Saturday, April 16, 2011

Showdown with the Gunslinging Dog Lady

It was such a nice day yesterday.  For the past few weeks we've all taken too many April showers, but yesterday seemed perfect--no rain, no snow or hail.  

Cade washed his truck while I watched our four kids playing in the front yard.  That sounded like a great plan, until I saw THE DOG LADY.

This IS NOT The Dog Lady!

I actually "hate" this picture because it represents how hard it was finding one good picture of a tough female gunslinger!  Does this woman even look tough?  Are those guns toys?  They're awfully small!

Maybe she could conquer the West, with her panty hose!  Those water shooters won't help her at all.  Like I wrote in The Toughest Chick Ever post, "Unless she's a witch, or concealing some type of voodoo mind power, I'm not feeling very scared."

Note to everyone who read The Toughest Chick Ever: Today I'm going to watch A Long Kiss Goodnight.  I'm soooo excited!

So, here's the toughest female gunslinger I found.  Annie Oakley was a legend.  At fifteen she'd earned enough by shooting, she paid for her parents' farm.  She could shoot better than men twice her age and size--that was saying something in the West.

I love her because a few years ago, Cade and I performed music in one of her old hangouts (the attic of a casino in South Dakota.)


Well, when The Dog Lady came up to me, I wished I could be like Annie, someone tough and skilled.  The Dog Lady practically vibrated, aching for a gunfight.  Four dogs swirled around her--she stood as the eye of their horrific tornado. 

Those deep-set eyes never stopped looking me.  The wind whipped her auburn hair about like the tail of a ferocious lion.  The Dog Lady is huge--let me get that out of the way.  I don't mean overweight, I mean muscly and tall.  She's probably over six-feet, built like a savage bear.  I don't know why she insists on talking to me and still wonder if she's the reason my lumpy dog is getting out.  I wasn't happy to see her, and hoped she knew it as we stood staring.  We were like two gunslingers get ready to fight--duke it out over a canine!

"How are you?  It's a nice day."

"Yes, it is," I said.  "We're doing fine."  I did a little wave that meant 'move along,' but The Dog Lady would have none of it.  Was this the prelude--the showdown where her six shooter rested under her jacket--the prelude to the fight?  I widened my stance.  Ready for anything!  If she wanted to do this, I would be her worst nightmare.

Now, do you remember me writing how this lady is nuts.  She's a special brand of crazy and should patent her insanity because I've never seen ANYTHING like it.  She continued talking.  Cade sprayed his truck, almost getting me wet and I groaned.  I knew he thought the whole thing was hysterical--he's heard a lot about The Dog Lady for the past couple months. 

The whole time the lady stood there, she kept studying my children in a creepy--fascinated--way.  "You sure have . . . beautiful children.  They're something else, really they're gorgeous."

And she was creepy.  That was it!  I'd had it with the woman who thinks it's okay to bring random dogs to my door, let my dog out and try to be my friend!

I knew I should start the gunfight with my words!  We both knew we didn't like each other--at least I knew it, but Hell, I'm not the one that got my nursing license revoked!  I glared at her.  A sneer appeared on my face. The air hung thick with anger and I'd had enough of her wiles.  "You let my dog out!  Didn't you?"

She looked at me confused, deflated really.  I thought I'd sounded mean, but the point is that when I think I'm being mean, it still comes off as extremely nice.  "What?" she asked.

"You didn't let my dog out?"

"Oh no," she chuckled, "I came over here to ask you a question."

The Scribe and The Hippie roller skated around us.  The Zombie Elf chased them with a stick and Dr. Jones gooed in her walker. 

"Over the past couple months I've seen how sweet you are, I just knew you'd understand," she went on, still watching my children.  We had a ton of conversations, but I don't think I've been especially nice.  The woman is driving me nuts!  She looked at me and smiled.  "I've . . .  I've.  My husbands' been watching you too and I've come to ask you . . . if you have some eggs?"

"Eggs?  Ummm . . . sure.  I have some in the fridge." I shuffled my feet.  That woman is weirder than fashion in the 70's.  "How many do you need?  I'll get them right now."

She giggled so hard, the dogs around her stopped chasing each other and cocked their heads.  "Oh, no . . . not those kind of eggs, honey.  We're trying to have a baby."

Cade stopped spraying his truck.  The kids quit playing.  The dogs stayed cock-eyed.  The only thing that moved, was my jaw which nearly hit the ground.

"I want to buy some eggs from you.  You have good genes."

Was that lady for real!  Can people just walk up to each other and say, "Hey, how are you?  Can I buy your eggs?"

What the Hell!  I stammered, actually stammered, for once at a loss for words.  I heard everything in that moment--the wind, the panting dogs, Cade's muffled laughter. 

The Hippie skated up to one of those huge dogs and patted it into submission.  Most children would be terrified of an animal that stood up to their shoulder--not The Hippie though.  She's fearless like Annie Oakley.  "I hope you'll have a baby.  They're fun."  She smiled at The Dog Lady and then Dr. Jones.

"So?" the lady asked.  "Do you have some eggs?"

"I'm sure I have plenty, but . . ."  I thought fast.  The lady was nuts, and even though she fell off the crazy bus a few years ago, I needed to dish out a good excuse.  Then it hit me, like a fart in the wind.  A foul taste filled my mouth and I wanted to cry as I delivered the greatest gunslinging excuse known to a wo-man.  "I can't give you my eggs."

"Oh," the light I hadn't noticed before left her eyes as she watched my children, "I just want a baby."

"I don't know what you're going through.  I can't even begin to understand.  But I can't give you my eggs; the doctors say there's a certain chance that I'd have another kid with defects again . . . I had a son who died eight years ago.  I wouldn't want you to go through something like that."

Something magical happened as I spoke.  I think that nut-job and I actually got to be friends.  I studied her.  There was silence.  The dogs and kids kept staring at me.  Cade peered at me forlornly over the hood of the truck.  I felt so sorry for the crazy Dog Lady, so absolutely sad that I started crying.

"I can't give you my eggs," I said.  "'Cause some of my eggs might suck, but I'll pray for you.  Once I thought God didn't hear me when I asked him to heal my son, but the fact remains . . . He did hear me.  He walked with me every step of the way.  Looking back, I know that now.  He's there for you too.  We may not understand it, but everything happens for a reason.  Just trust Him.  He knows what He's doing."

She wiped her deep-set eyes and smiled.  "You know what, I don't know how to explain it, but I think you're right.  I think everything will be okay."

"I know it will be." 

As she walked across the street, the dogs whirled around her.  Cade hugged me tight and our kids started playing again.  I watched them and thanked God for our many blessings--including that I'd just been part of the greatest gunfight in history.