Saturday, August 29, 2009

Living with the Famous

The joke in our house is that hubby is famous...but the phrase is supposed to be "RICH and famous". Owning an Archery Shop, he has customers from all over our state, plus surrounding states. When his military clientele get reassigned, they still call him for their archery needs, thus making his customers literally everywhere. The farthest we've ever shipped a package was to the North Pole. I kid you not. I mailed the package myself while the guy at the Post Office wanted to know if we were taking over Santa's territory.

Hubby is the kind of guy who can talk to anyone and make you instantly feel at home. Which is probably why we're constantly stopped in the grocery store or while shopping with guys yelling, "Hey! Can I ask you a quick question?" It's like being a doctor, only the paycheck is smaller. The questions never have short answers and there's always a follow up question...or two or three. I've learned to smile and stand still. You shift your weight from one foot to the next and you suddenly become the-woman-with-no-patience-for-those-who-own-a-bow. Hey, it's the price you pay for living with the famous.

Because of the kind of guy he is and the type of work he does, Hubby has been in the newspaper more than once. On those days I kid him that his P.R. person needs to work more on "rich" and less on "famous". He'll then remind me it's all my fault. After all, he's pointed out, you're the one who mentioned my job to a friend who works at the newspaper. They've done a couple of stories on him, his shop and the alligator he got last year. He's also their "go-to" person for certain types of outdoor stories. And even I have to admit that he can really spin a good yarn with a crowd present.

Friday, as I drove out the driveway dreading going to a job I no longer love, I stopped to retrieve the newspaper. As I sat there, mood somewhere between disgusted and semi-depressed at the realization that having a brain and using it is considered bad form at work, I opened the paper. Turning to a section for our part of the County I found a headline which read, "Area Resident Gaining Legendary Status." Here's a picture of the legend.

This is Smokey....
our eldest child.
He thinks he's a person.
Evidently so does the newspaper.

Talk about feeling like a 2 legged failure. Even the dog has become famous.

Sitting in the driveway, I read of how Smokey, trusted hunting companion of Hubby, has become well known throughout the county for his ability to find deer. There are lots of hunters in our area...and evidently plenty of them aren't so good at finding what they thought they'd hunted. I should know because during deer season, which runs August to Jan. 1st around here, there are lots of pitiful phone calls in the evening from guys who believe they've got a trophy, deer but have um...misplaced it. They use to call Hubby. Now the calls start with, "Um, is Smokey home? I need some help."

It's partly my fault, I guess. Bored with the monotony of taking these calls I created a tongue-in-cheek business card for Smokey, complete with really bad puns. It ends with, "Have your people call my people." His picture is even on it.

Now before you ask, no I'm not one of those people who dresses dogs up for fun. No, I'm the idiot who thought it would be fun one year to create a calendar for Hubby's shop for Christmas which featured Smokey as the monthly pinup. Now it's become a tradition and the calendar is so popular people actually take it off the wall to page through the entire thing. One guy claimed he just couldn't wait until the next month to see what Smokey was doing. Can't imagine why Smokey grimaces when he sees me and a camera.

Then again, it's my way of getting even with him.
I mean after all,
I just got up off the couch to use the restroom one cold winter night and .....

I digress.

The article wasn't the best I've ever read and Hubby was somewhat disappointed. He also wasn't thrilled because he's never had to live through the joy of being misquoted or had his words taken out of context...which was made worse by a reporter not from this area trying to add his own "local flavor" and failing miserably. Although they used the wrong photo, Smokey's son Boudreaux even managed to be included in the story, which featured him as striving to be "just like Dad".


Oh well, it could be worse. I may not love my job right now, but at least I didn't pick up the paper and read that my kids had robbed a bank or murdered someone during an argument over nothing. In fact, they actually save me money at times. Look Kim, you don't need Photoshop when you have a nosy kid like Bou who tries to look into the camera from the wrong side.

No, we have raised "Legendary"
and "Working on becoming Legendary".
At least I have less grey hair than anyone in the house,
especially since Bou is currently working on a grey goatee.

And so, I go on.
Outnumbered by the testosterone of two species
and unwitting P.R. agent for all three of the "guys" at home.

Hey kid, you'd better not be laughing AT me.


steven said...

a great post - with lots of your good humour!!! now hope, you know that they'd be nothing without the support they undoubtedly get at home right?!!!
excellent pics of your dog by the way - i loved the muzzle right up the lens shot especially although my daughter loves the rolling on the ground in laughter picture!!!!
i have to ask - is there an archery range at the north pole then?!!!!! have a lovely day, steven

Poetikat said...

Oh, I can see why the dog is famous. He's a real charmer! (I assume your husband is as well, Hope.)


hope said...

Thanks Steven. If I lost my sense of humor, they'd have to shoot me. :) Your daughter and I agree...Smokey seems like he's laughing his head off when in fact he's just scratching his back. But the whole time he's rolling back and forth, he's grunting like a little old man and I swear it sounds like he's also laughing. I'm not sure if Santa has an archery range, but someone up there has arrows. :) Hmmm, wonder if Santa used an alias to get arrows?

Yep Kat, the 2 legged boy at home is a charmer as well. He keeps telling me that I need to write down his stories but I swear half the fun is listening to him TELL them. He can mimic lots of accents which you can't do as well on paper. One of those stories is how Boudreaux got his name....from a Cajun hunter who was visiting. Hubby says Bou walks just as slow as his molasses in winter. Never seen a Chocolate Lab STROLL to retrieve a ball until Bou. :)

Titus said...

hope, I must print this off and take it up to my father-in-law. He was the local councillor here until he lost his seat(?) in the last election, and went from being someone kind of important back to, well, being just himself again. A year later, taking the real dog Titus for a walk around the village (no idea why, it's not usual) he was somewhat affronted when everybody he met greeted him with "Hi, is that Titus" (obviously I am the one who usually walks the dog). So it's a world-wide phenomenon. People like furry things.
Dogs are spectacular though. Are they coon hounds? I've always wanted a coon hound. I just love the name.

So much recognition in your lamenting the calendar's transition from a one-off into a tradition! Haven't we all been there (well, not with the dog calendar specifically, but you know what I mean).
Sorry job is not going well, change does come when it's ready to. As a P.R. you're obviously doing a mighty fine job, but as a writer, you're better.

hope said...

Titus, please do! And tell you father-in-law this: Hubby and Smokey were out looking for a deer when Smokey got too far ahead. Hubby and his buddy were walking down the road when an older gentleman in a truck stopped and asked, "You looking for Smokey? He went that way." Before Hubby could thank the stranger, the man added, "Yeah, that fella at the archery place sure has a good dog in Smokey".

I think Hubby's ego hit rock bottom...first time someone knew the dog but didn't recognize the man. :)

Both dogs are Chocolate Labrador Retrievers...although Bou usually retrieves in slow motion, as if doing us a favor.

Thanks for the job sympathy. It just keeps getting worse and worse and only the lousy economy has kept me from telling the powers that be what they can to with their job. Sigh. I know, without ego talking here, that I'm better than this and I hate being forced to live DOWN to the standards of my lazy co-workers. There's got to be something better out there...I just wish it would jump up and down and wave at me. :)

Anonymous said...

I can empathise to a point. My wife has been in the paper on a number of occasions, her son did a television ad many, many year ago and our dog got a mention in the paper within 6 months of our getting her!

As for me... I'm happy if someone remembers my coffee order. Don't they know who I am (not)?

Rachel Fox said...

Smart dog!

hope said...

Matthew, I guess it's like that Will Rogers quote, "We can't all be heroes. Someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." Make sure you leave me some room on the curb next to you...I'll even bring your coffee. :)

Rachel...TOO smart. ;)

Eryl Shields said...

Beautiful dogs.

For years I was known as 'Bob's mum' and/or 'Steve's wife' and found it either amusing or irritating depending on my mood, then when people started calling me by my name again it felt peculiar.

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

Great post Hope, sorry that you've gone to the Dog's so to speak. I loved your Humor and the Pictures.

hope said...

Eryl, life is funny. When someone addresses me as Mrs...I keep turning around to look for hubby's Mom, even after all these years. :)

Thanks Bill. If it wasn't for the sense of humor, I'd be in deep trouble. And the dogs listen better than the kids I work with. ;)

Brighid said...

Great post, love your tales and the boys.
Maybe you should start a personal calendar business. There's got to be others out there that would love to have one of their dogs, cats, goats, tractors, etc.

Dr.John said...

Now that was funny and yet at points sad. Sorry about your job.

hope said...

Brighid, hubby has had customers for so long, they all come in and start looking around, trying to be casual. When Hubby asks what they need, they hesitantly ask if Smokey is um...still around. Hubby points under the counter and to a person the customer will sigh and say, "I was afraid to ask" before rubbing Smokey's head. My biggest fear is that they'll all bring their dogs and want their own calendar. :)

Thanks, Dr. John. When life becomes not so fun, I tend to use my sense of humor to turn things around. I figure God has better plans for me, I just have to be patient a little while longer.

Susan at Stony River said...

This is wonderful! I wish I could have seen the article, but that's a wonderful photo of Smokey---and the business card with 'have my people call your people' is hilarious.

Archery supplies going to the North Pole...hmm. I need to tell my children this. It might be more incentive to be good this year!