Unrealistic. This could never happen.
Maybe it’s a scene with too many coincidences or strange happenings. Whatever the case, we’re conscious of the fact there are a limited number of times readers will suspend disbelief while we hit them over the head with the baseball bat of bizarre.
This was on my mind Saturday when the weirdness quota in my real life hit overload before we even got in the car to drive the dogs to the river.
It started when I checked with Pythagoras to make sure he’d packed something for the dogs to fetch.
“Do you have balls?”
“Just one,” he replied. “Would three be better?”
“Definitely. That way they can each have one in their mouth while we’re throwing the other.”
|Pythagoras and his three balls.|
I looked at the new purse I’d just bought at a friend’s upscale handbag boutique. “The strap detaches,” I said. “Here’s one leash. Are you wearing a belt?”
Pythagoras shook his head. “Swim trunks. You’re wearing one, aren’t you?”
“Yes, but these shorts are so big I can pull them over my hips without unbuttoning them.”
No matter, we were already there, and the dogs were getting restless. I pulled off my belt and purse strap and harnessed the beasts.
On the hike down to the river, we had to stop every 10 seconds so I could hike up my shorts, which were even more inclined to slide off due to the fact that I’d shoved my iPhone in one pocket.
“Maybe if you got rid of the phone,” Pythagoras suggested.
“But what if I need to take pictures?”
|Can you tell my shorts are about to fall off?|
But doggie dementia has set in.
While he still understood the need to swim out and return with a ball, the details got fuzzy beyond that.
Pythagoras would toss a ball. Ozzy would swim out with a different ball in his mouth. He’d lunge at the floating ball, realize he already had one, and then swim back to shore without having retrieved anything at all.
Since our younger dog hasn’t mastered swimming quite yet, this left Pythagoras as our backup retriever in a river so icy he’ll be wearing a wetsuit when he swims it for a triathlon in a couple weeks.
But there was no wetsuit on Saturday. Just a pair of swim trunks and a lot of shivering.
|Pythagoras retrieves a tennis ball in the icy river while Ozzy supervises.|
He handed me the ball. “I don’t need a cookie, but I do have a walnut.” He nodded at my shorts. “Your underwear’s showing again.”
I hiked up my shorts, then began searching for my iPhone as the quacking of my ring-tone signaled an incoming call.
“That’s weird,” I said, frowning at it. “The phone was quacking, but there’s no missed call.”
“Just a guess, but it might be that family of ducks over there.”
We played in the river for awhile longer, with Ozzy remaining confused about the fetching, Pythagoras risking genital frostbite in the river, and me alternating between inadvertently flashing my underwear at kayakers and answering a phone that wasn’t ringing.
Finally, we re-leashed the dogs and hiked back to the car.
“Oh,” said Pythagoras as we approached. “We left all the windows down.”
“And my purse on the front seat.”
Pythagoras peered through the rear window. “And your iPod sitting on the backseat.”
But nothing had been touched. Most likely, any passing criminals took one look and thought, “no one is that stupid – it’s gotta be a trap.”
We loaded up the dogs and started to head home. “If I put all that in a manuscript,” I told Pythagoras, “you know what readers would say?”
“That you’re nuts?”
“Something like that.”
And he’s right. No sane critique partner would let me put all that in a scene. Can’t say I blame her.
So how was your Independence Day weekend? Any random, bizarre occurrences you can share? Please put them in the comments.
It’s nice to laugh at someone besides myself.