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Near-miss at Nolan River
January 7, 2006, Glen Rose. What a disaster. Not a complete disaster: Weegie was winners reserve on Saturday. This is like Miss America Runner-Up. I was disappointed. She showed well, and I wanted to win. It would have been asking a lot, since it was a big show, and would have been a four-point major. That was the near-miss. What would it have meant to us in our career, to win a four-point major at that point?
No, the disaster was this. I’d been sick, and was just getting over a chest cold. It was nothing serious, but sitting in the stands before the show, I felt worse and worse.
This was, incidentally, not a site where people could all set up together and groom and chat before the show. We just showed up, and showed, and left.
It was cavernous, with packed dirt floors that turned Weegie’s legs brown. The concessions were in a dungeon-like corridor under the bleachers.
It took me a while to figure out what was happening. I went down to the ring for our turn and began coughing non-stop. Finally, the light bulb went on: this was a place where horses worked. And I am deathly allergic to horses.
So it was nice to be pulled out of line, if only for reserve and not points, but I barely made it out alive. I could hardly breathe. We stopped at a drug store for anti-histamines and retreated to our motel.
I hardly slept because my chest was singing every time I took a breath. Weegie hardly slept, partly because it was her first night in a motel and partly because she was obsessed with my dirty kleenex. It was like a bad dream, over and over again, blowing my nose and then fighting to keep her from grabbing the wet tissue. If I started to drift off, my hand would start to relax and then I'd feel her cold nose and teeth nibbling, rat-like, at my fingers. I guess Craig slept.
By Sunday morning, I was exhausted, and Weegie had eaten so many dirty kleenexes that she vomited a soft, bile-colored wad of pulp at my feet. Despite the miserable night, I made the bad decision to return to the show.
We waited to the last minute, then dashed in and out in 20 minutes, just long enough for Weegie to lunge at the judge's squeaky toy and make a rude noise at me when I tried to stop her. This is the dog we call Mrs. Raangh. We might as well have scratched.
Well. We didn’t learn a thing, or win a thing, and I swore I'd never go back to Glen Rose. (But I did.)