I dodged, hopped onto the couch and jumped over the back, bolting into the kitchen which smelled like Boston Market roasted chicken. My nose is never wrong. A bag filled with potatoes, gravy, coleslaw and a steaming chicken sat on the counter next to the sink. I snatched it to the floor and tore through the plastic, paper and Styrofoam, woofing down some potatoes and gravy. Mrs. Angleton rushed into the Kitchen, arms flapping like a chicken trying to fly.
"Oh, stop! EINSTEIN!!!" She squawked.
I decided to take the chicken to go and bolted down to the basement, bursting into Einstein's room and plopping onto his bed. Mrs. Angleton's cries of woe carried down the stairs, but she had stopped at the top. Einstein has told her that if she enters his room without permission, he will move out. (As if that would ever happen.)
"Mom, I can't hear myself think! Meat Head, get off my bed!" Einstein jumped out of his computer chair, or tried to. The seat—I love to shove my nose there when he's not home because it smells like stale farts and Doritos—stuck to his butt. He stumbled and fell face first into the carpet. The chair extended from his butt like a strange, fifth limb, wheels spinning fast and then slowing.
"Sexy." I barked as I gulped down the rest of the chicken. The bones made a lovely crunch, crunch. "When your chair gets stuck, that means you've been sitting and playing computer games too long."
"Your dog ate our dinner," Mrs. Angleton snarled. "I told you to shut the solid door!"
Don't worry. She yells a lot about everything. You should have heard her all the Thanksgivings and Christmases I ate the turkey and the ham.
"What am I supposed to do about it now?" Einstein growled back.
"Don't whine to me later that you're hungry." Mrs. Angleton slammed the door.
Her footsteps thundered over our heads as she stomped angrily about the kitchen. I licked the chicken juice from my muzzle and the bed sheets. Then I jumped from the bed and nosed around Einstein.
"Bad dog," he said, pushing me away as he removed the chair from his butt. Then he climbed awkwardly to his feet and hulked over me, finger pointed. "You need to stop stealing food."
"Bad human," I barked. "You need to start exercising yourself."
I turned my attention to the staircase, snuffling around for any chicken crumbs I might have dropped.
"My bed is all messed… is that chicken grease? Oh no, you tracked that stinky dirt everywhere." My human whined and then yelled, "Mom, I need new sheets!"
Overhead came the stomp, stomp, stomp of an angry mother. The basement door burst open, and Mrs. Angleton hurled a fresh set of sheets down the stairs, slamming the door, whap!
I pretended to be asleep so he could wake me up. Then I would jump on him and knock him down. It was our after-walk tradition. Instead of the latch on the tailgate clicking open, I heard the screen door snap shut. What? Wait. My eyes sprang open. Einstein had forgotten to roll up the tailgate window so I leaped over it, bounded around the car and up the porch steps. My human was retreating down the hall as I skidded to a halt at the screen door. I whimpered.
He stopped and turned to face me. "You're not coming in until you've had a bath. But first I'm going to find out what's on this memory card—proof of aliens."
"Oh, right, because aliens always drop their cameras in the woods," I barked. (Later, you might think that perhaps I have underestimated my ability to see the future. I was just being sarcastic, honest to the Great Paw Above.)
"Oh, and don't break that screen or you'll be in bigger trouble than you already are," he warned.
"Hey!" I howled as he disappeared into the basement.
Most humans assume that dogs don't like being left alone because we are needy. Not true. All animals, except humans, can see ghosts. I don't mind when a dog drops by for a woof, but cats drive me barking mad. However, apparitions from the animal kingdom are rare. Most specters are humans who have some kind of unfinished business they want help with. I wouldn't mind lending a paw in exchange for unlimited access to refrigerators, but every pup, kitten, squirrel and chipmunk knows that you never talk to human ghosts because you'll get roped into demon worship or something worse. (Like a conversation. The horror.)
Vinnie, also known as the Nuisance, had appeared two weeks ago talking about supplemental insurance. He sandwiched this information between a long speech about the president and how he missed a good bowel movement. Who would want to hear about that? I'm referring to the president. Poop is always interesting.
Anyway, I had spent the last two weeks strenuously ignoring the Nuisance and didn't feel in the mood for more work. Also his scent, like damp air just after a summer rain, made my nose itch. I backed up, dusted off my paws and charged through the screen door. Easy enough. The hard part was dodging Einstein's mother.
She's about ten years old. That's seventy if you're human. She's a gray haired, droopy eyed woman with a penchant for housecoats. (The housecoat is an unfortunate fashion statement. Since I'm the best dog in the world, I have kindly chewed designer holes in all of them. That evening she wore a blue one that was extra holey.)
"Out! Out! You mangy thing! Einstein, get this dog out of here. He's dirtying up my FLOOR!" She shrieked as she chased after me.
Meat Head the Worst Dog in the World will be posted here in easy to read increments. Read for oldest to newest if you haven't been following along.
Can't Wait to find out what happens next?