Batter Up!

Recently, Ken has taken a part-time job at the local gas station. It’s a great gig—it’s a thirty second walk from home, he only works four hours a day, and most people pay at the pump so he’s not run off his feet. In fact, the only downside is that his shift is 5:30 to 9:30. IN THE MORNING. Now, he loves it, being an insanely early riser and all, but it’s been hard on me. You may remember that our house has been experiencing strange events, from doors being left open, to taps running, to the dog staring at the basement door and growling—and while things have gotten slightly better, which is to say that I haven’t needed to enlist the neighbours in a house search lately, I and especially the dog are both a little jumpy. The other morning, Ken left for work but forgot to close the door to the family room, which meant Atlas was free to roam the house. He decided to pay me a visit and announced himself by leaping onto the bed and staring into my face:

Me: Huh? What’s going on?
Atlas: Nothing. Just came for snuggles.
Me: Okay. Be quiet though.

Then five minutes later, he suddenly lifted his head, started to growl, and ran out of the room barking. He wouldn’t stop, and it was making me really nervous so I finally had to get out of bed and found him at the top of the stairs, hackles raised:

Me: What are you doing?
Atlas: Noise. Downstairs.
Me: Go look.
Atlas: No, you go look.
Me: YOU’RE the dog. And YOU started this. Go see!
Atlas: Hard pass.

At which point, exhausted and fed up, I went back into the bedroom and grabbed the baseball bat I keep under the bed. And why do I keep a baseball bat under the bed? For the exact same reason I keep a hammer in the drawer of the bedside table. I also have both a hammer and a baseball bat in the bathroom, and a hammer in the family room, as well as two large oars in my office. I don’t have either a hammer or a baseball bat in the kitchen because in the kitchen THERE ARE KNIVES. And all this is because I am the Queen of Worst-Case Scenarios. In fact, one year for Christmas, I bought Kate a book called “The Little Book of Worst-Case Scenarios”, and I forced her to read it so she would know what to do under different circumstances, for example:

a) Being chased by a bear (make yourself look as large as possible and scream loudly to let the bear know you could take it in a fight. Don’t run—unless you’re with someone who’s obviously slower than you).

b) Accidentally driving a car into a river (find an air pocket, wait for the car to be submerged, then open the door and swim to the surface). Kate was like “I’m seven years old–why would I ever drive a car into a river?” I DON’T KNOW, Kate. But if you plan for these things, you might SURVIVE them).

c) Playing in a bouncy castle that suddenly becomes untethered and begins to float away (which apparently happens more often than you think, prompting our local school board to ban them from school property. They also banned dunk tanks. Because of all the dunking).

And Kate has learned her lessons well, because a few weeks ago, she came home for the weekend, and after she left, I went into her room to re-make the bed (because I’m weird and like things a certain way). As I was moving the pillows to one side, I found a knife under one of them. I smiled, put it back where I found it, and said to myself proudly, “That’s my girl.”

Anyway, I have assorted weaponry in the house just on the off chance that Atlas is correct for once and there actually IS an intruder in the house.  Here’s the scenario:

We wake up in the middle of the night to strange noises coming from downstairs. Ken offers to investigate. He puts on his housecoat and goes down with the dog, who is clearly agitated but too much of a chicken to go see by himself. I wait, wracked with fear. There are shouts, commotion, then nothing. The intruder has tied up both Ken and the dog, and is taunting them as he steals our stuff, mainly clocks and paintings of Paris because he’s a robber with good taste. I quietly get the baseball bat out from under the bed and sneak downstairs. The intruder has his back to me. Ken sees me, but luckily, he’s gagged so he can’t do what he would normally do and say something like, “Why do you have a baseball bat?” At this point, I swing, connect with the intruder’s head, and down he goes. I free Ken and Atlas, put back my clocks and paintings because I’m weird and like things a certain way while Ken ties up and gags the intruder, and then we call the police. Ta dah.

But to make a long story short, I went downstairs with my baseball bat in hand, but as usual, there was no reason to sound the alarm. I came back up, slightly unnerved from the experience to find Atlas fast asleep in my spot. He’s the worst guard dog ever, but he’s very warm and snuggly.

71 thoughts on “Batter Up!

  1. Very interesting story but for one glaring omission regarding survival in plummeting elevator car. (I leave as an exercise for the student.)
    Anyway, very funny!
    (jump up and down. Duh. It’s, like, fifty-fifty.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awww…snuggly Atlas! Our cat is totally useless during emergencies, which doesn’t surprise me. But I thought at least during natural disasters, we could trust his instincts? Turns out we cannot. We had an earthquake once–and we watched the cat to see what he’d do. What would his instincts tell him? Could we follow them and survive? Nope. He climbed onto the top of a very tall and wobbly bookshelf.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am crying from laughing. And I get it. Loki will come running over jump up into my lap and then his eyes start darting around the room and all over the place until coming to a stop usually staring up over my head or behind my head. Freaks me out every time. But given that the other two do not react to anything I am beginning to think he does this to play with me. LOL LOL LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to have the entire Worst Case Scenario series. Due to my decades-long career in the fire department, I’ve come to realize that some (not all!) of the solutions to problems mentioned in the series don’t actually offer the best advice. I refuse to comment on which ones are accurate and which ones aren’t. But if you simply *have* to know, feel free to give me a call sometime. Anytime, come to think of it, I have a very open schedule.

    And by the way, why is it that sporting goods can also double as weapons that can be used to defend households? Is this the result of a common movie troupe? I much prefer to draw a concealed firearm to sporting goods and knives, should the need ever arose. Hopefully, it won’t. Perhaps ones love affair with firearms is an American thing???

    Liked by 2 people

  5. How could you or Atlas hear anything in that house with a thousand clocks ticking and chiming? No wonder he’s a nervous wreck. When the clocks synchronize (or become asynchronous) the sounds might resemble phantasms or poltergeists. TICK, TOCK, TICK…
    I don’t suppose you would consider downsizing to a very small, one level flat where you can literally reach every room in ten steps? Living in a Shining-hotel-sized home, replete with claw-footed bathtubs full of decaying guests and hallways yearning for female twins in dresses singing harmonized lamentations, can’t be good for anyone’s anxiety.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thou shall be crowned, The Queen of Worse Case Scenarios!
    Hilarious, and Altas is flight not fight type of canine. So your on your own my friend 😝. Unlike you I have five taser guns all over the house instead of baseball bats or hammers. Although I like the hammer idea because at last count I have eleven of them 🔨🔨🔨🔨

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love your Atlas stories, Suzanne. I had to read this entire post to my husband. We determined that Atlas masterminded the whole scenario simply because he wanted your spot on the bed. I could imagine him thinking to himself … “Watch this. Hehehe.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Atlas has superior hearing compared to a sleepy human. That said, he hears stuff outside of the house that you won’t ever hear…human ears being what they are – limited in comparison to a dog’s hearing. Plus the nose of a dog takes in volumes of smelly info. Or he’s got you trained to his bluff which is designed to usurp your spot on the bed. (Most likely)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m glad Atlas can sleep so soundly even with unusual things going on. Sure, he’s useless as a guard dog but at least he’s not interrupting your sleep, unlike our oldest who insists on getting up at 4am. He doesn’t hear anything. He just thinks that’s when we should get up and feed him so he can go back to sleep. The time change didn’t help either.
    Also I would worry about Ken working in a gas station since they occasionally get robbed but his shift is more like rush hour so the worst he can expect is running out of pastries.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yeah, Tucker the cat, aka the long-haired black and white enigma, likes to come snuggle with me. Purring as I scratch him where he directs (“Not that ear, this ear. Okay, good, now the chin”), he’ll suddenly stop purring, raise his head and whip it around, staring, unmoving, you know…on guard.

    But I’m laconic about such. “Not buying it, dude,” I tell him, then tuck back into my sleep.


    Liked by 2 people

  11. I was thinking the same thing – Atlas orchestrated the whole thing! 🙂 My hubs is a “what if” guy and our bedroom door is locked each night with a baseball bat in the corner. Simple things that would at least alert you and buy you some time in the even there is a break in.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You kind of blew my mind, because I didn’t know bouncy castles were prone to flying away (but if I’d thought about it for a minute…duh). I started looking it up on the internet, and it’s a Whole Thing! Even Wired has an article about it – full of physics which makes it boring – but now I’m knee-deep in online bouncy-castle-flight-prevention articles. Once again, you’re prompting me to expand my horizons, and thank you for that.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s