The vibrating pug
By Rose Simpson
It’s 4 a.m. and I’ve been awake for hours, imprisoned in a bed possessed by a pug who has spent the night shaking, rattling and rolling over — all to escape intense itchiness.
Pugs are noisy to begin with; you can hear them coming, snorting and sneezing. With their little flat-noses, they could win a snoring contest with a sea of passed out drunks at the mission.
When we first got together, I told Scott he could snore all he liked because it would just add to the cacophony of sounds that emanate from my bed nightly.
Ming is in full-blown allergy mode despite being heavily medicated for the condition. It’s coming up fall, and no amount of pink pills will stop her biting and scratching. She is in her yearly pug hell, wild-eyed and wearing a creepy grimace looking remarkably like Heath Ledger as the Joker, tongue folded and fluttering, legs scraping whatever surface that strikes her fancy.
Every year, I try to weather the allergy storm, and every year I fail miserably and end up sleeping on the leather couch, which seems to have a soothing effect on Ming’s belly. Besides, unlike the bed, the couch doesn’t move when Ming shimmies and shakes. If this were an actual storm, the bed would be a pontoon boat, flopping in the high seas while the couch would an immovable destroyer, a place of calm in a world of chaos.
So I am up early, ready to tackle the day. Today, we will be taking inventory on our house, getting ready to move to a new location, refugees from the toxic oil spill that has engulfed Smyth Road, and my life, for nearly three months. Scott told me the moving company rep was impressed by my stoicism, my calmness in this time of rental crisis. And I am really calm because I am a veteran of the moves from hell — a person who knows first hand how to handle shlepping your crap in less than ideal conditions.
Let’s see. Thirty years ago, somebody burned down my house and I escaped with only the golf clothes on my back and a crate full of disoriented cats. That time, I spent days going through the burned and smokey remnants of my still young life. On that move, I learned all about house insurance. Did you know they salvage everything including your holey gym socks, then have them dry cleaned at your own expense? That eats up a lot of the insurance moola, because, you, the homeowner, have no say in whether you want your prom dress drycleaned or tossed with your favorite stretched pairs of cotton undies.
Then there were the five moves with Mr. Big, from Ottawa, to Regina, to Ottawa, to Oakville and back to Ottawa again — in five years. At least those moves were paid for and packers were dispatched to ease my pain and boredom. Then the move from Orleans after selling the Big House and transcending the marriage to become a single parent. I was proud of that move. I sold everything, bought new stuff and had it delivered. No muss, no fuss.
Then there was my last move, the result of a financial meltdown, into this rental property. I rented a truck, paid Nick — then high on ecstasy and other substances — and as a result, lost a lot of stuff including his bed.
This move, though a pain in the ass, will be a piece of cake. Insurance is once again paying, packers will be here the end of the week and we will move down the street. Slam dunk.
Except for the vibrating pug, who will be keeping me awake each and every night.
No move is perfect, not even with packers.