The young man was dressed in a black suit. As I invited him in, I held on to the collar of my dog and tried desperately to keep him away from the man's pristine clothing. It's shedding season and I could see the dog-hair ballooning off of Ray every time lunged for our visitor to try to get a lick in.
The longer one resides in the Greater Washington, DC area, the greater the chance that one will be visited at some point by a background investigator. This Man in Black was one such.
He was smiling and trying to dodge the dog as he flashed his credentials.
"I grew up with big dogs," he said, still trying to dodge Ray's frantic efforts to get petted.
"SIT. STAY." I was saying firmly while wrestling with Ray.
The man joined in, "Siiiiiiiiiiiiiit," he said gently, which made Ray even more determined to lick such a nice guy.
Even though I had known the investigator was coming, I was unprepared.
"Where do you want me?" asked the Man in Black.
I looked around at the mess that was my living room, walked over to Gregg's chair, twitched off the dog-hair-covered cover, balled it up, and tossed it onto the couch.
"Sit there," I said.
The man sat. I was still struggling with the dog. Ray knows a friend when he smells one and this was obviously his best friend in the whole world.
"SIT. STAY." I tried again. Ray sat, his whole body shaking with the struggle to stay for an entire five seconds.
"SIT. STAY." I said again. Ray sat then started to flop a bit. Good.
"FLOP." I said. Ray flopped then jumped up and lunged at the man's face, got in a quick lick, then sat again. I grabbed his collar and dragged him to the couch with me.
I sat, holding onto the dog.
The man asked me his questions then stood to leave.
"Let me get a dog hair roller," I said looking at the legs of his trousers and bottom of his coat which were lightly sprinkled with dog hair.
"Thanks," said the Man in Black looking a bit embarrassed, "I think I have one in my car, but I'm not sure."
"Well, I know I have one in mine," I said, "I'll follow you out."
He walked out the door. I turned to make sure the door was firmly shut before following him. Ray was scratching and whining, distressed that his friend was leaving so quickly.
I turned to follow the man to my car and noticed with horror that the back of his suit was completely covered with white hair. I didn't say a word. I retrieved the sticky roller from my glove compartment and handed it to him. He took a few swipes at the dog hair on his front and quickly removed them.
I stepped behind him and said oh so casually, "Oh, you have a few hairs back here too, let me get them for you."
He handed me the roller, thanked me, and stood in the driveway while I tried to remove as much of the dog hair as I could without giving away the magnitude of the problem by having to peel off another sticky thing.
He thanked me again, then the Man in Black and White left for his next interview.