b Papa Dog's Blog: If this Post Were an Action Movie, it Would at Some Point Feature Two Guys Carrying a Big Pane of Glass Across the Street

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

If this Post Were an Action Movie, it Would at Some Point Feature Two Guys Carrying a Big Pane of Glass Across the Street

A harmonic convergence of stupidity and inefficiency kept me (or Dapa Pog, or somebody) at work past close of business last night, and as I plodded on at a task bordering on the Sisyphean, I realised that my chances of making it home before Baby Dog’s bedtime were approaching zero. It was getting close to eight – theoretically bedtime – by the time I got out of here, and naturally I just missed a train. Improbably, a second one came along soon after and I decided to count on the little girl’s well-established reluctance to go quietly to sleep. I started to conceive a notion of speeding my return by taking a cab from the BART station, and the sight of rain streaming off the train windows helped decide me.

Grabbing a cab at a popular commuter station is not widely recognised as an art form, but I can tell you it’s at least a craft. The key thing is to think ahead and give yourself every possible advantage to get ahead of the pack. It does no good to be sixth out of the station when there are five cars at the cab stand. At MacArthur I got up and crossed four train cars to position myself at the head of the stairs when the train stopped. It was a moderately full train, but there was only one person standing at this key door, which boded well. Here, coming home late was playing in my favour; not only were there fewer competitors, but fewer still of them were savvy enough to know which door opened at the top of the stairs. When the door opened, I did sprang ahead of the woman to my left and was down the stairs before most of the people from the rear of the train had opened their umbrellas. As I hit the station floor, I saw that one other keen commuter had almost made it down the opposite steps – the ones, unfortunately, that are closer to the fare gates. I hotfooted across the station, but he made it to the fare gates a second or two before me. Our eyes locked and we recognised one another as the enemy. We both raced down the escalator. He held onto his one- or two-step lead all the way down to the pavement, but as we hurried towards the cabs, I made an inspired flanking manoeuvre around a concrete pillar and was at least six steps ahead coming in to the cab area. As it turned out, there were two cabs. I claimed the lead one and my nemesis settled for second place. Well met! I resisted the impulse to swivel around and salute as I got into the cab. ‘cause, let’s face it, that would just have been weird.

When I got home I couldn’t tell right away whether or not I was too late. The place was dark, but Baby Dog’s door was wide open, which usually means she’s not in the crib. Doggy Dog came creaking out of the master bedroom, shaking his head, jingling his collar, and wagging slowly. He pointed his muzzle at me and started to bark hello. I shushed him, but quickly saw it didn’t matter – Baby Dog was lying on the bed with Mama, happily but wakefully receiving a massage. I wanted to do a merry jig like Scrooge on Christmas morning – “It’s not too late!”

I took charge of Baby Dog while Mama Dog got supper ready. When it was time to eat, I kissed Baby Dog goodnight and set her in her crib. She was fine for a little while, but was crying energetically before long. When we couldn’t stand it anymore, I went in and rocked her and sang to her and shushed her. It took a few minutes – I didn’t beat the record I set the other night when I lulled her to sleep in the space of a commercial break on Survivor*, but supper was still warm when I was done. What’s more important is that I’d snatched bedtime from the jaw of work. Regardless of anything that had come before, that made it a good day.
*Granted, it was the series finale and they’d sold a shitload of commercial time, but still.


Blogger Judy said...

Good story - I was rooting for you to get there in time the whole way!

8:37 AM  

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