I'm always glad when our friends Paul and Amy tell us they're coming up from Oakland to visit the ranch because I know we'll be eating well, drinking plenty, and laughing so hard we'll all get the "Grady-laugh" (laughing with no sound). But my excitement for poop jokes and bourbon is nothing compared to Dylan's excitement to see her homie, Malcolm, Paul and Amy's four-year old. His arrival falls just short of Santa's in terms of pure thrill.
It was probably from lack of sleep, but, like all couples, by day three they hit a rough patch. Just before nap time, Dylan informed everyone that, "I don't want to sleep with my boyfriend anymore." Malcolm was a little hurt, but I gave her a high-five and told her to never, ever, forget that sentence.
Malcolm and Dylan weren't the only cute couple. Paul made a mint julep and, although it was a brief encounter, the tasty drink and I were inseparable for nearly fifteen minutes. Okay, that wasn't so cute, but you should have seen Paul with my .22. Adorable. We went out to shoot a few squirrels and I've never had more fun just watching someone shoot. His skills had improved so much since last year that I accused him of either finding another rancher friend with a ground squirrel problem or joining a gang. Since they live in Oakland, I suspect the latter. It was especially great when he'd get out the truck to re-create what, exactly, the squirrel did when he shot it. Regina and Amy weren't as amused as I was, but I just don't think they appreciate good improv.
The King and Queen of cute had to go to Grady and Amy. It was especially fun to see Grady become smitten. It was a full blown boy crush, complete with drool and lots of face grabbing. Amy didn't seem to mind the attention and I think the country fresh air and rejuvenating spa (air blasting through our lines exfoliates nearly as well as 80-grit sandpaper) made up for the oatmeal slobber stains and cheek scratches he gave her.
Madison Bumgarner is (left-handed pitcher for the Fresno Grizzlies). Grady gets a far-off look in his eyes when Amy's name gets mentioned and Regina and I are trying to work off all the food and drink we consumed. We'll see our friends again, but in the meantime, we're comforted by the knowledge that somewhere out there in the twilight, Paul is standing guard, .22 in hand. Waiting. Waiting.