A Sheep and a Goat Walk Into a Bar…

There’s not really a punchline to that joke but the real joke goes more like: A sheep and a goat spend all day every day bored in their pen. The sheep, has a sizable rack (maybe that’s the punchline to the first joke?) and insists on ramming things. Dave makes weekly repairs to their enclosure. Keep this information in mind as we journey through tonight’s tale (tail.)

There I was, parked in the driveway, sitting in my car, checking Facebook. I do this on most nights, when I can’t quite face the chaos (and Chaos) of coming home to the animals. I love the animals but the second I walk through the door, the madness begins and I must move very quickly to keep the system functioning. I enter the house and the two dogs in their kennels start to go nuts. I usually change out of my work shoes and put on sneakers, walk to the cages and release Chaos, then Lilly (the terrorist.) Chaos likes to leap on Lilly, who being smallish, doesn’t appreciate that sort of playing. Lilly in turn snarls at Chaos, who then gets offended and the dog fight starts. In order to prevent it, I walk to the door and send Chaos outside while I put the leash on Lilly, all the while yelling, “leave it,” at Chaos, who is usually too excited to actually leave Lilly alone. Lilly is not allowed outside without the leash because she’s a terrorist with no loyalties to anyone but herself, therefore, she does not believe in returning when called. All the while, I have to make sure the hairless cat doesn’t dart out the door. He is obsessed with going outside though clearly, he has no hair and no skills. After I get the dogs out to go to the bathroom, we go downstairs and brave the aggressive sheep to feed and water the livestock in the basement. Then I have to go back up to the house and feed the dogs (back into the kennels for everyone, feed the cats, let the dogs back out and then, maybe I can use the human bathroom or get a beer. I’m not sure if Dave has the same system. I never asked because the one I have works for me, it just takes some mental preparation. In my case, I meditate on Facebook.

Tonight, as I was saying, I was parked in the driveway. I had actually been there for a while because I had a bad day and needed extra prep time. Then I looked up. Three of my neighbors were standing on the roadway looking befuddled. Bewildered. The Ben Lomond house is in a mountain neighborhood. There aren’t many neighbors and it takes a great deal of unusual-ness to make them leave their castles of recluse. That’s when I saw the flash of color that is distinctive to only one thing…

Sheep and goat. I actually saw Sheldon. He’s a pretty distinctive shade of tan and black and he has a funky stiff-legged gait. I don’t know how long my neighbors had been starting at them because frankly, I didn’t pay any attention when I drove in but looking back, they were all standing there when I came up the road. I had tuned them out. Beat that level of meditation, zen masters! I leaped out of my car and walked towards them in my good shoes. Fluevogs, none the less! They were nervously grazing on the neighbors landscaping. In fact, they found the only house with landscaping to graze. I wasn’t sure what to do but as I overheard the neighbors debating about their point of origin (really? you don’t know which house has a sheep and goat that scream at odd hours and bang on the fence everyday?) I yelled that they were mine and walked that way. I had no rope or leash or dog collar or hope in Hell of getting them back. What I do know is there were kids around. Sheldon has been very aggressive lately and I didn’t want him knocking one down and breaking all of its ribs. As I walked up, Fin stopped and I distinctly heard her say, “Busted!” Sheldon however is stupid, maybe you had heard this about sheep? It’s true. He walked right up to me and I grabbed his horn. We had a short tussle but he eventually, reluctantly, allowed me to lead/drag him back to the house, by his big, curly horn. Fin followed along reluctantly. Once we got into the front yard, he followed my willingly. I led them, a la pied piper, into the basement and then into their living quarters. They were still pretty keyed up and Sheldon kept threatening to ram me, so I didn’t go in there but I could see that a section of the redwood security fence was down.

I walked into the main part of he basement that we use for storage. I say we but I think most of the clutter came from Dave. As I rifled through the crap, trying to find the can of rusted old nails that I know Dave keeps down there, I cursed him. Once upon a time, I was staying with Dave while my escrow was closing but my 30 days notice on my rental had long since come and gone, Dave took my tools. I had a set of tools. There were 7 tools, everything I might need as a renter and a relatively small human. There was a set of pliers, a smallish hammer, a box cutter, etc. And they had a case, which arranged them nicely so I knew if one was missing. Dave took my tools. he took them and he emptied them into his tool bag saying, “real men don’t use cases with pre-shaped holes that tools snap into.” And that dear reader, was the last time I ever saw my tools. I can only assume that he promptly lost them. I have since searched, fruitlessly. At the time, we were newly in love. I didn’t mind. Five years later, I’m a little miffed. I know, it’s too late. I shouldn’t be rehashing old problems but tonight the wound is new again. There is no hammer downstairs. All of the useful tools are at the ranch. All I could find was a big old coffee can of used nails and some sort of hammer-like thing, which lacked the weight or head shape to make it truly useful. I started using the “F” word a lot; mostly in my head but sometimes out loud. I also had to scavenge some wet lumber.

I spent a while staring at the fence. There was only one way to get to it and that was through the pen. Somewhere, someone was whistling the theme song to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I walked slowly through the pen. Shel backed up and prepared to ram me. I pointed at him, menacingly and said loudly, “SHEL, NO!” He shook his head and paused. Perhaps he was remembering the fun times we had when he was young and innocent. Then he backed up again and prepared to ram me. I shouted again and kept facing him as I backed towards the fence. We did this dance for 20 feet. Eventually, he did hit the can of nails and spilled them everywhere. This distracted him long enough that I could get what was left of the nails, to the fence, where I lifted the fallen piece and slammed it on Shel’s head. Not on purpose mind you, he was trying to ram me again. I quickly salvaged some nails and rigged the fence to stand. I was wishing I had brought the roll of hot pink duct tape from the car. That would have fixed it. I wasn’t strong enough to get the fence into its real place so I found some extra boards and nailed them over everything else. It’s not something I would call pretty but it may hold for the night.

I called Dave and used the “F’ word some more. Not at him, just in general. I can conjugate it a number of ways. I told Dave that if he loves me, he would forgo the lingerie for our upcoming anniversary and just buy me a set of tools. With a case. With pre-cut holes that the tools snap into. And then he would never, ever take those tools.

The weird thing was we had been discussing moving Fin and Sheldon to Redemption. We took the electric fencing out there last weekend. I guess this weekend, we will take the livestock. I don’t think my mountain neighbors will be real happy if they keep grazing the landscaping and I will not be real happy if I have to keep fixing fences without the proper tools.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dad on May 23, 2011 at 20:35

    Dave’s right, you know. Tools aren’t meant to spend the useless portion of their lives scrunched away in a form fitted case. However, my years of marriage (both the successful and the unsuccessful) have taught me a compromise. First off Dave should set aside a kitchen drawer of the proper depth and breadth adequate to house all the tools you would need and are capable of operating in a manner befitting their intended use. If in the future you need to add to this tool kit, I suggest peg board, visibly displayed (having a garage helps). I have also discovered the local flea market is a great source for the sort of tools suitable for the female hand and mind, not to mention the male wallet.

    If you figure I can be of any other assistance, please feel free to call. You have my number…and happy anniversary.

    P.S Dave…if you get to the flea market early and negotiate aggressively you can cover her request…and make it by Victoria’s (or Sears) in time to pick up something you can appreciate.


  2. […] What’s Growing Now « A Sheep and a Goat Walk Into a Bar… […]


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