AUTHORS NOTE: This is the fourth episode of "Doggerel Tails", the sequel to "Doggerel Show". All previous episodes are available under "related items" below. My apologies for any confusion due to non-linear sequencing.
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“So, are you hungry?” I asked the old man. He looked up from his menu, chuckling to himself.
“I’m sorry, but ‘General Tso’s Chicken’ always makes me laugh. It’s a joke, you see. General Tso famously avoided hot spicy foods so they named it to imply his cowardice. Here’s a more recent example- ‘Gang of Four Sour Beans’. Speaking of beans, how about some Mexican? … food that is.”
So we took a cab to get some chalupas. The old man drove. I guess the taxi driver had been using the restroom or getting some food or something. As we pulled in I noticed the man on the mule leaving the drive-by (this is L.A.) window so I waved to him but he didn’t wave back I guess because in one hand he clutched a drive-by bag of food and the mule’s rope and the other hand held a foam cup.
The old man parked in a handicapped spot and said, “Walk this way” before proceeding toward the door with a wildly exaggerated limp. I followed his example.
After we had sat down I noticed that the employees were mainly of Asian heritage. “I’m glad they used the drive-by”, I said.
“Yes, that mule clings stubbornly to his old beliefs”, replied the old man. “And his master can be short-tempered if he hasn’t had his coffee- Columbian, of course.”
“So what did Socks know and when did he know it?” I inquired.
“Socks was code-named ‘Deep Furball’. Starr was still obsessed with nailing the president, much as the president was still obsessed with nailing semi-attractive women. Socks became another victim of the president’s bad judgment during his final Christmas Eve at the White House…”
“The president didn’t try to…”
“No, but it is believed that Starr planned to imply so anyway. It seems the president was left alone with Socks at the White House that final Christmas Eve. Hillary was out of town to organize Lilith Fair, Chelsea was whitewater rafting, and Buddy, the president’s dog indeed, was out hounddoggging. All of the interns had gone home for the holidays. The president was bored and lonely. He began channel surfing while consuming copious quantities of French eggnog spiked with Arkansas moonshine. ‘Nouveau and improofed’ he called it. It seems that after viewing an animated adaptation of one of my stories he attempted to glue antlers to Socks’ head.”
“I thought the president liked animals.”
“He did, he does. He was just trying to do what he had seen on TV. He wasn’t trying to be cruel. He was simply once again allowing his urges to overrule his impaired judgment.”
The old man took a huge bite of his chalupa and chalupa juice ran down his chin and I checked his face and he wiped his chin and chewed and swallowed and then his face got red but I guess it was just the hot sauce because he drank most of his large drpepper and then he wasn’t so red except for his eyes.
“So how did you end up with Socks?” I inquired once he (the old man) wasn’t so red.
“I hadn’t finished with Christmas Eve yet- you keep shifting the time frame. Very well then. Socks landed on my head when the former First Lady defenestrated him from Marine One. Fortunately I was wearing my tall red and white striped hat. Actually its colors and pattern didn’t matter but its tallness did, saving Socks’ life and perhaps mine too.”
The old man bit off another big sloppy mouthful of chalupa.
“Take your time”, I told him. “I’m in no hurry” but actually I was worried about Peeve even though he (Peeve) had papers on the floor.
“So I took him to my veterinarian, that is my fishes’ veterinarian. He saw the bald patches behind Socks’ ears and recognized his identity immediately, as he had read an article in the PETA newsletter all about it.”
The old man unwrapped another chalupa and slathered it with hot sauce.
“I’m going to eat my food while it’s hot”, the old man proclaimed. “I don’t have time to explain it all right now. Besides, this dialogue is starting to run a bit long anyway. Refill my drpepper, would you please?”
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins