Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Alas, Poor Sergeant…. I Knew Him Well.

You’ve missed me, you’ve missed me….

Now, the law clearly states that you’ve got to kiss me.

Well, I’ve missed you all as well.  I am tanned, toned, and officially back from the sunny shores of Jamaica.  It was a much needed, relaxing vacation.  I drank, slept, played a lot of beach volleyball with some hot Jamaican girls, swam with some hot Jamaican dolphins (huh?), and generally fell off the grid for a week or so.

Maybe I’ll put up some pics later in the week.

But for NOW, I’ve got to relay an incident that happened while we were away.

As you might remember, we have a veritable gaggle of pets.  The current count stands at 1 dog, 1 cat, and 6 gerbils.  My niece, bless her soul, was kind enough to volunteer to take care of them for us while we were away.

It was day 2 of our vacation, and, like Stella, I was just STARTING to get my groove back when my I got a text from my niece saying “Call me right away”.

I knew that there was NO way that could be good.  My first thought was that she had lost the pooch.

Turns out that I wasn’t too far off the mark.  She told me that one of Mini-Me’s gerbils, a cute little black one that he calls Sergeant, looked to be shuffling off his mortal coil at any second.

My heart sank.  My son takes SUCH good care of these animals.  He loves them to pieces, and he’s never had to say goodbye to any of them yet.  He cried for a day when he lost his fucking BETA FISH, for fucks sake!

I knew that I couldn’t tell him while we were on vacation.  It would ruin his trip.  My niece said that once Sergeant passed, she would put him in a shoebox in the shed, so we could bury him when we got home.

The thought of having to break the news to the little guy weighed pretty heavily on me for the entire trip.  Finally, as we were heading back home from JFK, I told him the bad news.

It was bad.  Really bad.  I’ve seen my son cry before, of course, but never like this.  He was HYSTERICAL.  Poor bugger cried so hard that he must have popped a blood vessel in his nose, because the next thing I knew he was gushing blood down the front of his shirt.

Not a fun ride home.

Anyway, I calmed him down enough when we got home to get him into bed, and promised him that when he got home from school the next day, we would have a nice burial for Sergeant.

When he got home from school, he told me that he cried during class and the teacher took him outside to give him a hug.  My heart was breaking for my little man.  We walked outside to the shed and found the shoebox.  Poor Sergeant looked like he was sleeping.  Mini-Me started to cry and said his goodbyes.

I put the shoebox on our patio table and went to dig a hole.  I was gone no more than 5 minutes.

When I came back, I was surprised to see that the shoebox was upside down.  Figuring the wind had blown it over, I picked it up, but was again surprised to not find Sergeant underneath.

So we sat there, scratching our heads, trying to figure out if the damn thing has come back from the dead, when what do I spy with my little eye?

Ozzie, our dog, trotting past me with a huge shit-eating grin on his face….

… and a little black tail sticking out of the corner of his mouth.

Before I could turn him away, Mini-Me also saw it, and started screaming.  That brought on another round of blood all over his school clothes.

So there I was, trying to catch this fucking dog, chasing him around the backyard with his toys so he would drop the damned gerbil, while my son continued to spew blood like Ol’ Faithful.

If ever in my life I needed a Calgon moment to just take me away, that was it.

Anyway, it all worked out in the end.  I was able to retrieve the thankfully-unmangled Sergeant, and we tearfully laid him to rest.

And the entire time, there was only ONE thing running through my head….

I am going to have to go through this shit SEVEN more fucking times…..


Verdant Earl said...

Let me tell you about a little pet semetary on some native American burial grounds that I know of...

Heff said...

I'm terribly sorry, but I'm LAUGHING MY ASS OFF at this post !

First off, if someone called ME on MY vacation to tell me a rat was about to die, I'd be practicing with my punting shoes for the next time I saw their crotch.

Secondly, Gerbils are CHEAP ! She could have bought another "Sergeant" for you and saved "Mini- You's" shirt(s) (which probably held more monetary value than Sergeant in the first place).

and Thirdly, You could have saved 1/2 a bowl of dog food just by letting Ozzie enjoy his appetizer.

I need to write a self-help profit and loss book....

Slyde said...

earl: yeah, but then a killer Saint Bernard would come and dig him up

heff: see? i can always count on you for moral support....

Mrs. Hall said...

my heart goes out to you and mini me.

really it does.

but, i can say that death is part of life. this is giving him skills to deal with it.

so hug him and show him how it's done. then ice cream. ice cream heals all wounds!!

sybil law said...

Man - that's rough!
Gilda is so blase when fish and hamsters die anymore. She gets teary eyed, but it's definitely not a scene like that. I think the key might be not making a big deal out of it. I don't know. It's good that he's sensitive, but it IS a part of life, and hamsters and gerbils don't live long at all! You might want to let him know, maybe talk about it in the meantime.

Slyde said...

holly/sybil: you're right of course. And i DID have a long talk with him that the simple fact is that pets die, and unless we plan on buying a Galapogus see turtle, he's going to have to at some point say goodbye to all of them....

Chris H said...

OMG that is soooo funny... but sad for your wee man... but sooooo funny!
I can SEE that dog running around with a dead critter in it's gob and you fulla's chasing it! HA HA HA!!!!

Yvonne said...

Glad you're back and that you had a nice vacay! Boo, losing a pet sucks. But when you're a kiddo, it's just plain awful! -Hope your little one bounces back soon!

MarkD60 said...

Sounds like you have a good son with a deep conscious.
Sorry for both of your rough times.
I've never been to Jamaica and it's right next door.

Slyde said...

chris: you know, every single person i have told this story to have laughed their asses off, so i guess it's just plain funny.

yvonne: thanks hon. Yeah, he's already feeling much better.

mark: i'm suprised you havent visited... although you live in perfection so i guess you dont NEED to see anyplace else...

Chris G. said...

He's going to feel much worse once the other 5 Gerbils die 1x1, and trust me it won't be long before that happens! Gerbils are a real bad idea as pets for a young person unless you want to teach them a whole lot about DEATH, LOL! They simply just don't last long enough. When growing up I had several friends whom had them, and they were constantly dying and being replaced until they just got a cat and put an end to the madness. You can easily get a good 15-20 years out of them, far outlasting the childhood years. Why put your kid through such anguish? It's hard enough when a pet dies after living a full & complete life and you're old enough to cope with it. To each their own... I realize you just want the best for your kid, and to give him everything he desires so he has a "good" life, but this is not necessarily the best thing all the time as you're finding out. All the best...

The Accidental Somebody said...

I'm never reading your blog again. That was just SAD. Ok I'll read again, but really that was just SAD! Hope the little guy copes, and maybe by the time the last gerbil bites the dust he'll be a bit more apathetic about it. Or not.

Lifeofkaylen said...

omg-this is horrifying.
I had a hamster in elementary school-for maybe a few months-and then *someone* (who to this day denies it) left the basement door open while I had my beloved hamster running free in the basement tv room, and our housecat stealthily watched from the door, rubbing her paws together before finding just the precise moment to attack my little brown furball! And then said housecat ran at lightening speed upstairs and through bedrooms until she found a quiet place to know at my little friend until it perished, while we screamed at her and tried to reach her to let him go.

Thanks for making that memory fresh for me.
...and I'm sorry for the loss of your beloved family pet. Good luck with the others!!