Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 16, 2015

View from the Cheap Seats

Reality check 

So, at some point in the middle of December, I go to Home Depot for some type of plug or electric cord to use on the multitude of blow ups I was using to decorate the outside of my house for Christmas. There were no lights on the house this year other than the ones in the blow ups themselves and the spotlights I used to illuminate them properly after the sun went down. While I’m there, I come across a large presentation of poinsettia bushes. They were just the right size to put on the table without taking up too much room. I recall thinking they were priced for quick sale, so I bought one and took it home.

A couple of days later, I decided the plant was looking a little wilted and needed some water. The plant was wrapped with some foil paper that kind of bunched up at the point where the stems could first be seen. I got a glass of water, poured it inside the foil, and didn’t think about it again until the next day, when I saw Patti had put a napkin underneath it because water had leaked all over the table. Figuring I’d just overwatered the plant, I waited a few more days and put some more water in it.

A couple of days before Christmas, we were getting ready to eat dinner, so I grabbed the plant. While moving it, I noticed it was planted in a very stiff foam. The plant was, in fact, fake. The weird thing is I’m glad it’s fake because I can use it next year. The real irony of the situation is that I wouldn’t have bought it if I’d known it was fake. Now that I know, I wish I’d bought more.

Chase’s odyssey

Last Sunday, it was only my son, Trevor, and I at the house. We went to the store. When we came home, we left the door open and our dog got out. His name is Chase. The thing that made matters worse was that we didn’t figure out that he was missing for almost two hours. The next two hours was filled with driving around and knocking on the doors of our neighbors to see if they’d seen my missing puppy. It was also speckled with uncomfortable conversations on the cell phone with Patti trying to explain how I let this happen. Then, Patti saved the day. She decided we should put something on Facebook to try to find him. Three hours later, Ashley Hudson contacted Patti and told her she knew who found our dog.

Apparently, the dog had roamed a street over and was playing recklessly in the road. Thankfully, they took him home. When we picked up Chase, the lady that found him told us our dog had slept with her two dogs on her bed. He reportedly ate treats all night long. He had himself a real “doggy vacation.” A paranoid man would worry she was making the dog a little too comfortable, and he might not want to come home. Like it or not, he had to come home. We put a chip in him this week so we can track him the next time he disappears.

The fake plant showed me that all is not what it seems to be, and we often see what we want to see. Losing the dog showed me how much I like having him around, and how much I’m going to miss him when he’s gone. Neither lesson has anything to do with the other, but it doesn’t diminish their value. Some lessons just stand on their own. That’s a fact, even in the CHEAP SEATS!

Bill James is a criminal defense lawyer and founder of the James Law Firm, with offices in Little Rock, Conway, and Fayetteville. He’s turning 50 next week, and isn’t sure how he feels about it. He may be contacted at Bill@JamesFirm.com.