My wife and I form the picture of domestic tranquility. We gather in the parlor after supper. My wife reads a self-help book. I listen to the Tribune sports section on the NFB Newsline. My Seeing Eye dog, Randy, rests on his bed. Our cats, Harvey and Mulligan, twitter at the robins in the maple tree. We are a Norman Rockwell family portrait.
“By the way, Dear,” says my wife, “What’s that can of pork and beans doing on the landing?”
“I’m sure I have no idea, Dear. Is there such a thing?”
“I saw it there myself not an hour ago. An opened can of pork and beans, half full. You don’t suppose.”
“I do suppose,” says I. “Sounds like Randy’s doing. Why, walking on Lincoln Avenue today, he stuck his head between the bars of a wrought iron fence and snagged a cookie. I took it from his mouth. It was chocolate chip, I believe”
“Remember how Sherlock used to like to carry his tennis ball with him on his walks?” asks my wife. “Well, Randy likes to carry a can of pork and beans. And he carries it proudly.”
“I heard a poem at work today,” I say. “It’s written by a Labrador retriever like Randy. It goes: Gonna eat that? Gonna eat that? Gonna eat that? I could eat that.
We chuckle. “Dear,” says my wife, “is it too late for Bean-O?”
“’Fraid so. What’s done is done.”
“Shall we open a window then?”
“’Fraid not. Remember, the screens are getting mended.”
“Right,” says my wife. “We don’t want the cats falling out the window.”
We return to our reading. But I can’t pick up the thread of the story. And, after a minute, my wife says, “I’m having difficulty concentrating, Dear.”