Death in the Country


My little brother’s cat had four toes on one paw, six on the other. We called him Toes.  It was raining cats and dogs when my oldest brother jumped into his Jeep, pulled away, ran over Toes’ head, kept on going. My little brother looked out the window and saw a bloody Toes running in circles. He let out a scream. My older brother and I ran to investigate. Toes head was shaped like a triangle. There was lots of blood. An eye was popping out. Toes never ran but was now running full speed in circles. Dave commanded, “Get the gun.” This meant I had to go into my parents’ closet and grab the .22 rifle we were forbidden to touch. I also had to go back three times to grab bullets as my brother kept missing. The third shot hit right in the brain. The poor pussycat started jumping two feet in the air and wouldn’t stop. “Get the shovel,” my brother yelled. A strong whack in the head finally did the trick. My little brother was traumatized for hours. We all were.


The cat


The cat was 200 feet away. It was a stray cat, resting on a stairway.
I told my brother, “Watch me hit that cat in the face with this snowball.”

I had a good arm in those days, but this shot was a million to one.
I threw that snowball as hard as I could in the general direction of the cat. A couple of seconds later the snowball came down and smacked the cat in the face. It shook its head and ran off.
We raised our arms and both yelled, “Yes!”

The Joker Goes Vegan


Beyond my will I am being forced to become a vegetarian.

The nurse poked my finger for a blood sugar check, and she said molasses came out.

She then took my blood pressure–the meter exploded and tore her blouse wide open.

Goodbye Burger King Whopper, over the years you hurt me deeply.
Goodbye Popeyes whole menu, you broke my heart.
So long Prime Rib, I loved you as often as I could, but it’s over now.

As a vegetarian, I pledge to eat tremendous amounts of kale, tofu, bean curd, and spinach,
and never cut the cheese.

Frozen and Forgotten


I don’t like winter. One reason for my dislike of the cold, dark season is a strange thing that happened to me when I was a boy, about five.

In 1963, we had a monstrous snow, almost three feet. We had been cooped up inside for three days, and my mom said, “Get your snowsuit on. You’re going outside.”

My snowsuit consisted of two pairs of pants, two shirts, and, on top of that, my old snowsuit which zipped up the front, plus a hat with ear muffs and a wool scarf. Last year’s snowsuit was tighter than ever. When I walked, I was like a penguin, but I thought I could take the harsh weather.
My mom pushed me outside and said, “Go find the cat.”

I was sweating and walked about twenty steps, when I turned and looked back,
then fell on my back two feet into the snow. I quickly realized that I couldn’t move.
I was like a turtle on his back.

I was there about an hour, and I was cold. The wind had blown snow over me,
and I raised my hand above snow level and waved.
After about ninety minutes, I started yelling, “Help!”

This did attract the cat. I tried to get the cat to go get Mom.
I heard her voice: “Stephen, don’t lay in the snow. You’ll catch a cold.”
“Mom, help me. I can’t get up,” I pleaded.
She pulled me out of the snow, not knowing that she saved my life. I could’ve died there, the front door within sight, frozen and forgotten.