Meat Pickup. GONE AWRY.

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“I was promised beef heart with dinner. Tonight.” *sigh*

Let’s play a game.

Imagine you’re parked in the lot of a fast food joint (you pick which) waiting for . . . Something. You’re a kindly-looking middle-aged fellow in a pick-up truck, which suggests that something is probably not your crack dealer, so pick something else. Maybe you’re waiting to meet a friend for a road trip caravan. Your truck is running, because it’s fricking freezing outside, and you’re reading a newspaper. You’re minding your own business and having a lovely Friday morning.

And then a car pulls in next to you. A Mini, driven by a smallish thirty-something woman in a fuchsia puffer coat, pink hat with ear flaps, and turquoise fingerless mittens dotted with rhinestones. She is wearing sunglasses, and she is looking at you.

You know that she is looking at you because there she sits, nose-in her parking space whereas you’ve backed into yours, and her body is physically turned so that she can look at you. No. She isn’t just looking at you. She’s watching you. And occasionally glancing at her phone to check the time. She, too, seems to be waiting for something. But whatever she’s waiting for . . . involves you.

You take a quick inventory of any college flings that might have unknowingly produced such a pink and besparkled offspring, but you come up blank. And so you briefly allow yourself to consider that perhaps your loving wife has kept a secret from you. Perhaps something from that year you spent as special attaché to Southeast Asia after Nam. But no. Ethel would never. So then who . . .

That feeling you’re feeling? That prickly-necked inclination to giggle in the face of an incongruous fear?

That’s probably very similar to the feels that we’re happening to the kindly-looking middle-aged fellow in the truck next to me this morning, as I sat watching him, assuming he was also there for the slightly surreptitious meat pick-up.

But he wasn’t. Oh no. He wasn’t . . .

REWIND.

I recently switched The Critters to a raw diet. I’d been kicking around the idea of raw feeding since my pre-dog days, but some recent health problems with both my and not-my critters finally gave me the pants kicking I needed to go down that particular rabbit hole. I should note that I really like doing things that require some level of obsession, and so the kind of simmering white noise of “where do you get your meeeeeaaaaat???!?!!!???” that seems to play heavily in the raw feeding groups is totally my jam. So when I was informed, by the amazing dog behaviorist/trainer that is helping me to save my dogs from myself, of a raw meat coop thing that met behind a McDonalds to swap cash and checks for meat I was in. I was SO IN. I eagerly placed an order and penciled in the pick-up date: 12/13. I put this in not one but two calendars because I really didn’t want to forget.

So when this morning rolled around I awoke anxious. Excited. Not only is it my lucky day (Friday the 13th) but today is THE day.

Meat pickup day.

The whole thing is entirely innocuous: it’s people buying meat from people who produce meat. But it’s meat purchased for critters, in a town I’ve never been to and, lets face it, I don’t get out much, so the idea of a meat deal behind a Micky D’s is HIGH INTRIGUE. What will the meat people be like? Will there be sidelong glances around the parking lot? Or attempted grace and ninja heaving of 40lb boxes of chicken thighs into the vehicles of the willing? It certainly seemed like a pretty excellent adventure for a cold Friday morning, anyway.

It was with that sense of adventure that I donned my pinkest outerwear and my sparkliest fingerless mittens and coerced a reluctant beagle into his crate with peanut butter, chicken, and the promise to return posthaste.

Off I zoomed to meet my destiny! I allowed 10 extra minutes. Just in case. I didn’t want to be late.

But destiny would have to wait.

Because after 20 minutes of staring at Truck Guy–waiting for some universally understood “MEAT IS HERE!!!” sign–and a couple awkwardly vague texts to aforementioned amazing dog behaviorist/trainer, I was delivered unto the knowledge that meat pickup day was actually on Saturday.

Which, you know, was totally cool because I really just wanted a sausage biscuit anyway sooooooooooo . . . Whatevs. *sniff*

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