May 2, 2006

Poetry A Woof Woof

So I had this friend in high school named Angie. I used to sleep over at her house quite a bit because her mother was, shall we say, a little more flexible with the curfews than my mother. Angie was on her school's tennis team, and she liked to get up really really really REALLY early on Saturday and go run about with a racket and whang at balls. (GARG!) This was back before I disovered my dear old friend Permanent Insomnia. ANYWAY. She would get up. And want to go do things. And meanwhile I would, like any sensible teenager, be layed out in a vegetative state so profound it approached coma.

When Angie got tired of waiting for me to arise, she would bring unto my room her mother's teeny tiny apricot poodle, a small and fluffy object with painted toenails and the true poodle haircut and little bows attached at all its corners. It was an utterly innocuous poodle, a lady-dog named something like Princess or Missy, but it was too slight and negligible to tote about anything as weighty as a name or a three letter gender-specific pronoun. It was called it, in the same cooing spirit that adorable babies are called it. I myself was known to perpetrate whispery blandishments when I saw the bright black specks of its eyes peering up at me from beneath its sprouncy topnot. I would find myself saying things like, "Ooooo! What is it DO, that poodle? Whatsit do? HMMM? HMM? WHATSIT DO, THAT POODLE!"

This poodle was so SMALL and DOVELIKE that it could not summon the amount of inner conviction needed to reach the mattress of a high bed, such as the one where I would sleep when I overnighted at Angie's. It would come twinkling into the room on its speedy little feet, pause, cock its head as it considered distance and velocity, and then it would audibly think to itself, "Oh my. THAT looks like a scramble," and go pitter-pattering weightlessly away on its fluffilicious route to somewhere else.

BUT. If I slept too long, Angie lifted it up and put it in the bed.

I say to you, and I speak as one who knows, that there is nothing, no, nothing, no NOT ONE THING more disconcerting then waking up to find the wet and insideously wormlike tongue of a miniscule poodle jammed as far up your nostril as it can possibly go. That poodle wanted to taste sinus. No, that poodle wanted to taste BRAIN. Brain-tasting was a life mission. That poodle would UNFAILINGLY and IMMEDIATELY go into anteater mode if it came upon a supine and slumberous nostril-owning human. And it did not RETRACT the tongue. It didn't want to LICK the inside of a nostril so much as it wanted to JAM the tongue in and UNDULATE and PULSE and WRITHE AROUND .

I say to you, as IRONCLAD proof of my kindness toward and delight in all things dog-ly, I never ONCE killed that poodle. Angie is of course buried under my scuppernong vine tree, but that poodle lived a long and delightful life, and nothing bad ever happened to it. Not one thing. Not ever.

NOW TO BUSINESS. There are foxes to be won.

THUS SAGT KAREN ABBOTT: "A good limerick is by DEFINITION bawdy. I pick Africanbleu."

A little link click from the comments allowed me to discover (in the same sense that Columbus "discovered" America) that Africanbleu is in fact BECKY, who pens a blog called Pith, Marrow, and Coffee Spoons. GRATZ Becky! Shoot me a snail address via e-mail, will you?


THUS SAGT MY NON-SHAMEFUL REPLACEMENT HAIKU JUDGE: "After painful deliberation, I go with DebR:

Here a girl is born,
There stolen. Destined to live
between fox and bear.

Especially because she used "between" in there, which was extra special tricksy of her to do. But I love Dianna's hobbit one and Karry's one about cats not making tootsie rolls for dogs, too."

Congrats DebR, you must also send me a snail addy via email.

I have to say, I don't know if it was the best HAIKU, but the best OPENING LINE for a poem that I have ever read ANYWHERE, even in KATES AND YEETS, is probably, "Dog! Do not eat it!" Scott and I now say that line all the time, appropos of absolutely nothing. One of us will just yell out DOG! DO NOT EAT IT! and the other one will crack up.

We must send THANK YOUS to the lovely and benficent replacement Haiku Judge, who was none other than CORNELIA READ. Remember YEARS ago when Cornelia used to comment here and her stinking tossed off asides were better than the blog entries they hung from and alla ya'll reprobates who hang out here would say OOOOH CORNELIA! YOU ARE FETCHING AND DOUBLE CLEVER, WHY DON'T YOU GO GET YOUR OWN BLOG???? Well, now she did. And then alla ya'll reprobates would say, OOOOH CORNELIA! YOU ARE SO SEXUALLY UNREPRESSED AND GLISTERING WITH PULCHRITUDINOUS DELIGHTFULNESS, WHY DON'T YOU GO WRITE A REALLY GOOD NOVEL? Well, now she did.

Go buy it, it is beyond good. BEYOND. It and a book called WATER FOR ELEPHANTS (not out yet) are the two things I have read with the most relish and unmitigated delight so far this year, hands down and dirty, bar none and nothing.


I wish you had've. She really used to LISTEN to ya'll. *sigh*

Posted by joshilyn at May 2, 2006 6:50 AM

I will now have to go find the haiku in your comments that starts with "Dog! Do not eat it!" because that sounds awesome.

And your story of the poodle almost made me shoot coffee out my nose, which is a good trick today since I can hardly keep my eyes open. But I have tears running down my face from laughter. You really do tell a great story.

Posted by: Jessie at May 2, 2006 8:53 AM

I added Cornelia's book to my wishlist.

Posted by: Heather at May 2, 2006 9:15 AM

1. The Nose Poodle story was totally worth the wait, even though the "undulate" and "pulse" parts had me going "eeeuuwEeuuwEEUUWWWW!"

2. Congrats, Becky! I loved that limerick.

3. Congrats, ME!! YAY! Thank you Cornelia and Joss!! (I'll email my addy, J.)

4. Cornelia, your book sounds really good! I'll gladly go pitterpattring (under the influence of the poodle story y'know) to Amazon to pre-order if you want, but before I do will you be having any way for us to order signed copies from an independent bookseller? 'cause that'd be my preference if it's an option.

Posted by: DebR at May 2, 2006 9:22 AM

Nose Poodle....we had a delicate Cocker Spaniel who expressed love and gratitude the same we way. We coined it the Vulcan Brainlick!

Posted by: Sue at May 2, 2006 10:45 AM


I have fallen asleep, more than once, and awoken to find Arlo, of short stature and big dog weight, standing on top of me peering into my face with his nose in my open mouth. Eeeewww!

Posted by: Cele at May 2, 2006 11:19 AM

"white goats on the hillside"... *SNORK*!

I have to write a blog post again today, and after reading this YET ANOTHER thing of most splendiferous beauty and wit penned by our own dearest Joshilyn, yea, I AM NOT WORTHY. Or funny. Like, at all.

And o, winningest DebR, I will be signing copies next Thursday at Cody's Books:

1730 Fourth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Toll Free:
From anywhere in the US: 800-995-1180
From within CA ONLY: 800-479-7744

I would love to sign one there for you and have them send it, should you be so inclined. and THANK YOU!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at May 2, 2006 11:28 AM

everyone did such a great job. they were lots of fun to read and what creativity!!

Posted by: desi at May 2, 2006 12:32 PM

I totally thought I had it nailed!



Posted by: Kismet at May 2, 2006 12:44 PM

Wait, what? Not even in YOUR alternate dimension, Joshilyn, should breasts be like goats NOR should such things have anything to do with a mortgage. It's good that you're so pretty and funny because sometimes you are JUST PLAIN WEIRD.

Perhaps you are suffering from PLBA (poodle-licked brain atrophy), mmmmm?

Posted by: Mir at May 2, 2006 1:40 PM

Congrats to DebR -- you wrote some of the funniest stuff (and worked really hard at it)!! I'm green -- all my body parts are turning green in fact --- but I'm pleased you won!!!

I'm close-ish to Berkley, perhaps I will go down to the book signing --- I really want to see what goat breasts look like.

Posted by: Patricia at May 2, 2006 2:42 PM

Well! I dare say you would have no such trouble with the Spanish newts. And that brain-sucking poodle gives a whole new meaning to: Dog! Do not eat it! Who knew they had an appetite for brain cells? *snork*
Congrats, Becky and DebR!

Posted by: David at May 2, 2006 5:35 PM

Patricia, that would be SO GREAT!!! Thank you!!!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at May 2, 2006 5:59 PM

Thank you for giving me one more reason to tell my children why we can never, ever have a dog.


Posted by: Amy-GO at May 2, 2006 10:28 PM

Yes, Deb, you cannot have signed copies of Cornelia's new book from SMB (Seattle Mystery Bookshop) because, even though the lovely Ms. Read will be signing there on June 2nd, we have on hand only 36 copies of her book and more reservations for her book than that.

*grin* Such a great problem to have, and we'll fix it, of course, before she gets here. But thank you for supporting the independents!

Regarding the Nose Poodle...Don't DO that! I'm recovering from a cold/flu, and I cough just breathing and when I laugh, I turn all purply and gasp like a trout in the sun. Not at ALL pretty, and kind of scary at times! But I've known poodles like that, so you have my complete and total commiseration!

Posted by: Fran at May 3, 2006 12:10 AM

OH, FRAN, you gladden my tiny black heart... pitter-clank, pitter-clank. I am so very sorry to hear that you are suffering from the sunbathing-trout-laughter disease.

And we have now all been running around THIS house all night saying "Dog! Do not eat that!" and cracking each other up. Should we maybe give Karry a prize for funniest? Like, I don't know, perhaps something in a bronzed tootsie roll?

Posted by: Cornelia Read at May 3, 2006 2:04 AM

I just called Cody's Books and they wouldn't sell me one because they don't have any yet! Sheesh...details, details! They assured me they'd have at least 60 copies by next Thursday though and said I should call back next week, so I'll try again later.

Thanks for the info, Cornelia.

And thank you Joss for letting us turn your comments into a "how to buy Cornelia's book" discussion! :-)

Posted by: DebR at May 3, 2006 4:09 PM

Bless you, DebR!

Posted by: Cornelia Read at May 3, 2006 4:24 PM

I added Cornelia's book to my list of books to get my next payday. Sounds like a really good one.

Posted by: tina at May 4, 2006 7:09 PM

HA! I love it! A bronzed tootsie roll! Too funny! I am glad I made you all smile, the big grin on my face because you are all happy is worth not winning one of those awesome sculptures. (and they are awesome)

My dogs do the nose thing too - it's completely unnerving and gross to wake up like that.... so I don't fall asleep in the living room much.

Posted by: Karry at May 5, 2006 8:30 PM

album akela Send Flowers To Kong Kong Nissan Murano Trailer Hitch S Florida Apartment Rentals Guide Eurorail Pass And For Sale Cheap Diesel Jeans Santa Cruz Apartment Guide Lenoir City Tennessee Apartment Finder Send Flowers Belarus Va And Hud Foreclosure Replica Rolex For Sale Walmart Credit Card Application Daytona Rolex Replica Free Standing Towel Bars Flowers Send 2f Orlando

Posted by: album akela at May 7, 2006 11:55 PM