“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”
— David Ogden Stiers
“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten, but someone might have to make do on the couch.”
— Jeff Brown
I slept on the couch last night. Now, before you go jumping to any conclusions, the wife and I are getting along just fine, thank you. So don’t start any rumors.
The skirmish which led to my rather uncomfortable trip to dreamland was between our dog and one of the cats. Although I was only semi-conscious at the time, (2:00 AM, to be exact) I’ve carefully reconstructed the argument for you here in this transcript:
Lacy: (Jumps on the headboard.)
Arlo: (Jumps on Jeff’s face.) Bark, bark, bark.
Jeff’s Face: Knock it off you guys!
If you’re wondering how a spat between the dog and cat would lead to innocent little ol’ me having to sleep on the lumpy sofa cushions, so was I. So I asked my wife this morning as I rubbed my achy lower back, “How come disagreements between the dog and cat always end up with innocent little ol’ me having to sleep on the lumpy sofa cushions?”
“Because Lacy will follow you,” she replied matter-of-factly. “If I move to the couch, Lacy and the dog will follow me. They’ll continue antagonizing each other and I won’t get any sleep.”
It’s true. If I’m the one who takes the bullet, falls on his sword, commits the selfless act of mercy, and sleeps on the couch, Lacy, my sweet loyal Lacy, will actually follow me. She’ll then spend the rest of the night in exile by my side or on my stomach (whichever she prefers).
Arlo, however, won’t follow me. He’ll stay in bed with my wife. This arrangement, according to her, allows all four of us (if you count me, the one on the lumpy couch) to get some sleep. If Vickie were to move to the couch, the only one to get any sleep would be me, all alone in the bedroom, with the whole bed to myself.
And we certainly couldn’t have that.
I consider Arlo to be a fair-weather friend. You know the type. He reminds me of one of those friends from high school that would only talk to me until someone better-looking, smarter, or, let’s face it, cooler than me came around.
Cool Kid: Gag me with a spoon. I can’t believe you actually talk to that Jeff guy.
Arlo: Well, (stammers nervously) he sits in front of me in biology class and sometimes he lets me copy his homework.
Cool Kid: (Stares incredulously.)
Arlo: And Bacon. Sometimes he gives me bacon.
Yes, it appears I’m perfectly fine to hang out with, perfectly fine until my wife gets home, then it’s, “Jeff who?”
Of course, this makes me feel bad. I mean, what am I? Chopped liver? (Okay, I realize that I’m talking about a dog here and he would love chopped liver as much as he loves bacon, but I’m too lazy to come up with a better cliché. Besides, I don’t really think there’s a better one because he’ll eat anything. Well, except his dry dog food. Okay, that’ll work.)
What am I? Dry dog food?
Lacy, however, reminds me of the cool popular girl in high school that would talk to everyone, even the nerdy folks like me. Ahh, I have a crush on my sweet Lacy.
What does all this mean? I’ll tell you what it means: I’d better get used to sleeping on the couch when the animals are misbehaving.
I suppose I’ll eventually get used to this arrangement, but it’s not fair because in the event that my wife and I do have an argument (we’re getting along just fine, thank you) we all know who’s going to be in the dog house sleeping on the couch.
Innocent little ol’ me.