Wednesday, August 31, 2011

crocodile rock.

Listening To: Save Me by JJ Heller
Line Obsession: Every line in Katherine Hannigan's True ... Sort Of. I finished it last night, and it is officially one of my favorite books. Delly Pattison is one of the coolest girls I've ever read in a book. She made me laugh (and then I called and read those parts to people so they could laugh with me) and her story made my heart hurt, too. It is a difficult book to describe. It is also incredible. If you need a book for the weeekend, go buy that one and let me know what you think! (*cough* Newbery! *cough*)

Do you remember the crocodile in Peter Pan?

Big? Lime green? Kinda winky? 

But I think the actual reptile that posed a threat to Captain Hook (actual in a ... fictional way) was way more beastly. Click through the link at the end of this paragraph until you see the gorgeous mural Dustin Chambers created for Living Walls 2011. Which is approximately Reason #1billion why I love Georgia and the classy people who live there. You Georgia folks like to show off your artists BIG. You can see the full gallery here.

As you probably know, Captain Hook's scaly foe was the reason for Captain Hook's ... hook.* And, apparently, Captain Hook's hand tasted crazy-delicious.

An Analogy:
Captain Hook's hand : The Crocodile :: Nutella : The Natalie

Somehow Captain Hook baited the Crocodile with a clock so he could hear him tick-tock-tick-tock-ing toward him and he would have time to haul out. You remember? But the problem was that the Croc had a mission. The Croc had a goal. The Croc would not settle for just a hand.
This is not a crocodile:

It is a sweet and lovable Biscuit.

But we've been in a situation lately that is very Crocodile vs. Pirate. Biscuit isn't trying to eat my hand, or anything reptilian. So don't be fearful or grossed out or concerned.

However. Biscuit is, for some mysterious reason, obsessed with my mouthguard.

Necessary Backstory: I have to wear a mouthguard when I sleep, else I grind my teeth like a mad woman.

(Tangent: I blame this necessity on my very vivid dreams. I recently dreamed I lost my contact in a bowl of nacho cheese and I was going wild, digging through the cheese trying to find it. Clearly, this was a dream. Because in reality, I would just shrug my shoulders and assume the contact would digest fine and I would keep eating.)

Most of the time, like 99% of the time, I remember to store my mouthguard in its cutesy container and put it in my nightstand. But there were a few times that I just stored the mouthguard in the container and left the container on my nightstand.

And then I started finding the container at various locations all over the house. And because I'm not always so quick on the draw, I thought: "Weird. It must be sticking to my jeans and falling off when I walk through the house."

Sticking to my jeans and falling off when I walk through the house. That's common sense thinking at it's finest, yes?

It was my bffSarah who clued me in.

Sarah told me that she had to get a mouthguard too and I said something like: "We are so awesome!"
And she said, "We totally are!"

We like to affirm our mutual awesomeness as much as possible, usually after an event which might lead others to believe we are not awesome at all. Like: when we meet for our annual Corn Maize/Hocus Pocus viewing? We are awesome. And when Sarah finds a perfect recipe for Butter Beer? We are awesome! (I'm awesome by default, cause I'm her friend.) And when we bust out movie quotes from Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas ... we. Are. Awesome.

Mouthguards are awesome.

Sarah then said, "My dentist told me to be sure and put it away. Because pets love to chew on them."
And I said, "Why would pets want to chew on mouthguards?"

I don't remember what conclusion we came to.

All I know is that one day, I was running late for something, and I left my mouthguard out on my nightstand. No container. And I came home and it was gone.

And then I found it.

In Biscuit's mouth.

She wasn't wearing it (not when I saw her). But she was chewing on it like it was the most amazing and delicious thing she'd ever tasted. I threw it away, which broke her heart all to pieces.

And I got a new one made. Now I keep the thing tucked far, far away from my dog.

But my dog ... she's like Captain Hook's crocodile.

Because she's had the mouthguard already. And so now, she won't settle for less than that plastic pile of morning breath.

Some mornings, right before I open my eyes, I hear what sounds like an air compressor going off right in front of my face. And I open my eyes and Biscuit's nose is not even an inch from my mouth. She's sniffing. Sniff-sniff-sniffing.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

And I stare at her.

And she stares at me like, "Just let me have the mouthguard. I know it's in there. I want it. Please. It's so delicious."

And I blink at her like, "This mouthguard ain't cheap. Go chew on your toys."

And she sighs and gives up and goes back to eating the face off of her toy-dog. Which is mildly disconcerting but whatever.

That arrangement worked fine until last week, when I woke up to find the mouthguard ... missing.

You need to know this: when I wake up, I'm in a hazy stupor for a substantial period of time.
Like, stuff doesn't make sense to me before, say, 5PM.

And so, if I accidentally spit my mouthguard out in the middle of the night, I wake up and my first irrational thought is:
"Ohmygosh, I've swallowed it I'll DIE!!!!!!!"

The truth is that there is no way to accidentally swallow that thing. But I can't think rationally that early.
So I immediately fling myself into the floor and feel under the bed and rip off all the sheets until I find the mouthguard. Always. I'm always in full frenzy-mode.

This is what happened to me a few mornings ago: I woke up and the mouthguard was gone. So, as per usual, I rolled into the floor and started feeling around all frantic-crazy trying to find it, while also trying to remember how to give myself the heimlich maneuver in case it didn't turn up.

And then a rare and rational thought occurred to me ...

... most likely, I just spit the dern thing out while sleeping.

Most likely ... my dog then sniffed it out.

I sighed. "Biscuit."

Biscuit was asleep on my bed. She did not look at me when I said her name. She kept her eyes shut. But she totally started wagging her tail as though I'd just given her a treat. Biscuit's poker face always goes awry due to her wagging tail.

"Biscuit," I said again. "Did you chew up my mouthguard again?"

Biscuit rolled over on her back and pressed her paws up in the air like she could not be bothered with such trivialities so early.

Biscuit has a morning routine she likes to stick to: namely, I scratch her tummy and tell her how cute she is and she rolls around and stretches and that's how she starts her day. As I've said, Biscuit is mostly the Queen of the World. HRH Biscuit; Duchess of the Duck Pond, etc. (And please, I do not spoil my dog ; )

So I scratched her tummy while I glanced around the edge of the bed, where she sleeps, and I sang a very catchy song called, "If I were a mouthguard, where would I be?"

And it must have been the song that cued Biscuit in to the quest at hand.

Suddenly, Biscuit opened her eyes. She jumped straight into a sitting position. And we stared at each other; like gunslingers about to have us a showdown.

And then Biscuit jumped in the floor and started sniffing and I flung myself into the floor again and continued searching.

At one point, Biscuit got bored searching and watched from the edge of the bed like, "You find it. Then I'll snatch it from you."

Eventually, the mouthguard did turn up. And it had not been chewed on by a dog, thank goodness. And when I put my mouthguard in that night and said, "I am awe-thum!"
Biscuit blinked at me like, "For now."

Win some lose some.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

This morning, I woke up and Biscuit's face was an inch from my face again. And she was staring at my mouth again, like, "You spit it out one more time ... and it's mine."
She keeps me on my toes.


  1. You, my friend, are an awesome storyteller. And the pictures of Biscuit are TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

  2. true...sort of. i've seen that book, i'll have to give it a shot. what an awesome (how appropriate) post! and i LOVED the dream story, nacho cheese is always a good time.

  3. Does anyone pose as well as Biscuit? I don't think so. Biscuit was born to be a super model.

  4. Oh my...this post cracked me up. Big time. :) Thanks for a laugh!


  5. You're such an incredible storyteller. Write more books, please. :)

    I saw this quote today and thought of you: "But how often do you get to be around one of your peers when they are at their most enthusiastic and engaged? A few times a year, maximum. Weddings, promotions, buying a “Goonies” lunch box on eBay." Ummm, yes to the last one, for sure. ;)

  6. After talking with mom, dad, sister, and brother on the phone, your blog is always the highlight of my week. ;)

  7. I see you, too, had doggie adventures this week :)

  8. hahaha... this story was hilarious. your method of telling it was just great!

  9. My Yorkie chewed up my retainer. And like you, mine always falls out when I sleep. It's gross. Lol. I love Peter Pan!!!! I used to watch Hook everyday as a kid. Maggie Smith was my fave :)