“WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!”
Fido buried his nose under the couch. He would have scrunched all the way under, but biscuits have taken their toll. Even if he were slender, he wouldn’t fit.
“THERE’S ANOTHER ONE!” he yelped, and dug his nose deeper under the couch. I noticed he was shaking, too.
“Fido, just what in the world are you doing?”
“Are you deaf, man?” Fido wanted to know.
“I didn’t hear anything unusual, Old Boy, except for the sweet sound of avalanche control on The Mountain. Right on time. Must be 6:30 a.m..”
“You call that sweet? Have you been watching the news?”
“Why, yes, Fido. We both are newshounds.”
“So you know by now that the Vegetarians are on a rampage?!?!?”
“Fido, I have utterly no idea where you are going with this.”
“I heard it in the news. Hummus eaters are lobbing bombs, and somebody is lobbing bombs back at them.”
“Wow, you big red lug, you are some kind of mixed up this morning.”
“I’m a dog, it’s Monday, and I’m always mixed up!”
“OK, first, those bombs you heard this morning were Avalanche Control. Ski Patrollers criss-cross the ski hill after snowfalls, and they knock down dangerous-looking snow so that we don’t have to worry so much about snowslides.”
“We have great ski patrollers in Mammoth,” I said to Fido. “Down here in town, they sound like cash registers in their own kind of way, given that we live in a ski town and all.”
“But we didn’t hear them last year,” Fido said. He lifted his eyebrows like he does when he has Serious Questions.
“There wasn’t a lot of snow around this time last year, Old Boy. We were all kind of miserable, waiting, day after day, for the cash registers to go off, if you know what I mean, but it didn’t happen until it was too late in the season.”
“Can I have a belly rub?”
When things get weird, a good belly rub does the trick for Fido. He rolled over on his broad back, extended his legs and arms and waited. He didn’t have to wait long. I gave him a nice, long belly rub.
“But I still have a question for you, Fido,” I whispered. “What did you mean by the Hummus Eaters?”
“I heard it on the news.”
“I think what you’re talking about is Hamas, and those fellows are a long way away from us.”
“Are they vegetarians?”
“I know when our vegetarian friends stop over, you always have a nice Hamas spread for them.”
“First of all, Fido, it’s hummus, not Hamas, and you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy it. It’s a concoction-spread thing made from chickpeas.”
Just then, another round of “thump-thump-thump” bombs went off at the Mountain. Fido scrambled back up from his belly-rub position. He actually had a smile on his face.
“What gives, Old Boy?”
“I feel safer, now that I know it’s Ski Patrol making it safe for people on the ski hill! And that we’re not being attacked! And that hummus is made out of chickpeas!”
“See how 15 minutes can turn things around?” I said.
“Let’s go to work!” he said. “There’s news out there!”