The other day we were sitting at the dinner table when Hubby said, “We need a third person in this house.”
Since we’d been talking about eating brownies only seconds earlier, I responded to his non sequitur with a jaw-dangling, “Uh… what?”
“Yeah,” he went on, oblivious to the fact that my dirty mind had already zoomed off in a different direction. “Because then you’d never know for sure that I was the one who’d eaten all the brownies.”
I fell back in my chair, relieved that he was only angling for plausible deniability.
And he’s right: Our household lacks a scapegoat.
Roommates or kids would work; but we don’t want any of those. A dog would do, although it might be a little hard to believe that the dog neatly removed the plastic wrap from the brownie pan before devouring the contents. But that downside is conveniently offset by the fact that dogs can’t protest their innocence.
The only real problem with the ‘scapedog’ scenario is that it’s such a cliché that nobody believes it, even when it’s true.
When I was married to my first husband, we had a dog. Jet was part black Lab and part blue heeler, so digging and chewing were his favourite things. After my ex and I separated but before the divorce was final, one of my ex’s friends lent him a book on relationships and he passed it on to me. (Too little; much too late.)
I’ll never know whether Jet sensed my
teeth-gnashing irritation ambivalence about the book or whether it just smelled appetizing, but I came home one day to discover that he’d mauled the book. Its covers were crushed and torn, its pages crumpled or missing entirely, and the whole pathetic corpse was drenched in dog drool and patterned with pawprints.
Even though it had annoyed me, it was still a book. All books are holy and never to be harmed in any way. Borrowed books are to be handled with reverence and returned in exactly the same condition as they were received.
The guilt was awful.
And even worse was the knowledge that nobody was going to believe I hadn’t trashed the book in a fit of rage and blamed the dog.
I interred the sad remains (of the book, not the dog) in a bag along with a written apology and money for a replacement copy, but twenty-four years later I still cringe every time I think of it. So… no scapedog for us.
Hubby and I are actually cat people, but cats make lousy scapegoats since it’s pretty easy to determine whether a ten-pound cat has eaten five pounds of brownies. So I guess Hubby will be our household scapegoat for the foreseeable future.
Too baa-a-a-ad, Hubby! (But I love you even when you do eat all the brownies.) 🙂
Book 14 update: Another beta reader has weighed in, and this time there are only minor edits. Progress!