Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — As everyone in the Western Hemisphere knows, this past Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday. The whole season came down to one, final, championship game. And the big question would finally be answered by day’s end: Did I order enough pizza?
As usual, I was home for the game. For the past several years, I’ve hunkered down in my easy chair and watched it with my good friend (and dog), Maggie. (My wife likes football but she is usually pre-occupied with about a half-dozen other things – she slows down like that on Sundays.)
This year, however, that dog-and-me scenario changed.
It was just before kick-off when I learned of Maggie’s plans.
“Look,” Maggie said, “I know you’re expecting me to watch the game with you, but Eddie, Bailey and I are going to go out-back and sniff dead rodents and stuff.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, in disbelief.
“Well, the (neighborhood) dogs and I just thought we’d … you know … do our thing and ...”
“Do your ‘thing’?” I interrupted. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I was a little upset, knowing full well that she’d be up to her usual ‘bad dog!’ shenanigans while I sat alone.
“You’re kidding?” I continued. “How am I supposed to get ‘the wave’ going all by myself? I need you. I thought we were a team?!”
“We are – but it’s not that often that we get together, bark and smell each other. Dog stuff.”
Reluctantly, I let her go with her pals — but I made her promise not to bring back any dead animal parts. I wanted no souvenirs. She agreed – and off she went.
So, to fill the void, I called my friend Gary Gross. He lives just outside town.
“Gary, this is your good friend, Tom.”
“Tom who?” That Gary is such a kidder.
“Valley. Tom Valley” I went along with his little joke.
“Is this a prank call. Are you a telemarketer?”
After convincing him we knew each other, we had a one-sided conversation — I just rambled on and he listened.
“Gary, are you going to be watching the game with your faithful dog by your side?”
“What are you talking about? And who’d you say you were?”
A little while later, he politely explained that he had to go mow the lawn. So we said our goodbyes. This guy is such a card — not once did he let on he knew me.
It was hard watching the first half of the game all alone – there was no one to give high-fives or paws to. But thank God, Maggie came strolling home just as the second half started.
But I wanted her to know I was a little disappointed, so at first, I gave her the cold shoulder. (My wife taught me that little trick.)
She tried making small talk to break the ice. “Bailey said next week he’d like us to take a trip downtown. He’s never had the chance to see or use a fire hydrant.”
I didn’t even look at her. But I couldn’t stay mad any longer. I just held my hand up.
“Hey, Mag, give me a high-paw!”
She gladly swatted my hand and chortled, “Want to start the wave?”
Cool! My buddy and I were a team, again.
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.Tom Valley is a Medina resident. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.