On my bookshelf is a well worn book club edition of The Second Lady by Irving Wallace, published in 1980. It’s a Cold War political thriller about a KGB plot to abduct the First Lady of the United States and replace her with an almost perfect double in hopes of gleaning a vital piece of classified information from the President.* Needless to say, the imposter made a few blunders that nearly blew her cover and raised a few suspicions among certain members of her staff.
But not the President. A typical husband in the grand American tradition, he didn’t notice anything the least bit different about his wife.
The First Lady’s mother would have known something was amiss—if she weren’t conveniently deceased.
Which brings us to Baby Bear. I recently blogged about his uncharacteristically good behavior this summer. I’ve been wondering if he was replaced with a Second Bear these past two months, only to be switched back last week when Mr. Lucky took our older son up to Georgia to visit his grandparents. Baby Bear suddenly went back to being his old rampaging, pillaging, plundering self. Do I detect a sinister KGB plot, or a mere reaction to his father’s absence?
I wanted our chocolate beagle, Bart, to go to Georgia with them. Mr. Lucky agreed, until the night before his departure when his father called to declare, “No dogs!” Showing no fear of his own wife, Mr. Lucky complied. He was gone four days, leaving me with the Bear, two dogs, and no car. And—perhaps worst of all—no chocolate.
So what went wrong in his absence? An homage to the late Mr. Wallace and The Book of Lists of which he was co-author:
1. Bart is the same dog who balks at going outside when his master is away. I suppose I should be thankful that when he expresses his displeasure, at least he does it on the bathroom rug.
2. Barely an hour after Mr. Lucky left, the remote controller for Baby Bear’s Playstation went kaput and I couldn’t get it to work again, not even after charging it up or with the cable still plugged in. I had to call Mr. Lucky on his cellphone for advice. Well, okay, not so much for advice as to cuss him out for having the temerity to leave me when he should have known the controller would die an hour later. He instructed me to turn off the Playstation, unplug everything, then plug everything back in, and reboot the Playstation, talking me through a convoluted process that reminded me of when they tried to restore power to Jurassic Park and get it back online. And while I didn’t have any velociraptors chewing my arms off, I did have to contend with two barking dogs, one angry, frustrated Bear, and a thunderstorm that caused a sudden power surge, briefly knocking everything out and ending our phone conversation in a burst of static. Mr. Lucky probably thought I slammed the phone down on him in rage, and I wouldn’t have blamed him for making the assumption.
3. Later, the controller decided to work properly again. Then Baby Bear dropped it behind the entertainment center. Retrieving it was a job for Indiana Jones, complete with huge clouds of old dust, falling objects (note to self: next time, remove framed photos from top of entertainment center before venturing behind it), and sights no human has seen for seven hundred years.
4. Baby Bear has rediscovered water. When he isn’t dumping it on himself, he’s The Human Fountain, throwing and spewing it all over the house.
5. He’s figured out how to turn on the shower in his bathroom. The shower makes almost no noise compared to the tub faucet, and he seems to know it. I lost count of how many times I found him sitting in the tub beneath the shower spray. Sometimes he was clothed, sometimes not.
6. He loves to rock back and forth. He rocks hard enough on the family room sofa that he can actually make the sofa itself rock back, and a new hole in the drywall behind it.
7. Mr. Lucky called the next morning from his parents’ house. His father had taken his mother to an appointment, and since he didn’t have a key to their house, he and the Crown Prince would be stuck there for a few hours until the parental units came back. I was hard pressed to commiserate with his dilemma.
8. Not surprisingly, I have 0 words to report at the weekly check-in for the TARA Book Challenge.
9. I had no chocolate.
10. And I still have no chocolate. I AM OWED CHOCOLATE!
*Now why can't I write blurbs that concise for my own books?