Bouncing along with a couple of playful punks on leashes, a pocketful of poo bags and doggy treats, the bacon-flavored brand that always makes me a little hungry.
I don’t say all this to brag about my station in life. I say this because I so cherish and admire dogs.
For centuries, being a dog was rough duty. Now, being a dog is like being a prince 5th in the line of succession. Nobody expects much of you, and you get a lot of perks.
Dogs today get better dental care than I did as a child. Many pet owners now cook for their dogs. Dogpark Gary, rest his sweet soul, used to give his pit bull daily rub downs.
Like I said, not a bad life.
For the past week, I’ve been watching the lovely and patient daughter’s dog. Penny Laine is a ginger retriever, which means she has a nicer personality and more character than many humans.
She also burps a lot. FYI, her tooth marks are on a wedge of smoked cheddar in the fridge, after she snatched a Zip-Loc off the counter. I retrieved it quickly from her mouth. Kept the cheese.
In short, we both value good cheese.
The other night, Penny Laine ate my favorite shoe. Last night, she snatched a hard-boiled egg off the counter.
I was bummed about the egg till Smartacus told me that it was cooked maybe a minute too long anyway, and if I wanted the yolk a little gooey, like in the best ramen joints, I should boil the hard-boiled eggs a little less.
That cheered me up, knowing that the dog had snatched an egg that wasn’t quite up to the standards of my children.
I’m having a rocky relationship with my kids – what else is new? I learned last week that my daughters will miss Father’s Day because they will be in Austin for Rapunzel’s bachelorette party, a holiday all its own.
FYI, these bachelorette parties now cost more than my wedding.
Instead of starter homes, our kids are now investing in high-end bachelorette parties in places like Austin, Napa and Nashville. Who can blame them? In California, there are no more starter homes. If you want a starter home, you have to move.
FYI, I ran into Doc Dodge the other day, whose daughter will also be at the bachelorette party in Austin. He said his wedding cost $2,500, for 150 guests. Even allowing for 4 decades of inflation, that’s pretty striking.
I’m betting that this Texas event is costing more than $2,500, when you add up the air fare, the pedicures, the tips, the hired drivers, the silly sashes, the hotels. All in the name of “leude and mutynous behavior,” as they used to say in merry olde England.
Hell, it’s only money.
Pretty sure Suzanne is losing patience with my frugality. I griped the other day when … oh, forget it, it’s only money. As my buddy Miller always says, in some choppy mock dialect, probably Slovakian: “I makes a million, I spends a million. So what?”
All good. My buddy Gino is in town this week. He’s like a brother to me, as are all my buddies: Bittner, Big Wave, Billable Bob, Verge, Jeff, Greg, Pete, Siskin, Chris Green, Johnny Walker Black.
Hey, wanna buy a buddy? Cut you a deal.
We’ll be downing drinks and laughing at life at a local steakhouse soon. Come check us out, then make me an offer.
By the way, have you seen the prices of food lately? No worries. I makes a million, I spends a million.
Over steaks and gin, we’ll talk mostly about our kids, who are slowly – one at a time, and with a good bit of flourish – starting to marry off.
I think for Father’s Day I may get my children gifts. Or gift cards. Or cash. Or bitcoin.
I will give them gifts because, for all my kvetching about what parenthood costs – emotionally and practically – my kids are still the best things that ever happened to me … hand’s down, not even close.
Honestly, I don’t have that many irrational obsessions.
I mean, I love dogs. I love the ponies. I love stupidly big burgers.
I love a Bloody Mary on a chilly autumn afternoon, with Miller at the jukebox playing Lou Bega a little too hard.
I love the Chicago Cubs, the French impressionists … swimsuit editions, especially with Martha Stewart.
But, of all those cherished things, I love my kids the very most — the spendthrifts and the prodigal, the sassy and the sassier.
So Happy Father’s Day.
To them. To me. To you.
For books and past columns, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Some nifty gin glasses available too. Cheers.