I am greatly disappointed to inform you the following incident did not happen to me. I heard this story from a friend of mine. It’s gloomy while still managing to command mounds of amusement. And, despite the few inevitable slight exaggerations writing necessitates, it is true.
Main character’s fictional name: Emma
A few years ago Emma was house-sitting for a week. Her charge: a male Irish Setter by the name Bitty Baby. Abbreviation: B.B. When they departed, his owners informed her where B.B.’s food and toys were, how much he craved human companionship, and how at the grandpa age of eleven, he was rapidly aging. The first few days whenever Emma sat Bitty Baby’s head promptly found her knee. She scratched his head and watched as his eyes sealed and ears lolled. B.B. died after four days, Emma’s sentinel rank suddenly superfluous. She called The Parents to enlighten them of the misfortune. They apologized profusely. They requested she dispose of the dog so their young offspring would not have to see their departed cohort. Emma hesitantly agreed. She didn’t have a car. She rode the bus to their house every day. She rode the bus everywhere.
Emma terminated the call and grimaced, nose wrinkling. She donned rubber yellow dishwashing gloves and obtained the largest black bag in the house. She positioned the bag near the golden brown mountain. She screamed as she grasped Bitty Baby’s leg. Emma’s disheartened clutch did not move the bulk. She shrieked and crashed her eyes shut when lugging the dog’s weight into the bag. She screeched when she cowered to her knees, eyes necessarily open, reached gloved arms underneath the dog’s mass, and attempted to elevate and roll the bulk. She squealed, “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God,” repeatedly as, six minutes later, she zipped the mound inside the bag. Her main focal point: breathing normal again. The energy exertion, violent muscle extension, and utter revulsion at dead animals resulted in the inhalation of a seventy-year-old asthmatic on a respirator. She rested, hunched, and raised tired eyes to the mammoth black bag.
Here is where we differ in common procedure. Here is when I call Dad, Brother, Boyfriend, Friend, Someone, Something that moves. Here is where I bribe/guilt trip/harass the people I love into assisting me in a time of dire need. Here is where Emma went wrong.
Eventually Emma painfully, sluggishly, crawled forward into a sitting position on her knees. She slowly mentally forced herself to her feet. She seized the bag’s strap and yanked it from the living room to the kitchen. Emma heaved it to the front entryway, her face contorting as she lugged, the bag thumping as it hit each individual stair. She dragged it half a block across the pavement with both hands grasping the strap, sweating, muttering profanities. A grizzly, semi-toothless man whistled at her. Vulgar, shrill words emanated from her mouth as she bonded her eyes to the concrete and braced her weight against that of the bag. Two planted feet plus two straining arms equaled bag moving two inches.
The MUNI and she arrived simultaneously. Emma struggled, thrashing the bag as she attempted to transverse the remaining four feet obstructing her and her burden from the haulage on wheels. A moan/shriek erupted from her mouth as the doors commenced their close, their embargo. Driver apologized and resurrected the doors’ release.
The bag battle ensued as Emma wrestled it up the three stairs. Driver gaped. Thirty-something man inquired if she needed help. Her raised face necessitated no words. His lengthy legs crossed what appeared to Emma the distance of eternity and his brawny arm lifted her cargo up the stairs, swinging it gracefully in an arc and under a seat. He grunted with the effort.
Emma liberally thanked her knight and then sat in silence, demoralized by the concept of extreme effort in moving a deceased dog. After five stops Thirty-Something Knight asked what was so heavy in the bag. After six blocks later she responded it was stereo equipment. Nobody should know she had a dead dog. She would judge someone if they had a dead dog that wasn’t theirs on public transportation in the middle of the day in a black bag. After thirteen blocks Emma slid to the edge of her seat, stood, sighed, squatted, and seized the strap. Knight rapidly rose to his feet and grandly announced he would carry her bag for her off the MUNI. Emma smiled, sincere gratification, and followed as he hoisted the bag with both hands and exited down the stairs. Knight marched four steps and circled as she articulated her elated appreciation for his help. Knight looked at Emma, blue eyes wild, and thrust the bag at her. Unprepared, with sixty-something pounds of dead dog propelling towards her, she lost her balance in the face of the sinister black bag and plunged backwards. As her rear pummeled the ground, the black bag fled with Knight.
Emma sat up, arms propping body, and smiled, sincere gratification.
Only regret: that she couldn’t be present to observe Knight’s face when he opened a bag he believed to be stereo equipment only to find a dead dog.