Valium Vickie

Monday, August 03, 2015

4 Places My Boston Terrier Has Been That My Grandmother Hasn't

My grandmother was the youngest of seven children. Her father fell through the outdoor bathroom and died when she was four, forcing her older siblings to drop out of school and find work so the brood could survive. Whether it was a youthful optimism or stubborn pride, my grandmother said she never felt poor as a child. But the government disagreed, and the money her brothers brought in from the coal mine (and didn't drink away) was supplemented by welfare checks. As soon as my grandmother was able, she too entered the workforce. The man she married wound up being a scumbag who decided not to support his family, so my grandmother become the sole provider. As single parent, she spent decades working long hours at Northeastern Pennsylvania factories to provide for her son and stretching her resources as far as she could. In short, my grandmother's life hasn't been easy, and she's seldom ventured far from the town in which she was born and raised: Ashely, Pennsylvania.

My Boston Terrier's experience, on the other hand, has been the exact opposite -- and she's not even two yet! Conceived lovingly and sensually in a dung-filled pen by King and Amie, Judith Weiland Bilski was the only brindle Boston in her litter of six. As a result of her unique markings, oversized ears and the fact that she's a real sweetie, my wife and I have spoiled her rotten since day one. Because we're always going places, Judith always ends up going places, too.

Some of Judith's favorite haunts

Here are four places Judith has been that my grandmother hasn't:

1. An airplane. For the price of six glasses of U.S. Airways Merlot, you can buy a ticket for your dog to fly with you provided it: A.) is under 15 pounds B.) stays in a regulation size pet carrier, and C.) sits on your lap during the flight. Because my wife and I knew our 15-pound Boston would've have any issue with sitting on our laps in her little bag for a five-hour flight, she made a trip out to San Diego to visit my sister last spring. When my grandmother heard that Judith had flown cross country, she couldn't believe it. "Judith went on an airplane!? I've never even been on an airplane!"

Thanks for letting me have the window seat y'all!

2. A Mexican restaurant. For more than eight decades, my grandmother's inherent distrust of the Mexican people* has prevented her from enjoying one of the most satisfying types of cuisine on this planet. Judith, however, doesn't factor race into the equation when it comes to food. For our canine, it doesn't matter if the meal was prepared by a black person, a brown person or even a vegan albino, as long as she can get the food that falls from our table down her gullet, she'll enjoy it. Because of Judith's progressive views on ethnic food, I've taken her to a number of authentic Mexican eateries that I'd never dream of bringing my grandmother. In fact, Judith had her first experience with autentica comida mexicana when she was just four months old and, as you can tell by her Yelp review, "Judith loves La Chancla."

How can you not love people who make food this good? Judith LOVES La Chancla!

3. A comedy club. Comedy clubs are dark, cramped places where people can go to laugh and, for a few brief moments, to forget the fact that they're moving ever closer toward their own impending deaths. But my grandmother wouldn't know this because she's never had the pleasure of losing herself in the a road-grizzled headliner's signature bit about how almost shitting his pants in an Arby's parking lot led to an existential crisis -- and a helluva catch phrase ("Ka-Boom bitches! That's why Ricky always packs a spare!"). The same can't be said for Judith. This young Boston has already been to seven established comedy clubs and a handful of open mics. In fact, if Judith could talk, I'm confident she'd be able to do my entire act word for word. Though she often sleeps through entire shows, I'm sure just being around this type of environment has contributed greatly to the spot-on time of Judith's physical comedy. Because my grandmother's aging body won't allow her to stay up past 7:37 pm, she's yet to see any of the heartfelt material I've written about her.

I'm at a Days Inn telling dick jokes for 9 people so, yeah, my career is going great asshole.

4. My wife's ultrasound. When my wife and I told my grandmother that we were having a baby, Gram never even asked if she could accompany us to the initial ultrasound appointment. Judith, however, made it clear -- by charging through the door and parking herself next to the car when I went to leave -- that she wanted to be there for this important life milestone. So I loaded my dog into the same pet carrier we used to transport her across the country and strolled right into the doctor's office without anyone batting an eye. Normally Judith's bag acts as a sedative. Much like a bird the moment a cover is placed over its cage, Judith shuts it down as soon as we zip up her portable travel quarters. At least most of the time she does. But during the ultrasound she made a low, lonely wailing noise that was loud enough to cause the doctor to look at me. Without many options, I smiled, patted my stomach and shrugged. Had my grandmother been there, not only would she have experienced the miracle of her great grandchild's heartbeat, she could've also served as a great distraction. After all, doctors expect aging bodies to make all type of strange, concerning sounds.

If I don't like the baby, we can get rid of it though, right?
* My grandmother doesn't really distrust Mexican people, just the effects of their food on her body.