I was swinging through the office this morning, in search of a cup of coffee that wouldn't put up too much of a fight, when one of the front office ladies -- the perennially perky one, and I do realize that's not much of a distinction -- caused me to pause in my search.
"'Dog," sayeth she, perkily, "I don't see your name on the Angel Tree."
The office has this tradition where you draw names and ID info of disadvantaged children from around the community, and then you buy gifts for that sprog. Rather charming, really, but after the Event of 2009, I discovered that you can also send the charity HQ money, and those worthies will take care of buying presents for the kid.
I am blearily eyeing Her Perkiness, trying to organise the words necessary to tell her so, when another office lady button-hooks the partition, frantically waving her hand in front of her throat, "No! 'Dog isn't allowed to help with the Angel Tree!"
We both look at Office Lady #2 -- one of us more squintily than the other -- and #1 queries, "Well, why on Earth not?"
That worthy responds: "In 2009, 'Dog pulled the name of a twelve-year-old girl from the hat."
"Ok," says #1.
Here come the tones of moral outrage, "He spent fifty dollars on her!"
Office Lady Numero Uno says, somewhat placatingly, "Well, that is a little excessive, but I don't ..."
"$50 worth of pepper spray, a flashlight and A HUNTING KNIFE!"
I protest. It wasn't a hunting knife. It was one of those little fixed-blade jobbers you used to be able to get from Cold Steel, had about a two-inch serrated blade.
Perky Office Lady #1 guppies at me for a second, then (in mildly outraged tones) demands, "Why, in God's name, would you give a knife to a little girl?!
My buddy Tam has a great many quotable things to say about carrying a knife that I have memorised for occasions such as this. One of my favourites is:
"Hell, carrying a sharpened rock around in case of future need is basically how we tell where the apes stop and the people start in our fossil family album."
We love Tam, and if you're not reading her blog, you're missing out.
Anyhoo, I had that little quip all memorised, and when I opened my yap ...
"Because nothing drives home: 'Keep your meathooks off of second base until I decide differently' quite like a strategic shanking."
... came out.
I blame the lack of caffeine in my circulatory system.
As both Office Ladies disappeared in the vague direction of the powder room, I continued my quest for the Holy Java Bean of Life, stepped around the cubicle wall, and ran into the Chief Deputy, sipping coffee and eyeing me amusedly.
"Morning, boss," I say, trying to figure out if he left anything in the pot.
"'Dog," he responds, "The inside of your head is a weird place. Don't ever change."
And that is Reason #243 that LawDog shouldn't be allowed anywhere near people.