There’s a wine called ‘Barking Mad’.
I liked it so much I bought six bottles and drank them all.
Not in one night, of course.
There have been times when I have been barking mad:
Over the insurance company’s delay in fixing my storm-damaged gate because ‘it is just a gate’,
Over next door’s yippee yappy dog who goes off when I piss under the lemon tree at night alarming the neighbours and the back lights go on to see what’s up [ Can’t a man piss in peace? ]
But mostly it’s the scammer with the heavy Slav accent who phones every few days to tell me my internet has been infected and will be turned off unless I phone a certain number.
It hasn’t been turned off yet and I haven’t phoned.
Over petrol prices that go up and down like a wild week at the Dow Jones.
I could go on but you get the idea.
Everyone is a Howard Beale barking mad at something.
I hate being a cat, she says.
Not that I’m a wuss
But there’s more minuses than pluses
at being someone’s puss.
You have to wait until they’re ready
To get food put into yr bowl
The one you sit behind so patiently
and try not to scowl.
And when they have a friend stay
Then it’s a hey diddle-diddle
You’re no longer alpha female
but playing second fiddle.
I like to go out and in, she says
Or in and out at will
But someone sadly has other ideas
Which is why I’m here still.
Oh I could write a novel, she wails
There’d be fury on every page
Not that I’m a Prima Donna
But I like being centre stage.
You had to fore warn people.
It was not a good look.
Scabs and bruises on the upper lip
Sores on the nose
So you said, “bar room brawl”
Half jokingly, “but you should have seen
The other fellow.”
It was more dramatic, more grunge-romantic
Than humdrum “cold sores.”
I was beginning to inflate. Getting bigger and bigger ever since I began the list, a very long list, of people whose necks I would like to wring. It filled three foolscap pages. I have a very long memory. My fury knew no bounds. All that hate had been building up. Now it had to go somewhere.
My shirt buttons popped and the belt on my trousers flew off as if on a spring.
My singlet and underpants tore down the centre. I was butt naked.
In my birthday suit!
Then before I was about to pop, a funny thing happened. I began to fart. Not small whiny ones but big ones like summer thunder.
And a funnier thing happened. Each time I let it rip the gas formed the outline of one of my enemies: Greg, Tony, Jason, the dude who side-swiped me at the intersection, the cop who issued me the fine …..
They were anthropomorphic farts. And they stank. And they went on all afternoon.
But the good thing was my dimensions shrank, a little more with each fart. It was very satisfying. I’m glad they stopped when they did else there’d be nothing left of me. I felt so good though, once the breeze had swept away the foul smell, I tore up the list and compiled another. Of people I liked. It was very short.
You’re barking up the wrong tree, he said.
I don’t care, I snapped.
But you’re barking, he said. People don’t do that.
It’s my backyard, I said. I can bark if I want to.
I guess so, said the man, patting me warily on the head as I wagged my tail against his chinos.
Someone has to be the first.
Someone has to take the first bite
Of the cherry
Be the first cab off the rank.
Someone has to be the early bird
For worms to be taken.
Some has to drop the rock in the pool
To set the ripples going.
Someone has to throw the first stone
For the stoning to begin.