I’m in the kitchen cooking tacos for dinner when the rubber flaps to the dog door in the office make their familiar flip-flap sound and Fleegle ambles into the kitchen loudly sniffing the air.
“I smell taco smorgasbord sautéing,” he says, siding me at the stove. “You’ll need me to supervise. First thing you need to do is add more meat.”
I add the rest of the ground beef I was planning on putting in anyway.
“That’s a good boy, Raud. Reward yourself with a treat, have an almond.”
I reach into the bag of wasabi almonds on the counter that I was snacking on.
“But only one. I’ll tell you if you deserve a jackpot or not.” A jackpot is a handful of treats, or in my case, a handful of wasabi almonds, paid out like a slot machine when a new skill is mastered. He sniffs the air. “Add more oregano and basil.”
I do as told, then anticipating his next request, I reach for the cayenne pepper and hold it ready.
“Good boy, you’re catching on. Add the cayenne and then treat yourself to one almond.”
“But doesn’t anticipating your next move deserve a jackpot?” I ask, really craving a handful of wasabi almonds.
“It might’ve when you first started learning to cook, but now you need to master more complicated tasks to earn a jackpot. Stop questioning my training techniques and add the cayenne.”
I do as told.
“Now have one almond.”
I eat one, but boy do I want more. Like the old potato chip ad, it’s hard to have only one.
“Now stir it with the big wood spoon.”
“Good boy. Now scoop up a heaping spoonful for me to sample. Get as much on the spoon as you possibly can, and why you’re at it, put a few of those wasabi almonds on top of it. If you get this right, you’ll have definitely earned yourself a jackpot of almond.”