" I Should Have Read The Book "
Written By: Guy Zappulla
This Easter just past I was sent a card with a large rabbit on it, this reminded me of something that happened years ago and I would like to share.
Having several young children in the house for Easter and trying to be the "Cool" parent I wanted to do something truly special for them.
As a young parent of twins, a stepdaughter and younger brother of equal age, I never wanted to be the old, yelling-all-day father but instead I always thought being the "Cool" parent was the way to go.
But for every one of us who has kids, or has been around them for more than 15 minutes, they do not come with an instruction booklet of things to occupy them, or things some other idiot trying to be a "Cool" parent failed horribly at.
But if anyone out there reading this is planning on writing the "Do Not" part, please feel free to use this as a reference point as it just might help the next idiot "Cool" parent.
Being it was Easter we decided to start the day off doing Easter egg coloring, dunking an egg on the little bent metal contraption into the vinegar smelling liquid. This worked out well, but that took all of 30 minutes and I still had a whole day ahead of us.
I then organized an easter egg hunt complete with prices on the eggs to get the kids a bit more riled up about the whole process. This lasted all of 20 minutes plus add in another 20 whole minutes putting the furniture back into place. If you don't have kids, ask anyone that does, but I can honestly say I have witnessed a 5 year old move a "Capi damonti" breakfront searching for a colored egg with 50 cents written on it.
But after it was all said and done, I managed to utilize a whole hour of the day, and I now had 4 kids under the age of ten looking at me as though I was the cruise director on a Disney ship and I had run out of shit to do.
At one point my stepdaughter, along with my sons sat there, arms crossed, threatening to boycott the entire day if I did'nt come up with something else, and no watching "March of the Wooden Soldiers" was not going to cut it either !
Now in a panic I informed the kids that I had to go to the store for some more stuff for them. I figured this would give me a few minutes to re-group and think this whole Easter things over. Plus if anything I had just left 4 angry bored kids with my now least favorite X-wife, so in the mood they were in (Think "Children Of The Corn") they very well could convince her to jump on a carving knife in the kitchen. I figured after taking her to Coney Island Hospital and cleaning up the blood, it would have at the very least taken up most of the day.
After fleeing my home and driving aimlessly up New Utrech Ave I spotted a poulrty market. I came to a screeching halt in front of it as in that instant I decided to purchase a bunch of baby ducks-cute, furry, with little webbed feet as though the box of "Peeps" had come to life. I pictured myself receiving on the spot "Cool" parent status, instantly becoming a hero the second the kids saw them.
I also pictured long gray and white vertically striped baby duck shit dripping down the sides of my bathtub and any other place the kids decided to leave them which, once again my now least favorite X-wife would wind up cleaning. This was a win-win situation and baby ducks for all it would be. "Kind Sir, please give me an even dozen. Better yet, make it two so I can tell the kids they have a whole flock".
At any rate upon entering the store one can't help feeling sorry for all the animals. True I eat as much chicken and an occassional duck as the next guy, but to say "Gee slit that one's throat" is a bit much for me, and if anything I would much rather get one that was whacked days prior.
I was waiting my turn, and looking at the ducks I was going to rescue when I heard what sounded like a child cry. I thought it was some kid getting upset that his mother just had a chicken offed or something and paid no attention to it. Then I heard it again, but instead of coming from a child, I realized the sound was coming from a small wooden crate !
I could not help but look in it, where I saw a gang of tender baby goats, which obviously were far smarter than the chickens and other poultry which were oblivious to what was about to happen to them.
I now knew why I was sent here. This must be a Divine Intervention of sorts, like the ones you read about in books like "Readers Digest". So when my turn came I told the man I wanted a baby goat as I pointed at the one making the crying noise.
He removed "Her" from the cage thinking I wanted it butchered when I politely informed him I wanted it alive and well. After going back and forth for a few minutes, I slipped him an extra $50 and a promise I would not tell a soul where I had bought it from and I was now the proud owner of a baby goat.
We have all heard countless times when getting a pet to do some research first and if I had been smart enough to buy the goat book I would have learned they're called "Kids" probably because that's just what they sound like, but never-the-less I had her in a box and off we went.
The second I put it in the car it made it's feelings known. It obviously was not happy about the whole box idea, so after getting in myself I figured I could let it out, and as you would with a dog, pet the "Kid" and calm it down. For all I knew about goats it might even want to hang it's head out the window for the breeze.
Away we went and the first red light I hit right around Bay Parkway near Caesar's Bay I reached behind me and let the "Kid" out of the box.
Now I really in my heart thought this would have been enough to satisfy the thing. after all I just rescued it off of death row, but the instant I let it out it proceeded to leap continuously from the back seat to the front at a high rate of speed. Heck if I knew they could jump like this, but once again I did'nt buy the goat book either.
One thing I would like to add though, I would have kicked in yet another $50 if I could have taken a picture of any of the cars around me waiting for the light to change. I swear to you I can still vividly see the woman's face in the car in the next lane mouthing the words "Is that a goat"?
"Yes it's a goat ! No I had no idea they could jump like this ! And I am absolutely not doing any voodoo shit to the poor thing ! I am just trying to be the "Cool" parent! I swear it to you !
So of course since it was Easter I had to get stuck slowly inching up for like 3 red lights. I sat there as non-chalant as I possibly could bopping my head to the radio like this was just the most normal thing in the world as this 10 pound creature flung itself from the back seat straight into the windshield like it was in a hostage situation, and she was trying her hardest to break every window in the car in an attempt at escaping.
I finally made the turn to get on the Parkway and the 10 pound demon must have had enough jumping, so it sat across from me and started crying. Wailing like a teething infant with a bull horn would be more accurate, but I will leave it crying.
I tried to reach over and pet it in a feeble attempt at calming it down as I merged onto the highway, but instead of touching a frantic animal I gently stroked what I thought was a bunch of little rocks. I quickly looked over to see that the "Kid" had jumped back into the backseat again, not wanting to be bothered, and I was now holding what looked like a handful of "Cocoa Puffs".
In that very instant it then dawned on me I was holding goat poo. Two things I can attest to: 1- I honestly never knew they shit Cocoa Puffs, and 2- I have no idea how a 10 pound animal can excrete 20 pounds of shit. I would have thought this was scientifically impossible, but I assure you it's true.
At any rate at some point it decided to jump back into the front seat, but this time it smashed it's head full force into the dashboard and only then it decided to lay down on the seat next to me and be quiet.
To be honest, I was'nt sure if the thing had hit so hard it knocked itself out, but it was not screaming, jumping or shitting anymore, so if the fucking thing was unconscious I assure you I was not going to any heroic measures to revive it.
At one point I even thought of going to Nellie Bly and telling them it had escape from their little zoo, cleaning my car, putting it in a cage where it belongs, and going home in shame to deal with, by now homicidal children, or possibly a crime scene complete with my now least favorite X-wife with chalk marks still fresh on her !
I finally got home and the second I stopped the car "It" as I will gently call it, decided to regain consciousness. However before it could start trampolining through the car again I grabbed it as best I could and held it securely under my arm. Thankfully none of my neighbors were outside so no one saw as it basically proceeded to try to gouge me in the face with it undeveloped horns, and kick me square in the chops in it's final escape attempt.
I ran for the house as fast as I could as after all I went through getting this "Demon" here, there was no way I was losing it now. Plus never in a million years could I possibly explain the "Cocoa Puffs" all over the car without the goat.
I entered the house using the kitchen door knowing everyone would be sitting at the table by now. Sure enough there were a dozen people now in as much awe as the kids were over the now calm goat.
My chest puffed out as the kids ran to pet it. Yes I was a real hero as I had brought a goat home for them. My in-laws thought I was intoxicated. My family already knew I needed professional help, but actually got a kick out of it also.
I gently put it down on the kitchen floor and it appeared as though it actually calmed down. It was allowing everyone to pet it and even started playing with the children. Ok so maybe the "Kid" was just afraid of cars, but whatever it was so far so good.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something slowly move under the kitchen table. It then dawned on me I had forgotten we had a dog, which by now had very much spotted this intruder near the kids and was carefully stalking it as the lions do on the great plains of Africa.
Before i could utter a word in a blur he was out from under the table and the pursuit was on. The goat having just escaped a near death experience was having none of this and proceeded to catapult itself across the food filled table, jumping directly through my breakfast nook into the living room where the dog was hot on it's very short tail.
Straight over a glass coffee table and across the couch it went. Of course it had to knock down every vase and little figurine we possessed in the process.
Down the hallway they sped and by the time both of them got a grip on the hardwood flooring into my bedroom the chase continued, now with my entire family right behind both of them.
PBS did'nt have shit on me that day, as this was up close and personal. When the two animals hit the bedroom, the goat jumped up on the bed, and the dog for whatever reason just stood at the foot of it staring him down.
I guess the dog figured he had her cornered, and now it was just a matter of figuring out which was the best angle to go in for the kill.
In a New York second the goat squatted down in what looked like it was going to be performing some kind of super jump over the dog, but instead proceeded to let out a stream of bright golden urine that looked like it was coming out of a race horse. Directly onto our least favorite X-wife's bed !
I managed to grab the goat before she got eaten, but of course now I also had goat urine dripping down my arm as the dog once again tried his very best at a free goat lunch. I can only assume he was trying to be a hero also that day saving the children from this mystery beast.
After receiving a few well placed kicks I managed to bring it to the basement away from the masses, and more so the dog. It hopped around kicking like a bucking bronco for a few minutes then settled back down as I proceeded back upstairs to deal with the agony of defeat.
My aging Sicilian grandmother then informed me "I canna fixa him". So I assumed since she was from the old country and had dealt with these devils before, she meant she could calm it down and somehow help me regain my hero status salvaging the day.
Less than 30 minutes massed by, and except for the partially yellow down comforter, everything seemed to be back in order. The kids wanted to see their new pet and everyone was still laughing doing the play by play.
At that moment, to everyones horror up came grandma from the basement with a baby goat on a large platter complete with carrots and diced potatoes. But it was then all too obvious she had done the one thing I failed miserably to do: she had read the book...