Friday, November 02, 2007

Another Submission

Okay, I recently had a story accepted for publication in a new regional magazine, which is cool. Of course...when somebody encourages behavior that behavior is likely to be repeated. I've submitted the following to the same editor. She had commented that she was looking for shorter stories, so I tried to crop this one a bit:

A little over a year go I had to have my best friend Beau put to sleep. He was a monstrous hound tipping the scale at 160+ pounds in his prime, and had a wonderful coat the color of a deer. I miss him terribly, but there were things I don't miss so the fact that he was occasionally dumber than dirt.

The day I brought Beau home it was a bit of a surprise even to me. I had decided I wanted a big dog--perhaps something like a Great Dane--and called a few animal shelters to see what they had. One said they had a very big boy that might be a Great Dane cross, but they weren't really certain. Good. I like surprises.

I fell in love with "Rex" instantly, and after a short walk and get-acquainted session I announced to my wife that this would be my dog. Being as soft in the head as I am about these things herself, she didn't bat an eye. "Rex" became "Beauregard" as he jumped into the car, and home we went.

Upon arriving home, my wife stayed in the garage with our new friend to straighten some things up while I went outside to help my father-in-law, who was doing something in the yard. Suddenly we heard a remarkably loud scream, followed by what sounded like something crashing in the garage. I ran to see what was the matter. Suddenly the walk-in garage door was forcefully pushed open and out slunk a lumbering--and very guilty-looking--Beau. He stepped across the yard to the fence, where he turned around and sat, apparently immediately forgetting whatever had happened as he broke into a huge, dopey doggie grin..

I noticed that he had something black or brown all over his feet and on one flank. I turned to the garage again. There stood my wife, covered in oil. I should admit at this point that I change the oil in the cars myself, and sometimes I forget to empty the oil pan into a jug. Beau had walked by the pan, seen 4 quarts of oil sitting there, and for reasons known only to him it made sense to grab the pan in his teeth and fling it in the air. It hit my wife and then the wall, dousing both in oil. Maybe he was celebrating his new home.

A dog nearly died at the hands of a crazed woman that day, but I'm happy to report that he eventually found redemption through being the best dog anybody could hope to know, and spent the rest of his life proving that his first day with us was simply a bad first impression.

It's a great story (I think the long form is better, but requirements are what they are). The fact that it's true: frosting on the cake. The fact that the wife mentioned in the story is my ex: priceless.

Quick "Celeste" update: she went on a "date" Halloween night. So of course, now she has a boyfriend. It's a pity, really. She has the kid's poor dad thinking she's a really, really great girl. Which, of course she is...but not at all the kind of great girl--or at least not in the ways--that he thinks. She has ascertained that the boy is a virgin, and I'm pretty sure she's got her cap set to do something about that.

Now I'm just wondering if I should be warning the Dad. Probably so...but it's just so weird. Usually you're worried that the BOY will seduce the GIRL. Or does that make me a sexist? Probably. So what? So I care about the girl and her effect on the boys she sees, and I'm a little shocked and dismayed that she's promiscuous to the point where even gender isn't a barrier (I worry about her being with girls too, for good reasons). Sue me, call me old fashioned, whatever. Just don't cut off my spaghetti and football on Sundays.

"Melanie" is pretty huge with child these days, and is due any time. We took her to town tonight and bought her dinner and The Wife took her shopping. I think she has adopted The Wife as a semi-official mother/big sister figure, and that seems good to me because she needs somebody like that. It will be hard enough being a mother at her age without a husband or even involved boyfriend, much less doing it completely alone.

Oh, and I'm banished to the basement with Sammy, my parents' cat (they are in Arizona for 2 weeks and he's staying with us) tomorrow. The Wife has organized a baby shower for "Melanie" upstairs, and I don't want to get messed over into all that girly stuff. I may have to go find some guys and smoke some cigars or do some other macho stuff later just to get it off me. How does anybody around here expect me to be a proper cave-dwelling Neanderthal with all this frilly crap happening? Argh.

I love my life.


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