What Is It, Girl?


“Ruth! Will you shut that damn dog up? I’m trying to take a nap.”

Ruth wiped her flour-covered hands on her apron. Paul was always crabby on Sundays before dinner, especially if Pastor Bean’s sermon hit home as well as today’s. Paul really did drink too much sometimes.

“Sorry, Paul.”  She looked out the window to see if there was a deer or maybe a hobo. She herself wasn’t overly fond of the dog, but it was a good alarm system– these days, you couldn’t be too careful. And her stepson loved it so.

The dog barked and barked.

She heard Paul heave himself off the couch, slam cursing out of the screen door.  Through the window a white and russet streak of dog bounding away as Paul tried to kick it.

“Goddamn mongrel mutt!” he screamed. “I should put a fucking bullet in your head!”

He stormed into the kitchen. “Where’s that goddamned boy? Where the hell is Timmy?”




Sunday Photo Fiction


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    • J Hardy Carroll

      Wikipedia calls that era of Lassie the “Timmy Years.” I like the idea of Timmy’s stepdad Paul an alcoholic with serious rage issues. Would have been a very different show.

      • Jim Scortch

        That can be done…you know, simulate the black and white TV look. It would only work in certain scenes…one couldn’t simulate an entire show. The drama would be weird, absurdist and comic sometimes, but most of the time off kilter.
        When it would be absurdist and comic I would go for.
        You would go for the brutal reality of the kids future at the hands of brute?
        Anthony Jeselnik is a comic I have been watching lately. He has a show on Netflix.

  1. J Hardy Carroll

    Although it’s the best-known Peril of Timmy, he never did actually fall down a well. That said, Timmy:

    …let a rabid dog out of a cage (“Graduation”)
    …eat deadly nightshade berries (“Berrypickers”)
    …threatened by an escaped female circus elephant (“The Elephant”)
    …hides out in the treehouse when he has pneumonia (“Spartan”)
    …threatened by a mother wolf (“The Wolf Cub”)
    …falls into the lake (“Transition” and “The House Guest”)
    …develops a high fever from the measles (“The Crisis”)
    …is almost shot by Paul (“Hungry Deer”)
    …ignores severe stomach pains; he’s diagnosed with appendicitis (“Hospital”)
    …is trapped in an abandoned house with Boomer (“Trapped”)
    …wanders into a live mine field (“Junior GIs”)
    …is menaced by a bear (“Campout” and “The Renegade”)
    …is trapped in a mine (“Old Henry”)
    …gets a black eye playing football (“Growing Pains”)
    …nearly flies a home-made glider off a cliff (“Flying Machine”)
    …runs into a burning house to save a neighbor lady and passes out (“The Whopper”)
    …is endangered by dynamite picked up by an escaped lab chimp (“The Man from Mars”)

    The chimp dynamite one is really reaching. I can see the executives trying to think of all the outrageous things they can do to Timmy before the show gets canceled.

Don't just stand there.