A friend calls to bounce an idea off me. She’s got something there, so the “quick call” turns into a marathon, during which I make the bed, empty the dishwasher, and tidy up, all without her noticing.
Then Morty gives me that look that says walk me, or suffer the consequences.
I attach the leash with one hand, hold the phone with the other. In a moment, Morty and I are in the alley behind the apartment, the conversation in full swing, my friend none the wiser.
“So you like it?” she asks.
I answer with the scream of a cowardly Viking.
A hissing squirrel with a death wish darts out of a gate only a foot away from me. I jump, Morty growls, and for a frozen moment the squirrel considers battle, before racing away.
Somehow in the commotion I manage to knock the glasses off my face, but hang onto the phone and the dog.
The incident is too fresh to make up a cover story, so I blurt out something about the squirrel and how the sucker hissed like it was “go time.”
She laughs, a little too much for my battered ego.
“I wish I could’ve seen that,” she says.
“I’m glad nobody saw that.”
“Yeah but you’ll probably just end up putting it on Facebook anyway.”