Nothing wakes you up from a dead sleep more effectively than the sound of a pet quietly retching on your new carpet at five in the morning.
“SON of a -” I stumbled toward the kitchen while my wife rolled out of her side of the bed and led the dog to the backyard. She was already dropping back onto her pillow by the time I’d got back with paper towels in hand.
“Ugh…” I wiped at the viscous puddle, giving thanks for the stain resistant carpet coating. Extra cost – SO worth it. “And what a surprise – a big clump of cloth.”
“Wha…” my wife’s voice crawled muzzily out of the comforter. “Where’s he getting that stuff?”
“I’ll give you one clue,” I said, plucking the wad off the carpet. “Red felt.”
She groaned. “Gnomes? Again?!”
“Looks like it.” I peered at the fuzzy, soggy glob. “Maybe two or three.”
“And just the hats?”
“Just the hats.” I pushed myself to my feet. Maybe their clothes are some other … thing. Substance. Whatever.”
“Maybe it’s just… skin.” I shrugged. “Explains why there’s never any belt buckles.”
No reply from the bed while I shuffled into the bathroom and dropped the wad of sogginess into the trash. She sat up as I turned around.
“Well, I’m not going back to sleep with that image in my head.”
She stood, and we headed back toward the kitchen, breakfast, and an apologetic dog by the back door.
“Maybe he’s making a political statement,” I said.
“The red caps. Maybe…” I trailed off, staring down at the dog through the screen, trying to turn MAGA into Munch A Gnome… Something.
I shook my head and opened the door. “Nevermind. I need coffee.”