I have debunked the Law of Gravity! Excuse me a moment while I upload some photos. I'll be right back.
("Pssst! What the heck is he talking about?"
"I don't know, maybe all that 'home alone' stuff has pushed him over the edge. Or maybe a little too much time in the sauna."
"Shhhh! Here he comes! Act like everything's normal! Just smile and nod.")
Okay, I'm back. In case you're wondering what I meant, allow me to explain. It all starts with this 11-year old dalmatian-mix that became a member of our household a few months ago. If you're a regular reader (I'm pretty sure there are at least five of you), you know all about Molly and her need for copious amounts of exercise as well as my lack of gainful employment. These two things combined mean daily trips to one of Dane County's Dog Exercise Areas. Within a short time of acquiring Molly and discovering the necessity of getting her to the Bark Park™, I also discovered that she is crazy about chasing balls. Not just likes it, but crazy about it to the exclusion of (just about) all else. She's pretty smart about balls, too. Before you throw it, she doesn't watch the ball like many other dogs, she watches your eyes to determine where the ball is going to go (a bad throw or mischievous thrower can fool her.) She isn't too smart about ballistics, though. A ball thrown in a normal manner usually hits the ground within 2 or 3 seconds, but a ball thrown as high as you can throw it stays in the air for, well, longer than that. So, you throw the ball as high as you can and Molly takes off in the direction she thinks it's headed. 2 or 3 seconds later she starts looking around in an "it ought to be around here, somewhere" sort of way, which is very different from her "I'm going to get that ball" gait. Then, a few seconds later, the ball comes down, usually pretty close to where she thinks it should be. Her reaction is good for hours of laughs. I get a chuckle, she gets the ball, we're all happy campers. Until...
One day while Ms. Geranium, Molly and I were at the BP together, I threw the ball as high as I could. Molly took off. Up! Up! Up went the ball! Down! Down . . . . wait a minute . . . it didn't come down! Molly is running around in her "seeking" mode. Ms. Geranium and I are looking all over the place: on the ground, in the nearby tree ("It never came down, maybe it's in the tree." "Yeah, right!"), on the ground some more. Over here, over there. In the tree ("yeah, right!") Meanwhile, Molly is getting a little frantic. No ball anywhere. Finally, we give up, finish our walk with Molly expecting the ball to turn up at any turn (that happens sometimes. She doesn't know how.)
For a week or so after that, every time I walked past that vicinity I took a quick look in the tree knowing that if it (the ball, not the tree - I love those squinting modifiers) were on the ground it would be long gone, but I swear it never came down. One day, I'm throwing the ball high near that tree again, tempting fate, or the gods, or whomever, and a woman walking nearby asks me "are you trying to knock that ball out of the tree?" "Duuuh, what?" was my extremely intelligent response (good thing I'm married and my wife knows I'm only stupid most of the time - if I were single I'd never have any luck with the ladies with repartee like that. She wasn't my type, anyway.) Sorry, back to the suspenseful narrative - she replies "I thought you were trying to knock that ball down." I explained that I suspected I had gotten a ball stuck in the tree, but had never been able to locate it. "It's right there! For days I've been wondering how someone managed to get it perfectly wedged between those two branches" she tells me. (If you so desire, you may click on the photo to enbiggen it.) I follow the direction in which she is pointing her Chuck-it™ and . . . Doh! All this time, I'd been barking up the wrong tree! (Sorry about that, I couldn't help myself. There's probably a special place in Hades for people like me, but at least I won't be alone. My dad will without a doubt be there, too.) Two weeks later, that ball is still in the tree. Now, when I walk past it, I take a couple of throws at it with the new ball under the assumption that, eventually, I'll knock the old one out of the tree or there will be two balls stuck up there. Either option works for me.