The Booger is one year old today! And I survived the past ten months of His Serene Puppyhood! To mark this momentous event with the gravity and ceremony it requires, the Booger decided to start swimming last weekend. We take Pooter and Booger to the beach for walks and swimming several times a week, but in the past, he would just enviously watch Pooter swimming; he could never get the hang of it. But this week, he jumped in at about five-feet deep and started paddling away. You should have seen the look of surprise on his face. I think he was teetering between terror and elation the entire time. But then, to top it off, as we were walking back to the car, he lifted his leg and peed like a boy for the first time. Since his only model has been his big sister, he just squatted and peed like a girl, but not anymore. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of praising him over and over for this amazing masculine feat, so yesterday morning, while I’m having coffee and watching the morning news, he proudly lifted his leg and hosed down the couch, carpet, and end table. The Spousal Unit and I decided to curtail the praise for the willy lifting in the future!
This momentous birthday means its time to visit the vet and schedule a wee snip snip, a little de-dickulation, as it were. The Spousal Unit keeps postponing this inevitable adjustment to Mother Nature. Every time the subject comes up, The Unit wraps his legs around each other, covers his man bits, grabs some nearby rosary beads, and starts reciting Hail Marys under his breathe. I predict this will be tougher on him than on the Booger.
Now, onto today’s episode of “Texas Toast”. Previously, Jack and I were jetting off to Rome for the start of an eight-week working holiday to film a series of commercials for Oil of Olay. The object was to show women over 35, with great, young-looking skin. In a funny twist, Jack urged the client to book me and the photo below was the result of that test shooting. A year before, at age 24, I’d been sent out on jobs for 14-17 year olds, and now I was trying to pass for over 35! What a schizoid business! And no, the client didn’t fall for it!
On our arrival at the airport in Rome, it became apparent that something big was afoot. There were police and anti-terrorists troops everywhere, with assault weapons drawn. Passengers disembarking from international flights were screened more thoroughly than usual, yet they simultaneously seemed to want us all out of the airport ASAP. The former Prime Minister of Italy, Aldo Moro, had been carjacked on his way through morning rush hour traffic earlier that day and Rome was on lock down. Businesses and restaurants we passed were shuttered, and traffic was at a minimum. The thriving, vibrant city seemed like a ghost town at 8PM.
As I brushed off my rusty Italian and tried to make sense of the newspaper headlines, it seemed that Mr. Moro had been kidnapped and five of his bodyguards killed in an ambush in the middle of Rome. A left-wing group calling themselves The Red Brigades was taking credit, and was loudly demanding release of their original group members from prison in exchange for the former Prime Minister’s freedom. The Italian unions called for a general strike and all of Rome went as dead and silent as if someone pulled the power plug.
Fortunately for our crew, our hotel was open. The Hotel Hassler was perched at the top of the Spanish Steps, oozed old world elegance, and had sweeping views of the city. Unfortunately, due to the militaristic lock down the kidnapping imposed on the city, most of our actresses were unable to reach us to audition, and location scouting would not be happening on this leg of our trip. After 55 days in captivity, Mr. Moro was shot and killed by his captors, and life in the city resumed its usual bustle. Hopefully, on our return swing through Rome, our crew and cast would have better luck in getting some commercials shot. Damn those Red Brigades; didn’t they realize the importance of selling anti-aging skin cream?
Next stop, Stockholm.