Some “Walkers” come in peace, and they bring treats

sand snowmanIt’s become a thing.

Every Saturday morning, I’m a “Walker”. It’s how they refer to volunteer dog walkers at my local Humane League. Much like the ‘walkers’ you’ll find on The Walking Dead, I am given to stumbling through dark hallways and roaming dimly lit stairwells, but once I log in for the morning, the similarities go away. Because then I get to rapping with my four legged friends, much. My daughter finds it embarrassing and the staff members have to giggle at the stupid crap that comes out of my mouth, but I don’t care. If the sweet mongrels could talk, they’d probably say something like Hey man, cut the shit and walk me first!

Hero of My Week Pt. 1

Julia Lipnitskaia. This little pixie has nitro in her blades and Grace Kelly in her moves. She floored me with her gold medal winning performance in Sochi, and my reaction was a LOT more animated than Putin’s. Come on man, ditch the KGB veneer and pump your fist . . the girl nailed it!

As for the term, Walker, there exist many definitions independent of the creeping flesh collectors. To wit . . .

There’s Walker as in Scott- the Governor of Wisconsin– who loves recalls, and then there’s Walker as in the Mower Co., which doesn’t. There’s Walker as in Johnnie, whose smooth silky renderings cause you to say really stupid shit, and then there’s Walker as in Texas Ranger, who provides free dental work when you do so.

In a world full of walkers, zombies are currently the party in power. There are myriad reasons for this shift, not the least of which might have something to do with the Cleveland Browns ability to make us believe in such a thing as the walking dead. According to many sociologists, our affinity for zombies is a byproduct of tough times, and there might be something to that when you consider the languishing global economy, political unrest in many parts of the world and the stone cold fingerprints of climate change.

Vera Farmiga Hot ChocolateDear Vera,

I imagine you sipping on hot cocoa in some coffee shop. Maybe you’re fantasizing about life without Mr. Vera Farmiga. I’m here if you need to talk. And umm, if I had a girlfriend . . would that be a deal breaker?

Cayman’s Walking Dead Mid-Season Premiere Review:

I considered it a big ‘meh’. We learned the Governor is very much dead, and that Rick simply looks like death. After which we were given a look back and a look ahead, kinda sorta. But really, learning that Michone was a doting mother was a so what proposition since it was reasonable to assume she wasn’t dismembering people before the zombies came along. I want to know the genesis of those mad samurai skills, and I waited a couple months to get fed, so I think I’m owed more than a dream sequence. As for Carl’s teen spirit rebel yell through the neighborhood which ended in a pudding party? Puhleeze! Spare me the coming of age storyline. That’s pertinent when homecoming and driving tests are on the calendar . . not now. And what if Rick had died? Would Walking Dead have morphed into One Tree Hill with zombies? I shudder to think.

Hero of My Week Pt. 2

Justin Wadsworth– The Canadian ski coach ran onto the course and replaced Russian skier Anton Gafarov’s busted ski during the cross country competition, allowing him to finish the race. If that’s not the living, breathing definition of what the games are about . . it should be.

Indra Petersons

As I sit here buried under a foot of snow with more to come throughout the day and into the night . . the photograph to the left just might be the sexiest Godamned thing ever . No, not Indra. Temps in the 80’s!

Indra wasn’t the only worthwhile pursuit on a snowbound morning. I threw a perfecto with my chocolate chip/walnut/banana pancakes. Every last one of ’em was golden brown. (It doesn’t take much to get me excited.) I watched Blackfish on Netflix. Not since David Quammen’s archival primer Monster of God have I been this affected by the role man has played in laying waste to the planet’s most honorable tenants. I booked some Yankee tix with the boy to go see Jeter one last time. After which I read Lupica’s sensational piece about 2.

Hero of My Week Pt. 3

Michael Sam could have remained quiet about his lifestyle, especially with the NFL draft on his horizon. Instead, he chose to let the world know of his plans to become the first openly gay player in the league. And for all those NFL peeps who wonder how this will affect the locker room culture, I have to laugh. This is a league, after all, whose ‘culture’ has celebrated O.J. Simpson, Rae Carruth, Sam Hurd, Aaron Hernandez and Michael Vick- to name just a few. Methinks it’s time the league got used to the more constructive aspects of machismo.

I’ll end things with a ‘lil story about my life as a ‘walker’. It happened last Saturday morning when I leashed Cosmo for his walk. The Brindle Pit bull was my last walk of the day. Short and squat with a clumsy gait befitting his fireplug physique, he was happy to have finally made my acquaintance and the feeling was mutual. We trudged over ice and snow before coming to the enclosed pen, where I set him loose before moving to the gazebo in the center of the property. A while later, I tried talking him into a game of fetch, failing miserably. We played tug of war with a pull toy until he decided he didn’t feel like sharing it any longer. So I moved back to the gazebo and sat down. Cosmo came over and sat right on my feet, and I rewarded him with a neck massage. We sat there together in the quiet of a frosty morning. The knowing of each other wasn’t going to last, and that was okay. All that really mattered was the moment we got to share, the bond we formed inside fifteen minutes time. He came to understand my inflections and I came to understand his eyes. Now, communication can be dolled up in Longfellow, and that’s a beautiful thing. But man, if there ain’t some real magic to the silence. The beasts are simple with their smarts, as I’m always learning anew.

Seems like I’ve got miles to go.

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13 thoughts on “Some “Walkers” come in peace, and they bring treats

  1. Most of the important communication happens in the silence.
    Sounds like you had a pretty good week.

    I hope Michael Sams gets drafted and has a great career.. Boy, wouldn’t that be a kick in the head for some.

  2. Well you served up another fine read. I am feeling full of your experiences and need to push back from the serving tray. I enjoyed the Vera image and yes it would matter if you had a girl friend. (this is something Vera does not need to know) I have two dogs that need walking and I think you nailed the relationship. Sad to think those moments at the shelter can’t go on forever (not for you, but for the dog). I wish everyone who decided to get a dog would have to sign a legal paper which required: If the dog is found abandoned the person would have to live in the shelter until a more caring person showed up to take them to a forever home. Love Mr. Johnny Walker Black and would say since one wife was named Walker, Mr. John is the only Walker I now really care for. Great post.

  3. Aww…you and Cosmo. What a team. That’s a nice thing you do, Mr. Thorn. Good on you.

    Sorry, the WD season premier was disappointing. I know how much you and a few others were anticipating it. I’ve never seen the show (on account of the gross factor). But I loved Christy’s Words for the Weekend dedicated to all things dead, dying, and zombie-like. Your story was brilliant!! And it made me cry.

    You tell a good story, Cayman. You should tell more.

    As for Michael Sam, I hope he does for the NFL what Jackie Robinson did for Major League Baseball – smash some more god-dam barriers. It’s about talent, people, not race, religion or sexual orientation.

    Stay warm tomorrow, walker. . .

    • Cosmo was good people, and I am happy to report he has found a home.
      Walking Dead is really good at building the story line into a gut wrenching (eating) conclusion, so I’m not daunted by the first quarter score on this episode. They’ll bring it before too long.
      Thank you on the storytelling. Yeah, as a freelance writer of real life stuff, I’ve never taken the other side seriously enough. But fiction? Man, it is fun stuff.
      Michael Sam is Ellen Page is every kid who has hidden from their truth simply because the rest of the world is mean and stupid. I hope these kids outlive the hatred they were born into. By years and years and years.

  4. Here here to fireplug physiques, and to not needing the kind of walker that holds you up when your knees give out. You are a funny and gifted writer! Of course, anyone whose blog is drinkswellwithothers has a leg up. Not as in a dog’s leg up. Cheers and happy walking with caninities.

    • jbw- When I’m away and I get back to a comment like this? Well, it’s why I love this blog and don’t ever want to let it go. The sweet mongrels worked me overtime yesterday morning. We had 14 dogs up for adoption…what a workout I got. But I loves them something awful. Thanks for the awesome comment.

  5. This post had it all… I like the way you “ramble on,” Cayman, to quote a Plant.

    And as of I could like you any more, I learn you volunteer at an animal shelter? Very cool.

    Loved this: “He came to understand my inflections and I came to understand his eyes.” — Longfellow, who?

    • Running- It was most definitely a ramble I went on. That’s what happens when I can’t quiet the voices in my head . . they all want to speak at once. And yes, Saturday mornings with the dogs is one of my favorite places in the world. My girlfriend has taken to calling me “The Dog Whisperer” after I took her by the Humane League on Friday night. I am in love with these creatures, and I always end their walk by taking their little faces in my hand, giving them a kiss and telling them “I never want to see you again.” . . because it means they found their home. Best stuff, evah. And Longfellow is what THEY write, I’m just scribing.

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