Not the thing itself. This time I’m talking about the show. I just watched the episode where Kristina tells her family she has cancer, and I’m crying so hard I’m going to short out my computer. That series! Jesus. They should use it at accident sites, as a way to tell if people are dead or alive. Just put them in front of any episode–if they don’t sob themselves into a fetal position by the end of the opening credits they’re corpses for sure. Of course, checking the pulse is faster. But the show is much more entertaining. If you think entertainment is having your heart ripped open and spread on toast like so much chunky almond butter.
Anyway. What I was planning on writing about–before I got dragged into the “Parenthood” grief cycle–was my dog. The jerk finally killed something. Just a squirrel. But still. It was horrible. And in front of my daughter, too! Fortunately we were standing in a driveway and there was a car blocking her view, so technically MJ didn’t see it. She just heard the screams.
I, on the other hand, saw the whole thing. As did Mike. My Dad saw it too. He was heretofore less familiar with Mina’s Caligula side. No longer. I don’t think he’ll be inviting her up to the house again anytime soon.
Oh, Mina. Sometimes I feel cursed with her. Her dog aggression alone would make her seriously challenging. Add in the broken windows, the repeated instances of knocking over small children, the magnetic attraction to skunks, the resistance to training of any kind, and you’ve got a dog that can be a wee bit hard to love. And let me tell you, adding murder to her list of crimes doesn’t up her desirability quotient. And I mean, really, what gives with that? Most dogs chase squirrels and miss. They miss every time. That’s what dog’s do. It’s supposed to be a cliche.
But our dog never got the memo. For there she was, racing after one, catching it, and then–while we all screamed “Mina, no!”–snapping its neck with one flick of her head in less time than it would take to flip a burger. Then, and only then, did she heed our desperate calls. She dropped it–leaving the corpse lying in the next driveway like some kind of flaccid fur sausage–and raced back to us. Wagging her tail, of course.
I kind of hate her.
I once saw my beloved ex-cat Sid kill a hummingbird, and I had much the same feeling about him. A sort of sickened realization: “My God. You’re an animal.” I never looked at him the same way again. Which is why he now lives–in shag-carpeted comfort, mind you– with my old neighbor. Don’t hate me. He peed on everything. And he’s safer there, anyway. Mina clearly would have done him in eventually.
Maybe the squirrel is part of the reason I cried so hard at Parenthood tonight. Maybe the hummingbird, too. And Sid. And Lisa B. Adams–I know I was crying for her. And for all of us poor sots. We’ll all end up like that squirrel eventually–mown down by an unseen force, necksnapped unceremoniously, and left as carrion on a stranger’s property. Where, hopefully, a raven will eventually come and eat us. Or at least our entrails. And the rest will eventually get cleaned up by that same neighbor. Who will wonder why the fuck there’s a dead squirrel lying in his driveway.
He’ll never know. Life is rough.
I need a bit more escape from it. I’m going to go watch another episode.