Lunch with Stanley.

       Ships Point.   In this safe and quiet hamlet by the sea life is generally predicable and we live the dream.  Occasionally there is the odd incident so it is prudent to lock our vehicles up at night. But some don’t, and this story is an example of how that can go very wrong.

     Early most evenings Stanley, the resident and wandering mutt, will hunt around for a place to sleep for the night. The tried and true spots are always there, but he’s a drifter and so he is always on the lookout for a new place to bed down. On this particular evening he ambled along Ships Point Road, just at Baynes where the road takes a bend and heads out to the main road. There is a little-known beach access pathway there. It’s rarely used and there is a sheltered lean-to tucked part way down.

     But on this particular evening Stanley was looking for something a little classier than that. The best hotel in all of the Point was a truck. And there it was, parked just inside the roadway, as usual, and per usual it was unlocked!

     Stanley, being the resourceful fellow he is, pulled a crowbar out of his back pocket, clamped it in his teeth and gently pried the door open. Then he scrambled over the driver side, and settled down in the passenger seat. He slowly raised his head and had a quick check around to make sure he hadn’t been seen. All Clear. There was a faint smell of chocolate somewhere. He pawed the glove box open, dragged it out with his teeth and finished it off in one chomp. Now everyone knows that chocolate is bad for dogs, really bad. 

     This brings us to something that is difficult to describe until you’ve had the unfortunate experience. Stanley may look tough, but he has a very delicate stomach and when it’s upset you will certainly know. Let’s call it the Stanley Steamer. It’s a noxious cloud worse than fresh manure or anything rotting on the beach. If you missed putting your garbage can out for 2 weeks you get the whiff-jist. 

     So now, it’s 11pm Stanley and is sleeping in the truck and it smells like someone shot a skunk and tossed it in the cab. Slightly sensitive to his own aftershave, Stanley rolled down the window for some breathable air, then curled up on the seat and fell into a content sleep till morning. 

     He was not expecting his wake-up call. A man opened the truck door and jumped into the driver seat. Only then did he realize that the rug on the next seat was actually a dog. Both man and dog looked at each other for a moment and assessed that there was no threat. Then, (let’s call him Billy Bob), said “Well, I’m going to Buckley Bay for gas. If you’re coming buckle up.” From the casual way this happened I have to believe that Stanley had slept in the truck before and they actually knew each other. Dog disdained to buckle up, but since the window was already rolled down he stuck his head through and let the wind lift his airplane helmet ears. The breeze also helped to remove the last evidence of the unfortunate chocolate incident and made for an almost pleasant drive.

     Once at the gas station Billy Bob waited for a couple of cars to move ahead, and then started to fill the tank. He didn’t see Stanley get out of the truck and was surprised to see him with a Subway sandwich between his paws. It was a foot long meatball sandwich with all the trimmings including hot peppers. Stanley nudged part of the sandwich over to Billy Bob. It actually looked really fresh and it still had most of the wrapper on it. Why not? Billy Bob picked up the sandwich, took a bite and this is the part that went wrong. A very angry man was striding toward the truck waving his arms and yelling “Hey, your dog stole my sandwich!” Billy Bob instantly knew what had happened and that this man was not going to be reasonable. Just as the cyclops got to the truck Billy Bob threw the truck into gear and spun out of the gas station. He yelled at Stanley, “Hold on boy”!  Stanley was crushed into the door but managed to keep the meatball sandwich clamped in his mouth.

     Finally, back in Billy Bob’s driveway, and with hearts pounding, both man and dog had a difference of opinions. It was going to take some stern talk to get through Stanley’s bony head.  Sloppy table manners and grand theft at a gas station are not acceptable.  He had just grabbed the dog by his ears when the hot banana peppers hit bottom. Stanley’s bottom, and the Stanley Steamer. Billy Bob took one acrid breath, his eyes rolled back and he tumbled out of the truck.  Effectively, that was the end of any discussion, and the end of this chapter in the ongoing Stanley chronicles.

Lock up your vehicles.