Monday, November 12, 2007

The Wild Dinner Party


This is from the book, and I have it listed on eBay with a copyright link to here, so here it is!



Image copyright WF Renzulli, 2007




The Wild Dinner Party


I had been debating whether to take the dogs out to the country to let them run on that lazy Sunday. I was thinking not. We had a dinner party the night before. It had been a late night, after a long day of cooking and cleaning, and I was thinking of a day watching football, catching up on correspondence, maybe reading Southern Living for some holiday decorating ideas. But when the two oldest of my eight dogs are bouncing up and down, tails up and wagging, ears at full point, voices at full cry over a squirrel on a telephone pole just outside the upstairs bedroom window, it’s time to load everyone up for a trip to the country for a little run.


After moving to this small southern city, things just kept on being different in our new home. My dogs have always been so well behaved, a great source of personal pride and delight. Since I was a ten-year-old child, with my very first dog, a wonderful pound rescue named Rex, folks have always remarked at how well trained my dogs are. “Your dogs are so quiet, so calm,” people said about the whippets. “Your eight dogs are better behaved than our one!” they’d exclaim. I would humbly say, “Oh, they’re just good dogs,” while inside I would beam. What a great dog trainer I was.



But that night, as the guests were politely seated at our dining room table, new people that didn’t really know us yet, city people that have a pug and a Lhassa Apso, as we made quaint small talk about the recent elections, the political eccentricities of this old Southern city, my guests were looking anxiously over my shoulder into the kitchen.



Mid-sentence, I casually turned my head in the direction of their concerned glances. “I don’t understand how we’ve let Bush and Cheney off Scott free with their involvement, no entrenchment, in ...” Enron, I was about to say. I was going to be really impressive, quoting a recent interview I heard on NPR about Bush being Governor of Texas while Enron was doing all its dirty dealings, and the personal meeting Kenny-boy had with Cheney after he became the Veep, but instead, I turned my head to see Fat Charlie standing up on the counter just snacking merrily away on the apple enchiladas that were going to be dessert.



Now, a more composed hostess might have handled this situation by continuing on with her thought, casually getting up from the table, correcting the situation, and deciding to serve just the ice cream for dessert. But, alas, composure has never been my strong suit. "CHARLIEEEEEEEEE, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I leapt up from my chair, knocking into the table with such force that I spilled five of the six glasses of wine in the process. Into the guests’ laps. My glass of course is the only one to remain upright. The wine is a nice, crisp Merlot. The guests’ laps were sodden. Deep ruby.



Fat Charlie gulped faster, with gusto, wagging his tail guiltily, not even budging from his counter perch. And since I was franticly grabbing towels, napkins, anything to get the wine off the formally dressed laps, Fat Charlie was not only free to finish the home baked treats, but he was joined on the counter by his nephew Sam I Am.



In my haste, I grabbed the dog towel that I had earlier used to clean the excrement off of Giacomino’s neck. I don’t know from which animal it had been eliminated. Raccoon maybe, or skunk. Some omnivore. It was way too stinky to have been a squirrel or even a cat. Giacomino had rolled and rolled until his entire body was thick with the stuff. Never had I smelled such a eye watering, gut gagging horror. And it had been so thick that I had wiped off as much as I could with a towel before throwing the dog in the tub. And, sadly, this was the very towel with which I found myself wiping the lap of my proper city guest.



Yup, things were different for me there in the city. And, come to think of it, I bet our new friends had never been to a dinner party like that before the Whippets and I moved south, either!

26 comments:

  1. OMG, we laughed until we hurt ourselves! What a great story!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

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  2. Yup..Gussie still has people write to him about a dinner party in Lexington where there were (gasp!) no leftovers. Fortunately, the guests were otherwise occupied while Gussie, and Gussie alone, cleaned up all the remaining chicken enchiladas, black beans and queso with chilies. He slept on the couch that night! They are great icebreakers!

    gussie's mum

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  3. Patience
    I loved your story!!
    Asta and I are rolling on the ground laughing..if the guest s were real friends they must have laughed their heads off..if not..too bad for them..your house is alive with love !!
    That's the best kind of dinner party city or country!
    Ami and Asta

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  4. Well, Patience... it is all your fault. You do call him FAT Charlie. He just took it to heart (or stomach, in this case).
    Basher's Dad

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  5. Loved this story! I think I peed my pants!

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  6. That was hilarious! I too was able to accept compliments on the behavior of my dogs. Well, until I got the saluki. She is mostly well behaved when she's not barking and growling like she's possessed at company. All the while she's insisting on being petted.

    However, does this mean that it's a curse to admit you have well behaved dogs? Or should you just say thank you and hopefully move on?

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  7. Hi Whippet Waggle!
    It's funny you should call me a haiwy little doggie,hehehehe..My Mommi was all insulted by one of hew fwiends who said I didn't look nice cause now my haiw is showt..she only likes me when I'm weally fuzzy..isn't that stoopid..Mommi says I'm bootiful eithew way ,and she loves the way sleek doggies like you look and thinks it's supew bootiful, and she also like fuzzy ones..I think Mommi just loves doggies pewiod.
    I hope you'we all tucked in and having sweet dweams
    smoochie kisses
    Asta

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  8. seriously, if you guys keep writing stories about poop I am going to have to wear diapers because I am peeing myself!! tooo funny!!

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  9. Fantastic! I'll be ordering the book soon, can you tell me how much shipping to the UK would be please?

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  10. Hi Sweet Fuwphobic whippet fwiends!

    You needn't be afwaid of me! I have met bootiful whippets, and love them and am vewy nice to them I pwomise!!!

    love and smoochie kisses
    Asta

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  11. woofies Doggies!!! nice to meeteded u all..dat story wuz sooo funnies, me and mama still laughin..

    b safe,
    ;)lacylulu

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  12. Graham-
    I can fit the book in a flat rate International envelope (it weighs a pound - so many stories to tell!) which costs $11 to the UK. Of course with how puny the dollar is right now, that probably equals about 2 of those little dime sized thingies with the queen on them. Or, you can go to http://www.authorhouse.co.uk/BookStore/BookHome.aspx
    and order it over there, but it won't be autographed. Or you can get it from Amazon.com.
    Any questions you can email me at dogwalkers@comcast.net

    thanks for asking!
    Patience

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  13. Ooooh Whippets
    I was just tjinking you wee my hewoes fow youw gwace and athletic abilities..it's nice to be able to admiwe fwiends and theiw talents...plus you'we all so vewy bootiful adn make youw Mama so happy and inspiwed
    smoochie kisses
    Asta

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  14. Thanks Patience. I think I'll take the Ebay route - I suspect more of the cover price will actually go to you that way.

    Incidentally, don't worry about self-promotion over at my place - you'd be very welcome.

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  15. Exceptional tail !!! We can easily imagine either of our dogs being in Fat Charlie's position just enjoying the moment !!!

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  16. Thanks for sharing this story. You made me and my mom laugh like crazies!
    Have a good night
    Lorenza

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  17. Hi Patience and the whippets!
    I gave you an awawd..come and see..pee ess..I love youw husband-daddi's wowk!
    smoochie kisses
    Asta

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  18. Haha! That's a great story--I don't know where a little whippet would put all those apple enchiladas. They sound tasty, though!

    wally.

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  19. Oh dear...I laughed so hard that Lacie had to run from her nap in the family room to see what the fuss was all about. Dear heavens...u outdid urself...u cleaned them off with a poopy towel? Oh, I hope you got them good and drunk after that...so they would only remember it vaguely and wonder if it really happened. Dogs teach humility...no 2 ways bout it!
    Marilyn

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  20. Er, Whippets?
    Scruffy here. Koobie and I were wondering if we could borrow 2 of you to run us to Michigan State for the Penn State game this weekend. Koobie's car has some issues and the Greyhounds we've hired in the past have raised their rates.
    So, if the fastest 2 of you could be here in the Burg at 11am Saturday, that'd be great. Unless 2 of you are Male and fast, then come Friday nite for the poker party that I'm having. NO GIRLS ALLOWED>

    We'll pay the going Whippet rate for transportation.

    Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely,
    Scruffy

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  21. Hey Patience,
    Such a great funny story. We were laughing our wirey tails right off, hehehehehe! Pretty typical of how normally good behaved dogs decide to do something wrong when company is at the house. Mama thinks it's to get attention, tee hee. Have a great weekend!
    Luv & Wirey Hugs!
    Butchy & Snickers

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  22. Hi Whippet Waggle!
    I'm glad you liked youw awawd, you cewtainly desewve it! I love you bloggie, and I love all of you..I hope you know I'm not scawy despite being haiwy!
    I'm stayin with Jackson a while longew and also visiting a few fwiends in Euwoope while i'm thewe.
    Jackson is the best patient..he has been thwough so vewy much,and nevew gives up! I admiwe him soo!
    smoochie kisses
    Asta

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  23. Um...Plans changed. Girls are allowed at the poker nite on Friday....beyond my control....

    Scruffy

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