Furball from Hell....or was it? 

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I couldn't remember what I'd ordered but I knew it wasn't whatever I'd just unwrapped. Being a moderately adventurous eater, I've grazed my way through sandwiches and wraps stuffed with more sprouts than substance but never... grass? Lawn grass? WTF?

The people sitting, standing and milling around me should have been a tipoff. Weirdly archetypal, they seemed only marginally human, a gathering of extras from a B-grade sci-fi flick pausing half way through their makeup sessions, resplendent with scars, missing parts, exoskeletal protuberances, hair that would have pushed the envelop at a punk rock festival. And they were eating things only partially recognizable as food.

Despite this freakish panorama, I seemed normal enough... or at least as normal as usual. And when I opened what the normalish looking woman behind the pickup window handed me, it didn't look particularly unusual — simple white speckled flour tortilla wrapped around a too-perfectly formed omelette, très ordinary. But then there was the explosion of lawn grass stuffed inside the egg, and what looked like fat sautéed onions wiggled around, revealing themselves to be fat earth worms. And it was dripping on my arm... and it was cold... and wet... and whining. Whining?

I woke up with Zippy the Dog rubbing his cold, wet nose on my forearm. He was whisper whining, desperate to get my attention. It took a few moments to break through the dream haze and while I might usually have been pissed off at the interruption, I was relieved to abort my culinary nightmare before I discovered the half worm or whatever other surprise treats were tucked inside my breaky burrito.

"Zippy, go lie down. It's too early to...." Too early? Too freakin' early; the clock across the room glowed 3:18 a.m.

As a rule, Zippy does not wake me up in the middle of the night. In his dotage, Zippy sleeps soundly for, on average, 19 hours each day. The remaining five hours are spent eating, begging for food, going for walks, his personal toilette and helping make dinner, his role approximating that of a garbage disposal.

I was, therefore, concerned.

"Don't tell me you need to go out," I pleaded.

He didn't, choosing instead to lie on the pillow on the floor beside the bed. After five minutes, he left. I waited for the whine at the door. Nothing. He went downstairs, fell asleep and I followed his example, hoping for a new dream, not a return to the snack bar from Hell.

The night passed without incident and at the crack of whatever cracks when there's a cloud cover dense enough to obliterate the weak Whistler sun until sometime around noon, I shuffled downstairs to start the coffee dripping.


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