March 01, 2005

Down At The Dog Wash (And Goats, Too)

Sunday was a big day. We came home that night to discover that Scout had had an, um, mishap in her crate that required her to be washed immediately. No problem; I just hefted her up into the kitchen sink -- she's small -- and scrubbed away. She stood there doing her look-at-sad-me poor-shivering-match-dog impression throughout, until I towelled her off and put her down on the ground, whereupon she switched into crazy dog mode, sprinting around the house, rubbing herself in a frenzy against every available surface in an effort to -- what? Dry herself off? Reacquire her stolen-away 'dog' scent? It's a mystery.

I figured that since I was already wet and smelling of dirty dog, I might as well wash Digory, too. Digory, who has revealed himself to be unflappable under most circumstances (I was able to vacuum the couch with him still on it, people -- if you know dogs and vacuum cleaners, you know that means quite a lot), turned out to be a giant bathtime wimp. He was frantically squirming and clawing as I carried him over to the tub; once in the tub, he started howling piteously, scrabbling against the traction-unfriendly porcelain in an effort to escape! It took both Shelby and I and all of our attention to do the deed -- but now both dogs smell happy-fresh and Digory's soft fur -- which people were complementing even when it was completely filthy -- has become even softer.

We had been out of the house to watch Edward Albee's play The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at the Mark Taper Forum in downtown L.A. We have excellent front-row seats (a gift from Shelby's parents) -- or, at least, we're supposed to. We miscalculated horribly -- for our first Mark Taper play, we left the house an hour and a half beforehand, which put us downtown twiddling our thumbs forty-five minutes early. This time, we figured that we'd leave the house an hour before and get there right on time, whisking in with a comfortable-not-tedious margin of time before the play began. Well, thanks to traffic, we got there about five minutes after the play started, and ended up watching the beginning of the play from monitors in the lobby until the ushers called seating time for latecomers. The late-seating buzzer buzzed, the doors opened, and we commando-crawled down to the front row to find that some bastards had stolen our seats! We couldn't exactly start a knock-down drag-out fight during the performance to get them back, so we had to settle for the best seats we could find while trying to cause minimal disruption, about five rows up.

The play itself managed to be a equal mixture of the totally hilarious and the totally shocking. Martin, an architect who's on top of the world -- just turned fifty, at the heights of his profession with a commission to design a multi-billion-dollar "world city", the perfect marriage -- reveals to his best friend that he's having an affair ... with a goat. Most of the rest of the play after that point is a protracted dialogue with his wife, Stevie, after he's found out. The play was extremely well-acted; it's a credit to the actors -- and to Albee -- that we were all so raptly following something that sounds on its face to be a completely ridiculous premise. Not surprisingly, the reader feedback that the Taper has chosen to post so far consists of mostly kudos with a few vehement cancel-my-subscription-immediatelys mixed in for good measure.

Posted by Kevin at March 1, 2005 09:33 PM