Dragon Herding

I have one of the toughest jobs around. I herd dragons. Believe me that is one tough job. If you ever watched “How to Train your Dragon” or a Harry Potter movie, you know what I’m talking about.

Dragons are naturally rambunctious critters. They fly around when you want them to stay put, sort of like three-year-old children. They fight over who has the shiniest coat and who has the biggest fangs. When they start flame-throwing contests, you’d better hide or at least run for your flame-retardant suit. NASCAR doesn’t own enough suits to keep me supplied. Have you ever tried to lift a fire extinguisher large enough to douse a dragon’s belch? Not easy, I tell you.

If you think that’s bad, you should see them when they begin imbibing. They don’t care whose beer they steal as long as there is plenty of it. If there aren’t enough beer barrels to go around, the dragons begin rioting. They’re fussing and fighting and throwing flames all over the place. That’s when you have to try to herd them back to their gigantic dragon corrals. Herding sober dragons is hard enough, but when they’re drunk. . . . They fall all over the place, singe each other’s wings, and roar loud enough to be heard across the ocean.

On top of that they don’t like to sort themselves out by type and color. That’s something I must do because dragon aficionados, just like horse owners, have their favorite breeds and colors. One problem is that big black dragons don’t want to associate with small green ones or middle size blue ones, but at the same time they don’t want to be separated. They want to mingle so they can fight when they feel like it. One dragon has been in so many fights that he no longer has any hide left. However, that hasn’t stopped him. He’s still in there biting, kicking, snarling and throwing flames.

Thankfully, I have assistants that help. Fairies fly around the rowdy dragons and attempt magic spells to calm them. Sometimes it works, but occasionally even fairy magic isn’t enough. Unicorns assist with round-ups to prepare the dragons for sale. The unicorns surround the dragons, separate them by breed and color, then escort them into their separate corrals. These magical creatures do their best, but even when the dragons are compliant, unicorn magic doesn’t always work. It only takes one hyper-active dragon who skipped his tranquilizer hay to start a ruckus. Then away we go again.

This is a never ending job. Talk about stressful. My doctor keeps telling me to get a quieter job. I suppose she’s right. But – believe me dragon herders are paid extremely well and get excellent benefits. For example, no other company can touch our medical and life insurance plans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my flight of fancy. In reality I work in the Pot o’ Gold Magic Shop at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Working with magical creatures all day can stimulate fanciful ideas.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, June 8, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

All grown up and . . .

When I was a child I was told that becoming an adult not only brought added responsibilities, but also certain privileges such as drinking coffee and alcohol. I concede that the responsibilities part is true, but I’m here to tell you that the privilege part is not reality, at least in my world.

Let’s start with caffeine. Brewing coffee always smelled enticing, but tasted nasty. You’d have thought someone had just given me something disgusting, like liver.

When visiting friends and relatives who offered coffee and I said, “No, thank you,” nothing else was offered. As a young bride I complained to my husband that I would have appreciated being offered an alternative. He asked, “Why didn’t you ask for something else?

“Isn’t that rude? If they had something else, they would have offered it.”

“Many coffee drinkers just don’t think of other options.”

On future visits my husband would intercede for me. When I was offered coffee and declined he would say, “She’d like a soda or water.” The alternative was usually water.

As the years passed I learned to drink tea saturated with lemon. Pepsi was nectar from the gods. One day the doctor told me that to control my blood pressure I should stop drinking tea and soda. Thinking that two Pepsis and two cups of lemony tea a day was not much, I quit cold turkey. Have you ever seen a nice woman turn into the Wicked Witch of the West? After about three weeks, I was me again, unhappy but no longer evil.

Twice I attempted to make coffee, once for each husband. Both endeavors were met with, “Don’t ever touch my coffee pot again!”

Over the years I kept a 4-cup pot and a small coffee container in the freezer for my mother’s visits. A few years ago on a trip to Minnesota my friend and I stopped for gas. She said, “Let’s get a latte. It doesn’t taste like coffee.” I agreed and liked it. We bought another on the return trip.

Sometime later Ohio friends were visiting for a few days. Trying to be a good host, I asked another friend to buy some fresh coffee for them. On the way to the airport I remembered that they used creamer. I stopped at the store to buy some. The dairy case display was overwhelming. I called my daughter for advice. She suggested some options. Selecting one, I approached the checkout and then remembered something else. Frantically calling her back, I said, “I’m on my way to the airport. Won’t it spoil?” She then directed me to the coffee aisle for a non-dairy selection.

After her arrival my friend made coffee and asked if I wanted some. Recalling the two lattes I’d enjoyed in Minnesota I said, “Yes, if you can flavor it.” She did. I added more flavor and enjoyed it. The next day she asked, “Would you some more coffee in your cream?” I did. She then showed me how to brew my own coffee.

I enjoyed my flavored coffee for a couple years until a few months ago. After my big vertigo incident, my doctor advised me that part of the trouble was dehydration and to stop drinking caffeine beverages. She explained that caffeine is a diuretic and had contributed to my dehydration. Is that why coffee drinkers drink so much coffee?

Alcoholic beverages had their own story. The taste was pleasant as long the alcohol was in a mixed drink. My problem was that I was a cheap – and short – date. One drink made me happy, a second sent me to sleepy-by-land. So much for a fun night on the town.

Beer had its own peculiar reaction. One beer sends me running to the little girls’ room, praying to the porcelain god. A co-worker advised me, “Sharon, you are supposed to get drunk first, then throw up.”

So, here I am again, a little girl who can’t drink coffee or alcohol. I know it’s better for my health, but gosh. . . .

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 5, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com