My Uncle Earl used to shout at
dogs. He was a weird
guy. We always wondered
why he did it. We asked him one day, but he just told us all to screw
off and go find
something productive to do.
Uncle Earl was always telling us to go do something
I think this was
because Uncle Earl never did anything productive except shout at the
to “get the hell off off his goddamn lawn.” The general agreement
and I was that he shouted at the dogs because it was the only way he
Uncle Earl wasn’t a particularly bright or
He just sat on the
front porch all of the time and yelled at the dogs and us kids, when
it was summer. He
collected a pension from the plant where he used to work, before he
retired. The rumor
was that he was forced into early retirement because he used to yell
at the workers just
like the dogs in the neighborhood. Old habits die hard, I guess.
We told Uncle Earl one day that he should go
volunteer at the
Salvation Army to
do some good for the town. His response wasn’t particularly receptive:
“Tell you what. First let me give you some
directions to get
to a great place. You
go down Do I Look Like I Give a Shit Street, take a right on Big
Deal Avenue, go
two blocks until you hit Who Gives a Flying Rat’s Ass Boulevard, and
if you continue on
that for about thirty miles, you’ll come to the town of Kiss My Ass.”
We just looked at him for a few minutes until he
then told him
that it wasn’t a joke. He just shouted at us and told us to go do
My Uncle Earl used to shout at dogs. We always
figured that this
would get him
into trouble one day. The shouting was okay for the little yippy dogs
that inhabited our
street, but sometimes there were big old dogs that came up from the
other side of town,
when the stray cats started to run low, for a quick Chihuahua snack.
We figured that it would only be a matter of time
of them decided that
it was sick of Pugs and Lhasa Apsos before it headed for the big noisy
fella with the BLT
next to him.
We also figured that it would be pretty cool to see,
so we made
sure we were
always within earshot of Uncle Earl and his front porch, just to be
And, surprisingly enough, it did eventually happen.
Boy, was that
the day to end
Like I said, Uncle Earl was fond of BLTs- that is,
sandwiches. Every day, he would go out on the front porch at lunch
to eat two BLTs and
drink a couple bottles of beer. Well, on that now-infamous day, Uncle
Earl must’ve had
more than a couple beers- from what it sounded like in the backyard,
he must’ve killed
damn near the whole case.
Uncle Earl got rowdy when he’d had too much to
drink. He tended
boisterous and always tried to start fights.
Well, since it was mid-day, everyone was at work
besides us kids-
and Uncle Earl.
So... there were no people for Uncle Earl to fight. However, there
were quite a few dogs
about in the neighborhood. Big dogs. Mean dogs. Cujo would take one
look at these dogs
and say, “Gee, wouldja look at the time? I have got to get home. It’s
getting late.” In
other words, evil dogs.
Uncle Earl was way too drunk to notice this, though. This is
the whole cause of
Well, we heard Uncle Earl shouting at the dogs. We
had been talking
nasty beer was when we caught an earful of the searing and teasing
he was throwing at
the dogs. By sort of a mutual, unspoken, agreement we all got up and
tiptoed around the
yard and perched behind the bushes so that we could see all that was
We saw Uncle Earl yelling at the dogs and waving a
beer in one
hand and a BLT
in the other. The next thing we saw was the way that the dogs were
watching that BLT
like it was the world’s most tasty thing.
After a bit, Uncle Earl noticed that the largest dog
in the pack,
the size of a compact car, had walked up to the front gate and was
whining loudly for the
BLT. The dog was an old, lean, mean dog, the sort that could either
live forever or be
torn to shreds if the other dogs in the pack got really hungry.
Some neurons fired drunkenly in Unc’s head and he
it would be
fun to tease the dog. Like I said, my Uncle Earl wasn’t that bright.
The case of beer and
the sun did not help one bit.
Well, Uncle Earl walked right over to that gate and
above the dogs nose. The dog’s drool damn near soaked Uncle Earl’s
loafers- which, my
dad said, were entirely suited to Uncle Earl. But that’s another story.
The dog looked at the BLT, then at Uncle Earl, then
back to the
BLT, then back
to Uncle Earl. this went on for a bit, as if the dog was checking the
BLT for possible
poison and Uncle Earl for weapons possession. After noting that there
was evidence of
neither, the dog went for the BLT. Uncle Earl jumped back and giggled.
Yep, that set it.
If he was giggling, he was schnockered.
Uncle Earl said to the dog, “Wassa matter, poochy?
get at the
sammich? Here, lemme give it to ya.”
Uncle Earl dangled the BLT over the dog’s head
the sun for the past five minutes had really set that alcohol to
and his reflexes
were a bit dulled. So...when he tried to yank the sandwich back, he
didn’t quite make it. However, the dog did. It was able to get the
whole BLT into its
mouth...as well as
part of Uncle Earl’s hand.
Uncle Earl screamed at the dog, then began to swear
at it, as
well as flail wildly in
its general direction with his free hand.
This caused the dog to rumble deeply in its throat. All us kids
made a low “oooh”
sound at this. We knew it was about to get really good.
And boy, did it it ever. Uncle Earl heard the growl
started wailing on the
dog. The dog must have been as crazy from the heat as Uncle Earl,
at that, it just
went straight for Uncle Earl’s throat.
This surprised the hell out of Uncle Earl. You’d
think he would’ve
expected a dog
to attack after he teased it with a BLT and then whacked it. But he
must’ve been so
schnockered that the idea never occurred to him. That was my siblings’
theory. Personally, I think Uncle Earl was just so self-centered that
he never thought
anyone would cross him.
Well, he lay there screaming and yelling in pain for
a few minutes
as the dog
gnawed at his larynx. When the screams turned to gurgles, we figured
that the fun was
over and threw sticks and rocks at the mutt until it ran off. Then
we ran over to the house
to call the hospital.
Well, the ambulance came and picked up Uncle Earl
and took him
to the hospital.
We listened in on the doctor and heard him tell my dad that it was
a damn good thing that
the dog had been malnourished, since that meant that most of its teeth
had fallen out. So,
I guess Uncle Earl was lucky that he had picked an old stray to pick
on, rather than one of
That was about the only luck Uncle Earl had with
He lived, but he
lost his voice box. Things were a lot quieter in the neighborhood after
Earl still sat on his
front porch and tried to yell at us kids and the dogs. Unfortunately,
he was only able to
speak with one of those throat kazoos.
It’s kind of hard to have respect for a guy who talks like that.
We just ignored him
from then on, and eventually started to go into his yard to retrieve
lost balls and Frisbees.
The raving yelling of a man who sounded like a bad sci-fi robot is
rather easy to have no
My Uncle Earl used to shout at dogs.