Linus is here again. Both front feet propped up on the office chair, looking at me with his sweet, pleading cow eyes.
Linus is here to tell me about the men.
I know all about the men, as I wrote their boss a massive check in order to have them come out and hammer endlessly on my little white house. But Linus doesn't understand, no matter how many times Mama tries to explain that we need the men. How else is Mama going to lure someone into buying this house despite the ancient plaster walls that mean you can't hammer a simple nail without possibly destroying a 2 ft square of surface? Or the temperamental heating system that will occasionally, and usually on the coldest night of the year at approximately 3 AM, just STOP HEATING ANYTHING AT ALL, so that at 4 AM, when Mama wakes up to find it's now 50 degrees and dropping steadily, she must go into the dark and scary basement (where it's actually warmer, somehow?) and simply tap on the side of The Beast, no kidding, and it will again begin heating, though possibly also poisoning the family with gas fumes. You see, Linus, this is the only way. Lure them with the adorable outside, and maybe just maybe they won't care about the potential need for rewiring the whole house.
Linus is inconsolable.
The men show up everyday, and they smoke and they listen to Classic Rock and they hammer and they saw. They are relentless, says Linus. They even showed up today, when Mama said they wouldn't, because it was raining. The men are working hard, but Linus does not care. They are strangers, and no matter what Mama says, Linus is pretty damn sure strangers don't belong on ladders in his yard, banging on the house. He growls occasionally, a low, tiny protest, which is all he can muster because Mama keeps saying, "NO! No barking! They are allowed to be here!" He boofs. You know the boof, right? It's not a bark, it's not a woof, it's like barking under your breath, just a small, "HEY." "HEY. . . Something's not right. . . Hey. . . hey." He boofs, and then Mama says, "No boofing!", and he boofs, this time a bit more quietly. And she scolds, "Linus, I said NO boofing!" And he lays his head down on his paws, his worried little brow furrowed and his ears ever at attention, and he boofs again in protest, almost silently, like a grumbling uncle. boof. As if to say, FINE, but I still don't trust those men and neither should you.
The rain has started again, and the men have decided to leave for now. I let Linus know all is well. "They're gone, buddy. The men have gone now. Everything's fine." He curls up in a ball next to Lucy on the couch, and finally closes his little eyes for a nap. But his ears--oh!--his ears remain at attention. He may need to alert the family at any moment, for you never know when the men are coming back.