Friday, February 18, 2011

Funyuns to the rescue

* This is the first editorial I was asked to write for the Daily Forum. It was published last week.*

There I sat, a fish out of water, and to make matters worse I was attached by a thin piece of fabric to a large dog.

"Why am I so nervous," I asked myself.

Then it hit me. As a newspaper reporter, sitting in a television news station wasn't too intimidating. What was a little nerve-racking was the 90-pound gas chamber which had a tendency to spring a leak, I was attached to.

Sit, lay down, shake, rollover, stay. Those were no brainers for Ace, the shelter dog extraordinaire and king of my household.

But the command that gets a little lost in translation is still a large work in progress.

"Ace, please don't fart," I whispered as the news reporter previewed the nights lineup, which included us, to two large cameras just a few feet away.

With less than 2-minutes to get wired and situated with said mutt and the small bag of Funyuns that were saving my life in that particular moment (it pays to have snacks stashed under the seat of your car, when you forget the properly prepared bag of dog treats on the counter) the news staff decided moving the large, glass coffee table from the set might be in their best interests.

Hiding the bag of completely unhealthy attention getters behind me in my chair, I filled my left hand with the crumpled yellow crispies and commanded a "sit!"

Perfect. Ace sat.

"This could work," I thought to myself as the smell of chocolate brownies began to filter into my nose. "Chocolate brownies? What the heck?"

It was too late. The smell had also filtered through the super-powered Olfactory senses of Ace.

There she stood, not more than 20 feet away, a newscaster preparing her annual recipe that would be featured later in the show.

The plan of gradually releasing one "treat" crisp at a time as King Ace continued to perform on-camera had gone out the window — too bad the smell of those brownies hadn't.

As his "happy dance" commenced, I shoved the entire handful into his mouth and repeated, "Ace, sit!".

It worked. Ace sat and the brief lapse in attention we had experienced was over, only he performed too well.

Butt facing the camera, his eyes were now affixed on my left hand.

I tugged and pulled with all my might at the firmly planted rear end in an attempt to swing it around. No such luck.

Giving into defeat, the cameraman announced 15 seconds until our big television debut — or debut of a big, furry, black butt.

As luck would have it, with two seconds left, King Ace took his place lying leisurely at my feet, tilting his head ever so slightly to the camera as if to say, "I'm ready."

Ugh. Darn dog.

We breezed through the interview, hopefully doing the New Nodaway Humane Society some justice, and made our way to the car.

"Good boy, Ace!" I doted like a happy parent after a dance recital or school play.

With the King securely loaded, I put the car in reverse, and was blindsided.

"Ace! Are you serious? You couldn't have farted before we got in the car?"

Must have been the Funyuns.

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