The FINAL Final Chapter (part 4)

[BRINDLEKIN TALES – Book 3: Chapter 18d]

Subject: “I’m not your bitch!” hollered Deek yesterday afternoon…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 26, 2021 4:30 PM

…as I schlepped his 12-pound Bluetooth speaker back to my building. “I’m not your bitch either,” I soundly retorted and, once I reached the front gate, looked back at him glaring at me, to embellish my assertive rebuttal with: “Happy Thanksgiiiving! Happy Thanksgiiiving!”

What brought on his latest temper tantrum was his request to bring the speaker back down (for which he had lost the charger, so asked me to just store it)…upon which his close examination revealed that the charging pin seemed to have disappeared in that tiny, black hole. He had returned with the (possibly) correct, 9-volt adapter, and wanted to be sure the plug would fit.

“You broke it! You fucked up my speaker!” he suddenly raged at me. “What did you do…bang on it?” He said much more than that, ranting on about what a fuck-up I am, always breaking his stuff. It was holiday-quiet on the streets, so I was sure everyone on this side of the building heard him.

“PLEASE calm down Deek,” I appealed to him with bowed head and both hands raised towards him, palms out. “I did NOTHING but stash it upstairs. I’m ALWAYS careful with your electronics, you know that.”

But that did nothing to temper his outburst, while the pups just sat there as calm as kumquats. During his absurd fury, he pulled out a piece of coat-hanger wire and diddled with the power port until he got the connection pointed straight up again. The adapter plug then fit perfectly, and he handed me the speaker with cord, to go upstairs and see if it works.

Of course, it might NOT work anyway, which would mean FURTHER rage pouring down upon THIS inculpable pilgrim. And it wasn’t until the gate closed behind me, that he finally ceased his pointless jeremiad that ended with “bitch.” At least for the nonce. Once I plugged in the device, that little red charge light turned on. But just to be sure, I unplugged it from the outlet (I didn’t DARE touch the port end), to see the light go out…then plugged it back in again, and once more it turned on. Whew!

So I returned outside to tell him the good news, but he griped further: “Are you sure? Are you really, really sure it’s the right light, and not the ON switch or something else?”

I told him okay, let me go back upstairs to double check. A minute later I came back outside to assure him that yes, it’s charging correctly. Only then did he calm down, and I was able to shower Flaco & Lucky with my joyful affections for a minute or so. Before I returned hovel, I pointed out that there’s NEVER an excuse to be angry, no matter WHAT the situation…it will only fuck yourself up further, whereas remaining calm will bring rewards. He actually listened politely, though said nothing in response. Though he did request that I bring him a cup of soda, and some water for the pups. So I did; he thanked me and said he’ll pick up the speaker that evening, and I wished them all a happy rest-of-Thanksgiving, with a “god bless you” at the end.

Deek was in good spirits when he showed up four hours later, and the dogs of course were overjoyed, hoping to spend the night in my hovel. They even dashed off to the front gate before either of us could stop them…for they were not tethered to the cart. Flaco escaped first, but Lucky caught up in a flash with a hearty chest bump as they both stood on hind legs and began playing battle droids with many gleeful yelps. Lucky’s chunky paws kept swatting at his sister, while Flaco’s own dainty mitts struck back with surprisingly deft countermoves. They were embraced in upright struggle, like a pair of Lilliputian Godzillas! Right there by the gate…a wondrous site to behold. But alas, I had to pick up their leashes and summon them back to their high lord and master, Deek the Street King of the Castro.

I neither asked nor suggested he allow me to take them in for the night, seeing as he was probably still perturbed over my refusal the day before, to allow him inside. For I concluded it’s better to just let him simmer down at his own pace. He’s bound to stop by tomorrow to collect his Sunday allowance…so we’ll see how things go then. Regardless of the outcome (whether or not the doggies can visit) I intend to surprise him with a bonus $20 as my holiday gift. For it is much better to not hold a grudge, and show a wayward friend you still care, no matter what.

– Zeek K-Holmes

Subject: And…they’re back!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 26, 2021 8:50 PM

Meaning Lucky & Flaco of course. Here’s a pic of each, blissfully sawing dogwood at opposite ends of the cot:

Flaco: click here for a larger view.
Lucky: click here for a larger view.

Deek showed up around 9 PM, inviting me to take the pups so he could cycle the streets of Saint Francis tonight. He also piled on a slew of devices for me to charge up: his present smartphone (rather cracked and worn by now), one portable battery pack, a teensy Bluetooth speaker that probably wouldn’t give him more than a minute’s play (you could hang it from a keychain), another Bluetooth speaker shaped like a cone with a flat top (about eight inches high and five at the base), and two used Kindle tablets that he said may or may not work, just plug ’em in and see. Plus his larger Bluetooth speaker for storage…because he ALREADY misplaced the adapter! So now he wants me to order a replacement from Amazon, which will set me back $18!

The stupid thing is, delivery will take five days, and he’ll probably want that speaker back before then, and lose it by the time the adapter shows up. I know, because it’s happened before with another speaker, last year. So I just might refuse to return it unTIL the adapter arrives, and I recharge the accursed device.

I also presented him with his $60 allowance, secured in a clean white envelope. Once I handed it over, I asked:

“Would you be interested in an extra twenty dollars, for a Thanksgiving gift?”

“Sure!” he answered in surprise. “That would be great.”

But before I extracted it from a pocket, I reminded him that he doesn’t HAVE to accept it, he COULD turn it down, maybe say something like “Thanks but no thanks, I wouldn’t know what to do with so much money in one lump.”

“No, that’s fine, I’ll take it,” he replied without a nanosecond’s delay.

“Are you SURE, Deek?” I queried with feigned incredulity, my hand now plunged deeply into that pocket.

“YES I’M SURE!” he shot back with an even wider grin.

I figured I teased him enough, so withdrew the bonus dub from my pocket, and dropped it onto his open palm. With sincere gratitude he wished me a lovely night, and off I scampered back hovel with the pooches.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Deek is showing remorse…
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 29, 2021 2:49 PM

…over forcing the pups to live on the streets. Here is what he said, when he showed up yesterday evening to pick them up:

“I feel bad about keeping them outside so much,” he declared while puffing on a glass pipe heated by a torch lighter he waved just below the bulbous end. “That’s why I’ve been having them stay with you more often.”

Which is true, Wattson, for he HAS been dropping them off more frequently in recent weeks, and leaving them with me for longer periods, say two days instead of one (or just a few hours) and two nights (instead of just one or sometimes none).

He was hugging the doggies while he spoke (as they adored HIM with loving licks and glances), and I replied: “They are nothing but pure goodness, and having them shelter with me on a frequent basis is good for their health. They can totally chillax, free from stress and confrontations with crazy people…not to mention the cold nights sleeping on concrete. And they know they are safe and loved in my home.”

He went on to describe how some weeks back, a drug dealer offered him a thousand dollars for the brindlekin. Deek of course said no, and reiterated to me that he’d NEVER sell them at any price.

“That’s right, Deek,” I agreed. “Their sweetness and loyalty are beyond any price, and you’d break their hearts if you gave them up.” (Not to mention mine, too, and surely his as well, in the long run.)

I kinda think he made up that story, but I didn’t bother to challenge him about it, as his remorse is the important thing to focus on. If indeed he IS truly concerned for the pooches, rather than playing out some meth induced drama. He also asked me to find out about that free, drop-in clinic for homeless pets.

“I asked you about it once before,” he reminded me unnecessarily. For I DID remember, and quite clearly.

“That was like five months ago, Deek. I told you where and when you need to go, but you never followed up,” I softly admonished in the cool, pleasant air of an early night. We’ve had a long string of lovely weather for the entire month, BTW. I presume the same for yourself, living only 154 miles further north.

I also told him there are TWO free clinics for homeless pet care that I know of, but neither is walk-in anymore, since the covid restrictions began. Now you have to call in to make an appointment.

“I thought it was all over,” he retorted, regarding the pandemic.

“No, not by a long shot,” I said, miffed about his refusal to accept the situation, and writing me off as an alarmist, as if I make this all up, rather than share important updates with him. He has YET to get his booster jab, damn it. And damn his street friends for parroting that anti-vax conspiracy crap.

I told him there might be one or two other free homeless pet stations, but I’m sure none of them are walk-ins, either.

“I’ll see what I can find out for you, Deek,” I assured him. “However, you know other street folks with dogs, so why not ask THEM where they take their furry friends for checkups?”

He said okay, and I added: “I’ll be glad to make an appointment for you, once you decide where to go, if you can’t find a drop-in service.”

Though I realize this is problematic, as he naturally prefers to just show up at whatever time of day. Appointments just do NOT work for him, and I understand that. However, I’ll remind him the actual dates are set, so it shouldn’t be THAT much of a headache to show up at the appointed time. But what worries ME, is his complete ignorance of where these pet clinics are located, and when to show up, suggests he’s NEVER taken either dog to a vet, ever!

His endearment over the pups seems genuine, as he expressed other concerns about them, which impressed me no end. He had nothing for me to charge tonight, so after listening to his (seemingly) sincere words and responding in kind, I wished them all a lovely night and returned hovel…where I double-checked on the Internet, the conditions for bringing homeless pets to a free clinic. Nothing’s changed, you are still required to phone in first.

Now, for my “Bodhisattva Premise” spin on our latest meetup:

This bringing the pups over more often, and showing remorse for keeping them on the streets, is but the next step in the script that has preordained me the hero of this play. And if I am correct, then that means the building manager’s unkind regard towards the doggies’ stay-overs is nothing more then him playing his OWN role as an antagonist. That I, as the star of the show, may receive further applause for having the courage to ignore him, at risk of increased harassment and possible eviction.

So Deek is also just playing out his role as a street person with scary bipolar issues that challenge my efforts to protect the pooches, thus causing me grief. Though far LESS these days, than in earlier episodes…as I learn to further fine tune my emotions by applying FAITH and TRUST more effectively. I am ALMOST at the point of COMPLETE confidence over the brindlekin’s well-being, rather than allowing worries of any sort to obstruct my passage into a higher, and better, realm of consciousness. For as the Buddha once said: “Heaven and hell are a state of mind.”

I can’t imagine a more perfectly writ play than the one I am living through, to get me there…as hindsight has revealed the brilliance of these true tales, and their evolution. With you–my invisible confidante whom I have yet to meet in person–cheering me on from the bleachers. For you ARE the hero behind the hero!

– Zeke K-Holmes

P.S.: Oh, yeah, I almost forgot…before our conversation started, he gave me this silver ring he says is a dragon. Pic enclosed. Hard to tell WHAT it is, because the figure’s so tiny…could be a bat or an eagle, but the wings clearly show. I thanked him, “It’s a GREAT ring, I love it!”

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: The Adventure of the Million Dollar Caper
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 30, 2021 6:35 PM

So Deek shows up yesterday afternoon (long after the sun had set, so it’s already nightfall) with a shopping cart loaded with a mountain of crap, and two happy dogs tethered to it. Upon my approaching him, he goes into this dramatic performance:

“You gotta see this, Zeke!” he emotes with a flourish of some worn out dollar bill in his hand that has all sorts of indecipherable markings on both sides. I take a momentary side glance just to humor him, then crouch on one knee to greet the pups.

“No, no, don’t bother with them right now,” he admonishes in a feverish wave of the soggy buck. “Check this out, in the light…it’s a million dollar bill! I’m scared for anyone else to see it!”

“Oh c’mon Deek,” I reply while remaining close to the pups with hugs and kisses. “How would I know if it’s authentic or not, I’m no expert. Besides, million dollar bills don’t exist.”

“No, they DO exist, and I found one!” he insists with breathless exhilaration. Acting like he’s about to faint as he slumps down upon the concrete, in the soft light of the bus stop’s backlit advertisement promoting some kind of cloud service called Project Launch.

He then forces the old greenback under my nose and demands: “Check it out! I need your help, I’m afraid to go to the bank and do this myself!”

“You’re off your rocker, Deek,” I exclaim while continuing to nurture the darling angels stumbling at my feet in joy. “No I’m NOT gonna help you, I refuse to go to my bank with a fake bill, let alone claim it’s worth a million dollars.”

I never really bothered to closely examine it, Wattson, though I wouldn’t be surprised if someone (a.k.a. “Deek”) had scrawled on it with a leaky pen: “WUN MILYUN DOOLERS,” or something similar. Not meaning to make fun of his possible dyslexia…but jeez Louise!

By then his friend Goose shows up, a peaceful, 40-something dude who always sports an acoustic guitar wherever he goes. I’ve never seen him play it, but that’s neither here nor there. He sets down guitar and a weighty, corded satchel of whatever, and quickly gets caught up in Deek’s million-dollar drama. He gives me a quick “oh, brother” glance, when at the same moment Deek begins to yell:

“You’re fucking up my chance to get rich, Zeke!”

He blurts other rude remarks as well, and I see Flaco gazing up at me for comfort, so I resume caressing her. Lucky, however, is curled up in blissful rest.

“See, Deek, you’ve upset her,” I interject between his rants. “You have NO excuse to be angry…no one does, no matter the situation. But screaming in front of your doggies, that’s just shameful. They’re innocent.”

“I’ll scream whenever I WANT to scream!” he screams, rattling the windows of the front side of my apartment building. “My dogs have been through EVERYthing, sirens, crazy people, fireworks…this doesn’t bother them. They’re fine.”

“Yes it does,” I berate him in a calm voice as I continue to pet Flaco. “This is different, your dogs look up to you, and this hurts them. Even if they don’t show it.”

Though I must note here, Wattson, Flaco didn’t really seem perturbed at all, she just loves my attention. And Lucky appeared TOTALLY blasé about it all. So Deek is correct, I suppose…however, it comes down to ALWAYS being kind and soft spoken around your furry friends, no matter your mood. But it was WELL before ten o’clock, when the anti-noise rules kick in, as weak and ineffective as they are in this lunatic asylum of a burg. In fact, it was only around 7 PM. So screw the grumpy residents (meaning just two: the building manager and my quasi-fascist neighbor down the hall.)

“You have no right to scream in front of my building,” I elaborate while wagging a finger at him. “You fuck up my living situation, you fuck up yours, too. I hate drama queens, and you’re acting like one right now. Please STOP it.”

Somewhere amid his string of tempestuous bouts, the issue had switched from this million-dollar-bill fiasco (with the scraggly GW he didn’t want anyone else to see, now sitting exposed on the sidewalk beside Deek, like the useless paper scrap it really is) to getting his junky Bluetooth speaker to work again. The 9-volt AC/DC adapter I ordered showed up that afternoon…three days early! So I bring it down for him to plug in (as I refuse to touch the connecting parts, to keep him from blaming ME should it still not work). Yet the connecting pin is not the least bit visible through the tiny hole, no matter how close you eyeballed it, and at what angle.

So Deek resumes screaming about THAT now, saying how I break EVERY device he gives me, and that if only he could go upstairs to plug it in and see for himself, problem solved. I tell him that wouldn’t make ANY difference, and remind him once again, there is NEVER an excuse to be angry, let alone over such a TRIVIAL matter. Well that sets off yet aNOTHER round of expletives, you’d think the world was about to end. Goose remained quietly watching the scenario unfold, then breaks in to suggest he remove the back panel, to see where the pin is, and maybe that would fix things. For which I am THEN required to bring down a small phillips screwdriver and a portable light. So I hurry back upstairs, rummage around for the tool, find two of them (I have many, actually, for laptop and peripheral repairs and upgrades), and bring them back downstairs.

I forgot the portable light, Deek says never mind, he can work by the glow of the bus stop advertisement. He picks one of the screwdrivers from my open hand, and begins to struggle with loosening all four corners of the speaker’s back panel.

Flaco & Lucky are by now, dreaming together in cozy proximity, atop a couple of sweaters Deek had laid down for them. He, too, is finally in a calm state of mind, so I say if it’s okay by him, I’d like to go back inside and eat the rest of my dinner that’s been sitting on my desk for almost an hour…he can call up to me when he’s done with that. He says okay, and off I go, leaving him with Goose’s patient company.

As it turns out, the pin is broken, so that puts an end to his bedeviled speaker, thank god, and I can finally have some peace. Guess that’s worth the eighteen dollars I wasted on an adapter, which served no use except to drain my bank account. Ironically, he had shown up with another adapter he somehow acquired, to which I commented that my purchase was a waste of money. That didn’t seem to bother him one iota. Deek’s done this before: ask for an adapter replacement, only to wind up not needing it. In the first incident (about a year ago) he lost the device in question before the adapter arrived. So I now have TWO perfectly good adapters of different voltage, that may or may not come in handy later on down the line. I’M the one who should be angry, if anger were justified, which it never is. So I just accept the situation with a compliant sigh, grateful for the GOOD things in my life, those two sweet doggies being right at the top of the list! Next on that list (not sure what it is, I haven’t really given it serious thought) is, I assure you, a VERY distant second. For NOTHING comes close to Lucky & Flaco!

As for my budget: this month I was able to save a whole friggin TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS! Which means that, once the food stamp boon comes to an end, I’ll STILL be able to hold onto a hundred dollars each month, at least. So I already spent a sizeable chunk of that $200 on an entire month’s supply of dog food for December (both canned and dry)…may even spill over into the New Year. I also ordered a more up-to-date AC-powered USB charging hub that works for both micro and C plugs, and has eight separate, interchangeable ports. Plenty of charging power for ALL the devices Deek may bring over on any given day.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Re: The Adventure of the Million Dollar Caper
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: November 30, 2021 9:52 PM

> I have one of those million-dollar bills. I should take it to the store, buy a pack of gum, and ask for change…

Let me know what happens. Just be aware that, after attempting to pass it on as legit, our letters to each other will be snail-mail only, and highly censored with portions blacked out.

> Jeeziz, what next???

I’m guessing maybe he finds some paste jewelry, claims they’re real diamonds (or gold) and demand I bring them to a pawn shop or wherever, and cash them in for thousands of buckazoids. He’s actually done something like that, several times before. Much to my annoyance. But that was over three years ago; may it remain in the past.

> I’m impressed as hell that you saved $200!! And still gave Deek his allowance!

Believe me, Wattson, I’ve impressed myself as well! BTW I wasn’t finished with my tale before accidentally clicking on “send” instead of “save.” As you probably guessed by that big blank space towards the end, with a partial sentence dangling in the void, before coming to my “budget” passage. So here’s the rest of the story:

The remainder of the evening is peaceful, as Deek and pups camp out for a few more hours by the bus stop, and four other vagrants keep them company. They are quite slovenly and out of it, unlike his previous gatherings by the bus stop…definitely NOT the same people. HE may not appreciate it, but knows how to handle better than I could, how to deal with such types when you’re often exposed to them whether you like it or not, by circumstances beyond one’s control, because homeless. Nonetheless they’re quiet, and soon depart after Deek leaves, around 11:30 PM.

By 11 PM, he asks me to bring down the smartphone and latest speaker he acquired that same night, and which I charged up to maybe half-full. The phone is at 100 percent by then. The new speaker is of a much more portable size: cylindrical and about eight inches long and three wide. I keep the pooches company for ten minutes or so, while Deek ambles down the block to schmooze with a couple of street folks too distant for me to make out in the dark, away from any streetlight.

I conclude that Deek’s million-dollar BS was just his way of playing with me. NO ONE would believe a story like that! Most likely he cooked up that scheme after picking up an old dollar bill on one of his trash-bin explorations. And thought: “I’m gonna have a little fun with Zeke tonight, he takes things too seriously!” All I can say is, he’s a damned good actor! What a slam-bang show he put on. As for the speaker with the broken pin:

More drama with no point to it, except to press my buttons, as he often does. Though I want to mention something I forgot, about that recent night he expressed remorse over keeping the pups on the street. Besides explaining that’s why he has them stay over with me more often, he also said when he begins to feel irritable, it’s a good time to bring them here, as well. So he can take a needed break, and not be mean to the pups.

Now, just this evening he had them crash with me again, so he could ride his bike and collect a bunch more cans and bottles to pay someone off. And that’s why he asked me for this Thursday’s allowance tonight, instead of tomorrow. As that would help, too. Whether it’s all bullshit or not, he appears to be more stable, reasonable and responsible than ever before…in spite of his continued outbursts which are, happily, less frequent and a lot less explosive and prolonged. And I am able to manage these advance payments withOUT coughing up even MORE money than planned, for each month’s allotment.

I told him I don’t know how he does it: keeping so busy juggling his transactions and survival needs day in and day out…AND take care of the mutts on top of all that! If I tried the same thing, I’d collapse in exhaustion in two days flat! I’m sure he appreciated the kudos. Before he took off on his bike (which he said is from Brazil of all places) I asked him when the dogs last ate. He said hours ago, so they should be hungry again. Then he added with a gesture of the hand, like casting fairy dust:

“Make sure you sprinkle whatever extra stuff you add to it, to help their appetite!”

Now, that was an unusual thing for him to say, as I’ve always assured him I give them no treats…just a mixture of canned and dry. That’s because he was being a drama queen for many months, claiming doggy snacks are bad for them, and make them aggressive. Which is just more of Deek’s bullshit.

Since as you know I HAVE been adding a wedge of those duck breasts into their dishes, after first grinding it up into a powder. So how does he suspect that’s exactly what I’m doing, when I’ve told him otherwise, more than once? And how does he know I turn the jerky into a powder (rather than just breaking it up with my fingers), as indicated by his using the word “sprinkle?”

It’s as if he can read my mind…perhaps as a bodhisattva angel who knows things about me, that such gifted spirits are privy to. And that, by bringing this up with the “sprinkle” part thrown in, he’s giving me another hint as to his true, divine nature. IOW, he and all my other guardians know everything about me, without ever having to ask. Some COULD be reading my tales online, and find out THAT way. They can certainly do so without leaving any trace of having visited my blog, because of their paranormal abilities. Seeing as, normally, WordPress records EVERY visit to my site, in some detail.

Yet, as vehemently opposed to feeding them treats as he’s behaved in the past, his “sprinkle” statement this evening was expressed with a smile and clear appreciation.

Ironically, though, I HAVE recently begun to feed them withOUT adding a pulverized nummy to their meals. So far, so good; they STILL gobble everything up. Tonight is the fourth time I’ve fed them without flavor enhancement, and they ate very well. I really prefer to be honest to Deek about what I feed them, so I’m happy that my experiment worked.

So wonderful to open that gate and release them halfway up the stairs, to go bounding in great joy the rest of the way! Maybe dashing to and fro in the hallway first, before darting into my hovel and onto the cushy cot, where they frolic some more. Group hugs, belly rubs and scritches all around! They are now sprawled out on the bedding, deep in the world of doggy dreamland as I type this missive.

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The Adventure of the Folded Rug
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 1, 2021 1:36 PM

The pups ate supper last night around 7 PM, yet showed NO interest in stepping out to relieve themselves four, five or even six hours later! For neither jumped off the bed to pace the floor and peer out my window, indicating a need to poop. Nor did they dance around me any of the several times I grabbed a jacket from the closet, as a test. So, when I sacked out by 1:30 AM, I knew they’d be eager to step outside shortly after daybreak…and I’d better be ready to move fast!

Sure enough, Lucky woke me up at precisely 7:16 AM, jonesing to hit the pavement. Pacing the floor, making little “woofs” to get my attention. Upon returning, we encountered that amiable Taiwan refugee, Andrew, descending the stairs with his bicycle. I moved the pups aside on the first landing, to allow him passage…he laughed as the mutts barked. Then, as we proceeded upward, I looked back to see that Lucky had puked, so I rushed them inside without even removing their collars, grabbed a few microfiber rags and wiped it all up. Not a trace remained, much to my relief. He had also regurgitated a bit outside my door, and resisted entering until he was done. Also an easy cleanup.

He upchucked one more time, a few minutes later by the sink. I took care of that as well (needless to say, but leaving that out might disturb you, dear reader). Lucky then lapped up some water and returned to lie down on the cot…thus indicating it’s all over…probably. For if it weren’t, he’d remain on the floor, rather than mess up the bedding.

Awhile later I departed for my morning java. Upon returning with steaming cup in hand, I opened the door and looked around the room to see if any NEW puddle of glob were present. Flaco was sprawled out on the far end of the cot, belly up and eyes closed; while Lucky was curled up by my pillow. He looked at me with a placid gaze, as if to say, “It’s all good, glad you’re back.” Just when I thought the coast was clear, I noticed that a throw rug by the opposite wall was folded at one corner, reducing its size by a third.

“Hmm, it wasn’t like that before I stepped out,” I thought. “Or maybe I kicked it up without noticing…that happens a lot.”

Just to be sure, I approached the rug to flip the corner back down, not REALLY expecting to see another gastric revelation. Yet there it was! Lucky had chosen the best location possible, that is: furthest away from the bed. Then, in his own fastidious manner, had managed to make the evidence disappear with a few nudges of his snout, maybe with the help of those chunky paws and/or sharp little teeth to grip the rug’s edge and fold that part over. I would’ve loved to have filmed his maneuvers with a hidden camera! In conclusion:

Who needs a Roomba with Lucky around?

– Zeke K-Holmes

Subject: The “Sprinkle” Reference was the Punchline!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 1, 2021 6:34 PM

I have brought this up before in my tales: the nature of bodhisattva humor. Seeing as they exist in a realm of eternal life and can time travel, they often make up jokes which punchlines are set up to trigger hours, days, weeks, even years later! In fact, some of their BEST jokes take many centuries for the punchline to manifest. Though I hardly think such drawn out buffoonery is targeted at mere mortals like ourselves, dear reader, but at their own kind. Taking such a conjecture to the extreme, one may even say that the big bang is the first joke, which punchline ends with the big collapse…then starts all over again. Vedic scripture claims the universe originated with a particular sound, which they call “aum.” Who’s to say it wasn’t helped along with a whoopee cushion? But I digress.

When I mentioned in a previous email, Wattson, Deek’s “sprinkle” remark, and pondered on how he knew I was adding a ground up treat to their meals when I told him many times I am NOT. And that it was as if he could read my mind…which of course he can, if indeed he IS one of my bodhisattva allies. It wasn’t till the fourth or fifth time I thought about it, that I realized IT’S A JOKE! Or in other words:

He knew from day one when I started having the pups over and feeding them myself, that I was adding that treat to their meals, though I denied it. Because he set up the joke by making a big deal over why I should NEVER give them treats, reprimanding me with great ANGER not to do this. And it went on for months. (I’m sure you remember when I wrote about it.)

Just so he could bring up his “sprinkle” remark almost a year later, knowing it would throw me for a loop, because he spoke in FAVOR of the treats. He knew I’d finally figure out the game he was playing. And I DID figure it out, just today in fact.

It’s more than just a joke, though, as bodhisattvas tend to ooze with spiritual gifts no matter WHAT they do (or don’t do). For my realizing the punchline was also a breakthrough in my higher awareness, regarding my relationship with Deek. I had WITNESSED (albeit with hindsight) just how he laid down the trap and sprung the prank on me in a future time…impressively far-flung from when he set me up. But the best thing I get out of this is:

He knows how well I treat the doggies.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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Subject: Double Whammy Joke!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 3, 2021 11:52 AM

Little did I dream that Deek’s “dog treat” joke would have a SECOND punchline three days after the first! Here’s how it came about:

Early last year when Deek was warning me to NEVER feed them snacks (an absurdity if I ever heard one) he insisted that ALL such nummies are made of raw meat, which turns dogs violent. I corrected him otherwise (that the flesh is cooked and processed and no, it doesn’t make them aggressive), many times over because he kept bringing this up repeatedly, across the span of several months. But his mind was set in concrete, and my appeals were to no avail. So I decided just to feed them treats now and then, without telling him. In fact, adding the duck jerky wedges or the chicken-applesauce disks to their meals resolved a worrisome loss of appetite that went on for days.

So, when he camped out for a few hours last night by the ATM nook below my window, he showed me a half-gallon bucket of frozen, raw meat purchased from Jeffrey’s Natural Pet Foods right around the corner. I actually saw that transaction from my window, but didn’t know at that moment, exactly what the kind gentleman had passed to Deek, through the passenger side of a parked vehicle.

So there ya go, Wattson: a double-whammy punchline. The first, his surprise approval of giving the pups treats…the second (that was sprung a few days later), his ready acceptance to feed them raw flesh.

This particular blend is called “Canine Beef, Yams and Veggies,” which I lugged upstairs to thaw out in the fridge. It will probably take almost two days before it’s mushy enough to eat. I’ll put out a scant cup for each dog, warm it up a bit in the microwave, then mix it in with some kibble. According to an employee at Jeffrey’s (who I talked to this morning), the meat should keep fresh for three or four days. The price for a half gallon is $39 BTW.

These are excellent, wholesome ingredients, which I’m sure the brindlekin will love…thus may put an end to Lucky’s latest loss of appetite. The timing should work out just fine, as they’ll probably be visiting me again in another day or two from now. However, it’s such a huge quantity, no doubt almost half will go to waste.

Interesting how Jeffrey’s shop came to the rescue once more…this time without my ever planning it so. Are they in on it, too…this bodhisattva intrigue? I’m guessing “yes.”

– Zeke K-Holmes

Texting with Wattson: 11/26/21 – 12/03/21

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Re: Double Whammy Joke!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 3, 2021 6:00 PM

> Looks good enough to eat!!!

Yeah, like cow flavored ice cream, with a beefy chunk in every bite. Yummy! Bordon’s ice cream containers have the image of a cow on it, but I never thought that Elsie was part of the contents, other than her moo juice!

Click here for a larger view.

Thanks to Deek and his pups, my room has become a sort of meat storage locker…me, a diehard vegetarian, who’d preFER to not share utensils, dishes and fridge with animal flesh EVER. Alas, Kismet deems otherwise.

> Our dog has learned to recognize the peculiar distinctive meows made by Ernie, our fixed tomcat, when he’s bringing prey home. It’s a sort of semi-muffled but loud and triumphant announcement. When Surely hears that, he races out and tries to make Ernie drop the gopher or rat (usually gopher), then he grabs it and gobbles it up whole. Crunch, crunch. He’s successful only about 20% of the time in getting the critter away from Ernie, but the whole game is amusing. Except, of course, for the gopher. I rescue them if they are alive and uninjured.

I had no idea such massacres were going on in your little fiefdom…on a regular basis! No doubt the rats and gopher gods are indecisive as to whether or not to punish you. Or even reward you, in light of your occasional rescue. If there were a Tarot card with a rat or gopher on it, I might be able to prognosticate the outcome. But you’re on your own this time, Wattson!

BTW it’s a good thing I did NOT rush down to the EBT office for my replacement card, as Deek showed up barely an hour ago, and might have had to wait an uncomfortably long time before my return hovel. He collected his Sunday allowance (TWO days prematurely, instead of just one), gave me three devices to juice up, and left the pups in my charge.

The frozen meat was reasonably thawed out by then, at least halfway from the top, enabling me to scoop out two cups’ worth. There were still some ice crystals embedded within that portion, so I warmed it up a bit in the microwave…one minute on high reduced it to room temperature. Then I mixed in some kibble, and placed the dishes on the floor. THEY BARELY TOUCHED IT!

Only Flaco leapt off the cot to try it out, while Lucky remained apathetic, preferring instead to sleep. His sister wasn’t much better, as she only sampled a few bites, then returned to bed. Egads! They loved Jeffrey’s raw food in a can, when I fed it several times to them last January…it got them over their lackluster appetence like a champ!

Maybe they were recently fed, though Deek made it sound like their only meal today so far, was hours ago. Which may or may not be true, as he’s not the most reliable guy when it comes to updating the doggies’ situation. I surmise he was more interested in rushing off with the moolah to get high ASAP…and wasn’t even listening to me with more than a dipteran’s attention. I will try again later tonight.

Lucky still doesn’t even want his favorite treat, and he’s been like that for four days now. Flaco, OTOH, maintains a good appetite. But since she also showed no desire for Jeffrey’s gourmet vittles, I presume she was well fed earlier, and more recently than her master indicated.

Deek was not clear as to whether or not the mutts can stay with me tonight. I’m guessing yes, because he’s flush with cash and wants to “party” all night long, or maybe beyond that. I hope so!

– Zeke K-Holmes

Click here for a larger view.

Subject: Frustrating!
From: Ezekiel Krahlin
To: My Dear Wattson
Date: December 4, 2021 2:14 PM

They still wouldn’t touch their food. This morning I set out BOTH the raw meat portion, then an hour later, their usual kibble-and-canned food mixture. Flaco finally decided to try the raw vittles once again but, just like last night, she only took a few bites and returned to her cushy place on the cot. Nonetheless, they seem perfectly fine.

Took them for an early morning stroll (5:30 AM!) because I didn’t have the heart to wake them up just before the witching hour, for their late-night run. I knew this meant one or both pups would summon my attention at a wee hour, and sure enough that’s what went down. Only it was just Flaco, who paced the floor and made subtle “arf” sounds until I arose. Lucky joined her, soon as I donned my jacket.

The super-early-morning walk was delightful, Wattson: pleasantly cool air and quiet as a graveyard, strolling along Noe or one of its side streets. I think I’ll make that a habit, as it’s so nice not to have to deal with residents going up or down the stairs (especially the building manger), or maneuver through a gauntlet of foot traffic, other dogs, vehicles and the surprise crazy drifter who pops up out of nowhere to disturb the peace, and put the mutts in a frenzy. I can even let them run about, unleashed! They come immediately to my side when I call their names, so no worries about them running off.

BTW, Flaco curled up in my chair when we resumed our bed rest. She’s never done that before. It’s a swivel seat, and was not facing her where she sat on the cot. So she turned it with her paw until it did, then climbed on! I think she likes the psychological security of those two arms draped in a cloth spread, surrounding her. So she’s sheltered on three sides, with the open part facing the cot, where Lucky and I lay down in sweet repose. I could easily reach out and pet her. A nice arrangement all around.

It’s now 2:13 PM…Deek dropped by a short while ago to pick up the brindlekin, dog food and devices. No drama thank God, he simply wished me well and they took off.

Upon returning hovel, I disposed of the remainder of Jeffrey’s raw victuals, seeing as the pups didn’t care for it. $39 WORTH OF QUALITY CANINE CHOW DOWN THE TUBES! So glad I didn’t pay for it. And THAT, my friend, is food for thought since it barely touched a stomach.

– Zeke K-Holmes

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