Hello. My name is Tucker, and I am a Maltese. Gigi and I own a novelist. This week I went to the groomers and got the works. I look beautiful now. They even gave me a bright orange bandanna I have been wearing around my neck. I look very festive and Halloween-like. Gigi is jealous. What she doesn’t know is our novelist is going to give her a bath soon. I like it when Gigi gets baths, and I don’t. It makes me warm and happy. Today I am introducing Gigi’s fourth chapter in her new story Alanna the Piranha. I like this one. It has a bunny rabbit in it. We get a lot of bunny rabbits around here. They are small and brown and hop around and look cute. If we see bunnies hopping around it is good because we know coyotes and bobcats are not close by. Gigi usually asks you to enjoy the story at this point in some fancy foreign language. I do not know any fancy languages so I will just say enjoy Chapter the Fourth of Alanna the Piranha…is that a cookie?
Alanna the Piranha
Gigi the parti poodle
Day the Fourth
Today I am at the pet store hoping to get a rabbit. The rabbits are in a glass and wooden pen in the center section off to the right surrounded on three sides by smaller animals. Over at the area where they have rodents there’s a chick looking to buy a rat. Now I suppose you think a loser like me would be into chicks who have pet rats. I may be desperate but I’m not that desperate. Chicks who fancy a rat for a pet are freaks. They always have these lousy tattoos on their shoulders they think make them look sexy. They wear these cut out shoulders or tank tops or whatever to show them off. I think they look like rejected circus freaks who live with their slut mother in a trailer park. And they always have some boyfriend with even more lousy tattoos who usually owns a rottweiler who’s smarter than he is.
And just as I suspected she’s got this white and black goth makeup on…and check it: a lip ring. I imagine this wraith used to look like a human girl with her hair swept back in a ribbon wearing cute little dresses her mom used to buy her. But then some spaceship from the planet Ulta crashed into her back yard, sprayed her in the face with quasi toxic makeup, took her welfare money and flew off. Man, she looks like trash. Oh, and look at that. Biff her ass kicking boyfriend just strolled up. Yeah, this guy looks like a road scholar. NOT! If she’s a former circus freak this guy is a genuine post-apocalyptic Marylyn Manson who pumps too much iron to look like Marylyn Manson. What a tool. And yet does your narrator with his biochemistry degree and an actual bank account have a girlfriend? Not a chance.
I keep staring at the rabbits trying to look all compassionate hoping that cute clerk with the ponytail and the pink fingernail polish will see me and help me pick out one of these adorable little science experiments. See, if I try to walk up to her and talk, my tongue will get all tangled and I won’t know what to say. And even if I do manage to say something suave, she’ll look at me like I’m the supreme commander of douchebags and blow me off. Not to be confused with the other more desirable blow me response.
“Can I help you?”
Oh, great. It’s Lyle. Lyle is a cool guy and all but he’s not the cute clerk with the ponytail and the pink nail polish.
“Hey, Lyle,” I say.
“Hey, Flint. You in here to buy a chewy toy or something.”
Lyle doesn’t know it, but he just hit me in the face with a shovel. “Uh…no. I was wondering if I could get a price on your cheapest rabbit.”
“Most of them are around the same price. Were you looking for a particular breed or color?”
“Were you looking for lop ears or erect?”
“Well, we’ve got this nice American here,” Lyle says and reaches over the glass and wood wall picking up an average size soft white rabbit.
“Is it male or female?”
“This one’s a male.”
“That won’t do…er, I mean I’m partial to females.”
“Oh, that’s right. Well…a lot of the females are gone right now…” Lyle looks around the pen. “You know what? I’ve got one super small one left. She’s a little Netherland Dwarf. She’s slightly more expensive than the rest but I might be able to come down on the price.”
“Let me talk to the manager.”
“Could I see the rabbit first?”
Lyle reaches over and gently knocks on the top of a plastic dome where the rabbits like to hide when they get tired of the customers letting their kids pet them. We wait. Nothing. Lyle knocks on the dome again.
A very small puff of apricot fur with tiny erect ears reluctantly hops out. I am almost reduced to a human being at the sight of her. She is super petite, tiny enough to sit in my hand. A teacup bunny if you will.
“Do you want to hold her?” Lyle asks.
Like most things in my life, I don’t want to get emotionally involved. “No, that’s okay.”
“Come on,” he says and shoves the unbelievably adorable thing in my face.
“I’ll hold her if you can get me sixty percent off.”
“Sixty?! Are you nuts?! I’ll be lucky to get you twenty!”
“Twenty? Come on, Lyle. Do me a solid here.”
“Maybe twenty-five. But there’s no way the boss is going for sixty.”
I sigh. I’m getting railroaded and I know it. “Fine. Ask her.”
Let me tell you something. Jill’s a firedrake. She’s hated me ever since she saw me enter the place to get Josie’s first supply of dog food. This aging ho took twenty grand from her mother’s bank account, flew down to Las Vegas and blew it on Chippendale’s strippers.
Jill, who has a body like Foghorn Leghorn, struts towards Lyle. The instant she sees me she rolls her eyes in disgust. “Haven’t seen you in a while,” she says to me. “How’s that little pocket rat of yours?”
“I’m here to buy a rabbit.”
“I like rabbits.”
“I doubt it.”
“Flint was wondering if you could give him a discount on the Netherland Dwarf,” Lyle says.
“It’s been in here a while and nobody…”
“Netherland Dwarfs are in big demand.”
“Lyle just said you haven’t been able to move her,” I protested.
“Doesn’t mean I’ll sell her to you.”
“I can buy her if I want to. It’s a free country.”
“This is a private business. We reserve the right to refuse service.”
“No one wants to get serviced by you.”
“Wait a minute,” Lyle cuts in. “Flint wants the Netherland Dwarf. The store hasn’t been able to sell her. If you give Flint a thirty percent discount…”
“Thirty percent?!” Jill bellows.
“Then everyone is happy.”
“No way am I selling that sweet little bunny to this creep and definitely not at a thirty percent discount!”
“I’ll trade you quarterbacks on our fantasy football team.”
“Twenty off the rabbit and not a percent more.”
“Done. You need a hutch, Fisk?”
I hadn’t thought of that. “I’m going to build one,” I say.
“Cheapskate,” Jill says.
“I did bring a carrier with me. It’s out in my car.”
“You mean your mom’s car. Go get the carrier and let’s ring you up.”
I head out to the car to get Josie’s old carrier. Two more days, and my package is due to arrive. I think I might have to pay my sister a visit.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE GUEST (2014)-Netflix
Halloween is fast approaching, and I thought it would be fun to suggest a few films this October that think a little outside the box. This one has an unusual blend of suspense, mystery, and comedy that you don’t get from your standard Halloween bill of fare, not to mention a breakout performance by its lead actor. “David” (Dan Stevens) is a discharged soldier who out of the blue shows up on the porch of the Peterson family shortly before Halloween claiming to be a friend and former member of their deceased son’s platoon. Mom, Laura Peterson (Sheila Kelly), a gentle soul, is immediately taken by the young man’s humbleness and impeccably polite manners. Her daughter twenty-year-old Anna (Maika Monroe) is less impressed and leerier of the unusually handsome young man. But dad Spencer (Leland Orser) and bookish youngest son Luke (Brendan Meyer) though apprehensive at first swiftly warm to him. “David” quickly finds out Luke is being bullied at school and decides to give him some “self-defense lessons” in a most unconventional way. This is the first incident on a path of strange events that lead Anna closer and closer to finding out “David’s” true motives.