Tico Rips the Carpet
Humor by Lance K. Pugh
HighOnAdventure.com December 1, 2009
During my childhood our family went to church every Sunday, this being where I first began hating ties, cufflinks and tie clasps. Sitting on a hard bench for an Eternity was one matter; spending an hour getting dressed for the occasion was quite another.
After an especially long Sunday sermon, several times during which I affected all the known signs of narcolepsy, my parents, for reasons unknown to me, invited the Minister to our house for a cup of tea.
To the surprise of us all he accepted, stating that he would be over within the hour.
Well, my mother, father, sister and both grandmothers took off at a dead run to the car. I barely got inside as the then brand new 1957 Plymouth station wagon burnt rubber as we rocketed home. It was during this launch that I overheard my mother assigning cleaning duties with the efficiency of a drill sergeant preparing for the Inspector General.
We were all handed aprons and flew to our tasks, as we had less than 45 minutes to convert a comfortable home into a Shrine of Tireless Toil.
As time drew down my Nana was assigned to keep watch for the Minister’s car, which I was beginning to think was a horse-drawn hearse, for the mood of the house was a blending of panic and fear.
My Job was to vacuum the living room a half-dozen times. The room had vaulted ceilings with an ocean view and a carpet that seemed more like acreage than pile. I was sweating when the word came down: “He’s here,” squeaked my Nana, with a voice full of half-sung hymns and a brow full of concern.
If I could only use one word to describe the Minister, it would have been STERN. He entered the house with a gaze that would have melted a spider, seeming to sense the nature of our activities since leaving church.
He was escorted into the living room while tea and cookies were served. I was as good as incarcerated, as I was to sit still with my hands folded and basically, pretend to be dead, though with my eyes open.
We all sat with strict posture while listening to the Minister’s opinions on all and every thing. I looked around and smiles were evenly applied to the visages formerly reserved for focused fear. Only I heard a sound that I knew would soon instigate a tremendous change in the local universe.
If you’ve ever witnessed a Top Fuel Dragster smoke its tires then you will appreciate what happened next. Paying tribute to the fastest quarter-mile dragsters, Tico lit up the rug and rocket test-bedded across the room, howling as he accelerated towards us.
Teacups and saucers rattled as jaws dropped and the conversation stopped as Tico the Dragster roared to the end of the carpet and disappeared around the corner. I could have sworn that I smelled smoke, the kind you step into only at night when you are barefoot.
Though we all knew of Tico’s carpet tunnel syndrome, we were loath to admit it under the circumstances as the collective silence became deafening. It was then that I uttered the saving benediction that unhoisted our collective petards: “Gotta’ admire the spirit in that paralyzed dog.”