Friday, April 29, 2011
“Where the heck are Kenny’s glasses?”
“I have no idea. At this point the only explanation is that Magic ate them.”
Way. Magic was the first family dog we had. He ate my uncle’s glasses. His glasses! He used to eat photos too. Our only proof of it came in the terds in the front yard that contained white glossy paper with “Kodak” emblazoned on the back. He was the reverse of a Walgreens Photo Lab. The poop scattered in the front yard scattered in a chain length radius from the post he was affixed to was like a CSI flashback revealing what was eaten on the other side of digestion. There were often brightly colored crayons, rubber bands, baseball cards, and whatever else he wanted.
Everyone was scared of him.
He had to wear a leash in the house because when he cornered some food it was our only hope of exhibiting some control over him and retrieving our Cheese Nips. We moved from a regular collar to a choke chain to a choke chain with spikes. There were countless instances where we would be up on the kitchen counters with a broom trying to pry some food away from behind Magic as he bared his teeth and growled. These warnings were taken seriously because he had bitten everyone in the family. For a time we experimented with cayenne red pepper powder when we were on the countertops, shaking it vigorously in his nose. This worked for awhile, but he eventually became impervious to it, just like he did everything else.
Magic was a beast.
Magic looked like this:
We were terrified of all 20 pounds of him. Now, before you mark the Houghtons as wimps just know you would have been too. He had bitten everyone of us. He was literally on steroids (for some kind of allergy). We kept him around like a bad boyfriend because when he wasn’t a terror he was the sweetest dog ever. “Hey baby, let me back, I’ve changed. I love you.” He ended up dying when I was a sophomore in high school. Of what you ask? Liver damage of course.
The beast lay on the table at the vet’s office fading, as he recounted everything that had been laid to rest inside his mighty jaws during his lifetime. Barely with it and motionless he looked up when my brother, Scott, the youngest, walked in. Magic raised his head, looked at him as they shared a moment, then drew his last breath, off to the doggie afterlife to terrorize Kujo.
Yesterday, I auditioned for a role that said, “must be comfortable around dogs.” Luckily, for me I had been rehabilitated from my Magic days. Michelle loves dogs as much as she loves humans and she really loves humans. We have two, Sammy and Lucy, and they taught me that dogs are great, and can be well behaved. I’m always amazed when they are. So, I’m comfortable around dogs now.
I arrive at the audition, which is in a space like I mentioned once before is like a doctor’s office with multiple rooms casting for multiple projects. There were a bunch of guys with short sleeve white button downs and black ties auditioning for Bud Light. I was auditioning for an insurance company. Eventually they called my name. I slated (said my name to the camera) and said my line after the woman.
Woman: “Nothing, sweetie, just looking for some car insurance.”
Me: “We just switched to _____ Insurance.”
Next spot. This is where the dog comes in, only for the audition there was no dog, only a gorilla stuffed animal.
Woman: Good student discount
Me (playing with a gorilla/dog on my lap): “Auto and Home discount. Saved another 20% overall!)
The gorilla/dog jumps off my chest out of screen
The only problem is the gorilla/dog can’t actually jump. On my first take I tossed him too early. I got to do it again.
I guess somewhere deep in my being I wanted to throw this “dog.” I don’t know where that urge could have come from.