Occam’s Razor

razor1

 

Occam’s Razor is a theory that states that taking everything into consideration the simplest answer is almost always the correct one.

I could hear the rhythmic thumping of my dog’s foot pounding the floor in the bathroom as I rounded the corner into my bathroom. His vacant childlike expression of question was the first thing I noticed. He had been digging at his ear and I could see flecks of blood down the side of his snow-white fur.

“Winter, come here baby.” I playfully called him to me but he resumed his digging and I sat down on the mat beside him. I turned the faucet on in the tub and dampened a soft cloth before wiping down his neck and ears. He hard parked himself in front of the toilet and I noticed flecks on the side of the bowl as well. His stubby boxer nose with its single black spot nuzzled my hip looking for the hug he usually gets after I have done anything he deemed unnecessary.

“Hang on.” I laughed as he whimpered a bit to get my attention. I grabbed some toilet paper and dried out his ear which led to a vigorous head shaking. I laughed as he looked like Dumbo preparing to lift off for his first flight. I lifted the lid of the toilet and was puzzled to see the bowl already full of blood.

The simplest answer is always the correct one.

“Fred?” I called out to my daughter “Where you cleaning the dog up or something?”

There was no response so I walked across the hallway to her bedroom. The flecks of blood on the top of her green and purple duvet had my brain reeling as I didn’t remember the dog being in her room at all. I pulled the cover off her bed and saw matching stains with larger smears across her bottom sheet. I pulled all her bedding off with a grumble under my breath about keeping the door shut so the dogs couldn’t get on her bed. Especially when Winter had been digging at his ears.

The simplest answer is always the correct one.

I started gathering up dirty laundry as it was strewn down the hallway. I figured if I was going down stairs, I might better take every thing I could. There was a ball of Fred’s clothes tucked under some towels and I pulled them apart and my heart stopped cold in my chest.

No way.

The simplest answer is always the correct one.

I stumbled down the stairs in that numb state parents find themselves when a child fails a grade or dings up the car the first time they take it out. The door was closed to the downstairs bathroom. I dumped the laundry across the hall and took a deep breath. This was a moment I had hoped her mother would deal with when it happened but here it was quite literally in my hands.

I knocked softly on the door. That quiet knock you give when you are terrified of what was waiting behind the door.

“Fred, it’s okay.” I started really not knowing what else to say “I mean it was going to happen. I just hoped it would be five or seventeen years from now.”

“It’s fine , Dad. We learned all about it at school in health class.” Fred responded through the door that seemed to be a barrier between us that had simply sprung up by her growing up. I rubbed my head and felt the stubble. I was due for a shave so I put my hand against the door briefly before taking it away like there was a fire behind it and not my no longer so little girl.

The simplest answer is always the correct one.

There are moments every man has to face at least once in his life. Moments where his courage and resolve are tested. Moments he will be a better parent for.

Standing in line at the pharmacy with an arm load full of every size and shape of pad produced in the known world for his twelve-year-old daughter and a can of shaving cream is one of them.

I nearly swallowed my tongue when the girl at the check out smiled and asked if “That would be all?”

“Just double bag that please.” I implied with the same wary eye that guys use when buying a porno magazine at a new store. Not that I have ever had that experience either.

The walk up the driveway felt like the longest fourteen steps in history. My brain kept wandering thinking about where I had missed all the day of her life that got us here. I thought about her sitting in the driveway drawing little stick princesses in side-walk chalk and me drawing giant Great White sharks eating them. I thought about the first time she rode her bike to school and I counted the seconds until I saw her turn the corner towards home.

None of those moments were gone but they would be replaced with the anxiety of boys (which are still thankfully gross) and friends and all the things that come with having a teenage daughter.

I noticed her door to her bedroom was shut . I inched down the hallway and hung the bag on her door. It felt like it was heavy enough to pull the handle off. I stepped away from it like it was a bag of poisonous snake.

“I left some things on your door for you,” I said softly “Just let me know if they are the right……things….”

I walked silently across the hallway to the bathroom and closed the door. My breathing was starting to slow itself. I dropped my pants and sat on the toilet. I didn’t know it I was going to puke or poop first and I figured I would rather clean up puke off the floor before poop. I heard the snap and creak of Fred’s door followed by the rustling of the doubled up plastic bag. I could hear the shuffle of her feet across the floor.

The bathroom door flung open and Fred promptly strode the short distance to the sink and deposited the shaving gel I had bought on the counter. Winter followed right behind her and sat at her heel digging at his ears again.

“You know I am pooping right?” I asked as I covered myself as best I could.

“I know.” Fred said as she planted a kiss on my cheek “But now today is awkward for you too.”

 

A Dog Eat Dog World

dog-bite

 

The aloofness of cats has always bothered me.

Their snide looks. Their subtle superiority complexes. Their quickness when clawing your arms from fingertips to facial stubble for simply touching them. Every single thing about them.

I have always been a dog person. That may say a lot about who I am but I think it boils down to the simple give and take relationship that you can expect from a dog.

That has always extended to the dogs of people I have done work for. I have had them climb up in my truck. Steal my lunch off the back of my truck. Pee on my tools. It happens. It’s just kind of what you expect from a dog.

I heard the dog before I could see it. The wild maniacal barking all dogs do when someone knocks on the door. The same kind of nervous excitement guys get when they are waiting for a girl to answer her cell phone the first time you call them right up to the excited peeing. Its claws scrabbled at the lower panels of the door so I figured it wasn’t a large dog. As the door swung open the barking became a low throated growl that inched closer to my boots. They were wet from the morning rain that had rolled in and I wiped them off as I stepped inside the door.

I laughed as I saw the dog. It was dachshund that couldn’t have weighed any more than five pounds but every hair on its body was standing straight on end like the back hair on an old man at the beach when he takes his shirt off.  I had to tell the customer that the job was just too intricate and time-consuming to risk it in bad weather so I would be back the next day. The sausage-shaped dog continued to bark and snarl until its owner picked it up.

“He’s never bitten anyone.” The owner said derisively as the dogs insanity calmed down to a level just below needing electro shock therapy. It bared its teeth at me again as I explained the plan for finishing the job around the sun/ snow/ rain mix that was expected in the next few days. As I headed toward the door to help my team pack up our gear, I heard the crab claw clicking of toe nails on the floor as the wiener dog shot across the floor and grabbed the hem of my thick carpenter pants. I looked down to see the wild-eyed glare and the flash of needle teeth before the dog latched on to my calf. It felt like being stung by thirty bees all at once in a piece of skin the size of a dime.

I kicked the dog away from me and reached down to pull up the fabric. I saw six puncture marks and a welt that was already turning a purplish red.

“I thought you said he didn’t bite” I said gruffly as I rubbed the spots of blood off my leg.

“He never has,” The owner said as he scooped up the now blood fuelled engine of hate “Well…..I mean…..he bit my wife’s aunt twice on the leg last week and bit my wife’s hand so hard yesterday that we called the paramedics but he’s really just being protective.”

“Protective of what? Your vast collection of professional wrestling video cassettes?” I growled.

“You’re not going to sue are you?” the owner asked as the dog continued to thrash like a vibrator dropped on a tile floor.

“No.” I said flatly “Are his shots up to date?”

“As far as I know.” The owner said with a sigh that told me it wasn’t the first time the subject had been broached.

“Then I will be fine.” I said as I headed out the door into the drizzly dampness. The throb in my leg didn’t ease at all as I got into my truck and headed to meet a possible customer at their house.

I once again heard dogs as I got out of the truck but this was the low monotonous bark of hounds and I wasnt disappointed as I saw two massive dogs heads up over the five foot retaining fence. Their droopy faces dangling like an octogenarian’s labia and just as wrinkly. I laughed as I saw them and then threw up in my mouth a little at the imagery.

“Don’t worry, they don’t bite.” I heard the home owner say as he walked out of the back yard. It was like he could read my mind as I kept my distance from the braying labia faced animals.

“I wasn’t worried.” I answered with a tremble in my voice echoed in a painful throb where the teeth had gouged into me.

“Come on around back and I will show you what I need done.” The labia dogs owner said as he motioned for me to join him in the backyard.

I opened the gate and felt my first step into the back yard sink up to the ankle of my boot. I looked down and saw I had landed squarely in a pile of dog crap the size, shape and oddly enough the same color as the dog that had bitten me. I couldn’t contain the laugh as the owners face fell when he saw my boot.

He had no idea that while I had no love for cats that my day had gotten a whole lot better by crushing a pile of shit shaped like a wiener dog left there by a dog with a face like a pussy.