Friday, March 07, 2008

Confessions of a Movie Hound: The Big Ape

By Lucy “In Disguise” Wells

So, last night he was staring at the wall again. The woman—let’s just call her ‘Mom’—and I decided to go to bed early. God, I love that woman sometimes. Someone seems to have given her the impression that the bed is hers, however. I’d put my money on the wall-staring man. She also doesn’t seem to understand the importance of the stuffed cat. I know the thing isn’t real, but I seem to be developing quite a strong affection for it. When Mom goes to bed I like to bring it to her and shove it in her hair. She’ll shove it away but never gives it a good toss. It’s is like she doesn’t understand what I’m telling her. “Throw the cat! Throw the cat! Throw the cat!” It's not that complicated.

But once she gets into that bed, there’s no talking to her. She lays face down. I lick her ears. She pulls the covers over her head. I dig her out. She puts the pillow over her head. I shove my nose under and start snuffing away, but she won’t budge. That’s ok though; ‘cause there’s nothing I enjoy more than spread eagling out on the bed, even if she insists on claiming half of my bed for herself. What gets me is when the man stumbles in at midnight or later and expects me to render the remainder of my bed over to him. I fight the good fight. Pretend I don’t see him. Hold my eyes shut as if I’m asleep and oblivious to his demands. But that jerk always uses his size as a weapon against me. He just picks me up and moves me to the end of the bed. I used to race him back to the pillow, but he started stiff arming me. I finally gave in. Sleeping on the end of the bed like some sort of pet in my own house, can you imagine? Boy, if I were a Great Dane, I’d show him!

So I racked out with Mom, being sure to loose what slobber I could on my pillow for when he came and took my spot, and I drifted in doggy la-la land for a while. Then at about midnight the squat gods came calling. I usually ask to go out before bed, but Mom and I dozed off so early I forgot all about it. Normally sleep overrides a call from nature—I prefer to deal with the ultimate mother on my own terms—but the man was downstairs in his dungeon being assaulted by thunderous demons from hell or some such thing emanating from the light box that hung on his wall. He was probably just sitting there like always, taking no defensive measures to evade whatever might jump out of the box to attack him. I didn’t really care, but I had to pee.

I sat at the top of the stairs that lead to the basement and pretended I had some sort of itch on my neck. I jangled those tags they put around my neck in case they get separated from me in a flock of Corgi’s, so they can find me again. (Flock?) Anyway, they could just sniff our butts. It’s much less restrictive than those tags. And I wouldn’t let them lose me anyway. I swear sometimes it seems like they think they own me, not the other way around.

So I was jangling my jewelry at the top of the stairs. Huffing and puffing like I’m upset about something. I started snorting, and finally he heard me. The sound of the giants attacking the basement suddenly ceased. I don’t know how it does that. I think it has something to do with that small rectangular box with the blisters on it he’s always holding on to like it’s a junkie’s crack pipe or something. I suppose it is very much like that considering how it relates to his addiction. I just can’t figure out why he doesn’t just use it to stop the box anytime it is attacking him with the noise and explosions and monsters. It boggles the mind, really.

So he got up the stairs and mumbled some of his primitive vocal communication to me. I’ve come to understand which sounds mean “outside,” “eat”, “go,” and various others that are particularly important for them to communicate to me. He let me out, but I could tell he was just jonesin’ to continue feeding his fix. I was only out there for a few minutes, barely enough time for me to take care of my business and give the standard perimeter check of my yard. I was in the middle of letting the neighbor dog know that he needed to “step off” when that light box junkie’s patience ran out and he called me to get in. Since it was cold, I obliged.

I got in, and I could see those dilated eyes of his. I knew he was going back down to risk his life in front of that light box of images and monsters again. I couldn’t let him face his demons (or the light box’s) on his own, so instead of going back to my place in bed next to Mom—which is where I most certainly wanted to go—I decided to follow him back down into the basement.

He lay down on the couch, and I anxiously settled down on his lap as he reached for his button box and pointed it at the dark light box. I was facing him to be sure he wasn’t going to freak out when the monsters and thunder came. The noise started behind me and I looked over my shoulder to find the light box just had a couple of humans hopping around in it acting silly. So I settled down again.

I must have fallen asleep or something because the next thing I know I hear this monstrous beast snorting and grunting in my ear. There are sounds of the city all around us. I don’t get how the people and monsters can be in the light box on the wall while I can hear them all around the room we’re sitting in. Anyway, I knew there was something big and nasty behind me, but I didn’t want to look. The look on the man’s face was maybe slightly excited, but nothing that would indicate he was about to run away or anything, so I slowly turned my head to see what threat the box had produced this time.

Well, my satellite ears began to shake—which created quite a breeze in the basement—and my nub of a tail was certainly not wagging. Hell, I almost tinkled myself sitting right there on top of the man. What I saw in the box was terrifying. It was a giant ape. He was jumping around some city, tossing cars and people everywhere. And the roaring, oh dear God that horrifying roaring! What was stopping that ape from just walking into our little basement and stomping on us? I don’t know.

I don’t know how the man could have been so calm. Normally when something threatens my man pet from the light box I’ll give it a good growl until it goes away. I didn’t dare make a peep this time. Surely that ape would just eat me. I saw him tear one of those poor humans in half. Not that I can’t be ferocious and terrifying when I need to be, but us Corgis aren’t exactly hulking dogs. That ape would have broken me like one of my chew sticks.

I inched my way up the man’s body and shoved my snout into his armpit. “Please, make it stop. Please, make it stop. Just pick up that damn button box and click it until it stops, for God’s sake!” But he didn’t move. And then I understood his tactic. He was lying perfectly still, hoping the giant monkey wouldn’t see him. That must have been it.

Somehow we miraculously survived the giant ape. But after that incident, I’m done. I’m not doing it anymore. I’m done protecting his ass. He can summon up whatever dragons, spaceships, dinosaurs, grizzly bears, whatever… I’m not gonna be there to save him next time. Next time, I’m just staying upstairs with Mom. Let them get him.

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