During the drive to Half Moon Bay, I entertained John with stories about other really intelligent men who were confident enough in their masculinity to have a standard poodle (all, coincidentally, black.) There was Steinbeck – although his “Travels with Charlie” has recently come under scrutiny because a researcher determined that there was no way he could have stuck to the itinerary he laid out in that timeframe. Plus, lots of high class hotels remember he stayed there rather than in an RV.
I always wondered about that – the minimal coverage on Charlie. If, as the researcher seems to have established, Steinbeck had indeed stayed in 4-star hotels for most of the trip, where did Charlie stay? I mean, we can hardly get Louie and Bubb into state parks! It bothered me so much that I didn’t even finish the book. But I’m sure Steinbeck did, at least, own a black standard poodle.
And then there was James Thurber. He had twenty-five poodles over his lifetime, many of which were black standards. Thurber didn’t teach his poodles the computer, but they were smart enough to keep up with him, and he was manly enough to be seen in public with them.
Besides the computer, another area of compatibility I discovered between John and Louie is RVing. We arrived at our site, John got busy checking the dials, switches, electrodes, monitors – all the stuff an engineer must have in an RV. He says I need them to support my reading lights, electric blanket and to heat the poodles’ food. But I know he would be bored silly if he weren’t tinkering with something. Oh no! A problem! It seemed that one of the super overkill batteries that he had to install when a golf ball smashed our solar panel, is not putting out its necessary voltage.
John unscrewed part of the steps into the cabin, lifted the flooring up and peered down into the little itty-bitty teensy tiny hole that houses those four bricks of gold. I looked over; Louie was transfixed; John’s derriere was in the air, his head in the floor. “What is this human doing in the poodle play position? And what are all those little squiggly things he’s waving under my nose?”
Then I hear it: “This, Louie, is the positive wire, and that one is the negative wire. When we connect the two batteries in parallel, the acid battery energy capacity is significantly increased. And you know what that means, Louie? That means mommy can fix your dinner.” I must have found a poodle smart enough for my husband.