Chapter Four: Jog
The next morning, Nick got up early and I made sure to get right under his feet and trip him a couple times to get him back for leaving me out in the hallway all night with Igby. This was punishment that would hopefully correct the bad behavior in the future. They call this disciplinary training in Human, I think.
"Nacho c'mon stop it," he grumbled low, his voice still unused and groggy.
I followed him down the steps to the kitchen where I watched as he stumbled back and forth from the fridge to the counter where he dropped stuff into the loud noise maker machine. It made him a cup of colored water that he put a lid on and then asked me, "You wanna go for a jog?" I did. I spun around a few times to show him that yes, yes I did wanna go Jog. He got my Jogging Leash and snapped it onto the collar on my neck and tightened the string on his leg furs and we went out the door.
Usually when we Jog, we go a really long way and I bark at squirrels while we go. Today, Nick stopped about a block away at a park and dropped onto a bench. He leaned back and I made sure to leave my mark on a trash bin that was most definitely Mine now. Nick let out a sigh and his forehead wrinkled - this was his thinking face.
I patrolled at his feet to make sure no birds or squirrels came too close.
After a bit, I got bored though because there were no birds or squirrels threatening my Human's life, so I turned around and looked up at him. He still had his thinking face on. I put my chin on his leg to remind him I was there, hoping maybe he'd bring me somewhere that they had Beggin' Strips or Hamburgers or something. Instead, he hoisted me up on the bench beside him. I wasn't positive I liked the bench because it had these holes between the boards and I was scared my feet would fall through them, so I inched closer and closer to him until he held up his arm and I got on his lap and he held me there so I wouldn't fall down.
"Ohhh, Nacho," Nick sighed again. He scratched my side with one hand while the other hand held the smoothie. I kicked my leg against his leg. "I dunno why I'm so scared 'bout this whole wedding thing," he mumbled as he kept scratching. It was marvelous, his scratching. My human's good at scratching. He knows all the right places. "I know it's really not gonna change anything so it's stupid to be nervous about it. It's just a legal thing, right? I just never thought I'd get up the balls to do this." That's when he stopped scratching. He groaned and leaned back so his head hung over the back of the bench. "I'm really, really happy, you know?" he said, his voice sounding funny 'cos of how his neck was bent. "I just can't help but worry that marriage will change how everything's going. It's so, so, so stupid, but I just --" I bopped my nose against the hand that was holding the smoothie. I wanted his attention back. I didn't know what he was whining about, but I knew it had nothing to do with giving me Beggin' Strips and I knew, too, that his other hand had stopped scratching, and that was altogether not okay. He lifted his head. "You don't want my smoothie."
No shit dude, there's wheat grass in that.
"Alright, let's go back. I don't feel like jogging," Nick said. He put me down on the ground and we started walking back to the house. "We'll tell Lauren we jogged, though. It'll be our secret," he said. "In fact -- just so it's convincing..." Nick stopped at the water hose on the side of the house and turned it on and I drank some water and he stuck his head under the nozzle and his head got all wet. He stood up and shook the wet off, but his neck and face were still damp and some of the water went down his back and got his shirt all wet, too. "What'cha think? Convincing?" he asked. He smirked. "Three miles. That sounds fair. I mean it's a short jog, but believable for the time we were gone..."
When we went inside, Lauren was sitting at the desk in the den with her extra eyes on. Both my humans have extra eyes. Nick doesn't wear his a lot but when he does I'm not allowed to lick them because they steam up he says. Usually he wears little plastic things instead of his extra eyes and sometimes those fall out and he has to crawl around like me on the floor. I like laying on those little extra eyes and playing hide and seek with him with them.
Lauren looked up and lowered her extra eyes as we came in the room. "How was your jog? You're all sweaty." Her eyes glistened with approval. Lauren likes it when Nick gets all sweaty.
"It was good," he said.
There was food crumbs on the floor. I launched myself at them. Lauren must've given Igby some of her breakfast. Igby was asleep in the corner on his side, though. He's old so his sniffer isn't great and sometimes he misses food and I get to eat it when I find it later. He'd missed egg and some toast this time. I started eating the crumbleys up. Nick left the room and came back a few minutes later, while I was still eating up Igby's leftovers, carrying a bottle of water.
"Don't forget the guy from VH1 is coming by today," Lauren reminded him.
"Aw shit that's right. When's he comin'?"
"A little less than an hour," she replied. "I recommend going to take a shower. Get the sweat off you."
"Yeah." Nick started up the stairs. I scrambled to get the last of the crumbs into my mouth, then bulleted after him up the steps. I managed to beat him to the top, even with my mad dash to get the crumbs picked up, and I felt accomplished. Nick laughed when I got to the top of the steps. "You racin' me, are ya?"
When we reached the bedroom, Nick pulled his fur off and went into the shower and I grabbed a sneaker and pulled it up onto the chair by the window. I curled up and started gnawing on it. It tasted all sweaty - like licking Nick's toes after going for a Jog, which was one of my favorite activities to do while we watched Fetch on TV.
"Nachoooo, don't eat my shoes," Nick said when he got out of the shower a few minutes later. He pulled the sneaker away from me. "No," he said in a stern voice. "No eating the shoe. No." He tossed the sneaker into the closet, and started going through his assorted furs that were hanging up in there.
Humans are so strange about their furs. It's weird how often they shed them and get new furs. Although Nick changes his fur less often than most humans do, which is something Lauren doesn't seem to like because she yells at him sometimes if he goes too long before changing his furs. He gets mad, too, because if he doesn't change his fur often enough sometimes she makes his old fur disappear because she says it's too far gone and there's no washing the stench out now. He wore the same fur almost every single day on the ride to Tour, when Lauren wasn't there to yell at him.
"Boooosa, where's my Breaking Bad t-shirt?" Nick yelled as he looked into the closet.
"Laundry," Lauren yelled back.
Nick looked at the big box they call The Hamper. Basically this is where they put the fur they've worn already. I don't know what The Hamper does, but after they put the fur into The Hamper, about a week later the fur regenerates and they wear those furs again but they smell funny, like flowers and mountains and stuff. The Hamper is one of the great mysteries of the world.
Nick opened The Hamper lid and pulled out the fur that he'd asked about from among the other discarded furs in The Hamper.
"And do NOT go hamper diving for it either," Lauren called, "Wear something nice."
"Shit, it's like she's got the room bugged," Nick muttered, and he dropped the fur back into The Hamper and closed the lid. He turned back to the closet and ended up putting on a fur that looked like the ones the guys wear playing Fetch and a pair of shorts that even I knew did not go together.
I swear, sometimes my human is a fashion train wreck. Ugh.
We went back downstairs and Lauren was just coming out of the den, folding her extra eyes and sliding them into her back jeans pocket. She looked up. "Oh seriously you're gonna wear that?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Thank you! My sentiments exactly.
Nick looked down at himself. "What's wrong with this? I'm comfortable."
"You look like you're about to go rob a 7-Eleven," she said.
"What do you want me to wear? A suit and tie? Maybe a smoking jacket?" he smirked, "I could go buy a pipe and sit in the parlor room and clench the pipe between my teeth and have those circles on my elbows - you know, the leather ones on the sweater, like Mr. Rodgers, and --"
Lauren gave Nick The Look.
I knew the Look. I get the Look sometimes when they catch me about to do something naughty.
"They don't care what I'm wearin', Boose," Nick said.
Lauren sighed. "Okay, fine."
"You know I love you," Nick said, grinning.
"Mhm," Lauren replied. She turned to straighten some stuff up on a shelf in the entry way.
"And you know you love me," Nick added, going up behind her and wrapping his arms around her. He put his face all up in her ear.
"Do I?" she asked.
"Mmhm," he said. "And if you want me to change... maybe we could go upstairs... and you could strip this stuff off me.. and --"
THE DOOR BELL!
The door always let me know when there were people trying to get in the house. The door is an ally in the war against attackers.
I ran at the door, my adrenaline rushing through my veins. Maybe it'll be the mailman, I thought with excitement. I've been waiting for a really long time to chew the mailman's leg off. He intrudes and rings the door bell on a regular basis. I hate that guy.
I barked and leapt against the door, bumping my chest against the wood repeatedly.
"Nacho get down," Nick commanded.
"Put him in the other room, will ya, Nick?" Lauren requested.
NOT THE OTHER ROOM!
Nick picked me up. I kicked my legs.
He carried me through the house and opened the door to a small study off the living room. "Be good," he commanded, and he tossed me into the room and started to close the door.
Oh hellz nawh. I was not staying in there and missing my opportunity to eat the damn mailman's leg! God only knew what was outside that door -- my humans, they needed my protection! I bolted. Before Nick could close the door, I squeezed myself through it and between his legs. "NACHO!" he yelled, but I was already streaking through the living room and into the entry way, full speed ahead.
I slammed into the denim covered leg of a human that smelled funny and had a lot of fur on his face. I growled at him. I did not like this human. I could just tell there was something fishy about him.
Nick ran up behind me and grabbed me just before I could latch onto the human-guy's leg. He lifted me up and held me at his hip. "Sorry," he said. "Nacho doesn't like people he doesn't know coming in the house. He's great with fans but -- not so much with people in the house."
The guy stared at me and something in his eyes, the disapproval in his face maybe, made me hate him even more than I hate the mailman.