a dog's life:
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DESCRIPTIONA funny poignant satire: clever, thoughtful, witty....a guard named Poor Peasant finds himself beleaguered by a host of irritating visitors who have come to disturb his equanimity. You meet a flea who is a priest, termites who are tax collectors, a black carpenter ant who is a greedy realtor, a carrion beetle who sells life insurance, and a wasp who is a travelling salesman....this work proves that brevity is indeed the soul of much wit....
A DOG'S LIFE
A DOGS LIFE
(C) 2005 Rick Super
dedicated to Vena Cava I
A DOGS LIFE 2005 RICK M. SUPER
All rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in newspaper, magazine, radio, or television review, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.
Applications for performing rights should be sent to Rick Super the address of whom is the same as the one given for the location of his publishing company.
Published by PHIONITIDES PUBLISHING COMPANY 2550 NORTH ROAD MODULE 4 COMPARTMENT#5 GABRIOLA ISLAND BRITISH COLUMBIA CANADA V0R 1X7
ISBN-10: 0-9736449-0-7 ISBN-13: 978-0-9736449-0-6
First limited edition: 100 Artwork done by VENA CAVA Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Printed & Bound In Canada
God is a dog, I believe, doggedly, and the sound of thunder is his snarling at the stupidities of humans
as He crunches their bones. Rick Super
I'm so fierce with humans, such a wussie about dogs.
What a dogs life! Here I am being soaked, no doubt by acid rain. Im hungry and thirsty.
Interviewer: Now, tell me, Rick Super, what is satire all about? Rick Super: Well, its like a fruit salad, composed of many delicious fruits. In fact, the word satire is derived from the Latin word satura meaning satire and was originally written in verse, and was composed of a medley of subjects which reveals the ironic stance of the writer as he mirrors the follies and foibles of a particular society and its inhabitants. Aristophanes, Juvenal, Lucian, Voltaire, Swift, Dickens were all satirists who, though they wrote in different genres, basically all share the same indignation towards the contradictory behaviors of their fellow human beings and write with scathing vehemence laced with caustic humor. Used as a weapon of conscience satire attempts to put the facts and acts of society on the plate without any icing on the cake: Here is your world, humans, accept it or change it, its up to you, the satirist can only provide the fruit salad for the dessert and is not responsible for the bitterness or unsavoriness of the fruits. Remember, humans, he picked the fruits from the gardens of your planet Earth. Youve made this paradise a toxic wasteland, extinctifying other creatures under your dominance. Interviewer: And Vena Cava, what does satire mean to you? Vena Cava: In most times and places, speaking your mind was a indulgence that could get you fined, hauled into court, or killed. To circumvent this, people created satire a symbolic play-- to showcase their complaints. In a satire, societys or individuals foibles were brought to light in a slightly disguised, but still easily recognizable manner. In fact, many of the childrens stories we grew up with, like Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderland and Jonathan Swifts Gullivers Travels, were actually biting satires in their day. With the advent of free speech, satire as an art form is rarely seen today, though the heart of it survives in comic spoofs or political cartoons on the editorial page.
And now, without further ado, A Dogs Life: A Modern Satire.
POOR PEASANT: a Brown Labrador CATHOLIC PRIEST: a Flea
MUNICIPAL TAX: a Small Termite
PROVINCIAL TAX: a Medium-Sized Termite FEDERAL TAX: a Large Termite
ESURIENT REALTOR: a Black Carpenter Ant
LIFE INSURANCE: a Carrion Beetle
SLICK SALESMAN: a Wasp
ACT ONE. SCENE ONE.
Hot afternoon in July. In the middle of a big backyard a cedar doghouse with a cedar roof. Couchant between a white plastic bowl of water and a red plastic bowl of dry dog food is a big brown Labrador, half his body inside the doghouse, the other half outside, shaded by the roof. His face has a mournful look. Attached to his black leather collar, besides his brass dog tag, is a thick steel chain the end of which is connected to a steel post inside the dog house. Also around his neck is a red flea collar.
POOR PEASANT(Yawns.) Im dog-tired. I think Ill spend the rest of this day sleeping. Last nights graveyard shift was exhausting. I must have barked a dozen times each hour. Its no easy life being a guard dog. A keen nose and alert ears are essential, a sine qua non.(1) When the lights of my masters house go out, then I must be vigilant, listening to strange sounds in the night. I bark when I hear something stirring in the yard. It may be a burglar, or a prowling tomcat. Usually its only a raccoon trying to get into the garbage cans. It must be tough being a raccoon, always having to scavenge for food. At least, though Im chained, my master supplies me with food and water. (Yawns again.) I think Ill get into my house and sleep till midnight. Its too hot out here. The masters wife is at home. His house is safe and sound. (POOR PEASANT gets up, laps up a little water, goes into his doghouse, curls up, falls asleep and snores.)
CATHOLIC PRIEST(Approaching from the left) Holy Tithe, its a big doghouse. That means, Ave Maria, there must be a big dog inside, maybe a Saint Bernard. I hope and pray its not a hellhound. Im so hungry. I need a new chapel and lots of blood. (Knocks thrice on the roof.) Wake up! Wake up! Is anybody at home?
1.sine qua non: a latin expression meaning, "without which not", in other words, something essential.
POOR PEASANT(Suddenly awakens, runs outside, barking.) What the hell made that noise? By Sirius(2), it cant be thunder.
CATHOLIC PRIEST(Standing on the roof, looking down at the irate dog.) Hello, my name is Catholic Priest. Do you, bless your soul, have any room on your skin to rent?
POOR PEASANT(Sejant affronte in front of the doghouse, looking up at the flea) My name is Poor Peasant. Get off my roof! I dont want a flea in my ear.
CATHOLIC PRIESTDont be angry, my son. Anger is a deadly sin.
POOR PEASANTIm not your son! Theres no vacancy for you. Youll suck my blood like a vampire. Then Ill be forever scratching my itchy skin. Ill never get any rest. Be gone! Find another pelt to pester.
CATHOLIC PRIESTI need you, my son. I cant live without you. Surely you desire some spiritual comforts. I know so many quotations from the Bible. They will nourish your canine soul.
POOR PEASANTYou paltry parasite! You only want my blood. I will not sacrifice my body to you. Give me a big ham bone, not quotations, to chew on. The latter will give me heartburn or flatulence.
CATHOLIC PRIESTSo little faith you have, my son. I promise I wont bring others to your skin. You must realize Im a celibate.
POOR PEASANTI dont trust you. You are a male, arent you?
2.Sirius: brightest star in the sky, 8 light years from Earth, Canis Major.
CATHOLIC PRIESTYes, but I abstain from sexuality. I experience only spiritual orgasms.
POOR PEASANTYour life is contra nat