I’m living here in Myrlene’s house, and she ekes out a modest living babysitting little kids. I get along well with small children, and one of my favorites is a three-year-old mulatto boy who is here almost every day. He has one of those made-up names which I can’t ever remember, but kids that age, like cats, don’t really need names. They know when your attention is directed towards them.
Another resident of this house is a mongrel dog named Uboo — he was named after a statement in the closing credits of the Frasier sitcom: “Down, Uboo, down”. Uboo is a stupid dog and therefore doesn’t learn from stern reprimands. This morning I went downstairs and ate a bowl of cold cereal; while I was doing that Uboo pooped and peed on my bed. The door to my room doesn’t latch and Uboo has decided that my bed is an ideal place to void her stinky wastes.
While my bedding was agitating in the washing machine down in the basement (I used bleach) I rode my bicycle to a lumberyard down on Market Street. I bought a hook-and-eye, came home, and installed it. Now my bed will be safe from further defilements.
When I got back Myrlene was playing a falling-block game on her Facebook page. The three-year-old boy was facing a shelf full of videotapes and DVDs and playing with a red rubber ball. He had a peculiar inward-directed look on his face. I squatted by him and said “What are you doin’?”
Myrlene looked over at me and said in a deadpan tone of voice “He’s poopin’. See how his butt is pooched out? He’s not done yet, though. I’ll change his diaper in a few minutes.”
I left the boy as he was finishing his excretory business and went up to my room, where I played the concertina and read a bit.
Later I left on my bike to do some errands. When I got back all hell had broken loose. The dog Uboo had seized the little boy’s dirty diaper and was devouring it behind the couch. Myrlene was trying to get the dog out and retrieve the diaper. I said “You need a broom!” and went to the kitchen to fetch one. While Myrlene was dealing with the situation I went back to my room for a while — Uboo isn’t my dog and I felt that I had done my part.
A while later I came downstairs and found Myrlene carrying an armful of bedding. She said “That damned dog! He puked up the shit from the diaper right on my bed! I was trying to get Uboo out on the porch and got tripped up by her leash. I fell and hit my head! And Uboo was baring her teeth and snapping at me! I think I could have been bitten!”
I think that it has finally penetrated Uboo’s dim and murky mind that she has really fucked up. She seems contrite, and she hasn’t barked wildly at innocent passers-by. She has been sucking up to Myrlene; perhaps she realizes how precarious her position here is.
Myrlene has said to me “That dog just makes life more difficult — if someone would take her I’d gladly give her up.”
My response was “I know someone who will take her! There are some really nice folks at the dog pound…”
Myrlene is sentimental and doesn’t have a strong will. She simultaneously loves and hates the dog. Uboo is only six months old and theoretically she is still trainable. Myrlene doesn’t have the inner resources to train the dog and I don’t feel like it’s my responsibility. I’d take the animal out back and shoot it if it was up to me.