It tolls for ME!
In response to a reader comment that Jennifer made to the last blog entry, I wrote “We’re not done with the air bed stories.” Read on …
No sooner had I posted last Friday’s episode of “Man vs. Dog” than I went back into the tent for something. I couldn’t believe what I saw in front of me: a near-completely flat air bed!!!!! I mean, think of it – the air bed was the Pequod to Frank’s Moby Dick! The rocky lair to Frank’s Scar (Lion King was always one of my favorite Disney flicks). Okay … maybe I DID have an extra hit before sitting down to this post. :o)
Now one thing I didn’t mention in the last post – the night before WDWE (World Dog Wrestling Entertainment) hosted the Pagosa Springs Open, the pillowtop bed cover came loose from the bed. It was stitched all the way around the top … anyhow, it split away along one of the sides while I was asleep and by the time I woke up, it was only attached by two sides (and one of them barely)!
Anyhow, I filled the air bed back up, started hunting for the leak and discovered, sure enough, a hole on the top of the bed, in a part of the mattress that was never meant to see daylight. It looked like a claw hole … but I’m not accusing anyone here. I’ve since realized that Frank’s not the only one who should seek a pedicure!
I carry a patch kit, specifically for the bed. In retrospect, I wish I would have read the instructions before I left. They said, “Adhesion will be 50% cured at time of application. Wait 24 hours for full adhesion. Use item at your discretion – in many cases 50% adhesion will be sufficient to ensure seal.”
Not that I would have been able to find anything better, but the time to be reading that isn’t when you’re sitting at the picnic table outside your tent and the sun has just set over your left shoulder! I wasn’t going to chance “in many cases …”, so I set up to sleep on the floor. There was enough air left in the bed for me to stand it up on its side, leaning against the back of the tent.
Once I had everything set up, I brought Frank in from outside. I wish I had been able to take a video of him … hilarity ensued!
He hurdled the lip on the tent doorway (with thoughts of a warm bed certainly on his mind) and came to a sudden, complete HALT. I mean, he stopped dead in his tracks and didn’t move for a full minute, except for turning his head and look at me. He was probably thinking, “Ummmm … you know, there’s only gonna be room for me on this thing now, right?”
I stepped around him and just laid on the bed I had made up on the tent carpet. Frank immediately went into his “I need reassurance” mode – he sat down right next to me, his chest buried into my neck and his head hovering over mine. I mean, there’s not a molecule of air between him and me when he does this. He won’t look at me, either… he looks past me. I almost feel that if he could talk, he’d be reciting Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” à la Raymond Babbitt. And here I thought I had anxiety issues! At least he recovers from his attacks a lot better than I’ve been able to recover from mine in the past.
I have to say I’ve gotten used to this “canine neck wrap” thing … Frank spent the first week in Georgia doing it almost every night before we went to bed. He was fine after that … except for every now and then when he gets spooked by something. (If only he’d do that during thunderstorms. When they happen, he just retreats into the farthest corner of the tent and resists any efforts to hold him.)
After about 15 minutes of chewing fur, I was finally able to get him relaxed to the point that he moseyed over to his bed and lied down, still eying the bed behind me. I should have taken the hint. He’s smarter than me … in retrospect, he was probably wondering if it was gonna stay upright like that all night …
I woke up about 4am. The first thing I noticed was that someone had invaded the tent during the night and had attacked my body with a ball peen hammer. No not really, but that’s what it felt like. However, the second thing I noticed was that there was dead weight on me … and it wasn’t Frank. It was the air bed, which had further deflated enough to lose it’s stiffness and had collapsed on top of me.
Now I don’t wake up well. I’m sure that whole process took more than a few minutes … add to that the time needed to work my way out to fresh air (thank God I was still hooked up to the C-pap!) I expected Frank to be right there of course, trying to help lift the bed off me and do everything else a faithful companion would do (“What did you say, Frank? Timmie’s down the well?” Of course, that meant I was still partially asleep. When I could finally focus, I saw Frank in his bed, looking at me for a few more seconds before he put his head down to go back to sleep!
“No, that’s alright, Frank. I’m okay. You go back to sleep.”
I don’t think he understood me, because his response was, “Oh, you’re up for good? Okay, I’ll get up, too!” Then I got my kisses and head butts. And the anxious pace back and forth between me and the tent door. Immediately outside the door and to the right, there’s a tree with Frank’s name on it, by the way. Years in the future, dogs who occupy “Campsite #7” at the Last Resort RV Park and Campground will know “Frank the Brave” visited this tree in ancient times!
I spent most of the day hobbling around. Advil helped, but let me tell you – sleeping on the ground at 62 ain’t the same as doing it when you’re 22! If I could do it all over again, I’d have taken better care of my body. Well, probably not … who’s kidding who, right?
I called Larry, told him what happened and the first thing he said was, “Did you get it at Amazon? Call them and they’ll send a replacement!” Now, I’m a bad one about that. I don’t know whether it’s low self-esteem, fear of confrontation, or what, but I’m just not good at doing things like asking for warranty fixes and the like. And had I not slept on the ground the previous night, I might not have taken Larry’s advice.
But I did … and sure thing, the Amazon rep didn’t blink an eye, arranging for a no-charge replacement to be shipped out right away. It’s due here sometime today. From the vantage point of my camp chair, I can see all traffic in and out of the site and I can assure you I’ll meet him at the main office’s front door!
The last two night’s, I’ve filled the air bed up just before retiring. Yesterday morning, I woke up, still on the bed … even though it was about two-thirds deflated. Not so this morning.
Again at about 4am, I rolled left, whatever air remained in the bed shifted right, and I got tossed! Once again, I was being manhandled by a nearly-deflated air bed, only THIS time, I was pinned against a tent wall! Even worse, the air tube from the C-pap machine disconnected when I was thrown to the other side of the room. I have to say, it didn’t take me quite as long to work my way out to fresh air – I guess I do want to live, after all!
As an aside … something I feel pretty good about … there was another little fiasco I discovered before talking to Larry the other morning about the bed. I screwed up my adress when I registered the car and got my driver’s license. I thought my box number was “9936”. It’s not – the “3” should be a “2”. So now I have to go through a bunch of rigamarole with the great state of Texas to get it corrected. (I think that’s the third instance of senility I’ve gone through recently … I just can’t remember the other two!)
The reason I bring that up? If that and the air bed thing had happened 10 months ago, you’d never be reading this post. You’d have never heard of this blog. That would have ended me – that’s how “at the edge” I was. So, the fact that I can see these things as “big annoyances” only? Well, that’s a pretty big deal. Even better, I figgered it out on my own. And even “more betterer” – I didn’t discount it once the realization hit.