So, in Weekend Gotaway, Part I, we packed and got on the road. It was a truly riveting story, and you should totally read it if you missed it. If you don’t read it, you will have no idea what is going on in this post. You will be reading at a clickety-clackety pace, and then stop, and say, “Huh? Why is this bulldog driving?” Seriously. Read on at your own risk.
So, Wonderbutt the Bulldog got us to The Dictator’s Ranch with a little help from Cap’n Firepants. (See, I told you to do your homework…)
Since you guys seemed to enjoy Wonderbutt’s front seat photo so much, here is another.
We arrived at the ranch, and then proceeded to unload the warehouse of goods that Cap’n Firepants deemed absolutely necessary for our three-day weekend. Wonderbutt did his best to help with the unloading by racing in front of our feet and stopping suddenly to sniff the butts of The Dictator’s three dogs ad nauseum.
After saying “hello” to the Wall of Death, which is an ironic remnant from The Dictator’s father’s hunting days, (The Dictator and her vegetarian husband both being fierce animal rights activists), I was ready for bed.
At The Ranch, the Firepants family sleeps in one king-sized bed. I use the term “sleep” loosely. I have never actually slept at The Ranch. In the 20+ years that I’ve known The Dictator and visited The Ranch, I have spent more time desperately trying to sleep than I have spent complaining about the Cap’n’s overpacking. That is a lot of time.
Part of the problem used to be Mrs. P.I.B., our constantly panting and pacing over-anxious Golden Retriever. But, we did not bring her this time. So, I expected some major snooze time.
I settled on the couch in the living room so Wonderbutt and I could complete our nightly ritual of him falling asleep on my lap, me waiting until the snoring and gases can not be borne any longer, and then me slipping out from under him to go to bed, leaving him to slumber until the morning.
Not meant to be. Because there was a new element at The Ranch. A cat. And Wonderbutt has never seen a cat except the one that taunts him in our backyard. So, you can see how this is going…
The cat had arranged itself on the other couch, and Wonderbutt, as they like to say in Texas, was “fit to be tied”. He could not stand that cat just laying on the sofa. I’m still not certain if he wanted the sofa or the cat.
So, I finally had to bring Wonderbutt into the Firepants Family Bedroom. Because I did not want to leave him alone with the cat, or to have to add Wonderbutt’s head to the Wall of Death in the morning.
Wonderbutt could not get settled. Even though he could not see the cat, he was well aware that it still existed. For hours, he whined at the door, and then he circled around his bed, then whined at the door, then circled around his bed… You get the idea.
Then he got really frantic, so I decided to go back to the living room to see if a chupacabra had somehow gotten into The Ranch since that could be the only possible explanation for a ballistic bulldog in the bedroom.
No worries. Just the cat throwing up everywhere.
I cleaned that up, which was quite a feat since Wonderbutt felt that this would be the perfect time to attack the cat during its Moment of Weakness.
I brought Wonderbutt back to the bedroom, and informed him, in no uncertain terms, that he better darn well go to sleep because I’d had a long week of returning back to school and leaving him alone in the house for 8 hours a day.
Finally, my logic seemed to sink in. He let out a big sigh, and five minutes later the snoring started. It was about 3 AM.
Then, Cap’n Firepants suddenly popped up in bed, and started walking toward the door.
“DON”T YOU DARE WAKE HIM UP!” I hissed. “WHERE IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”
“To sleep on the couch. Your daughter keeps slapping me in the face in her sleep.”
“GET BACK IN THIS BED RIGHT NOW OR THE WALL OF DEATH IS GOING TO GET ANOTHER MOUNT.”
I get a bit cranky when I’ve had no sleep.
And that’s how our first night at The Ranch went.
This is my submission to the Hobbler’s Labor Day Weekend Pity Party Extravaganza. I admit this is a bit late, which is really not like me. I’m usually early for things. But, when you think about it, 99% of my posts would pretty much fall under the Pity Party category – so you could say that I was at least a year early for this festive event. Or, you could say that you just don’t care. Which is pretty much the response I get for 99.1% of my posts. Which is why you should pity me.
The reason that I am late is because the Firepants Family went out of town to visit our good friend, The Dictator, at her ranch. For 3/5 of the Firepants Family, this is a Wondrous Adventure Out in the Country. For the remaining fraction of the clan, it is an Anxiety Inducing 72 Hours of Sleep Deprivation.
Ranch weekends begin with the planning and the packing. Dimples (9) is pretty self-sufficient in the gathering of necessities as long as she is given a packing checklist. I, too, have a packing checklist. I don’t think the Cap’n has a packing checklist. If he did, it would be longer than the checklist for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, longer than Noah’s checklist for the Ark, and probably even longer than the list of things the Republicans plan to change if they get back in office.
Here is my idea of packing for a weekend getaway:
And, here is the Cap’n’s:
Let’s just say that it’s good we decided not to bring 1/5 of the family (Mrs. P.I.B. – our golden retriever) on this trip, because she would have had to ride on the top of the car. And we all know how that brilliant idea turned out for Mitt Romney.
The other reason Mrs. P.I.B. did not make the trip this time is because she paces and pants the entire time we are at the ranch, has done this for eleven years, and we finally decided that it’s quite possible she is not really happy on these trips, and that we really aren’t happy when she is not happy.
As it was, Wonderbutt, got to ride in the front seat, while Dimples and I sat in the back seat with even more bags of necessary items.
Cap’n Firepants asked me about three times if we had packed Wonderbutt’s food. Since it was smushed in the backseat in a plastic bin for charcoal right between Dimples and me, you can imagine my chagrin when he kept asking me this question.
“YES, I have his food. It’s in this charcoal canister on top of my foot!” I answered for the last time.
“That’s not his food. That’s the charcoal,” the Cap’n replied. “In the charcoal container,” he added, with only a slight implication of the word “stupid” at the end of his observation. And, since we were only 10 minutes away from the house, we got to turn around, and go back. And then try to figure out how to fit the second charcoal container – which had dog food, thank you very much – into our very packed car. We briefly entertained the thought of leaving the dog behind so we could find a place for the dog food, but you will be happy to know that we decided to leave the kid behind instead.
Just joking. Of course, we left neither kid nor dog behind. I volunteered to sacrifice my berth, but the Cap’n stubbornly wedged the 2nd container into the car, and we embarked on our trip a second time.
4/5 of the Firepants Family on the way to the ranch. With 1/5 of the family already experiencing strong misgivings about this whole enterprise.
Hmmm. Who do you think the not-so-enthusiastic car passenger could possibly have been?
Stay tuned this week for more reasons to pity Mrs. Cap’n Firepants…