Sasha demanded to see a better picture of the women in funny hats, so here it is:
Hmm, it's not showing up as well as I'd hoped. I posted the picture in Flickr, too. You might be able to see it better there.
Good thing I don't have the real-life version of The Truman Show being filmed in my house. I swear, if people could see the bone-headed stunts I pull sometimes, they'd fear for my sanity. Last week, I was chatting online with Sasha. I had the patio screen door open because it was fairly warm outside. Suddenly, I heard the dogs go into a frenzy of barking, and I rushed to the door (after brb-ing, of course). I looked outside and saw the lead dog from Hounds of the Baskervilles sauntering around my backyard. Seriously, this dog was so huge I could have thrown a saddle on him and ridden him off into the sunset, with my feet never touching the ground. Okay, I'm very short, but still: BIG DOG.
I hollered at him to shoo, but he didn't even look my way. I'm not usually afraid of big dogs on principle; as a matter of fact, I'm likely to be the idiot who walks up to a strange dog cooing "Who's a good puppy?" right before getting my arm taken off at the elbow. Something about this dog's complete disregard of me unnerved me, however. I shut the glass door and came back in here to report to Sasha.
I said I was worried about letting the dogs out later, especially Charlie. I'm sure he'd be a tasty snack treat for this beast. I was trying to think of ways to arm myself the next time I took the dogs out, in case the Baskerville Beast came back. Sasha suggested a baseball bat, but my days playing shortstop (snort) are long over, and I haven't had a bat in the house for years. I had a brilliant idea, though. I said I'd take a can of Raid with me and spray BB right in the face if he came back and tried anything! Sasha said, "No, you don't want to spray Charlie by mistake if that dog gets Charlie in his mouth." Holy crap. I hadn't even thought of that possibility. Sasha advised me to just get a big stick and whap BB across the nose.
Later, when the dogs started doing the pee-pee dance, I realized I'd better go find a weapon before taking them out. I peered out the door but saw no sign of BB. I sidled out into the yard to grab a stick, but when you need a big stick, there's never one around, right? The best I could come up with was a foot-long twig, and that would just make BB laugh.
I came back inside to look for an alternative. Meanwhile, the dogs were staring at me fixedly to remind me of their overloaded bladders. I was in the kitchen, looking around wildly for a weapon. Cast-iron frying pan? Too cartoonish. Butcher knife? Too violent! I glanced in the pantry, saw a mop, and grabbed it. It was stick-shaped, sort of, and I figured it was close enough. I turned to the dogs and said, in a falsely cheerful voice, "Okay, outside!"
I got the dogs outside, and while they were busy, I was surveying the backyard, whirling around to make sure BB wasn't sneaking up behind me and waving the mop threateningly. The mop has one of those elongated bell-shaped plastic shields on the end that you slide down to wring water from the mop head, and I realized it resembled those dumbbell things I've seen on American Gladiators. I heard children's voices from across the ravine. When I looked over, I saw the kids from the Montessori school outside for receess, and they were waving at me and laughing. I'm sure they were enjoying the show the crazy lady was putting on! I decided to get back inside before one of the teachers came running over, with a look of horror on her face, to herd the children inside away from the insane woman threatening invisible foes with a MOP.