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Bergen County Blogs


This summer has taken such pathetic twists and turns that I deserve to beat myself up and steal my own lunch money. First, my mother’s cable box died the Fourth of July weekend. This wasn’t the first time this has happened. Last time the repair man said that she got a bad box, adding that there’s no such thing as a new cable box because all of Time Warner cable boxes are refurbished. I’m so glad we’re paying top dollar for a monopoly that provides equipment that requires a coin-toss to determine functionality. Customer Service informed my mother she had to wait five days for an appointment. (Oh, and by the way, on the fifth day they casually forgot!)
I’d like to “out” the cable of every Time Warner executive’s mother and then lock them together into a room for six days. I’m deducting one month from my cable bill for each cable-less day so that I can pay for the therapy that my brother and I need after having to deal with a Lifetime Movie Network-less Italian mother for SIX DAYS! GO FIOS YOURSELF TIME WARNER!
With that stench lingering in the air, my son asked if some of his friends could come over last night. I’m going on record to say that when eight-year olds gather they morph into an uncontrollable mob of midgets. Fast forward to the third time someone left the door open and Bad Dog escaped. Threats were issued that caused the children to dissipate in search of the dog. From a distance I heard the miniature mob victoriously declaring that they had captured the dog followed by my husband’s proclamation, “Ann! The kids got sprayed by a skunk!”
After a half hour of separating each child from the pack and nasally examining them like bomb-sniffing K-9’s we determined they weren’t sprayed. However, Bad Dog was. Immediately, I became a trained Shakespearean actor practicing vocal exercises and enthralling my audience with a series of perfectly pitched scales of nuclear F-Bombs.
Before undertaking the de-skunking task, Jim & I decided to change. I commandeered a pair of size 6x leggings from my daughter’s “old clothes pile.” Jim put on a pair of old sweats that had a huge hole in a spot no hole, huge or otherwise, should be.
“What?” he said as I stared at him from across the expanse of our bed.
“You’re wearing them?”
“I’m sorry. My de-skunking tux is at the cleaners!”
“How convenient for you to start an argument when we have guests!” I countered.
“Think of the column you’ll get out of this.”
“Don’t talk to me about a column. There’s nothing funny about this!” I seethed battle-ready.
This is where you need a recorder (or, maybe not) because the conversation went from disbelief that we had to de-skunk the dog to me questioning our entire marriage. There’s nothing more exhilarating to a woman than putting wings on a bad situation and flying to the Island of Insanity. It’s liberating!
          Outside we trudged, snarling. Jim confidently sporting his torn sweats and me walking like Morticia Adams in my size 6x shorts. While his left hand held the unsightly tear of his crotch together, my right hand was tugging at the waistband that seemed to have disappeared into the remote folds of my skin.  Our friend, Matt, expertly snapped my petite yellow rubber dishwashing gloves onto Jim’s massive hands. Jim winced as the rubber ripped the hair from his arms, but avoided crying out in pain lest he shatter his appearance of manliness in front of the assembled crowd of eight-year olds and a stinky dog.
          Bad Dog, feeling sorry for us, actually complied as Jim massaged a mixture of Arm & Hammer, hydrogen peroxide, and Dawn dishwashing detergent into her skunked fur as expertly as an anti-BP environmentalist cleansing the oil-stained animals down at the Gulf. As I knelt holding the dog, face-to-face with the tear in Jim’s sweats, I thought, “If I quickly lunge and bite him, he’ll think it’s the dog.” But there were too many witnesses, so I refrained and decided to save my biting for sarcasm and not genitalia.
          When Bad Dog was successfully de-skunked, the children left probably more emotionally scarred then when they arrived. But hey, that’s life with the Piccirillo’s.