Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dog Days of Summer: an interview

As I'm sure I've mentioned previously, a bike racer's life can often be punctuated by times of incredible boredom.  The line between blissful relaxation and overwhelming tedium is fine indeed.  Since nationals, I have had a much needed time away from the racing scene.  My post nationals week of non-cycling life included hiking, fishing, camping, swimming, berry-picking, and eating my mother's famous strawberry shortcake.  That glorious week ended, and it was back to training. Training for what, however, wasn't quite so certain, as the second half of my race schedule was decimated by roster changes and race cancellations (at least partly thanks to a certain southern European debt crisis).

So here I am, at home in northern Vermont, going around to some of the local (for me still at least several hours of driving) races and filling my days with training, watching the olympics, reading free e-books on my Kindle, trying to learn Spanish, and picking blueberries.  Summer in Vermont is great, as I haven't been home for it in many years, but I quickly run out of things to do when everyone else is busy (especially given how tired I usually am after training).  I'm working on getting myself back over to Belgium to do the Pro Kermis circuit, but until then the trick is to pass the time and keeping motivated to train.  Since the rest of my family is working at actual jobs most of the day, this leaves me and my Springer Spaniel, Molly, to have some great bonding time.  I thought that in the spirit of the dog days of summer, I might dedicate a bit of my precious blog space to her point of view.


Me:
It seems that everyone is out and about, being productive.  Why do you feel it's important to spend quality nap time lying around the house all day?

Molly:
The truth of it is that people are just too busy trying to get everything done.  I have things to do too, but I prioritize.  That gives me lots of free time to spend curled up under the kitchen chair.

Me:
What do you say to people who say that we're just lazy and don't do anything except sleep and/or pedal bicycles all day?

Molly:
Well, I don't know about this bike pedaling thing you do every day, but my life is much busier than most people think, I'm just good at time management.

Me:
Could you walk us through a day in the life of Molly Newbury?

Molly:
Certainly.  First, I wake up bright and early and make Dad let me out.  Then I sit by the food bowl until I get breakfast.  Then I go back to bed and wait for you to wake up.  I sit by you while you make oatmeal and get a tummy rub. Then I help you get ready for your bike ride by moving all your cycling shoes to different places all over the house.

Me:
I knew it! That explains why they're always so slimy.

Molly:
While you're away I sit in front of the screen window and bark at all the squirrels and rabbits that come by.  Then I go and jump on your bed to keep it warm for you.  Right before you get home, I drink out of the toilet bowl.  Then, when you get home, I lick your hands and face.

Me:
That's disgusting! What's wrong with your waterbowl?!

Molly:
I only drink out of porcelain.  Next, I wait for you to go outside to eat blueberries, so I can chase birds around.

Me:
I noticed that, you'll never catch one, you know.

Molly:
I'm not supposed to. My job is to flush them, and you're supposed to shoot them! Don't you know anything about bird hunting?

Me:
I guess not, the only time I ever hit a bird was that pigeon in the shed after I got a bb gun for Christmas.  And then I felt really bad.

Molly:
You humans are ridiculous.  You'll eat chickens, pigs, cows, even baby sheep, but kill one lousy bird and it's a tragedy.  Speaking of dead things, did you see that dead raccoon in the road?  I may or may not have sort of by accident rolled in it this morning.

Me:
And then you laid down on my bed?!  I knew this interview was a bad idea.

Molly:
I just tell it like it is; I don't sugarcoat anything.  And by the way, it's dinner time.  No scrimping on the portions this time either.

Me:
Okay, okay; but just one more question.  Why do you eat so fast, and how do you jump so high in the air when I'm getting your food ready?

Molly:
It all comes down to history.  In the wild, a slowly eaten meal is usually a stolen meal.  That's why we developed industrial vacuum cleaner speed eating.  I don't see any other wolves or dogs here, but it's better to be on the safe side.  As far as my jumping, I'm not called a "springer" for nothing, and what do you think I'm saving my energy for all day long?  Now lets eat and then you can scratch my ears while we watch some Olympic rowing!