Last Sunday I celebrated the peak weekend of the glorious colors of autumn by performing a full gainer with a half twist off the bottom step, across the driveway, and ending with a picturesque slide through a dainty covering of fallen leaves into the family’s economy car.
While I achieved great strides in velocity and form, I’m afraid I miscalculated the landing and celebrated readjusting my spinal column and churning my bicep into goose liver pate, which is a fancy name for squashy stuff.
There wasn’t a row of discerning judges to grade my progress, but I’m pretty sure the two Labradors watching were more impressed by a fleeing squirrel. Maybe next time I’ll stuff my cheeks with acorns and scale a nearby oak.
This time, however, I chose skiing through mud, which is almost as cheerfully effective as skiing with my feet strapped to chipmunks, as a mode of transportation. The good news is that I made it to the car in record time, which was impressive even though my chosen destination was the newspaper box across the street.
As a bonus, I managed to flatten out the tall, wiry weeds sprouting ambitiously down the hill beside the steps, so that we don’t really need to do that last bit of edging around the steps before winter. The doctor says the weed burns should wear off by next Thursday and that there's a fancy name for the kind of shave that resulted.
In the movies, loving and concerned family pets curl around stranded snowbound travelers, keeping them warm and secure until help arrives. Peering down the driveway I spotted a Labrador glancing back over one shoulder with a puzzled look. He shrugged and the pair disappeared around the bend in search of stray tennis balls. Lassie would have run for help. These two wouldn’t come to my aid if my skeleton were made of Milk Bones.
Luckily Bill, my Prince in White Reeboks, came to the rescue and committed an act of First Aid. He can do more with a single Ace Bandage than most people can do with a fully stocked Emergency Responder Kit, a bottle of Bactine spray, and the Jaws of Life. By the time he was done with the ice packs and bandages I looked like a Michelin Man version of the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia.
It just goes to show you. Dog may be man’s best friend, but when it comes to marking the onset of Autumn with a Great Fall, nothing beats the King’s men for putting Humpty Dumpty together again.