When Jerry and I went over to our neighbors' house a few days ago for a brief visit, we should've cut it shorter. To like not at all.
Within a few minutes of walking in the door, their son, Nicholas, ran over to show me his latest toy. I'm not sure why -- maybe it's because I genuinely think toys are cool and tend to give a big reaction -- but Nicholas loves showing me how his stuff works. He would be happy spending hours demonstrating one plastic contraption after another from his shark fishing expedition rig to the working construction crane in his living room.
The latest toy was a transformer figurine -- Optimus Prime.
"Hey KeLLLy," (it always comes out sounding like a lot of extra Ls) "check out my new transformer!"
"Woa, awesome," I said, immediately grabbing it and manipulating his limbs.
Then the left leg snapped off at the knee.
"WHAT'D YOU DO?!" Jerry said, looking at me as if I'd just slapped our neighbor's child in the face.
"Oh my gosh, Nicholas, I'm so sorry!" I said. "I think I just broke your guy."
Fortunately, he just sort of shrugged it off and said it was alright, but I felt like a total shit.
"Would you like a lighter so you could torch the place on the way out?" Jerry asked, laughing.
"I'm sorry, I thought transformers were supposed to, I don't know, TRANSFORM," I said when Nicholas left the room.
His parents laughed it off and told me it was fine because he has a million other toys, but I promised to replace it.
Then, when Jerry went to leave momentarily and come back, he started yelling about something from the back door.
Not hearing what he said, Dave, Laura and I just sort of exchanged quizzical looks until Jerry came back into the kitchen saying Toby had been waiting on the steps.
Sure enough, a little brown blur was running around underfoot, jumping up on their two dogs, helping himself to their food and water bowls.
Apparently when Toby saw us walk over, it was too much to resist. And because I had accidentally left the side gate open, he ran out, around two other houses, finagled his way under Dave and Laura's fence and waited patiently for us to let him in.
They had been having a quiet evening at home until we came over, broke their son's new toy and our dog invited himself in and was currently running rampant in their upstairs bedrooms.
Next time maybe we'll bring a bag of garbage over, empty it on their couch, then take all of the condiment containers in their fridge and spray them around the walls, paying careful attention to get some on every surface. Then Toby can top it off with a big steamy dump in the middle of their living room carpet.