El Dodo Albino

My Imp

Why did I say that?

It seems I have an imp in me who, when he discerns some awkward truth, takes possession of my mouth and, despite all efforts to tame him, blurts it out.

It all started two weeks before with a visit to the vet.

Java and I were the sole visitors in the waiting room one sunny summer afternoon. I was flipping through Dog Fancy, and Java was staring wistfully at the exit. Our revery was broken by an “Oh, my!” from the receptionist. Our ears perked up.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” she said into the phone. “I’m going to have to get the doctor.” She pressed hold, and her lips pursed into what looked like a stifled titter.

She buzzed the vet, and they conferred in whispers. Was that chuckling I observed behind their shielding hands?

The vet got on the line. “How long ago did this happen? … Is your dog exhibiting any symptoms? … I think the two substances will cancel each other out and your dog will be okay. But, keep an eye on him. Bring him right in if he starts to behave strangely.”

The vet hung up, and she and the receptionist collapsed into gales of laughter.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “But you’ve got to tell me what that call was about.”

“Someone’s dog … just ate … a batch … of … pot brownies,” the vet managed to squeeze out between giggles.

“Oh, my,” indeed.

Fast forward two weeks.

I was leaving a strategy meeting, walking to the parking lot with a woman I barely knew. As we approached her car, a fuzzy, panting head popped out the open window in greeting.

“What a lovely dog you have.”

She introduced me. “This is Fluffy [names have been changed to protect the innocent], the dog of nine lives. You wouldn’t believe the trouble he gets into.”

“Is this the dog who ate the pot brownies?” The words just tumbled out of my mouth. Why did I say that? Of the thousands of dogs in my town, what were the chances?

She blanched. “How did you know?”

“I didn’t,” was all I could reply. I thought it better to leave out the part about the psychic abilities of my imp.

She was quick to inform me they were medicinal brownies made for a sick friend.

“Hey,” I said, “you don’t have to justify your pot brownies to me. I’m glad Fluffy is okay.”

We retreated to our cars and went our separate ways. On the way out of the lot, I felt a little pat on the side of my head. I think it was my imp having a laugh.


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