These are the days of the middle blanket. To crawl in so you're so deep there's no light, no hint of the outside world that throbs with pain and despair. Just block out the world, block out the light.
But I have responsibilities. So many of you count on me to give you a smile. It's hard, especially when you've spent so much time gathering the pieces of your shattered heart and trying to remember how they go back together. All of this has contributed to the worst case of Foley Block I have had since I ate that wheel of cheese out of Ron Burgundy's refrigerator.
What to do when you've got grieving followers begging for the structure of a few words to either bring a smile or raise a chuckle? I went down to the old sea chest, opened it with my nose, and pulled out Daddy's first dog Barney's diary.
I flipped through, and hopefully this story will do one or the other.
"It was my second summer with the Gays. Life was good. I was the bull of the woods. The toughest bark in the neighborhood. When a Lollipop was in heat I was the one to beat. I was fathering children like Wilt Chamberlin on a cross country book tour. My strong legs, my large butt, and my sharp teeth, made the male dogs quiver. If one of them crossed my path in pursuit of Lollipop stick, I would lay them bleeding in an alley. Nothing upset my world.
Then one day Boy Daddy came home stinking like monkey.
I smelled Boy Daddy as soon as he got out of the car. I walked over to him, having spent an afternoon of lady mounting, in a pleasant mood, when I smelled it. "Get over here!" I whispered because I didn't like to talk in front of his Pop. We went over to my dog house. I made myself a Scotch. Nothing like a little Johnny Walker after a day of love making. "Now Boy Daddy," I said. "I have a very finely attuned nose, and I would swear, even if I know it can't be true, that you smell like monkey."
Boy Daddy smiled. "I just my picture taken with a monkey," he said.
I sighed, lay down, put my paws over my eyes. I couldn't look at him. But I could still smell the stank of monkey. "Why did you have a picture taken with a monkey?" I asked.
Boy Daddy explained that he was spending the afternoon at the newspaper where his father was editor. At the end of the day, after everyone had gone home, a man came in the newsroom walking with a monkey. Boy Daddy, like all boys, are fascinated with monkeys. I don't know why. I think they are vile and disgusting creatures who throw their own excrement instead of dining on it like civilized animals. He went over to the monkey, while the man explained that he was with a small circus that had pitched tents in town, and they were looking for someone to take a picture with the monkey for publicity.
This was during a magical time called the '70's, when no one spade or neutered their dogs, allowed them to run around freely, made them sleep outside on something called wood chips, thought Jack's pretending to be an overly effeminate homosexual on Three's Company was the height of humor, stayed home Tuesday nights to watch Barnaby Jones, smoked in restaurants, bought Emerson, Lake and Palmer records, drank a lot, drove home, were helped by police officers if they couldn't make it, and allowed their kids to have their pictures taken with monkeys if it would sell a few newspapers (they also read something called newspapers, then used them for us dogs to pee on and caged birds to poop on.)
So Boy Daddy, his Pop, the man and the monkey went downstairs to the press room. They got the photographer Emmett, (in the 70s men were named Emmett, wore striped suits and fat, bright ties), put Boy Daddy in a chair and then put the monkey on his lap. They took the monkey's right arm and put it around Boy Daddy's neck, and Boy Daddy grabbed the monkey's hand with his left hand. "Now make sure you don't jerk the monkeys arm or move suddenly" the man said.
"Why shouldn't he do that?" Pop asked.
"Last week the little monkey ripped a kid's arm off when he moved suddenly, and a week before a kid got his ear bit off."
So Boy Daddy sat as still as he had ever sat before. And drunk Emmett (did I mention drinking on the job was another fun part of the '70's) slowly snapped pictures while the monkey decided how good Boy Daddy's ear would taste.
When they were done the monkey climbed down and Boy Daddy asked why he didn't bite him. :"I don't like Portugese food," the monkey said then walked off with the man.
I put my paw on Boy Daddy despite the monkey stank. I told him that while he loved his Pop, sometimes Pops don't make the best decision, and made him promise me that he would never pose with another monkey again, and to keep away from that guy Emmett because he gave me the creeps.
I then told Boy Daddy he would have to take a bath. He told me he was going to take a shower but I was sure that wouldn't cure it. I told him to remove his clothes. He did. (It was the 70's: people were naked often in the 70's.) I went in the shed and got the steel tub that I got my twice yearly bath in, and the heavy soap, dragged over the hose, filled the tub, had him sit in it, poured in the heavy soap, and with my teeth and paws scrubbed off the monkey stank as best I could. When I was done I buried his clothes in the back yard.
From that day, until I leaped to the Bridge, I do not believe Daddy saw or touched any monkeys. I would have known even when I got older and my smeller got worse. You can't miss monkey stank. I don't think he did after I went to the bridge either. Being stripped naked and roughly washed in a cold tub by a big black mutt helps kids learn lessons.
This is the end of my diary post about the monkey. I'm off leash again. God I love the 70's. Going to get me some strange.