Clancy Rogers shoved the slider on her moss green Mazda minivan with her right foot, balancing on her left foot while trying to keep the 3 paper bags of groceries balanced between her left hip and her stomach. At the top of the outside bag, a dozen, pasteurized and hermetically sealed eggs bobbled dangerously and then started the downward spiral toward the hard cement of her oil-stained driveway.
Without thinking Clancy reacted, letting go of one of the bags in her arms to grab at the eggs. With customary adeptness her hand glanced off the side of the eggs, flinging them further away to crunch thickly against the drive. The newly scrambled eggs were finished off by the heavy bag filled with juice bottles and assorted cleaning products, which she dropped trying to save them.
Clancy heaved a big sigh, closed her wide hazel eyes and took a deep breath, realizing it was just going to be one of those days. Her 9 year old son, Adam, flung open the front door, apparently very excited to tell her something, and was trampled to the ground from behind by the family’s 5 dogs. The drooling, wriggling, canine street gang barreled toward her like the bulls at
Clancy saw it all happen out of the corner of her eye and was still crouched down trying to pick up the mess on the driveway as the first wave of fur and slobber hit her. She just had time to throw out her hands in self-defense but it didn’t keep her from tumbling to the ground. She screeched and tried to push them away but it was too late. All that was visible were her feet, flailing pitifully from underneath an avalanche of dogs.
In fear of getting trampled in the melee, the two smallest dogs, Frick and Frack, the Roger family’s happy go lucky Shi Tzus, danced away from her and proceeded to do the two-step through the river of yellow goo on the drive. Painting their tiny paws with a variety of sticky and gooey substances that would dry into the cracks between their little pads and get lost there, to flake back out later, piece by tiny piece onto Clancy’s pretty new carpet. For months to come.
Clancy finally managed to push the three bigger dogs away so that she could stand up and then stagger to her feet. Running a hand through her medium length light brown hair, she felt it stick and pull as she frosted the fine strands with an egg yolk and orange juice glue.
The three big dogs quickly lost interest in her and discovered, much to their delight, an errant grey squirrel that had dared to come within a block of their doggy militarized zone. They took off happily, pinging off their unstable owner as they went, and the air vibrated with a chorus of barking threats, pitched from falsetto high to baritone low. The squirrel took one look at the slavering, charging troops and decamped into the nearest tree to chatter indignantly and throw snotty looks in their direction before harrumphing haughtily and beating it out of the area across the tree tops.
Clancy yelled at the dogs to come back and they ignored her as only dogs can do. She stomped her foot and swore, holding her sticky hands out to avoid staining the rest of her battered body with the spilled mess. Then she crouched down once more to begin picking up the tumbled and mangled groceries.
Enter Frick and Frack stage right.
Tiny, bobble eyed Frack grabbed the roll of paper towels Clancy was trying to pick up and proceeded to initiate her into a game of tug, which he was more than determined to win. Clancy looked into his bulging brown eyes and growled, causing him to hunch his tiny black and white body and throw everything he had behind the game, swinging the paper towels back and forth and nearly leaving the ground as she gave him back everything she had.
After an embarrassingly long time, considering the weight and size difference of the combatants, the paper towels came loose and Clancy tottered slightly on the backs of her heels at the sudden loss of resistance. She might have regained her balance, in fact she almost did, but then Frick chose that moment to raise his squat, grey little body up on his back legs and plant his tiny, painted paws on Clancy’s thigh, which just happened to be covered by her brand new linen slacks.
Screaming in despair, Clancy jumped away from the gooey paws…stumbled backward, and landed on her back again, where Jack, their Husky mix with a permanently wagging tail and one lop ear, found her about two seconds later and happily took the opportunity to insert his 4-foot long tongue into her mouth.
Clancy thought that maybe she would just lay there until her husband Drew came home from work. It was possible he would run her over with the car. Something to look forward to.