My review of Bonnie ZoBell’s wonderful book What Happened Here: a novella & stories is up on MadHat’s Drive-By Book Reviews.
My review of Robert Vaughan’s books: “Microtones,” “Diptychs+Triptychs+Lipsticks+Dipshits” and “Addicts & Basements” is live on MadHat’s Drive-By Book Reviews at:
Reviews of Bound By Blue and Her Skin Is A Costume by Meg Tuite
Featuring recent books by Meg Tuite in this edition of MadHat’s Drive-By Book reviews.
New Book Review: Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness by Heather Fowler
On MadHat’s Drive-By Book Reviews
DOG TALK RADIO
Hello and welcome to our first edition of: DogTalk on DogTalk Radio! The internet radio show by dogs, for dogs. (BDFD.)
So pull up your dog beds and get ready for a fun filled hour of howlin’, yowlin’ , scratchin’ & lickin’ and just a whole lot of fun spewing plain old fashioned doggerel.
DogTalk on DogTalk Radio has been transcribed and translated into human English by Michael Gillan Maxwell.
So, without further adieu, let us introduce the hosts of DOGTALK, Chauncy and Ollie!
Chauncy: “Hello everyone and welcome to our inaugural broadcast of DogTalk!”
Ollie: “Yeah, what he said. Wait! I heard a noise! What the fuck IS that in our yard? I think it’s Sasquatch! It MUST be Sasquatch! We’re ALL gonna die! Hoooowl! Yoooooowl!”
Chauncy: “As you can see, my sidekick is a bit of an “excitable boy”! It’s just a case of the jitters because this is our first broadcast. He’ll settle down. But I just wanna say, you’ll never find a better wingman, er, I mean “wingdog” than this little feller!”
Chauncy: “ So, Ollie, now that you’ve caught your breath, the switchboard is lighting up, would you like to take the first call?”
Ollie: “Don’t mind if I do! Hello Caller. This is Ollie on DogTalk. Go ahead. I’m listening.”
Caller: “Yeah, Ollie. Thanks fer takin’ my call. This is Bert. I’m a mutt and an outside dog. I think I’m in love with a Cocker Spaniel, but she’s too rich for my blood. Whaddya think I can do?”
Ollie: “ Sorry Bert, but we’re Cocker Spaniels too. Forgive my impertinence, but this is just friggin’ “Lady and the Tramp” all over again. Sorry dude, but life ain’t no Disney fantasyland. Everybody loves us, but, let’s face it, half the time we’re just mean sons of bitches, or in some cases, just plain mean bitches. The best advice I can give is to go after another dog in the same social stratosphere as you. Is that even a thing? I don’t know, but I think you know what I mean. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but believe me, you’ll be happier in the long run. Thanks for calling DogTalk Bert! Keep on yowlin’!”
Chauncy: “Well can you believe it? We’ve already run out of time! But ~ really~ what is “time” to a dog? This show may have lasted minutes, or it may have lasted hours, even days. Who knows, when you’re dealing with “Dog Time”!
Until we sniff again,
This is Chauncy, signing off
Ollie, running over the hills and far away!
(Theme music and barking dogs)
Outro: “You have been listening to DogTalk on DogTalk Radio with Chauncy and Ollie. To get notifications of all upcoming broadcasts, send pee mail to the nearest tree or fire hydrant c/o Dogtalk Radio.” We welcome all your queries, questions and issues. You can contact us via this website or send us a tweet or a text or a pee mail to: DogTalk@peemail.com
My Short Story “Bowling For Jesus” is published by Connotation Press in the April 15th edition.
From Meg Tuite, Fiction Editor: “The mid-April issue of Connotation Press is up and exceptional! Michelle Messina Reale is our featured fiction writer with three brilliant poetic prose pieces from her upcoming collection. Find out more in our interview. Also we have outstanding work by Michael Gillan Maxwell, Cort Bledsoe, Mike Joyce and Grant Faulkner! Thank you for sending CP some of your beauties!”
I am honored to be in such good company! Thank you Meg Tuite!
Originally published by Bitchin’ Kitsch December 2013
He flips through channels, looking for anything worth watching. Someone said a person’s lifespan is shortened by 22 minutes for every hour of television watched. He should have been dead years ago.
Eyes glazed over, he gapes at flickering images, a kaleidoscope of catastrophe; pestilence, economic collapse, religious extremists, suicide bombers, civil war, revolution, record-breaking drought, floods, global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes and a wild fire out of control in Colorado. The bitter taste of bile fizzles in his throat.
He finds a movie about Vikings with flaming torches pitted against ferocious werewolves. The Vikings have Australian accents, the werewolves clearly actors dressed up in ridiculous wolf suits. A commercial advertises a remake of “Towering Inferno.”
Abruptly, he turns it off, jumps in the car and heads for Walmart.
He turns on the radio. Nothing but bad news. He comes up behind a Dodge Caravan with a sign in the window that reads “Baby on Board”. It annoys him. He takes it personally, like anyone without a baby on board is a deranged, meth addled, demolition derby jockey. Is it to remind him to stop driving fast and taking chances? Or to interrupt the text message he must surely be composing? Will it be the tipping point in his decision not to push the pedal to the floor and sideswipe their vehicle, forcing it off the side of the road at 60 miles per hour? He sees the bumper sticker “I brake for unicorns” and his face burns with aggravation. Temples pulsating and hands clammy on the steering wheel, he shifts over to the passing lane, guns the engine and gives the van wide berth.
He stops for gas and wonders what it would feel like to rob a convenience store.
Still contemplating that question, he scans the headlines of the tabloids as he waits to pay. “Dog Accidentally Shoots Man With His Own Gun, Elvis’s Hidden Extraterrestrial Daughter, Swedish Man Bursts Into Flames on Train Platform.”
Dammit! I could make better headlines than that!
His eyelid twitches. The smell of burnt gas station roller dogs is nauseating. Sweating like a stevedore, he pays and gets back in the car.
Walmart is where style goes to die. There’s a man in Sporting Goods with a mullet haircut and a tattoo that says “Do it in the dirt!” He’s seen that guy at the dirt track races. The man’s trying out baseball bats.
His mind a screeching smoke alarm, he realizes what he must do. He grabs a bat and heads over to Electronics, his senses assailed by images on 27 televisions; break dancing, burning buildings, cooking shows, Judge Judy, an oil spill, another school shooting.
He can already picture the headline. “Man Walks into Walmart, Smashes 27 Widescreen Televisions With Baseball Bat.” He likes the way that sounds. The bat feels almost too hot to hold in his hand as he strolls over to a widescreen flickering with the image of a raging fire and starts swinging.