The New Math: How to Predict My Annihilation

I love my husband. But sometimes, just sometimes, I’m pretty sure he’s replaced with a changeling while I sleep. A stupid changeling. Or maybe just one that hates me.

Normally he’s quite bright. It’s not odd to see him watching a TV show on quantum theory or listening intently to C-SPAN.

Normally he loves me, too – when I came home from California, it was to a dozen roses, a clean kitchen and a congratulatory card on my unexpected promotion.

So I’m not really sure how to qualify this changeling.

‘Cause there’s this thing with the dog.

We have an airline cable jacked to the end of the L-shaped front ramp where we can hook her in the early AM and late PM outings while we scurry back inside and stay warm.

Said cable will, if unfettered, reach all the way to the porch door, where it will conveniently hook onto a screw on the side of the ramp railing.

The dog itself is big – a St. Bernard – and she’s still young so she has an explosive amount of energy.

In the morning, if she has a head on me, she can yank me all the way down to the bottom of the ramp before I can blink.

So my one request of my husband is please, when you bring the dog in from her night outings, hook the cable to the screw so I can get to it before she hauls me off into the path of oncoming traffic in the morning.

Simple, right?

Like string theory.

Most days, I wrestle with the dog, untangling the cable while she wraps herself around me with the leash. I swear, I rave at the dog, and I wish we’d gotten a different pet. A mouse lemur, maybe. They’re cute; they fit in your pocket.

Zwerg-Mausmaki (Microcebus myoxinus)

Today was a bit different. It iced overnight, just a little bit. So little in fact, that I didn’t actually notice it.

I hooked Nib up to the leash, opened the door and of course the hook was wrapped around the post at the bottom of the ramp. Stupid changeling.

One step forward,  then I found myself hurtling down the ramp, ramming up against the railing at the end and flipping backwards to slide under said railing. There may have been a concussion when my head bounced off the ramp floor.

The dog’s momentum, coupled with the icy film, propelled me further across the lawn until I came to rest (slam) against the tree that stands between the ramp and the road. There was definitely blood.

Nib, in the manner of all dogs, went around the tree in the opposite direction that I did, compelling me to drop the leash, lest I sever an arm.

She took off, racing around the house while I hauled myself up to find that I’d been lucky enough to slide into the brown leftovers of last night’s outing.

By the time I’d skated my way back up the ramp and gotten the dog corralled, I decided that the changeling had a carefully crafted and astonishingly simple formula for my demise.

Ramp + Dog + Ice = OH MY GOD, I’M GOING TO DIE!






2 thoughts on “The New Math: How to Predict My Annihilation

    • Once my ears stopped ringing,I thought it was pretty funny – visual of me hitting that rail full tilt at hip level rocketing backwards to be towed against the tree cracked me up. Kind of wish I could have seen myself.


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