Pee Games and Friday Night with Bigfoot

It’s a Friday night. Besides me, everyone is in the living room and asleep. Bela the cat is on the pillow behind me and Maisy the Shih Tzu is splayed out on the rug surrounded by toys and the remnants of a smoked pig foot that has made her happier than money or success ever will for me. Burke is asleep on the couch. Seinfeld – newly arrived on the Flix – plays unhindered on a very low volume.

Many things these days happen at a low volume or with genuine attention to keeping quiet. This is because the canine hand grenade sleeping on the rug currently dictates the mood of the house, which, though in a state of soporific warmth and coziness, can change on a dime. One wrong move, one misstep can turn this sleepy living room into a barking hissing maelstrom of activity that I will almost certainly be relating to a therapist someday soon.

It’s for this reason that I don’t venture into the kitchen for the chocolate chip cookies I so greatly desire. Maisy the Shih Tzu has a nose for food (any: human, cat, dog, probably duck). So the number one way to become a beacon for a tail-wagging, barking Shih Tzu is to put anything near your mouth. The number two way to attract the attention of this pup is to walk out of the room. Maisy the Shih Tzu has evidently been gifted with the instincts of a green beret. Walking out of the room even with her completely zonked out will result in her raising her head, following me, and then peeing. So I go nowhere and I read.

I’m reading Devotion by Max Brooks. If you haven’t heard of this book, it’s worth looking into if you like eco-horror, Bigfoot, or really bad things happening to quasi-annoying people. The story is about a small eco-centric community of five smart homes set remotely in the foothills or slopes of Mt. Rainier. The community has one access road and the homes are powered by waste and sunlight. Their supplies are delivered by drones. The people who live there are in no way outdoors enthusiasts, nor are they the survivalists who might have with them arsenals that could have carried the U.S. Marines at Iwo Jima. They are well-off city slickers. So when Mt. Rainier erupts, cutting off their one link to humanity, they decide to shelter in place. This would probably work were it not for the fact that a tribe of Sasquatch has been forced to find new sources of food. lar power.  and , consisting of six smart homes and a central Community House. They come across these pragmatically useless people, mayhem ensues, and we get a very non-Discovery Channel version of Finding Bigfoot(‘s Arm in my Ass).

Their misery is my bliss. There’s nothing better than a Bigfoot story and this one offers unfettered access to how bad a Bigfoot encounter could actually be. I cozy into my armchair and read with glee the worst nature interaction since I thought skunks were cute when I was 11.

It’s after midnight when I drowsily realize that I have to pee. This could be a problem. No, not because of my age. OK, not only because of my age. It’s a problem because peeing in our household has become a spectator sport. Everyone watches everyone else pee. No it’s not kinky. OK, it’s not only kinky. When the dog pees, I watch closely. This is not to fulfill some deranged fetish (no matter what the people in the next building might say). The dog’s urinary output is a barometer measuring my chances of being on my knees cleaning pee off my bedroom floor that day. We reward the dog with cheers and encouragement when she lets loose of a stream and we used to reward her with a treat, but we realized that she’d figured out that if she squatted into a pee she got a treat. Thus, a walk outside saw about five squats followed immediately by the dog looking expectantly up at us with her mouth open. Then followed by her peeing in house, since she was meting out her pee for more treats and we’d unwittingly bring her in with still half a tank. The cat is not free from a toilet audience, much to her verbose chagrin. The dog has found that not only does he love cat food, but he doesn’t mind eating it after it’s been through the cat. So when the cat steps into her box, the dog shows up to see what’s happening. And indeed if Burke and I pee, Maisy the Shih Tzu follows us into the bathroom and, for those of us who sit, climbs into our pants, and, for those of us who stand, bites our ankles.

More to the point, peeing will entail leaving the room. Leaving the room will result in the dog waking up. The dog waking up will result in needing to go out and the person who will bring her downstairs is the guy blissfully reading a Bigfoot horror novel in his armchair.

Spoiler Alert: I lose. The dog wakes up and I then have to don acceptable pants and walk downstairs. It’s a cool and breezy night, extra dark in the way that autumn nights seem to be. I bring her to her favored patch of grass. I think on the bright side: hey, when I get upstairs I can have cookies with impunity!

Another voice, the less optimistic one, speaks up. If we get upstairs. You’ve been reading Bigfoot horror. You are walking a Shih Tzu, a cocktail weenie for a Bigfoot. I cast glances at the dark alley between the buildings and the trees beyond. Was that a hoot? A growl? I look down, the dog is in her squat, mouth open, waiting for a treat.  

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