OKLA. CITY —
“No one likes to look at the underside of things.” That’s a line from a novel I just finished reading. It’s meant to foreshadow the evil and the eerie that the author is about to unfold in his story. It fulfilled its purpose and then it got me to thinking about Sinbad, the cocker spaniel wannabe who went through the last two years of high school with me. Literally “with” me.
Sinbad had a questing nose and — contrary to the quote that brought him to mind — he did like to look at the underside of things.
On a weekly basis he escaped his boundaries and followed my scent to the classroom; to a Rexall Drugstore booth; to the balcony of the Washita Theater and sometimes to a First Baptist Church pew, where he settled down at my feet and commenced to strip away the wads of chewing gum stuck to the underside of my seat.
Remembering the pleasure Sinbad took in his quests caused me to wonder what I might have missed by skimming across the surface of things — leaving the undersides out of sight and therefore out of mind — so I went on an underside quest of my own. A spider-less cobweb clung to the underside of the toe kick in front of the kitchen sink and I left it there. A brittle “Under Penalty of Law this Tag is not to be Removed” warning clung to the underside of an upholstered kitchen chair and I took guilty pleasure in removing it.
I was on my way outside to pry up a garden stone to see what was under it when New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg’s TV rant caught my attention. Something about legislation banning the sale of high-calorie beverages larger than 16 ounces. Nothing was mentioned about more than two 8-ounce sugary drinks, so no need to check the undersides of the cans and bottles inside my fridge. But I did try unsuccessfully to pull out the fridge to peer underneath it. No matter. I have a pretty good idea of what I’d have found there. It wouldn’t have been a pretty sight.
Under the living room recliner I found a sort-of hammock that Saber-the-cat must have fashioned for himself from the chair’s underlining, and I choked back tears over the loss of him. Why would I be through mourning Saber? He’s been gone only three months, and I still get misty eyed over Sinbad’s disappearance almost 50 years ago. I’ll always believe he was dog-napped by out-of-towners attending a basket ball tournament our team was hosting, but ...
Well fine! Now I’m dreary again, and it’s not like I wasn’t warned. Serves me right for looking too long at the underside of things.
MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.