I’ve spent most of the summer hanging out with dogs and babies. In particular, my pup dawg Chico and my niece Heidi.
They both super bomb. Chico is cute and funny and sweet; Heidi is crazy adorable and crazy happy and crazy fun and my favorite new human. You know what neither of them are, though? Smart.
Actually, as far as dogs and babies go, they’re geniuses. Chico can manipulate my mom to do anything — he fakes anorexia to get spoon fed and he fakes a limp to get carried on long walks. He’s a sicko bastard, but he’s clever. Still, since he’s a dog, I can’t do anything with him except make weird noises and throw squeaky toys and beg him to poop.
Likewise, Heidi is wicked smart for a baby. She babbles with the best of them and knows the facial expression for every word in the English dictionary. I’m sure she’ll be a bookworming math wizard in a few years, but for now, all I do when we chill is make gooftastic faces and blow raspberries and beg her to poop (I also smile a lot).
The lack of normal social interaction is starting to have an effect on me. I’m going dumb real quickly like.
1. I went surfing the other day and chatted with a middle-aged, Australian, sleeveless-wetsuit-wearing man. After talking for a minute or two about weather n whatnot, he paddled out far, I posted up on da inside, and the chittychat ended.
Ten minutes later, Mr. Australian Man caught a wave. As he rode the wave in, he passed right by me. He was kind of crouching down and had his left hand sticking straight up and his right hand sticking out to the side. It looked to me like he wanted a high five.
When I stuck my hand out and he ignored it, however, it no longer looked like he wanted a high five.
(P.S. He later told me about his 12-month-old son. Thinking he said 12-year-old, I asked if his son surfed much. You should have seen the look he gave me!)
2. While taking Chico for a walk, I made homies with an old man. He asked me a few questions about myself, and then asked me what da mutt’s name was.
Old man: What da mutt’s name is?
Me: Chico. It means “boy” in Spanish. Funny, huh?
Old man: Oh helllooo there Chico!
Chico responded by lifting his leg on a telephone pole and dripping a pizz. The old man laughed and said to him, “And helllooooo to you too!”
For some reason, even though we’d already said hello and chatted for a few minutes, I looked old man right in his old face and said back, “Hello.”
I really don’t know how I mixed that one up.
3. The back tire on my bike blew this morning when I was about 4 miles away from home. On the walk back I found some grapes on the side of the road, noted they looked delicious, and ate a few. Then my lips got tingly and I thought I was having an allergic reaction. Then I remembered my chapstick had tingle-inducing ingredients in it.
Then I decided I should probably stick to dogs and babies.