Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Frying Bigger Fish

Life is short, and Johnny's on a rampage:

Dear Editor:

I'm writing to inquire about submitting my original pulp/tough-guy/crime novel for your consideration. All the classic pulp elements are there. Mystery. Sex. Betrayal. Handgun violence. You name it. It's about a dope-shooting pill-popping gun-waving long-haired private detective searching for a missing executive. People ask me if my character is based on me. I tell them no. I have short hair. Please let me know if you'd be interested in taking a look and, if so, what submission guidelines I should follow.

Thank you very much.


When we were in high school, our writing teacher told us told us all literature contained only three plots. Johnny retorted, "Kid is born, gets expensive gifts." Damned if he didn't knock down all our classmates within a five-seat blast radius.

While I can't find an apartment in New Brunswick that doesn't include some disastrous condition like a pre-existing roommate with a sex offense conviction, Johnny and his hot veterinarian wife packed up and moved to the southwest. It takes a tremendous pair to enact your dream of never shovelling snow again for the rest of your life. I'm almost jealous. There are, however, new perils for one's pets:

We had a bad scare. Ernie wandered off Wednesday morning. As the days went by and we searched the desert for his collar or a crime scene or any sign, we gradually had to accept that he had wandered too far and that the coyotes had gotten him. We treat coyote maulings at the practice, where I'm working now in Client Services (i.e. receptionist) probably once a week. They're not entertaining. I've been holding up, strong silent type that I am, although for some reason people always laugh when I point that out, but the wife has been in bits. Last night we get home from work at about eight, phone rings. Chick on her cell. She has Ernie, by the side of the road about a hundred yards from our house. He's injured, but walking, she says. We burst into tears and get into the car and go get him and burst into tears and thank her and put him in the van and take him home and burst into tears.

Holy crap! Is Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, better off without the threat of coyotes? I'm pretty sure I am:

Anyway, it turns out that all he has is a superficial gash on his side, probably from a wire fence, and a few nicks and dings here and there. Whether he was set upon by coyotes and cut himself running from them, we'll never know. Once we got him into the house, it was clear he didn't need the emergency room, just a shitload of water and food and love. He's improving by the minute. We're taking him into the office later to throw a few stitches in his wound and clean up the other little scratches. He'll be good as new. Which, mind you, is not good. He's unbelievably stubborn and willfully impossible. He routinely wakes us up at four to go out and make a tiny bit of pipi. He mostly always doesn't want to come back from nighttime walks on the leash, so we have to drag him or pick him up and carry him. He's a goddamn stubborn obnoxious silverbacked old man. But we're overcome with relief and joy to have our most bestest of all possible boys back. I had forgiven the desert, I mean we're the intruders here, but the desert and I are back to best friend status.

So now I'm back to that question Mamie asked in October: if I didn't have to worry about anything, what would I do?


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