Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Southern Bun

I made the mistake of telling Coco about a printer saleswoman who came to my office yesterday to "train" employees how to print things double-sided and create 11 x 17" booklets with side staples. I suppose this is not actually important, nor very interesting, except that this woman spoke exactly like any movie actress cast as "Southern Woman #2" might speak.

I mention this, because sometimes when Coco is especially hammered, she puts on an accent. Not always discernible and certainly never predictable, Coco somehow finds a way to insert this quirk of hers into random portions of conversation.

I was in the kitchen of our new apartment fixing Coco another mint julep, as today she was clearly feeling her southern roots...

"Oh my word, sugar. I'm tellin' yew my forehead is sweatin' like a whore in church!" 

I stepped into the living room and handed Coco the brass mug filled with the sweet minty beverage.

"Coco, you're sitting on top of the radiator cover. Of course you're toasty. Here, have a sip."

She bent down and lapped up the boozy drink like a normal bunny should.

"My, my Cokes, you're certainly acting like a proper bunny today!"

She lifted her paw and adjusted her newly fashioned hat. One hour prior, Coco had torn apart all of the kitchen cabinets to pick out a coffee filter for her headpiece. Though the hat turned out marvelously, I did feel it was unnecessary for her to throw the remaining filters into the toilet and flush. It took me 45 minutes to mop up the flood.

"I'm a southern belle, honey. Mama raised me right back when I was just a young chitlin. I do declare, the first beau I ever paid mind to had to court my pa for a full year before I'd give him permission to kiss my hand. You suggesting I am anything but a lady has me quite ruffled." Coco said, licking the bourbon from her upper lip.

"Coco, I didn't mean anything by it."

"I swear you've got me as heated as a baked potato-- So you watch it, now!" Coco snapped back. All the charm quickly draining from her miniature, furry (and I suppose sweaty) body. 

"Ok Coco, listen, I think you are the epitome of class and charm. You display grace in everything that you do. I respect you and I love you more than I love my own life. I also think that more people should acknowledge your greatness." I figured that flooding Coco with kind words might negate her Southern sass. 

I was wrong.

"You are a joke, my dear. A silly and hideous joke that I've heard before and didn't find it funny the first time. In addition to your tragic face, I suggest you stop taking garment advice from the hop-along pauper convention you clearly frequent. You are an embarrassment, and I pity you." Coco was beginning to sway from the heat from the radiator.

I grabbed her cup and scooped her up from the platform. I carried her into the kitchen and gently put her down on the cool surface of the counter. I ran a washcloth under some cold water and patted her paws. 

"Here baby girl. Let's get you cooled down. I think that heat really put you in a state!"

Coco lifted her chin and slowly tilted her head to the side. She kicked the mint julep off of the counter and onto the kitchen floor, held her paw to her cheek and laughed, "You know, I do believe you are correct! There is nothing more displeasing than a toasted bun! Fetch me a sweet tea and rum, would you doll? Mama's gotta make up for lost time."

"Right away, ma'am. Right away."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Wild Night is Calling

We moved.
We moved out of the house where Coco once spent her mornings, afternoons and evenings resting on the table where her cage also sat or lounging on the adjacent windowsill, snoozing in the afternoon sun.

The one bedroom apartment in which we currently live also has plenty of windows offering the day's sunlight, but now, Coco doesn't live on a table anymore. She lives among the humans, her cage on the floor with its door open at all times, giving Coco access to, well…everything. This, I believe is where the trouble began. 

At around 3AM, for the past 16 consecutive nights, Coco has been awake, running amok around the apartment. She's repeatedly leapt into my bed, slapped me across both cheeks, and laughed maniacally as she hopped out of the room...letting out little screams down the hallway. 

At first I blamed this on booze, of course. Perhaps she was taking in a little extra these days to cope with her new environment…no big deal. This would pass, I was sure of it. On the other hand when I would rouse myself out of bed at 7:15AM to prepare my morning coffee, Coco was often nowhere to be found…until I spotted her sleeping in the shower, snoozing in a potted plant or snoring in a nest of blankets--but how? It was breakfast time and Coco never missed an opportunity to stuff her face. Her restlessness in the wee hours of the morning was truly a problem.

This past night, I was jolted awake at 3:37am to the sound of breaking glass. I jumped up, and stumbled down the hallway into the living room, tripping over Coco's overturned food dish, to find my little fluff monster chucking fruit at the far wall of the room. She had already broken two panes of glass and launched four pears, two avocados and an apple at the windows. Books were strewn about the living room, hundreds of pages torn from their backing and all the while, little miss bunny was screaming at the top of her lungs, "I'VE GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE!!!" She threw punches and flying side kicks at an invisible enemy.

Coco was a rabbit insane! She had become completely detached from reality, her reality as a somewhat tame house bunny with an affinity for hard alcohol. I needed to bring her back in.

I reached for Coco, flipped her onto her back, her body lying vertically along my knees and I squeezed her paws firmly, "Coco. You've got to pull it together. This new found freedom has turned you feral."

"I'm completely freaked out, Ma." Coco said, her eyes shifting wildly. "I…I…I need to run, like, really run. I need to dart through bushes. I need to dig a hole, for real. It's just this feeling...I gotta GO."

"Baby love!" I cooed. "This is your home. I know you feel like a rambunctious teen, but you are actually a 9-year-old Elderbun. My old lady bunny. I feed you, I kiss you, I clean your bum, I give you hip massages...you need this. You belong here, not in the wild." I stroked her cheeks and nuzzled her nose with mine.

"I...I...." Coco struggled to get her words out. Her breathing had calmed and she now looked me directly in the eyes. "I need a drink." 

"That's my girl! I'm glad you're back Coco."
I carried my soft, sleepy bunny into the bedroom and set her up on a large pillow. I pulled my flask out of the sock drawer and sat it next to her. 
"Everything is better now, Coco. Everything is fine."

Coco picked up the flask and poured the brown liquor into her pea-sized mouth. "Everything is better now," she said. "Everything is fine."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Second Chance at Love

"I swear to god if this bozo stands me up, I will burn this place to the ground."

Coco had gone on one date with Carlos, a sassy nail tech from the Lady's Day Salon, according to Coco, the first date had gone relatively well.

"He escorted me to dinner and took the liberty of ordering for the two of us, which I found sexist and piggish, but I let it slide. We each had a bottle of pinot noir followed by a carrot gazpacho garnished with crispy kale. It was cold, so I spit it out."

I sat near Coco and straightened up her towel. "But baby girl, gazpacho IS c--."
She interrupted me. "Are you done?"
"Yes," I said. "But ---"
"ARE you done?" she snapped.
"Yes. Please continue." 

"After we crushed the vino, we split a Long Island Iced Tea…with two straws…VERY romantic, though I would have preferred he got his own. With that, we snacked on Brussels sprouts and olives that came in our extra spicy Bloody Marys. Then he made some rude comment about my lack of clothing and suggested I was under dressed. Asinine, right? I thought only rich people wore fur. Regardless, I was P-O'd and asked him to call me an Uber."

I looked at her, dumbstruck. "Coco, I thought you said your first date went well. This sounds like a nightmare. I really don't want you seeing him again."

"Listen, mom. He's a boozer, I'm a boozer. Anyway, I'm only insisting on a second date so I can go straight Pretty Woman on his ass. I am prepared--this dress probably maxed out my credit card at a hefty $2.00, but after all it is Dolce and Gabunny. Plus, it makes my rump look fuller than Kim K's. He'll be dazzled and I'll break the Internet and his bank account."

There was a knock at the door. 

"That must be Carlos! Get my coat."

I shook my head, wrapped Coco in her shawl and carried her downstairs to the front door.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Greatest (Freak) Show on Earth

"I know it's not customary for a child to tell her parent when she's decided to run away from home, but I'm telling you right now. I'm running away from home." Coco said from the windowsill.

I sat in a chair next to her table. "Coco, that hurts my feelings. I thought you and I had a wonderful relationship, and I love you so much."

"Yeah well...I don't care," she said. "You don't inspire me. I utterly feel drained in this life."

"But little girl, does this mean you're leaving home for good? Who will feed you baby carrots and mango treats? Who will brush you and fill your water bottle?" I knew there was no way Coco could survive in the wild. 

"I've tapped into a market where I think I can really thrive." Coco said confidently.

She ran her paw across her cheek. "I'm joining the circus and touring as The Bearded Lady. I got the idea from that great tv show with Kathy Bates." 

I laughed out loud. "Sorry Cokes, but I'm not sure you qualify as a lady."

"Not sure I qualify as a lady? I've got eight nipples. I'm more woman than you'll ever be."

Unsure of how that was a low blow, I accepted her insult.

"You and I were meant to be together forever. But now our time in this world must end." Coco said.

"Cokes, did you just quote Misery?? You are such a little thespian!", I said. "Well, if you feel you must go, then I suppose you must...although, I wonder who will unscrew your vodka bottle caps and pop your champagne corks. Maybe you do need me after all..."

She rested her chin on her left paw, "The life of a carny is a life of booze and dazzling crowds. I'll be swimming in liquor and rounds of applause." Coco motioned with her ears out the window. "Plus, I won't have far to go, you can supply the alcohol for me and my carnival freak show friends." 

I looked out the window at a red and white striped umbrella someone had left open near a small tree. Realizing that Coco had mistaken this small prop as a circus tent, I packed her a Ziploc baggie with spinach leaves, a baby carrot and an airplane bottle of Captain Morgans and wished her luck. She'd be back inside by happy hour.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rabbit Unraveled

I've been under the weather for the past few days, while Coco has been in rare form. Partying for nights on end, blasting everything from Iron Maiden to Dolly Parton on a tiny boombox I picked up for her at the thrift store, and emptying enough bottles to stock a liquor store.

This afternoon I rolled off the couch and grabbed a handful of parsley to feed Coco something that wasn't liquid. When I walked in, Coco was half asleep and the window screen was ripped open. 

"What in the world is going on, Cokes? What happened to the screen?"

"Ease up, Ma. It's Devil's Night. I was out on the roof pranking the neighborhood, covering their pathetic yards with your last rolls of TP."

I shook my head. "Oh great, so there's no TP in the house? Thanks Coco. Appreciate it. Also, please note that Devil's Night takes place at night, and it's not for another month."

"Yeah well, it makes me happy to know that someone in this house is going to get caught on the toilet with no place to go," Coco laughed. "My work here is done. Bada bing, bada boom."

Her eyes began to close. "Every rose has it's thorn, just like every night has its dawn..."

I put her parsley on the table. "Are you singin' a little Poison, honey pie?"

"Just like every bunny sings a sad, sad song..."

"Sleep it off Coco." I said, reaching to lower the blinds. 

When I looked out the window, I saw that Coco had only TP'd the tree in our front yard.
I headed downstairs to grab a step ladder while Coco snored, surrounded by souvenirs. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Salon Paws

"This is by far, the worst spa treatment I have ever received in my life," Coco said as I wrapped her in a warm towel. 

We had just finished up her leg stretch and thigh massage session, and now it was time for a little warm relaxation.

"Girly, you've never been to a day spa that wasn't owned and operated by yours truly." 
I've been trying to make a habit of pampering Coco lately with daily coat brushing and back rubs.

"Shows what you know, idiot. Back in '93 I was employed at a little joint called 'Golden Fingers.' I found the gig thumbing through the want ads in the paper, and figured it was perfect for me considering their willingness to hire just about anyone. 'WE HIRE ANYONE' was the only description under the listing."

I let out a long sigh.

Coco kicked me from under the towel. "As I was saying, I showed up for the interview that never took place, and next thing you know they have me hopping back and forth on the backs of hairy business men, misting them with essential oils. I don't know, it all smelled like urine to me. But anyway, fortunately they had towels lain across their asses, because I had a tendency to slip through the cracks if you catch my drift."

It was useless to argue, and her eyes were beginning to close. "Wow Coco, why on earth did you ever leave such a fantastic job?" 

"Some fatso with a Micky D's franchise pinched my tail on his way out. The next time he came in for a massage, I bit his nipple clear off. Not surprisingly...I was given a warning. But then they caught me stealing money from the tip jar the following week, so I was fired."

"Well Cokes, you do have a pretty rough track record with staying employed, so this doesn't exactly surprise me. Anyway my darling, just relax and try to enjoy yourself. You deserve the pampering." I bent over and kissed her forehead.

"Doesn't this shit come with bottomless mimosas or something?" Coco said, her eyes still closed.

I laughed. "How could I be so unaccommodating? Coming right up, madame."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Special Delivery

"Coco, I found something in the mailbox this morning that has you written all over it, literally."

I tossed a bulky envelope onto my bed where Coco happened to be sitting. She bent down and bit it. "Yep, that's mine alright. Damn it, I forgot the stamp."

"Hmm, well girly, this weighs a little too much for just one stamp. May I ask what's inside?"

Coco took a deep breath and exhaled. "I spent a full day eating bananas and drinking Jack Daniel's so that I could hand-select my largest pieces of poop. Some are wet and smelly and some are dry and hard like peppercorns. I would imagine there are close to 300 pieces inside that envelope, but I also included a handwritten note that reads, 'Eat my shit.'" 

"Coco, I am very proud of you for taking this kind of initiative. And though the letter was obviously never going to make it past our front door, your intentions were very good. I think this merits a toast, don't you?"

"Yes, mama. It does. I will allow you to have one shot of my liquor, but I get the rest of the bottle."

"Coco, you know what drinking too much whiskey does to your insides. I will not be happy to clean your litter box at the end of the day."

"Don't worry about that, we'll just use another envelope and try again."