Rules are a funny thing.
Rules, laws and all the things our mothers told us we had to do often bring out late stages of lunacy. That is certainly not the case with me.
When it comes to rules I firmly believe we must clearly understand each rule and enforce all rules come what may.
Let me describe a scene that happened to me recently to illustrate my point about following and enforcing the rules.
I was getting ready to leave for one of the newspaper offices where I spend my days aggravating everyone within reach. I was late, but I wanted to make sure I took some food for the road. For some reason when I am driving I get hungry. I was grabbing stuff from the refrigerator and tossing it my bag when Yodie the demon Yorkie sidled up next to me acting like she was my loyal companion for eternity.
Yodie is my daughter’s dog. Katy allows me the privilege of taking care of Yodie when it is time for my daughter do fun things. I think I may have done something fun once, but I’m not sure. The word fun makes me twitch and see squiggly snakes floating around in front of my right eye.
I found an old carrot in the back drawer of my refrigerator. Finding old food like that always makes me feel like a rule follower. Instead of tossing things out I eat them. It’s like cleaning my plate. Even if it makes me throw up a lot, I’m following rules because it says to in the big rule book.
I was basking in this warm, fuzzy tidiness when the demon struck. I saw her run off into the living room and immediately knew she had stolen my carrot.
Before she could reach her hidey hole I swooped in and grabbed my carrot from the furry fiend. I rushed back with my carrot and hid it in my bag.
What appears to be escaping Yodie’s cruddy cortex is I am vertically higher in the air. This is known as the rule of verticality, which means I get to be in charge. It is in the big rule book. I have pointed this out to her numerous times and all I get is the look that says, “Aren’t I just the cutest little princess you’ve ever seen? Better say yes and give me a treat or I’m telling Katy and then – It’s off to the pecan factory for you.”
After securing my orange stick of yummy in my food bag and placing it on the couch, I went to get my coat while keeping a vigilant eye on the evil one. She sat on the couch looking all innocent and hurt.
I took my eyes away for an Einstein instant and bang! Beelzebub streaked to my bag, grabbed the carrot and took off with it jammed in her mouth.
This was war.
We raced around the house at light speed. I finally outsmarted the four-legged lupus, cut her off and trapped her in the living room. At first she flumped flat on the floor with the carrot under her giving me the, “What?” dog look.
How dumb does she think I am?
When I reached under her to grab the goods, she rolled over and gave me her typical routine, “I’m dying. Have you noticed? Look at my cute little legs flop around. Katy is sure going to be mad.”x
When that failed she tried the war-wound limp. That hasn’t worked in months.
The battle of wits ended with each of us scowling at one another as I backed out of the house with my wet, scarred carrot.
I had won the war, and enforced the rule of verticality.
The lesson is: rules are rules and must be properly understood and enforced.
Rules are a funny thing, and I still have my carrot.