There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them.
(originally posted 7/3/2014)
I’m not a big fan of true stories but I’m going to make an exception and give this a go.
There was this guy, name him whatever you’d like, and he grew up without a mom. This made him especially close with his dad and even when he got out of school and got a job and moved away he still saw his dad all the time. He was over at the house constantly and although his dad joked that it was as if he never left, his dad still got lonely sometimes rustling around all by himself in the house so he went out and got a dog.
A mutt of indeterminable breed. The guy, whatever you named him, did not find this dog particularly appealing and the dog seemed to return his distaste. The dog, name him whatever you’d like but I hope you put a little more thought into it than you did the man, seemed to love everyone but him. He would dance and frolic when anyone else would approach but the moment the man came into view he would growl and snap and generally take on the disposition of a bloodthirsty killer.
Clearly this plan to let you name the man and the dog yourself isn’t going to work. Now even I’m getting confused about whether I’m talking about the man or the dog and frankly it’s just not worth the effort to go back and change the dog to a female.
Frank. The man’s name is Frank.
It really is. I told you this was a true story so I’m not about to go changing the name of the man just to avoid having it seem like I named him Frank because I used the term frankly in the previous sentence.
Will I at least allow you to keep the name of the dog you selected?
Of course. I mean, I know the real name of the dog but at this point I’m sure you’ve invested a lot of time and creative energy imagining this dog in your head and the name is an important part of the creative process. If you change it now the story might suffer so I’ll throw you a bone and let you keep your dog name.
See what I did there?
I think it would be accurate to say that Frank loathed his father’s dog. When his father passed away it was assumed by everyone that he would not only give the dog away to the first good home he could find, but perhaps give careful consideration to hurling him off the highest bridge he could locate that would offer jagged rocks at the bottom.
But he did neither.
Here’s the part that is somewhat confusing. Frank did not believe in Heaven and certainly didn’t think his dad would be watching over him or the dog. His dad was gone so his decision to take care of the dog was strange. When asked he simply replied that he thought it would make his father happy to know that his dog was in good hands.
Hands that were constantly being bitten. The dog, somehow sensing that Frank was his new owner, had come upon the idea that the only way out of this new predicament would be to kill him and so he tried to do just that at every opportunity.
An outside observer like me couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the living arrangements of Frank and the dog and Inspector Clouseau and his manservant Cato Fong. If you are unfamiliar with the Pink Panther movies suffice it to say that the latter would attack the former at every turn. Obviously the dog’s attempts at injuring Frank were no doubt less funny but in a big-picture way it was still humorous.
Less humorous was the discovery of hundreds of pictures of Frank found at his father’s house when his aunt was helping to pack up all of his belongings. They were all 8×10, the kind of glossy pictures you see hanging up on the walls of diners signed by sort-of-celebrities. Except Frank wasn’t even sort-of anything unless you think that somewhere someone wants to have a tuna melt under the smiling visage of an insurance salesman. At least half of the pictures were either torn to shreds or had tooth marks all over them. Also in the box was a cattle prod.
I was going to ask if it could be that she had stumbled upon proof that Frank’s dad had actually trained his dog to attack his son but I’m not sure that I made that clear enough so I’m going to go ahead and tell you that indeed she had.
She never told Frank. It wasn’t that she was a sweet ol’ gal looking out for him as much as she never bothered to put the pieces together and just tossed the box.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything either because that really does throw quite a twist in this story. Probably changes everything you were feeling about Frank and Coffee.
There. I did it. I named the dog and totally fucked up the story for you.
But I did warn you that I’m not a fan of true stories.