The one about smoking guns  

My neighbor committed suicide the other night. I heard the gunshot. I personally have never shot a gun in the heat of the night. (I think that was a tv show once. . .) 

Here’s how it started.

My wife went to bed early so Simon and I stayed up and watched the X Files. Around 10 o’clock I started to get tired. So I got ready for bed.

Then I noticed there were wet clothes in the washer. I threw them in the dryer, got a book and started to read.

 Around 10:30

I heard a loud pop 

Like a gunshot.

I waited for a scream or a thud and thought to myself  “Man, this neighbourhood sure is changing. Maybe we ought to move?”

I imagined a wife finally putting an end to her husband and his annoying habits. Or maybe it was the younger couple who fought a lot. 

I never heard anything else. No ambulance or anything. I guess I would have to wait for the smell of rotting flesh.

The next morning I was going to ask my wife if she heard it also. (Simon and her slept through the excitement.)

But first I had to fold the laundry. 

That’s when I found it. 

Shards of plastic and the head of a cigarette lighter, right there in the clean clothes.

My wife had left a lighter in her pocket and it had exploded in the dryer. 

I stomped into the room to tell her just what I thought about this situation. “Babe! I’m not mad I’m just going to show this to you and it’s important! Really important! You left a lighter in your pocket and it exploded last night in the dryer.

 I thought our neighbour had shot himself or something. You have to check your pockets. It almost gave me a heart attack!”

I wanted to be satisfied blaming my wife but then I remembered. I had washed my shirts. She had some clothes in the dryer, already finished drying. And I tossed my couple of shirts in with them and re ran the dryer. 

The lighter had already made it through a full cycle. 

I was just lazy and didn’t want to put the laundry up.

Because that’s the kind of tasks you want to do at 10pm on a Friday. Fold laundry. 

If I hadn’t been lazy, it never would’ve happened. 

But it’s such a vague and gray area. 

Who’s to know who to blame?

Cold #4

“Most people never die suddenly. Your body spends years sending you warnings. A man of 55 dies and it’s a tragedy, yes. But not a sudden one. Habits, They can be read like a timeline. We ignore Doctors and keep on with our lifestyles. One day the body just … runs out of road. You want to live healthy? Start talking to your  Doctor when you’re 28, before you start falling apart.” 

Janice was examining a body on the table. All of the lights were off in the room. None of the computers were running in the background.  It was quiet. It had been swept clean from budget cuts. Making it easier to hear her through the phone call. 

” So when I tell you, this body. These bodies. They shouldn’t be here. I mean it. These cells. Agent, They’re billions of years old.” 

She stood up straight. 

“Infected with Virus. They’re reproducing through bacteria from the site. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

– what do you mean from the site? He could feel the pressure in his gut. He was suddenly aware of the limited space of his Bronco. Driving back to the site where they found the hunters and the Coyote. 

“I mean,” Janice was saying…

“- I don’t know how, maybe it was dormant deep in the earth. Somehow, through rising tempatures. These cells, they’re awake. Infecting the water. All of the wildlife in areas red and yellow? Infected. Our hunter had a good hunting day. And was infected as well. Passing it to others. And then you have the water and the town.”

– so this is a virus? 

“Unlike we’ve ever known. This is older than anything we’ve ever seen.” 

He pulled to a stop. Hanging up the phone. The area was on fire. As men were putting up road blocks. 

“What’s going on here? We need to close this area and quarantine these people…”

“Baldwin, I can’t just quarantine an entire area like this. The paper work alone- listen, It’s State Property. Slotted for fracking next year. It’s already in the budget. And you know just like anybody else… that money is already spent. No refunds.  We’ll torch it. And restrict the area. That’s the most we can do.” 

“People have died. And will cont-”

“Hey, we’ve already sent in the report to the Feds. It was imported food and big pharma.” Nothing else. You did a good job. Let it go. 

He couldn’t believe it…

And thought again of Janice’s words…

No one just dies suddenly. It builds up slowly overtime. We just ignore the warnings. 

Writer’s Log #16

Walked Simon today. He was really excited because it had just rained. 

We walked past a gas station the city is trying to close, due to it not being safe and way behind on maintenance….

A girl was filling up her car when the pole mount windshield cleaner and squeegee – randomly fell off the pole! 

It splashed all over her. 

She just stood there staring at it in disbelief. 

It was priceless. 


Took Simon to 3rd Saturday. 

Almost as good as Boom Days 

There were a lot of concerts and Alabama was doing something in town also. 

Simon ate a hot dog. 

And thought, once again, that it was all for him. 

Beagle in the City #168

Simon: Bad news. Your polls aren’t looking good for 2018. You’ve got to get more walks in.

Ethan: I came home to see you on my lunch.

Simon: What can I say dad. you make crappy sandwiches. More walks and ice creams. And now it’s raining. We can’t walk today…

Ethan: I have a rain jacket. You have the evolution of fur. You should be fine.

Simon: …

Ethan: or we can stay in and eat hot dogs! 

The one about fist fights with dust 

So my wife and I, my better half, my kick ass roommate. My best friend until I hate her and then I need her to be my best friend, so I can complain about her to her, because I tell her everything. 

We had this huuuge fight the other day. 

It was terrible. There was breaking of things…Simon was upset. 

I used her blue toothbrush for a solid two minutes that morning…she specifically told me mine was the green one and I was like, got it. And then I didn’t got it. 

No that’s not what we fought about. It’s true. Totally took that toothbrush to germ warfare. There was bacteria everywhere. But it’s not what we fought about.

She is converting to some religion and I’m not enough for her anymore because we’re not equal. So I kicked her out. It was bad. 

I’m lying. That’s just not true. That’s stupidly obvious. I would be writing so much bad poetry. 

What DID happen. Was the following. It all started with a dog. No,no, it all started with coffee. 

We were sitting in bed drinking coffee, it was morning. And our dog, Simon. The graceful,lanky, 35 lb beagle mix, gracefully managed to hit me with all his 96 elbows as he collapsed on top of me. 

And as I was telling him how he is the best dog in the world. Because he is. I could smell something. And I thought to myself, gosh, my wife should really brush her teeth. 

And she was thinking the same thing…

And then we had a telepathic moment that only happens when you’ve been roommates who sleep together and share rooms together for a long time. We both looked at each other and then Simon. And I smelled him. And -it-was-vomit worthy. It was so bad, you could use it to catch a thief. 

He had rolled in something dead. It smelled like death and sewage. So I gathered him up and took him to the bath. 

It was so bad, I had to wash his collar in the washing machine and soak it in Pine Sol. That’s how bad it was. 

We walked out of the bathroom all clean. When the woman I love stormed passed me. Throwing clothes. And talking to herself. Then she Yelled at me, help me clean up this mess! I can’t take it anymore! 

I stood there, hoping that if I stayed really still maybe she would be like a dinosaur and not see me. 

Simon ran under the table and blew my cover. 

I was thinking to myself. Trying to figure out what I had done that morning to make her mad…

I was in the bathroom. No no , I was having coffee, I gave Simon a bath…

I gave Simon a bath. I changed the bed…we were having coffee …

I couldn’t figure anything out. 

So we had to talk about it. You know, like you’re supposed to. 

But not like in the way they do in law and order 

We weren’t trying to get kicked out of our building or end up in prison. 

We did it the old fashioned way. Like Hemingway. With boxing gloves and Shot Guns.  No not really. 

We talked about it. 

What really happened that morning was, we were on our phones and it was our off day. And I thought we were just drinking coffee and I was writing. She felt like we were wasting too much time on our phones. Rather than reading books or really being together. 

You have to talk about things 

Rather than post some deeply vague meme on social media and hope that a friend of a friend see’s it and just before pitching their pyramid scheme to your significant other-they mention it and THEN they know you’re really upset.

I feel like in a lot of ways, as I scroll through my newsfeed and pretend I’m not like everyone else…

We waste so much time online. I get it. I do. But no one really gives a shit. You know, I walk by people who look like, were it the 1950’s they’re  undercover pretending to eat  food. Staring and scrolling on their phones. 

Or I see them pulling from parking lots, Staring into their palms. Because that’s how you drive a car. 

What I realize. Is, it’s all a bubble. Designed for you. No one but you cares about what’s in your newsfeed. And no one cares about all your selfies. 

We will all die one day. Having spied on everyone else. And if we saw our flashback. We would say…”how do I look at Rachael.”  Because our newsfeed isn’t that big of a deal. 

So read a book. Walk a dog. Cook. Drink. Watch Frasier. 

The one about walks 

So today I took a four hour nap. Because I’m an adult and I can do that sort of thing now. I also didn’t do the dishes. I take that back. I did do them. But then I messed them up again, because I got hungry. Adult life is so overrated. 

My wife saw me pick the Swiffer off the floor. And thanked me for sweeping. Which sounds like the type of thing I would normally do. But not today. 

I thought about taking the credit. Because you know, everyone tells you, Like in that movie with Wolverine and Meg Ryan. You can’t just tell a woman you’ve done something. They won’t believe it. They have to see it. Because they’re all about actions. So she thought I cleaned the floor. Because I was putting the swiffer away. And if she saw me closing the dish washer. She would think I just finished the dishes. Which when I first saw the film..,led me to believe that if I did all of these things anyway but she never saw it.  She would eventually divorce me stating “you never do anything!!” 

Because I was young and gullible and I also thought I knew a lot back then 

Turns out I knew NOTHING.

I walked Simon twice today. 

He’s our dog.  Believe it or not. He doesn’t talk. I wrote about burning biscuits once. And there was a line where the smoke detector goes off… 

later I fixed our smoke detector (because it was actually broken) and someone said “you lied! You said in your blog that it went off!! I can’t believe it.”

I just stared at them. Like I was being forced to watch 60 minutes or The West Wing or Spoon fed Vegemite…

“Yeah.” I said. “That’s not all I lied about though. Believe it or not. My dog Simon doesn’t actually talk.”

Speaking of Simon. We take two walks a day now. 

A lot of people say things like…

“I see you walking your dog all the time!”

Or ” I saw you and a girl walking your dog.” 

Or 

“I saw some girl walking your dog the other day.” 

Sometimes I tell the truth. Sometimes I explain that I pay someone to walk him. Or that I had just had a date but she wanted to walk my dog instead so I let her.

It’s actually my wife…

But why bore people with small details.