Sam's Humor

These essays were written in 1995 and are still funny to this day. Enjoy them! Don't steal them!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Horror Hike

by Sam Palahnuk

Near our house in the Verdugo mountains, is a wonderful natural park . We periodically take the dogs up into the hills to hike, commune with nature and bring home horrific parasitic monsters that suck our blood.

Albion, our brave sheltie, always sticks around my wife Shannon. He thinks that at any moment evil might descent on Shannon and he has to be ready to defend her. I’m not sure if Albion is expecting angry bears, thieving highwaymen, or an I.R.S. auditor, but he’s always at the ready to fend off any evil that might come his way.

Whenever Shannon is around, Albion is always within a few feet. He only defends me when Shannon isn’t around. I suppose he protects me just to keep in practice for Shannon.

Honey, the wild and woolly husky, is an escape artist that would make Houdini jealous. She needs to be watched, leashed, and weighted down with sacks of cement to keep her from escaping. If given half the chance, she’d run off at unmeasurable speeds to join the coyotes and other wild creatures in the woods.

I’m sure she wouldn’t be content just joining a pack of wild coyotes -- she’d organize them into an efficient society with her, of course, at the helm. You see, there are lots of valuable skills that Honey could teach the coyotes. She’s a certified expert at finding bizarre things to eat in the trash she extracts from waste bins, she’s a pro at sneaking cookies off the counter when no one is looking, and she’s unmatched in her abilities at escaping mere cinder block fences and steel cable leashes. These skills would be a boom to the coyote population, and as their new leader, she’d teach them all.

The first thing Honey did on our peaceful outing was to wage war on the native vole population, or at least one unfortunate vole family (Voles are mouse-like rodents with a silly name). She spotted a vole hole, and she started digging -- frantically. She dug through he soft dry soil so furiously that a cloud of dirt and dust filled the sky. She had a vole on the run and nothing was going to stop her from nibbling on their cute little fur-free feet.

Amidst the cloud of dirt and spray of flying soil we saw the two voles escape out of their emergency exit (installed, no doubt, for just such a husky attack) and scrabble up a nearby husky-proof tree. This, however, was not noticed by the husky, and her digging continued. Finally, when we hauled her away, he entire face was black with dirt and she had a stupid grin on her face. Sadly, thanks to Honey, the voles joined the ranks of the homeless.

We continued up the hillside and looked down at the mighty San Fernando valley. We could only see about a mile or two due to smog, but it was an awe inspiring sight none the less. We bravely survived an encounter with two feral wiener-dogs and a run in with a giant beetle. We snapped pictures of the dirt-encrusted husky and Albion looked down his lengthy nose at her disapprovingly. He was no doubt thinking “You are a silly dirty wild dog, not a sophisticated fuzzy human like me.”

A couple of days later Honey was still blissed-out from her wildlife adventure. I was scratching her tummy when I noticed what at first seemed to me to be a fleshy tab of skin growing out of her fur. Her fur is so thick that I had trouble pushing it aside, but doing so I noticed it wasn’t a tab of skin, it was a tick! Yuck! I’ve never seen a tick before and I just about had a fit! How dare this “thing” attach itself to my dog! This is the LA area, aren’t hideous insect parasites illegal? How disgusting that it was sucking my dogs blood! How creepy that I TOUCHED it!!!!

To alert Shannon to the situation I did the manly thing and started screaming and running around the house. Honey, oblivious to the blood sucking monster she was “host” to, thought I was playing a game and started chasing me.

Shannon, being much more level-headed than I, suggested I stop panicking. Instead she emerged from her home office with a book. Answers to all of life’s questions, Shannon believes, lie hidden somewhere inside of books. She read from the emergency tick removing book:

1. Put alcohol or oil on the tick.
2. Wait 30 seconds.
3. Pull it out with tweezers using a twisting motion.
4. Do not play with the tick once removed.

Eeeeewwww! What ever happened to burning them with a cigarette or whatever cowboys used to do? I mustered my nerve and I soaked that beast with alcohol, I grabbed it with tweezers. I pulled and it didn’t budge. Finally it came away with a audible ‘pop’ leaving a hideous hole in Honey’s skin. Shannon was convinced that I had somehow extracted the tick incorrectly, and $45 dollars and a vet visit later, I learned from the experts that there is no good way to remove a tick.

So there I stood, with a amoral tick in my hands. What now? Step four of the book told me that I shouldn’t play with the tick. I wondered what they meant by that. Are most people driven to place the tick into little toy cars and race them around a track? Are folks inexplicably compelled to place their freshly-removed ticks on toy flatware and serve them up as dinner to a horrified Barbie in her very own “dream home?” I was not very happy with this unwanted parasite and I took pleasure grinding it into oblivion with the garbage disposal. I laughed maniacally as I flipped the switch.

As I write this Honey is snoozing upside-down on the living room couch. She’s dreaming -- her feet are twitching and she’s making little woofing sounds. My guess is that she dreaming about her adventure with the voles. Tonight I expect I’ll be swatting at imaginary ticks in my sleep. I’m sure Honey will notice my twitching and just assume I’m just chasing voles in my dreams.

Word Count: 1066

Copyright 1995 Sam Palahnuk
Do not use without written persmission from the author.
Premission granted to D.W.Miles II (Dreamscape Publications) North American, UK, and Norway One-Time Rights.


  • At 1:34 PM, Blogger Miss Piglett said…

    You're hillarious and this is a fun way to get to know loving brother.


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