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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

TITLE: Troublehando at the Dog Wash
By
03/03/10


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Just got a call from Gabe, who just got a call from a muy loca Mrs. Littman. It seems her greyhound, Duchess, has come into the family way, and the union wasn’t sanctioned.

“So what’d you tell her?” I asked Gabe.

“I used your line.”

I knew he would.



The next time un amigo Americano asks if I want to go into the dog cleaning business for the summer, my answer will be no, gracias. Hecko, no-o.

Gabe, though is fast with the persuasive pablum. "Look, Immanuel, my good friend," he’d said to me. "Someone’s installed a self-serve dog wash in the gutted building on Water Street. It’s got hoses, shampoo dispensers, blow dryers. It only awaits our entrepreneurial exploitation." Then he mentioned our looming student loans.

“You need my trucko blanco, don’t you?”

“It would certainly help.”



His plan was simple. We’d go to Casa de Whoever, pick up the smelly pooch, clean him up, and deliver him back home safely. Puerta to Puerta service para twenty-five bucks. Not bad for a no-name town in Tennessee.

We picked Duchess up on the Friday before the Fourth of July. It was our third run of the day and the heat had become as oppressive as a third world dictator. “Be careful with her,” warned Mrs. Littman, eyeing the slobbering boxer in the first kennel and a yapping mongrel-terrier-type in the second. “Don’t let her consort with them.

“No, ma’am,” said Gabe. “Never.”

When we got to the dog wash, I opened the terrier’s kennel, clipped a leash to his collar. I wanted to avoid Duchess who had to be as tall as I was, and Bruno the boxer who was bulkier. We’d been doing this a month and a half and had yet to wash a Chihuahua.

“Should we charge more for the big dogs?” I asked Gabe. He was hooking Bruno’s leash to one of the wash stations. “Before you start," I added, "maybe you should get Duchess out of el sol caliente?” He grumbled about my English on his way out.

I took my time with the terrier, didn’t want to be too far ahead of Gabe and the boxer, but finally Fluffy could get no fluffier. I looped his line a safe distance from where Gabe had put Duchess. She was jumping, straining to get loose.

It was time to tango.

I took her leash in one hand, was sliding the other under her jeweled collar, when my fingers ran into something huge, squishy, and gross. “Eeek!” I yelled and pulled up a bloody hand. Duchess bolted. Bruno lunged after her, snapping the leash from Gabe’s grasp.

The echo of my eeek bounced off the concrete walls and floor. “It was a monster tick,” I said in my defense. “Twice the size of a peso.”

Eeek? Who screams that?” yelled Gabe from the door, the two banditos nowhere in sight. I washed my hands, while Gabe plunked Fluffy into a kennel. We hopped into the truck, and cruised the streets one by one, working out from the dog wash.

“What kind of geek are you?” They were Gabe’s first words in the fifteen minutes we’d been driving.

“Man, I’m really sorriento.”

“No, put a lid on that. Why don’t you just speak English?" He hadn’t asked that in a while.

“I told you. My mom was a poet in Mexico.”

“That’s really peachy, but what’s it got to do with you?”

“I like to mess around with language.”

“Well, you’re an American.” He tapped the decal I’d stuck in the passenger corner of my windshield—an American flag.

And there was the crux of it.

My mother spoke hardly any English, while I spoke it, and thought in it, and dreamed in it. She was all the way Mexican. I was all the way American. Maybe it was lame, but my Spanglish kept me tethered to her.

An hour passed before we found Duchess and Bruno in the park under the shade of an elm tree. Their chests, like bellows, cooled their bodies. Tongues lolled off to the sides of their snouts. The only thing missing were the cigarettes.

Gabe breathed in the sauna-like heat. He looked ready to cry eeek himself. “What am I going to tell Mrs. Littman?” he asked, turning to me. “Tell me, Seńor Lover of Words?”

“You could say that Duchess let her Freak Flag fly for the Fourth.”

“You’re mother wasn’t much of a poet, was she?”

“Not really.”


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This article has been read 517 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/04/10
This is the funniest story I've read in a long time. Such an "out-of-the-box" idea for this topic. Delightful!
Beth LaBuff 03/04/10
Oh muy, I mean, Oh my!!! Que hilarioso! You start off with a punch, "the union wasn't sanctioned" and then stepped it up into high gear! LOL about "the monster tick, twice the size of a peso!" Masterful through and through! I love everything about this! Your flag is flying high on this one!!! (I had to google the song lyrics :) (and your muse was awol? ! ? )
Beth LaBuff 03/04/10
...although, I'm about 100% sure you'd never heard of the song, only the phrase, right?
Leah Nichols 03/05/10
VERY out-of-the-box. And funny.
william price03/05/10
What I like most about this, besides being masterfully written, witty, smart, smooth, rythmic and easy to read is the bravery and trust that is displayed by its author by not being over-the-top with the message of the piece. Desires unleashed, unguarded, unsafeguarded, can lead to trouble. This demonstrates what happens when Jesus isn't a part of our story, our life. This author demonstrated this through dogs and young adults still in the learning process. (Worry about college tuition). This is a lesson to be learned by all of us. If our story, our life doesn't involve Jesus, then we are in for some trouble that might not be as humorous as the one presented here. I admire the trust this author has in the readers to dig beyond the surface and see the entire picture painted. Bravo, on a job well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/05/10
Very entertaining. You painted a vivid picture, I can't get it out oF my head.
Virgil Youngblood 03/05/10
Way to go, amigo. Or is that, amiga? Very enjoyable.
Barbara Lynn Culler03/08/10
No wonder you always place! This is definenatly out of the box!
Connie Dixon03/08/10
I think this would make a great Disney movie. Hilarious and asks the question: Did this really happen? Loved it.
Dee Yoder 03/08/10
Oh boy did I ever need this laugh! Verna promised me funny and she was RIGHT. Thanks, Lisa. It hit the spot---ahhhh.
Dee Yoder 03/08/10
OOPS! I hope hinting has started--. I spilled the beans otherwise...eeek.
Rachel Phelps03/08/10
I'm still chuckling as I write this. Well done. Your masterful touch with the pen has done it yet again!
Bryan Ridenour03/08/10
Witty...Clever...Hilarious. Dos Thumbos Upo!
Joni Andrews 03/09/10
All in all and no matter how I look at it...I think you're an excellent and wonderful writer. Such a creative, satisfying and fun read. Thank you.
Jan Ackerson 03/09/10
If there was a book with "The Best Humor of FaithWriters", this would be the banner story. Funniest story I've read here, bar none.
Carol Slider 03/09/10
Okay, I've GOT to stop laughing and write something now, don't I? Absolutely hilarious... loved every word!
Marita Vandertogt03/10/10
This is hilarious.. absolute riot to read. I love the "who says Eek...", but the whole thing is a bundle of fun!!
Kristi Peifer03/10/10
This was great! I loved the humor and the banter. You have some great lines..."Senor Lover of Words..."!
Edmond Ng 03/10/10
An interesting read with a great sense of humor! Thanks for sharing this ... it helps me break away from the rushing pace of life.