thinks to do today:
Other thinks that would also be good include more laundry, cleaning the kitchen, and not eating too much junk food. These, one imagines, become perennial on such a list, but I think if I put them on the actually bullet-point list the list starts looking like it's too overwhelming. Poooooor me.
Lessa's story was too long for my LJ comments, so I'm posting it behind the cut tag, because
A walk on the wild side
by Elizabeth McDonald
June 3, 2006
I married an Irish man. Not just Irish, but only 3rd generation American-Irish. Rumor has it that they had to come to the land of the free to stay free - something about a bridge, a bomb, and an English Lord. All attempts to confirm are impossible, of course, due to the very nature of Irish storytelling. For many people this explains everything about my husband in a nutshell. Life with Kevin was always an adventure, one always told in stories that began with those seven fateful words: So, my buddies and I were drinking...
This story is no different.
First, I must explain some things about our neighbor across the road. Chris was old - older then God, old. As he neared up on the grand age of 90 or so, he decided that he would fence in part of his yard next to his extensively fenced in garden, and raise baby geese. He could been seen out there daily, pampering the ever noisier goslings, giving them the best of feed and fattening them up for his pre-determined slaughtering day. Unfortunately, when the time came to actually slaughter, pluck, clean and freeze them, Old Chris found himself far too attached to the stinking, dirty, noisy birds, and thus didn’t have the heart to harm his feathered friends.
Sal, Chris's son who is only slightly younger then God, indulged his aging dad, and they kept the stupid geese. The geese soon found ways to get out of their pen and wander the neighborhood, chasing the cats, and being chased by the dogs. They were even known to run off the occasional moose with their honking in the wee hours of the morning - or so it was told, when we neighbors would complain of the noise. But Chris loved them, and thus we didn't complain too much. That's what neighbors are for, right?
So, Kevin and his friends were drinking (I told you!) one night. Flaming Dr. Pepper was the drink of choice, and the normal suspects of Jarhead, Jason and Kevin were downing them with startling regularity. It was well towards midnight, the kids were sleeping, and I was puttering away on the computer, shaking my head at the boys who were determined to be boys. The geese across the road started up a racket, and Kevin's hazel eyes suddenly lit up with delight. He had an idea!
They would steal a goose.
Had it stopped there it would still be an amusing tale that any good partly Irish lass such as myself could expound upon. Fortunately, or not as the case may be, no embellishments are necessary, for my husband and his friends provided plenty more details as the evening went on.
First, they needed a plan, for any successful caper needed a plan!
They picked up their glasses, swept the coffee table clear of any snack residue, spread out a large piece of paper, grabbed pencils and commenced to plan in earnest. It was complete with diagrams and strategy - for the theft, as well as many possible retreats, with or without their objective, an objective that was painfully drawn in detail. Jason - the artist of the group, so insisted on a realistic portrayal of their Goose that he went so far as to borrow the kids' crayons to color in his drunken scrawls. They sent Jarhead for recon - he was a former Marine, after all, and could do it right! They mapped out the Goose pen, the garden, the location of houses, etc. They made sure every contingency was properly prepared for.
Need I even mention that they continued to partake of the drink de jour during all of this? I thought not. The beer, 151, and Amaretto flowed freely throughout, while I continued to ignore them to the best of my ability. I would have laid good money on their passing out before being able to put their plan into motion. I would have lost.
After they had mapped out what would surely be a successful theft, they broke into Jarhead's old duffle bags, and soon all three were decked out in official Marine camouflage gear from head to toe - including face paint. They were so proud standing there, weaving, giggling, and smudging black, tan and green across their faces.
"How do we look, honey?" they asked, with barely contained glee.
"Insane." I answered, with a roll of my eyes.
They actually crowed with delight. "Perfect! Time for Operation Goose, men!"
I could only groan. They really were going to do it. I would never be able to show my face in front of my neighbors again. Oh - wait. I was related to half of them. They'd understand. I hoped.
They went over their plans once more, carefully, with many chortling whispers. Then, they snuck out the back door, and put their plan into motion. I am not ashamed to admit I watched from the open window - after all, they would need a witness when the police were called, right?
They ran across the road all hunched over, barely lit shadows under the lone streetlamp, just like in the movies. They whispered to each other - loud enough for me to hear, because drunk whispering is just shy of TOP OF YOUR LUNGS YELLING. They fanned out, dropped to a low crouch, and approached the pen.
It was then they discovered just how drunk Jason was. Every few feet they'd whisper "DOWN!" as if someone were coming, and Jason would instantly sprawl face first to the ground. It quickly became a game, to see how many piles of goose shit they could get Jason to face plant in, before he'd pop up on toes and fingertips to see why the others were cackling with manic glee.
Subtlety was not their strong point. Half the neighborhood knew something was up by now, and I knew I would spend the next day filling them in on all the details. That was my excuse to continue watching - that and the whole 'provide a witness for the cops' deal.
To say their first attempt was unsuccessful would be an understatement. The lights flipped on in Chris and Sal's house, and they made a beeline back across the road to regroup. Once they had revised their plan, they set off again. Nothing would stop them! They were men on a mission! They would steal a goose if it was the last thing they did!
It was at about this point that Sal called me. He said that he'd heard a noise, and thinking it was intruders, he had grabbed his shotgun and headed to the door. He heard Kevin, however, and figured out what was up. His only words were "Make sure he gets the goose back before Dad wakes up." I promised, and knew that there would be no further investigations from the neighbors to dash the hopes of the boys involved in the Great Goose Caper.
Shortly thereafter, they made it to the pen, undetected. Jason and Jarhead vaulted over the fence, and Jason herded the gaggle of geese toward Jarhead, who lunged in a full on tackle to come up with only feathers. Twice. A final lunge, however, netted him the coveted goose... just as the lights flipped on again. Kevin hissed, "HURRY!" in a whisper just shy of a thundercloud's roar, and Jarhead threw the goose to him over the fence. Jarhead vaulted over the fence, got tangled in the top line, and went sprawling into the snow. Jason saw nothing but Kevin's ass and elbows as he ran for the safety of our house, where I had stepped away to check on the kids, knowing they had succeeded.
What I didn't expect, however, was to come back around the corner to find three (physically) grown men standing in my entryway covered in goose shit, looking as if they were presenting me with the crown jewels of England. They stood huddled together, hovering over the goose struggling frantically in Kevin's arms. One of them held its beak closed, the other controlled a wing, and they all stared at me with undisguised delight.
"We stole a goose, baby!" Kevin's eyes shone with pride and barely contained glee. "We got it for YOU!"
I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the entire scenario, as well as the pure sense of accomplishment that rolled off them in palpable waves. I managed to tell them to get that dirty thing out of the house, and take the goose too. They sagged a little, disappointed, until I added "And it's the finest goose anyone has ever stolen for me. Well done!"
They puffed right back up again, as pleased with themselves as if they'd successfully taken over the world, and walked back across the road, upright, to deposited the poor goose back with his brothers. I made sure they were properly hosed down before I allowed them to return to the living room, and their flaming Dr. Peppers, to do as they always did: retell and relive every glorious moment over and over again.
After all, that's what's expected of all good -and drunk- Irish lads!
Must gobble down breakfast and go to work now.