And from now on, I’ll never say about my house: This place is a zoo.
We set out Saturday to move boats around. The initial plan was to get the MacGregor, Syzygy
, out of the driveway in Albuquerque by taking it to Elephant Butte, and then rigging and launching it.
Then I had the idea that if we were already at the Butte, maybe we could take Black Magic
, which we had already taken out of the water and de-rigged, to El Paso, where there might be a chance of finding someone who could do fiberglass repairs and reinstall the console and the floor. So before leaving Albuquerque, I phoned a few people in El Paso and left messages for them to find out whether that might be do-able, if there would be someplace safe to park the boat.
We were about halfway to the lake when Dino returned the call and said that we could keep the boat inside a locked fence at his office, and also that we could stay in a guest room at his house and return to Albuquerque today.
So we got together with Dino, locked the boat up, and then went across town to where Zorro lives, and we all went out to dinner together at a Mexican restaurant that Zorro likes. It was excellent food at very reasonable prices, and the only drawback was that the neighborhood was close to the university, and there was a home football game, so traffic was a nightmare.
After dinner, Tadpole went to Dino’s house with Dino’s girlfriend, Sister Rosebia, and her teenage sons, while Pat, Dino, and I stopped off at Dino’s house. You may have heard stories about the crazy old lady with too many cats that every town has at least one of. Well, Zorro may not be a crazy old lady, but he certainly has a whole lot of cats. I believe I counted eight inside the house and at least that many gathered on the front porch for handouts. There’s also one seriously outnumbered dog, but he’s discovered that he can live in reasonable harmony with the cats, so long as he does whatever they want, especially Oscar, a big, fluffy, part-Siamese who is the king of the inside cats. Yep, the place was a zoo.
After a couple of beverages claiming to be beer, we returned to Dino’s house, where it seemed that a Halloween sound-effects recording had been put on the sound system – all sorts of screams, moans, evil laughter, crashes, and other unrecognizable (but recognizably catastrophic) sounds. Nope, that was just the cockatoo, who lives in a large cage in the indoor swimming-pool area. There’s also a gray parrot and a skunk who share the space, and the pool isn’t really suitable for swimming nowadays; it’s been converted into a very large koi pond. Oh, and then there are several large tanks throughout the house, some of which contain fish, but others of which contain reptiles, primarily snakes. One whole bedroom has been converted to quarters for a large variety of rattlesnakes (Dino resembles Steve Irwin in more ways than one). At times, there are also temporary visitors; Dino and Sister Rosebia are certified wildlife rescuers, and since their place is right on the boundary of a state park, there’s often something-or-other recovering from some injury before getting let back into the wild. Well, there is one relatively mundane creature in the house: a canine whose ancestry is most likely half coyote, half greyhound. Yep, this place is a zoo, too.
Overnight, there was a fierce rainstorm, and we woke in the morning to find Dino’s mountain aerie – it’s rumored to be the highest house in Texas – veiled in fog. As the fog cleared, we got in touch with Zorro, both of whose cars aren’t currently running, and made arrangements to pick him up and all go together to Sunday brunch in Juarez. But when we arrived at Zorro’s place to pick him up, the truck wouldn’t start. First, Zorro called a friend of his who is good at fixing things, and then, when neither the friend, nor Zorro nor Dino could figure out for sure what needed fixing, we called AAA. While Pat waited at Zorro’s place for the tow truck, the rest of us walked down the street to an Italian place in the neighborhood and ordered pizzas, and we were joined by a friend who rooms with Dino, who came to give people a ride back to the house.
The pizza arrived quickly, so the rest of us were done eating about the time the AAA guy took Pat and the truck to the mechanics – we did save him some pizza. The roommate’s car didn’t have room for everybody, so Zorro, Dino, and I went across the street to a sports bar to wait for Pat. After he arrived and ate his pizza, we finished our drinks and went back up to Zorro’s house, where Sister Rosebia came to pick us up.
When we heard back from the mechanics, they told us that the truck needed a new fuel pump and a new fuel pump relay, and that the repairs probably wouldn’t be done until Monday afternoon. Well, at least I have only one class on Mondays, and it’s late enough there’s an outside chance we could get back to Albuquerque on time, but I wouldn’t bet on it. So I have set up assignments for my students on the campus online computer system.
Meanwhile, we’re getting to enjoy seeing a lot more of El Paso than we’d planned, and I have especially enjoyed the extra time with people I really like.
Now, I need to get back to socializing – I believe I hear Sister Rosebia calling everyone to supper … or was that the cockatoo?
And now I know, no matter my standard of housekeeping: My house is NOT a zoo!