Big Billy – A ghost of a man

There’s no easy way to say this – I discovered Minnie’s been sleepin’ with somebody else.

I walked in the bedroom the other night and found the two of them all curled up, Big BIllysound asleep. He got brown eyes and more hair than I do and he always got a smile on his face.

I guess I should stop kiddin’ around about it before the rumours start flyin’, but the truth is the fella sleepin’ in my bed with my wife is our dog, Smiley Bates.

I don’t know where he got the idea it was all right to stretch out on my side of the bed, but every night for the past week by the time I get upstairs to get into bed, he’s already asleep with his head on my pillow.

Get t’ yer flyin’! I’ll yell at him, which strikes so much fear into him that he might open his eye enough to look at me, yawn, and go back to sleep..

Of course, when I yelled for him to move, that woke Minnie up and she gave me hell for it. So the next night I finish watchin’ the ball game, head upstairs to bed and there’s the dog asleep in my spot again. Only, I can’t yell at him, so there I am like a mental case tryin’ to have a polite conversation with the dog.

C’mon, buddy, I said. Scootch down the end there so ol’ Billy can go to bed?

Of course, he didn’t move, so I started whisperin’ a little louder and then a little louder.

C’mon, pal. Gives a little scootch there, I was sayin’ to him. Of course, my whisperin’ got so loud, even that woke Minnie up.

What are ya doin’? she said, right cranky. If the dog’s in the way, just pick him up and move him. Ya don’t gotta have a whole conversation with him and wake up the whole house.

Fine, I says. So I picked him up and put him at the foot of the bed, and I had a hard time fallin’ asleep because I couldn’t stretch out all the way.

Fast forward to the next night. Me and Minnie watched a movie about a haunted house and then when she went to bed. I stayed up to catch the end of the ball game. I click off the TV, head up the stairs, and there’s the dog right in my spot again – but this time Minnie’s sprawled over on my side of the bed, with her arm draped over the dog and his head tucked under her chin.

And you’re supposed to be man’s best friend? I mumbled.

Well, after wakin’ her up the past two nights tryin’ get into bed, I didn’t want to bother with the hassle of gettin’ yelled at again, so I figured I’d leave them be. He’s not a big dog anyway, so I figured I could sleep in sort of an L-shape, on the bottom half of my side, with my legs stretched out across the bottom of the bed, since Minnie don’t take up the whole length of it.

Believe it or not, I was actually havin’ a pretty good sleep there for a while. But I shoulda remembered my darlin’ wife Minnie sometimes kicks the blankets off in her sleep. So I guess what happened was, she flung the blanket toward the bottom of the bed and kind of kicked at it at the same time.

BOOT! She caught me right between the legs.

Oh my cripes. If you think gettin’ hit there is painful when you’re awake, you can’t imagine how it feels when you’re asleep.

I guess I jumped and howled at the same time, and fell on the floor all tangled up in the blankets from where Minnie threw them on top of me.

Of course, the noise of me howlin’ like that and thumpin’ onto the floor woke up Minnie and the dog. All Minnie saw was this lump under a white sheet, groanin’ and howlin’ in pain, and after watchin’ that scary movie earlier, she started yellin’, “Ghost! There’s a ghost! Come here, Billy!” (because I guess she thought I was still downstairs).

Sometimes you get hit so hard like that, you lose the air right out of your lungs, so I couldn’t choke out a word to let her know it was me. All that came out was this awful groan, which I gotta admit, would have scared the Horyl’s right out of me if I didn’t know what it was.

Of course, since the dog got so cozy with Minnie lately, and he could see that this white lump was scarin’ her, he started growlin’ at me, and then jumped off the bed and started barkin’.

Everything happened so fast, it was probably only a few seconds before Minnie found the light switch on her lamp and I was able to wriggle my head free from the sheet and she seen I wasn’t a ghost, but just her poor husband.

I managed to make it into the bathroom so I could count my parts and see if they were all still there, and Minnie went downstairs and got me a bag of frozen peas to use as an ice pack. I swear it was a good 15 or 20 minutes before I could breathe right again. I must of been quite a sight, sittin’ on the closed toilet seat cover with a bag of peas between my legs.

But Minnie made sure I was gonna live, and helped me walk back to the bedroom. There on the bed was the dog – but all stretched out on Minnie’s side this time.

Ah ha! I said. Watch how stubborn he is!

Minnie snapped her fingers and said, Bedtime, let’s go! and the dog jumped off the bed, curled up on the floor in front of the dresser and went right back to sleep.

Holy cripes, I said.

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