Monday, February 1, 2010

Life Sentences #6

Photograph by Seth Townsend (posed)

A sweet dog. Friendly. Obedient. As pure at heart as Karen in Frosty the Snowman used to be before the big lug melted in that desolate greenhouse on that horrible Christmas Eve all those years ago. Sure, Santa reconstituted Frosty, and Frosty said, “Happy birthday,” but Karen never got over the trauma and her cheery life never regained its spring. I saw Karen a few weeks ago, predictably enough on Hollywood Boulevard, standing outside Musso and Franks. She wasn’t coming out or going in – just occupying a space on the sidewalk and smoking a cigarette. She looked great, for a 46-year-old woman with enough problems to fill a few dozen Greyhound busses and drive them into the desert and leave them there till the vultures pick the bodies clean.

I said, “Hey, Karen, you look great. Nice to see you.”

She said, “You look great, too.”

I’m forty-six years old, and maybe about the only leg I have up on Karen right now is that I don’t smoke cigarettes.

For example, my dog’s name is Rocks, which is derived from Rocky Road, which is the name the good people at the Southern Illinois Humane Society gave her because she’s the color of the ice cream. She’s two years old now, and until yesterday, she was the nicest dog in the entire world, never one hint of aggression, never hardly a bark out of the girl.

I’ve been taking her regularly to a dog park near the reservoir in Silver Lake. This is in a nice section of Los Angeles – healthy-looking, dressed-hip professional types who shop at Trader Joe’s and who oppose categorically the harming of any animals in the making of this film. The vibe is friendly. People say hello to strangers in this neighborhood – rare indeed here in L.A. But when one leaves the friendly streets of Silver Lake and enters the confines of the dog park, one has entered an area akin to the yard at Pelican Bay State Penitentiary during a full-scale riot. Here we see widespread rape and brutality and blood and home-made weapons, and there is nothing the guards in the tower can do to stop it. Rocks loves it. And she does well in the prison yard on account of she’s so fast that none of the marauding rapists can get behind her and make her their bitch. She laughs at those punks and makes obscene gestures at them from the other side of the yard. Till yesterday. She was engaged in some inappropriate yard behavior with a light-brown dog of about her size; the dog managed to get in a few well-placed bites to her ankles; and Rocks totally snapped. She snarled and tossed the light-brown dog to the ground and held the dog down by the neck and said, “You fuck with me one more time and I gonna tear your throat out, ese?”

I wasn’t proud. She used to be a sweet dog. Now she’s a thug.

Now I’m almost too overcome with sadness to present today’s sentence, a simple transitive pattern that even the dogs in the prison yard know how to diagram.

The sentence of the day:

From now on, my dog bites dogs.


From now on (adverbial, expressing time), my (possessive pronoun) dog (the subject, of course) bites (monotransitive verb, meaning it only carries one object) dogs (direct object).

Further analysis:

I think maybe walking the dog is better than taking the dog to the dog park.

1 comment:

  1. No, no, no, no, no. I got DSL about two weeks ago and discovered 'The Dog Whisperer' TV show on

    I don't have a dog, but watching Caesar Millan work his miracles with bitey little bitches such as yours, has turn me into a big fan. Watch an episode and you just may come to realize that with some small corrections (mostly in the human) the worst of the lot will soon be rolling over to have their belly scratch. Don't condemn the pooch just yet.


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