by Tom Burns – I wrung my hands in desperation. I had missed the deadline for the monthly Rex story. Big Mike, the pillar of FoolishTimes, would be on the phone yelling and screaming, threatening to give me a pay cut. That didn’t scare me, since I don’t get paid anything.
“Rex, what are we going to do? Mike will threaten to cut my pay, and I can deal with that (Rex thinks I buy his dog food with my FoolishTimes paychecks) but we may have to cut back on your food. Instead of the cheap dog food, I’ll have to feed you the clippings from under the lawn mower if we don’t get the article in today!”
Suddenly Rex became interested in getting the article to the editor. “We could do a story about you and the Hernandez cat bullying you. Oh, that’s right. We did that last month. How about that nettlesome rash on your butt that just won’t heal?” He bared his fangs. Perhaps I had gone to places I shouldn’t have.
“How about the time Millie caught you in a compromising position with that Teacup poodle? What was her name? Fifi as I recall.” Rex lowered his head in remorse. I really didn’t blame him. She was wearing a tight short skirt, a see-through wet T-shirt, and had just rolled in a dead skunk. How could a guy resist something like that?
“Oh! Oh! How about the time you jumped in the clothes dryer when I wasn’t looking and didn’t notice until I thought from the sound, I had put my hiking boots in the dryer. Remember? Remember that? I pulled you out with a sheet of fabric softener in your mouth. Remember?” Rex stared out the window. Evidently he did remember.
“Come on, man. Cough up an idea. We’re in this mess together, you know. If the ship goes down, we’re both dead. (I figured Rex could relate to that as there has been so much media coverage of the whole Titanic thing. He watches a lot of TV.)
Rex walked over to the three-foot hole in the carpet in the living room, and the burn marks on the wall. “HEY! That’s not funny. Kimmie said she wanted a romantic evening on the floor with candles and that big incense burner of hers. I had no idea the charcoal lighter would back-draft on us.” I think I actually witnessed a dog smiling.
“Give me an idea. I do all the typing of these stupid stories. The least you can do is inspire me. What would a good story be? Come on! See the second hand on the clock going round and round? Time’s a wasting! Chop chop! (Is that politically incorrect these days?)
Rex stared out the window again. That is his usual way to cope with stressful situations. That is my usual way, too, only I go through a six pack as I stare out the window. He’s stronger than I.“Say! We could write a story about all of my crazy friends down at East Village Coffee Lounge.” Rex slowly turned his head and stared at me. Intensely. “Yeah, you’re right. No one would believe what goes on down there. But the time Jim came home with a hickey, half of a haircut, and no socks set the high water mark for great stories.” I think I just witness a dog laughing.
“Rex! Knock it off. I’m going to turn on my computer and start typing. We can’t let another day slip by . . .”
I rung my hands in desperation. I had missed the deadline for the monthly Rex story. Big Mike, the pillar of FoolishTimes, would be on the phone yelling and screaming, threatening to give me a pay cut. That didn’t scare me, since I don’t get paid anything . . .