Friday, March 24, 2006

Hounds of Venice

This afternoon Latigo Flint and his relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, were drinking on a restaurant patio, just waiting for the sun to go down.

"You know." Kid Relish mused, absently brushing the ivy wall. "They sure took all the fun out of crime when they stopped chasing suspects with hounds."

"Oh, I don't know Kid." I replied. "I bet there's places where they still do."

"Yeah, I guess." The Kid thought for a while. "Hey, Latigo--do you think in Venice they have Police Dolphins?"

I laughed but he was serious so my laughter trailed off awkwardly. "Um, I don't think so Kid. Police boats probably, but dolphins I doubt."

He thought about that for a bit.

"Yeah, I guess you're right Latigo. Besides--dolphins are so kind and friendly you probably couldn't train 'em to attack a crook even if you wanted to."

"You think Kid?" I asked.

"Yeah." He replied. "I mean dolphins are plenty smart, and in the police academy pool they'd probably be all bashin' the shit out of the inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on."

The Kid paused to finish his beer. I moved mine closer to me 'cause I knew he'd reach for it next.

"And the trainers." He continued. "The trainers would be all jumping around and shouting:
'Yippee! Theeese doll-pins ess ready por making attack ona crooks.'"

Kid Relish reached where my beer had been and frowned when he clutched at air. I nodded at Gus through the window and he pulled down two fresh glasses.

"But when they hit the canals for patrol, those dolphins would probably just make that friendly clickedy chirping sound and nuzzle the crook with their velvety noses, and maybe even help him to shore."

I shrugged and hoped he was almost done.

"'Why are you such estupido dolphins!!!'" Kid shot me a serious look. "That's what the trainers would yell."

"Hmm-hm." I glanced back through the window and wondered if I should cancel our order.

"But dolphins aren't stupid Latigo--Dolphins know the difference between inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on and humans."

"And you know what Latigo?" Kid Relish was starting to get agitated. "The dolphins would be all like:
'Hey boss, that's a job well done, huh? We're keeping our eyes sharply peeled for inflatable dummies with ski masks painted on and when we find 'em we're gonna bash the shit out of 'em. Oh, and by the way, a human was having a difficulty over there and we were thankfully able to help."

Gus walked out with our beers. The Kid drained his in three gulps, belched and dove right back in.

"'Estupido estupido dolphins!!!' Is what the trainers would shriek." Kid started punching the table. "'We don't understand.' The poor dolphins would reply."

Kid Relish froze in mid-punch and fixed me with a dangerous stare. I suddenly got the eerie feeling that if we saw the sunset tonight it'd be through the bars of a holding cell.

"And then know what Latigo?"

"What Kid?"

"The trainers would grab the black remote controls that they kept clipped to their belts."

"No, no Kid--they wouldn't do that." I assured him as I glanced uneasily at all the innocent people on the patio.

"Yesssss." The Kid nodded and I saw the flash of a chemical fire in his wide, staring eyes. "Yes, they would. They'd pull out those little black remotes with the red flashing light that matched the light on the dolphins' collars."

I stood up and addressed everyone. "Your lives are in danger!!!" I bellowed. "Leave now." They stared at me blankly. Kid Relish's eyes rolled back in his head and he started to scream--something about exploding collars and the warm, pulsing odor of digested fish and murder.

"Please just run!" I urged the startled patrons. "This man has suddenly come to believe that you're all dolphin-killing Venetian police and I promise you won't like what's about to happen next."

But it was too strange a threat for them to process and they returned my plea with blinks. Fourteen had to fall before the rest of them found their legs.

"Those dolphins knew." Kid sobbed to me, much later as we sat in shackles. "After the first dolphin's head exploded, the others knew what was coming--they're very smart you know."

He closed his eyes and started rocking back and forth.

"I don't think we should kill things," Kid wailed. "That know they're being killed."

I didn't know what to say. His nose started running and I let him use my sleeve.


At 3:17 AM, Blogger Kid Relish said...

You're a dick! I told you not to tell anyone. And I wasn't crying, I had something in my eye.

At 4:21 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Hey Latigo, have you ever thought of getting a new sidekick, someone not so... volatile perhaps.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger slarrow said...

"I don't think we should kill things," Kid wailed. "That know they're being killed."

Irony, thy name is Latigo Flint. Or Kid Relish. Or something.

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Mary Lewys said...

Um, may I apply to be your new sidekick?

I promise to never drink your beer.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Isaac said...

Hootie and his marvelous blowfish once bewailed, “The dolphins made me cry.” Take solace in knowing that you are not alone in your grief.

You are a good friend to your sidekick.

At 1:46 PM, Blogger Teaspoon said...

Normally I would never recommend this, but I think that it might be time that KR had a meeting with the people with the padded rooms and those nice fun straight jacket things.

Or he should just stop drinking.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

I'd suggest that you should find a different drinking buddy, but in all honesty you two may deserve eachother. Wait. No. No one deserves Kid Relish.

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Ethan Greer said...

Yeah, man, but Hootie was talking about the Miami Dolphins.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

motherfucking funny motherfuckin shit.

Pardon me, ladies.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Esereth said...

I....I don't...Thank you? For a.....funny? A funny post?

I just can't top that.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger hen said...

I can understand your panic Latigo but you are talking about Italy.

You should have just relaxed and explained that any dolphins trained there would be hanging out on sunny canal corners, whistling complicatedly tunes to any passing lady dolphins and not completely adverse to accepting a few fish based bribes to circumvent the official channels of the legal and criminal system that is democratically endorsed and constitutionally enshrined for all inflatable dummies.

As would the trainers...

... well before it was too late obviously and all those heads started exploding... eww...

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Man, I've missed The Kid. I had to wonder for a while whether you were making him up.

Hola, Nino!

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Amandarama said...

Kid's right. Dolphins wouldn't be very good at chasing down perps.

However, left to their own devices they might try to dry hump your kidneys. And then they make clicky noises to demand fish when they are done. I, um, read that in a book somewhere...

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Ari said...

Maybe the answer is to form a hound-cetacean collective and leave any trainers out of it.

HCC -- Mauling on land, performing by sea.

Confuse the crooks, or what not.

What to do about the Kid, I don't know.

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

People are such sheep, I somebody yelled at me to run, the stranger the explanation, the faster I'd run.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Francis Marion Tarwater said...

I think Kid's sympathy is misplaced. Go ahead, free the Venetian dolphins. They'll just rape you and try to drown you.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Matteus Von Mustard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Matteus Von Mustard said...

Latigo! I rush harried into your e-saloon, leaving the e-doors swinging on their e-hinges.

I bring terrible news.

It may be the end of days for wranglers and rustlers alike! The globe and mail is reporting that beef can now be grown synthetically in tubes and could possibly be grown at home in a new appliance -- an EZMeat Oven of sorts.

The cattle low their discontent.

You can read about this tragedy at my own blog --
or at

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Let it out Kid--you're among friends.

Not even for a moment Peter. There's a reason you won't find: "Never, ever abandon your relatively trusty sidekick." Anywhere on the Squinty-eyed Gunslinger Charter... It's 'cause that one, of everything, we don't need reminding.

Indeed Slarrow my friend. Savage irony. Savage, savage, savage irony.

Relatively trusty sidekick is a life-long position Mary Lewys. It's The Kid's 'till he dies.

Thank you Isaac, it's all I know how to do. The Kid and I have faced wolves and probably shall again.

TSP... what you don't understand is - no, see, no. You can never, never ask The Kid to stop drinking. Do you understand?

Deserve's got nothing to do with it Trevor Record.

Hey Ethan Greer, how do you know that for sure?! Mario throwin' him footballs might just have been a coincidence--maybe Jim Kelly and Elway didn't return the producers' calls.

Stop flirting with my female readers Macek!

You're welcome Esereth? I just... I... well, that is to say... I was raised by wolves you know. It made me tough and also sexy.

I don't panic Hen, I'm Latigo Flint. (And you try explaining something to Kid Relish... relaxing as you do is the worst mistake you can make.)

He remembers you LBB. He asked me to say 'hello' to you for him and run a length of rebar through your throat before you can reply and then finger the wound. When I tried to explain how comments work, he pitched some sort of fit and tried to set your thumbnail image on fire. (I don't think he quite understands how the internet works.)

I'm going to take your word for it Amandarama. And I don't have any kidneys... just a really, really big liver.

See now Ari, that is elegant! Hounds and Dolphins working together to fight crime. Good Lord that's good. I'm not ashamed to admit my nipples are a little bit hard right now.

I know Cad, that's because you've lived and clawed and bled. You've tumbled much further than you ever expected to fall and know what triumph smells like. Those people on the patio didn't know death when they saw it. But they learned.

Don't be fooled by The Kid's treachery Solace Layfield. Sympathy, as far as he's concerned, is just a good cover for murder.

Matteus Von Mustard. It has been a very long time. You're wrought sir. Sit down, have a drink. It also comes in a tube you know. And cows have been lowing their discontent ever since they've been cows.


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