Ghostwriting for a Dog: Best Friends

waggy AlexAlex Terrgi here. I have a lot of best friends. That’s because I like almost everybody. In fact, I love almost everybody. I have never met a human who I didn’t love, except maybe the vet, and I loved her until she poked me with a sharp thing. But I forgave her when she gave me a cookie and then I liked her. The only reason I like her but don’t love her is because her vet house smells really, really bad, like sickness and pain and medicine. How she can stand to live there I don’t know.

I love other dogs too. At the dog park I play with everybody and we have a fine old time digging holes and chasing each other. When my sister Goody was alive I loved her best of all, except when she tried to steal my food. I even love The Cat Who Lives In My House, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who does love her. Our human says she is the Evil One because she pees in corners (the cat, not the human).

I must admit that rodents like squirrels and rats are not my best friends. But I do love catching them and ripping their heads off, so does that count? Like I said, I love everybody.

Haiku Friday: Ball

haiku pic 2Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Ball:

learn from a wise cat

get rid of what you don’t need

hack up a fur ball

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

Serial Fiction: Part 4 of The Sandwich

sandwich ebookIt’s the last Wednesday of the month, so here’s the last installment of The Sandwich. What will happen to Tommy and Andy? The crisis is coming …

His father said something and his mother laughed and then they both walked away and got into their cars. Andy remembered that his mother was going to the store for ice cream, and his father had to move his car so she could get out of the driveway. His father’s car was parked in back of hers, with its front hood facing her trunk.

            Tommy stood off to the side still looking at whatever he held in his hands. Suddenly the thing jumped out of his grasp and Andy could see what it was. It was a big greeny-brown toad.

            The toad hopped away and hid under the hood of his father’s car. Tommy ran between the cars after it.

            His mother started her car. She waited for his father to start his too and move it out of the way. His father just sat there in his car and grinned at her. Andy heard his mother say, “To-om!” in an exasperated voice, but she was laughing. They were playing a game. They teased each other a lot. Andy didn’t think either of them noticed Tommy between the cars. He was crouched down looking under the hood for the toad.

            His mother gunned her engine and her car rocked backward a bit. His father still sat there and grinned. Andy wondered what would happen if she really backed into the other car and pinned Tommy between them. Maybe it would squish him flat and he would look like a cardboard cutout, like in TV cartoons. Andy moved to the side of the window and hid in the curtains so no one could see him watching. He held his breath and waited to see what would happen.

            Tommy must have finally heard his mother’s engine revving up because he suddenly stood up just as his mother teasingly backed her car into the other one. The cars smacked together with a squelch as they sandwiched Tommy between them.

            Andy’s pouty mouth relaxed. He turned his radio up louder so he couldn’t hear the screaming. He listened to the music with a smile and didn’t even hear the sirens when they came.

Compost: It’s Fun to Be Young

Man in Front of a Trailer Making a Peace SignSpring Equinox was a few days ago. On Spring Equinox, the nights and days are of equal length. All is in perfect balance. This is the season sacred to childhood; of bunnies and eggs and all things young. There are buds on every tree. Daffodil and tulip stalks are poking out of the ground, and some have begun to bloom. This is the time to celebrate childhood joys and the sense of infinite possibility.

If you are no longer young, you can still celebrate your youth. Probably you have some good memories from way back when. Get together with someone your age and relive your youth by telling your stories.

For instance, maybe you were alive during the late 1960s or early 70s. Maybe you are an ex-hippie, or even an old hippie, one who never exed yourself. Did you wear tie-dye t-shirts and tattered jeans and a peace symbol necklace? Have hair hanging down to the middle of your back (if a girl) or to your shoulders (if a boy)? Fringes on your leather jacket? Did you bliss out to Jefferson Airplane or the Doors? Bend your mind in various ways? Protest and march, or at least talk about doing so?

Ah, youth, so many years ago now. To be a teenager or a young adult during the late 1960s and early 1970s was to be exhilarated and exhausted at the same time. There was a lot going on, and the times they were a changing.

Go ahead, indulge yourself. Listen to Led Zeppelin, Buffalo Springfield, the Stones or the Beatles. Rock on. Think yourself young again, when everything was possible.

Far out and right on, man.

Haiku Friday: Spring

zen gardenHere’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Spring:

on Spring Equinox

a wonder – eggs stand on end

the earth balances

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

Serial Fiction: The Sandwich

sandwich ebookThird installment of short story The Sandwich. I hope you are enjoying it.

Andy heard Tommy come running home. He sounded happy and excited about something. He was yelling, “Dad! Dad!” at the top of his voice. Sometimes Tommy was noisy but no one ever got mad at him for it. He only yelled when he was happy.

            Andy didn’t want to know what Tommy was happy about. He turned on his radio to shut out the sound of Tommy’s laughing voice. The radio didn’t shut it out completely; Andy could still hear Tommy’s voice but at least he couldn’t make out the words. It was just an excited mumble. It probably wasn’t anything important. Tommy was always excited about something.

            “We need some cheese!” Andy’s father’s voice boomed over the sound of the radio. When his father raised his voice he could be heard over anything. Andy rolled his eyes and pouted harder. He knew what that meant.

            “Andy,” his mother called in a wheedling voice. “We’re making a sandwich.”

            “Where’s the cheese?” called his father again. “This sandwich needs some cheese!”

            The sandwich was another family tradition. It was really only a big hug. His father and mother were the slices of bread and Tommy and Andy were the filling. It was supposed to make everyone feel all lovey and good. Tommy was the tuna fish or the bologna or the egg salad. Andy was always the cheese. He hated being the cheese. You could have a plain tuna sandwich, or a plain bologna sandwich, but the only time you ate plain cheese sandwiches was when you couldn’t find anything else. Cheese was an extra.

            Andy pretended he couldn’t hear them calling him. Pretty soon they stopped and he guessed they must have finished making their sandwich. He got up off the floor and stood by the window. He looked down at the three of them standing in the driveway. His father had finished washing the cars and they both sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight. Tommy was holding something in his hands and his mother and father were bent over him looking at it.

The final installment of this story, about a boy who does nothing, comes to the blog next Wednesday. Or you can read the whole story right now in my short story collection Childish Discoveries.

Ghostwriting for a Dog: Job Creator

Doggie Doo Doo StationAlex Terrgi here. Some humans think that dogs do not contribute to the health of the economy because we are takers and not makers. This is not true. I contribute. Here’s how:

First, my pet girl who lives downstairs earns money because she picks up my poop that I deposit on the back lawn or in the dog run (and sometimes on the porch – but only when it’s raining). My human gives her $1 for every poop bag she collects and puts in the garbage can. My pet girl saves up her $1s until she has enough to buy something she wants, like a Monster High doll. If I was her I’d go to Petco instead and buy a squeaky toy, but so far I haven’t convinced her that squeaky toys are better than Monster High dolls. But back to the point – if I didn’t contribute my poop so my pet girl could make money, the whole economy might crash. I am assured by my human that this would be a bad thing.

Second and more important, my primary contribution to the health of our society (both dog and human) is that I know how to Do Love. Yes, I am a maker not a taker. I am a maker of Love. My wagging tail, my soulful eyes, my loyalty, my courage, my enthusiasm for life – these are more important than $1 pieces of paper, no matter how many you have or how many Monster High dolls you can buy.

Haiku Friday: Special

haiku pic 3Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Special

maybe you believe

that you are nothing special

if so, you are wrong

It’s Haiku Friday again.  For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose.  I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog.  Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those).  That’s it.

Serial Fiction: The Sandwich, part 2

sandwich ebookHere’s the 2nd installment of my short story The Sandwich, about a little boy who does nothing. Yes, nothing.

Andy could have been outside too, playing with his friends, but he didn’t feel like it. His friends always wanted to hang around with Tommy, following him around and copying everything he did and listening to everything he said. Tommy never yelled or made fun of them like some of the other big kids. Tommy had lots of friends of his own, but he was nice to Andy and his friends and showed them how to do stuff and joked and laughed with them and made them feel like part of the gang. All of Andy’s friends thought Tommy was great. It made Andy feel sulkier than ever just thinking about it.

            The vacuum had stopped and Andy heard his mother go outside into the driveway.

            “Tom,” he heard her say, “Can you move your car so I can go to the store? I want to make banana splits for the boys tonight, but I just discovered there’s no ice cream left.”

            “I thought you bought some yesterday,” said his father.

            “I did, but I think Tommy must have eaten it.”

            “Tommy gots it all, huh?”

            They laughed together. That was an old family joke. It was a joke on Andy. A long time ago, when he was only three or so, he had asked his mother for some candy. She told him to get it out of the cupboard. Andy looked in the cupboard but he couldn’t find any candy. As he was running back to tell his mother, he saw Tommy in front of the TV with the bag of candy on his lap. Andy stood in front on his mother, pouting silently. “Didn’t you get the candy?” she asked. “I can’t,” he whined. “Tommy gots it all.” For some reason everyone thought this was very funny. They repeated it over and over and “Tommy gots it all” became a family saying. Andy wished they would forget it. He just didn’t understand what was so funny and whenever anyone trotted out that old joke he made his famous pout. He was pouting now. 

Come back next Wednesday and see if Andy is still the watcher in his family. Or read the complete story The Sandwich in my short story collection Childish Discoveries.

Compost: Read This Book

Women's Right to Know croppedI was honored to be an editor of the new book A Woman’s Right to Know: How Women’s Health Became a Political Pawn – and the Surprising Alliances Working to Reclaim It by Dr. Carol Roye.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you are concerned, as I am, about the current assault on women’s right to control their lives and their own bodies, read this book. Please.

As one of her reviewers said, “Dr. Roye has written a compelling story of the history of the politicization of reproductive rights for women in the US that is filled with surprises and is a must-read for those who care about the lives of women and children.”

I have two daughters and two granddaughters and the thought that they may have to fight the same battles that I fought and face the same barriers that I faced infuriates me. Carol Roye’s book gave me hope that this might not come to pass.

You can buy this book on Amazon and you can like it on Facebook.