The jellyrolls, they do nothing!

As the days grow warmer and longer, my evening walks with Napoleon have taken on a whole new dimension of sights, sounds, smells…and live prey. By which I mean that all across the apartment complex, the neighbors are setting their cats free into the night, which has proved especially problematic when you’re walking a dog with a small-prey drive that puts actual predators to shame. Here is an incomplete list of things that Do Not Belong In His Yard And Must Be Destroyed As They Are A Threat To Our Placid Community:

-Rabbits -Particularly Large Crows -Dogs Of All Sizes -Certain Attention-Worthy Bugs -Barbeque Grills With Flapping Covers

But above all, cats. Luckily for the cats, though his small-prey drive is strong, his actual hunting instinct blows goats. This is a dog who, on occasion, has difficulty finding ME within the confines of my 900 square foot apartment, a not-insignificant part of which I don’t want to even admit exists. I will toss him a toy and then run in my bedroom or my bathroom, or if the lights are off, even back in the hallway near the laundry machines. Once, I hid behind my door and watched him run into the room, pounce on the bed, look behind pillows, the headboard, etc, run out and search the living room, and go back and forth SEVEN TIMES before my laughter gave me away. Otherwise, I’m fairly certain he’d still be looking. It was equally funny when I hid underneath my beanbag while calling his name, and he kept bouncing on top, not being able to process where I might be hiding. He simply doesn’t know how to use his nose to seek anything out.

So, a majority of the time, I will have spotted a cat in the distance and have already tightened my grip on him WELL before he’s aware he’s in the presence of That Which Must Not Live…but the cats have also pretty clearly cottoned onto what Napoleon is all about and are starting a psychological torture campaign.

Let me backtrack for a moment: In order to train for the half-marathon I’m doing exactly a month from today, I have set a goal of walking at least seven miles a day. Whilst I walk, I listen to music, as it helps keep me motivated to not only walk longer, but also faster. On my ipod, I have a couple of cds of techno music that are split up in bits ranging from 30 seconds to a few minutes to a max of 10 minutes, and the rule I instituted in February is that whenever one of these bits comes up on shuffle, I must run for the duration of the track. No excuses; I must always be prepared to run, because if I give myself an out once, I will ALWAYS give myself an out. This has occasionally meant that I run short bursts while sick or holding up my pants with one hand or in unsuitable shoes. The rules are the rules. Some nights, I run once or twice, and some nights not at all.

Last week, my ipod apparently decided to kick my ass. If I were playing a tabletop game, I imagine that it would be like rolling enough ones to not only kill my character, but everyone else’s, and then choking on a cheeto and dying right there at the table. Song after song after song after song demanded I run, according to the very rules I laid out for myself, rules which I’ve sworn never to break. My face was set in a chilling grimace of disbelief and sheer determination as I ran several miles. My lungs began to burn. My Eddie Haskell brain began to hint that it might be a swell idea to huck my ipod in a bush, call a cab to drive me back across the apartment complex, and never move again. Before I could give in to that urge, sweet relief kicked in as a running-song ended, and a non-running song began. Oh wait. I HATE this goddamn song, how did it get on here? I skipped it, and then immediately regretted my folly, as the next track was YET ANOTHER RUNNING SONG. I’d rather listen to Celine Dion in a loop than run again. I’d rather pretend to like Coldplay and become a forever-and-always fan club president than run again. I’d rather cut out my own liver and replace it with a copy of Mariah Carey’s greatest hits than run again.

I must have looked like a lurching zombie when I started running again. I was exhausted. My fat ass was not made for this. Rules were made to be broken. I felt as if someone had jumped out of a bush and nailed me in the side with a rusty ninja star. And yet I shambled forward.

It was at that exact moment, while I’m off-balance and focusing only on my agony, that Psychological Torture Cat swooped in and streaked across the path, directly in front of Napoleon’s nose. And did he go for the bait? You’re damn right, he did. He lunged forward with a surprising amount of strength for a twenty-pound dog. So surprising, in fact, that he yanked me straight off my feet, affording me the opportunity to slam the concrete sidewalk like it was a Thai ladyboy ten dollar hooker, ripping up my pants, shirt, and exposed skin, while simultaneously knocking the wind out of me. It was all I could do to continue to hold on to the leash with a still-struggling dog on the end and curl up in a ball and just lay on the ground, gasping for air.

I’m sure the neighbors loved it, and now plan on setting even more cats free into the night. Who doesn’t love a free show and an opportunity to videotape someone’s pain for a shot at winning some prize money? This exercise shit is dangerous–who ever heard of faceplanting while reclining on a couch watching cartoons? Not me.

19 Comments The jellyrolls, they do nothing!

  1. scearley May 29, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I couldn’t read this without picturing a Benny Hill skit.

    1. admin May 29, 2008 at 6:45 pm

      I’m actually not familiar with Benny Hill.

      Which is yet another thing for people to give me shit about. :\

      1. variax May 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm

        This is definitely a shame. Yakety Sax would make a great running song.

        1. admin May 29, 2008 at 6:53 pm

          I’m fairly certain I don’t need any more running songs.

        1. admin May 29, 2008 at 7:04 pm

          Uh, what did I do to deserve to be compared to that?

          1. scearley May 29, 2008 at 7:10 pm

            it was the description.
            and the idea of going out for a jog then calling a cab to come back.

          2. admin May 29, 2008 at 7:30 pm

            Well, if it makes it easier for you to swallow, I did not go out with the intention of jogging–especially for as long as I ended up jogging.

  2. pretzelcoatl May 29, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    It was difficult to not burst into laughter beginning at “Particularly Large Crows.”

    1. admin May 29, 2008 at 7:32 pm

      I’m pretty certain I could ride a few of the ones hanging out around my apartment.

        1. admin May 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

          Only with less red eyes and more tinfoil.

  3. shadowstitch May 29, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    You continue to discover more and more of the reasons I both avoid jogging, and do not own a dog.

    1. admin May 29, 2008 at 9:10 pm

      To be fair, it was equally an ipod + cat problem than just a jogging + dog problem alone. That, plus my freakishly bad luck and tendency to hurt myself in any activity I choose to undertake.

  4. redrumpirate May 29, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Nepoleon, just make yourself a dang quasa-dilla!

    That is a great idea to get into shape. Does your dog try to eat bees like mine does? I lol every time my dog does it. Your post cheered me up.

    1. admin May 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

      Re: Nepoleon, just make yourself a dang quasa-dilla!

      Yeah, it seems to be working so far–I’ve gone down a couple of pants sizes and it doesn’t feel like I’m working at it THAT hard. I imagine that if I ever get serious about wanting to be a badass, I’ll have to work a little harder.

      If it fits in his mouth, Napoleon will try to eat it. He’s eaten spiders, and is a notorious trash-digger as apparently kleenex are the pinnacle of gourmet cuisine.

  5. poetrix618 June 2, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Wrong Dog Name?

    Those barbecue grills with the flapping covers are most disturbing, since they stand their ground.

    Maybe your little pooch isn’t so much Napoleon as he is Don Quixote… tilting at barbecue grills?

    1. admin June 2, 2008 at 8:26 pm

      Re: Wrong Dog Name?

      You may be right, however, I’m not sure that I can put The Dog Formerly Known As Prince through yet another name change.

    2. admin June 2, 2008 at 8:28 pm

      Re: Wrong Dog Name?

      Plus, the song I sing to him now (Karma Chameleon as C’mon Napoleon) would have to be replaced by something entirely different, and there’s a distinct lack of things that rhyme with ‘Quixote’.

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