My friend Karen has a wicked sense of humor. Karen has often said that she just never knows what I’m going to say next, and I would have to say the same of her. While what I say surprises her, she’s never shocked that I say outrageous things to begin with. It’s surprising when she makes entirely outrageous comments, though, because most of the time she is very southern in her decorum; she’s almost Vulcan in her ability to remain unruffled, and she would never want to be unladylike, or offend.
It’s her practiced composure which allows her to play the trustworthy straight man to the ridiculous statements I make to our children. This works out well, because I erupt into giggles when I have to defend my stories. If there is a question of validity over what I am saying, it’s Karen they look to for verification. She always backs me up, which says something about the continued gullibility and poor judgment of our children.
When I tried to convince all the neighborhood boys that I had brought home the newly neutered cat’s testicles from the veterinarian, they didn’t believe me. All Karen had to do was nod, and the boys howled with disgust and demanded to see the testicles. When I told them cat testicles were a delicacy in other countries, they didn’t believe me. I had peeled the grapes, soaked them in red food coloring and put them in a specimen jar, and even I had to fight back a wave of nausea when Karen blithely popped one of the peeled grape “testicles” into her mouth and proclaimed that it tasted just like chicken.
She has a deep well of twisted humor underlying her sweet exterior, and because of this we’ve had a great time encouraging each others’ inappropriate observations and statements through the years.
Karen and I were having a cup of tea yesterday when her teenage daughter, Emily, joined us. We were discussing how my dog, Kita, had rolled Karen’s dog, Rosie, earlier in the day. It was noisy and slobbery and very canine, but both dogs shook it off.
Emily listen for a moment, and then asked why Kita had attacked Rosie.
Karen explained that Kita hadn’t “attacked” Rosie, but only exerted dominance, which is pretty normal for dogs.
Emily was happy neither dog had been hurt, but wondered why dogs do that; what’s behind the behavior?
“Well,” I said, “Every wolf pack has a social pecking order. The pack members all know who the top dog is. It keeps things orderly, I guess. Lots of mammals have that hierarchy, even humans, to some extent. That’s why, the first time I met your Mom, I grabbed her by the throat, flipped her onto her back on the ground and screamed ‘ THAT’S RIGHT BITCH! I’M THE ALPHA DOG!’ Right in her face!”‘
“MISS KATIE! I really love throwing a curse word or two out around Emily, because her eyes get SO big. I limit the words to bitch, dam and ass, and then claim I was only using them as intended within the animal kingdom. “YOU DID NOT!”
“YOU DID NOT!” Even bigger!
“Sure!” I said. “It’s important to establish these things early in new relationships.”
Emily turned to Karen, “Mom? She didn’t do that? Did she? ” I’m a little worried about the impression this child has of me after all these years, that she would actually think I had done this.
“Yes, I’m afraid so. But that’s ok,” Karen said sweetly, ” I came back later when she wasn’t looking, and peed in every corner of her house.”