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The Woman and the Dog by Richard K. Weems
published in Volume 5, Issue 4 on December 1st, 1998

Sometimes I just sit here, making up things.

I have a company, "Writer, Ink."

I don’t write until I got the sell: fantasy, mystery, etc. Fantasy mag wants a story with a unicorn, I write a story with a unicorn. Mystery rag: two bodies on a train? Two bodies on a train. Ditto for porn.

The money is porn.

I write forum letters. No real readers write those letters--at least, they’re not writing letters worth publishing. Sex in a glass elevator? No problem. Threesomes? Foursomes? Tensomes with more entering by the minute? Piece of cake. Midgets? Yup, we got midgets. My agent gives me the pitch, I put it together, drop it in the mail, soon comes the check.

Cushy.

Other times--most times, honestly--I’m on the couch in my robe, waiting on a pitch. I watch talkies and game shows, then the soaps, and on into the news. While my girlfriend is at work, I sit with Matilda under my arm.

Matilda is our dog. She’s part pit bull, part other things.

Mostly pit bull.

Sometimes, Matilda chews on her rawhide while sitting with me.

Sometimes, Matilda watches the talkies.

Sometimes, I let her watch Sesame Street.

My girlfriend waits tables at T.G.I. Friday’s.

A shame, really, because she studied psychology and she’s good at it. For instance:

She’s good at dropping hints about commitment. Every now and then, she’ll tell me out of the blue how long we’ve been living together, how many months now. She never counts in years--she always opts for the bigger number.

"You know we’ve been living together twenty-six months?" she’ll say.

She would probably count it in weeks, even days, if she took the time to do the math.

Also, she calls Matilda our ‘baby.’ I’m Daddy, she’s Mummy. Sometimes, she makes like Matilda can talk.

"Can we go out now, Daddy?" she’ll say, a childish lilt to her voice, when Matilda is standing by the back door. Or, "I’ve been a good girl, haven’t I, Daddy?" when Matilda stands expectantly by the cupboard where we keep her dried pig ears and rawhide bones. "Don’t good girls get treats?"

Or, when Matilda is licking my face after my girlfriend kisses me: "It’s okay, Daddy, let me get Mummy's smell off you."

My girlfriend probably thinks me dense for not getting her hints. She’s got a good case for it: only now do I realize just how many she drops.

All this, and the only work she can find right now is Friday’s. I’d be humiliated. She has to wear all kinds of buttons on her work apron. Stupid buttons. Buttons with stupid things on them.

Check these out:

SMILE PATROL

WHY BE NORMAL?

BIBO ERGO SUM: I DRINK, THEREFORE I AM

See?

When she first got the job, they grilled her until she could recite the desserts and sing their birthday song at a moment’s notice. Sometimes, she hums the song without knowing it. Then I do, also without knowing it. Then she yells at me, "Stop," as if I’m teasing her.

Then, my agent calls with a new pitch: ‘a woman and a dog.’ My girlfriend, smelling of burger grease and smoke, figures I’m already doing the research (that is, research on zoophilia), might as well get paid for the effort.

My girlfriend thinks I’m fooling around with the dog.

My retort: "Hey, they want a woman and a dog."

Doesn’t faze her.

Matilda sticks her face between ours, her tongue forcing its way between our lips, when me and my girlfriend kiss. If I give my girlfriend a kiss first when she comes home from work, the dog won’t touch her face. If it’s my girlfriend who kisses me first, Matilda launches on my face, licking all over.

My girlfriend says it’s proof. I got plenty of opportunity...that’s her other proof. I’m around all day, so’s the dog, and with my girlfriend out working, what’s to stop us?

With my girlfriend, it’s all cause and effect--the clear, rational and empirical breakdown of events in linear time, the effect being this aforementioned attraction the dog has for her daddy, the cause either nature (Elektra complex) or nurture (me).

Also:

My girlfriend says Matilda licks mostly the spot she just kissed.

I can’t tell. All I know is, I got dog slobber everywhere: my glasses slimed, my beard sticky.

"I think the dog’s too old for this kind of complex to be natural," she’ll conclude.

The dog is eleven months old.

So this is how I figure the woman and the dog story:

She comes home, and the dog is all into the flour and the sugar and the cherry syrup. The dog is a bulldog with a penis like a lipstick tube, she’s seen it. He’s strong and protective of her, always checking out her latest man. Rarely approving. She’s always felt that the dog is looking out for her best interests, so when he doesn’t approve, she doesn’t put out. Hence, she’s gone without for months.

Remember this--this is important.

The dog is all dirty and sticky and syrupy. (Cherry syrup is a big thing in porn--for your average porn reader, cherry syrup let loose upon something, anything, male, female, animal or mineral, is almost guaranteed arousal.) She takes him upstairs and gives him a bath. She feels slight arousal at running her hands over his strong shoulders, burly chest and strong, wiry legs. His long, red penis appears, though it is not hard. Still, she notices. What a man this would be, she thinks...but no, she can’t, this is a dog after all.

Suspense for the reader: she wants to, she wants to, but she’s not giving in yet. This is porn, after all, so what the readers expect is men wanting to, girls wanting to, hot and ready no matter what they say, so why delay it much?

Bait.

Everyone knows it’s going to happen, so what good porn does is delay it, keeps your average porn customer baited, waiting, the erection at half-mast, ready for the big plunge. That’s why you have long stints of a guy walking up the stairs, checking his shirt, smoothing his mustache in all the better movies, or a couple in bed, talking about nothing in particular (actor improvisation, I’ll bet) when you know you’d rather see them doing something else.

But, you can’t hold it off too long...

She can’t believe it! This canine penis mesmerizes her--so manly it is, so energetic. It would give her so much more than what she’s not been getting, she is sure.

And, as if he knows what she’s thinking, the dog suddenly thrashes around in the water, drenching her to the skin, and she goes to her room, takes off her clothes, is about to put on a bathrobe, when...

She’s aroused. Damn it to hell, but she is, and she knows what she wants and it doesn’t matter anymore if she’s not supposed to have it. She takes the peanut butter jar on the table by her bed (I’ll explain earlier that she likes to snack on peanut butter before going to sleep) and starts coating herself with it, an area sensitive to her touch right now, excitable.

Here’s the lead in:

"I can’t believe I’m doing this, but yet I can, and somehow I can’t believe I never did this before, because it seems so easy to me now, such an easy way to have what I really want, and I start back towards the bathroom, walking with my legs apart so the peanut butter will remain thickly coated over my hot, anxious, pulsating passion, and I call out, ‘Skippy, come get your peanut butter...’"

My girlfriend has a few problems with my story. The main thing is that the peanut butter idea is stolen. Worse, it’s stolen from her, kind of.

Before Friday’s, my girlfriend worked for the city courts, typing up transcripts. Once she transcribed a case where a newlywed husband and his family decided to throw a surprise party for his wife. They all hid in the basement with the lights off and took the dog as bait. Surely, she’d come looking for the dog down there, and the party would be sprung.

So the wife comes home. They get the dog to bark a couple times. The wife makes some commotion, then comes down into the basement.

"Fido" (or Spot, or whatever, I forget), she says, "come get your peanut butter."

Then the lights fly on.

She skipped town that night. The case was a divorce hearing in absentia--no one had heard from her in months. To this day, as far as I know.

My girlfriend has trouble believing things happened that way. She thinks this is just a story the husband and his folks concocted to cover up something rather nasty.

Who knows, she’ll muse sometimes, maybe even something sinister.

What don’t let her buy it are the following:

1). Why would the party have only the husband and his relatives? None of her friends? Her own family? What kind of a party is that?

2). If the woman came home and heard the dog barking in the basement, she would probably think something’s wrong, and far be it from any woman to get naked and spread peanut butter on herself when there might be danger in the house.

3). Besides, my girlfriend will add, if they were in the basement and she was at the top of the stairs (there’s no way she could have gotten much past the first stair without noticing all these people in her basement), there’s no way they could have noticed peanut butter between her legs before she retreated.

"On her breasts, maybe," she’ll add to that.

Funniest thing, though--in all her logical arguments against the likeliness of such an occurrence, she never once dismissed it all in her knowledgeable, studied demeanor with a: "Besides, no woman would ever go and do a thing like that."

What really bothers her, I gather, is that she suspects that I use us to write porn quite often.

Even when I write love scenes for fantasy mags (often involving beautiful, seductive elfin women or dryads or passionate, desperate love right before a hopeless battle with Orcs), to me it’s me and my girlfriend there. Granted, the names are changed and the acts exaggerated, so it might not be all that obvious, but in my mind, there’s me and her, swapping with another couple after a party that’s gone a bit too far, or unbuckling our scabbards to reach unhinderedly at our quivering, excited flesh, etc. It’s so obvious to me, I get nervous when she goes reading my stuff.

Most of the time, though, she doesn’t seem to make the connection. That, or she thinks my sex scenes are all being acted out with other women.

Then again, maybe she does put it all together; she’s pretty smart, after all. Maybe what she’s trying to figure out is which came first. When we try something new in our relationship, is it because we are inspired on our own, and then I write about it, or is the reverse true?

To tell the truth, I don’t have an answer.

All I know is the woman and the dog story was a hit, and now I’ve got more offers--some dog, others others. One’s even for a scene with a bull: how cruel, how mythological.

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