This is my goat, Nigel.
He lives in my backyard, though it's no secret he'd prefer to be back in his summer home in Bexley, grazing on the uptight British grass that works "brilliantly" on his immune system.
By day he's a struggling loan broker, but by night...well, I just found out he's something very different...
Here's how it went down:
While watering the plants last night, I stumbled upon a small, leather bound book tucked snugly between a planter and the ceramic patio fountain Nigel drinks from because bending over to drink from a rubber garden hose is beneath his station. Five, golden letters were scrawled across the cover of the worn treasure, DIARY.
Curiosity got the better of me, so I flipped the book open hoping to uncover the secrets of my mysterious pet, but instead found remnants of the parchment paper that once filled the soft, bound interior of the book. (Nigel considers heavy stock paper a delicacy befitting nobility).
I collapsed into the cushions of my new, wicker-like-vinyl love seat, while the diary fell to the cracked cement floor beneath me. "What has become of me?" I groaned, guilt-stricken by my juvenile behavior. For months I'd been trying to uncover some hidden truth to Nigel's illusive past, but I continued to come up empty. It was a hard pill to swallow, but maybe he wasn't a sinister goat after all--maybe I was just a suspicious, Fox News-watching conservative who assumed everyone was up to something. I closed my eyes and sucked back a deep, cleansing breath. "Never again," I vowed. "Never again will I think the worst of Nigel."
I retrieved the book, hoping to stash it back into its hidey-hole before Nigel returned from happy hour at VanOmerling's dairy, when I saw it. A scrap of thick red paper complete with nibbled edges and the cloven writing of an educated goat.
My heart raced as I did a quick over-the-shoulder check that the coast was clear. It was safe, so I hunched over the paper like it was a lone flame in a frozen tundra and read the following words: If my owner does not answer these questions by midnight--I shall steal her panties and add them to my collection.
The thought of Nigel stealing anything that belonged to me made my stomach turn. After all, I forked out over $300 for the vaccinations he needed to enter the country and don't get me started on his deworming medicine. Even online Canadian meds are expensive! But the thought of him stealing my undies...No Way! I pulled the blue Bic from behind my ear, because all writers carry a pen with them at all times (and a flask), and sat down to answer his questions.
What do you call your panties/underwear/undergarments? Do you have any commonly used nicknames for them? I reeled my head back, "What do I call them? Undies. Obviously. Or broochies, what my Dutch neighbor, Mrs. Slegors, called them growing up." I jotted down the words while I spoke and moved on to the second question.
Have you ever had that supposedly common dream of being in a crowded place in your underwear? I couldn't help but laugh as I responded to this question. "NO," But I often find myself trying to feed fish who are living in only an inch of water who I've neglected to feed for well over a year. (I suppose that's not funny to the fish. They always seem really pissed in those dreams).
I moved on to the third question, it read: What is the worst thing you can think of to make panties out of? This wasn't an easy question to answer. I thought for a moment, uncomfortable-feeling items flying through my mind: burlap, barbed wire, Democrats--and then it came to me. I quickly wrote, "GRASS". Not only does it itch sometimes, but it also attracts neighborhood cats who want a change from litter.
Question four required less than a second of thought to answer: If you were a pair of panties, what color would you be, and WHY? My favorite color is purple. So I wrote, "PURPLE." But then, because I'm a writer and our motto is "edit until you die", I crossed it out and wrote, "DUSTY LILAC."
I felt my cheeks flush when I read the fifth question: Have you ever thrown your panties/underwear at a rock star or other celebrity? If so, which one(s)? If not, which one(s) WOULD you throw your panties/underwear at, given the opportunity? The memory washed over me like an ocean of feel-goods I wanted to drown in. Ray Romano's baby face, and these panties...damn, that was a great post-9/11 comedy fundraiser.
The sixth question was a no-brainer for this preacher's kid: You’re out of clean panties. What do you do? I wrote in big, capital letters: GO COMMANDO, BIATCH!
Question number seven actually stirred up a buried emotion I hadn't realized I was carrying. I sat down on the love seat and pondered the best way to answer. Are you old enough to remember Underoos? If so, did you have any? Which ones? The answer was obvious enough--of course I remembered Underoos. I was born in '75--everybody had them. Everyone but me, that is. I wiped back a tear as the vision of the Wonder Woman Underoos I nearly stole from Amber Webb's drawer flashed through my mind faster than an invisible jet could travel. White, chin-high undies with tiny pink rosebuds was all I was good enough for. A package of six for $6 at Penney's...I quickly penned my answer, "YES." and "No." and "WW." and moved on to number eight while the taste of resentment still lingered in my mouth.
Thankfully, question eight offered some levity to my mood: If you could have any message printed on your panties, what would it be? I considered my answer for a moment before jotting down the response, "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT."
The last question left me a little confused: How many bloggers does it take to put panties on a goat? I had no idea what a blogger was, but figured it had something to do with Nigel's drinking mates back in London. I wrote down "5", because I would need at least five stiff drinks to dull the humiliation of falling victim to panty-thieving goat and called it good.
Just when I thought I was done, and the knowledge that my favorite cheetah print undies with the tiny pink bow on the front was feeling secure, I read the last line on the page. It said, TELL ME WHERE THREE OF YOUR FRIENDS LIVE SO I CAN ASK THEM THESE QUESTIONS OR THEY WILL ALSO LOSE THEIR PANTIES TO MY EXTENSIVE COLLECTION.
My heart was beating outside of my over-priced, lightly-padded Vickie's T-back--I couldn't give this deliberate thought. I scrawled down the first three names that came to mind: Angela, Huntress and Marian, I capped my pen, slipped it back behind my ear and tucked the paper back into the diary.
The morale of the story: Always wear clean underwear. And never trust a goat named Nigel.