Tags: Agents, Books, Christmas, dogs, editors, family, fiction, funny stories, holidays, Humor, life, publishers, publishing, Reading, Reviews, Writing
Well, the Geezer has done it again. He’s posted his laughter inducing classic, “Claus and the Consultant.” This thoroughly enjoyable read is posted on (linked for your convenience) www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com If the season is getting hectic, and you need to renew your positive attitude with some humor, DON’T MISS READING IT! And, PLEASE, share it with your friends. Everyone can use an attitude adjustment at the end of this year.
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Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, family, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Woof! Woof! Each year I like to tell a Christmas Story. This year it has a message … a positive one! Please share with your pups, family and friends.
A Christmas Story in the park.
Hi. I’m Sandy the Golden Retriever. I want to tell you a story.
Each day my human takes me to the park. We meet some interesting people there … and we get to watch what they do. That’s how we got to know Sam, and the Wilson kids.
Sam is an old fellow who spends most every afternoon sitting in the park. He comes there to feed the birds. The old man doesn’t seem to have anything else to do. Sam is short, plump, and bald. I like to think his hair slipped ten inches because he has a long white beard and a mustache. He always has a big bag or two with him. The bags are loaded with goodies for his bird friends. All the birds in the park and the surrounding neighborhood know Sam and flock to him when they see him walking toward his favorite long bench. It is right across Main Street from Miller’s Department Store.
The Wilson kids like to hang around the same area. Billy is five. He loves to play “fetch” with me and his sister, who is a very wise ten, is one of the greatest dog petting people in the world. Trina knows just how to scratch behind my ears. Both the Wilsons love to feed the birds. I don’t chase the pigeons, starlings, and sparrows because Sam, the Wilson children, my human and me are all friends. We spend a lot of time sitting together and talking.
It gets cold where we live … very cold in December. The Wilsons don’t seem to mind the cold. They don’t wear heavy coats like most folks. Both Sam and my human have suggested they should dress warmer, but Trina and Billy never want to talk about it.
The leaves had all fallen, some patches of snow were scattered on the ground, and Christmas decorations filled Miller’s Department store. It was the day before Christmas. We were all seated on the bench feeding the birds from Sam’s huge bag of day-old bread. Little patches of white fog marked each breathe we took. The birds ate so much they could hardly fly. Sam said, “I think we need to stop feeding our buddies. I’m afraid some of them might pop.”
“Do we have to?” Billy was disappointed. I think he’d like to see a bird pop.
“Billy, Sam is right. Besides we can go look at what’s in Miller’s windows before they take everything out after Christmas.” Trina grabbed her brother’s hand and tried to pull him from the bench.
Billy resisted. “Awwww, I don’t want to. It makes me sad.”
My human asked, “Sad? Why does it make you sad?”
Trina answered, “Because he knows we’ll never get those things. Mama can’t afford it.”
“What does he want?” Sam asked.
“The train set with the yellow engine.” Trina tugged on Billy’s hand, half pulling him off the bench.
“You seem anxious to go look. What do you want from the window?” Sam smiled. “It must be important.”
“A cell phone. I don’t care which one. I want to call my friends and have them call me. I get left—” Trina didn’t finish her sentence.
Sam rubbed his beard for a few seconds. “Have you tried to ask Santa?”
“I would, but Mama doesn’t have time to take us. She’s too busy working this time of year.” Billy looked enthusiastic. Trina just smirked.
“You don’t have to see him in person. Just ask, he’ll hear,” Sam said.
“I don’t think so,” Billy said, “I’ve tried that before and it doesn’t work.”
“Will you walk me across the street?” Trina asked her brother.
Billy snorted, shrugged, and got off the bench. He walked to the street. Trina started to walk with him, but ran back for a second and whispered, “Don’t get his hopes up. He’ll never get it.” She raced back to catch Billy before he crossed the street.
My human shook his head. “What size coats do you think they wear, Sam?”
“The boy wears a size 4 the girl a 9. I’d buy them a size or two larger.”
My human nodded. “I hope they get something for Christmas that they want.”
Sam remained silent for several seconds before saying, “I want them to get something more important than a train set or a cell phone.”
* * * * * *
Christmas afternoon my human and I were walking in the park when Billy and Trina ran up to us. Both wore new coats that were a little large. Their smiles were wide, but not as wide as the one on my human’s face. I figured out what the two of us had left outside the Wilson’s door. I barked to let them know, but my human just said, “Shsssh.”
We walked to the bench and our Friend Sam was already there. He looked tired, but happy. Two huge bags rested at his feet. “Merry Christmas,” he said as we approached. We answered, “Merry Christmas.”
“The bakery had an extra-large supply of bread to throw away and I intend to see the birds have a great Christmas, too.” Sam patted one of the bags.
Billy plopped down on the bench next to Sam and yelled, “Hooray.” My human and Trina sat on Sam’s other side.
Sam said, “Those are big Christmas smiles.”
“Yep, look at our coats,” Billy said.
“They’re so nice and warm,” Trina added.
“Well that’s good,” Sam got a serious look on his face. “I thought you’d be disappointed.”
“Why?” Trina asked.
Because Santa made a mistake and delivered some of your presents to my house.” Sam opened the second bag lying at his feet. He handed a large gaily wrapped package to Billy and small one to Trina. The wrapping paper tore easily and soon Billy was admiring his new train set … with a yellow engine. Trina held her I-phone in her hand with a grip so tight her fingers turned white. Tears entered her eyes and my humans. And, I admit, mine. Trina looked at Sam and said, “Thank you.”
“Oh, don’t thank me. These really came from Santa. Look,” Sam slid his fingers over the cell and a message appeared. He handed the phone to Trina and she read the e-mail.
“From: S. Claus … To: Billy and Trina Wilson …
I hope you enjoy the wrapped presents. I have two more gifts for you that are far more important. One is hope. The other is belief. As long as you keep these two things in your hearts and minds, anything is possible in your lives.”
Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, family, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Thanksgiving, Writing
Thank You! Thank You!
A couple of you reminded the Geezer, when he spoke at the Copperfish last night, that I needed my turn at the computer. He’s promised to be more considerate and let me have my paws on the keyboard more frequently.
The Geezer had a most successful trek to the Copperfish. He met lots of folks, both fans and prospective new ones, I’m sure he wowed them with his bullshit, had a great gab session, and (oh, yes) sold and signed a bunch of books.
Another thank you is in order. That’s to the 20,000 plus visitors who have read my blog. Woof, woof. I reached the milestone a few days ago. It’s humbling to this dog and I’ll do my best to continue to make your visits here worth your time.
T’is the season, or at least, it’s close to it. The Geezer will be posting one (or more) of his Christmas Stories on his blog and I’ll be doing the same on this one. Look for them to start right after Thanksgiving.
Finally: Woof-Arf Grrr-Arf-Woof. Translated into Humanese that’s ………………………. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.
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Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, family, funny stories, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
All right – I hear you. I convinced the Geezer to leave his story, Claus and the Consultant posted on his blog page for two more days. If you haven’t read it yet, try it, you’ll like it. Visit him at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com It takes about ten minutes to read, but you’ll find it ten of the best minutes you’ve spent this week.
Tags: animal tales, Books, Christmas, dogs, family, funny stories, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
The Geezer and I have a present for you and your friends. It’s a package of laughs in the form of a blog post named “Claus and the Consultant.” Learn what happens when Santa seeks help from an efficiency expert. Visit my human’s blog to read it —- http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com —- and enjoy. (There’s a link on this page) Spread the joy to friends and associates.
Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
I’ve decided I’d better get some more requests off to Santa. This is especially for my canine friends.
For Lucy, one of the neighborhood cocker spaniels – access to her human’s birth control pills. She literally needs litter relief
For Boog and Boob the twin beagles three doors down – Voice lessons by some qualified professional. Santa, Think Celine Dion and Frank Sinatra types, not Lady Gaga or Bruce Springsteen clones. I need some sleep.
For Peter the pointer – The knowledge to know that anything long and black lying on the ground should not be chewed on … that includes snakes, hoses, and heavy duty electric cords. Particularly, electric cords. Very, very much, electric cords.
Also for Peter the Pointer – Hair pieces for bald spots acquired from not having the proper knowledge referred to in the item above.
For Manny my Chihuahua friend – Either longer rear legs or the wisdom to stop dating Great Danes and St. Bernards.
Hang in there Santa, I’ve got more coming!
PS – My human will be posting one of his most popular Christmas stories on his blog tomorrow! It’s had thousands of views in the past – Claus and the Consultant. Click on the link on my post or go to http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com
Tags: Books, Christmas, conservative, dogs, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Here’s my second installment for Santa. I plan to mail this off immediately since these wishes will take some time.
#1 – For the store owners and other innocents damaged by looting and malicious destruction of property in Ferguson – Santa how about getting Missouri’s Governor and/or the Federal Government to provide grants to those harmed by the thugs rioting in that city. State and Federal executive branches did little to nothing to stop a predictable disaster and in some cases made it worst by fanning the flames with their emissaries. Don’t we give billions in foreign aid to Middle East countries that hate us? Seems we could re-channel some of that to our Midwest.
#2 – For all the rotund humans I know – Santa ask some prestigious university to develop a “calorie sucker.” It has to be strictly mechanical, not one of those pills that has 45 seconds of a 60 second advertisement explaining the various ways the side effects can kill you. You might start looking at MIT, Santa. I understand at least one of their professors might be looking for side jobs. The guy’s big mouth might be an advantage when testing treated food.
#3 – For those who rely on movies and TV for their entertainment – Santa, please, please, please bring them some actors and actresses who realize there’s more to their profession than being a shill for an agenda and taking their clothes off; writers who don’t keep copying Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Dumb and Dumber, Friends, Twilight, and NCIS; directors who lose the keys to the pyrotechnic locker and don’t try to find a new way for flesh to rot off a skeleton; and producers who never have heard of “reality series” and are more interested in entertaining folks than indoctrinating them.
I know those are tough Santa, but do your best.
PS – Santa check my humans blog for his appearance and speaking schedule – dlhavlin.wordpress.com
Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, Humor, publishing, Reading, Writing
The Geezer, my human, is working on his Christmas lists. That’s wish lists for his friends, acquaintances, and himself. I think he forwards them to Santa Claus for action. It seems to work most of the time, so as I recognize someone’s needs, I’ve decided to write them down each day. Between now and Christmas I’ll whisk the note off to the fat human, dressed in red, with the facial hair. Here’s my first request.
I can attest to the following people’s good behavior and would like you to leave them presents under the tree Christmas morning-
For Sarge, the neighborhood German Shepard. A pair of blinders and a portable cold shower so he doesn’t get into trouble every time Fifi the poodle walks by. His child support is getting sizeable.
For Kim Kardashian’s dog. (I assume all humans have canines to guide them.) Send cash so the dog can buy the woman some clothes. From the pictures I’ve seen, she can’t afford them.
For the teenage girl down the street – Blinds for her windows.
For the seven teenage boys in the neighborhood – Binoculars, if you don’t bring the girl blinds.
For Oreo, my feline house companion – guardrails for the aquarium so he doesn’t fall in while watching the fish. Again.
Tags: Books, Christmas, dogs, family, holidays, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
It’s getting close to the time old Santa will hitch the reindeer to the sleigh, pack his sack with goodies and leave the North Pole for places south. I’ve been busy helping the Geezer with his book signings, decorate for the season and finding presents for his family and friends. My blogging hasn’t been as frequent as I would like, but I promise I’ll do much better after the first of the year.
Speaking of presents, a lot of you have asked me…to ask him…if he would post his short story, “Claus and the Consultant,” so many of you enjoyed three years ago. It was a Christmas present to all his friends, family and readers. It’s hilarious. It’s back. Go to his blog at http://www.dlhavlin.wordpress.com or his web site at http://www.dlhavlin.com to read and laugh!
The Geezer and I have been doing so many things, I thought I’d post some of the pictures and captions of the events here and talk about them later. Though I’m sure I’ll write between now and then — MERRY CHRISTMAS — Just in case!
Tags: Books, Christmas, Cooking, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Writing
Hello all – The Geezer and I want to thank all of you who for your many, many kind comments about A Christmas Story. Some have asked if they can share the story. Sure, just refer them to my blog. The Geezer and I would love that. I do ask that you not copy the story and reprint it. If you missed parts 1 and 2, just scroll down – they’re the two previous posts. As promised, here is part 3 of A Christmas Story.
A Christmas Story©
Alone. He felt truly alone. Dave sat as close to Rachel’s side as the arms on his chair allowed, the frame of the bed restricting him from getting closer. It would be he and his daughter when her time came. When he phoned Russell, he had lied. Russell had told him he would rush to get the girls ready to come to the hospital.
“Don’t, Russell. She’s serious, but staying the same. There’s nothing you can do and I’d just as soon have you keep the girls be at home for Christmas day. Rachel’s still unconscious. I’m here and I don’t have anything else to do. Just save me some turkey.” Dave tried to sound upbeat.
“Is she really the same?”
“Yes Russell, no change,” Dave lied again.
“Okay, but would you come over for dinner? We’ll eat. Then I want to go sit with her. You can stay with the girls.”
“Sure.” Dave didn’t like lying to Rachel’s husband, but he believed he was doing the right thing.
Dave held Rachel’s limp, lifeless feeling fingers in his circling hand. Those fingers were the same ones he’d held as they stood in line at Disney World when Rachel was nine. They’d counted the number of women standing in the serpentine queue wearing black shorts to pass the time. He remembered the two of them playfully arguing over whether some of the shorts were black or navy blue. Or, whether they were “double counting” some ladies. He looked Rachel’s face. How unfair her girls would be denied sharing those type experiences with their mother. His mind said, God, if you’re there, this isn’t right. The words spoken by the old fellow in the waiting room answered him. “You realize that believing in something is much better than believing in nothing.” Dave closed his eyes and the imagine of Ellen and little six-year-old Rachel kneeling next to Rachel’s bed, praying, was as clear as it had been twenty-eight years before.
It had been a long time. He felt guilty. But, the old man’s words would not allow him to dismiss the thought, the intention. It’s something you come to on your own. What Dave would pray for was so easy to request. It would be so difficult to grant. He needed to give something in return.
“Don’t go in there. The man doesn’t want any decorations put up.” Two more candy-strippers stood outside Rachel’s room.
Dave said, “Please come in, I was wrong.”
“All I have left are the little trees,” one of the girls said tentatively.
“That’s fine…Please.” Dave watched the chubby, rosy checked teenage girl scurry in and out of the room, leaving the small tree on the tray table next Rachel’s bed.
The Christmas Tree was the answer. It was a symbol of giving. God had given his son to us on Christmas. You must give everything to get everything. Dave started to pray. “Dear Lord, please let Rachel live. I’ll take her place. Gladly, I’ll take her place. Please let Rachel live.” He repeated the simple thought over and over. As he did, his words changed from a ritual, said to be said, to the powerful request belief brings. Hope entered his voice…and soul. “Dear Lord, please let Rachel live. I’ll take her place. Gladly, I’ll take her place. Please, let Rachel live.”
A kernel deep inside Dave awakened. Peace, so long denied, entered the man. Hope strengthened in his voice. “Dear Lord, please let Rachel live. I’ll take her place. Gladly, I’ll take her place. Please, let Rachel live.”
Like a murmur of a spring breeze, he felt a flutter in the flesh in the hand he held. “Daddy?” The voice returned to the place it should be. Dave looked at Rachel’s face; her eyes fluttered, but they were open.
Dave screamed, “Nurse!”
* * * * * *
“I really can’t believe it, but I have to,” Dr. Remington said. He shook a fistful of X-rays in front of him. “I can’t wait for Spence to see these. He said he thought what he did had a 5% chance of working. What a 5%!”
Dave stepped closer to the doctor so there was less chance of Rachel hearing his question. “Is she okay? I mean, is there going to be any damage? Anything permanent?”
“No. Hell no! Double Hell no! It’s like there was never anything wrong with her, not even a trace of plaque in the artery that was damned near clogged. It’s the damnedest thing I’ve seen in twenty-five years of pushing pills.” Remington took a deep breath. “All that I know says she should be…” He looked at Rachel who was watching them as she lapsed in and out of drugged relaxed consciousness. “You know. You need to thank Dr. Spence when he gets here.”
Dave said, “I will,” but knew there were others he wanted to thank first. His train of thought was interrupted by Russell and his three granddaughters racing into the room to see Rachel. Their tears and fears were replaced by smiles and joy. That was good.
* * * * * *
Dave’s first destination after leaving his thoroughly happy family was the chapel to make his first “thank you.” It was as heart-felt as any thought or word he’d ever had or spoken. As soon as he rose from his knees, he walked as quickly as he could to the waiting room. With the exception of Nurse Reynolds, the room was empty.
Dave asked, “Excuse me ma’am, do you know anything about the old gentleman that was here when I was waiting for news about my daughter?”
“May I ask why?” A trace of hostility remained in the lady’s voice.
“I want to thank him for helping me. While I’m at it, I apologize for my behavior towards you. I was an asshole.” Dave looked and was sincere.
The nurse’s face softened. “Pressures like you were under…It’s understandable.”
“Do you know where he went?”
“No, I’m afraid I don’t. You didn’t miss him by much. He left not more than five minutes ago.”
Dave started for the double doors, saying, “Thanks, maybe I can catch him.”
“Ahhhh, Mr. Grimm there’s something you should know. Mr. Bowman lost his wife.”
Dave stopped. He felt as though someone had struck him with a two by four. “Oh, no!” he uttered. “How—”
“Heart. He took it very well. He shed a few tears, that’s true. But, he said, ‘I can’t be selfish. I had fifty-four wonderful years with her. And, I have all those priceless memories. They don’t die, Nurse Beverly.’ It about tore my heart out. What a special man.”
Dave’s need to see the old man doubled. He bolted for the entrance, but stopped abruptly after a few steps. He said, “Thank you and…Merry Christmas, Nurse Reynolds.” He heard her call out, “Merry Christmas,” as the doors closed behind him.
* * * * * *
It was a snow covered world outside the hospital when Dave stepped through the sliding glass doors. Two of the hospital’s service personnel were diligently shoveling the sidewalk, a duty that was demanding instant replays as large heavy flakes blurred the sky and tried to erase their efforts.
Though it was mid-morning, the low snow clouds made the day gray, grayer than a Christmas day should be, Dave thought. He stood at the edge of the sidewalk looking over a three inch layer of white covering the large parking lot in front of him. Dave ignored cars gingerly navigating the slick aisles, looking for the tall thin form of his new friend. It had been so selfish of him to only think of his problems, without realizing the old gentleman, Mr. Bowman, had his own with which to cope. It was important to Dave to right that over-sight. He systematically scanned the lot, row by row.
Two-thirds of the way through the process, he saw a figure who could be the man he sought. Dave stared intently. The overcoat masked the figure to a degree it was hard to be sure. The man stopped at the driver’s side door of a car almost at the other side of the lot. After the man opened the door, he removed the stocking cap he wore. It exposed a bald head rimmed with white hair. Dave decided it was most surely Mr. Bowman. If he didn’t rush after him, he’d never get the chance to thank the man. His whole focus was to do that.
Dave took a couple of running steps on the slick surface when the loud blaring of a car horn sounded within a few feet. He felt the impact of the car as it smashed into him and the hard pavement as he slammed down onto it. Dave looked upward his mind trying to process what had just happened. He’d been hit by a car…hard. Why didn’t he hurt? Was he in shock? People appeared above him, concern and alarm on their faces. Their mouths moved, but he couldn’t hear a word they spoke. Two of them ran toward the hospital, while the remaining lady peered down at him. She looked horrified.
A strange feeling came over him. Someone must have turned on a car’s headlights for a bright flash illuminated an area above him. He tried to find the light’s source, but neither his head nor eyes would move. Strange, he thought. Dave kept waiting for pain. None came. That was really strange. In fact, he felt great.
He recognized that voice, but…
“Dave, come join me. Your prayer was granted.”
* * * * *