Archive for July 28th, 2011

One of the best things about a relationship is that you develop your own little world. You learn each other’s signals. You partner up to face adversity. And, if you are lucky, you invent crazy little stories.

Hippopotamuses were one of those stories that Ailish and I shared.

I honestly have no idea how hippos came to hold a special significance for us, but I know they were well established within the first six months of our relationship.

Hippos had two major impacts in our imaginary world. First, they were what made you sleepy. By jumping on your head. And they sometimes peed on the floor.

No, really. It’s true. See, neither Ailish nor I would ever be clumsy enough to spill water on the floor. So how else could you explain it other than that the hippo did it? And how better to succeed at a Sunday afternoon nap than to invite a hippo to jump on your head? I mean, really, who wouldn’t be tired after such a commotion?

Pretty early on, we had a little stuffed toy hippo at my place, and one at Ailish’s. As we stayed together, our hippo collection multiplied. We watched the story of Jessica the Hippo with absolute amazement. When we visited the Calgary Zoo, we appreciated how dozy the hippopotamuses were because they are, after all, the source of all doziness.

By the time of her birthday this year, we had at least eight hippos around the house. I placed two of them in Ailish’s casket before she was cremated.