This is how the dog Gracie becomes a rare priceless dog sought after by many round the globe. The last episode’s piercing scream is like a extremely misplaced and most unwelcome nightmare drama being enacted in the dead of the night with realer than life spiritual alien actors/actresses suddenly infesting this normally peace loving and silence-obsessed community of retiree teachers tech-nerds-to-be. I run to the curtained window as usual and peep into the dark. Has an intruder suddenly appeared and attempted to rob my former English teacher who has just returned to her house alone and found that he has encountered a most ferocious umbrella wielding nemesis instead? I mean, in the dead of the night she could be mistaken as the most frightening apparition as she races down the street in her victorian white gown, white head-full of white glistening rollers and wielding a specially coated sleek-white umbrella that sparkles in white light in the dark, shrieking as piercing as she is accustomed to.
My dog Gracie decides she is not going to be left out of the fun. She starts her unique loud whimpering and squeaky barking like she does when she is uncertain whether her imagined nemesis is a physical creature or a spiritual thing. The screaming and shrieking and barking are growing louder and nearer to my house! I can feel the chills. I am out of control. I decide to fortify myself by turning on all the flood lights outside and the BASEL TATTOO 2016 “TOP SECRET” Drum Corps sound effect. The gun-like drum sound is of course my camouflage.
Alas, soon the outside sound seems to be drowning out my drum corps! Through the curtain I detect three persons at my front porch, no, actually four. The fourth party is Gracie the brave dog. One party runs away. One other party is my former English teacher (aka my grand-aunt). She is on the heel of the masked man who tries to do his great escape from her. She finally catches up at my front door. Gracie too has joined in the confrontation by biting his right heel. The grand aunt points the sword like tip of her steel umbrella at his chest displaying a modern rendition of the Disney’s Zorro (1957–59)with his sword. Now that the war is won by my two accomplices I venture to open the door. The masked man pulls down his mask and shouts at me, “You nincompoop! Get this creature off me!” I don’t know which one he means, but I get a shock at his revealed identity.
“Boss! How did you find me? Why do you wear a mask? ” My turn to panic.
The boss puts back his mask and continues to shout, “Get me to the clinic!”
“Huh, what for, boss are you sick?” I ask.
“Rabies! Tetanus! Nincompoop!”
I get the point. So I remove Gracie from his heel, pull down his sock and show him it is intact. There is not even a scratch. Gracie has become a master of dog-bite dexterity after thousands (or maybe hundreds or less) of little harmless bites of heels. She doesn’t really bite. She bites without actually biting as she hates the taste of blood. The boss examines every inch of his heel and finally warns me, “OK this time you get off. I will sue you to your last pair of pants next time for causing undue mental and emotional injuries.”
“Well, boss, you will need to sue Dronesville as Gracie is the community’s honorary resident and mascot of the senior nerds’ football club.”
“What kind of football? You are trying to fool me? I know the residents are 90% of 65 and above. There is no way they play football!”
“Ha, you are wrong, mister, we play a virtual football tournament and are among the top ten ranking!” My former English teacher corrects him.
“Who is this, ahem, gentlewoman?” The boss asks politely as he decides not to offend her.
The boss is an English gentleman and expects woman to be gentlewoman. At the introduction of his noble background, the grand-aunt is impressed and courtesies to him, addressing him “My Lord.” They immediately start exchanging polite small talk about the recent bouts of poor weather like they are at an afternoon tea party in the English garden of his Lordship.
“But, boss, why are you wearing a mask?” I am now obsessed with his sudden masked appearance at my doorstep.
“O, this?” He whispers mysteriously into my ear, “this is no ordinary mask. It is a hacker-proof communication filter through the quantum satellite we have just succeeded in putting to space.”
“What? I thought only the Chinese just put the quantum satellite up? How did you get it?” I just read the tech news two days ago of China’s announcement of another space success.
“Hahaha, how do I get other things? Huh?” The boss’ turn to laugh at my naivety.
I know. Never mind. But why is he here? He seems to read my thought. “To be frank with you I am here personally because I need your service urgently and it is a top secret. Not your Top Secret Drum Corps, you nincompoop. I cannot wait. Don’t argue or say a word. Just listen and obey! Got it?”
What choice do I have? I shut up and nod my head. Meanwhile he has plastered my grand-aunt (former English teacher) with humongous flattery and she leaves with a good feeling.
The boss tells me his latest discovery and plan. We are to leave without delay. I say yes. But he has a rare request/command, “I want that rare dog to go with us too!”
“What?” I cannot believe my ear. He repeats his statement and then tells me to get ready to depart in 24 hours. Then he vanishes into the dark, leaving me alone with my seemingly ordinary dog who is innocently waging her tail and grinning from ear to ear, expecting a dog treat for her bravery in biting the heel of the boss. How little does she know her fate of becoming the top secret and top sought after rare dog in the next episode. (To be continued)