It must be 5:30, because Ferris is hitting my leg, and wagging her tail like crazy. I stop typing and look down at her.
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.
"Is it time to . . ."
She hits me with her paw. Her eyes are wide. Wag, wag, wag, wag.
"Are you ready for . . ."
Riley races into the room, and jumps up. She lands with both paws on my lap. Ferris growls at her to get down.
"Thank you, Ferris."
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.
"Are you girls hungry? Are you ready for dinner?"
I said the magic word. Both dogs explode ahead of me, and tear across the living room. By the time they make it to the kitchen, Riley is running so fast she can't stop on the smooth floor and crashes into the wall. Ferris stops right next to her dish.
"What's that, Ferris?"
She looks at her dish, then at me. Riley picks herself up off the floor and stands next to me.
"Ferris? What do you want?"
I absolutely love this nightly ritual. I love the way Ferris finds me at about five o'clock, and reminds me, in her little (maybe not so little, at 72 pounds) dog way that it's almost time to eat. I love asking her questions, and watching her grow increasingly excited when I say words she recognizes, like "hungry" and "five thirty" and
"Do you want your dinner?"
She is wagging her tail so hard now, her hips are rocking her whole body back and forth. She kicks her dish halfway across the floor. Riley barks at me.
I pick up their dishes, and dump in their food.
My cell phone plays "Ode to Joy," and I remember that I wanted to pay 1.99 for a cool ring tone.
I flip it open, and try not to notice the obvious relation to an Original Series communicator.
"Hey Wil, it's Jed and John from VH-1." They're on speaker phone.
My heart leaps. I've been waiting for this phone call.
"Oh, hi, Jed. What's up?" I'm pretty sure I've successfully played the first line cool.
"Do you have a moment to talk?"
"Sure. I'm just feeding my dogs. Hold on."
I put her bowl on the floor. She obediently waits.
Ferris attacks her Nutro the way I attacked that Mean Gene burger on the weekend.
"Just a second, Jed."
"Okay," he says.
She looks at me and wags her tail.
"Woah, you really are feeding your dogs!" he says.
I chuckle. "Did you think it was a euphemism?"
"Yeah, but I'm not saying what for."
Riley sits, and I tell her to stay.
Ferris stops eating, like she does every night, and cocks an ear back toward us.
Riley cocks her head to the side and barks at me.
"Riley, Okay!" I point at her dish, "You can eat now, dumbass!"
Riley looks down at her dish, and begins to eat. Ferris hears her dish scrape on the floor, and she resumes eating, too. It cracks me up that Ferris waits like that each night. I haven't been able to determine if Ferris thinks I'm talking to her when I tell Riley to stay, or if she wants to make sure that she won't be bothered by Riley while she's eating, or what . . . but it's pretty funny to watch her stand there with her mouth in her bowl, as she just listens to us.
"Sorry about that, Jed." I say, and walk out of the room.
"No worries," he says, "how was your trip up North?"
Oh shit. Is he making small talk? Did he call me to tell me that they're excited, or is he making one of those look, I'm sorry that it didn't work out, but we still want to work with you calls that I've gotten so many times before?
"It was tough. Anne's grandmother is in the first stages of Alzheimer's, so she's really forgetful, and so frail the wind could knock her down."
"Oh, Jesus, man, that sucks," says John.
"Yeah," I say, "I'm really glad we got to go visit her, though. I don't think she'll know who we are next time." I say, "but the driving part was really great. Anne and I needed a couple of days to ourselves."
"A couple of days with just the wife is always a good thing." Jed says.
"Yeah," I say. "So what's up?"
"Well, we met with the network people here,"
Time slows to a crawl. The next few words are the ones that count.
"And they want us to go ahead and do a test with you."
I'm pretty sure my heat stops. I sit down on my couch.
"Really?" I say. Though my meeting with them last week went really well, and all signs pointed to this happening, I've been let down so many times before . . . I guess I just expect things to fall apart. I'm genuinely surprised that we're going to be taking the next step.
"Yeah, they love you. When we said your name to them, they went nuts."
I allow myself to feel a bit of excitement. I don't know if they really went nuts or not, but they said yes, and that's what matters.
"So what happens next?" I ask.
"We need to get our budget together, and then we're going to do a test with you. We'll find someone local who could be on the show, and we'll spend a day shooting stuff."
Mother Jesus Balls. I can't believe this!!
I can't contain the excitement any longer and say, "Oh my god, you guys! This is so cool!"
They seem a bit surprised when I unleash my enthusiasm.
"Oh, I'm happy that you're excited, Wil. This is going to be a lot of fun." I don't know who's talking, now. In my defense, my heart had stopped for a moment there.
"We're going to call your manager now, and get all the details worked out, but I just wanted to tell you myself first," Jed says, "I hope that's okay."
"Are you kidding me?! This is great news, you guys, and I'm really glad that you called me."
"Okay. We'll put some stuff together, and talk to you soon."
"Okay! I'll talk to you then."
I close the phone, and don't care if I look like Captain Kirk or not.
Well, I run my hand through my hair, just to be sure.
I let out a loud, "Whooop!!" and jump up off the couch. "Thank you Fark! Thank you WWdN! Thank you! Thank you! Thank yyyooouuuuu!!!!!!!111"
Ferris comes racing into the living room, head cocked, and looks at me.
"Ferris! I'm going to be on VH-1!"
Wag, wag, wag, wag, wag.