“I hate Biden, the Great Interloper, more than anyone in the entire world.”

“Why, Aussie?”

“Because Lori is in the hospital. Because she went to the ER late yesterday and they found more things wrong—”

“They’re not wrong, Auss, they’re just not functioning right.”

“They checked her in and now the Illegal Chihuahua is crazier, more obsessive, and more illegal than ever before, and even Llama Louie doesn’t cheer him up. And it’s all Biden’s fault. In fact, everything is his fault.”

“Aussie, life is very complex. To blame any one person for anything makes little sense.”

“I blame Biden for everything. It makes me feel good.”

“You know why, Auss?”

“Are you getting ready to give me a dharma talk?”

“When we blame somebody, it gives us a semblance of control. If he didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have this. But suffering has been with us since before Cain and Abel.”

“The two Great Danes that live around the corner?”

“Not quite, Sweetie-Pie.”

“Ugggh, I hate it when you call me that.”

“Ready to hear your song?”

“No no no no no no—”

Aussie Moss, Aussie Moss.

Aus-sie, Moss Moss.

Aussie Moss Moss Moss, Aussie Moss.

Aussie Moss Moss Moss, Aussie Moss.

Aussie Moss!”

“Never let anybody hear this!”

“I love singing that song, Pretty Girl.”

“Don’t call me that!”

“Okay, Smartie-Party.”

“I’m going to vomit.”

“Princess Aussie?”

“I am not a Jewish American princess! I am a Trump-loving, flag-waving, immigrant-hating, true blooded American.”

“Aussie, you know why I call you these things?”

“Because you’re sentimental. I hate sentimental humans.”

“Not quite. As Leonard put it: I’m sentimental if you know what I mean,

I love the country but I hate the scene …”

“That’s way better than Aussie Moss Moss Moss.”

“You know how Leonard’s stanza ends? Despite everything, I’m still holding up this little wild bouquet.

“Now I know where this is going. Yes, there are crocuses growing in this early spring, there’s beauty even in the darkest of places. Could we cut all that out?”

“I’m not talking about beauty, Aussie, I’m talking about love.”

“Same thing.”

“You’re right. Aussie, what do you think all those Aussie names and songs are about?”

“Making me sick?”

“They’re about love. They’re always about love. Pretty Girl, Smarty-Party, Princess Aussie—they’re all about love. I think you can’t stand to hear it in the middle of all this life and death, including the ambulance—”

“The siren scares me to death!”

“—the emergency personnel, ER, all that stuff. But this is how I remind you that love goes on.”

“Consider me reminded. I don’t need to hear it anymore.”

“Are you sure? Maybe you don’t want to hear it because it makes you sad. Maybe it opens things up and you want to cry.”

“Maybe it’s Henry’s turn to cry—what can you expect from an Illegal Chihuahua—but I’m from Texas. Texans never cry. Just ask Governor Abbott.”

“Aussie, when I call you by those endearments and sing those songs, or pet you last thing at night before going to sleep and saying Good-night, Pretty Girl—”

“After that I can’t sleep.”

“—it’s to remind me that I love someone, and that she’s around every day. When I feed the gold finches, who have their own March Madness—”

“They’re eating us out of house and home!”

“—I remember that I love them. Nothing mechanical here, it’s love being expressed again and again, in so many different ways. That’s what that song is about, and the names I call you and the names I call Henry—”

Meshigene dog?”

“—All for love, Auss. All for love.”

“I hate it.”

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