Family from Maine -- 10
New Puppy -- 10
Fake pirate accent -- 0
Once you get a dog, the whole world becomes a dog park. You ever notice that? It's similar to the way when I was building a house and I was doing the eaves, I'd notice the eaves on every house I drove past, something I'd never taken much notice of before. Only now, with a dog, you get the notice of all the other people with dogs everywhere you go, people who would never have paid more than a blip's worth of attention to you. There's a fraternity of people with similar interests to yours who become your tribe. We took the dog to the amusement park last weekend and if we could have taken money for every man, woman and child who came up and wanted to pet him we could have done something interesting with the cash. Instead we were left with the warm and fuzzy impression that the world has lots of wonderful people in it. It also made a very handy excuse not to ride on the SuperTwister roller coaster with my daughters because someone had to stay behind and take care of the dog. You know you've reached middle age when some of the more outlandish rides make you groan so loud the five year olds look at you like you're beyond belief. But a dog makes everything all right because they are all about love, and that's what life should be about. Who cares if the pimply teenager getting paid to be the voice of the mad pirate on the Haunted Ships of the Caribbean ride has the worst imitation pirate accent ever. "Have yee a good day. Raise yee hands above yee heads and walk yee plank." Because after the pirate ship a whole family from Maine will help you figure out how to get the puppy to drink from a spare plastic cup at the water fountain and three little Puerto Rican girls all called Mami will squeal in delight when the dog rolls in the puddle.
If only life was always as simple as a day in the park in August with a new dog.