Title: Barks
Subtext: Dogs don't bark at buttons.
Date: 03 Jul 19 (Wednesday in the AM)
Time: 3 minutes
Replies: 5
Revisions: 14
Publicity: Workshop

The dog barks at fireworks. He barks at the firework. He’ll growl as the firework is being lit out on the barge, keeping a steady line of sight as it goes up, letting lose a fulmination of barks on that firework blowing up in the sky. Noticing the fire in his eyes, you realize that to him, this life form above is coming for all of you, and for a moment you see it that way too. But this fades, and you tell him that’s enough barking.

The barking won’t stop just because you’re inside. You can put him in a room. He’ll still bark. He’ll find the firework-facing window and start barking at the sentient being outside in the sky. You want to brace yourselves for grand finales.

If you went to battle with the dog, he’d bark at the guns and cannons and rockets and bombs. You’d be running through the field trying not to die, and he’d be barking senselessly as if all that mattered were barking. The righteousness in his denunciation of the whole affair would obviously not be lost on you. But what could you do?

You could be at Gettysburg loading a musket. The dog would spot a guy doing the same thing over yonder, and he’d growl, which would be useful I suppose. But you’d be like, “Yeah, I know,” steadily going about preparing your weapon. “Yeah, I get it. Would you please!” And sure enough, as soon as the gunpowder would start popping, the dog would start barking. Maybe he’d even give you a side-eye, kind of barking at your gun, letting you know he’s not sure if that’s OK. A few barks by accident, I guess. But I suppose he’d get the hang of it and start barking only at the other guy. You would hope.

You could be on the western front with some pretty gnarly things happening around you, and the dog would be barking at it all — even under the gas mask. Telling him to stop barking over and over again would slow you down, but he’d never stop. He’d just side-eye you while barking, sensing he might be bothering you, but he couldn’t help it. And you’d be like that too, not being able to help constantly yelling, “Stop doing that. Just stop. That’s enough,” while you’re getting pummeled. Knowing full well he’d rather be barking through shrapnel than be home alone, you’d stop to do him favors, like crouching in the field to give him water from the canteen so he wouldn’t get horse, so he could get back to barking. What a guy.

You could be on deck in the Persian Gulf launching scuds. The dog would be right beside you with a helmet, barking at scuds, growling as they were getting loaded, but barking at them flying away. And you’d have to yell at him to stop barking while you were launching. You’d have to take off your earphones so you could hear yourself yelling. But eventually you’d just not bother looking at him and just be yelling at the same time that you’re doing pretty serious launching. “Stop barking. Stop,” you’d learn to yell while launching. And you might have to stop what you were doing from time to time and catch him from jumping overboard after a scud.

You could be doing special ops with your seal team, and, well — OK never mind. That could go poorly for the dog.

You could be in a fighter jet. You could be in a tank. You could be on a rooftop or bell tower. Bell towers would be a pain in the ass if you think about it. But if you were deep in a mountain in some lab that required the highest level of clearance, in front of a screen punching keys, he’d be sound asleep on his bed. Maybe he’d be snoring or dreaming about muskets, occasionally yelping in his sleep. After getting the go-ahead to push your button while looking at a far off place your drone is filming, between sips of coffee, you might look at him while he’s snoring and say, “Shh,” or maybe simply smile and sip coffee if you want to let sleeping dogs lie.

But where were we? Oh yeah, fireworks. The dog barks at fireworks.


Horse » Authorship
Horse » 11:32 AM 05 Jul 19
Horse » 10:48 AM 05 Jul 19
Horse » 10:37 AM 05 Jul 19
Horse » 11:08 PM 04 Jul 19
Horse » 10:13 PM 04 Jul 19
Horse » 10:39 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 9:03 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 9:02 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 9:01 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 8:57 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 8:43 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 8:42 AM 03 Jul 19
Horse » 8:42 AM 03 Jul 19

The Thread (5)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. #smalldogproblems

  2. We know why the dog barks, more or less. But why do we launch the fireworks? #confucius

  3. We are never the ones launching the fireworks. It’s always them. They launch them. And they’re the ones who know why.

  4. Reminds me of this one by William Gass:

    My dad wouldn’t let me have a dog. A dog? A dog we don’t need. My mom made the neighbor’s spitz her pal by poisoning it with the gin she sprinkled on the table scraps. Feed it somewhere else, my dad said. A dog we don’t need. My dad wouldn’t let me have a dog. Our neighbor’s spitz–that mutt–he shits in the flower beds. Dog doo we don’t need. At least feed it somewhere else, my dad said. My mom made the table scraps tasty for her pal, the neighbor’s spitz– that mutt–by sprinkling them with gin. You’re poisoning Pal, my dad said, but never mind, we don’t need that mutt. My mom thought anything tasted better with a little gin to salt it up. That way my mom made the neighbor’s spitz her pal, and maddened dad who wouldn’t let me have a dog. He always said we didn’t need one, they crapped on the carpet and put dirty paws on the pant’s leg of guests and yapped at cats or anyone who came to the door. A dog? A dog we don’t need. We don’t need chewed shoes and dog hairs on the sofa, fleas in the rug, dirty bowls in every corner of the kitchen, dog stink on our clothes. But my mom made the neighbor’s spitz her pal anyway by poisoning it with the gin she sprinkled on the table scraps like she was baptising bones. At least feed it somewhere else, my dad said. My dad wouldn’t let me have a pal. Who will have to walk that pal, he said. I will. And it’s going to be snowing or it’s going to be raining and who will be waiting by the vacant lot at the corner in the cold wet wind, waiting for the damn dog to do his business? Not you, Billy boy Christ, you can’t even be counted on to bring in the garbage cans or mow the lawn. So no dog. A mutt we don’t need, we don’t need dog doo in the flower beds, chewed shoes, fleas; what we need is the yard raked, like I said this morning. No damn dog. No mutt for your mother either even if she tries to get around me by feeding it when my back is turned, when I’m away at work earning her gin money so the sick thing can shit in a stream on the flower seeds; at least she should feed it somewhere else; it’s always hanging around; is it a light string in the hall or a cloth on the table to be always hanging around? No. Chewed shoes, fleas, muddy paws and yappy daddle, bowser odor: a dog we don’t need. Suppose it bites the postman: do you get sued? No. I am the one waiting at the corner vacant lot in the rain, the snow, the cold wet wind, waiting for the dog to do his damn business, and I get sued. You don’t. Christ, you can’t even be counted on to clip the hedge. You know: snicksnack. So no dog, my dad said. Though we had a dog nevertheless. That is, my mom made the neighbor’s pal her mutt, and didn’t let me have him for mine, either, because it just followed her around–yip nip–wanting to lap gin and nose its grease-sogged bread. So we did have a dog in the house, even though it just visited, and it would rest its white head in my mother’s lap and whimper and my father would throw down his paper and say shit! and I would walk out of the house and neglect to mow or rake the yard, or snicksnack the hedge or bring the garbage cans around. My dad wouldn’t let me have a dog. A dog? A dog we don’t need, he said. So I was damned if I would fetch.

  5. I laughed from the first sentence through the last reply.

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