Friday, October 1, 2010

Sylvia Carries On In Spite Of Revolting Election Ads

By Anne Sullivan

"I can’t stand it! I can’t take this one more minute!” Sylvia screamed, putting her paws over her ears.
“Whatever is the matter?” I asked from behind my newspaper.
“Make them stop! Turn it off!” she cried.
“You want me to turn off the TV?” I lowered my paper. “I don’t understand. You like TV.”
“I don’t like this. No one could like this. Why don’t they stop?”
“Who? Stop what?” I glanced at the TV while searching for the remote.
Sylvia relaxed a little when I turned off the TV.
As the picture faded, she said, “I just can’t stand to hear them insulting each other like that. It upsets me. It’s not good manners.”
“You mean the political ads? I agree with you. They are awful. And this year they seem more horrible than ever.”
“There ought to be a law that says the candidates can only talk about themselves and what wonderful things they’ve done and are going to do. Any talking about their opponent will be punishable by imprisonment.”
“Not a bad idea. I’m all for it,” I said. “It’s getting so bad it’s not a vote for the best candidate; it’s a vote for the least worst.”
“I used to think I wanted to vote,” said Sylvia, who was nervously marching around the room, “but now I’m glad I don’t have to.”
I was getting worked up myself. “It’s shameful the way they act in those ads. The women are worse than the men. They’re all animals.”
“No self-respecting animal would act like that,” Sylvia said. “We animals could run things a lot better than this.”
“Speaking about running things, have you figured out how to finance the self-publishing of your mystery novel?”
“I was just going to talk to you about that.” Sylvia stopped her pacing and sidled up to me. “I had an idea. If I could save all my salary from writing my column instead of using it to pay for my dog food, maybe in six months I’d have enough to pay for my first order of books from the self-publishing company.”
“Then what would you eat in the meantime?” I asked.
“Well, the thing is,” she said, putting her paw on my knee, “you’d buy my dog food. After all, you buy Gordo’s cat food.”
“Gordo’s much smaller than you are. He doesn’t eat as much.”
“Gordo the Small doesn’t contribute to the household expenses at all. He can’t even write his name. He just lies in his bed all day long waiting for someone to feed him. While I slave all day writing my column and all night protecting you from wild and vicious animals.”
“Gordo kills rats. I call that a huge contribution.”
“And I bark myself hoarse to keep the bears and the rhinoceroses away!”
“There are no rhinos in Swingle Canyon.”
“But there might be if I didn’t bark.”
“Your reasoning is making my head swim,” I said. “Alright, I’ll pay for your dog food for six months but you must promise to get your column in to the paper on time every week. And you must work diligently on your self-publishing even if it means some re-writing.”
“No, no, not that. Once written, it’s in stone.”
“The real part of writing is re-writing. It’s the hardest part of writing but I know you can do it,” I said in an attempt to encourage her. Sylvia looked grim.
“And,” I added, “I want you to do this without me nagging at you.”
“But what would you do if you didn’t have me to nag at?” asked Sylvia, having the last word as usual.

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