If you're reading this, you probably already know:
As far as I'm concerned, Leon is made of solid, 24 carat gold, and therefore weighs much more than he looks like he should. And he's also bulletproof.
I've known Leon since something like 1994, and not only is he extremely cool when things get tense, he's intensely loyal.
Cases in point: A.) A Fourth of July fireworks show where the playful grass throwing went further than I wanted and I got snippy, bursting forth sternly with "Dammit, Leon, cut it out!," seriously hurting his feelings.
Outcome? He was still my friend.
And B.) An idiotic guy at a car stereo shop mercilessly ripped into the innards of my brand-new car, snapping this and popping that, turning me into a frantic, spastic, ball of rageful nerves.
Outcome? Leon got into the car and supervised the stupid guy and gently redirected my attention when necessary. I had found an old broken whip antenna on the floor of the garage workroom which I was becoming more and more aggressive with at the time, and yet I didn't kill anyone. Amazing, right?
What the hell? How about another? C.) If you read the archives of this blog, you'll find a tale of dread and woe about my son getting out of bed, hurting himself, and bleeding all over the place. While I went to work cleaning up the boy, Leon silently found cleaning implements and braved the dark bedroom (my daughter was still asleep) to clean anything he could find that needed it.
And anyone else reading this post, please, oh please forgive me for gushing. It's just that a friend like this comes around about once every five lifetimes.
Happy Birthday, Leon.