Sammy, the Barking Menace

Peter Crabbe

I TRY VERY HARD TO BE OPEN MINDED, CALM, PATIENT, AND LOVING…


“WOOF!”


BUT I MUST ADMIT THAT AS A WRITER AND CREATIVE TYPE I DO FIGHT LITTLE DEMONS THAT CREEP INTO MY THOUGHT PROCESS THAT DRIVE ME…


“WOOF!”


NUTS.


I LIVE NEXT TO A FAMILY THAT HAS A SWEET, OLD, DELIRIOUS DOG NAMED SAMMY WHO IS STILL CHASING MAILMEN AND CATS FROM YEARS GONE BY.


“WOOF!”


IT’S A RHYTHMIC BARK. NONSPECIFIC, CONSTANT, AND SPACED PERFECTLY SO THAT JUST WHEN YOU THINK ITS GOING TO END….


“WOOF!”


IT HAPPENS AGAIN.


AS I WRITE THIS, RACKING MY BRAIN FOR SOMETHING HUMOROUS TO IMPART TO THE WORLD, ALL I AM GETTING IN MY HEAD IS…


“WOOF!”


YOU GUESSED IT.  I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE IN HAVING LITTLE DISTURBANCES AT WORK, ONE FRIEND TOLD ME HE WAS ANNOYED BY THE SOUND THE COPIER MADE, ANOTHER BY THE TONE OF THE RINGING OF THE OFFICE PHONE, ANOTHER WAS DISTRACTED BY THE CLICKING OF HIGH HEELED SHOES ON THE FLOOR.


“WOOF! WOOF! Aieek!”


OH! A DOUBLE BARK WITH A YIP TWIST, EXTRA CREDIT FROM THE JUDGES FOR THAT! HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR VARIETY! EXCUSE ME A MOMENT…


(STRANGE MINUTES PASS)


OK, OK… I’VE JUST COME BACK IN AND SAT DOWN AT MY COMPUTER AFTER HAVING A VERY SPECIFIC CONVERSATION WITH SAMMY THE SILENCE CHALLENGED K-9. HE SEEMED TO KNOW I WAS THERE; HE STOPPED BARKING WHILE I SPOKE TO HIM AND I THINK HE ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT I WAS SAYING. I REALLY LOVE DOGS AND I LOVE SAMMY, HE IS A KIND, OLD…


“WOOF!”


PAIN IN THE… OK PETER, HANG ON A SECOND. WHAT ARE YOU GETTING SO UPSET ABOUT? ITS REALLY A NICE SOUNDING BARK. ITS ACTUALLY PEACEFUL IN A CERTAIN SENSE. YES THAT’S IT! I CAN THINK OF IT AS PEACEFUL.


“WOOF!”


IT’S SOMETHING I CAN COUNT ON. SOMETHING I CAN USE AS PART OF MY CREATIVE PROCESS…


“WOOF!”


IT’S A PLUS! I LOVE IT! I’M ACTUALLY EMBRACING THE REPETITION AND TURNING IT IN MY FAVOR!


“WOOF!”


GO FOR IT SAMMY! BARK YOUR LITTLE FURRY MUTT HEAD OFF! I NOW HAVE FOUND MY CREATIVE GROOVE AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL DEEP-TONED WOOF IS PART OF IT!


SILENCE.


HELLO?… SAMMY?… SAMMY?


OUTSIDE A LEAF BLOWER STARTS UP.


AHHHHHH! I BURRY MY HEAD IN MY HANDS


“WOOF!”




Peter Crabbe is a writer living in California.


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