From the corner of my eye I could see Peroxide rushing toward me. “Anthony, do you have a camera?” “Uh huh.” “I want you to take a picture of me and Ginger.” Ginger was a Chihuahua that Peroxide had stolen from her former neighbors because they had a barbecue and didn’t invite her. Now that Peroxide had moved to another town, no one knew the thief’s identity, except of course, Ginger.
Ginger hated Peroxide with every Mexican fiber of her being. Whenever Peroxide walked into her own house, Ginger snapped and growled and tore through sofa pillows, her head doing frenzied figure eights until stuffing filled the air.
“Look at THIS, Anthony!” Peroxide beamed with pride. She showed me a sketch of a stick person walking a stick dog. “What is it?” I asked. “Flashleash!” “What’s flashleash?” “It’s a dog leash with a flashlight attached, so you can walk your dog at night!” I tried to be supportive. “That sounds like a good idea! But how are you going to keep the flashlight steady if it’s dangling on a chain?” I asked. Peroxide had thought it all out. “It’s not a chain. It’s a stick!” I tried to think of a diplomatic way to ask my next question. “Are you going to walk Ginger on a stick?” “It’s perfect!” she shouted. “I can’t believe no one’s thought of this before! That son of a bitch is gonna be sorry when he sees me on TV with this. This is a million dollar idea, Anthony!” She ran to the pantry and brought out a beheaded broomstick with a flashlight duck taped to one end and Ginger’s collar taped to the opposite end. “Ginger! C’mon! Let’s go for a walk!” For the next few minutes Peroxide wrestled Ginger into her collar at the end of a broomstick.
We stepped outside just after dusk. When Peroxide walked forward, Ginger was pushed ahead by the force of the broomstick. Ginger turned to curse at Peroxide, and the flashlight gave her demon eyes. If Peroxide moved her arm to the left, Ginger flew at a wide and involuntary 45 degree arc in a spotlight. “See? It’s perfect!” Peroxide cheered as she moved her arm back to the right, sending the illuminated Chihuahua sailing over the grass. For ten minutes we walked the field behind Peroxide’s home, waving a spotlighted Chihuahua this way and that.
The next morning I took pictures of Peroxide and Ginger next to the Cadillac. Peroxide, smiling broadly in a yellow pant suit with hair souffled atop her head, holding a broomstick with a furious Chihuahua taped to the end. Peroxide wanted the picture to go to the Patent Office. I thought it should go to PETA. “Maybe we should take a picture of just you and the Flashleash, and leave Ginger inside” I suggested.
I took several pictures of Peroxide holding a stick, first in the left hand, then the right. “See! Anybody can use it!” she shouted.
After dinner we began writing the instructional brochure which would accompany Flashleash. “That bastard can rot in hell,” she scowled. “Do you know what he used to call me? Lacksadaisy! I’m not lacksadaisy, Anthony! I work for my money! This is a million dollar idea! I’m gonna be swimming in money!” The letter to the Patent office was mailed the next day. The blueprints for Flashleash were stored next to the ones for the Aluminum Slider and the Dolly Dip Water Slide, in her filing cabinet, under “P” in a folder marked “Patent Pendy”.