I was feeling a little guilty because Happy (the hyper dog) hadn't been walked in a couple days. He was starting to get that "look" in his eye – the manic look, not the sweet one. I was also feeling a lot bit lazy, and since I had run some errands after work, I was a lot starving. So, I took the easy/quick way out and decided to fire up the four-wheeler (after an over-the-phone refresher course with Tanner on how to start it – something he's shown me at least 10 times).
We hauled off down the road, and Happy and Digger ran along, sniffing and pooping and frolicking and pooping and running and pooping. We recently discovered they eat dropped horse grain from the pasture all day – I have no idea if this is dangerous, but do know it produces a lot of poop.
Halfway through the walk, at approximately the "white-dog house" (a landmark I'm SURE you're all familiar with...), Digger's mind shutoff. It happens a lot when we're walking. He just stops. He's not tired, because if you turn around and head towards the house, he'll start sprinting like his tail's on fire. If we're walking, I usually carry a leash and force him to finish the rest of the walk, or get annoyed and leave him sitting on the side of the road looking pitiful and insecure until Happy and I return on the back swing. But, since it was dark, and I had my handy, dandy four-wheeler, I lugged his 80 lb butt up onto the back where he awkwardly sat all stiff legged.
We carried on, although the four-wheeler was being a little weird and jerky and temperamental. (FYI, everything we have is "temperamental", which means second hand/ barely running/ in need of constant tinkering). At first Happy was very distressed and kept trying to suicide bomb the four-wheeler, but pretty soon he returned to galloping along with his tongue lolling out and slapping around. Digger got more comfortable too – a little too comfortable, because he started to slip. I was in third gear, driving with one hand in the dark on the side of the road and trying to keep Digger from going overboard.
Of course, the four-wheeler died. Of course, I was clueless on how to get it started again. Of course, Tanner was out to dinner with his boss and couldn't talk. I tried all the tricks and in a few seconds exhausted the limits of my knowledge on the craptraption. Soon, I resorted to just turning the key, and hence the headlights, on and off. Which, of course, flagged down a man in a Terminix truck. I didn't have my pink pepper spray and it was dark, so I was feeling particularly vulnerable. And even though I was on my safe little street and Tanner always says "nothing bad happens in the country," there WAS that home invasion just a few weeks earlier several miles away IN THE COUNTRY where a homeowner was SHOT and in turn SHOT THE INTRUDER. And there WAS that HELICOPTER circling my neighbor's field incessantly the other day AND I'M GOING TO BE ABDUCTED AND TORTURED!!!
While I vehemently shook my head "no" to everything the bug man said and avoided eye contact, the he kept asking me what I was doing out here in the middle of the road, what happened, what was wrong, did I need help, had I called Tanner.
Wait. What. Tanner? Finally I said (frantically), "WHO ARE YOU?"
Actually, it was our neighbor down the road. He got a job as an exterminator. I didn't know. Now I know. He went home and got his brother while I sat and waited, then got bored and started pushing the four wheeler uphill, then got tired and waited again. They came back with their mule (not the animal, but the ATV thing) and towed me away back to house. I got to sit on the four-wheeler and steer while they towed.
It was fun. And I saw a shooting star. So it ended up being a great night.
Oh. And the four-wheeler was out of gas.