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The Deal with My Wife was, “No Pet Rabbits”

June 13, 2012

When we got married, I had a few non-negotiable items: no cruise ships, no Chinese food buffets, no organ meats for dinner and no pet rabbits. None of these guidelines were an issue until about a year ago when we got our first pet rabbit.

We hadn’t planned on a rabbit, but my youngest daughter caught a cottontail bunny in a soccer field parking lot. I went to watch the game and came back to the car at half-time to find the rabbit with a new name and a bed in the back of our mini-van. I said no, and for the entire second half of the game my wife had enlisted the help of four other moms to pressure me into keeping it. I felt like the only guy going through fraternity rush with a ski boat. It was like some terrible combination of a vacation time-share pitch and a CIA interrogation. I couldn’t take the pressure, so we came home with the rabbit.

Life was fine for a couple of months until it got too hot for the rabbit to live in the yard and we had to move it to our shaded second story balcony. Then, one day when my younger daughter was taking it out of its cage to pet it, the bunny got loose and made a run for it – straight off the balcony. The rabbit fell to its near-death on the concrete driveway. Let me say that nothing will blow up your afternoon at work like your wife and a hysterical 9-year-old daughter explaining this traumatic event through tears and hyperventilation over the phone. In typical female fashion they wanted me to fix the problem over the phone, and they wanted it fixed now. My panicked wife asked where the guns were, and even suggested backing over it with her van to put it out of its misery. By the time I got them both calmed down, the little guy had passed. Every kid in the neighborhood knew what had happened within an hour and brought flowers for the funeral. There wasn’t a bush, flower or plant with a bud on it for a three-block radius. I couldn’t tell if the rabbit’s kid-made shrine looked more like Mother Theresa’s funeral procession or Jim Morrison’s grave.

I thought this was the end of the rabbit story, but that night in a moment of weakness with tears running down her face I told my 9-year-old I would get her a new bunny. After months of conversations with the rabbit guy (this is another story altogether), we finally got the call to come and pick out a bunny. We show up, and my youngest picks out a white bunny (without the red eyes – very important). Well, that’s not the one my wife and older daughter wanted her to pick. They wanted the grey and white one. Needless to say, after being hot boxed by my wife and two daughters (again) we came home with TWO rabbits. I call them the trophy wives because all they do is sit there, look cute and require attention. They really don’t DO anything.

This was fine until my wife unloaded a new rabbit hutch from her van that needed assembly. After I put it together it looked like the Ritz-Carlton in Beaver Creek sitting in my yard. It was definitely nice, and it made taking care of the rabbits much easier. Then, about a week later, my wife calls me at work (of course) to tell me the rabbits were gone. More tears. At first we thought they were stolen, then, a couple of days later, my neighbor found one of the rabbits in his yard and we figured they probably got loose while some kids were petting them – they do scratch. We thought the other was gone forever until my older daughter cornered it in our alley a few days later. It took off down our back alley with me, my wife and my 12-year-old chasing after it. We finally cornered at a neighbor’s house, so I climbed their 8-foot privacy fence and plopped into their yard hoping to get the bunny and get out before they called the police or I got peppered sprayed. After a LOT of instruction from my wife and daughter, I caught the rabbit and put her back in the hutch with her sister.

We are back to relative normalcy in Rabbitville, but I’m waiting for the next call at work from my wife to tell me of our latest crisis.

© Johnny Hea – 2012 All Rights Reserved

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