Who knew dolphins could be so much trouble?
We live in the middle of nowhere, way too far to take a cab or get a ride to the airport. When we go out of town, we drive to our friends Larry & Valerie's place in St Paul (near the MSP airport) and leave our car there. If they are working & can't give us a ride, we just catch a cab.
When we returned from Beilze, we got a cab from the airport. After 24 hours in transit, we were relived to finally make it to our car. Urban started to pull on his seatbelt, froze, and exclaimed "Where's Vargus?"
Vargus is a small rubbery dolphin, one of a small rubbery menagerie that we got out of a vending machine in Cannon Falls, MN. He's tiny enough to fall into a bottle of beer. He hatched out of a clear plastic egg & lives on the dashboard of the Red Barron (our hybrid SUV). Most of his brethren are still rolling around in their plastic eggs on the floor of the car, but Vargus is special. Urban asserts he is a "Bluetooth-enabled navigator dolphin" and is very, very attached to him. He does a little squeaky voice for Vargus, who calls him "boss."
If the car is ever stolen Urban will probably call the cops, totally distraught, and say "Help! Someone took my dolphin!"
Well, there we were, in the Barron, with no Vargus. This was clearly not an accident, as in his place was a little (previously floor-dwelling) octopus. After a frantic search, Urban determined that both Vargus and the empty egg were missing.
Our friend Valerie had kidnapped Vargus. Or, as Urban put it once we realized what had happened, MY friend Valerie.
We are frequent travelers, yet we somehow managed to get lost on the way home. From the airport. To the house we’ve lived at for six years.
For the next two weeks, every daily traffic annoyance, like missing an exit or long red lights, would cause Urban to mutter that this wouldn't happen if Vargus were here. Since we have an identical dolphin, I suggested that we put it on the dashboard. He looked at me like I was insane, and said "That is not Vargus, that's just some stupid rubber dolphin." Every time we got in the car, he looked so disgruntled it would give me the giggles, which would make him look even more disgruntled, which would (of course) make me laugh even harder, until I was practically rolling around on the floor with the stupid rubber dolphin.
Yesterday Urban finally went to St. Paul to get Vargus. He texted me a pic of Vargus on Valerie's shelf, in his little plastic egg, with the caption "Hostage."
Negotiations were successful! We got in the Barron this morning and there he was in all in his tiny rubber dolphin glory. I said "Hey, Vargus, you're back!"
In his squeaky dolphin voice, Vargus replied: "I'm not talking to you."