The Doghouse

BimberI open the door to the Doghouse and take in the surroundings. Lee has set it up nicely; it is just as I have always imagined. There’s a beer cooler, an ashtray, a small TV and a book entitled ‘1001 ways to end up in the doghouse.’ He is jotting in a notebook with the words ‘What I have Learned in This Doghouse Visit’ on the cover. He is wearing a navy blue robe and listening to Jimmie Hendrix. The robe almost appears to be a membership garment.

It’s very nice, indeed. Lee spends a lot of time here.

There are several hundred ways for a man to end up in the Doghouse. Usually it involves drinking too much or missing an appointed curfew. Sometimes it involves a seemingly minor disagreement or smiling for a split second too long at the blonde cashier selling you catnip at the pet shop. Hypothetically.

And these are only some of the ways we actually know about. This isn’t even considering the hundreds of roads to the Doghouse that are so hidden and esoteric that understanding your transgression is as likely as finding the lost city of Gumbaba in your mailbox. And you know how rarely that happens.

Tonight, after a nice family barbecue, we step off to the Slaughtered Lamb (our name for the local village pub: See Post Fear and Loathing at the Slaughtered Lamb, Mar, 08,2012) to do some work. We promise an early return, but even as the words are coming from our lips there is a heavy carpet of potential Doghouse relegation hanging in the air. The walk to the Slaughtered Lamb is jolly, regardless of the foreboding drapery.

Things go well. Too well. I am writing a book and we make a lot of headway untangling a plot issue. Lee is writing essays and an application for a linguistics program and we outline a home-run essay. The bartender who has been serving us for a few hours is a man of about fifty, with thick hands and coke-bottle glasses. He suddenly hands us a sheet of paper with lists of concerts from bands and singers, mostly classic rock and – this being The Czech Republic – 1980s heavy metal. He tells us to pick a concert and we choose The Rock and Roll Circus featuring the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, and for reasons escaping comprehension, Yoko Ono.

The evening becomes a haze as legendary Israeli violinist Ivry Gitlis accompanies a screeching Yoko Ono with a look of abject horror on his face. We are in trouble and we know it. Lee prepares for his punishment by enjoying every second of the evening that he possibly can. He wears a massive grin as we chat books, movies and language. We intersperse these topics with humorous recants on Doghouse visits of yore. But here’s the thing, as Lee’s Prague-based accomplice, I simply aid and abet his entrance to the Doghouse, I am almost never a part of the punishment. But today, that is not the case.

Though I don’t fully remember it, the evening ends at some point because I wake up in a small room with a sunroof. I am already wearing my robe, which fits comfortably over a thin glaze of shame. Lee is on the other mattress, and as he jots notes in the ‘What I have Learned’ notebook, he looks up at me and nods. He hands me a potato chip, then the notebook and a pen. “Here, start a fresh page, mark the date at the top.”

It’s a well maintained Doghouse, the robe is nice and this notebook is thick.

  1. #1 by angela galeone on July 9, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Love this Dame–Butch spent quite a bit of time in the Doghouse

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