seems that there is no such thing.
I know what I could call one Wonderbutt: a Scorn. Any ideas for the collective noun for bulldogs? Here is an amusing collection for your entertainment. (I already tried “Drool”, and it was taken – for babies.)
Our last episode ended with a cliffhanger – and I am sure that most of you have been on the edge of your seats for two days, wondering if I managed to snuff out my new, mail-order ant colony – or if Wonderbutt had taken care of the job for me. You will be happy to know that the ants are still alive, all but one, in a temporary home that once contained Vitamin Zero water (lemonade flavor, which, quite frankly, is not my favorite anyway). I successfully refrigerated them for half an hour and transferred them with great ceremony to their new home by opening their tube and allowing them to tumble into the bottle. My daughter, Dimples, was completely unimpressed by the whole event, as the mouth of the bottle was wide enough for me to discharge the whole mass of numb ants at once instead of having to scoot one at a time through a tiny opening like I will have to do when I move them to the farm. Which begs the question of, “Why are ant farms deliberately manufactured to hinder the initial entrance of ants, thus making classroom teachers everywhere hop onto their desks screeching as the crazed insects swarm away from the minute opening on the ant farm and race across the table and down its legs so they can, instead, crawl up inside the more hospitable pants of the humans who attempted to imprison them for their own amusement?” It’s one of life’s unsolved mysteries.
Here is a picture of the ants in their Vitamin Zero bottle. I poked a tiny hole in the top to give them air. Even though the tube they arrived in had no such hole that I could discern. But I seem to have read somewhere that even insects need air. Then I was worried that the ants would find a way to squeeze out of the hole. So, I came up with the ingenious idea of putting a duct tape force field around the cap, so they would stick to it if they got that far. In retrospect, that might be perceived as a bit cruel and probably somewhat paranoid. The hole is the size of a pinprick, and these ants are huge. But insects are tricky little creatures, and I figured it couldn’t hurt to be cautious.
Wonderbutt got jealous as I was taking pictures of the ants (as soon as he hears camera sounds, he comes running), so I decided to let him take a peek at the bottle.
He quickly lost interest once he detected no delicious smells and observed that the ants were far too industrious for his taste. Though they do share his stubborn ability to bulldoze large objects out of their way, ants do not seem to appeal to Wonderbutt, so they should be safe for a couple of days.
I will take the ants to school on Monday, and the students will help me set up their new habitat. Then, they will watch in awe as I show them the right way to move ants who have been refrigerated for an appropriate amount of time into an ant farm. Then the parents will call the school that afternoon as they receive reports of their child’s teacher spewing a few ill-chosen words while the ants rebelled and hastily converged on the humans gathered around the new containment unit. Good times…
Wonderbutt is not always this laid back:
Even though October is his birthday month, he always seems a bit cranky when it rolls around. He is really offended by the events of October 31st, when people actually have the gall to ring our doorbell every two minutes. And, now he seems to be just as peeved by the simple holiday decorating that my daughter, Dimples, has tried to put up around the house.
This could quite possibly have something to do with the fact that the jack-o-lantern happens to be occupying a spot usually reserved for lizards on our window. Wonderbutt decided to use his usual ferocious lizard intimidation technique on the gel cling. The poor pumpkin reacted pretty much the same way the lizards do…
I guess Halloween could offend his religious convictions. That could also explain his attempts to eat our Christmas decorations. Although I’m not quite sure what religion would support his attempted kidnapping of the Baby Jesus from his manger.
I’m thinking he’s just worried that we might decide to thoroughly humiliate him like these poor guys:
But, he doesn’t have to worry about us dressing him up. He already looks scary.
Wonderbutt, our Bulldog with Attitude, has absolutely no appreciation for the luxuries he enjoys. For example, the dog is completely hateful about pedicures. I’m beginning to contemplate letting his nails grow until they look like those crazy nails in the Guiness Book of World Records – you know those pics you always immediately turned to when you were a kid, and you would giggle with each other and say, “How in the world does that woman pick her nose?”
Wonderbutt does not need to pick his nose, so the temptation to let him figure out how to deal with ridiculously lengthy claws is not completely irrational. The only problem is, I forgot to clip our golden, Mrs. P.I.B.’s, nails two weeks in a row, and she ripped one off running in the grass, which resulted in a crime scene that would delight any C.S.I. and a very unfortunate vet bill that I do not want to ever end up exposing my inefficient colon to again.
When we first got Wonderbutt, I downloaded a book by Cesar Millan in which he specifically addressed how he dealt with his bulldog’s nail clipping routine. It involved the scent of lavender and a gentle massage on a table. I have tried my best to replicate this routine – without the lavender or the table. Apparently, the act of casually pulling a paw toward me when Wonderbutt is half-asleep is not His Highness’ idea of relaxation. Instead, it is a trigger for him to immediately take my hand hostage in his mouth until I let go of the paw. Massaging the paw just extends the time and pain that I get to endure until I surrender.
I would be offended by Wonderbutt’s ingratitude, but I realized the other day that I don’t really suffer pedicures well myself.
I had decided to treat myself as an I’m-Going-Back-Work-After-Having-a-Fairly-Crappy-Summer reward. Unfortunately, my favorite pedicure place went out of business, probably solely due to the fact that I haven’t been there in a year, and I had to find a new spot. The last new spot I went to was horrible, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to try anywhere again. But the combination of my inattention to detail, my post-40 sight changes, and my refusal to wear reading glasses had resulted in my most recent self-applied pedicure looking like a 3-year old had scribbled with a paint pen all over my toes. Either I needed the services of a professional – or to wear closed-toe shoes for the rest of my life.
After consulting local Yelp reviews, I finally found a new nail salon. Quiet, peaceful, relaxing.
As my pedicurist gently massaged my toes, here was what was going through my head:
“Oh, crap. I forgot to stop by the ATM. I HAVE NO CASH!!! How am I going to tip him? I could use my credit card, but people like cash better. What kind of idiot am I to FORGET TO BRING CASH TO A PEDICURE?!!!!! I think I might have a dollar. But that’s an insult. This is horrible. I am a selfish, lazy, blind, middle-aged lady suffering from dementia. I don’t deserve a pedicure. Does anyone ever give this poor guy a pedicure? I wonder what his feet look like. I don’t really want to know. My left arm feels a bit tingly. I think I’m about to have a heart attack. ”
Are these the thoughts that run through Wonderbutt’s head? Is the hand-chomp merely his way of revealing his insecurities? If Wonderbutt could Yelp about my services, would his review berate me for the absence of lavender and special furniture or would he admit that his ability to enjoy his pedicures is inhibited by his body issues and his concerns about properly compensating for me for a job well-done?
It’s the lavender.