Barn0philes: remember it’s winter out there. No this isn’t about blanketing Trigger or checking your electric fence for shorts. Your horse is fine. (Trust me; he’s probably rolling his eyes under the hood of his new Rambo Super Deluxe Gusseted T latch High-necked Escape and Weather-Proof blanket. You know. The one you sold your car to buy?)
This is about YOU. Remember YOU will be seen in public and plan your errands accordingly. Mud is not a fashion accessory. This isn’t even about fashion. It’s about SAFETY.
I’ll recap my narrowly-missed-jail last winter experience as a case in point:
Tiny came down with abscesses in three hooves. This is bad. His owner and I were sharing treatment responsibilities. It’s not hard: just long, involved and uncomfortable for everyone. You have to get a really big horse to stand still (ha) with three hooves in 3 buckets full of hot water & Epsom salts. Treatment involves sharp scary looking medical implements, 2×2 gauze pads, antibiotic, Betadine, and medication in a really, really big syringe that you inject into the holes in each hoof. Then each hoof gets wrapped in Huggies (size 3), vetwrap, and duct tape.
When one is dealing with an excess of eleven hundred pounds saying: “IT HURTS and I DON’T WANT YOU TO TOUCH IT”; a huge array of supplies that one has to grab quickly is problematic. And potentially painful. I bless the day Shaun bought me my down parka. It has a kazillion pockets. (And it’s brown-green, the perfect color of dirt!)
I just got home from doing Tiny. It was pouring rain. I was soaked. And what awaited me? The half finished excavation of bad caulking in the hall bath. I throw my soggy parka on the dryer and go at digging out moldy caulk. Four hours into this thrilling process, I remember I didn’t deposit the check! The one I PROMISED Shaun I’d deposit today. For sure. Really. I got it honey. Honest.
Oh crap. The bank closes in 15 minutes. I race out the backdoor, snatching my parka off the dryer and stuff my wallet into a pocket. It’s still pouring. It’s as if there’s an ocean suspended above us and someone said, “Hey I know what we can do! Let’s drain it, see what’s at the bottom.”
I pull into the lot. Miraculously, the bank is OPEN. I’m drenched. My hair is frizzed to the max. My glasses are fogging up. But…there’s no one waiting. It’s my lucky day! Dripping and seeping, I squelch my way through the maze of line tape to the holding area. I enjoy the light and warmth, waiting for a teller to call me. I’m such a good citizen. As I stand there feeling proud of myself, my parka starts to warm up too. What IS that? Uh-oh. I’m radiating Eau de Horse. Maybe if I stand back far enough, the teller won’t be able to smell me.
At one window, a very clean young man smiles the kindest, sweetest smile I have ever seen. I resist the urge to look behind me: I know no one is there. Wow, that smile is for me. I light up. I love my bank.
I squeak-squelch over to the window. He beams at me. “And how may I help you today, Ma’am?” His truly kind and genuine manner is so startling I’m a bit unnerved. Why is he being so nice to me? I mumble what I want to do as I pat down my pockets for my wallet.
That’s when it hits me. How I must look to him. I’m wearing work jeans that fit a couple of years ago, held up by an ancient belt, ratty tee shirt of an indiscernible color, white flakes of…stuff…in my bushy hair, a muddy, stinky (brown? green?) parka covered in silvery nostril prints. I look like I’ve been run over by a pack of angry snails.
He thinks I’m homeless. He thinks I’m a bag lady. I want to die. “I’m sorry Ma’am, I didn’t quite catch that”, he says sweetly. “Oh I want to…mumble mumble…” I say as I shove my hand in my pocket. I’m so embarrassed. I feel the rounded edge of my wallet and pull it out, babbling something, looking at him expectantly. Shock is all over his face. He takes a step backward. I’m puzzled. What? What’s wrong? He’s looking at my hand. I look down. I’m not holding my wallet. I’m holding a gigantic syringe, and I’m pointing it at him.
The three other tellers instantly sense something is wrong. It’s the end of the day. I’m the only person in the bank. Nice guy is frozen solid. Or is that a twitchy finger inching toward a hidden panic button?
I enunciate as slowly and calmly as possible: “Oops. I Should Have Left This At The Barn. Sorry About That”, and quickly stuff it back into my pocket. This time I make SURE I have my wallet. I beam what I hope is my sanest smile at him. We complete the transaction with another teller hovering nervously behind him. As I walk out the door, I hear Sweet Guy call out “Have a nice day!”
I love my bank. I walk to my car. I think I hear the lock click behind me.
Tis the season folks. Remember what you’re wearing.
Be safe out there.
Copyright © 2009. The Literary Horse. All rights reserved.