July 30, from Louie, Day 57

Oh, Pops, the federal debt ceilin’ is weighin’ down most heavily on my shoulders, ‘n’ in my new unemployed state, I don’t think I can stand up to the pressure.

Mom has been most unnerstandin’, ‘n’ while she was bakin’ South American chicken this mornin’ for our next week of meals ‘n’ cleanin’ up after our many messes, she spread the want ads out on the kitchen floor ‘n’ loaned me her glasses so I could look for work.

I was most excited at the prospect, ‘cuz with so many ads, I was sure there was many mind-bogglin’ opportunities for a canine with my broad shoulders ‘n’ hard-workin’ attitude.

“Oh, Mom, look, this one’s got my name all over it!” I said enthusiastically. “Backhoe operator! Wouldn’t I look cool drivin’ a backhoe?”

“Yes, you would,” Mom agreed, “but since you don’t have your license to drive a CAR yet, it’s probably out of the question.”

“Good point,” I said, ‘n’ scratched that one off, even though havin’ my own backhoe parked in the driveway was MOST appealin’. “Say, this looks dandy. ‘Independent kiosk sales contractor.’ Don’t that sound like me?”

“Do you even know what a kiosk is?” Mom asked.

“Well, I never seen one personally,” I admitted, “but I’m pretty sure it’s part of the chipmunk family, ‘n’ I’d be real good sellin’ some o’ them.”

Mom just sighed ‘n’ begun countin’ out Milkbones, just to see how long they’ll last in my new impoverished state.

“OK,” I said. “No kiosks. They probably bite anyway. But hey — what about this? ‘Quality insurance inspector.’ I got quality!”

“Yes, you do,” Mom agreed, “but what would you be inspectin’?”

I squinted at the paper. “Weeds!” I said triumphantly. “Oh, boy, I’m AWFUL good at inspectin’ weeds! We got gazillions!”

Mom was somewhat skeptical, ‘n’ she snatched back her glasses for a closer look. “Oh, Lou, that’s not WEED inspector. It’s WELD inspector!”

“Oh,” I said, somewhat dejected. “What’s a weld?”

“It’s metal ‘n’ it’s burnin’ hot,” Mom said. “Not a good choice for Louie.”

“OK,” I said, undaunted. “No welds. How about ‘Auto Detailer.’?”

“Only if the details they want is Louie snot sprayed all over the windshield,” Mom said.

“OK,” I said. “How about ‘Concrete Finisher’?”

“You’d get your paws cemented in someone’s new driveway ‘n’ be stuck there forever like a lawn ornament,” Mom said.

“OK,” I said, somewhat testily, “how about ‘Legal Assistant’?”

“Well,” Mom said, “you ‘n’ your union rep have had many run-ins with the legal establishment, but this ad is lookin’ for someone with experience in elder law, ‘n’ you’re still a young whippersnapper.”

“OK,” I sighed, ‘n’ scratched that one off, too. “How about ‘Worship Leader’?”

“You????” Mom scoffed. “Not unless they’re worshippin’ wieners!”

“Not funny, Mom,” I snarled. ‘N’ I scratched that one off, too.

‘N’ that was the very last ad. I wasn’t qualified for nothin’ outside the MIB, ‘n’ I sunk into the depths of despair.

“Oh, Louie,” Mom said, ‘n’ she give me a great big hug, “stop readin’ them ads. We’re not in the poor house yet, ‘n’ some day the debt ceilin’ will be replastered, ‘n’ you’ll be back on the job, defendin’ America from orcs ‘n’ aliens.”

I looked up at Mom with my soulful brown eyes. “Are you sure, Mom? ‘Cuz I don’t wanna be a burden on you ‘n’ Dad.”

“You’ll never be a burden to us, my boy,” Mom said, ‘n’ she ruffled my ears.

‘N’ that felt so good, I rolled over on my back ‘n’ let Mom give me an extended belly rub.

Oh, to heck with huntin’ for a job. Who needs a 401(k) or a pension anyway? I got you ‘n’ Mom ‘n’ if come September all we can afford to grill is a $2.99 package of wieners, well, so be it. At least we’ll be out on the patio together, ‘n’ that’s all that matters.

Can’t wait for you to come home, Pops. Even if I’m not payin’ no rent.


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, I think you would be a swell backhoe operator. You wouldn’t even need a backhoe.


Published in: on July 31, 2011 at 1:36 am  Leave a Comment  

July 29, from Louie, Day 56

Dear Dad,

Mom has been quite distracted of late, so she hasn’t noticed, but since you’re such an astute fella, I’m sure it’s come to your attention that my letters the past few weeks has been lackin’ in tales of federal agentry. I didn’t want to worry you ‘n’ Mom (especially Mom, ‘cuz you KNOW how much she’s countin’ on my pension to ease her golden years), but the sad truth is, ‘cuz of the impendin’ crash of the debt ceilin’, I’ve been —


Oh, I was DEVASTATED when Tommy Lee called me a coupla weeks ago with the news. I howled most vociferously. THIS is how they THANK me for puttin’ my life on the line night after night in defense of the homeland? Who’s gonna protect Canyon Trail from errant bears? Who’s gonna save us from body snatchers disguised as turkeys? Who’s gonna beat down the legions of orcs bent on ravishin’ our tender ladyfolk? WHO, I ask you, WHO???

But Tommy Lee just sighed ‘n’ told me to put a cork in it. The entire MIB has been laid off, Tommy Lee included, ‘cuz our budget, skillfully hidden in the National Endowment for the Arts, has been axed to appease the savage Tea Partyers, ‘n’ we’re all just gonna have to suck it up until Congress gets its act together.

Well, that’s easy for Tommy Lee to say. He can just go off ‘n’ make a coupla B movies ‘n’ pay his bills. But what’s Louie supposed to do to keep the Milkbones flowin’ (not to mention the dire prospects of alien forces canoein’ up the Little Cuyahoga to lay claim to all our mineral rights)?

Like I said, I didn’t wanna trouble you ‘n’ Mom, ‘cuz heaven knows you both got enough troubles without worryin’ about Louie’s employment prospects. So without consultin’ you, I called my union rep, who was nearly as dismayed as me, ‘cuz he gets a third o’ my earnin’s in the form of union dues.

‘N’ he tried MOST doggedly to get me reinstated. He says he snarled ‘n’ growled all the way up to the office of that Boehner fella (I don’t unnerstand what HE’S got to do with my paycheck, ‘cuz no one in THIS house ever voted for HIM), but his demands was most roundly rejected.

After many, many days of expensive lobbyin’, he sadly informed me that the only thing I can do is apply for unemployment. Which is why I’ve broken my silence ‘n’ written to you. I got many, many forms to fill out, ‘n’ many, many questions, but I can’t seem to get ahold of anyone in the unemployment office who speaks Labrador (with a quaint greyhound accent). So I’m appealin’ to you to download all of the proper forms ‘n’ fill ’em out for me, so’s I can start gettin’ my checks. ‘Cuz without ’em, I fear Louie is gonna be livin’ on bargain dog food from Marc’s without ANY meaty enhancements.

‘N’ that would be VERY wrong.

I have great hopes of bein’ reinstated once the debt ceilin’ is propped up, but if the government defaults come Tuesday, I’m afraid there’s tough times ahead for Louie. My pension may be squeezed dry ‘n’ my 401 (k) may be reduced to a 203 (q) ‘n’ the interest rate for THAT is just appallin’.

So I’m countin’ on you, Pops, to bail me out. In the meantime, I will diligently patrol the perimeter of the backyard, ‘cuz after all, that’s HOME, ‘n’ I don’t need no paycheck to protect our property lines. But if anythin’ nefarious happens beyond our immediate borders, I don’t know what will become of us, ‘cuz there’ll be no reinforcements from the MIB to back me up. I may have to rely on the Evil White Dog for help.

‘N’ wouldn’t THAT be embarrassin’?

Your sadly out of work,


P.S. Two other points to consider:

1. ‘Cuz of the terrible heat wave, me ‘n’ Mom is bein’ bomBARDEed by skeeters even as we type. I hope the city comes by soon with skeeter spray, ‘cuz we’re courtin’ encephalitis ‘n’ malaria of EPIDEMIC proportions!

2. Mom has become MOST absent-minded. Not only did she leave the front door ajar all last night, she left it WIDE OPEN all evenin’ while she was at that EWP. Good golly, don’t she realize the latch on the storm door is so weak, I coulda busted outta the house at the least provocation?

Sheesh, she needs to get a grip on things!

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you need not worry. When Mom goes to the EWP, she brings home plenty of bacon — certainly enough to keep Big Lou floppy-ear deep in Milkbones. Mom will never let you to stoop to the Marc’s parts-is-parts dog food. And, neither will I, frankly. You’re my bud.
As for enlisting the help of the Evil White Dog to help in a neighborhood emergency, well, I don’t recommend that. You two are destined for a fight-to-the-bloody-death some day and we need to keep that day far, far away. No, Lou, you need to just hunker down and let the neighborhood do what it must, be what it is. Meanwhile, you can turn on the big TV and laugh at the clowns in Washington.
Published in: on July 30, 2011 at 1:22 am  Leave a Comment  

July 28, from Louie, Day 55

Well, Pops, it’s been another steam bath of a day, which means even though Mom didn’t haveta go to that EWP ‘n’ even though she didn’t haveta drive Uncle Bob to the cat scanners, we don’t have ANY astoundin’ adventures to report. Can you believe it????

The mornin’ started with a mild round of thunder boomers, so instead of hoppin’ outta bed ‘n’ takin’ me for a hike in the refreshin’ rain, Mom declared that we was sleepin’ in, so even though my insides was startin’ to trouble me, Mom reset the squawk box for a whole hour later ‘n’ snuggled back under the quilts. I had no choice but to snuggle with her, but I let her nose know that I wasn’t too happy with the delay.

When we FINALLY arose (after a most lovely belly rub), the thunder boomers had run off to State College, Pa., ‘n’ we was free to hike through the broastin’ paths of Big Bend. We really paid for that extra hour of sleep, Pops, let me tell you. We was cookin’ like lobsters trapped in an iron pot ‘n’ just like lobsters, we both turned an unseemly shade of red. (Mom couldn’t see it, but I was quite rosy under my many damp ‘n’ frizzy hairs.) We slogged through a mile, ‘n’ Mom was gettin’ quite perturbed with me, ‘cuz I didn’t feel like poopin’. She had many frantic visions of foot-long incisions ‘n’ 20 or 30 staples in my belly, just like Stoli/Jane, ‘n’ she kept beggin’ me to poop, ‘cuz gosh, I’d sure stunk up the bed like I had to go, so FINALLY, just to get her offa my back, I let ‘er rip in fronta two joggers ‘n’ the Bike Patrol.

So there, Mom! 

Even though we was both quite toasty, we detoured to the condo for patio patrol ‘n’ surprisin’ly found a whole big bag’s worth of noxious weeds to rip out. I curled up on the bricks ‘n’ supervised Mom’s efforts, helpfully pointin’ out every time she missed a weed. She finally snarled at me to go upstairs ‘n’ nap on the futon, or I wasn’t gettin’ no crunchy wieners for lunch. Geez, she gets quite touchy in the heat.

Then we went home ‘n’ took a nap, ‘cuz I was extremely exhausted from my supervisory duties.

After a vigorous afternoon of cleanin’ house (how can Mom find so many things to clean in a house so darned small???? She must be a filthy person) ‘n’ a sweaty walk around the park (the fishes is still there, Pops, much stinkier than yesterday), Mom took off for many errands, but she refused to take me ‘cuz she said I’d cook my eyeballs waitin’ for her in Mr. Rav. Since I kinda like my eyeballs, I let her go.

‘Cuz when she got home, she drug bag after bag after BAG of MEAT into the house, ‘n’ we spent a most satisfyin’ afternoon ‘n’ evenin’ packin’ most of it away in the freezer (‘cept for some pieces accidentally on purpose dropped onto the kitchen floor for Louie) ‘n’ reservin’ the pork pieces for an audacious Thai stir-fry. You wouldn’t’ve liked it, ‘cuz Mom left out the really hot ingredients, but our tummies is both burstin’ right now ‘n’ there’s bunches left over for tomorrow’s dinner. Yum! Double yum!

‘N’ after dinner, we took another walk around the neighborhood, but it was so darned muggy, steam was risin’ up outta the sidewalks ‘n’ cloggin’ our nostrils. Mom had promised me a double, but I most gratefully settled for a single block, ‘n’ even then I was nearly swoonin’ as we crawled up the driveway. Gosh, you’d think we lived in Louisiana or somethin’! Poor Mom staggered into the foyer, drippin’ through her third T-shirt of the day, ‘n’ immediately tore off all her clothes.

I haven’t been able to get her dressed since.

You think about that, Pops.

Me? I’m gonna think about liver-flavored Popsicles ‘n’ sausage sundaes.

Your dessicated,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, may all your days be filled with liver-flavored Popsicles ‘n’ sausage sundaes.

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 27, from Louie, Day 54

Well, Pops, laugh if you must, but me ‘n’ Mom has suddenly become believers in the Storm of the Millennium.

Our quite unexpected conversion happened like this:

It was a most tolerable mornin’ weather-wise, ‘n’ since the forecast said tomorrow was gonna be most INtolerable, Mom decided to take me to the snooty dog park in the Falls for my main romp of the day. (Mom says even though the dogs up there is very class conscious, it don’t hurt me none to rub shoulders once in a while with canines who know their manners. ‘N’ besides, it was sorta on the way to Szalay’s so Mom could load up on vegetables ‘n’ other disgustin’ green stuff on the way home.)

There was only three other dogs there, but one was a young mutt who glommed onto me for some much needed male mentorin’. So I spent a goodly amount of time showin’ him how boy dogs pee ‘n’ other important stuff he needs to unnerstand to be successful in life. I even counseled him on the fact that although his humans had already deprived him of his balls, he could still have a most satisfyin’ time humpin’. ‘N’ I proceeded to show him how. His human was not amused.

After a detour to Szalay’s (how come they don’t sell MEAT there????) me ‘n’ Mom came home ‘n’ amused ourselves with mornin’ chores. Mom was most careful to keep foreign objects outta my mouth, so I don’t end up like the sorrowful Jane. (I’m not sure what THAT’S all about, but it seemed most important to Mom, so I tried not to let her catch me munchin’ on toilet paper rolls ‘n’ such.)

‘N’ then we took our Pre-Work Walk, ‘n’ the whole world changed before our eyes.

We was walkin’ along the fence in the park next door, ‘cuz that’s where the most shade is, ‘n’ it was startin’ to get powerful hot. I was dawdlin’, as is my wont when walkin’ with Mom, ‘cuz she lets me sniff stuff a lot more’n’ you do. ‘N’ suddenly the most tantalizin’ scent began ticklin’ my snout.

Mom noticed it, too. But instead of bein’ tantalized, she just went, “Eeeeuw!!!!” (You know Mom. Her idea of a good smell is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay different from mine.)

So I tugged tugged tugged at my bling, tryin’ to get to the source of that most captivatin’ odor, ‘n’ Mom kept tug tug tuggin’ in the opposite direction, ‘cuz she was runnin’ late. ‘N’ at the very same moment of our tug-of-war, me ‘n’ Mom BOTH homed in on the source of the olfactory assault on our senses.

TWO fishes was lyin’ on the other side of the fence. One was about 6 inches long, ‘n’ the other had to be at least a foot, if not bigger. They was both sprawled on their backs, ‘n’ they was both most definitely dead. (Thus, the tantalizin’ aroma.)

“Mom!” I said in astonishment. “Them’s FISH!!!!”

Mom pinched her nose shut with her fingers. “Oh, yeah, Lou, they are.”

“But where’d they come from?” I asked, ‘n’ I climbed up on the fence to get a closer look.

“Ah, geez, Louie,” Mom said, “come away from there. They’re crawlin’ with maggots!”

“Oh, yum!” I said.

But Mom was adamant, ‘n’ wouldn’t let me climb over the fence to eat them.

I was sorely disappointed, but as we wandered back home, we contemplated how them fish got there.

‘N’ the only answer that made any sense was, they was washed ashore durin’ the millennial flood.

“Gosh, Mom,” I said, “them waves musta been mighty high to deposit them boys clear up here!”

Mom looked down to the valley ‘n’ agreed only a tsunami of millennial proportions coulda left FISH up in the park.

I pondered that theory quite seriously as we strolled back to the house, ‘n’ I couldn’t find a single flaw in Mom’s logic. The storm the other day was most definitely the worst in a thousand years, ‘n’ the proof was in the fishes lyin’ many many feet above the valley floor.

Me ‘n’ Mom will never EVER again joke about the Little Cuyahoga lappin’ at the patio. We have seen the proof.

‘N’ the next time it rains, we’ll be lookin’ for Noah’s Ark ‘n’ beggin’ to hitch a ride.

Me ‘n’ Mom is believers.

Your most astounded,


Pops replies:

Pops in the snow -- in JULY!!!!!

And now I’m a believer, Lou. Wow, fish near our back door. Get that ark ready, my boy. We’re gonna need it.

P.S. Here’s a photo from yesterday, July 27. Words aren’t necessary.
Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 1:08 am  Leave a Comment  

July 26, from Louie, Day 53

Oh, Pops,

I am soooooooooooooooooooo disappointed!

Uncle Tim broke our play date!

Oh, he showed up at the crack of 8:15 to hand Uncle Bob off to Mom, but since he had to work tonight ‘n’ since Uncle Bob’s play date with the cat scanners ‘n’ such was gonna take all day, he IMMEDIATELY turned around ‘n’ went home, without barely takin’ time to scratch my ears.

‘N’ I stayed up darned near the whole night cookin’ baloney just for him. (Not to mention Mom’s mini cleanin’ frenzy, which wore me out just watchin’.)

So instead of havin’ wunnerful adventures with Uncle Tim ‘n’ Boy, I was stuck in the house ALL $#(%*^%7 day, starin’ out the front window for many, many hours, countin’ the seconds until Mom come home.  

‘N’ when she did show up, she was so wore out, she took me on just a little neighborhood walk, ‘n’ then SHE collapsed in her chair ‘n’ slept for many, many more hours.

The day was turnin’ into a real bust, Pops, let me tell you.

But just when I thought I would fade away from neglect, Mom rallied ‘n’ —

We went to BOW WOW BEACH!

Oh, gosh, Pops, I was soooooooooooooooooooo excited. I knew as soon as Mom got out my gay collar that we was goin’ to a dog park, but I didn’t dare hope for Bow Wow Beach. It wasn’t until we passed Rex’s famous erection in the Falls that I was sure of our destination, ‘n’ I just quivered all the way into Stow.

Oh, golly, but it was such a refreshin’ visit! I pranced ‘n’ frolicked ‘n’ splashed in the pond (no, I didn’t go swimmin’, but you don’t gotta get in over your head to have fun) ‘n’ I made so many new friends, I nearly forgot about that dastardly Uncle Tim. There was a whole school of Dobermans, who was quite friendly despite their reputation, ‘n’ a POODLE who stood a head taller’n me, ‘n’ a feisty three-legged greyhound (I was quite protective of him since he coulda been a distant relation), ‘n’ more Labs’n any one dog could count. ‘N’ Pops! I ALMOST stepped on a fish who was as big as my head (which, as we all know, is quite inflated). Oh, I run all of the kinks outta my many, many legs, ‘n’ I got quite wet.

So now we’re home ‘n’ it’s very dark, ‘n’ Mom is naggin’ me to finish my letter ‘cuz she’s really wore out ‘n’ would like nothin’ better’n to curl up in bed with her library book ‘n’ me. So I’m gonna sign off.

The day wasn’t what I’d hoped, but it turned out better’n I deserved (specially since I got the whole baloney casserole for myself) so I am content.



Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, finally your return to the beach. I sure hope you don’t get sick this time. You remember, the last time resulted in some nasty, nasty things happening to you. And, with poor Delilah feeling ill — and, and, I hate to break this to you, but your old flame Jane is horribly sick, too — well, I just don’t want nothin’ happenin’ to you. Lou, I think we depend more on you than you do on us.
Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 25, from Louie, Day 52

Oh, Pops, I’m so excited!

Uncle Tim is comin’ tomorrow for a play date JUST WITH ME!

‘N’ we’re gonna have so much fun, I don’t even care that Mom ‘n’ Uncle Bob is gonna take off in Mr. Rav for their own play date with the CT scan. (‘Cuz who in their right mind wants a play date with a CAT????)

I spent the better part of the evenin’ while Mom was at that EWP sortin’ through my cool collection of really useless stuff, settin’ aside the really best parts for me ‘n’ Uncle Tim. I’m pretty sure he’ll wanna play fetch with Mom’s ratty old pink slipper. (You don’t think he’ll remember he was the one what bought it for her in the first place, do you?) ‘N’ I can’t imagine he’ll be able to resist my fermentin’ rawhides. I mean, who could? ‘N’ then there’s my secret stash of dryer lint. I bet he’ll wanna roll around the floor in that for hours!

But first he’ll have to take me on several walks (I’m not gonna poop until he gets here!) ‘n’ I hope we run into the evil black cat ‘N’ the evil white dog, so’s we can have a rip-snortin’ time chasin’ ’em. ‘N’ if he’s really lucky, I’ll innerduce him to Boy, ‘n’ we’ll all three do wheelie’s on Boy’s scooter!

‘N’ then I’m plannin’ an extra special boys’ lunch out on the patio, where we’ll chow down like a coupla uncouth males ‘n’ swap dirty work stories. (I’m sure he’s got lotsa dirty Walmart stories to tell ‘n’ me, well, I got lots of national security secrets to divulge.)

‘N’ when we’re done fartin’ ‘n’ belchin’ wieners, we’ll curl up for a nap ‘n’ wait for Mom ‘n’ Uncle Bob to come home.

Don’t that sound wunnerful?

So ‘xcuse me if I make this letter kinda short, ‘cuz I still have my menu to prepare. I’m thinkin’ a nice baloney entree, with some meaty sides, all slathered in hamburger grease. ‘N’ just for Uncle Tim, a crunchy potato chip dessert. Yum!

Gotta run, Pops. So many things to do! So little time!

Gosh, I hope I don’t keep Mom awake bangin’ around the kitchen.

Naw, she’s too whupped to notice.

Your very busy,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you need to find some corner of the house and hide. Mom is gonna be frightfully tired today.
Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

July 24, from Louie, Day 51

Oh, Pops, it was a most terrifyin’ mornin’.

‘N’ since Mom hasn’t done a gosh darned thing to get me my driver’s license, there was nothin’ I could do but watch our impendin’ doom thunderin’ down upon us!

Only Mr. Rav’s snub snout saved us from a most ignominous end.

See, it was like this: We had many many thunder boomers overnight, ‘n’ though the skies never really opened up ‘n’ swamped us, Mom decided that we needed to do a Townpath this mornin’ to avoid the mudslides. I really don’t mind mudslides. In fact, since we’re bakin’ most o’ the time like two fat potatoes, a mudslide sounded kinda cool. But since our sour cream has passed its expiration date ‘n’ we don’t have none to slather over our arms ‘n’ legs, Mom took us down to Big Bend for a hike.

Well, Mom insisted on turnin’ right instead of left, TOTALLY forgettin’ that there’s barely no shade down that stretch of the path, ‘n’ as soon as I dropped two Louie-sized poops, Mom announced we was turnin’ back. (We barely got in a mile, Pops, which is MOST deficient for our main hike of the day, but I was silently sufferin’ ‘cuz Mom hasn’t come through with an appointment at the hair salon for my Mohawk, so I didn’t protest none. I was QUITE eager to climb back into Mr. Rav ‘n’ shove my snout up his air-conditionin’ vents.) 

The air-conditionin’ revived us both, so instead of goin’ home, Mom decided to run a few errands down in the valley. We was woefully short of cash, ‘n’ even worse, we was down to our last crunchy wiener! So I assumed my position, with back feet on the back seat ‘n’ front feet on the console ‘n’ my snout sprayin’ snot all over the windshield, ‘n’ as Mom pointed out afterward, her visibility was pretty much nil — whatever the heck that means.

So we got down to Merriman ‘n’ Portage Path, ‘n’ as luck would have it, we JUST missed the light. But traffic was light, so Mom nosed Mr. Rav out into the intersection, confident we could make a slick right turn on red.

‘N’ we would’ve. ‘Cept just as Mr. Rav was gearin’ up for the turn, the world exploded in flashin’ red lights ‘n’ ear-splittin’ horns ‘n’ whistles from the valley train, ‘n’ suddenly we was STUCK in a place where no one should be when a train is thunderin’ in your direction.

Well, the noise was burstin’ my sinuses, ‘n’ I whirled ‘n’ twirled around the seats as too many stimuli assaulted my senses, but Mom coolly slammed Mr. Rav in reverse so’s we could back out of the line of fire.

But gosh darn it, the gates was fallin’ too fast, ‘n’ they darned near smashed themselves into Mr. Rav’s roof. Only Mom’s quick reactions inched us forward enough to avoid a cripplin’ blow on the head.

But that meant the gate was BEHIND us, ‘n’ only train tracks lay ahead. We was sittin’ out in the middle of the crossroads with the train breathin’ down our scrawny necks.

 “Mom, do somethin’!” I howled.

 “Just sit tight, Louie!” Mom said. “We’re gonna ride it out.”

 “We’re gonna get smashed!” I wailed.

 “Oh, pshaw,” Mom said. “We got a good two-three inches between us ‘n’ the tracks!”

Oh, pshaw, my butt! We was gonna die! But there was nowhere to go ‘cuz of the pickup truck hoggin’ the next lane over. So I slapped my paws over my eyes ‘n’ prepared myself to be launched to Mars.

The train thundered to the intersection, blarin’ death ‘n’ destruction. Mom gulped but held firm. Omigod, but that engine was monstrous big, spittin’ out fire ‘n’ brimstone right under our nostrils! My whole life flashed before me, ‘n’ had to repeat itself three times ‘cuz the train was so darned long. I quivered ‘n’ moaned. It was the end of civilization as we knew it, ‘n’ I’d never ever have another T-bone again!

‘N’ then just as fast as we was trapped, the train slithered past us, rockin’ us violently with the backwash, ‘n’ then —

It was gone!

Mom was right. We had maybe FIVE inches to spare. ‘N’ not a single cinder damaged Mr. Rav’s lovely bright red paint job!

“See,” Mom said as we made the turn at the very first opportunity, “we was never in any danger.”

But despite the soothin’ tones of her voice, I noticed that her knuckles was quite white as she gripped the steerin’ wheel, ‘n’ her right eyelid was twitchin’ madly.

Don’t let her tell you otherwise. We was almost smashed to smithereens.

‘N’ it never woulda happened if I’d been drivin’. ‘Cuz I would’ve made that turn quite illegally before the train was even close, ‘n’ to heck with who had the right of way!

So, OK, we got home, ‘n’ neither me nor Mr. Rav was damaged. But gosh darn it, Pops, you gotta have a long talk with Mom. She shoulda never gotten us in that pickle, ‘n’ I’m not gonna feel safe again until either 1) you’re home drivin’ me around in Baby or 2) I got my license. ‘Cuz Mom’s old, ‘n’ her reflexes just aren’t good enough no more.

Your scared silly,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, that sounds terrifying, and almost ignominious, and oh-my-monstrously close. Whew! I am so glad that you and Mom and Mr. Rav survived such a close call with the train. I will absolutely talk to Mom about getting you your license. And your Mohawk ‘do, for that matter. Yup, I can just see you now, Lou — cruisin’ along in Mr. Rav, your Mohawk wavin’ in the breeze, all the babes along the way givin’ you a second (and third) look. What a sight.
Published in: on July 25, 2011 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  

July 22, from Louie, Day 49

Dear Dad,
I regret to inform you that, like the Wicked Witch of the West, Mom melted into a puddle of noxious goo on the sidewalk outside the old Hiney Place this afternoon, ‘n’ I don’t think we’re gonna get her back.
‘N’ (sniff), IT WAS ALL MY FAULT!!!!!
When we got up this mornin’, it was still fearsomely hot, but it didn’t feel quite so stuffy, so I begged begged begged Mom to take me to the dog park. She dithered, ‘cuz as you know, there’s no shade in the park to speak of, but I crossed my many legs most painfully ‘n’ groaned most pitifully, ‘n’ Mom sighed ‘n’ slathered herself in many layers of sunscreen (reservin’ a dab for my tender snout), ‘n’ she drug me down to the park.
Well, there was no one around but Fat One-Eyed Annie, ‘n’ she had planted herself under the only decent tree ‘n’ she wasn’t budgin’ for nothin’. ‘N’ her human saw us comin’, ‘n’ he dashed for the only bench in the shade, so there was nothin’ for me ‘n’ Mom to do but plod around the perimeter in the blazin’ heat. Which we did — until I left two nice deposits to fester in the sun, ‘n’ then me ‘n’ Mom agreed that even though we’d done only one round of the fences, we was goin’ home to the air conditionin’.
I didn’t think that outin’ had debilitated Mom that much. After all, I was the one in the full winter coat. But she hobbled around the house the rest of the mornin’, ‘n’ I noticed she was barely gettin’ into the joy of washin’ dishes ‘n’ doin’ the laundry, ‘n’ makin’ up the bed, ‘n’ hosin’ my many hairs outta the shower. I encouraged her to drink gallons of water, which she did, but she was takin’ many mini naps instead of tendin’ to the cookin’ ‘n’ cleanin’ chores like she ought. She just wasn’t like herself.
But at 1:15, I diligently reminded her that if she was goin’ to that EWP, I really needed a Pre-Work Walk to empty out my insides.
“Oh, Lou,” Mom whined, “I don’t think I can make it! That sun is just gonna cook my brains!”
Well, as we both know, Mom is given to hyperbole, ‘n’ sometimes you just gotta be firm with her so she don’t wimp out. So I told her in no uncertain terms that if she didn’t take me down to the Hiney’s ‘n’ back, I was gonna pee all over the livin’ room while she was off workin’, ‘n’ wouldn’t THAT be an awful smell to come home to.
So Mom pulled herself together ‘n’ blinged me up, even though the radio said the heat index was up in the many hundreds, ‘n’ we plodded down the driveway.
Now, I didn’t waste time, Pops, ‘cuz I was feelin’ the heat most dreadfully, too, ‘n’ I tried to get my peein’ over with fast, but I did happen to notice every time I looked at Mom that she seemed — um — well, she was gettin’ SHORTER. But I wasn’t too alarmed, ‘cuz I still had a poop to do ‘n’ I figured she’d last.
But then — oh, Pops, how do I ‘xplain? — I finally released my innermost bodily fluids, ‘n’ I turned triumphantly to Mom to tell her we could go home now ‘n’ —
Pops! There was nothin’ but her denim hat floatin’ on a pool of wax! MOM HAD MELTED!!!!!!!
Well, I IMMEDIATELY scooped up all the wax I could into her hat ‘n’ I dashed home with the hat hangin’ from my mighty jowls ‘n’ I pried open the freezer ‘n’ shoved all the little gobs of Mom I could find inside on top of the waffle fries ‘n’ pierogis ‘n’ I slammed the door shut.
‘N’ that’s where she’s been all evenin’.
I hope I done the right thing.
I checked not an hour ago, ‘n’ I think I saw her nose pokin’ up outta the crystals. Oh, golly, but I hope she’s pullin’ herself together. ‘N’ I hope I didn’t leave a kidney or a cerebellum coagulatin’ out on the sidewalk.
I’m gonna plant myself beside the refrigerator all night long, ‘n’ as soon as I hear her whiny little voice callin’ for me from the freezer, I’m gonna let her out — ‘n’ I hope she’ll be back together in one piece, with all her many lovely parts in all the right places.
Oh, gosh, Pops, I hope I haven’t done wrong.
I’m SURE I scooped up all her vital parts.
‘N’ if she’s missin’ an arm or a leg when you get home, I hope you’ll unnerstand.
For now, I’m fearfully waitin’ for mornin’. ‘Cuz if she does freeze herself back into shape, I’m afraid she’s gonna have many nasty words for…..
Your Louie. 
Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, once again I’m amazed at your many adventures. And while this one may be a bit less than your usual 98.7 percent truthful, it gave me a mighty chuckle nonetheless. (And I’m glad you saved Mom’s favorite hat!)


Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 23, from Louie, Day 50

Oh, Pops,
Me ‘n’ Mom is beginnin’ to fear that the Ents has crossed over to the dark side!
‘Member how a coupla weeks ago, a tree limb come crashin’ down in the dark ‘n’ nearly brained us?
Well, today, it was even worse! Much MUCH worse!
As you no doubt figured out from her phone call, Mom froze herself back together overnight, ‘n’ was nearly her old self when I let her outta the freezer at the crack o’ nine-thirty. ‘N’ is our usual practice, we stepped outside to test the mornin’ temperatures — ‘n’ THERE IT WAS!!!!!
A great big hunk o’ oak tree at least three Louies long (maybe even four!) had crashed into the backyard between Miss Sandra’s fence ‘n’ the tree beyond the island. Pops, me ‘n’ Mom just gaped, ‘cuz that limb landed with so much force, its nose dug itself four or five inches into the ground. (Honest, Mom’s got pictures ‘n’ they just don’t do the destruction justice!) Well, we reconnoitered ‘n’ determined there was no livin’ creatures pinned under the debris, ‘n’ then we went off to hike the Towpath, ‘cuz that tree limb wasn’t goin’ nowhere ‘n’ I needed to poop before Mom took it into her head to melt again.
When we got back, no good fairies had come along to clean up the mess, so me ‘n’ Mom dug the ropes ‘n’ pulleys ‘n’ catapults outta the garage, ‘n’ Mom harnessed me up good, ‘n’ in between other chores, we flung the smaller pieces over the back fence. It woulda been much more fun if it hadn’t’ve been so hot, but even with the sun grillin’ us, we had a pretty good time shootin’ at targets down in the valley. (Mom catapults like a girl. I, on the other hand, am MOST accurate. I got me two joggers, a yappy terrier ‘n’ a male human smokin’ outside the caboose of the valley train — hee hee hee!)
Well, we cleaned up about half of it, but as we surveyed the last big hunks, Mom admitted we might have to call in the MIB for assistance. ‘Cuz these is mighty hefty mothers.
“Gosh, Mom,” I said, lookin’ up at the tree, “why you think it fell? We didn’t have no big lightnin’ strikes last night.”
” ‘N’ no big wind,” Mom agreed. “Maybe the heat just got to the old girl ‘n’ she snapped.”
“Who are you young whippernsappers callin’ old?” a creaky voice demanded.
Mom frowned at me. “What’d you say, Lou?”
I shook my head wildly. “I didn’t say nothin’, Mom.”
“Did so,” Mom said, ‘n’ she commenced to loadin’ up the catapult again.
I just rolled my eyes. Honest, Pops, I never said a WORD!
So we shot off the last load (‘n’ almost got us a Thanksgivin’ turkey), ‘n’ then we commenced to packin’ up our infernal contraptions.
Mom gazed up at the tree. “Gosh,” she said, “I hope we don’t lose no more limbs.”
I followed Mom’s gaze ‘n’ frowned. “She does look kinda lopsided,” I admitted.
“You don’t look too symmetrical yourself, young man,” the creaky voice rumbled back.
My eyes popped out to the size of golf balls. “I didn’t say nothin’!” I howled.
“Me neither!” Mom squealed.
‘N’ we both skedaddled into the kitchen ‘n’ slammed the door on the evil chuckles rainin’ down from the tree.
“Omigod,” I babbled, “it’s alive!”
” ‘N’ it hates us!” Mom chattered.
‘N’ we spent the rest of the afternoon huggin’ each other in the safety of the shower.
Pops, there’s an EVIL tree livin’ in our backyard ‘n’ it’s tryin’ to kill us! You must come home IMMEDIATELY ‘n’ save us, ‘n’ if you can’t break free, then you must send Tyler or Taras (preferably Taras) to help us face this mighty threat. We will be cowerin’ in the shower until reinforcements get here!
P.S. Mom says she is quite impressed with my quick thinkin’, stowin’ her in the freezer ‘n’ all. But she says until she’s sure all her pieces is back where they’re supposed to be, she’s not givin’ me a medal.
I really think that’s unfair. ‘Cuz even if her earlobes don’t look right no more, I saved her life, ‘n’ she oughta be more grateful.

Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 21, from Louie, Day 48

Oh, Pops,

It’s so darned hot, the thermometer has blown its top ‘n’ sprayed mercury all over the patio, turnin’ our backyard into a Superfund site.

It’s so stultifyin’, our Pre-Work Walk was an agony of paw pads blisterin’ on the sidewalk.

It’s so suffocatin’, I’ve shed myself nearly bald.

It’s so cloysome, even our Midnight Stroll was debilitatin’, ‘n’ as soon as I pooped, I DEMANDED that Mom take me home. I didn’t even wanna chase after the black cat when he crossed our path. I couldn’t be bothered.

I spent all day curled up in the shower, with cold compresses packed onto my dumb ears. 

 I don’t know how long we can survive this.

 Me ‘n’ Mom is like two muffin meatloafs, bakin’ in the oven.

 Two shish-ka-bobs, sizzlin’ on the grill.

 Two delicately seasoned meatballs, bubblin’ in spaghetti sauce.

 Two pickin’ chickens, spinnin’ on the rotisserie.

 Two filets, charred just the way Mom likes ’em.

 Two wieners, spittin’ grease.

 Two ham steaks, brownin’ in the skillet.

 Two hamburgers, wrapped in melted cheese…..

 Say, Pops, sorry this is so short, but for some odd reason, I’m suddenly voraciously hungry ‘n’ I gotta go pester Mom to whip up a pan of Hamburger Helper for a midnight snack before she crawls into the air-conditioned bedroom with her book. So good night.

I really hope your headache goes away, ‘n’ I hope tomorrow’s programs is all stupendous, but I gotta find me some meat.


Your carnivorous,


Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment