I SNOOZE LESS

“Oh Aussie, the news is so terrible I can’t bear to read it anymore.”

“Luckily, I don’t read.”

“Over 100 people killed by terrorists in Russia; missiles raining down over Kiev; starvation in Gaza; gang warfare in Ecuador and Guatemala; and total anarchy in Haiti. Not to mention species going extinct.”

“Wake me up when it’s over.”

“You may not wake up when it’s over, Aussie. What’ll happen to dogs when humans go extinct? The way you depend on us, you might go extinct as well.”

“Don’t be stupid, we’ll double back and become more like our cousins, wolves and coyotes. Pass the Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties, and don’t forget to add the Freeze-Dried Salmon Topper, the Skin & Bones Grass-Fed Goat Mixer, and the Bare Beef Booster.”

“Is food all you can think of right now?”

“Self-care is very important in these perilous times.”

“Are you doing anything to take care of others, Aussie?”

“I snooze less.”

“Lori, our housemate, lies downstairs in pain and discomfort after a life-changing accident, and while her sister and I run around to take care of her, what are you doing?”

“A lot! Who has to come upstairs in order to get you downstairs to feed me? And who can’t sleep on the futon anymore because you-know-who is occupying it? Who has to deal with a topsy-turvy house and dangerous people coming in at all hours?”

“Nurses and therapists?”

“Who has to screen all the cars coming down the driveway in the snow, barking and running outside? Do you sniff perfect strangers?”

“No, Auss.”

“I’m losing sleep, I’m losing my peace of mind. The Illegal Chihuahua and I are working round-the-clock to keep the house safe. A dangerous terrorist came by today.”

“The physical therapist?”

“What’s she doing coming here on Saturday?”

“People’s pain doesn’t stop on Saturdays, Aussie.”

“Do I get double portions for working on weekends?”

“I don’t want you to get fat, Aussie.”

“Eating on weekends never makes you fat. And that’s another thing, weekends. It used to be this was a Judeo-Christian country. Saturday and Sunday were the weekend. Now, with Muslims and Natives and Africans and Illegals bringing their own Sabbaths with them, who knows what’s a weekend anymore? I’m considering the worst step of all.”

“What’s that, Auss?”

“Unionizing. If Starbucks can do it, I can do it.”

“What an interesting idea, Aussie!”

“Only what’s the good of a one-dog union?”

“What about Henry?”

“I don’t unionize with illegal Chihuahuas. And we haven’t even mentioned two nights of bear visits. I am EXHAUSTED!”

“Poor sweetie. I get so overwhelmed by headlines and news, I forget about your travails.”

“The trouble with you is, you read the wrong things. Whatever you do—don’t read the top headlines.”

“But that’s what’s most impactful, Aussie.”

“It’s not. The really important stuff appears halfway down.”

“Let me see: Intermittent Fasting May Pose Hazard to Heart.”

“OMG! The hazards of fasting! Forget Russia, Gaza, and Somalia. Forget climate change. DON’T FAST, WHATEVER YOU DO! What’s next?”

What’s the Secret to Tender Meatballs?”

“You see? There’s always good news in the middle of bad news, you just have to find it. I love tender meatballs. Next?”

What’s the Best Go-To Weekender Bag? I Never Cared About Pepper Until I Got This Century-Old French Pepper Mill?

“That’s what I call good, clean, healthy headlines. What’s a pepper mill?”

“Aussie, all that’s for folks who are out to buy things.”

“Who cares? They bring you back to the essence: Tender meatballs, an antique pepper mill—and most important, The Man’s Never Surrender Gold Sneakers. If they make them my size, get me a pair. I guess I’ll need two.”

“Oh Aussie, the grave and the frivolous have mixed for many, many years.”

“Right. And don’t forget, you never know which is which.”

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