Can you believe this, Marge? They're paying me to eat!
~ Homeer Simson
Breakfast: English Muffin
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ANYONE FOR MOOSE DROOL?
9 May 2004
It had been a long time since I’d been beer shopping. Olivia and I stood there in the aisle of Fred Meyers checking out the beer, since she’d promised to pick up some beer for her brother-in-law Scott, who was going to be the cook at a barbecue this afternoon.
Since I’m not a beer drinker, I don’t often study brand names of beers. Get me past Coors and Budweiser and I’m pretty much in virgin territory.
I don’t know if Idaho is home to more little breweries than Northern California, or if I just haven’t been paying attention, but my are there a lot of odd-named beers out there. We briefly considered “Polygamy Porter” but when my eye lit on “Moose Drool,” we both agreed that this was our beer. Or Scott’s beer.
Olivia has figured out the perfect way to entertain. The day before I arrived, her new back patio was finished (except for the hot tub, which will be delivered next month) and so she decided to have a patio christening and also a party for her employees and so announced that she was throwing a party. One of her employees is her sister, who volunteered to bring the food and her husband as cook and thus a party was born.
Our part consisted in picking up ice and beer and that’s pretty much it. Carol showed up with tons of food and started cutting and marinating, Scott arrived later to move the big barbeque out onto the lawn and as soon as the guests began to arrive, he began grilling (he is the undisputed master of the grill!)
Olivia’s main contribution—and it was an important one—was to keep the pina coladas flowing. We figured that by the time dinner was served, we had each had the equivalent of a pitcher each of pina colada. She makes them with vodka instead of rum, and they go down as smooth as a milk shake. Very tasty.
All the people who came to the party were delightful, a group which consisted of Olivia’s employees (5 of them, 6 if you count Carol, who is her office manager), as well as assorted neighbors who dropped by to talk about condo business, CC&Rs, and a peasant revolt. An eye opening afternoon.
Skippy, the dog, kept watch over things and would occasionally casually saunter off on his own. Finally, the conversation around the table having turned mostly to work issues that I couldn’t follow, I volunteered to take Skippy for a walk to tire him out before bedtime. One of Olivia’s neighbors, a young woman named Ashley, decided to walk with me. Confidently we set out.
Now, on this walk, eventually, Ashley talked a lot about her grandmother “getting lost all the time too,” which I didn’t really understand since we were never exactly lost. There is a canal that flows behind Olivia’s condo and we followed the canal down to the next street. How lost can you get following a straight line?
But the problem was that we walked down one side of the canal and then decided to walk down the other side of the canal on the way back to the house .
Now I will admit that when you walk with someone younger than all of your children, the pace is not set for a fat 61 year old, so I was already panting trying to keep up, and damned I wasn’t going to admit that I really had a “saunter” in mind more than a “brisk pace.” I also wasn’t going to admit that walking half the length of the canal and then doubling back was kind of what I was thinking, so I just kept panting and keeping up and longing to reach the turn-around point.
Skippy was having a great time peeing on anything green and making lots of new 4-legged friends, including a Mastiff, a Great Dane, and a large lab, who only wanted to swim in the canal, en route.
So we got to the end of the canal, turned left, and started back home on the other side of the canal, just for a change of scenery.
We were almost back…I mean I could see the condo, there, glistening in the sunset…when we came to a bridge that was closed off by a fence. And what was on the fence? A “no trespassing” sign. Some people were walking their dogs across the bridge and we asked them how we could get through the fence so we could continue on home and they said the only way was to climb over the top of this chain link fence.
Uh. I don’t think so.
The only thing to do was walk to the end of the canal again cross over again and walk back the original way again. I want to say that the route was a mile long, but I suspect it was more like half a mile, so with all the doubling back, we really probably only walked a mile and a half, but I was plum tuckered by the time we got back. At one point Ashley said she was sorry she didn’t have her cell phone or she would call someone to get us.
Uh. We were on a dirt path with no access to cars. I’m not exactly sure who was going to come or how they were going to get there. It wasn’t like I was exactly incapable of finishing the walk, I just wanted to bitch a little.
I didn’t, of course. I just continued walking and panting (more than Skippy was) and listening to Ashley chatter and promising myself that the next time I take Skippy for a walk, I will go alone.
By the time I got back, I could have used some moose drool, but of course it was long gone.