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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Dog House

             The monkey watched us from a large cage on one end of the living room.  He watched us with wariness as he nervously nibbled peanuts, defiantly slinging discarded shells onto a worn carpet already layered with more of the same.  Two large untrimmed poodles quietly presided over the scene.

             The dogs were old and tired.  They had probably not been bathed in a very long time judging from the smell that emanated from where they stood eagerly awaiting the coming meal.  The dogs looked peaceful and benevolent.  They were like the angels of bad dog odor.

             I was sitting on a dingy couch that looked as though it had been bought years ago after having been used for more years by someone else.  Looking furtively about the room I could see that this seemed to be the general decor of this room and the rest of the house--except there had been no planning involved.  It was a chaos of frugality and bad taste.

             We were called to the kitchen where we sat at a large wooden table that was cluttered with the odds and ends of everyday life.  The dogs dutifully followed us and sat in the center of the kitchen with anticipation.  We were served a strange saucy Spaghetti from tarnished cooking pots on a stove splattered with dried remains of meals in the past.  The family scurried in the serving of the food as my friend and I sat at the table like visiting kings.

          I had agreed to stay here rather than in a motel.  I had wanted to see my old friend.   I had not known where and how he lived.  I was glad the house was small.   I was glad that they offered me the camper trailer out in the front yard.  They could have offered me the couch--next to the monkey.   At least I was going to be out there away from the house.   And at least it was free. 

          A parrot sqawked from a bird cage on the opposite side of the room from the monkey.  Plates piled with scary spagetti were set before us, steaming with a sweet spicy smell.  My friend dug into his spaghetti with gusto.  I ate with cautious bites.  The dogs watched us as we ate.   And the monkey threw shells on the floor in the living room.

34 comments:

  1. This post essentially paints a picture but doesn't really tell a story, it could be an excerpt from a much more interesting expose'. Who, where, why, if this is how you start a story I would love to read the rest. Geoff.

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  2. Oh My Gosh Arlee, I don't remember you being at my house! How rude of me to forget! LOL!
    I loved this Arlee, you really can set up a great scene. I would continue reading this if there were more. That says a lot, if a story doesn't grab me from the get go, I'll just stop reading! I love it my friend! Love Di ♥

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  3. ah, I was reading and reading and reading to see whether the poor dogs will get fed and you didn't say anything about it in the end ... did they eat the parrot ... or the monkey?

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  4. Is this an excerpt from a book you are writing? Nicely descriptive, you had me drawn into the scene with you and wanting to know more about the what, where and why ...

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  5. Well...I feel as if I've opened the book to a random page and read a few paragraphs.

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  6. I LOVE this, Lee. Great scene description. You are leaving us...wanting more.

    T

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  7. Oh my, and I thought I'd stayed at some interesting places...

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  8. Very interesting scene, so engaging and vivid.

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  9. Fun scene you've written here. I like the difference between the dogs watching patiently and the monkeys being naughty while you eat. :O)

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  10. >>....."They were like the angels of bad dog odor."

    Ha! :-O
    Is that a Biblical concept?

    ~ Stephen

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  11. As others said: where is this from?
    It doesn't appear to be finished, does it? I like stories about animals; I was looking forward to an animal perspective, but oh well...
    Nahno

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  12. Interesting scene!

    I'm curious to know what this comes from as well.

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  13. Hey where did you find my monkey? :) I rather enjoyed this little tale. :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  14. Great description of a not too nice place. I think that I would have had to get a motel. :)

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  15. Okay, I guess it's time to address your comments:

    Geoff -- It was not so much a story as a spontaneous writing exercise.

    Diana -- I suppose I could keep going somewhere with this, but I'm not sure where without thinking more about it.

    Dezmond -- Or did the menagerie eat us?

    Old Silly -- I was just pulling things out of my head with no particular intention.

    Carol -- Yes it does seem to kind of come from out of the blue because it did.

    Teresa -- Hmmm-- Maybe I'll eventually come up with a story to go with this.

    Karen -- Oh, believe me, I've stayed at some very unique places.

    Melissa -- Thank you. I was trying to word sketch a vivid scene.

    Madeleine -- I wasn't intentionally trying to achieve this contrast, but it was there.

    StMc -- It is from the Dog Bible.

    Nahno -- I'll explain more below.

    Golden Eagle - Thanks!

    Jules -- Thanks and you can keep your monkey.

    Marguerite -- I would have rather have stayed at a motel but by that time I felt committed and didn't want to appear rude. And the family was so welcoming and nice. It was a lifestyle to which they were accustomed.

    See next comment for my explanatin as to how this piece came about.

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  16. When I wrote this I was trying to come up with something to write about so I decided to follow the advice I had written about in my earler blog post Practical Prompts.
    I was walking through the kitchen and saw a banana which made me think of monkeys. When I thought of monkeys the memory of the uncomfortable situation like I described came to mind. There was no blatant story to it, but I just wanted to describe where I had been and how I felt. This was an exercise in free association writing and trying to capture a scene in words.

    I'm not sure that I'd want to make a story out of this but I suppose one day I certainly could.

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  17. Fun scene! I'm so glad they have a camper trailer :)

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  18. I have to agree with what dezmond said. I wan't to know! =]

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  19. That was really good! All of us in a cage of some sort!

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  20. You've described this scene so well that I feel uncomfortable sitting here reading it. And that was a compliment! Loved "the angels of bad dog odor". Thanks for your visit and comments on my recent writing exercise. Bits and pieces of a larger story I've had percolating for some time, it's starting to come together. Now I just have to lasso some self discipline and start writing! Kat

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  21. Good job at showing a lot about the host without telling anything blatently. I like the line "chaos of frugality and bad taste." Sounds like my first place!

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  22. Lots of interesting visuals came to mind in this post Lee.

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  23. Jemi -- The monkey would have made for an uneasy night.

    Doo -- The parrot and the monkey both survived and lived for many years. The dogs were fed regularly and eventually died of old age.

    Pat-- I like that interpretaion.

    Kat -- Oh dear, tell me about the writing self-discipline!

    Will - The creating of the scene was the intent of this writing exercise.

    Paula -- They sound interesting, but they are only interesting to remember--not when I was there.

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  24. You've established an interesting image here....
    Tell me what happens next.

    Wait, wait. Lemme guess -- the dog eats the mokey, right?

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  25. I read this, holding my breath, tense.....wondering if it really happened!!!!! Please let the monkey and the parrot out of their cages and into someplace nice and safe. And feed the dogs!

    I have a goodie for you over on my blog today!

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  26. What a great Hook. I definately want to read more!

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  27. This'll give "mom-and-pop" restaurants a bad name!

    Larry

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  28. Am I reading an excerpt from one of your books? Its creating a wonderful image. I liked reading it and am waiting to read more.

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  29. What a fun little vignette, Arlee! Chock full of character and sharp onservations.

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  30. Oh I see - well, stuff "pulled out" of there pretty darn good, Lee! ;)

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  31. What a descriptive story! It was a sensory experience worth writing about. Isn't it funny how the unpleasant, uncomfortable ones stick with us so well? I would love to read more about your visit with your animal loving friends.

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  32. Andrew -- Or wonder what was in the spaghetti sauce?

    Wordscrafter -- Thank you for thinking of us.

    Sylvia -- I really hadn't thought about where to take this.

    Larry -- If it had been a restaurant I would have left.

    Rachna -- No, as I stated in an earlier comment reply, it was just an exercise in writing.

    Talli -- Thank you. I had fun writing it.

    Marvin -- Thanks. Sometimes a blog is a good place to experiment with writing.

    Walk2 -- Maybe later a story will come from all this. Thanks for leaving your comment.

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  33. Hahahaha... "I ate with cautious bites." Oh Lee... that was good!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Doris

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  34. Doris -- And a Happy Valentine's Day to you as well.

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