I had a brief visit from my midwestern aunt and uncle. It was a very nice visit: we had some great food (namely, east coast pizza and Flying Fish Espresso Porter beer), and caught up with one another. Ours is a large family, strewn about a three-to-four hour radius (Monmouth County, Warren County, Ocean County, Essex County, NJ; plus Chicken Shit, Maryland and nearby Horse Poop, Virginia, as well, which aren't very far away from here at all); and of all the places they could choose to stay in the region, Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jimmy chose to stay here in Mercer County, NJ. Specifically, in Trenton, at our house. This is a big deal for us, since most of my family members won't or don't come to our house, even when they're just moments away, but then again, most everyone "on the outside" doesn't come in to Trenton if they don't have to. Their loss, and Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jimmy can attest to that, I'm sure.
Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jimmy came to visit back in February, too, and back then, Lacey, my then-14-year-old dog, had what the vet called a sebaceous cyst on her neck, below her ear. She had it since puppyhood, and the vet kept saying it was just a bit of a cosmetic yuckiness. I called it "the knob," and as Lacey got older, the knob got bigger, and danglier, and it bothered her more, and it made small children recoil in horror, which pissed me off, because Lacey is a friendly and attractive dog. Well, in February, on the last day of Aunt Vicki and Uncle Jimmy's stay, Lacey scratched her knob and ripped the damn thing open. It was shocking, and gruesome, and bloody and I'll leave it at that. And it required an emergency trip to the vet, at which time, the remaining half of the damn knob was FINALLY removed once and for all. Hallelujah.
So, today, just as Jimmy and Vicki were getting ready to leave, right on cue, Lacey, my now 15-year-old-dog, puked all over the dining room rug. Not so shocking, or gruesome, or luckily, bloody, and it didn't require a trip to the vet, but dog vomit, while relatively common, is quite unpleasant, especially in copious amounts. I ran to get some towels and plastic bags and carpet cleaner, and Vicki said something that sounded like "spatula," but I didn't quite hear her or understand why she'd say that word at that particular time. I was busy running to gather my usual remediation supplies that I didn't think about it for more than a flash. By the time I got back, 45 seconds later, Vicki had the mess cleaned up. I hadn't heard her wrong. She did say "spatula" and she used one to remove the dog vomit from my rug. Intrepid AND horrifying.
It dawns on me I should not be sharing this because I'm sure no one — even people who live in Trenton — will ever want to come to our house now, because who knows to what nefarious purposes our kitchen utensils have been used. But I can't stop myself from confessing. Vicki's spatula trick made SUCH quick work of the pile o' vomit, I just had to share; I know a lot of you have pets. And all pets puke. Aunt Vicki might be on to something. It makes me wonder about the origin of the very first toilet brush. Perhaps the vomit spatula will develop into its own marketable product; every well-appointed, pet-filled home will not be able to function without one.