The John Tuohy Files: Caspar

John Tuohy & Caspar

One of my husband, Wendy’s, pet peeves is the overuse of the word “surreal” during any and nearly all celebrity interviews. So I’ll describe my interview with John Tuohy as phantasmagoric. (I DO love my thesaurus.com)

After my dubious introduction to John Tuohy, the local historian with expertise on Father Nicholas Sheehy, I followed him into his shop–a shabby, cluttered room with a counter to the left. Behind a rack of postcards was a copy machine covered by a bath towel. Those were the only clues that I may have been in a place of business.

In all other respects, this was someone’s home. In fact, there to the back was the irritated fellow who took me to Tuohy, still grumbling in the kitchen.

John Tuohy and I went through a doorway to the adjoining shop which was, actually, a sitting room. These places were row houses built in the shotgun style; that is, they were narrow, with each room directly behind the other. John Tuohy’s shops seemed to be two of these that had a door cut between them.

I sat on the sofa as invited and met Caspar, the friendly dog. The old, old friendly dog. He was as serene and placid as a Buddhist monk. Yet, John Tuohy went off like I was being smothered by an wild-and-woolly Saint Bernard.

“Down, Caspar! Get down! Caspar. Lie down. Lie down, I said!” The man was frantic.

“He’s fine. Really,” from me. I am not an animal person. I hate when dogs jump all over me, which they do once they sense that I’m not interested in them. But, believe me, it was fine.

Poor Caspar could not jump up on me if he wanted to. The geriatric pooch just sat there, peering at me with his wishful-thinking eyes, almost apologizing for not being able to mount a more enthusiastic welcome. Out of respect, I tried not to pity him.

Finally, he lifted his paw and placed it on my leg. The shin, not the knee. It could have been a giant Q-tip for all the impact it made.

John Tuohy freaked. “Get down, Caspar! Lie down!”

The dog removed his paw and lay down.

Phew! The flustered Tuohy could finally relax; the danger had passed.

Somehow, Monty Python’s Flying Circus came to mind.

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