I Live with a Bloodhound

Our household is a pretty smooth one. We love hanging out together, rarely argue, never scream, and laugh a lot.

The one sore point usually has to do with food. Specifically, quality leftovers or hidden treats. Sweets are a spectacularly big deal because we just don't buy them.

A single bite of Hagen-Daaz therefore is worth its weight in blue diamonds: You can actually score a week's worth of chores from your partner if you're a willing to sacrifice a few bites of Butter Pecan or Bananas Foster... If.

The ante for these particular antics has gone up since pregnancy: I freely admit to hoarding and hiding pre-prepared food, because now it's not just for me, it's for the baby. And since experiencing Everquease the last few months, cooking hasn't exactly been high on the priority list so the amount of pre-cooked readily edible food has dropped dramatically. (Really, the only things high on the priority list were: 1) Nesting and 2) Unobstructed toilet access.)

Add to that I've been craving the occasional sweet and this has created what economists call a "condition of high demand and competition." And this, THIS is where the true powers of The Varmint have me beat.

There have been two incidents in the last two days that have left me speechless. Yesterday, The Varmint literally walks in from surfing, puts his board down, goes into the kitchen to wash his hands - stops midstride before even hitting the sink and sniffs loudly a few times. Then he says, "OOOOOOH! A little white box filled with treats!" ... That afternoon I'd shopped, come home and carefully hid a tiny little pastry box in a dark corner behind the coffeemaker. HE LITERALLY SNIFFED IT OUT and then proceeded to gnaw the cardboard - all within ten seconds of being home.

Anyone wanting to whine about The Varmint's nickname has better just can it. This here's the proof. But the true power of The Varmint was witnessed by our pal Dusty who came over dinner the other night. The Varmint got up to serve the meal I'd miraculously managed to prepare when we hear him pause.

We hear a cabinet open, some heavy rustling, items being pushed aside and then he shouts, "Fig Newtons! I LOVE FIG NEWTONS!"

"Damn," I replied, while Dusty got wide-eyed and impressed, saying aloud, "You've got to be kidding me."

Now here's the thing. The Fig Newton bag was brand-new, completely SEALED. He couldn't smell the Fig Newtons. I'd hidden them in the back of an overhead shelf, out of eyeline. How did he find them? (He proceeded to gobble down half a package after dinner,by the way, but I said nothing out of sheer respect.)

Well, the answer, my friends, was the crackle of the package. The plastic crackled at an inopportune moment in the cupboard, The Varmint heard it through the cupboard door, and recognizing the sound of snack wrapping when he hears it, he started to dig. How do you compete with that? How? I hate to admit it, but I think I'm going to have to embrace the idea of sharing in order to avoid humiliation each and every time I sneak anything with a high sugar content into our house.

How revoltingly unsportsmanlike.


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >