“Aussie, where are you going?”

“Where all adventure-loving, danger-chasing, risk-taking critters are going now. Scotland.”

“Why, Auss?”

“To find Nessie, of course.”

“The Loch Ness monster? Oh Aussie, it doesn’t exist.”

“Who says? And it’s not an it, it’s a she.”

“How do you know? Checked her genitals recently?”

“Because she’s called Nessie. Also, it’s time for monsters to be female. Enough of King Kong. Enough of Godzilla, Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, and all the rest. Where’s equal opportunity when you need it?”

“Alien Queen? Medusa?”

“But Nessie’s real, she exists. She’s not a movie. She’s managed to stay low for almost a thousand years and nobody could find her. But we could, just as long as we get to—”

“Exactly. No one could find her. Aussie, there have been scientific expeditions galore to find Nessie, using sonar earlier and now even more modern technology. No scientific implement has spotted her. No blinking dots underwater to show something’s breathing there, and even photos of her were proven to be fakes.”

“You know what I say: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

“Fire, but not necessarily an underwater monster, Auss. Did you ask the gang at Leeann’s about whether they believe in Nessie?”

“What do they know? The minute I brought up Nessie Petulia got so terrified she went running to Leeann, but she’s a Dachshund, what can you expect? Percy said he didn’t believe in Nessie, but he’s such an entitled Golden, and with a name like that, you just know he’s ignorant about real life.  Come on, just buy one ticket to Scotland. You can even take me in storage. Percy would never fly in storage.”

“I have better things to do than search for a non-existent monster, Aussie.”

“What’s wrong with you? Where did the imagination go? What about fantasy? You have me, the best sniffer and tracker in the world—”

“Of deer and wild turkeys, Auss. Not fish.”

“She’s not a fish, she’s a monster. The real thing. Where your sense of mystery? Where’s the journey in pursuit of life’s big questions?“

“What big questions, Aussie?”

“Does Nessie get lonely? What’s it like, to stay put for a thousand years and never leave your comfort zone? Why does she need such a long neck? What does it feel like, being named after instant coffee?”

“You want to find her to ask her all these questions? I wonder if she even speaks English.”

“Won’t do me any good if she does. The English they talk over there, you can’t understand a word they say.”

“Aussie, there are many things we don’t understand, like sudden illness or death.”

“Like Covid?”

“We associate them with fear and terror, we call them monsters.”


“We make them up, Aussie.”

“We made up Covid?”

“No, no, I mean monsters. The gigantic body, the long neck, the eyes full of hate and—”

“The razor-sharp teeth.”

“I doubt she has razor-sharp teeth, Auss. She has nothing to use them on in Loch Ness.”

“So, let’s go and find her. Everybody in the world is now looking for Nessie.”

“I don’t think so, Aussie. People are working, having babies, raising a family, fighting in Ukraine, worrying about AI, counting Trump indictments, eating pizza—”

“And looking for Nessie. What’s life without Nessie? What’s life without a mysterious monster hiding underwater? What’s life without something that makes no scientific sense, extraordinary, beating all odds and expectations?”

“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.”

“No, Nessie, Nessie, Nessie. Give me danger! Give me daring! Give me centuries of dreams to pursue, journey beyond horizons, journey without end.”

“How about a slice of broccoli, sausage and pepperoni pizza instead?”

“Make it two slices and hold the broccoli. “

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