Like Paris Hilton, she gives off an heiress vibe — stinky whiffs of aristocracy — plus the flippy stoicism of the late-night window girl at Tommy’s drive-thru. She’s complicated is what I’m saying.
You’ve met White Fang, right?
When we last checked in, my dog had quaffed my front yard like a perfectly chilled oyster cocktail. Just opened her throat. Slurp. Gone.
Seriously, I’d sell this stupid beast on eBay, save for two things: 1) She’s not that stupid and in fact might be the smartest Erskine ever; 2) She belonged to my late son. When I see her, I see him.
And so it goes. Suburban life gets the best of me sometimes. As I tell my kids: If you’re looking for the perfect dad, you’ve found the wrong dude.
White Fang. Insane. Beguiling. At war with herself. Funny how all those attributes often bundle together in successful people.
White Fang is better looking than all but the most-stunning celebrities. Reminds me sometimes — with her icy expression and Tahoe eyes — of the countess Melania Trump. Mrs. Trump has a wild, wolfish quality. A smile rarely creases her exquisite face.
And so it is with White Fang.
I wonder sometimes if Fang is the reincarnation of some ancient disruptor. Cleopatra perhaps? Or a fiery British vixen (Anne Boleyn, say, or the cunning and mischievous Lady Macbeth)?
“Come you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here …”
Leave it to me to rescue the reincarnation of a sleepwalking fictional psychopath, entrapped in a sulky spitefulness.
Did I mention the lawn? Basically, White Fang strip mined it. Talk about disruptors.
In a gesture of forgiveness — and WASPish futility — I just remade the front yard, leaving room for a small emerald throne for Lady Fang.
Will keep you posted.
I suppose that, like Old Man Macbeth himself, I am easily manipulated. Suzanne, my current consort, believes I am just naive to the seamier realities of the modern world, which have a lot in common with the barbarianism of the ancients.
Got stuck in traffic the other day, while rushing westward to relieve the lovely and patient older daughter from the burdens of another Friday night chasing Cakes around the couch.
Cakes is my grand passion, the first daughter of my first daughter, headstrong and driven, with what they call a “vaulting ambition.” Burning ambition is a Scots Irish thing. Like beards and beer.
Fortunately, she also has great gobs of russet hair.
Anyway, I was called upon to watch my granddaughter on a Friday night, while Cakes’ exhausted parents sought refuge in the restaurant Republique, a hot mess mid-Wilshire eatery I can barely spell, much less afford.
My daughter and her husband (Finn) have a soft spot for high-end restaurants. Remember when they took me to the Venice sushi spot, where they served live shrimp? Swear to gawd, their little antlers were still moving as the lovely and patient older daughter spritzed them with lemon and said a quiet prayer.
That’s fine dining in L.A., I guess.
For me, safer to watch my grandkid. Off to the pier again, we got Cakes her first tattoo, then dinner.
At Big Dean’s — a 5-star dive by the beach — we dined on chicken fingers and the kind of cheesy burgers that, after a minute, meld with your hands. To put a burger like this down would be to lose the reins completely — you’d never get it back under control again. So you snuggle and hug that juicy, marvelous burger till the very last bite, then reach for a dozen napkins.
That’s my idea of living well. Twelve bucks, plus a beer. All went great, as toddler dates go. There was one moment, when I tried to win Cakes a stuffed animal at the pier arcade, and I turned around and she was gone. CAKES! Suzanne arrested her without incident.
An hour later, after a quick bath, I couldn’t pull Cakes’ PJs up over her still-damp legs, and I flashed back to when my own kids were young and damp like this, and after an extremely long day, you had to feed, bathe and clothe them, then fall asleep reading them bedtime stories.
What a life it is to be needed like that.
I guess that’s why I babysit for free, in an era where experienced sitters like me usually pocket a C-note or two at the end of a super-long evening.
To be needed. That’s all grandparents really want. Just to be needed again.
Come you spirits…
Email the columnist at Letters@ChrisErskineLA.com. His new book, “What the Bears Know,” is in bookstores now.
First published Oct. 26-28 in Outlook Newspapers.