Three in the morning comes and my bladder tells me it’s time for a short interruption in sleep. This problem is easy to solve. But the dogs hear me moving about and come in, demanding food. It’s earlier than their typical 4:30 a.m. feeding time but I’m still half-asleep and so I decide to feed them. My throat is very sore and so after I let the dogs out (they are trained to go outside right after they eat) I decide that a salt-water gargle would be just the thing, so I open up the right-hand pantry door, find the salt among our baking supplies, and mix it with hot water. The taste is disgusting, so I decide to mix myself up one of those little packets of a flavored beverage to counteract the briny ick of the salt water with something sweet-tasting. So I open up the left-hand pantry door to get at those and
a brand-new bottle of Spanish olive oil overbalances and falls on the floor right at my feet, its yellowy-green contents slowly oozing out all over the tile, which is now decorated with itty bitty shards of cheap, thin glass. The dogs, fortunately, are still outside but now it’s five minutes after three in the morning and I have to clean up a quart of olive oil and a broken glass bottle before I can let them in because, lacking the dignity gene, they’re going to lick wherever on the floor has any aroma at all and I don’t want them to hurt themselves by acting on their instincts.
A great many paper towels later and most of the oil is sopped up from the floor and I begin my hunt for stray glass, looking as best I can for places where dogs might walk or lick. This reveals dozens of tiny, sharp fragments which I cannot pick up with my fingers, even if I don’t mind a little pain and blood. So now I’ve got to find a vacuum cleaner to suck up all this glass, which means making a lot of noise but what can I do? A few minutes of that produces a sleepy, squinting Wife wondering what in the hell is going on and why I’m awake at this hour, and good Wife that she is she takes it all in and figures out that I’m probably best left to my own devices and after showing me where the wet-mop sponge is kept, goes back to sleep like any sensible person would in her sitaution.
I am, of course, wholly awake by now since removing the oleagenous waste and glass has taken a good half hour, and it takes me what feels like another hour to fall back asleep again. Neither the dogs nor the cats have yet been bothering the kitchen floor any more than they usually do and have not indicated any pain or favoring on any of their paws, so I think that means I did the job right.