Wednesday, November 25, 2009

OPINION: When It Comes To Snoozing, Sylvia Certainly Sticks To It

By Anne Sullivan

The day was cold and I was nestled in my comfortable chair reading and dozing. Sylvia was snoring softly in her bed by the TV and, for once, not even a mouse was stirring. A scream aroused me with a start and I awoke to see a shivering Sylvia beside me. She appeared to be wearing her bed.
“%##!$,” she shrieked. “Get me out of this! It’s got ahold of me! Get it off me!”
“Calm down, Sylvia,” I said when I could get a word in edgewise. “What have you done to yourself?”
“I haven’t done anything to myself,” she yelled. “It attacked me! I was minding my own business, enjoying my dream and – and –“ Sobs smothered the rest of the sentence.
“Stand still, Sylvia,” I said, unwrapping myself from my heated throw and rising from my chair. “Let me see what the trouble is.”
A few more ill-chosen cusswords issued from her mouth before I caught hold of her to investigate the matter.
“I see what you’ve done, Sylvia,” I said with extreme calm while smothering a laugh. “You’re caught in a sticky trap.”
“It’s supposed to catch mice, not me,” she sobbed. “You shouldn’t have put it so close to my bed.”
“You’re right. I’m very sorry. You poor baby,” I said, patting her head. “Now, be still and let me get it off you.”
“Careful! That’s my hair you’re so cavalierly tearing out.”
“The only way to get it off you is to pull. I’m so sorry. Now grit your teeth and be brave.”
“Owww. It’s not fair. I was having a nice dream for once. Owwww.”
“Do be still so I can grab it and pull.” In the minisecond that she stayed still, I managed to pull half of the trap off, after which I had to detach that half from my hand.
“Now we’re really getting somewhere,” I said as cheerily as I could manage under the dire circumstances.
“You’ve no idea how bad that hurt,” Sylvia cried. “It’s not fair. The mice cause all the trouble and I get caught.”
I pulled and tugged with all my might which released her from her bed.
“!!#&%#!” Sylvia bellowed.
“Where did you learn such language, young lady?”
“It wasn’t from the mice or Gordo,” she replied. “So I guess it must have been you.”
I ignored the insult, saying only, “We’re almost done. There’s just a little bit on your paw now.” I grabbed the remains of the trap and pulled at the same time Sylvia jerked away.
Finally Sylvia was a free dog again. She gave me a thank-you lick and said, “Now I know how those prisoners in Abu Ghraib felt. I’m glad we’re banning torture again. It’s not nice.”
“You’re right,” I agreed. “It’s not nice at all.”
“It would be even nicer if we didn’t have any more wars to worry about,” Sylvia said. “Was there ever such a time?”
“Not for very long. Not in my lifetime.”
“Your lifetime.” Sylvia gave a long whistle. “That’s almost forever, isn’t it?”
“Very close to forever,” I said. “Let me count the wars: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Kosovo, Desert Storm, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“That’s nine. Are you sure you haven’t forgotten anything? In the Middle East or Africa?”
“Not sure at all. It seems like there’s something somewhere all the time.”
“You’d think people could do better than this,” Sylvia said with pauses for thought and scratching. “Nobody seems to like war, do they?”
“I shouldn’t think so.”
“I’m just thankful I don’t have to go to some boiling hot country and fight. And we all ought to be thankful that we have our armed forces to do the fighting for us.” Once more Sylvia mounted her imaginary soapbox to declaim, “This is Thanksgiving week and we have much to be thankful for. We all owe every serviceman or woman and veteran our thanks for everything they’ve done. And we should never forget it and never never forget them.”

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