My dog likes bananas; Buster is confounded by girls

So, I did a stupid thing today and decided I would make “something delicious” for supper instead of the same old, same old. I would fry chicken!

Buster, who mostly doesn’t like my cooking unless it’s hamburgers or steak, was thrilled.

Stupid, stupid. Now I know why I never make fried chicken. The house reeked of oil. Thank goodness for a fair-weather snap, because I had to open the windows and turn on the ceiling fans to get the ghastly smell out of the place. And the cleanup…no supper is worth the clean up.

Finally done chasing grease, I sat at the kitchen table waiting for the return of the man of the house and I ate a banana, because since childhood I have had a habit of “spoiling my appetite,” probably because I disliked my mother’s cooking as much as Buster dislikes mine.

I’m sitting there, eating the banana, and the dog plants herself before me and says, “Ma,” (I swear, she says “Ma”) “Ma, what you eating?”

Border Collies are very smart dogs. They’re like having another teenager in the house, and once they get an idea in their head, they pester you. In the past this dog got after me for a burned-out lightbulb in the ceiling fan which bothered her because it messed with her light-and-shadows and kept making her jump. When I didn’t fix it fast enough to please her, she followed me around all day, saying, “I could fix that lightbulb for you…You’re going to fix it, right? Because if you’re not, I could probably do it…do you have a ladder? Please fix the light…”

Tonight, I got, “Ma, what you eating?”

“Go away,” I said. “You’ve had your supper and this is a banana. I know you don’t believe this, but you’re a dog; you don’t eat bananas.”

“I could eat bananas,” she said defensively, cocking her head. “You’ve never let me try.”

“It’s fruit.” I explained. “You won’t like it and you’ll spit it all over the floor and then I’ll have to clean it up.”

“I am quite certain that I will like it,” she argued, “you’re being mean and lazy. You always keep me from growing and learning because you don’t want to do a little cleaning…”

Because I am weak-willed, I broke off a bit of banana and tossed it her way. She grabbed it neatly and chewed it with determined expression on her face. The mushiness seemed to surprise her, but she swallowed and defiantly planted herself before me. “More, Ma.” She demanded.

“I can’t believe you ate that,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “You didn’t really like it, did you? You’re just trying to make a point.”

“The point being I love bananas,” she narrowed back. “They’re now my favorite food. Gimmee.”

I tossed her the last bit of my banana and she chewed it with that careful expression and then, finally, walked away – tossing one last look at me. “Told you,” she said.

Snot nose. Then Buster walks in. “Ma, you used to be a girl, right?”

With a sigh of long-suffering, I nodded. “Yes. I used to be a girl.”

“What does it mean, when you ask a girl to hand you a pencil, and when she hands it to you, her hand lingers on yours for a minute?”

“What, like this?” I demonstrated the way I used to do it, a wispy touch of fingers across the palm.

“No, more like this.” His demonstration seemed much more forward, to me – a definite full-palm lingering, with a pat.

“Ummm…she likes you a lot,” I explained.

“Well, what the hell? What is it with women, anyway?”

Turns out the pencil-lending-lingerer was his latest break-up – a girl he really likes, has liked since elementary school. They’ve been good friends for a while and started “dating” – briefly, it turned out – over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I think she’s confused,” I said. “You were pals for a long time, then you got pretty hot pretty fast…I think she fears risking your friendship by being your g/f.”

“This crap sucks,” he announced. “Dating sucks and why can’t girls just say what they mean? Later this afternoon, in lab, I handed her her wristwatch so she wouldn’t forget it and she did it again.”

“Be patient,” I advised.

“Maybe offer her biscuit,” the dog panted with banana breath.

“And you shut up, also,” said Buster. “You’re no help.”

The dog, 9 years old and past caring about teenage angst, decided “chump don’t want good advice, chump don’t get good advice,” and went to sleep.

I miss when they were all little.

UPDATE: Fausta wants to borrow the dog. Be my guest, Fausta, but I warn you – she’s a smart ass.

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