Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hounds of Venice

Many experts agree--any story with a title like Hounds of Venice deserves to be read twice. Never one to argue with experts, here it is again.

From the archives - 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 smoldering glow of 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. "Please leave now."
They stared back at me blankly. Meanwhile Kid Relish's eyes had 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.

If you liked this story, you're sure to enjoy:

Burying the Sunshine
In which my relatively trusty sidekick, Kid Relish, decides to counterfeit foreign films.
(September 2005)

Kid Relish: The Birth of Fury
In which my relatively trusty sidekick tries to tear a man's throat out with a greasy fork and blame the death on wolves.
(February 2006)

The Mewling Moguls
In which my relatively trusty sidekick thinks about what it would be like to ski down a hill of live kittens, and also bludgeons writers with their own man-purses.
(June 2005)

If for some incomprehensible reason you didn't like Hounds of Venice, you probably shouldn't click any of these links.


At 1:10 AM, Blogger Kid Relish said...

Okay you filthy wretch--you so owe me royalties now!!!

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

This story makes a lot more sense once you realize this is Venice Italy, and not Venice, California.

Hell of a lot funnier in Venice California, though.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I have read with interest ('twixt young'un feedings, stories and the colouring-in of jolly pirates) these tales of Kid Relish and am sufficiently alarmed to ask, to BEG that you have his picture posted on the milk-cartons of the land with a warning to cats and children and milk-drinkers generally, that this is one mad-man to be avoided and definitely not poked with sticks.

Posters warning "DO NOT APPROACH THIS UTTER WIERDO, NO, NOT EVEN IN GROUPS OF 3 OR 7" also need to be posted outside schools, veterinarians, writer's guilds and fork factories immediately. For one of these days he will get mad and you, my friend, will not be around to soothe his beasts.

Have you thought of actually kicking this side-kick of yours, Latigo? You know, giving him a right good kicking in his ears, perhaps? As a kind of prophylactic measure when you sense the clouds are gathering behind his stormy brow. That might be cheaper and more effective than a poster campaign.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

I think you and Kid relish should come drinking with me and Mr. Scoop. I think it would be a good time. Right up until the cops showed up with tear gas. But, that'd probably be my fault.

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Check's in the mail Kid. (tee hee)

There's absolutely nothing funny about Venice, California Macek. I know, I live here. Venice, CA is the place funny goes to not be funny anymore.

Hey Sam! We live by a code, us men of the desert and iron. Relatively trusty sidekicks aren't like administrative assistants! There's no turnover in this position. Sidekicks are sidekicks for life.
(Unless they hit on your girl... then you get to shoot 'em and say:
"Lonesome dang, look what you've gone and made me done.")

Deal Amandarama. You should know though, there's a very good chance at some point during the evening Kid Relish is going to ask Mr. Scoop:
"If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?"
And then try to pistol whip him to death.
(The whole sordid affair being just a ruse to get you single again, you see?)

At 12:20 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

We women of dessert and ironing have a code too. In fact we have lots. In a big, big book. Hundreds of the blighters.

I fear not for you, Latigo. I'm sure you could handle yourself well if it came to fisticuffs with the Kid. It's just the kittens... and the children...and all the adults in the greater Los Angeles region. What if...Oh God, what if The Kid should ever become Man Relish? The carnage would be unspeakable. I'm sorry, I can't speak of it due to its horrifying unspeakability.

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Count me a clicking mofo, Latigo, because I liked it plenty.

That's what I like about Kid Relish, by the way. He's crazi... more entertaining than YOU are.


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