A doggone way to welcome Christmas guests.
|There seems to be a new trend for Christmas nowadays, at least in these parts. And in these parts I refer to Youngstown, Ohio. Actually, the real locale was Austintown, Ohio, which abuts Youngstown on the west side. But simple geography aside, this is where I experienced this new trend on Christmas Day. Maybe it is a trend that will catch on.
I was invited to Christmas dinner, and showed up cheerful, with cookies. But upon entering, I was greeted by the family dog, a small, pointed package of vitriol putting out sound at the decibel level of Judas Priest and Metallica at war. And fast, too. I mean it was like a blur, coming at me with intense canine enthusiasm.
His enthusiasm was further extended with a sharp bite to my thigh, and I had no more than set down my tin of cookies. At this point the owner picked up my hyper-holiday greeter and removed him to the living room, contented, I assume, in the knowledge that this greeting was sufficient, and that one bite was enough.
Aside from the incisive unexpectedness of it all (and who doesn't like a nice surprise on Christmas), I would be remiss if I did not also share the benefits of such an experience. Hey, it is the holiday season, a season of peace, good will and all that, so I can pass this along with dogged determination.
First of all, a doggy greeting like this keeps you on your toes. The front of me was facing that long, pointed snout (with eager teeth), coming at me toward a delicate area, if you catch my drift. And so, I did a little dance--without, necessarily, any seltzer down my pants. (More on pants shortly.) So he got the thigh, and not the fly.
Second, some mental discipline can be strengthened in a case like this, because the immediate, emotional reaction is to leave, for such an enthusiastic greeting, with bite, can chew on you, and it did on me. Some greetings are a bit much. I decided to stay.
Third, this type of greeting has a way of keeping the holiday mirth in check. Now I’m not the, “lampshade on the head” type of guy, but why take chances? Best to keep a somber attitude. Definitely, it had a governing effect; no need for excessive happiness on Christmas Day.
As to benefit four, I can only speak to my situation, as I am a single guy. Other cases would have to be assessed accordingly. At any rate, I needed to check the results of the greeting, and so I asked for some Neosporin, and went into the bathroom, downstairs. I then returned upstairs. Now, I am a horrible liar (that is to say, I cannot tell a lie convincingly), but this next statement can be said with absolute truth, and I can hardly wait to try it out: “It was a heck of a Christmas party--I had my pants down!”
The next benefit is perhaps not so much a benefit as it is a peek at rationalization, an interesting bit of human study. Well, I guess that would be a benefit. But it also seems to me to be a point of psychology, and since I am not a psychologist (I’m an engineer and a writer), I qualify it thusly. At any rate, about five minutes after the “greeting”, the owner said this: “Boy, he must know that you’re afraid of him, for him to act that way!” Right, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.
Finally, the last benefit I shall address is one of, “instant family.” During the subdued meal (for me anyway), it came out that this overly eager pup had greeted many others, including someone just walking down the street, with his toothy expertise, and my one host made the comment that, “He’s bitten just about everyone in the family!”
I could not resist looking right at him, and quipping, “Hi brother!” Well, it might not have been much, but it was something. Appropriate, I think, considering the imposed restrictions I was under.
And so there you have it. I could probably dig out a few more benefits, but I think that’s enough for now. So remember, come next Christmas, that time of silver bells, good will and welcoming warmth, make sure and unleash those dogs on your guests--help take a bite out of chime.