Company pool party. To avoid having my soul John Wayne Gacy’d off me by the rest of my coworkers’ banal conversations about SUVs and the most recent additions to their patio, I’ve decided to paddle around in the water with a ducky inner tube. I’m enjoying the sun, the lack of interaction, and I tilt my head back and let my mind drift. I lose track of time. When I eventually slit my eyes open, I see shadows ringing the edge of the poolside. WTF? It’s my coworkers: They’re all staring at me, grinning with joker-esque smiles, their waist-high offspring standing in front of them. Creepily, the children are grinning as well. “Hey guys,” I say tentatively, shading my eyes with the flat of a hand. “What’s going on?” My boss chuckles. “You know Kent…there’s a reason why all our kids play water polo. Can you guess why?” At this point I’m feeling seriously weirded out. I say, “Ummm…” My boss interrupts: “AT HIM, MY PRETTIES!” For a hellacious instant things go slow-mo as snarling kids jump in the water, cheered on by their snarling parents. I swear that I can see my enemies’ mouths lined with double rows of fangs and their pupils disappear, showing nothing but the whites of their eyes…and then they’re on me: A thousand tiny arms splashing at me, holding me down. In the eerie stillness of chlorine blue, flashes of bible verse skitter through my mind: “—Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” “—To the land of darkness and deep shadow…” “—I fear no evil…” That sad-ass music from LOTR (when they do the flash-forward of Aragorn getting old while Liv Tyler stays young) is playing in my head…Suddenly I hear a determined “ROWF!” as I see the blurry outline of my 10 lb. terrier Bitefighter streaking above the water, my eReader in his jaws. Before it hits the water I reach up, open it to Echo…magic flash. The kids around me age 30 years within the span of a second—into their full-on, office-chair-molded dadbods. Pale, untoned arms splash the water around me as my now-uncoordinated enemies cry for help. I swim to the side, gasping as I get out, then turn around and look at my would-be assassins. The parents are desperately trying to pull them from the pool. Me and Bitefighter make a quick escape, but not before maowing down a few burgers and hot dogs. NOMS!
Life with a dog will always, ALWAYS be better than one with a kid. (And even though infants and puppies may be in the same league of cuteness—I’d argue that puppies look better—there’s no question that dogs are WAY cuter than adults). Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle