Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 16, 2015

Are We There Yet?

At a recent dinner party, it became quickly obvious that I’d picked the wrong weekend to begin the Atkins diet, new year or not, but still felt I’d done pretty good by skipping the rolls, cake, and ice cream, not to mention the second, third, and fourth beers. (OK, there were those two glasses of cabernet that somehow ended up in my hand.)

After the dinner, someone mentioned an old classic that everyone there had seen at least a dozen times, and they began quoting their favorite lines, which everyone knows so well. I would wager there are less than 50 people alive from my generation who don’t automatically make a horse sound when they hear the words, “Frau Blucher!”

After everyone had gotten their Mel Brooks fix for the night, Claudia, the preachers wife, kept us rolling with a story about a dog they once had named Bopper, which was short for something like “Sir Oregano of Boppington.”

“Oh a pedigree,” I said with nearly as much admiration shown since her “Young Frankenstein” revelation.

“No, he was just a muttly Beagle-type dog,” she said. “We just wanted him to sound important.”

Claudia went on to tell that something had happened to Bopper when he was around three, and from then on, he was never a very happy or nice dog.

“Then one day,” she continued, “Phillip came home and said, ‘I think I just saw Bopper out on the highway.’”

Phillip is Claudia’s husband.

“What was he doing?” Claudia asked.

“Lying in the road,” was Phillip’s answer.

While trying to decide what to do next, the phone rang, and when Phillip answered, the person on the other end said, “I think I just saw Bopper out on the highway.”

Now having confirmation, Phillip headed out to get poor Bopper, and when he returned home, he and Claudia and their seven children had a funeral for their less-than-lovable pet in the back yard.

One day, a week or so later, the family was having a meal at the kitchen table. It was by a window, which looked out into the back yard.

“Next door to us were two big dogs, I think they were Australian Wolfhounds or something,” Claudia said.

“I noticed they were digging by the fence but didn’t pay much attention. After a few minutes, though, I looked up again, and they were now in our yard and digging where we’d buried poor Bopper. Thankfully, I was the only one so far who was witnessing what was happening. Phillip’s back was to the window, and I told him calmly but firmly to shut the blinds. He looked at me strangely and didn’t answer.

“At this point, the dogs were digging much faster, and were already pretty deep. I knew it was just a matter of seconds. ‘Shut the blinds NOW honey,’ I said again while trying to remain composed and not yell. He just looked at me more confused.

“But it was too late; the dogs had what they wanted. I said, ‘Shut the blinds, shut the blinds, for God’s sake, shut the blinds!!!’

“Phillip turned around, and when he saw the scene of the two hounds running through the yard with what was left of poor Bopper, he let out a scream.

“This caused all the children to look out the window and let out screams. All I could do was let out a scream, too,” Claudia said.

So ended the story of “Poor Bopper.” At least his legacy as a dinner party tale lives on.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.