My neighbor just called. The one down the hill, closer to Lookout Mountain. It's half past six in the morning. And yes the dogs were barking at six, at an errant coyote. Such is life in the hills. Dogs protect and the wildlife brings out their inner security guards. They were outside for all of an minute before I ushered them in, shut the door and grumbled at them. Usually we don't go out till seven, down the hill, along the swale, taking in the morning.
"It's George, your neighbor" he says. "What's up with the dogs?"
(George is a lawyer who gets large amounts of money for people hurt in accidents.)
"Oh sorry George, I heard them when you did and I just brought them in."
(Dogs bark, George, dogs bark, especially in the canyon.)
"Every day it's the same with the dogs barking early in the morning. What are you going to do about it."
"Sorry George, I'm usually really careful not to let them out too early. But you know, we live in the hills and there are coyotes..."
"What are you going to do about it?"
"Sorry George this is the first time I've spoken to you in ages, I didn't realize there was a problem."
"That's not true. I spoke to your daughter the other day. That's just not true."
"What's not true, George? Are you calling me a liar?"
"It's not true" he says, firmly.
"George, I always respond whenever you call. I am always very aware that you don't want barking dogs to interrupt you in the early hours of the morning. I don't understand why you are being so aggressive."
"Well what's the solution?"
"I'll shoot them" I say, deadpan.
I am proud of the silence that ensues.
Finally, "Why are you being like that" says George.
"Well, because I had a shitty day yesterday, and you are calling me at six in the morning all aggressive when I have only ever been nice to you and frankly I think this is fucking bullshit."
And I hung up the phone.
Or something like that.
These are the days that you wish you were married to a member of the NRA, with a big belly and a .45. Actually, any husband would do, as long as he were menacing.
Stuff that in your binder, Mr Romney.