100WW — One Sick Puppy

B6B36ED4-FCBA-4AB6-A29C-5C2EA5553A8F“Tina, I carved our initials and a heart in this tree,” Matt said.

Tina looked closely at the carved letters in the tree’s trunk. “What does ‘MAIV’ stand for?”

“That’s me, Matt Anderson the fourth,” he said proudly.

“And ‘TSWV’?”

“Tina Susan Wilson,” Matt said. “But I screwed up the carving a little.”

“And ‘NYIAJ’?”

“New York in April,” Matt explained. “Remember last April? The ‘J’ was supposed to be an exclamation mark, but I screwed that up, too.”

“And the red color?”

“I accidentally sliced my finger, so I painted the letters with my blood.”

“You’re one sick puppy.”

Written for Bikurgurl’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt.

SoCS — Don’t Worry I’m Fine

15942292-9F3E-43B2-A546-CEE8505A85DD“Are you okay?” the woman asked me as I was sprawled out, face down on the sidewalk.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, although I actually wasn’t fine at all. I had been walking my dog Rufus and was just a few blocks from home when Rufus suddenly zigged when I expected him to zag. In order to avoid falling right on top of the dog, I maneuvered my body in such a way that resulted in my crash landing onto the cold, hard cement.

I tried to gather myself together, testing to make sure there were no broken bones. Satisfied, I stood up and saw that my jeans at both knees were torn and dark reddish stains were spreading across the denim material. “Damn,” I thought, “I just bought these jeans a few weeks ago.” And then I saw that a significant amount of skin had been scraped off the palms of both hands.

Fortunately, Rufus was fine, especially after I gave him a treat to apologize for almost tripping over him.

Rufus and I got back to the house a few minutes later and when we walked through the door, my wife, seeing all the blood on my hands and my jeans, screamed, “Omigod, what happened?”

I explained the incident to her while washing the blood off of my hands in the kitchen sink. “Oh Sweetie, are you all right?” I heard her say.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine once I get cleaned up,” I responded.

“I was talking to Rufus,” she said.

Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The prompt is to create a post using the word “fine.”

SoCS — A Dog’s Tail Tale

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill, she’s asked us to use “tail” and/or “tale” in our posts — one, the other, or both.

57512366-9246-4043-BC0F-A26C12C82FB9To that end, I’d like to tell you a tale about a dog’s tail. Our dog’s tail. Well, our old dog’s tail, that is.

Our dog was a chocolate Lab by the name of Cocoa. Cocoa was a lovable dog, a real sweetheart of a dog. But she was a nervous dog and kind of ditzy. Her nervousness manifested itself by her continually and quite vigorously wagging her tail. And if she was near any object, like the base kitchen cabinets, the dining room table, or even just a wall, her tail would wap, wap, wap against whatever object it came in contact with.

Cocoa would wag her tail so vigorously and wap it with such force against whatever it hit, that it caused the tip of her tail to bleed. If we were away from the house for a few hours, she’d be so excited to see us when we got home that she would leave blood spatter on the cabinets and walls.

So we took Cocoa to see the vet, who wrapped her tail in some sort of soft protective material and bandaged it all up. But within a day, she had wagged the bandage and protective material right off of her tail.

The vet ultimately said that the tip of her tail was so banged up and covered with scabs that the only course of action was to surgically remove about an inch from the end of her tail.

But even with the shortened tail after the surgery, Cocoa continued to wap her tail to the point of bleeding. Long story short, we ended up having to remove about half of the poor dog’s tail in order to finally stop the bleeding.

People would ask us about her tail, noting that it seemed quite short for that of a Labrador retriever. At first we’d explain what I just explained to you. But after a while we were sick of telling that long, drawn out story and getting “looks” when we talked about having cut off half of Cocoa’s tail. So instead we made up a tale about how Cocoa was a rare, special breed of stubby-tailed retrievers.

People seemed to handle that tale better than the truth about what actually happened to half of our ditzy dog’s tail.

Dang Hangnails


For some unfathomable reason, I have recently been plagued by a hangnail epidemic. And I can’t figure out what’s causing it.

Up until recently, hangnails were extremely rare occurrences for me. And yet just this past week I’ve had three of them, two on the fingers of one hand and one on a finger on the other.

What’s up with that? My nail clipping technique hasn’t changed in decades and I diligently keep my fingernails neatly trimmed because I hate when they get long enough to clack against the keys on my laptop’s keyboard or when they get frayed as I pull up my zipper after taking a leak. (Sorry. Is that TMI?)

Pesky little tears

What the hell is a hangnail anyway? Why do these nail strands separate themselves from the main nail bed? Are they akin to rebellious teenagers who break all the behavioral norms just to spite their parents?  Didn’t I do a good job raising my fingernails?

I Googled “hangnail” to learn that hangnails are not even nails. Nope. One site described them “as pesky little skin tears.” They manifest themselves when a sliver of skin splits away from the nail bed. And they can be very annoying and often quite painful when they snag on something. Pesky indeed.

The worst thing you can do, according to hangnail experts, is to pull them off with your teeth, which is exactly how I decided to deal with two of mine. It hurt like hell and blood was involved. I couldn’t grab the third with my teeth so I borrowed a pair of my wife’s tweezers and yanked it out that way. More pain and more blood.

Most experts agree that the best way to get rid of hangnails is to soak them in warm water for five minutes and then use cuticle scissors to cut them as close to the base of the hangnail as possible.

Well fuck that. That’s way too much work. And what the hell are “cuticle scissors”? I think I’ll continue to use my teeth to chew the damn hangnail off, despite the pain and blood.

After all, why did God give us teeth if not to chew off our goddam hangnails?