Bob’s Privates

This Is ‘Worried’ Bob

Bill is talking about Bob’s anal glands, again.

It’s early morning. I have just gotten up and am dozing a bit in my comfortable leather chair with the sun on my shoulders, in the sitting room. With a full coffee cup in one hand, I am easing into the day.

*Bill has come in from his Studio that’s attached to my house.

“Good morning,” he says. Then he makes a bit of cheery chit chat about the world news, which isn’t like him. Instead of just leaving me the newspaper, he is being sociable.

Standing in front of me  he says, “We need another $60 for repair of the leaf blower. I already gave the guy $30.”

I say, “Bill, this is why I like to buy quality. We get something cheap and we pay more and more when it breaks down.”

The cheap leaf blower is always breaking down. Guess who picked it out.

We have a tiny, heated discussion about the leaf blower.

When that subject gets beaten up there is silence while Bill jiggles up and down.

“I’ve been looking at replacements for the  outside chair cushions,” he says.

He goes on to remark on the colors, the stuffings, the different brands that he likes.

We have discussed this many times. He wants the cushions. I have found the cushions I like and would have ordered them a month ago if I were in charge.

Bill wants what I, as an artist, consider some ugly replacements and we have been arguing about this. Finally, I have said, “Since I’m paying for them, we are getting what I want.”

I have asked Bill a number of times to measure the 3 types of chairs and then I will order the cushions. I have been leaving this to him as the whole replacement thing is his idea.

Meanwhile, we are heading into the summer and are at an impasse.

I take a deep breath. No reason to be mad about a small, silly thing.

“So, we need to get Bob to the vet to squeeze his anal glands,” Bill says.

Damn. I am exasperated.

“You came in here all chummy,” I say “and you have now laid 3 things on me! And, you just won’t leave this anal thing alone! You’ve been telling me what to do about those anal glands for a month, now.”

Bill suddenly has an explosive moment of what he calls his ‘Tourette’s Syndrome….’ where he shouts bad words.

Bill is extremely concerned about Bob’s anal glands.

I heave up an explosive sound and shout at Bill not to call me names, that I don’t call him names.

Bob is a small pug/doxie mix. He used to be my dog but has irrevocably switched his affections to Bill. I often tell Bill he has stolen my dog.

Bob’s anal glands fill up very quickly and need to be squeezed out by hand or he becomes ill and lethargic.

The dog groomer periodically comes to my house to bathe and shave Bob and squeeze his anal glands.

Tonya, the washer, tells us Bob needs to be squeezed twice a month.

I tell Bill this has to be his job, that I am already the one who has to stick Bob with a needle whenever he is stung by a bee, and I am the one who must squirt benadryl down his throat.

I think my shooting him has a lot to do with Bob having turned his affections to Bill. Bob is now afraid of me. All he knows is, he suddenly feels terrible and I am the woman who then grabs him, flips him over and jams a sharp needle into his thigh and then tries to choke him with florescent pink fluid.

“I’m not going to pay $60 every month and take him the the vet to have them squeeze his anal glands,” I say.

I tell Bill this every time he brings the subject up.

“You were trained as a medic in the Army,” I remind him. “You have to learn to do this job. You can do it. ”

Bill leans toward me and shouts, “You always say the same thing! That I can do this, that you know I can do this! You think if you keep telling me I can squeeze his anal glands that you will be able to will me into being able to squeeze his anal glands! Well, I can’t do it. I can’t stand his suffering. I would have to muzzle him like Tonya does, and then he screams and it hurts him to have his glands cleaned out and I just can’t do it! You can’t will me to do it!

“I can’t pay $60 every month to have his glands cleaned,” I say loudly. “I keep telling you that. And, I’m not doing the job. I already shoot him with needles and he is afraid of me, now you want me to stick my fingers in his privates and yank on them?”

We are at an impasse.

Bill leaves the room.

Later, I see him outside the front windows, measuring the outside chairs for seat covers. Bob is with him.

I don’t know how this will end but I have a suspicion that I will be learning how to clean a dog’s anal glands.

Well..OK…but for sure I am buying the lawn cushions that I want.

(* Bill is my ex-boyfriend and tenant. To explain his frustrations, Bill is retired, has cancer but is doing well and lives on a tightly fixed income. As he says drily, ‘I’ve had points in my life where I was doing better.’)

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