Yesterday my mailbox held something I always dread receiving: A jury summons.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m perfectly happy to honor my civic duty. But I’d prefer that duty not be a week from Tuesday. Maybe in the winter when I’m not as busy? What can I say? There’s never a good time to get a jury summons. So I’m contemplating rescheduling. And then rescheduling the reschedule.
I can’t believe I’m old enough to say this but back in the day, whenever I left the house, I didn’t have a cell phone in my purse. That’s because they weren’t invented yet. Unlike today, I was able to function just fine without staying connected every second of every day to every human being I know. If I needed to talk to someone, I waited until I got home to dial them from our rotary phone.
Yep, my family had a dial-up phone ages ago. Now don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t around in the day of switchboards like on the Andy Griffith Show where Andy has to ask switchboard operator, Sarah, to ring Aunt Bee for him. Please, I’m not THAT old!
Anyway, our phone was beige with a long coiled cord that stretched from the kitchen nook into the dining room, where we sat and gabbed. But for many years prior, the cord was only 2 feet long so we had to stand to talk. This was also the day of party lines. Know about those?
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m sure some unique souls out there don’t have routines, but I don’t know of any. Do you? I do, however, know myself and my animals. I can predict what they’ll do even before they do it because, well, it’s habit.
I’m no exception with routines. For instance, in the shower I first wash my hair, then my body. Wouldn’t occur to me to do it in reverse. Without fail, I put on my left sock before my right. I floss my upper teeth before my lower. It’s a habit for me to forget my bags when I grocery shop. Every. Single. Time.
Well, I’m two-thirds of the way there so I figure #3 is lurking nearby, ready to pounce. Will I be driving, swerve to avoid a deer and crunch my car against a tree? Will I be walking the dogs when Skip, for the millionth time, stops directly in front of me for no apparent reason, whereupon I nosedive onto the sidewalk, breaking said nose? Or, more likely, it will have something to do with cats. It usually does.
Take injury #1 that occurred 3 weeks ago. I was trapping ferals for spay/neuter and using our new remote control drop trap for the first time. What an awesome invention. Cats are smart little buggers and they sometimes catch on to the fact that I’m trying to capture them, especially when I have to be present to operate a normal drop trap. They seem to know I’m hiding 50 feet away in the bed of a pickup, not-so-clandestinely peeking over the tailgate.
But with a remote control trap, I can be 200 feet away. Sometimes I need binoculars to see whether it’s a crow under there or a small black cat. But after testing the trap, I noticed it sometimes jammed when I pulled the trigger, failing to drop down all the way. This is not good. The cats were watching, like furry little spies, from behind wheels of parked cars, so I decided to test the trap again but catch it before the heavy metal hit the cement with a bang, scattering the ferals.
In my silly life, I count on some things being predictable. Some simply occur and I accept them. Then again, some of my truths are nothing more than just my opinion. I guess you could say I hold these truths to be self evident…
When taking my dog, Nellie, for a walk, she will poop on the lawn of the one person in our entire neighborhood who happens to be out front the moment we walk by. Every other house we pass is like the Twilight Zone, appearing eerily empty from the outside. Yet that damn dog will zero in on the one lawn which also happens to be perfectly manicured. She never does it on a dead lawn or in a rock garden.
I sense it the second I see someone out front tending their garden or mowing their precious lawn. Those people are like magnets to my greyhound. I even get my poop bag ready as we approach, prefacing my apprehension by saying, “Don’t even think about it, Nellie.” But she does more than just think about. Every. Single. Time.