You guessed it. I’m not a Professor of surreal studies from Chicago or a former dealer in underground Barbies or even a washed up punk rocker from Vancouver as claimed in previous entries. I’m just a run of the mill writer of fiction from San Francisco who’s recently taken a fiction seminar at 826valencia .  I can’t recommend their classes highly enough. Basically, 826 Valencia is a volunteer center that promotes literacy and writing skills from 8 to 18 year olds but they also have writing seminars for adults. What’s great about the whole project is that it was started by David Eggers, the guy who helped start McSweeney’s, a literary magazine that’s constantly bursting at the seams with creativity. After the class that I took at 826 Vanlencia I wanted to get writing immediately and so I set up this blog where I’m going to write a different kind of short-short story everyday.
      Here’s today’s funny little tale that’s almost true. It’s also maybe a little sad. Well it’s funny, funny, sad, serious, funny, weird. Maybe. I hope.


                                                                             Dog, Leg, Fetch 


    After many years of four-legged and loyal companionship, George Michael the dog chased a squirrel into the street and was hit. Tom, his faithful owner, shouted out his dog’s name in a hysterical shriek and a bus-load of tourists stuck their cameras out of the small, school bus windows in the hopes of getting a shot of the erstwhile celebrity. 
    “I’m so sorry,” the woman said as she stepped out from her car. It was as if she had been hit. She walked up alongside Tom who was crouched by her front tire. He pressed 9-1-1 on his phone as he put out his arm to pet George Michael. Could he call an ambulance for a dog ? he wondered as the phone rang. He didn’t have the insurance coverage. 
    At that moment Tom realized that George Michael was only a dog. Tom cried a couple tears anyway.
   “Let’s get him to a vet right away,” the woman said as she went to open the back door of her car. Tom picked up George Michael and carried him into the back seat. There was blood on Tom’s white shirt from George Michael’s crushed leg but that didn’t faze the woman. She didn’t care about the upholstery or floors in her car. They drove off in a hurry.
   The tourists were still taking pictures as the car left and now had another story besides their close George Michael sighting. At least a dozen angles of a good Samaritan story. They would go on to tell their family and friends great things about San Francisco. 
    Three months later, a three-legged George Michael was once again in the park.
    “Look mom, a one legged dog,” a little girl shouted but her brother leaned over to look for the missing leg somewhere in the fur of his belly. The mother and father laughed and laughed. Tom raced off at the sight of a squirrel. This one he caught and killed.
    Over the following years, people laughed and people talked and Tom tried to put on a good face but his patience was being eroded. One day, Tom overhead a remark made by an elderly man on a bench. A remark made to the clouds.
   “Only in America would somebody keep a three legged dog alive.”
   “And only in America would somebody say something that stupid.” 
   That night, in front of the t.v. Tom imagined his revenge and then called his taxidermist friend. The following Saturday, Tom went to the park to play fetch with George Michael. Tom threw what looked to be George Michael’s leg into the air and George Michael ran to get it. As George Michael raced back with the apparently severed leg between his teeth, children shrieked and old men howled. The park was a small chaos.
   Tom was finally at peace as George Michael stood beneath him with his tongue hanging out, waiting for him to throw it again.
Advertisements