Saturday, February 01, 2014

Dear Charlie:

Sometimes, having a friendly face results in wacky shenanigans.

So I got up kinda late today. I've been under the weather with the Creeping Crud, which just wears you out, so I let myself sleep in and woke up with a "slept too long" headache. A can of Coke and three ibuprofen took care of most of it, so after a couple of hours, I decided I was hungry and should probably eat something.

But since I still feel pretty cruddy, I didn't really want to fix anything, so I decided that it's been far too long since I went to HuHot. Still achy down the back of my neck (I seriously slept hard last night, which I apparently needed), I picked up an Agatha Christie novel, put on my old Chiefs hat to keep my hair out of my face, and made sure I had some singles to tuck into the fishbowl (no, I don't ring the gong - those poor guys have to chant often enough), then headed out...

...only to have to scrape a nice coat of ice off my car. Oh, well. Didn't take but a few minutes to get on my way, and, thanks to that light scrim of ice, HuHot wasn't as busy as it probably would have been. Heh, the odd time of day probably helped, too. Plus, I got potstickers. Always tasty.

Anyway, since I was out and about and still achy down the neck, I figured I'd treat myself to a venti Earl Grey tea latte on the way home. The guy behind me got a little huffy with the drive-thru order-taker, so I decided I'd give the poor barista a little bigger tip than I normally would to make up for it. Definitely worth it for the smile I got to go along with my favorite beverage.

So, feeling full and all smiley now and with that heavenly bergamot scent permeating my car, I thought, "Hey, I haven't rented a movie in a dog's years. I'll stop by Family Video and see what's available. I may be stuck at home if there's more ice on the way and yeah, it's SuperBowl Sunday tomorrow and all, but...."

And there was my first mistake of the day. Heh.

Apparently, everyone who was already out had a similar idea, because Family Video was packed. I managed to pick out two movies to keep for five nights, but man, it was like dancing a particularly intricate tango with a bunch of strangers. Like the most awkward musical ever, sans music.

But finally, I stood in line with my two movies. The guy next to me (just ahead of me, but such niceties are kinda lost in such a crowd) had a little Yorkie-ish puppy in a t-shirt on one arm and his movies in the other hand, and the poor puppy was clearly overwhelmed by the crowd - kinda caught between trembling and squirming to get down to investigate.

It was a long wait. At some point, the guy started looking around at people close to him, and as I watched, he settled on me and stepped closer.

"I hate to ask, but... could you hold her for just a second? I can't get to my wallet."

Now, most people who know me know that I'm not much for small dogs, but the poor guy needed a hand, and I guess I have that friendly face thing going, so I shrugged, shifted my movies to under my arm, and took the puppy. You never know how a dog (or a child, for that matter) will react to a stranger, but apparently this one smelled the Feed the Huns Hoisin on my breath, because it just went lick-crazy. I haven't been so thoroughly puppy-licked since I was a kid.

The guy kept apologizing as he's trying to dig his wallet out and his coat keeps getting in the way, but I was basically okay with it. It was harder to keep from dropping my movies than anything else, and I chuckled pretty much the whole time. Don't get me wrong: it's a little gross to know that you're getting shellacked by the same tongue that licks its butt, but still. A thorough puppy-licking isn't all bad. Especially when the puppy in question so obviously enjoys itself.

Soon enough, the guy took the little wiggler back, apologizing all the while, but I just laughed and swiped at my face with my coat sleeves. She'd even licked my hat in her power-licking frenzy. The puppy kept trying to wiggle out of his arms and get back at me, which was amusing. Note to self: no more Feed the Huns Hoisin when dogs are in the near future.

Anyway, the guy finally just grinned and said, "She likes you. Thanks for the help."

No problem, guy. No problem.

It was still a bit of a wait, but when I did finally get up to the front of the line, the poor, harried lady apologized for the wait, to which I replied, "No worries. I got a puppy-licking, so I'm okay."

She chuckled, obviously relieved, and said, "Thanks for that. It's the first laugh I've had all day."

There were still plenty of people behind me in line, so I'm sure someone got fussy at some point, but at least she got a bit of a laugh on such a crazy day. That makes me feel good.

A good puppy-licking probably helped, too.

So yeah. Sometimes, having a friendly face is a good thing.

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