Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dog Days Again

Who Let the Dogs Out?
I finally got chased by dogs today. Other cyclists frequently talk about being chased by dogs and it never seems to happen to me. I was starting to get a complex about it. Am I such a wreck that I can't even get a dog to chase me? Of course, it doesn't help that I spend so little time on the bike these days that any dog that wanted to chase me would have to get in his car and drive over to Whispering Pines Trailer Park and chase me around whatever crappy trailer I am trying to put back together.

Back In the Game
Yes, it is true, Miss Jo the Trailer Park Manager had to bring me back out of retirement. The New Guy she hired to replace me made a noble effort to Be Me but let's face it. There's only one Me. 

 Not counting the Voice,  the Voice said.

"Shut up Voice.  You don't count.  And you're getting me confused."

It's So Easy Anyone Can Do It
The funny thing about carpentry is that the better you are at it the easier it looks. Take a set of stairs for instance. Nothin' to it, right? What could be simpler? Hah! The New Guy's first effort was so dynamic, so artful, so creative that it drew fascinated attention from every tenant in The Park. Plus the fact that the NG's artwork was being displayed on the side of the Blonde's trailer. This...creation was nailed to the side of the Blonde's trailer in a feeble effort to replace the rotten steps that had collapsed beneath her and Miss Daisy the Yellow Dog at bath time. (Not the Blonde's bath time. Miss Daisy's. The Blonde takes her baths inside now, and has ever since we moved into town. I do miss bath time in the country, though.)

Hey!  Eyes Up Here
While Blondie and me don't always agree, she has always respected my skill at cutting pieces of wood  into various shapes and then nailing them back together so that they are a stairway or a house (or even a nice juicy pile of money when I get a bunch of other guys to cut and nail with me).

Look at this crap,” she said, gesturing disdainfully at the NG's work. “You can build a better stairway than that even when you're drunk. Which is a good thing since you...”

Yes, yes, Honey,” I said, interrupting. “But I'm sober now and I must confess, looking at this work here before me is sobering indeed. Don't try to use these.”

Oh, don't worry. I wouldn't go near that thing. It made Toby bark.” Toby the Trouble Puppy has grown in size quite a bit since his rowdy arrival at Whispering Pines but his brain seems stuck on “Puppy”. In this instance, however, he was quite accurate in his assessment. Those steps made me want to hike my leg and bark like a dog.

It Ain't Over Till It's Over,  Rover
Later that afternoon I was sitting at my table and running my fingers listlessly over the keyboard of my computer. I had a nice clean blank screen in front of me but I also had a nice clean blank brain inside of me. Nothing was happening. Then I saw Miss Jo coming across the parking lot. Now something was happening. Miss Jo has a determined and purposeful stride that gives her the look of someone on the way to kick somebody's ass. She was coming towards my trailer. Our last meeting had been alcohol fueled and less than pleasant and I looked around for a place to hide but it was too late and she was on the porch.

Can we talk?” she said.

Of course,” I said, “And I'm sorry about the other night. You don't really remind me of a...”

Whatever,” she said. “That's water under the bridge. I want to know if you want your job back.”

Well, Jo, I don't know. I saw those stairs that Your New Guy built and I have to confess, I just don't have it in me to do that level of work. You gotta remember that I'm  only a carpenter. That guy is an artist and apparently an idiot savant, only without the savant part.”

I'm never going to hear the end of this, am I,” she said.

Never. And I demand that all my demands be met.”

Tim Joe, half of those demands are illegal and the other half physically impossible. And you're too old for that kind of stuff anyway. I don't want to be responsible for giving you a heart attack.”

I found this intriguing. The only demands I remember making was to be allowed a little more bicycle time and a new deal on my trailer rent. And a new hammer.

OK.” I said. “Where do I start?”

Where else? Replace those stupid stairs.  That Ex of yours is threatening to call the Building Department and the newspaper and PETA and anybody else she can think of that might give me more heartburn than I already have.”

Yes, ma'am,” I said. “By the way, you didn't happen to write down any of those demands I was making, did you?'

But she was already off the porch and on her way to another meeting. With the New Guy, no doubt.

No One Here Gets Out Alive
So once again I find myself crawling around tearing out rotten floors, re-framing collapsed walls, building simple but functional non-artistic stairs and generally picking up where I left off. And getting so little time in on my bicycle that I can't even get chased by a dog.

I'll chase you, Dad.” said Toby the Trouble Puppy.

That's good of you, puppy, but I don't want you chasing bicycles. And dog's can't talk.”

That's what I was going to say, said the Voice.

Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Asylum


  1. Tim Joe, glad to hear that you are gainfully employed again (I think). It will make those trips to get beer more fun. If you can get the boss lady to give you a couple of hours in the morning to ride your bike and then a early quit in the afternoon to wind down that would be a perfect job..if you have to have a job.. Now just keep working on getting that new hammer.

  2. Just explain to her that your therapy is your riding and if she wants stuff done she is going to have to wait for when it doesn't conflict wither your therapist. There's no use in having you go to pieces or she'll be stuck getting artsy crap put up all over the place which will be no good for anything other than for birds to perch and poop.

  3. Always good to have folks remember that you are in fact THE Man. Hope you can get that whole (as the corp types say) "Work life balance" thing figured out. BTW that Idiot Savant line - I am going to steal that - just saying. Too funny. Hammer on Velo brother- the pedaling kind that is.


  4. Congratulations on your re-employment! I love doing carpentry work. Currently I am doing a renovation job on a church. It is fun doing the demo then piecing the building back together. Today my brother and I put a roof on my dad's log barn we has been building.
    I hope you are able to get more time on the bike soon! I missed out on a beautiful day of riding today because of the barn roof :-(
    As far as being chased by a dog I have only had it happen once. Luckily it was old and fat so It was not hard to get away from!

  5. Glad you're back to being gainfully employed. Bike parts are rarely free so you gotta have something going on.
    Carpentry is good for the soul anyway. You get to leave pieces of your life around for others to enjoy and remember you by. There was this really famous carpenter about 2000 years ago and look what an impression He made! Admittedly, He's not famous for carpentry but ya gotta start somewhere.
    Now don't go get all spiritual on me...just sayin'.

  6. Hey Everybody!

    @Doug: Yeah! Maxwell's Silver Hammer! (Just kidding...a little)

    @mouse: I wonder if there is a "non-cycling" defense. (see above)

    @Roadie: Hey Ryan! Thanks man. Feel free to use any of my lines anytime. By the way, if you e-mail me a hard address I'l shoot you out some Uncle Bill's.

    @Matt: One of those dogs that chased me was a chubby little pug that was so worn out after chasing me that I thought about stopping and getting off and carrying him back home.

    @Wayward: Yeah that guy drops by every year around April to give me a hand.

    Everybody click on Uncle Bill's in my blogroll section. Tell your friends. But you homeboys let me know here at and I'll mail you a sample.

  7. Hey Tim Joe, I just read your post on Fat Cyclist and wanted to check out your blog. Good stories friend. You got another reader.

  8. Thanks Jeremy! Welcome to the Park! Watch where you step there, I think Miss Daisy just...

  9. Just stumbled onto you from Fatty's blog. LOVE your writing style....I am starting reading your blog posts from the beginning. Made it through your first month and am hooked.