The beauty of genetics is its concreteness. I mean, how else to explain why I have quirks similar to my father’s? My dad liked to use his favourite spoon and fork, and it drove my mom crazy. Now I find myself hiding my favourite mug in the back of the cupboard so the apes living around here won’t get their clumsy mitts on it.
However, my dad was a true eccentric, whereas I only dabble in it. For example, after he’d had a stroke he would still drive into the town of Osoyoos. There he’d be observed slowly dragging himself, and then his walker, out of the car. It became more and more alarming for the townsfolk, as he became somewhat of a menace on the road.
He had his driver’s license taken away, but being ingenious, he decided it didn’t mean he couldn’t get into town. Dad simply dragged himself onto his tractor and drove it into town. Technicalities were no obstacle for him.
I guess that’s why I’m puzzled at people’s reactions to some of the things I do. Some people looked shocked when I tell them that the dogs sleep under the covers. I’m surprised they don’t know that’s what dachshunds like. And who would deny a dog something that’s part of their very nature?
Some people find my habit of running around in my underwear in the summer strange. No-one can see me here, and I’m certainly not about to put on an uncomfortable bathing suit. I find shorts and a top make unsightly tan lines, so what does everyone expect me to do?
That my eccentricities should actually hit the newspaper was a bit of a surprise. On Friday I was browsing the local paper, The Capital News. I came upon a column about bad drivers in Kelowna, and as I’m always stunned by the driving I witness, I began to read it. The writer started out by talking about the idiots who continue to talk on cell phones, even though it’s now against the law.
Then, near the end he added, “A few weeks ago, I saw a woman drive by using her small dog as a headrest. The dog was wedged between her neck and the actual headrest, looking out the window.” I thought to myself, that can only be one person: Me!
Isn’t that funny? There I was, minding my own business, driving along with Ricky sitting behind my neck, and I was being observed by a newspaper columnist! And as my dad would’ve explained, “That’s what the dog likes to do. You try and stop him.”
I showed the article to the gym instructor, and she said it would be hard for her 150 pound wolfhound to sit on the back of her neck. I’m sure I detected a note of sadness in her voice as she said that, because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want their precious dog draped about them like a fancy stole?