It was late afternoon the day I accidentally killed my boss’s dog, so chances we’d ever work together again seemed remote.
My boss then, and my boss now, is Gene Lehmann, editor of this publication.
My victim’s name was Sweetie Pie, and she was a practically pure blue heeler/labrador blend who had been weathering increasing arthritis pain in this, her 105th dawg year.
I’m not proud of killing Gene’s dog. It wasn’t intentional. I loved Sweetie Pie almost as much as he did, and Gene loved that dog fiercely.
I tell this unpleasant story in the interest of full disclosure in an effort to come clean with my new neighbors here in Ada.
There’s more, unfortunately.
The night I killed Sweetie Pie was a night all of you will remember, too. There was a bowl game on television that night. The Oklahoma Sooners were involved.
Know this. I was born to love the Oklahoma Sooners. I grew from child to puberty watching Bud Wilkinson’s teams massacre all opponents. My reality was that I would die an old man before my team would ever lose a football game.
I remember hopping on my bicycle the day Notre Dame, the Darth Vader of college football, ruined my adolescence. After that 7-0 loss, I hurried downtown in Okemah to be with my friends.
It was kind of a practice death for the real thing. I stopped off at a Rexall Drug Store, tears streaming down my cheeks, rolling up to shocked old people standing outside, shaking their heads, sniffing, tears spreading on their faces. All were trying to get a peek at the black-and-white television inside, where the crowd had originated.
Anyway, I was hoping against hope that somehow the Irish would be caught with switchblades in their uniforms and be disqualified from victory. OU could then go after No. 48 and so on into adulthood.