Have you ever been under a time crunch working right up to a dead line to get a project finished and just when you think things are under control and can see the light at the end of the tunnel things begin to unravel. Well that's what happened at this year's Howard Come and Go Christmas and oh my goodness did that stink!
For the past seven years Debbie and I have hosted a Come and Go Christmas party at our house to celebrate the birth of our Savior with my hospital co-workers and have expanded it to include friends, family, church members and neighbors over the years. We have our dear Belizean friend Jo, who is the owner/chef of Blessings Tea Room, cater the event with good old Texas dishes that have a Caribbean twist. Her food is so good it would not only make you want to slap your mamma but knock out one whole side of the family tree. (note to readers: I don't slap my mamma lol). She does an amazing job and many folks at my hospital start looking forward to next year's party by the end of the night. My wife takes about 3 weeks to clean and decorate every room in the house just to make it special for those we care for so much. It's a huge undertaking but we love to do it. Well this year was no different than any other year with Debbie working diligently up to the very last minute preparing to entertain about 80 or so guests. As you have read in the past I have nicknamed our little place the DMZ (Debbie's Mini Zoo). That's because we have had goats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, dove, finches, parakeets, a cockatiel, cats and dogs (all at the same time) not to mention the wild life that wanders through the place like deer, wild hogs, pheasant, quail, dove, raccoon, opossums, bobcats, coyotes, rattle snakes, and skunks. It's a regular Noah's Ark out here and the one who keeps it all under control with tight security is Red Dog who is the head of our home security system. He did have an apprentice for about one year by the name of Rosie but she thought that chewing apart our house was more important than home security so she lives with a new family now. Old Red Dog is responsible for the whole place all by himself now.
On this particular day about 30 minutes before the party is ready to start the plan was to put Red Dog in the back garage for the evening so we didn't have to listen to that SONIC WOOF he has when guests come knocking at the door. I thought it best to let him out in the back yard so he could take care of his personal business before hand and when I went to put him up Red Dog was no where to be found. He's not in the back yard. He's not on the acreage and when I go looking for him I notice the back yard gate was left open after our handy man put up the Christmas lights. Well, I wasn't overly worried that Red Dog was MIA for a few moments because he knows who provides him with food, water, air conditioning and heating year round and I knew he wasn't far off. So I whistled for him and I could hear him running toward the front door because each time he gets out of the yard every dog in the neighborhood starts barking as he makes his way home. At this moment I thought everything was cool but when I opened the front door I was shocked. He was covered from head to tail with a dark green stinky goo that smelt like the south end of a north bound Hereford bull. Where had this guy been I thought to myself but I apparently can't think and hold the front door closed at the same time and Red Dog darted into the house with our first guests only minutes away. At this moment I thought I was a dead man when I heard Debbie scream "OH MY LORD, RED DOG" and knew if I didn't get him out the house and NOW it was the dog house for me!!! The aroma from all of those wonderful Caribbean dishes were becoming overwhelmed by this green gooey cow poop and Debbie was not a happy camper. So as quickly as I could I grabbed Red Dog by the coller, which was saturated in this green glorious gunk I lead him in the back garage before folks thought they were coming to a cow lot and not a Christmas party. Man, did he smell bad but "the party must go on" as they say. With Red Dog securely hidden in the back garage the guests began arriving and for the next five hours we had a wonderful time giving guided tours of our home and showing off Debbie's wonderful Christmas decorations. Mission Accomplished. Everyone seemed to have had a wonderful time and the food was fantastic as always. The catering crew was the last to leave and then Debbie and I collapsed in our chairs completely exhausted, Our feet hurt and our faces hurt from smiling so much. I felt like my fat was even hurting and as we sat there reminiscing about the success of the night it dawned on me. Stinky ole Red Dog is still in the back garage. We started wondering how he got into that stinky mess. Was someone trying to be dog napped and put in the back a cattle trailer? Had he chased a coyote or bobcat back to the Brazos River and ran into some old muddy stink hole? As the old Clairol commercial used to say "Only her hair dresser knows for sure"? But after carefully studying his stinky green colored body I came to the conclusion that old Red Dog just decided to go waller in a big pile of cow manure out in the neighbors pasture somewhere. It was the only logical conclusion because this stuff was every where on him. His belly, his back, his tail, his chest, it was even under his coller. It must have been a regular cow patty slip and slide. In my mind I could see him running and sliding across the yard just like a six year old kid sliding across a yellow piece of plastic in the summer heat but it's winter, he's a dog and that green stuff was stinky cow crap!!!!! Debbie and I sat there looking at each other wondering who was going to volunteer to give Red Dog a bath. I was thinking maybe a coin toss or rock, paper, scissors but no sooner than I started developing a winning strategy Debbie spoke up and volunteered. Luckily for me I was still recovering from an appendectomy only a few shorts weeks ago so I'm sure she took pity on me. Off to the bath tub they both went. As fate would have it our night was still not over. After only a few minutes of being in the tub, I heard Debbie yelling for help so I headed to the bathroom and I was not prepared to see what I was about to see. As I walked through the door I saw Red Dog in the tub soaking wet and standing in a foot of what could only be described as fresh green sewer water. He was cold, wet and shivering like some little chihuahua with a clogged drain. Debbie had used every ounce of Dawn dish washing soap we had in the house and Red Dog still smelt like the south end of that same north bound Hereford bull. Just as I thought that the drain was the only problem I then looked toward Debbie and notice she was covered in shimmering little green dots. They were on her face, her arms, her hair and all over her nice Christmas party clothes. Apparently Red Dog shifted into Taylor Swift mode after the drain clogged and decided to "Shake it off, Shake it off " with the bath tub door still opened. As I took a second look around the room, not only was Debbie covered up in these lovely little aromatic dots so was the whole entire bath room. It was polka dot H. E. double tooth picks in there. At this point all we needed was an accordion and a man dressed in liederhosen so we could start dancing the famous Cow Crap Polka right there in the bathroom, sore feet and all. The defeat in Debbie face was obvious so being the wonderful loving husband that I am, I put on my super husband outfit to finish bathing Red Dog and clean (i.e. clean in man speak means wiping up) the rest of the bathroom. Once I got the bathroom "clean" the odor went away with about 2 gallons of Febreze so at that point it was time to pull the plug on the cow patty party and head to bed because we were beyond exhausted.
I guess the take home message for today would be this. Even though the great comedic country singer Roger Miller says that you "Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd" but Red Dog proved that you "Can" slip and slide through a pile of green cow crap. We learned that you can still have wonderful dinner party and a surprise hot tub party all in the same night if you let Red Dog "Shake It Off "..lol...Until the next adventure, God bless you all.