A Futile Trip

Mine was a futile journey to Colorado Springs and the long drive home had stoked my bad mood. I had driven to one of my favorite weekend retreats at the behest of an estate jeweler who was closing his doors after thirty years in business due to his impending bankruptcy. The mendacious merchant had promised me treasures but had shown me trash. He had neglected to mention the invitation to view his wares followed a much publicized month-long sale. The carcass of his failed business had been picked clean by savvy shoppers; the discerning clientele of Eclectic Offerings demand unusual quality items and there were none left in the lying man’s decimated inventory.

I heard them before I saw them. My housekeeper Delia, my close-neighbor Lucinda Lovato and the newest resident of Morley Place Miss India Wilkes were in the street in front of my home engaging in a very loud discussion that should be taking place on a seedy wharf. Ms. Wilkes hails from Atlanta which she recently fled to avoid a tar-and-feathering by the spouses of the Piedmont Driving Club members she had been diddling. Catholic in her tastes, she had adulterated wives and husbands alike.

India showed up on my doorstep claiming kinship by her first common-law marriage but that assertion is spurious because I found no Pyles on my Southern grandmother’s family tree and I am certain we have never had a relation named “Gomer” – and hopefully never will! I parked the car a good twenty feet away from the fracas and eased down the windows.

“Prince Igor did not defecate on the sidewalk; he never does his business in public.” Ms. Wilkes owns a mangy Russian wolfhound named Prince Igor Cassini who supposedly took Best of Breed at Westminster years ago, decades ago by his shabby appearance.

“The hell he didn’t! I captured your pooch pooping on my cell phone.” Lucy was cussing and slurring her words; my domestic director’s weaving and bobbing told me the girls had indulged in an early happy hour, no doubt with the good stuff from my liquor cabinet.

“Here’s a bag, pick up your dog’s crap and don’t let him foul Morley Place again, walk him in the dog park!”

“Pick it up yourself fatso!” India wadded the plastic bag, tossed at Delia, turned her back and headed down the street toward her house with Igor in tow.

That’s when the free-for-all began. My housekeeper decked the dog owner, the dog bit Delia on the butt (India claimed Igor was presbyoptic and could not see things right in front of him but the Prince didn’t need good vision to see the extremely large target of his fangs.) Lucinda grabbed Igor’s pull chain and tried to choke him but the big dog laughed at little woman’s effort and turned to attack his attacker.

Tomas Lovato, Lucinda’s herculean tomcat joined the fray. The titanic cat pounced on Igor’s neck, clawed his eyes and sent the Ruskie hound packing; he then turned to defend his mistress from India’s Ferragamo loafer. India had quickly (she’s fast for an old broad) righted herself and stomped on my domestic dictator’s corns thereby removing her from the fray and Ms. Wilkes was now aiming her ferocious footwear at Lucy’s arthritic knees. The killer cat jumped on top of the dog’s mistress winter-wheat wig and savagely dug his claws through thousands of dollars worth human hair harvested from cloistered Swiss nuns, through the net cap and into her scalp. The scream emitted by the terrorized woman set off the burglar alarm in Mansion Morley.

I wasn’t up to dealing with the police so I turned the Lincoln around, drove out of Morley Place and headed toward Santa Fe. Tomorrow was another day and it had to be a better one, and I quietly prayed it would be after a restful night and good meal in the City of Faith.

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